Designing Websites to Increase Traffic and Conversion
Generating traffic and turning it into conversions is at the forefront of a businesses' online marketing strategy. In an era where they may fight for clicks and spend an insurmountable amount of time getting their websites to the top of search pages, it’s important to evaluate just what turns a visitor into a customer. In this article I will disseminate the qualities that make a website bridge the gap between being visited frequently and one that makes the most out of the traffic that comes its way – ones that turn visitors into customers.
Besides a stunning design, there are many factors that determine whether a customer sticks around. Afterall, a customer can leave an online store faster than its physical counterpart. Businesses should focus on the needs of the customers through analyzing the following areas as part of their online marketing strategy.
A website may look promising, but if visitors aren’t converting it’s time to step back and adjust your strategy. What is making these visitors leave?
What is Conversion?
If your website has a high number of visitors converting into customers, your site has a high conversion rate. This is the opposite of those that have a high bounce rate, or a high percentage of visitors leaving almost immediately after arriving at the site.
In figuring out why some sites are so successful and other aren’t we’ll first take a look at the design of the site. This is why it’s so important for businesses to take the time and effort in investing in a great designer – you’ll reap the rewards!
Factors in Website Conversion
when designing your product page, it’s absolutely essential your customers feel comfortable doing business with you. If your design looks outdated, or information isn’t organized in a visually appealing way, it’ll be hard for customers to want to take action. See, conversion rates are actually more about psychology than anything else. Interestingly, you can have all the campaigns in place to increase traffic to your site, but if the customer doesn’t like the design, or feel safe doing business with you, they will split.
The Call to Action
Paying attention to the user experience means paying attention to the details. A clear call to action is vital and should support the goal of your website. It’s also the element that should work in harmony with all other elements on the page, such as headline and body copy to images.
Wufoo offers two actions that the user can take in a horizontally arranged fashion with the primary desired action on the left. The buttons are large and very hard to miss, yet they are not obtrusive when looking at the overall design.
Using direct and clear language tells users what to expect when they take action: in this case, clicking on the call to action button will let them find out more about the product.
Avanti Italian Restaurant
Call to action buttons vary considerably, and thought has to go into what the button is aiming to achieve. In the case of this restaurant, the aim is to gain reservations.
The goal of your website is to sell. With that in mind you should leave creativity at the door in exchange for clear, concise, and persuasive copy. It’s your job to get to the point as fast and persuasively as possible to prevent visitors from bouncing.
- Every sentence on your page should serve a purpose, which supports the call to action.
- Unless you prescribe the next action the user should take, the reader usually won’t bother figuring out what to do. Be clear!
- Edit down the copy to convey your message in as few words as possible, encouraging them to respond to your call to action as soon as possible.
Five Simple Steps
A simple, clean approach is taken in the books section of the website. The design clearly utilizes a grid, with Title, Author, and a short description underneath, followed by the call to action.
The headline for Basecamp provides the solution the product provides, while the subheading supports this claim. A bold, visible call-to-action is displayed prominently before the fold, enticing visitors to act immediately.
The copywriting on StoreEnvy gives you a clear idea of the benefits of using the service through using simple bullet point lists. The call to action again is prominently displayed in the middle. The headline ties it all together, letting you know what the service is about in a simple manner.
Designs often have to go through rounds of revisions before a successful website is produced. An easy to use method of determining which design converts best is achieved through the use of A/B Testing. A/B Testing, or Split Testing, is a method of marketing testing by which two versions of one element are tested against a metric to define which is more successful. These versions undergo testing simultaneously to determine which is better.
Conversions are measured from two different sets of users. The version more effective is then used for the companies marketing initiatives. The result is high-performance user experience elements that aren't always achieved by just relying on instinct.
A/B tests can be used on a myriad of elements in a design. For example if you wish to test the effectiveness of a call-to-action button, have it undergo an A/B test against a new version to see which is more successful. This is especially effective if your goal is to increase the number of conversions, as you'll get an idea of what prevents that person from converting.
Case Study: Google Website Optimizer
Even adding two simple words near your call to action could have dramatic impacts on your conversion rate, as was found out in this A/B test. Read the full case study here.
Another way to garner trust is to show visitors how people have benefited from your products or services. Think about a time when you paused or stopped the purchasing process because you didn’t find any customer reviews. Having them leaves an impression in the customer’s mind that you’re open to customer feedback, which can conjure feelings of safety. Even if you don’t have any reviews to start with, leave a space on your site that’s designated for them.
- Feature reviews above the fold
- Make them big enough to be visible
- Provide a visual representation of the rating (e.g., a star system)
- Situate reviews near a point of attention or action.
Also consider adding links to your LinkedIn profile and other social networking sites. Increasing your footprint increases the trust factor, which can boost your conversion rate.
- An Introduction to Copywriting for the Web
- Why Web Designers Can’t Ignore SEO
- How to Improve Your Website With A/B Testing
The Internet has changed the way businesses and customers interact forever. The great thing about the Internet is its ability to fluctuate and allow you to improve and create even greater results. How much money are you leaving on the table each month by not allowing your website to work hard for you?
By taking a look at these tips and practicing them in your own design or your client’s you’re one step closer to building confidence in your customers and making that conversion.