Unnecessary Detours on Your Website

About Us. FAQ. Customer Service. Contact Us.

Odds are you have these pages on your website. Last week I raised a question about the value of site if your products disappeared. But here’s another consideration, what if the above pages disappeared?

If your About Us page was gone, would customers still be able to learn about your company, your beliefs, your values, your unique offering, throughout your site? Or is the About Page the only place you communicate who you really are.

What about an FAQ page? Is this the only place you answer common questions? If they’re really so “common”, why not answer them in context instead? In other words, it doesn’t make sense to answer common questions about your shipping policy on an entirely separate page, it makes sense to answer them with a popup box or mouseover in your shopping cart when people are actually choosing their shipping option.

Or consider your Customer Service page. You can probably figure out the common points of confusion on your website. Shouldn’t your contact info be right there, plain and simple, when and where it’s needed?

I’m not suggesting you delete these pages. I am suggesting you to think differently about how customers flow through your site. The pages above can be crutches. We assume customers will navigate to them when they’re needed. But will they?

Don’t we want that first time visitor, who might only see one page, to intuitively understand our unique value proposition, our mission, how to contact us, answers to common questions… without going anywhere else? How can we better structure our sites and write our copy in a way that avoids unnecessarily detours?

What detours have you seen on websites that can be eliminated?