How to Design Your Website for Higher Conversions
“Design adds value faster than it adds costs.”
– Joel Spolsky, creator of Trello
In the digital age, a business website is no less than a storefront. And just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, they are bound to the dominion of aesthetics. It takes merely 50 milliseconds for users today to form an opinion about your business from your website. In fact, design optimization has risen to such prominence that retailers are losing $1.73 billion in sales every year due to unoptimized websites.
Clocking the ideal website conversion rates is critical for the stable foundation of any digital business. And in an era where customer experience is dictating retention, website design can prove to be one of the rare differentiating factors.
Importance of Design Elements in Website Conversion
So, how does a well-designed website impact your audience and business? Here are some eye-opening statistics:
- 38% of the website visitors will stop engaging with a website if it has unattractive content or layout.
- 48% of the people consider a website’s design as the #1 factor to determine the credibility of an online business.
- With only 15 minutes to consume content, 59% of the visitors would prefer browsing through beautifully designed content. Comparatively, only 41% of them would read something plain and simple.
- Mobile-first website designs come with their fair share of benefits:
The primary reasons that place design in the driving seat include:
- Sets the First Impression: The design of your website marks the first point-of-contact with your audience. It has a strong impact on how the audience perceives your brand. The only metric that an outdated or unappealing design will increase is the bounce rate.
- Adds to Your SEO Strategy: Design elements command the manner in which content is published on your website and how search engine spiders crawl and index its pages. Organic traffic leads to the cheapest form of digital conversion and designing for SEO fulfills this by helping you rank higher in search engines. Consequently, you are more visible to your potential customers.
- Promotes Trust and Easier Relationship Management: It is hard for any online customer to trust a poorly designed website. With a compelling design that expertly captures the vision and brand value, visitors tend to stay on your website longer, creating more lead capturing opportunities for the business.
- Keeps Your Business Competitive: Regardless of the industry that you operate in, there are high chances that your competitors are already leveraging the benefits of impeccable designs. Any ignorance at your end will only make their case stronger and make you miss out on valuable differentiation opportunities.
- Better Performance of Marketing Campaigns: Marketing and memorable designs go hand in hand. When visitors land on your website from any marketing channel, they are already in the consideration phase. While it is important to have a consistent design strategy, smartly designed web pages tend to have much better conversion rates.
4 Ways to Design Your Website for Higher Conversions
By catering to specific design methodologies, you can transform your website into a conversion machine. Here’s how to do so:
1. Have Simple and Unique UI/UX Elements
A popular theory in the design space known as the Hick’s Law states that the more choices people have, the longer they take to come to a decision.
In other words, actions are lost in proportion to the number of available choices. This can be incorporated in web designing by cutting down on the number of choices that are being presented to users. For instance, you can make the navigation bar as minimalistic as possible. Other relevant tactics include:
- Remove stocky images and over-the-top design elements.
- Implement clear and simple call-to-action (CTA).
- Get comfortable with white spaces.
- Do not overuse bulky font elements.
For cases where you cannot do without a comprehensive design, using a full-screen welcome gate is a great strategy to bypass the Hick’s Law. It covers the entire screen with a single CTA, compelling users to see only one choice. This ends up minimizing the distractions on the page while also preserving the functionality of your homepage.
2. Include Elements for Real-time Customer Support
Having provisions for real-time customer support is imperative for any business website today. Why? Simply because it is easy for executives to understand the nuances of customer experience and the issues that they face while browsing through your website.
Leading industry players have introduced live chat tool and chatbots to help businesses handle the influx of customer queries. And at the same time, they have been imparted a minimalistic widget design that quietly rests in a corner of the screen and shows up only when necessary. Benefits of these tools include:
- Customizing the chat widget design according to the brand voice and theme.
- AI-powered chats that recognize keywords in messages and deliver smart canned responses.
- Leaving critical information about every chat in the backend for teams to review and accordingly leverage in resolution.
- Qualifying, routing and converting visitors to accelerate sales via targetted messages.
- Instantly answering up to 80% of customer queries and using Machine Learning to learn from interactions.
3. Focusing on Landing Page Design Elements
Creating or redesigning a website to make it visually appealing in a way that leads to the least possible bounce rate requires catering to the following elements:
- Images: All web page images need to be optimized to maximize their potential for conversions. Some key action points here include:
- Pick images with human faces to impart a sense of empathy.
- Optimizing images for an ideal website load speed without compromising on their quality.
- Use Hero Images (large web banner images that are placed above the fold).
- Typography: This refers to the art of ensuring that the written language remains legible, readable and appealing during display. This includes the use of elements such as:
- Point sizes.
- Line lengths.
- Ideal font type.
- Whitespaces: Also referred to as negative spaces, they are the parts of the website that are left blank. They are often used to increase the focus on certain web page elements such as CTAs or to assist in cleaner web designs. White spaces do not necessarily have to be white. In fact, you are free to experiment with any color. The end goal is to deliver simplicity.
- Colors: Colors reflect the mood and impact the message that you want to convey to visitors. For instance, here are some associations that are generally drawn with certain colors:
- Black: Power and strength.
- White: Purity and innocence.
- Red: Love, excitement, and confidence.
- Purple: Loyalty and wealth.
- Green: Tranquility, optimism, and good luck.
- Orange: Warmth, excitement, and energy.
- Yellow: Brightness and warmth, attention-grabbing.
- CTAs: The color and positioning of the Call-to-Action should make it stand out. Effective CTAs usually:
- Lie in the middle of the page with white spaces around them.
- Follow the rule of ‘one primary CTA per page’.
- Remain relevant to the content on the page.
4. Optimizing SEO Elements for Better Organic Rankings
The best practices of web design vary significantly on how you tend to use specific pages. But whatever the case, targeting the landing pages for organic traffic is always an added advantage. It ensures that web crawlers are able to easily interpret the website content and index the pages in their databases. Some primary SEO-friendly strategies include:
- On-page Optimization: These are controlled by the website designers and can directly affect the interpretation of web pages by search engines. The best practices here include:
- Selecting the ideal keywords and topics and using them in the appropriate places.
- Having an ideal content structure in place that includes headings, paragraphs, and links.
- Ensuring that the web page loads in the shortest possible time.
- Creating a well-defined URL structure of the website.
- Having a responsive web design for all devices.
- Off-page Optimization: Includes the management of marketing and the authority of the website. The best practices here include:
- Using keyword-rich anchor text for all inbound links.
- Earning backlinks from organically authoritative websites.
- Comprehensive competitor analysis to understand their strategies.
The best bet, in any case, is to test every element on your website to understand what works for your specific audience or use-case. Having actual data and user feedback is better than any gut feeling or hypothesis. However still, the above-mentioned practices will give you a sense of the right direction and help you generate more leads and sales.