When it comes to your website, it’s all about conversions.
Whether you’re looking for people to sign up for a trial, purchase a product, sign up for a newsletter, download an e-book, or book a consultation, making a conversion is that all-important goal for any business.
But it’s not just the quality of the e-book or the great deal on the product that drives those conversions. One of the biggest factors in website conversions is the design of the website itself, and there are many ways to improve that design in order to increase your conversions.
Here are our eight top tips for driving conversions through savvy website design.
1. Create a clear value proposition
Your value proposition is your statement of just how valuable it is for the customer or client to buy from you. It’s your way of telling them exactly why they should make that purchase or sign up for a trial, and what’s in it for them. Your value proposition is what’s sets you apart from the crowd.
You have to be clear about not just what they’ll receive, but how it will benefit them. For example, we don’t just offer web design – we offer web design that works perfectly, looks beautiful and helps you connect with your audience.
This proposition should be at the centre of your website design, and it should be placed in the spotlight. This usually means at the very top of your homepage, which is the first thing your visitors see when arriving at your site. When they find exactly what they need right away, clearly and loudly, you’ll have a warm lead excited to keep reading.
2. Use consistent branding and layouts
In all things branding, consistency is key.
From the structure of each page across a website, to the fonts, colours, and image style, the look, feel, and function of a website must be consistent. This even includes basic elements such as the design of your call to action buttons, and the language you use from one page to another.
Inconsistencies in these areas can cause confusion for your reader, and someone who is confused about exactly what it is they’re purchasing or signing up for is going to be less likely to actually convert.
For example, if you’re trying to encourage people to sign up for a ‘free trial’, but your call to action for the trial is ‘Sign up for your free consultation’, readers might not be sure if that’s what they actually want.
Similarly, if a customer is used to making a purchase on your website with a green ‘check out now’ button at the top right of the product page, then suddenly encounter a red ‘buy now’ button on the bottom left, they might not see the different layout or get confused enough by the change to give up on the purchase.
3. Limit the number of options
Have you ever been in a restaurant and struggled to make a decision on which meal you want because at least half a dozen things look incredible? And even though you’d probably love all of them, found it really hard to make a decision?
By nature, humans are easily overwhelmed when there are too many options, and it’s as true for a great menu as it is in website design.
For example, it’s easy to assume that having three ‘buy now’ buttons on a landing page will make it easier for a customer to hit one of them and make a purchase. However, it’s more likely that the multiple options will simply confuse them – you’re better off with just one.
You might have a similar issue with product packages. If there are just two or three options, customers can quickly narrow down the best choice for their needs. If there are half a dozen, they might struggle to make a decision, tossing up between several and not wanting to make a final decision in case it’s the ‘wrong’ one.
Narrow down your options so your customers don’t have to.
4. Provide a clear call to action
Your call to action must be clear about what it does, and it must be in a logical place.
Aim to use as few words as possible to precisely explain what the button does. Here are a few examples of popular call to actions:
- Buy now
- Sign up to our newsletter
- Book a consultation
- Download e-book
- Get started
When the call to action is clear, it gives the reader confidence about what they’re about to do. A call to action is not the place for clever wordplay or showing off your vocabulary – keep it simple so your audience quickly and easily recognises the next step.
Also, be sure to place the call to action in a space that makes sense. These buttons are almost never on the left hand side of the page, but are usually at the bottom, on the bottom right, or the top right. This is where your customer will expect to find it, so be sure to meet that expectation.
“By optimizing for customer success, you’re more than likely optimizing for growth.” ― Alex Turnbull
5. Simplify your navigation
A simple navigation is key to give your visitors a pleasant walk through your website. A well organised, yet simple menu will help your visitors find what they are looking for very quickly with the minimum amount of clicks.
Simplifying navigation also reduces the chance of them getting lost, struggling to find the right information, or giving up before they get to the right page. It should be simple enough for users to be able to find their way around your website easily.
It’s hard to judge how simple or complex your navigation is when you see your own site every day, so ask a trusted friend or family member who is unfamiliar with your site to go on and try to find a particular product or service. They might be able to point out snags that you can’t see for yourself.
6. Use meaningful images and graphics
Images and graphics should not be thrown in simply to fill a space, and every one of them should be chosen with care.
For example, images that are ‘corporate stock’ photos can make your brand seem less genuine because they are so obviously staged, so aim to only include ones that are meaningful and on-brand. Now, we’d love to clarify, that we are not totally against stock photos, they are a very good resource and can greatly enhance your brand message, but be very clear about the styling you need to properly match your brand: the elements that they show or represent, what colours they should have on them, etc. When designing your visual branding, your designer probably suggested a set of photos with a specific style on them, try to find similar ones.
If you can have professional brand photos taken then it’s even better! just make sure the photo you use on a specific page or section of your site really help visitors be convinced on taking that next steps on their journey.
If in doubt, it’s better to have no image at all than one that isn’t consistent with your branding. It’s fine to only have one or two images per page and leave plenty of white space to avoid crowding the space or pulling attention away from your call to action.
7. Build trust with social proof
Social proof is simply when you show that other people enjoy and recommend your products and services, which helps to build trust and inspire new customers to convert.
One of the most common ways to do this is to include testimonials or reviews on your website. It doesn’t need to be an entire landing page or large section – it can be a small scrolling banner with short quotes or testimonials from happy customers.
There’s nothing quite like word of mouth when it comes to encouraging new sign ups, and ensuring you have social proof on your website is a good approximation of a recommendation.
8. Optimise for mobile and speed
Optimising your website for mobile use and speed have become two of the most important things you can do to boost your conversions, and not just for the reasons you might think.
Firstly, optimising your website for mobile simply means that it will be easy to use for those browsing your site from their smartphone. For example, this includes making sure the text is easy to read, that images load properly, and that they can fill out forms with their phone, among other things. This will ensure they don’t give up before converting simply because it’s too hard to navigate with a phone.
Secondly, optimising your website speed means that the pages will load immediately. The industry rule of thumb here is that every page should load in two seconds or less, and that the longer it takes after that, the higher the chance your user will give up and quit.
Finally, these website design factors are also both incredibly important for search engine optimisation (SEO). When you are optimised for both mobile and speed, Google is more likely to rank your website higher in search results, which means that you might have a better chance of being found in the first place, on top of the increased conversions from those on site.
The importance of great website design
There is no understating the importance or value of great website design, especially when it comes to maximising your conversions.
At CREATIVA, we build websites that are beautiful and functional. We know what works when it comes to navigation, structure, and design, and how to bring all of those elements together to encourage as many conversions as possible.
Get in touch today to find out how our web design can help you.