“Content is king.” How many times have we heard that mantra? It’s true, for SEO purposes fantastic content is the best way to get visitors to your site. But once they get there? It’s not your just scintillating copy which is going to necessarily keep them there or crucially, get them buying. Design matters when it comes to CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) and if your site is not user friendly, it’s likely that click will hit that back button before they even get to the good stuff (your sales patter). So with that in mind, here are five ways you can increase your conversion rates through good, professional web design.
1. Embrace Your Mobile Audience
It’s not enough to have the best web site when viewed on a PC or laptop. A good proportion of your potential customers will view your site on their smartphone, tablet or other device. Make absolutely sure that your design scales well and that your call to action buttons and forms work well in the mobile arena. If someone clicks through to your website on a mobile device and can’t make head nor tail of your site, they’re not going to ever come back nevermind read what you have to say. A professionally designed website will look great on any device – does yours?
2. Design Your Site the Way People Read It
The latest eye tracking research suggests that much of web design’s received wisdom could actually be wrong.
If you’re not paying attention to this research, you should be. Why take a stab in the dark at what types of design features will get your audience buying when the research tells you exactly which elements are ignored or followed. In particular, pay attention to what eye tracking research tells us about headline positioning and investigate the research’s findings on “the F pattern”. Typically, people read websites in an F pattern, with a quick long scan across the top, then down a bit, then another shorter scan across the page, then down the left hand side to the bottom. This is critical information you should know when placing your key web design features.
3. Be Visual
A striking, relevant picture really does tell a thousand words if you want your web design to result in increased conversion. Choose a photo which illustrates the benefits of your product or service – the ease or happiness people will get when they buy what you sell. Alternatively, pick a “pain” photo, warning of the problems they may face if they don’t buy. It’s an appeal to fantasy, or an appeal to emotions and research shows that it works. Fewer words and a more prominent image in your call to action will get results.
4. Ditch the Distractions
A crucial part of professional web design for CRO is clearing the clutter. Look at your website objectively. Anything which detracts from the funnel into your sales channel needs to be minimised, kept out of the way or ditched altogether. This is especially true with your navigational structure – don’t confuse matters. Too many choices equals poor web design and even poorer CRO. Make it simple for your buyers to pick you.
5. Experiment With One Feature at a Time
If you change your whole site and it leads to an increase in conversion rates – great! But how do you know which tweak led to your success? You don’t. Professional web designers know to trial, test and monitor one small change at a time. Change the colour of your call to action buttons and then watch the results. Don’t launch into a whole site makeover on a whim and then wonder which bits you did right and which bits have actually lost you sales. Step by step is the way to go and if you don’t have the time, patience or expertise for that, employ a designer who does.
As ever with web design, elegant simplicity gets results, but is deceptively difficult to achieve. Pay at least as much attention to your design features as you do to your copy and you’ll be well on the way towards an enviable conversion rate.
Guest post provided by Identify, a Wakefield Web Design collective with over seven years experience of pushing the boundaries.