Many businesses focus on social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and the creation of lead magnets to boost their conversions. However, they often neglect one key factor—website design.
While a visually appealing website is not the be-all and end-all of your digital marketing efforts, it is a crucial factor you cannot afford to overlook. If truth be told, your web design isn’t just a “pretty face.” It can make or break your conversions.
Not convinced? Consider this: research conducted by Stanford University revealed that 46.1 percent of people admit a website’s design is the top factor they consider when deciding if a business is trustworthy or not.
That being said, the importance of knowing the web design essentials to focus on cannot be overstated. Give your business an instant and sustainable conversion boost by keeping the following web design factors in mind:
How your website is structured can have a massive impact when it comes to converting visitors. Keep in mind that the visual appeal means nothing if visitors have difficulty finding what they are looking for or making a purchase.
When designing or structuring a website, following the rule of thirds is an excellent place to start. According to the principle, you are supposed to divide an image (in this case, your website) into thirds, horizontally and vertically. That means you’ll have nine equal squares.
The four middle intersections are considered strategic points of interest. Situating your page’s most important elements (call-to-action, key features, etc.) at these intersections can effectively draw people’s attention to them.
A site with a complex structure can be intimidating—visitors might hit the “x” button without even making it to the purchase section. In line with this, keep your website’s structure straightforward and user-friendly. Also, position all critical information in a place where visitors can easily spot them.
2. Readability and Layout
Most visitors on your site will not read everything that is written there. Most usually skim the pages for keywords and headings that will lead them to the information they are looking for.
Considering this user behavior, your site layout should make your content as readable as possible. Otherwise, your visitors won’t be enticed to perform any actions. Some studies indicate that online users scan web content in the F-pattern.
In other words, they read the first few sentences, scan downward, make small forays into the left side of the content and often ignore the right area. With the F-pattern, it’s easier to create a web page layout with great visual hierarchy.
Take advantage of this reading behavior by placing headers and other important information at the top of the page. It would also be wise to add other relevant page elements along the F-shape lines.
Place less relevant information like cookie policies and sponsored ads in the lower visibility areas. Another critical point to remember when designing a webpage layout is the use of white space or negative space.
White space refers to all the space in between images, texts, and other website elements. Paying attention to the negative spaces can help you avoid clutter, keep things legible, and allows you to direct the user’s attention where you want it.
3. Responsiveness and Speed
The importance of page speed cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the overall user experience. A 2019 survey revealed that consumers are less likely to revisit slow loading websites. Many experts believe that search engines take mobile-friendliness and site speed when ranking web pages.
In other words, mobile-friendly websites that load faster rank high in SERPs compared to their slow-loading counterparts. Fast-loading and mobile-friendly designs can also put your website in a better position to generate traffic and conversions.
In an era where almost everyone looks for information while on the go, it makes perfect sense to adapt websites for mobiles and tablets. If a visitor checks your product out using their phone and has to go through all the trouble of zooming in and out, there is a high probability that visitors will leave your site and never return.
It is this simple: if your site is not optimized for mobile users, you will find it very difficult to convert your site visitors to buying customers. Regardless of how small or big your website is, it is recommended that you make it mobile-friendly and responsive if you want conversions.
The fonts, images, and colors you use are essential design considerations you need to pay close attention to. Keep in mind that they are one of the first things your visitors notice when they visit your site.
Keeping things simple is an excellent approach to web design. If your site is too stuffy or crowded, it might turn off your visitors and cause them to leave. A minimalist and clean website is more effective at converting visitors as it keeps the focus on the elements that matter.
Also, removing the non-essentials will give you more space for your call-to-action. Your choice of imagery and colors will also tie all the other aspects of your site together. With that in mind, pick colors and images that will best represent your brand and convey your message.
For the images, it is also ideal to use photographs that are of topnotch quality. It is safe to assume most consumers would be enticed to click on a search result if the images are compelling. If possible, source images that give positive associations to your content.
Ideally, when users visit your website, they should move from one page to another with the utmost ease, regardless of where they started. It is essential to consider that not all your online visitors are tech-savvy.
If they can’t find a product or specific page easily, they might leave your site and look for another provider or E-commerce store. One effective way to boost conversions is by limiting user decisions.
According to Hick’s Law, a popular web design principle, the more choices presented to the user, the longer it will take for them to decide. Also, if you offer so many options, there is a tendency for the users to get confused or overwhelmed and leave.
Whenever possible, keep in mind the three-click-rule when designing your website. This website navigation rule suggests that when users cannot find what they’re looking for within three clicks, they become frustrated and leave.
Placing a search box feature on the site allows you to implement the three-click-rule. It also makes navigation very easy and convenient for your users.
6. Call-to-action (CTA)
The easiest way to make your visitors complete specific actions is to tell them to do so. However, you must know where, when, and how to do it if you want to achieve the results you are looking for.
Most high-converting websites have one thing in common—a strategically positioned call-to-action. The CTA is one of the most fundamental ways a web design can improve your site’s conversion rate. As soon as you can effectively hook a visitor with an offer, invite them to purchase!
A call-to-action can be an image, video, text, or button that invites visitors to act. A CTA frequently uses action-oriented language and explicitly instructs site visitors to perform something like learn, download, call, check, and, of course, buy!
One way you can make your CTA more effective is by demonstrating or creating urgency. You can do this by using words that imply limited-time offers like limited, today, or now.
Conclusion: Web design factors that will convert visitors to customers
Whether web design is your forte or not, it is something you cannot overlook. If you need to invest in a website design company’s services, go ahead and do so.
Website design firms are aware of the countless design factors and principles that can result in conversions. Work with a seasoned web design company and watch your conversions skyrocket!
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Gabby Klesser is the Outreach Manager for LA Website Design, a digital marketing agency that has assembled a team of expert web designers and digital marketing strategists. She often writes about web design, UX, social media, technology, marketing, and starting a non-profit.