10 Tips to High Conversion Web Design
Lets face it, your website is an integral part of your brand and seemingly inconsequential details like colors, fonts and site layout can make all the difference. Put frankly, if a visitor lands on your site and their first thoughts are one of confusion, odds are they’re going to go for the back-button and visit a competitor’s site.
It’s for this reason, that you mustn’t overlook the ingredients that go into making an effective website. Regardless of the target market your site will be geared towards, the aim of any website is getting visitors to follow through with your call-to-action – whether it’s getting people to click on your explainer video, subscribe to your newsletter or place an order for your product or service, the design and layout of your website will mean the difference between success and failure.
Fortunately, there is a science behind all this and it’s not overly complicated – in fact a lot of it has to do with KEEPING THINGS SIMPLE. Stick to our Top Ten Tips for web-design and you’ll be well on your way to building an effective website that both you and your customers will love!
1. Use only high resolution images – this includes your company’s logo, which should be located in the top left corner of your site where it’s most visible. Having a professional logo will make set the tone for professionalism. It’s also a great idea to have your logo link back to your home page – ensuring your visitors don’t get lost as they browse the pages on your site.
Another must-have at the top of all your pages should be your contact information (phone number, email address, chat button etc). The more logical and organized your layout is – the more willing people will be to actually navigate through your content and follow through with your call to action. Always remember, good page design and layout leads to more visitors actually reading your content and great content leads to greater conversions.
2. People love logic – A confusing layout = frustration = visitors leaving your site instead of browsing your content. That being said, give people a layout that logical and that their familiar with – don’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the web navigation.
Most internet users are familiarized with a certain menu format – a horizontal bar at the top of the site, with the possibility of a secondary bar right beneath it or along the left side. Feature your most important navigational links here, as the visitors eyes are already trained where to look for them and make sure it’s simple to navigate back to the homepage (making your company logo the home-link).
3. Avoid clutter – There may be the temptation to cram your website with content to grab the visitor’s attention – but this may result in a confusing mess that causes your visitors to click away. Avoid oversaturation, featuring only the most vital information to get the conversion. Try to say more with less and stick to using small paragraphs (no more than 5 lines), and MAKE SURE you don’t have competing calls-to-actions – this will do more harm than good, concentrate your efforts into funnelling your visitors to make one highly targeted action and don’t be one of those sites that are all over the map. Furthermore, use your images wisely leaving space to create a website that’s visually appealing to the eye.
4. Choose your colors wisely – Flashy colors may not be the answer – try using a neutral color scheme to present a professional and sophisticated image and reserve bright colors to highlight certain areas of your sight where you’d like to grab high attention. If your brand has a preexisting color scheme associated with it, be sure to feature it in your website – this will serve to create unity within your brand. We have more on color schemes and selection in our “color schemes section”.
5. Avoid using stock photos (clip-art graphics reek of low quality) – While they’re cheap and easy to find, they look generic and can project the image of your business being stale, out of touch and far from professional.
Go the extra mile and invest a few bucks to have the expertise of an actual graphic designer – someone who’s sure to provide you with unique graphics that are specifically tailored for your brand or company. Furthermore, if it’s a physical product of service you’re selling, it’s wise to feature a few pictures of people interacting with your brand in some way – the human brain is wired to respond positively to images of real people, as opposed to only graphs and charts. There’s a little customer psychology behind that point.
6. Ensure that every page acts as a landing page – not just the homepage. Search engines such as Google have made it so that depending on what keywords your visitors were searching for, they won’t necessarily enter your website via the actual “homepage” portion of your site.
This is a common mistake made by web designers – most sites are created with the assumption that most visitors will be entering you’re your site through your “homepage” and that they’ll then navigate through to other sections, but this isn’t the case. The truth is, many visitors will land on your site from a page that’s not your homepage and for this reason it’s vital that each of your pages contain your key information and that they’re exposed to your call to action in a highly visible manner.
7. Remember that many of your visitors may not be looking at your website on a computer screen, but on mobile devices such as tablets and smart-phones. You don’t want to end up with a design and layout that looks fabulous on your computer screen but horrendous on a mobile device – so choose fonts and formats that are compatible with mobile devices. Being “mobile friendly” is a MUST that will for sure lead to a higher volume of happy visitors and more conversions!
8. Keep up with the current formats – Flash, once an Internet must-have, is on its way out as its being rapidly replaced by newer programming languages like HTML5 which are significantly more data-efficient and user-friendly. By using HTML5, your visitors will enjoy a site that’s load-time and browser friendly. Instead of having to hunt down those annoying plugins to get your site loading properly, HTML5 gives your site the ability to operate on all of the various popular mobile operating systems without the hassles. Adios Flash! – It was nice knowing you.
9. The importance of a well worded, strategically positioned headline – When landing on a website the first thing you should notice is the headline. Statistics show that approximately 80 percent of your sites traffic will read your headline but only 20 percent will actually continue through with reading the contents of your entire page – making your headline of vital importance. That being said, make sure the heading addresses the key question or need that the potential client is likely to have based upon their search query.
Often times, many designers fail to satisfy this simple but important element of effective web-design. We also suggest using A/B testing with your headlines to determine which message is most successful at keeping visitors on your site for longer periods of time – the longer they stay, the more likely they are to respond to your call-to-action and convert into a customer.
10. Do not – and I repeat, DO NOT incorporate sound or video that auto-plays when a visitor lands on your site! Nothing says poor design like some good old fashioned auto-playing media that boots up on its own – this is a sure way to lose a potential client. No matter how pleasant or cool you think your media is, leave it to the visitors discretion to click the play button, your conversion rate will thank you.