Here at KreativElement, one of our specialties is creating clean, beautiful websites that tell your business’s story in an immediate and effective way. We focus on the user experience, making sure that you rank for key search terms in your industry and that your website is full of useful information. Findability and functionality are the keys here. But when it comes to functionality and the ease of user experience, sometimes it’s just as much about what’s not there as it is about what is there.
We build the vast majority of our websites in WordPress. It is an incredibly useful platform that allows us to efficiently build unique, beautiful, and user-friendly websites. It also allows us a great deal of customization options when it comes to the look and feel of the site. But, before you decide to add every bell and whistle available, a word of warning: simpler is very often better. Here’s why your website would be better off without your Twitter feed in your sidebar.
At first glance, the option to add a copy of your company’s Twitter feed to the sidebar of your website may be tempting. It gives additional information about your company and it may send them to your social media profiles to get to know you better. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find it’s not worth the risk. Here’s why:
Clutter is bad.
Put simply, adding extraneous moving parts to your website just gums up the works. It’s not that the site will run too slowly, it’s just that from a visual perspective, things start to get muddied and your audience may have a hard time deciding what the most important information on the site is. Twitter is great, but that’s why the platform has its own app. If a visitor to your site gets distracted by your timeline of tweets and clicks over, they might not return to the site to find the information you really wanted them to find in the first place.
It could confuse your audience.
By a similar token, a Twitter sidebar could just end up confusing a good portion of your audience. Beyond the fact that it’s a Twitter feed someplace other than Twitter, there’s also the fact that not everyone is familiar with the platform. This could result in a portion of your audience seeing a complex set of information and not knowing what they are looking at. In a situation where you are trying to communicate information about your brand clearly, this is not a good move.
What if it’s outdated?
We make sure each client’s Twitter feed is updated nearly every day. But, we’re not naive. We know that not every company does it that way. The reason many companies come to us for social media management is because they realize how important it is, but they also have come to realize that they don’t have the time to manage it themselves. What happens to many companies who don’t hire us is, they think they can manage it on their own, and they do for a while. Then it falls by the wayside and gets outdated. That’s not something you want to show off.
Add value instead.
Instead of adding your Twitter feed to the sidebar of your website, think about how you could add value to your audience. I’m thinking about email newsletters, free ebooks, or whitepapers. These are assets that can not only add some value to your audience and help them learn more about your brand, they can also help you collect names and email addresses of your prospects.
When it comes to adding extra elements to your website, such as a Twitter feed in the sidebar, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Is it really going to help your audience learn more about you? Is it going to help your business get closer to your audience on an individual level? If it doesn’t make your website easier to navigate and your business easier to understand, we don’t recommend it. Want to talk with us about a new or updated website? Get in touch here.