Tara Kester

By Tara Kester


We all do too much. A typical day for me includes: Getting out last minute revisions for (on average) 4 projects per day, getting out layouts for (on average) 2 projects per day, looking over resumes and interviewing for an open position we have right now, lunch meetings, 2-3 client or prospect client calls, looking over proposals, trying to spend at least an hour per day working “on” the business, managing my team, and then sprinkling in meeting up with my EO Accelerator business group and attending other EO Accelerator events (including board meetings), Toastmasters, flying to Michigan every other month to hang out with my family/niece and nephews, rock climbing every Tuesday, church services & activities, and trying to meet up with friends when I can. And as I’m writing this, I’m even thinking to myself “Tara, that’s not a lot. C’mon—you’ve done way more than this at certain points in your life—you have some room to do even more!!” Gosh. I will say, however, mad props to all you parents out there who juggle all of these activities (and probably more) plus children. Mad props.


Yes, we all do too much. Maybe it’s because we feel useless or lazy when we’re idle? Maybe it’s because we think that having a “full” life will make us more successful, more intelligent, and more popular? Maybe. But it definitely won’t. I once heard it said that the enemy of the best is the good. Whoa. Preach it. Because when I’m moving from one thing to the next… I never fully devote enough focus to any one thing in my life to truly succeed at it. I’m sure good at a lot of things… but great at any one of them? Not really. And that’s fine for some people, but not for me. And if you’re still reading this, I’m guessing it’s not fine for you either. Learning to say “No” to the good in order to make room for the great is imperative in becoming successful. And I believe the saying “No to the good” principle is applicable to ANYTHING… (and here’s where I bring it full-circle) including branding. For the sake of not rambling on too long, let’s apply this in particular to the homepage content on your website.


Here are 3 “Good” things to say “No” to on your homepage.


1. Sliders in the main “Hero” area. Yes, you have SO many good things to tell people about your company right off-the-bat. We know. You want to tell them about all of the different products you offer, the different results you’ve gotten for clients, and all of the awards you’ve won. Is this all good stuff to know? You betcha. But is all of this “good stuff” keeping you from quickly getting to the point regarding the best thing you offer and why? Oh yes it is. You have 3 seconds or less to get this point across on average before a visitor moves onto another site (probably your competition’s). So ditch the sliders for one strong message, call-to-action, and potential background image that supports that message.


2. A long top navigation. People want options right? Wrong! We. have. too. many. options. today. Lauren, our project manager, is in the middle of planning her wedding right now and almost had an emotional break-down while shopping for wedding dresses. I can’t relate to this—but all of you once-brides know what I’m talking about. Bringing this back to the top navigation on your site—if you give people 5 or more options as to where to go, it begins to feel overwhelming. Like really overwhelming. And again, are all of these options good? Yes, usually. But consider breaking them down into sub-menus. In general, people respond best to 3 or fewer options. 4 at most. There’s exceptions to this (like when the hero area does a really great job of guiding visitors on its own). But for sake of simplicity, try keeping it to 3.


3. Multiple call-to-actions. Learn more! Sign-up! Look here! And here! But here too! Have you ever had a boss who gave you a list of like 8 things to get done all within the next 20 minutes and all with the same urgent priority level? Yeah… having multiple call to actions with a similar visual hierarchy… is like that. Do all of these things need to get done eventually? Sure. Just prioritize what that first action step (truly) is for your website visitor to take in order to get them closer to a sale. Everything else… they’ll get there eventually if your sales process/funnel is set up correctly (an entirely new topic on its own).


Well, if you’d made it this far, thank you for not saying “No” to reading the rest of this post. Hopefully these tips have inspired you to simplify your site as well as other aspects of your life.


Shovel Creative is a graphic design and web development agency dedicated to creating attractive and effective print and web materials, specifically focused on conversion and lead generation. To learn more about our process and how to work together, please contact us here.

About the Author

Tara Kester

Tara Kester

A graphic designer and digital marketer by trade, Tara (Brouwer) Kester started Shovel Creative in 2010 out of a passion for good design and customer service. To scale upon her core values of never leaving a client hanging or missing a deadline, her very first hire was a project manager. Since starting Shovel, Tara’s passion has extended to data and psychology-driven design—design that is proven and tested to connect with its audience and drive leads and sales. She is also committed to leadership and supporting her team. Tara has worked with high-profile brands such as Sony Online, Lexus, Pantone, Activision, THQ, and Warren Miller. For fun, she enjoys being outdoors by way of rock climbing, hiking, camping, and the occasional surf session. She also enjoys singing and playing her guitar.

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