I was on the Wells Fargo home page this morning, don’t ask, and counted the clickables above the fold. There were 46. In my lifetime there is no way I’d be interested in 46 different pieces of information on banking from Wells Fargo or any bank for that matter. Imagine walking into a bank and having 46 questions? (Too many clicks, for those Bush Tetras fans.)
The irony is that most bank home pages have a similar number of links. Citibank does a good job, providing only 18 clickables…on one of the cleaner pages in the category.
I advocate using your home page to convey the company Is-Does and brand value. I recently had a major difference of opinion with a company over this approach. The executive team at regional (non-financial) brand with national aspirations and a changing business model, felt it more important to use the homepage as a navigational tool than to explain the complicated business it was in and what made it different. Similar to the bank approach, it organized upon the home page an array of things it thought customers would want, by target. It’s the “me” versus “you” argument I often have in reverse when discussing advertising. (Good ads are you focused, a good home page is me/brand focused.)
Cory Treffiletti a really smart colleague once told me, “If you give customers too many choices they will make none.” To that I will add, if you don’t tell people what you do and do differently than competition, they won’t make a choice. Certainly, not an informed choice that is.
Even in a category as generic as banking – when simply removing confusion can be a differentiator – companies need to use their home page to convey their brand story, their soulful difference. Homepages that are simply navigation-driven are tofu and a lost, lost opportunity. Peace!