Build it, and they will come. Right? Not so much. Anyone who’s started a business will tell you it’s rarely so straightforward. Regardless of what a company offers its website is often the first point of contact for any potential customer. Sure, designing it beautifully is important, but that’s really just the beginning and it doesn’t guarantee a sale. To help, we’ve put together a list of useful ways to optimize the design of your website to convert more visitors into customers.
- Know your value (proposition)!
The last thing you want a potential customer thinking when they land on your website is, “Well this is a nice website, but what am I doing here?” A majority of visitors leave a website within 8 seconds. That’s all you got! Don’t confuse people with a headline that isn’t clear, paragraphs of text that doesn’t explain the benefits of the product, and forget images or videos that build on those benefits. It should be clear, within a short amount of time (almost immediately) what you are offering and who you are offering to.
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In once sentence you know what they are offering.[/caption]
Once that’s clear, you can ask them to make the next step…
- Call…to action!
So you’re offering something fantastic, one-of-a-kind, and easy to understand, but how does that convert to sales? Well, it doesn’t, by itself. Demonstrating value is what’s going to keep a potential customer on your website. Only, you can’t have them clicking through endless pages blindly. There should be a clear call to action, which, in this case, is moving them to, learn more, sign up or purchase from you. This could be a simple button, SIGN UP, or a pricing plan located at the bottom of your landing page. Whatever it is, ensure this process is easy by guiding the visitor step-by-step without confusing or distracting them along the way.
This is meetup.com’s call-to-action that floats at the bottom of the page:
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Simple, and direct call-to-action.[/caption]
- Keep it simple, smarty-pants.
Here’s the thing, we’re constantly hit with noise, noise and more noise. Not just ear noise, but eye noise too. It’s a frenzied grab for attention, and if you’re selling a product or service online, you must know what you’re up against. To keep a visitor engaged, your landing page must be simple. We’ve covered what you must have, but sometimes less is more. That can sound trite, but once you’ve got everything on your landing page, don’t continue to add. Jargon and excessive images and buttons only serve to detract from your offerings.
Check out the masters of simplicity:
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Simplicity at it's (marketed) best.[/caption]
- When in limbo, A/B test.
There’s a lot of talk about the A/B test in design. Don’t let the intimidating nerd-speak frighten you. All it means is comparing and testing two versions of a webpage to see which one performs better. Sometimes you’ve got it all right. At least, you think you do. But the customers aren’t coming in, even though your visitors are at all time high. This testing takes the guesswork out of the process, and uses real data to determine what needs to be changed.
Here's an A/B test a company did to determine if they should keep a background picture or not:
Version A with the picture led to 7.46% higher conversion rate. That's what testing can tell you.
Take these tips as a primer for designing your website. It’s not all there is to making a successful website, but it’s a massive head start. We’ll be explaining more in the coming months.