In a 2012 study, Google established that simplicity was a key factor in beautiful websites. The findings revealed that “visually complex” websites were less appealing and effective than those that used simple layouts and basic visual design.

According to an article from SimplyPsychology, science supports the principle of good, simple design. It talks about how the brain has to do more work with visually complex websites, and consumers tend to shy away from them subconsciously.

“… [T]he eye receives visual information and codes information into electric neural activity which is fed back to the brain where it is ‘stored’ and ‘coded,’ ” the article says. “This information can be used by other parts of the brain relating to mental activities such as memory, perception and attention.”

Whether you’re building a website from scratch or overhauling an existing one, simple, effective design is vital.

Here are some things you can do to simplify the design.

  1. Keep Content Sharp and Succinct

Too much content can easily overwhelm people. Most website visitors scan webpages, so more pictures and fewer words are best.

When you have fewer words, however, make sure they hit home. Address the desires of your clients to encourage them to click further into your website. Use images and call-to-action buttons to elicit conversion-worthy activity.

Consider the simplicity of this homepage for a law office in Virginia. The simple white background, bold call-to-action buttons, eye-grabbing images, and useful links are well calculated to intrigue potential clients.

  1. Focus on Simple Navigation

The homepage is usually just a starting point for clients and customers learning more about your business.

“Although it may seem negligible, having organized and easy-to-follow navigation for a website is very beneficial and important for the overall user experience,” according to an article from the ReadyArtWork. “Visiting a website with disorganized navigation is like driving somewhere with hazy directions: you might get lost along the way because the route is hard to follow.”

One of the most important elements of simple navigation is to place links where customers expect them to be. Conventions of good web design dictate that your navigation bar should be located at the top of the website, with drop-down bars if applicable.

If you use an e-business integrated website template, achieving this simple navigation is easy. When you have great, simple navigation, you’ll see a lower bounce rate and more product purchases.

  1. Publish Customer Testimonials

The honest brag is a classic way to illustrate all the benefits you can offer your customers. Homepages should clearly state what sets you apart from your competitors, though it’s not easy for customers who don’t know you to take your word for it.

That’s where customer testimonials come in. Research shows that more than 80 percent of customers in search of products and services rely on the testimonials of others to make purchasing decisions.

Using testimonials on your homepage is a great way to draw in customers. Consider this example from a website that promotes a children’s creativity camp.

It has a sliding testimonials section on the bottom of the homepage which displays the words of satisfied customers and influencers. It’s a great tool to get customers to click further into your site. 

  1. Use Imagery That Supports

Research from Lean Labs shows that customers read just 20 percent of the text on a webpage, on average. People scan the content and use visuals to gain context.

Without highly supportive visuals, visitors might not see the value. Along with high-quality, in-focus images, you might dabble in video. Lean Labs research shows that 65 percent of viewers watch more than three-quarters of a video they find online, which indicates videos are a great way to capture visitor attention.

“Videos quickly capture your prospects’ interest and gain their trust faster than blocks of text,” says Lean Labs. “Additionally, viewers are more likely to buy if the person speaking in your videos is friendly, confident, and excited about the product or service.”

Website visitors see a goldmine in simple websites. The most effective homepages are those that use concise, succinct language to encourage conversions.

Making adjustments to your website so it meets simpler conventions of good design could be the missing link in customer connections.