Addicted to WordPress Plugins? It May Be Costing You Big Time

If you’re in love with WordPress and all of the fantastic widgets and plugins, you may be losing a ton of money.

That sounds like a pretty drastic statement given that WordPress has been a real “gift” to the non-techie affiliate marketer but it’s true. Technology is a wonderful thing and being able to harness the benefits of technology without being a technician has been a boon to the affiliate marketing industry. However too much of a good thing can cost you money.

When you become addicted to the idea that you have to have the latest and greatest widget or plug-in on your site you run the risk of losing your focus. Every time you add something to your site you should ask yourself “does this addition help or hurt my efforts to sell my product” because selling your product is your true mission.

Technology is great but too much can hurt and that’s a hard lesson I learned when I reviewed one of my websites sometime ago.

Shiny features and flat sales

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love WordPress. It’s a fantastic way to quickly build a professional looking website and it comes with the incredible number of features that you can add by dragging and dropping. I know enough about coding to know I don’t have the patience nor the skill to get all the features I can get from WordPress just by dragging the mouse.

Think about it for a moment. How easy would it be to add sidebars, comment clouds, tag clouds, all the video you could possibly want, those spiffy social media buttons and all the rest if you didn’t have WordPress? If you wanted all those features you would have to pay a programmer and a designer to put them together for you.

But the danger is the temptation to go overboard with all these nifty functions and when that happens you can do serious damage to your income.

When features cost you conversions

If you are promoting routers for woodworking, auto insurance quotes, an e-book on home remedies for dogs, golf tips or just about any product or service as an affiliate marketer did your livelihood depends on conversions. You can afford to have anything on your site that will detract or distract your marketing message.

If your pages are full of spiffy WordPress widgets your message can be buried by all the options you’re offering your visitors. If you have multiple ways of navigating site you can confuse visitors or even lead them off the site and you simply can’t afford that.

A snip, snip here and a snip, snip there

A while back I decided to take a hard look at what my websites and see just how many actions of visitor could take on a single page. The only action I wanted them to do was my call to action by discovered that call to action was diluted by all the features and photographs that I had cluttering the page.

I decided I was going to cut back on the number of widgets and photos that I used on the page to see what kind of results I would get. I’m a big believer in social media but I had every social media button known to man plastered on the page and I decided to cut those back to a limited number.

When I had completed the project I was happy with the results. My page now looked much cleaner and was far easier to read. My message was no longer buried. But the real payoff was the increase in conversions. By cleaning up my page I was in a better position to take the visitor by the hand and walk them through the conversion process.

Five tips to de-clutter your page and increase sales

If you think your website may be a little overloaded with features and clutter then check out these five ideas to streamline your pages and increase your sales.

1. Define what each page is supposed to do.

Every page on your website should have a purpose. For example the visitor lands on opt in page than the purpose of that page is to get them to submit their e-mail address and sign up. If you’re not certain what the page is supposed to do than your visitor won’t know what to do.

2. Take your prospects by the hand.

Design your content in such a way that when the prospect finishes reading it and then comes to your call to action the call to action will seem like the logical next step. Your objective is to get him or her to take that next step rather than click on the comment cloud or an archived article. Can you see how having these features can be distracting? Just stay focused on the mission of making conversions.

3. Keep the layout simple.

Your page layout has to allow your visitor to grasp your message right away and not be lost in the clutter of features and graphics. Sometimes a simple white background with black text and an interesting and engaging header is the most effective page design.

4. Tell your prospect what to do.

If every page on your website has a purpose then every page should have a call to action to accomplish that purpose. If you have engaging and informative content that’s great but we don’t ask the prospect to do something after reading that content you’ve blown an opportunity for conversion. Test out different calls to action to see what works best.

5. Don’t totally neglect social media.

Social media can be a great way to get referred traffic to your site so you can’t totally ignore the features that allow the social media buttons. Just keep this feature to a minimum number of sites and services.

And one more thing…

Don’t forget that people read left to right. The first place the visitor’s eyes are going to go to is the top left of your webpage. Take a moment and think, what is currently in the top left of your page? Ideally this should be the most important content that you have on the page. It still surprises me that so many websites use a left sidebar. The visitor’s attention is immediately distracted from the purpose of the page.

De-cluttering a web page will work for any type of website be it financial planning products, washers and dryers, TV stands or router table reviews. Virtually every site can benefit by cleaning up their pages and making their message clearer to the visitor.

Take the challenge and start by looking at your website and seeing how many actions of visitor to do on a single page. If you’re offering too much then you’re reducing the probability of a conversion. Take off the stuff that distracts from the purpose of the page and you’ll discover a significant increase in sales.

Bio

James Martell discovered the lucrative world of affiliate marketing in 1999. He is a self-taught Internet entrepreneur and a leading expert in affiliate marketing, outsourcing and SEO. James is the host of the “Affiliate Buzz”, the first and longest running affiliate marketing podcast. James is the host of the “Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp”, a continually updated affiliate marketing training well known for turning affiliate newbies into success stories. James resides in White Rock BC, a seaside suburb of Vancouver on the West Coast of Canada with Arlene and their four children.