Conversion rate is the term most known to web professionals. This is a buzzing word which every online retailer is after. And this should come as no surprise because the primary objective of every e-commerce business is to increase conversions.
What is the conversion rate first of all?
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to a site who perform the desired action. For example, if 100 people visit a website and 5 of them take the desired action, the website’s conversion rate is 5%. The desired action can be any action that the website wants you to take. Examples include clicking on the ‘Add to Cart’ button, submitting a form, downloading an App and subscribing for a newsletter.
How a website design impacts conversions?
It is the website design that puts the first impression. It makes visitors form an opinion about your business in the first few seconds of their visit. It will either make them trust your business or turn them doubtful. This was proved by the British researchers when they asked users of health sites what factors contribute to their rejecting or distrusting a business and found that 94% of the factors were design related.
Nobody with a suspicious mind or a not-so-good opinion about your business will tend to buy from you.
Think about your own online shopping experience. How do you feel when a website is not visually appealing, hard to navigate, has disorganized and poor content or loads slow? Do you feel like shopping from it? I believe not. And if you feel so, everybody does.
Your website design is, therefore, your first chance to convince your customers. It is your first step to win in a series of steps in the entire sales process.
And don’t forget, web design can also affect search engine rankings, both directly and indirectly. Poor design leads to high bounce rate and thus lower rankings.
What web designers can do to optimize conversion rate?
Web designers have a huge role to play in conversion rate optimization. So much of that the two should be thought of together. They are highly interdependent.
Here are some of the ways web designers can contribute to a high conversion rate.
In the simplest and non technical words, your website should be easy to use. Usability is a broad term which encompasses a lot of other things so I will break it down and tell you what contributes to better usability.
- Make your CTAs logical & obvious
What is it that you want your visitors to do on your site? Whatever it is, be 100% clear about it and display it above the fold. Don’t confuse your customers or keep them in the dark. They should know your desired goal the moment they enter your website.
CTAs need to stand out on the page. You can use different colors and fonts to highlight it on the page. Given the increasing use of mobile phones to access websites, you should make sure that CTAs adjust with every screen size.
- Shorten your form fields
Have you ever had the intention of filling out an online form, just to be scared away by too many required fields? It is one the best ways to kill your conversion rate.
If you are using forms on your website, make sure they are short. Remove all unnecessary fields and leave only those that are essential to accomplishing your goal.
- Remove distractions
There is nothing worse than visiting a website that pulls you in too many directions. These days, too many websites make this mistake of distracting customers. They display too many pop ups which do nothing but irritate customers.
Focus on your main goal and display what visitors need to know that leads them to the goal. If something is not essential, don’t include it.
- Make it easy to navigate
Navigation is the most important aspect of a web design. It allows customers to explore other pages of your website.
Make it ridiculously easy for them to find what they are looking for no matter how vast your catalog is or how big your website is. As a rule of thumb, customers should be able to find their required product/content in maximum 3 clicks.
- Make it easy for customers to reach you
How easy it is for customers to contact you in case they have any question and how quickly do you respond? The shorter this time, the better.
A customer may want to ask a question about the product or service he/she is about to purchase or hire and want a real time answer. If you fail to deliver it, they will abandon the purchase.
Display your contact details at a conspicuous place. Provide them with more than one way to contact you. Live chat software is great to address this head on.
- Add Testimonials, Reviews & Logos
No one wants to be the first person to use a product or service. So you can put their mind at ease by providing testimonials and/or reviews from past customers. Authentic reviews make it easy for customers to make purchase decisions. According to 2018 online review statistics, 68% of consumers decide whether to use a product or service after reading 1-6 reviews.
For home pages, you can also add a series of logos that instantly build trust with new visitors.
- Simplicity is the key
It does not ask for very sophisticated words, flashy colors, complex animations or high profile imagery to boost conversions. What it requires is simplicity.
Keeps your website simple yet appealing. Choose a font and font size that is easy for online reading. Limit yourself to a maximum of 3 different font types for your entire website. Also, don’t put too much text on any given page. Avoid using words that users find difficult to understand.
Next, be very intentional about the colors you are selecting to represent different elements on your website. Use balanced color combinations that give your website a pleasant look and that don’t irritate your customers.
- Make it mobile responsive
I can’t think of a single person in the entire world who would not acknowledge the importance of smart phones. They are an integral and unavoidable part of our lives.
The number of people accessing the Internet through other devices will soon outgrow desktop users. Accepting this fact, Google now indexes and ranks websites based on their mobile version.
When designing a website, make sure it is responsive and adjusts its content according to the screen size. It should look good on all devices and people should clearly see all the important information.