A high converting website is extremely important as it enables you, as the webmaster, to get the most out of all the users arriving at your website.
Below are some tried and tested design improvements that will help your website convert better. These four changes are one-off, extremely quick and easy to implement and will require zero or minimal input from a developer. With the time taken to execute and the long term benefits they will reap, it makes these small changes a no-brainer.
To help put it into perspective, if we assume your website receives 1,000 visitors each month and has a conversion rate of 1%, by increasing the conversion rate by just 1%, it will double the number of conversions, bringing you 10 additional conversions each month. Over the course of one year it will amount to 120 additional conversions.
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infographic courtesy of: formstack.
Include a Clear Call to ActionThis might sound obvious but so many websites will overlook this. Including some clear instruction and using directives that make the next step in the user journey obvious is a great way to increase goal completions. Multitudes of ad-split tests have found:
- Make your call to action stand out, use contrasting colours and consider using arrows pointing to it to help direct the eye.
- Restrict choice and distractions. Fewer options allow people to arrive easier and more confidently at their final choice.
- Write the button copy in first person; “I want to learn more about ____”, or “Start my free trial”.
Use Quality ImageryResearch has shown that users will often completely ignore stock images. This reaction is comparable to banner blindness where people will become blind to and entirely overlook something they’ve seen over and over again. Stock photos often remind web users of advertisements so they overlook the image altogether, or sometimes even leave the site if it is too much. Therefore, high quality, real images are the best to use to help improve a website’s conversion rate, in fact one study found that ‘real’ images lead to a 161% lift in conversions.
For eCommerce websites, it’s crucial to include multiple images and where possible the product in use and ideally with people in the shot. Web users buy with their eyes and spend a considerably longer time looking at images rather than text, engaging particularly with peoples’ faces. So, the more images, the better. In one study, a personalised gifts website found that 7 or more images resulted in double the sales than that of products with fewer.
Choosing ColourWhen deciding the colour scheme of your website, it is best practice to stay in keeping with your brand as this communicates cohesion and strong brand identity. However, it is possible to slip in a bit of extra colour here and there to accentuate a point and make elements of the website really stand out. As previously mentioned, using a contrasting colour, for example an orange button on a largely blue web page is an effective way to improve conversion. Here are some additional things to bear in mind when thinking of colour:
- Both men and women’s favourite colours include blue and green.
- Women hate orange, brown and grey the most.
- Men hate brown, orange and purple the most.
- Blue makes users feel more secure, evoking feelings of trust, peace, order and loyalty.
- Red and yellow are colours of danger and warning, so think carefully about using buttons that are these colours.
- Green is connected with nature and environmental and outdoor products.
- Black adds a sense of luxury and value.
Social ProofingAdding reviews, testimonials and case studies to your website is a proven method of improving conversion rate. The purpose of these are to allay any hesitations and reassure users that you are secure and trustworthy. Including these on a product or service page will take seconds, but research shows that it can help improve site conversions by 12.5% and more than 20 reviews can boost conversion by 83.85%.
Adding a reviews widget is an easy way to add reliable, real reviews to the website, as they are aggregated by a third party. Services like Trust Pilot and Feefo tend to carry higher social proofing because the webmaster cannot easily make the reviews up. These services come with a lot of benefits, especially for ecommerce sites, they charge a small monthly fee but the extra conversions often result in the product paying for itself.
Website conversion should be something that you always have in mind when making any website changes. To measure your website’s performance, make sure that analytics and goals are properly set up and are tracking correctly and make a note of the time period you’re looking at and its conversion rate to make accurate, informed analysis.
Rebecca D'Souza is a freelance writer covering all aspects of business including online marketing and PR.