A website’s conversion rate is among the most important metrics that marketers check to know whether their digital marketing efforts are working. Conversion is, after all, the ultimate goal of your efforts - to have potential customers fill out your forms, contact your business, get free quotes. Conversion is important because it ultimately leads to a sale.
So now that conversion rate’s crucial role is established, the question is - how do you increase conversion rate? Well, your web design is a good place to start. It might not be glaringly obvious but it’s true that one of the best ways to improve conversion rate is by making sure your web design is outstanding.
What Principles of Web Design Can You Apply to Improve Your Conversion Rate?
Since 38% of web users leave a site due to its poor design, it’s safe to say that having an excellent design is a necessity. So if you’re not getting enough conversions despite your efforts in SEO, social media, email, and other communication channels, it’s time that you focus on your web design.
Here are some design principles that you should apply to get more conversions:
1. Call-to-Action Buttons Should Stand Out
There’s a reason for having a call-to-action button on pages where you intend to generate leads. But the point of having a CTA button is lost when your visitors can hardly notice it. That’s why it’s really important to have your CTA button stand out from the rest of the elements of the page, including the content and the heading. One way to do this is by having your CTA in an eye-catching “container” with a border that contrasts with the background. Remember that it should be the first thing to grab people’s attention when they get to the page.
2. The Rule of Thirds Should Always be Considered
If you’re into photography, you probably already know about the Rule of Thirds. The idea is that you divide an image, or in the case of websites, a page, and divide it vertically and horizontally into thirds. The result should be a page with nine equal sections. Now what you are going to use as a guide are the four middle intersections where you should place the most important design elements of your webpage, including your call-to-action button, a product image, a tag-line, or a review that you want your web visitors to focus on.
3. There Should Be Directional Cues to Guide Visitors
By incorporating directional cues in your web design, visitors can be guided to where you want them to look. Of course, these cues should subtly point towards your conversion goal, whether that be a lead-gen form or a call-to-action. Directional cues need not always be actual arrows. They could be a slight tilt of the head of the person in the image you used towards your goal or his or her fingers pointing, it could be a paper pin or other subtle visual cues.
4. Users’ Patience (Or the Lack of It) Should Always Be Considered
Everybody today is so impatient when they’re surfing the web that even a second of delay in load time can lead to a 7% conversion reduction. Needless to say, if you want to improve your conversion rate, you must pay attention to your page loading speed. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, Sucuri, and more to check how fast your page loads. Some of these tools even give recommendations on how to improve your loading speed through things like optimizing image sizes, among other things you can tweak.
5. Whitespace Should Be Used Smartly
Whitespace or negative space is an email as it helps dictate how easy on the eyes and readable your pages will be. As you can guess, if visitors of your website can hardly read the content of your page or find the page looking too busy, they’ll probably leave.
Make sure that you use the negative space on your web pages in a smart way. Here are some of the things that you can do:
• Have shorter paragraphs instead of walls of text to increase negative space and make your content more readable.
• Maximize white space between major elements on your web page like the header, the footer, the body, and the sidebar, among others.
• Pay attention to line-heights and make sure you have enough for the size of fonts you’re using.
6. The F-Pattern Makes Sense for a Layout
7. Color Should Be Carefully Thought Out
You should take your time in considering what colors you are going to use for a website. Varied color combos elicit different emotions and greatly affect the “ambience” of your site. So before deciding on a color, ask yourself - What brand is this website for? What image does the brand have and what general message does it want to relay to its audience?
Color affects consumer decisions. For instance, red evokes urgency while black represents strength, class, and power, just as green makes you think of health, nature, and vitality.
As important as the overall color scheme is the contrast you’ll use for your calls-to-action and your headlines. Your CTA buttons should jump out in an accent color - one that is reserved only for such an important element.
8. Faces Boost Familiarity
The reason there are images of faces incorporated into blog posts, e-commerce sites, and more, is that people connect and relate better to any content with a face. A face triggers feelings of familiarity and a face that is associated with a brand is even stronger. If you don’t have an official “face” for the brand, you can have faces of different people but be sure that you feature ones that reflect the brand’s identity, too. You can also use faces of people that are within your target demographic for higher relatability.
9. The First 8 Seconds Should Count
According to a study by Microsoft Corp., people’s attention span averages eight seconds - meaning you have just as long to grab and hold the attention of your visitors from the time they land on your website.
There are a number of things that you can do to make sure those eight seconds do count:
• Have a winning headline
• Make your main call-to-action button stand out with the use of eye-catching elements
• Have some interactive content
• Re-engage your visitors with enticing animated exit pop-ups
10. Hick’s Law is Sensible
This famous law named after psychologist William Edmund Hick states that the length of time it takes for one person to decide on something is directly proportionate to the number of choices they’re presented with.
How does that translate to web design? When you control the number of choices for your users, you are also boosting your conversions. Much as you want to provide all possible options for the users, especially in your navigation bar, you don’t want to overwhelm them with too many links that they’ll leave the page altogether.
11. Always K.I.S.S.
Remember when you told yourself to “keep it simple, stupid” back when you had projects to submit and report deadlines to meet? That classic mantra applies to web design as well. When it comes to websites, the ones that convert better are the ones that are clean and aesthetically pleasing.
Web users hate websites with designs that are too busy - with too many elements fighting for their attention. It may be too many colors used, too elaborate fonts, graphics that are too “loud” and more. It’s a common mistake that some designers make - cramming too much on a page that it’s dizzying for the users.
Clean, simple, and minimalist websites are more inviting, and therefore, more effective.
These design principles are easy to follow and remember, right? Now take a good look at your websites and how they are designed presently. Do they follow the principles above? If not, it might be time to refresh your web design and improve conversion rates in the process, too.