Internet users exhibit predictable behavioral patterns while browsing websites.
The most common pattern is known as aimless browsing, which is sorta like flipping through a zillion TV channels while looking for something to watch.
Darn near everything on the internet—social media feeds, news sites, blogs, you name it—is designed to accommodate aimless browsing.
But if you have specific online goals like building an audience, getting clients, or selling products, aimless browsing is your mortal enemy!
The opposite of aimless browsing is browsing with intent.
Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon. You realized you needed a product—batteries, perhaps—so you went to Amazon, searched for “AA batteries,” and then purchased the cheapest and best option from available results.
Not only did you browse with intent, you were on a mission! This is exactly how you want your visitors to behave.
But because users are conditioned to browse aimlessly, you must take specific actions if you want them to behave differently:
- Maximize clarity by minimizing distractions (I like to use a 1-column layout for this purpose, as eye-tracking studies show people will stay engaged longer)
- Reduce or eliminate aimless browsing opportunities like random links, related posts, pitches for other products, etc.
- Present users with a clear path to success and keep them on that path until they either complete the goal (a sale, an opt-in, whatever) or choose to leave
Simple, right? Not so fast—this is harder than it seems because nearly everything you’re accustomed to seeing and using on the internet caters to aimless browsing.
You’ll need to un-think some of this stuff if you want to see your site clearly and position it for success.
The easiest way to do this is to adopt a mantra that guides all decision-making on your site…
One Page, One Goal
The winning strategy for your website looks a little something like this:
- Each time you create a page, define a single goal for that page
- Analyze every element on the page with this goal in mind
- Be disciplined, unemotional, and objective in your analysis—if an element does not facilitate your goal for this page, remove it!
Watch the video below and see how to put “One page, one goal” to work for you!