Contrary to what many may believe, having an eye-catching and attractive website is not the end-all and be-all of one’s digital marketing efforts.
A company does not create a website for the sake of vanity. While it’s important for a website to look good, any web design specialist will tell you that the main goal of having one is to generate conversions. This is where proper and strategic web design comes in.
What is Conversion Rate?
In the realms of online marketing, the conversion rate is the percentage of the total number of website visitors that completed or took the desired action.
Website conversions fall into two distinct categories: macro conversions and micro conversions.
Macro conversions are aimed at completing actions that directly affect the company’s revenue growth – making a purchase, signing up for a free trial, requesting a quote, filling out a contact form, etc.
Micro conversions, on the other hand, have less impact on revenue but benefit the brand nonetheless. This includes blog subscriptions, social media engagements, free downloads, etc.
Web Design Factors That Affect Conversion
1. Website Structure
How you structure your website can make all the difference when it comes to converting visitors. You see, even the most attractive website won’t do you much good in terms of conversions if users can’t find what they need or have a difficult time making a purchase.
When structuring and designing a website, it’s best to follow The Rule of Thirds. According to the principle, you’re supposed to divide an image – or in this case, the website – into thirds, vertically and horizontally. The result is nine equal squares.
The four middle intersections are strategic points of interest and placing the page’s most important elements (key features, call-to-action, etc.) at these intersections will draw the people’s attention to them.
Your website structure must be user-friendly and to-the-point, with critical information positioned where they’re easily spotted.
Websites with complex structures can be intimidating — a lot of your visitors may end up hitting the “x” button before making it to the purchase section.
2. Website Layout and Readability
Most of the people who visit your website will not read everything that’s written there. They usually skim the pages for keywords and headings to find the very piece of information they’re looking for and skip what they think is irrelevant to their search.
Given this user behaviour, your website layout must make your content as readable as possible. Otherwise, it won’t entice action from your visitors.
Numerous researches showed that users tend to scan web content in an F-pattern. They read the first few sentences on the page to get an idea of what it’s all about and then scan downward, making small forays into the left side of the content. The bottom right area of the page gets very little visibility.
Using the F-pattern will help you create a web page layout with a good visual hierarchy. You can take advantage of this reading behaviour by placing powerful headers and important information at the top of the page, and then adding other important page elements along the F-shape lines. You can put less relevant objects like sponsored ads and cookie policies in lower visibility areas.
Another crucial point to cover when designing a web page layout is the use of white space or negative space, which is all the empty space in between texts, images, and all other website elements.
Paying attention to all the negative spaces avoids clutter, keeps everything legible, and helps direct user attention to where you want it. How you use white space will impact the user experience.
The colours, fonts, and images you use are critical design considerations, as these are pretty much the first few things that your customers will notice when they visit your website.
First off; keeping things simple is an excellent approach to website design. If your website feels too crowded or stuffy, it might turn visitors away. A clean, minimalist website is more likely to multiply conversions as it keeps the focus on important elements. By removing the non-essentials, you have more space for call-to-actions.
That being said, your choice of colours and imagery ties all other aspects of your website together, so make sure to choose colours that complement and convey the message of your brand.
As for images, only use photos of the highest quality on your website. The majority of consumers click on search results with compelling images. If you can, source photos that feel more personal and develop positive associations with your content.
Users should be able to move with ease from one page of your website to another regardless of where they started. Remember that not all of your visitors are tech-savvy. If they can’t easily find a specific page or product, then they might just drop everything and look for another store/service provider.
An effective trick to boosting conversions is by limiting user decisions. According to a popular web design principle called Hick’s Law, the more choices you present to a user, the longer it will take for them to make a decision. The danger here is that the user could get confused or overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and click out.
As much as possible, observe the three-click-rule when designing your website. This unofficial website navigation rule suggests that users should be able to find what they’re looking for within three clicks, else they become frustrated and leave.
Having a search box feature on your site allows you to follow the three-click-rule and makes navigation very convenient for users.
5. Website Speed and Responsiveness
Page speed has a direct effect on the overall user experience. As reported in this 2019 survey, consumers are less likely to visit a slow loading website again.
Search engines take site speed and mobile-friendliness into account when ranking web pages. This means that websites with faster load speed and a mobile-friendly design tend to rank higher in SERPS, which puts them in a better position for generating traffic and, eventually, conversions.
In an era where almost everybody accesses information through their phones, it only makes sense for brands to adapt their websites for mobiles and tablets. If a consumer looks your product up on their phone and they have to zoom in and out because your site is not optimized for mobile users, you can lose the conversion.
No matter how big or small your business is, you need to invest in making your website responsive and mobile-friendly if you want it to perform.
An excellent copy is going to help pave your way to conversion. While it’s true that the main goal of building a website is to promote a product or service, a reputable brand will always put in the time and effort to create valuable content for their visitors.
Like every other marketing tactic, your content strategy should begin with identifying your target audience. Getting to know your readers will enable you to write content that will pique their interests.
When you look at things from a wider perspective, you’ll realize that publishing quality content goes beyond just providing information. Above all, it helps establish trustworthy relationships between the brand and its consumers –- the foundation of a successful online performance.
Keep your content practical, fresh, and engaging to attract visitors from all sides and convert them into loyal customers.
The easiest and most straightforward way to make your visitors complete certain actions is to tell them to do so. But you should know when, where, and how to do it, if you want to achieve the results you’re aiming for.
Every high-converting website has strategically-positioned call-to-actions all over the page. The CTA is one of the fundamental ways where web design can improve the conversion rate of your website. Once you’ve hooked a visitor with your offer, invite them to make the purchase!
A CTA can be a text, an image, a video, or a button that incites consumers to perform an action. Most of the time, a CTA uses action-oriented language that explicitly instructs visitors to do something such as download, learn, check, call, and – of course – buy!
You can also make a CTA more effective by creating or demonstrating urgency. Using words that propose a limited-time offer like today, limited, or now encourages consumers to take immediate action.
8. Value Proposition
People tend to buy or support products that appeal to them. That said, all of your marketing and design efforts will be rendered useless if your offer does not create value for your customers.
Every business must have a unique selling point – something that sets them apart from the competition – to stand out from the rest of their niche.
A great way to establish your value proposition is by presenting the benefits of your products and services.
- What does your product or service do?
- What value can it bring?
- What makes your offer unique?
In today’s crowded marketplace, differentiation is key. A good web design strategy highlights the value of your brand, so consumers can easily distinguish what makes you exceptional.
However, your value proposition must be precise and manageable to yield your desired conversion. Making exaggerated promises you can’t keep will only work against the image and credibility of your brand.