Optimize the Design of Your Website For Better Conversions
July 22, 2016 by Anthony Goddard
Millions of entrepreneurs are doing business without a strong conversion management policy. That’s like building a highway but forgetting to put up speed limit signs, route markers, and services plaques. You can’t just build a website and hope your content is enough to motivate web traffic to trust your brand— you have to actively guide prospects toward buying decisions. If you’re serious about growing your business, you can’t ignore conversion stats.
When you’re attracting visitors to your website but not getting as many conversions as you’d like (whether that’s purchasing something, downloading something, signing up for something, or contacting someone), it may be the design of your website that’s to blame. Uninspired, annoyed, and confused people don’t convert!
If you’ve spent any time researching conversion potential, you probably feel like there’s a new strategy every day. “Content is king!” “Images get noticed!” “Live streaming apps are the wave of the future!” It can be hard to understand which direction is best for your company.
Before we talk about five ways to optimize the design of your website for better conversions, let’s talk about leveraging the power of metrics to create a game plan.
Why Metrics Are Important
Your first step to fix your conversion problem should be digging into the analytics to find out when and where visitors are losing interest. Knowing when they lose interest will help you determine why — as in why they aren’t signing up for your newsletter, clicking the button to schedule a demo, or downloading the how-to video you’ve been marketing on social media channels.
There are plenty of online tools to help you dig into the data. Analytic tools let you explore bounce rates, which helps you determine if your web pages are attractive enough to keep visitors on your site. Poor bounce rates — the number of visitors who left your website without clicking through to more than one page — indicate that your site has a low “stickiness” factor. This shouldn’t be confused with exit patterns, which give you details about when and where a visitor left your website.
Clickstream analysis puts the power of data in your hands with tools that help you collect and analyze data about the visitor path on your web pages. In other words, you get a clear picture of what visitors are doing by following the clicks, hence the name “clickstream.” Traffic pattern data also provides insight into your page load times and how many pages are served per session.
In-page analytics give you a chance to see what your web traffic sees. The data behind the visual assessment provides clues to which links motivate click-through and whether your page layout is optimized for easy navigation.
This information will also help you ensure that your web hosting service provider is managing your assets to your advantage. Slow page load times could be a problem with your website or your hosting service may have reliability issues.
Now that you know a bit about how data diving can help you find potential problems, let’s talk about how you can fix the problems you find.
Confused People Don’t Convert
It’s that simple. How can you expect visitors to convert when they don’t know where, how, or why?
There are many easy ways to fix this.
- Simplify your navigation so first-time users can quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Make sure your brand’s tagline is clear and concise. Don’t have a tagline? Create one.
- Declutter your pages. This means making sure that there’s plenty of white space and removing elements that don’t add value.
Within a few minutes, or even a few seconds, visitors should be able to find out what your business does, why you do it, and how your product or service will benefit them personally.
Call-To-Action Buttons Are Not One Size Fits All
Small changes to your call-to-action (CTA) button can boost conversion rates dramatically. Different words, colors, and page position all help motivate website visitors to take the next step, whether it is clicking through to another page or filling in a contact form.
Formstack research shows that changing “Submit” to “Submit Survey” increased conversions from less than 11 percent to more than 44 percent. The same research showed a 25 percent increase in conversions when they changed the CTA from “Download Paper” to “Get My Free Paper.”
A strong CTA on each page guides your visitors so they know what to do, why they should do it, and how to do it. Do your research, create your own CTA, then use A/B testing tools to make sure that your choices are motivating customers to take the next step with your brand.
The bare minimum tests you should be doing are: check page placement, words, colors, font size and style, mobile compatibility, and shape.
Don’t Skimp on Positive Testimonials
You may have thought that peer pressure was a thing of adolescence, but it still exists — we just call it social proof now. It’s no secret that people love to share reviews, both good and bad, of products and services they’ve used. They supply social proof on the company’s website, social media, and on review sites like Yelp, Yahoo!, Angie’s List, and Consumer Reports.
These days 81 percent of consumers research prior to making a purchase: they easily share brand experiences and look to their social peers for buying tips and guidance. Voices.com saw a steep rise in their conversion rates — over 400 percent — by adding a row of customer logos, which is another version of social proof. When you land on a business’ website and see a string of recognizable logos, it immediately builds trust in the brand.
Always Be Professional
Professionalism means making sure that you consistently share your message on all your pages, and that means looking professional. Imagine if you showed up at a law office and the lawyer you were meeting was wearing a velour leisure suit and flip flops. He could have the most impressive resume in the world, but chances are you would walk away.
So take care of the little things on your site, like proper spelling and grammar. Make sure your pages respect your viewers’ values, time, intelligence, and budget. You don’t have to talk down to consumers or lose your creative style; just be sure the experience you are giving your visitors is relevant, informative, and helpful. Consider adding links to the most popular articles on your site or a make a “Contact Us” page so they can easily get more info.
On-Site Searches Help Guide Traffic
Most people find your website through off-site links, recommendations, or a few words typed into their browser’s search bar. Use that same process to help potential customers on your own website. An on-site search box provides a quick path to information they need in a format they understand, which works to keep them on your website. The longer you can keep visitors engaged, the more likely it is that they’ll give your brand a try.
Now that you know the advantages of designing of your website for better conversion rates, you can start updating your site. If your current web hosting partner isn’t meeting your expectation, take a look at the service plans offered at HostUSA. We have budget-friendly packages for small business owners looking for tools to help them grow their business — one conversion at a time.