Is your website converting? This topic seems to show up a lot around the proverbial, digital water cooler. You have spent loads of money and/or time crafting a gorgeous website only to get zero leads from it. And leads are one of the big reasons to have some form of a website as a business! So if your website isn’t converting, let’s take a look at what we can do to improve your odds.
Website Converting Design
Web design is a huge factor in conversions. Research has shown that 43% of visitors feel that the website design is the most important factor in their trust of a company. The factors that affect this are many.
And there are a few ways to improve your website design . . . yourself! So, let’s get started!
There is a fascinating psychological (and marketing) rule called Hick’s Law. Simply put, the more decisions you give people, the longer it takes them to decide. That makes sense. The more choices you have, the longer it takes to decide which one you want. The problem that arises is that if a person is presented with too many choices, they will simply choose inaction.
Now, in terms of a website, the standard has been having all kinds of choices for visitors. Ask them to read blog posts. Sign up for emails. Book a call. Share on social media. It is creating decision overload and leaving your visitors choosing to do nothing instead.
A bit of real honesty here: I’m just as guilty of doing this myself. My current homepage is kind of a disaster with so many options. I am currently working on streamlining this into more of a guided thing rather than so many choices up front. Stay tuned to see how this works out.
The Letter F
In design, a key element to your layout deals with how visitors scan your website. And, surprisingly, it follows the shape of the letter F. It is based on how we naturally scan content. We read the key headline. We scan down looking for bullet points or block text. We scan across for buttons. For an example, let’s take a look at my homepage.
As you can see, I have my main headline and my lead gen form lined up and left aligned. (I also use a trick where my image is looking back at my text, redirecting the visitors’ eyes back to my lead gen form). If you were to scroll down, you would find that my next section does the same thing, though the horizontal bars of the F would be incredibly thick as people read the text.
So, take a long screenshot of your website. Then either print it out and grab a Sharpie or load it into a PDF markup app and start checking to see how your content is laid out. If your layout is not lining up to a general F shape, maybe take some time to strategize how you can move things around.
Grouping Your Content
There is another principle in design that goes along with the F principle from above. The Gestalt principle says that we like to visually group similar items together. This is key because it can affect how your visitors are perceiving your content. If you have your blog posts archive laid out where your images, text, and calls to action are not close together, your visitors will not group them together. And that means losing out on leads.
Take the time to make sure that your important content is grouped together in a simple, balanced way.
Images are Key
Using images in your content has always been key. But there are some interesting visual design principles that can help you use images in a targeted way.
First, people like seeing people in images. Pictures of people evoke emotion. You can use images of people to help drive home a problem with an unhappy or stressed person or show a result with happy people.
And if you want to really grab attention, use photos of yourself as well. People want to know who they are working with and your face can help build trust!
Second, people often follow the line of sight of the person in the photo. For instance, check out this example from Sumo.com:
The red is added for emphasis. Notice how your eye is drawn to the opt-in box? It’s because he’s looking at it! We are hard-wired to look at what others are looking at. (Which is why people can be tricked to look up at nothing if they see one person do it.)
So, when planning images for the areas around your opt-ins and calls to action, make sure to find something that uses this little trick.
This is only a smattering of ideas you can use to help improve your website design for conversions. There are loads more that you can do. So let’s get an action plan!
- What I recommend is start with a full website design audit. Figure out your trouble spots and design snafus. Then make a list of the changes that you need to make and make them based on the priority of importance.
- Then – STOP! Go over to a tool like Mouseflow and sign up for a free trial. (This is my personal link – it gives you an extra 500 credits on your account and I could get a free T-shirt. .) This awesome tool gives you insights into how visitors are interacting with your website. Get your website loaded in.
- Now, collect 2-3 days of data on your visitors. You want a baseline of what they are currently doing on your website.
- Finally, take that list of changes you made in Step 1 and start making one change at a time. Change the top priority item. Then look at the data on your Mouseflow dashboard and notice any changes. If you see improvement, keep the changes. If not, consider going back to how it was originally. This is called testing and it takes time. It’s also where a lot of people end up messing up because they make all their changes at once. Then they can’t tell you what was actually what helped. You want to pinpoint exactly what changes are making an impact with your target audience.
Following these steps over the long term will help you nail down a website converting design that ROCKS!