Getting people to your website is the first part of a long digital strategy process and the first real part of the digital equation.
However, getting people to engage with your website and move through your sales funnel and convert, well, that’s quite another.
At Buzz Panda, we’ve been working in the digital landscape now, well since there was a digital landscape, and along the way we’ve picked up a few hints and tips that we want to share when it comes to the design principles you should consider on your website to help boost your conversion rate.
Web design really does matter
Your website is so much more than pictures and colours on the screen. It is what, when we think of SEO, can make or break your conversion rates!
It ultimately provides that all-important first impression to potential customers, where they evaluate you and your business. For example, they will judge your website design and form opinions about how credible you are, trustworthy, do you look like someone they could do business with and more.
So, you need a website that’s not just professional and packed with great content, but that’s also aesthetically pleasing.
It’s the aesthetically pleasing part that is particularly important as it is this that links directly to conversion rate optimisation.
We know this because research shows us that more people would prefer to read a beautifully designed blog post than a plain one (something to think about when creating blogs).
Research also shows that approximately 38% of people will leave a website if it looks unattractive.
Hence, web design and web design structure cannot and should not be underestimated, especially if you want to keep hold of your leads once they land on your site.
How to use design to boost conversion
1. Limit your customer’s choice
This might sound harsh and a little irrational, but hear us out. Limiting the number of choices, a customer has available to them can boost conversions as research has proven that if you present consumers with too many options (distractions), it actually turns them off, and interest fades very quickly.
So, in web design, think about your navigation bar and how many choices a customer has. Think about how many blog headlines you have for them to choose from. Then there are the choices relating to whether they share your content on social media, leave a comment, etc.? What are their options when it comes to purchasing? Is there a lot of customer reviews, do they have the option to continue shopping, etc.?
Ultimately there is a range of decisions we ask our customers to make without realising the often-negative impact this can have on their behaviour.
The goal going forward should be to limit your customer choices, making your website easy to use, and enjoyable customer experience.
Note: You could also consider a full-screen welcome page, which we’d be happy to discuss further if this is something of interest.
2. Divide your website into thirds
Not literally, but we would advise chopping your site up in this way and highlighting the four middle intersections that would then appear on the screen. This area will offer you the most significant impact, so what you go on to place in this area soon becomes much more strategic.
However, do not, and we stress, do not fill this space with your navigation bar.
Instead, use it wisely, keep your customers focussed – what’s your call to action? Do you have excellent customer testimonials, etc.?
You should use this area to place your most important messages.
3. Page delays reduce conversions
People have no time (or patience) to wait. For anything. Especially not a web page to load. And the longer your page takes, the less chance you have of customers converting.
Make sure to check your page speed by running it through a series of tools available online to help test this. You should also compress all images you use online too.
4. Negative space can be positive
In web design, space and white space helps to make content on your site illegible and scannable, which is essential as it’s now how many of us read and view websites. Those sites with no white space can overwhelm visitors and make a website seem very cluttered.
Our top tips: –
- The smaller your font, the more space you need between letters
- Your line-height should be 150% of the font size for body copy
- Break your text up into shorter paragraphs
- Add whitespace between sidebars, headers, body footer, and more.
5. Think of the letter F
This is an interesting point to note, as most people will naturally read a webpage in the form of a letter F, with the bottom right of the screen getting the least amount of attention.
You need to ensure you place your most important elements in these areas along with the wireframe i.e., maybe putting your call to action in the top left because that’s where users look first.
6. Know your colours
Colours help to convey your brand and values. They link directly to behaviour and influence emotions in a subconscious way. What emotion or feeling do you want to evoke when people land on your website?
It’s also vital that you use the right colour contrasts for your headlines, call to action, etc., making sure they’re in high contrast with their background.
Keeping your branding consistent is what helps you to emphasize your brand values, vision, and promises. Trust us when we say your brand is so much more than just your logo, it is everything you display to the world, and more.
7. We love to KISS
Keep It Simple Stupid. The simpler you can make your site the best chance of conversion you have. Keeping it simple also helps to keep your website clean and uncluttered, minimising the number of distractions on the page.
8. We have a shorter attention span than a goldfish
That’s right. You have just 8 seconds to grab your customer’s attention, so you need to engage your audience asap.
How to grab attention quick:
- Use a benefit-driven headline; make it brief and straight to the point
- Use good imagery
- Make sure your sign-up buttons are large and clear
- Use power words in your copy
- Use video, where appropriate.
9. Faces speak volumes
We love the feeling of normality, and that’s what people feel when they see a human face. As consumers, we relate, we emphasise, we build an emotional connection – hence boosting conversions. Make sure to incorporate faces into blog posts, about us pages, placing a call to action across horizontal photos on the page, etc.
10. Use high-quality images
60% of customers will consider search results if it includes images. A further 23% will contact a business that displays an image.
Overall, good images mean your content has a 94% higher chance of being viewed.
11. Add breadcrumbs
Help customers navigate your site with ease. Tell them where they are and where they are moving to, making it easy to click back if they want to – don’t let them get lost, as when they get lost, or can’t find what they want, they’ll leave. It’s that simple.
12. Group similar elements.
What we mean by this is that you could look to group your call to action and a testimonial together on a landing page, for example. Where consumers perceive them as two parts of a whole, making site visitors more willing to read the testimonial followed by clicking on the call to action.
13. Use your web stats to your advantage.
You need to understand how your consumers interact with your site, the different pages, why/how they leave. Using the data, you have you can then optimise every page for conversions. Rearranging your site design based on how people are interacting with it – all help to increase leads and generate sales.
14. Create distinct landing pages.
This is ideal and a prominent feature of SEO. Targeting your landing pages for organic search or paid ads (however, you should note that this should not be done for both).
While also considering your ranking, consider long-form content, as using more words helps Google even more.
15. Remove rotating banners.
Once a great addition to a website, now they’re seen as an unwelcome distraction. Wasting visitor time, bloating web pages, and pushing down valuable content that you want your readers to engage with.
If you’re looking at your website and how you can boost your current conversion rates, you could look at running a conversion rate audit, and we’d be happy to help and provide a full report of areas to focus your attention on.
Ultimately, you need to read your data. Check and understand how people are consuming your website, where they’re looking, dropping off, everything.
You then need to structure your design strategically, and test it out, and then test it out again!
Most of all…
Use a professional.
A team or individual who really knows their stuff, taking the stress of boosting site conversions away from you, so you can sit back and reap the conversion rewards all with a well-designed and laid out the website!
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