As an online marketer, you depend on a large number of users on social media and search engines to bring attention to your business. But showing up and hoping the sales will roll in automatically is not a good tactic.
In order to succeed as a business with an online presence, you need to put in the effort to get those conversions that all businesses need and that your website exists to capture. To that end, there are many elements that combine to make an effective, top performing website:
- Site performance
- Layout & design
- Content positioning and formatting
- Sales copy
Whether you already have a site that could use some optimization or whether you are doing research for the future, every business can benefit from implementing good design techniques into their web presence.
Read on to learn 6 web design techniques that will help convert more customers:
1. Use a strong Call to Action (CTA)
A CTA is the portion of an article or sales page that encourages a visitor to take action by making a purchase, submitting a form, sharing content, or anything else involving participation.
Any business website needs a strong CTA that will catch a user’s attention and encourage them to take the next steps. Without a good CTA, your website is not going to get those conversions. Spend time thinking through the format of your CTA, where it should appear, how prominent it should be, and what you will use to incentivize interaction.
2. Impress visitors with good design
On the Internet, as in real life, appearances matter. Just as you would dress well for a sales job and comb your hair before an interview, make sure your site is cleanly formatted and aesthetically pleasing to capture and maintain attention.
46.1% of online users say that a website’s design is the top criteria they use to determine a business’ credibility. Taking the time and money to maximize for this key decision-making factor is therefore a very worthwhile investment. When surveying your own site to determine if it is well designed, check whether your images are high quality, whether elements on your site clash, and whether your fonts and color schema are consistent.
3. Faster is better
One thing that tends to infuriate web users is a site or page that takes too long to load. This is a key principle of design that is easy to overlook, because on the Internet every second counts. According to consumer research, 47% of visitors expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less!
If your site is slow, the same studies show that users will rapidly leave and try to find information somewhere else. So make sure that your page is performing in line with speeds that make users happy. You can test your page speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights.
There are a number of methods you can use to speed up your website if speed is a problem. Often the simplest place to start is cutting down on unnecessary bandwidth by removing elements that aren't essential to your site, and compressing images.
4. Err on simplicity
While it is hugely important to "wow" your visitors, when in doubt, minimalism is the best way forward. Sometimes brands go too far in trying to impress. Filling your web pages with loads of features that look good but aren’t relevant or having too much content on a page can be very off-putting.
Even a site that isn't flashy can be too complex. Consider the following issues that can exist even on simple websites:
- Disorganized content
- Too many options
- Too many buttons/user menus
- Overly long content that doesn't get to the point
Start by eliminating these issues wherever they exist, and then move forward by making sure that future designs don't have these problems.
5. Intuitive navigation
Being able to navigate easily around a website is one of the most important factors in building a positive user experience. If visitors come to your website and cannot easily what they are looking for, many will get frustrated and leave.
Make sure that your site has clear menus, a logical internal link structure, and an easy way back to the homepage. Rather than burying your contact details at the bottom of your website, make sure that these are especially easy to find; existing users and prospective customers will often seek out support options before conducting further business with you.
6. Responsive design
Responsive design is a web paradigm that helps to reformat sites for different screen sizes. You will definitely miss out on many conversion opportunities if your website isn’t responsive. Older websites are more likely to lack this design feature, making it really hard for mobile and tablet users to navigate around the site or even to read text.
Mobile users now account for the largest proportion of website usage, and these figures will be only climb in years to come. If your website isn’t responsive then mobile users are not going to see your CTAs and they are not going to convert.
While it may seem like a tall order to implement responsive design, thankfully it's never been easier. Many website templates already have responsive functions built into the code, and most themes used for WordPress sites are already formatted correctly.
To learn more about optimizing your website for converting customers, check out our classes on the following topics:
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