The Landing Page: Why Less is More

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Know why Google skyrocketed to success? It’s simply because the founders of Google wanted to keep its landing page minimal in order to serve its only purpose – to help its visitors search the web.

Google Landing Page

It was a stark contrast from the leading search engine at the time – Yahoo!

yahoo leading search engine

Internet users started ditching the popular but insanely cluttered search engine for the clean, sleek, and minimal Google. And that’s how Google’s fame was born. People simply liked it better.

However, the minimal landing page didn’t become a web design trend until this year. The Internet is packed with so much information that we Internet users decided that we’ve had enough. We’re tired of wading through the vast sea of information to get to what we want, so we’ve started to embrace the minimalist approach. One of the first signs of this being a trend was when Pinterest changed their landing page from this:

Pinterest

To this:

Pinterest Login Page

Pinterest’s new landing page is as minimal as it could get. Instead of cluttering up their landing page with the latest pins, a search bar, categories, and an “about us” link, they opted to switch to a cleaner look that focuses solely on signing up or logging in. Not only that, but you can also find out more about Pinterest by clicking on one of the obscure links on the bottom right of the page.

The focus stays on the fundamental product or service.

As you can see on Pinterest’s landing page, you can’t help but focus on logging in or signing up before getting to see anything else. That’s what Pinterest wants you to do. They’ve achieved that with a super minimal landing page. Google is another good example. It doesn’t want you to read the latest news, check your email, or click on ads. They just want you to do a search on the Internet. Simple as that. That’s why there’s nothing but a search bar smack dab in the middle of Google.com.

With less content on the landing page, the website is easier to navigate.

Take a look at the following two websites and let me ask you a question: which of those websites is easier for you to navigate? Let’s say you want to find the latest news on the Zimmerman trial. Which website would you rather stay on?

denverpost

AOL Search Engine

Did you pick the second one? Even though it’s AOL, their website is as minimal as any news website could get. You can easily navigate to the topics you want to read about without having to wade through the clutter plastered across the front page like on Denver Post’s website. The search bar on AOL’s website is much easier to spot than the one on Denver Post’s website.

Don’t make it too minimal

Sure, big-name websites like Google and Pinterest can get away with having a super minimal website with one search bar or log in information. It’s only because everyone knows what those websites offer. They don’t need to explain themselves on the landing page. Your website, on the other hand, is probably not as well-known, so you do need to introduce yourself, your company, or your website to your visitors so they will know why they’re even on it. Zornphoto.com is a great example:

Don’t make it too minimal

Judging from their landing page, you can obviously see that they’re photographers. You can easily navigate their website without wading through overwhelming text and pictures. If you want to know more about them, click on “the story of us” link in the navigation bar. If you want to see some sample photos, click on “portfolios”. They’re not forcing their services upon you, but they’re still giving you enough information to understand that they’re photographers with the ability to take good pictures.

Mark Hayes of MarkHayesPhotography.com may be a wonderful photographer, but his website is too overwhelming with photos, links, expansive text, and SEO-heavy descriptions. Take a look:

mark hayes photography

Judging from the two photography websites we’ve shown you, which photographer would you be more likely to hire?

While designing your website, always remember that less is always more.

This guest article was written by Simon (better known as SimonTheSorcerer online). He is working for Jangomail a mass email service provider. You can check out more of his work at his online marketing blog.

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