There are two major aspects to inbound marketing: driving new qualified visitors to your website and then converting them into leads. You seem to be doing the first part well because your website traffic is increasing. But, the second part has you stumped. Why is your website conversion rate is so low?
If you want to increase your conversion rate and turn your website visitors into leads, you need to make it easy for them to quickly find what they need. And although there are many website design mistakes that haunt small business websites, there are specific ones that can deter visitors from converting into a quality lead.
Website is the center of your web presence
Your website is the face of your business. It should be designed for visitors first, helping them find the information they need to make an informed purchase. But people form an opinion about your business based on the initial impression they get from your website. And, 94% of first impressions relate to your site’s web design.
So it’s important that you have the best website you can get. But sometimes we focus too much on making the design perfect rather than ensuring your website functions as your 24 hour sales person. You need to be sure your website helps sell you and your expertise to your ideal client. To do this, your website has to make it easy for visitors to find out about you, your services and how you can help them. It must speak to them about their issues and help them make a decision to work with you.
9 design tips to increase conversions
Review your website with a critical eye to see if it has made some of the more common mistakes that prevent visitors from taking action. Then implement some of these website design tips that play an important role in increasing your conversion rate.
Keep it simple
Start with a quality design that is simple to use and focused on your goals. There are many areas where simplification can go a long way.
- Be sure your layout is clean with minimal widgets, pop-ups or unnecessary movement.
- Remove unnecessary distractions that prevent your visitor from finding what they need.
- Reduce your forms to ask for only necessary information. Many people visit from their mobile device. Having too many non-essential fields will deter them from taking action.
- Choose typography that is easy to read and understand for any user. Increase the size and line height of text to make it easy to read.
- Use your brand consistently across the website, including colors, fonts and page layout.
Increase white/negative space
Content layout needs white space, also known as negative space, to make it easier to read. Negative space is an area on the page that is empty. It includes the space between the sidebars and content, header, text and paragraphs. Add space around images and graphical elements. Negative space helps your website look neat, legible and less overwhelming.
Websites with cramped content confuses your visitors. They have to work too hard to find what they want. If it is too much trouble, they most likely will click away faster.
Make your navigation intuitive
Organizing your content properly can help you create a simple and intuitive navigation. It should help guide your visitor towards what you want them to do. But navigation is more than just the menu system. Usually your menu navigation concentrates on the pages of your website, helping visitors find information about your products and services. But there are other types of navigation on your website such as post navigation and category archives.
- Keep the main navigation simple, easy to find and without too many layers.
- Make your navigation sticky for desktop users so they don’t need to keep scrolling to the top.
- Create strategic categories for your blog posts so that visitors can drill down into a specific topic.
- Make sure category archives are easy to find when reading the blog. Include post navigation at the end of each post.
Include a call to action
A call to action is a crucial element of your website. Visitors to your website rarely know what you want them to do. Provide a specific call-to-action (CTA) that is clear and focused on what you want them to do. Too many choices and your visitor won’t take any action. Remember that the more options people have, the longer it takes to make a decision (Hick’s Law in practice).
Give people a reason to trust your business. Remember your website maybe the first impression you give to a new visitor. Add social proof to help them easily see that you are an expert in your field. Social proof includes:
- Testimonials and reviews
- Case studies and success stories
- Logos of companies you have worked with
Create an About page that tells your story. Be real about who you are and why you do what you do.
Create excellent, easy to consume content
People don’t read entire web pages anymore. They will scan, looking for headlines that catch their attention. You could have a wonderful website design, but if your content is boring and hard to read, you will lose your visitors pretty quickly.
Shorten your paragraphs, use simpler words and take advantage of bulleted lists when possible. This helps longer copy look less intimidating and will enable people to skim the content faster.
Try to balance the amount of copy on your web pages while still delivering your message.
Use high-quality images
Sometimes it’s not possible to have original images so stock images will have to do. Pick images that relate to the content and stay away from over-used free stock photos. New stock photos are added to all the time so look for some that you haven’t seen before. Then try and make them your own.
Use images with people and faces as they can project an emotional response towards your product, service, or call to action. Human faces can also show people where to look. Use an image of someone looking towards your headline or call to action. This can subliminally direct your visitors to look at that same element.
And don’t forget to optimize your images!
Ensure your website loads quickly
The speed of your website impacts your conversion rate. Your website pages must load quickly to ensure you don’t discourage visitors. Customers coming to your website want the information fast. Speeding up your website can streamline how visitors take action. No one wants to wait for a page to load to find the information they need. Instead, give them fast, easy access to what they’re looking for.
Cater to mobile users
Customers landing on your site through their mobile devices want a quality experience. Just because your website may look great on a desktop device, it may not look right on various mobile devices. In fact, 74% of people are more likely to return to your site if it’s mobile-friendly.
Test your website design and layout for mobile users. Make sure your website is responsive and the layout collapses properly on a mobile device. Don’t just look at your homepage on your mobile device and call it a day. Every page on your website has to look great. Include easy to click call-to-action buttons and simple forms.
Both traffic and conversion are important
You may be doing a lot of great marketing and increasing your website traffic. But with all that traffic, if you aren’t getting conversions, then start evaluating your website design. If you can simplify the design and layout, streamline the content and increase the website performance for both desktop and mobile devices, you will create a website that has a high conversion rate.
And if your current website will take too much effort to make these changes, consider creating a new website for your business. It is an investment that is more than worth the investment.
For more tips on how website design can influence your conversion rate, check out this expert roundup.