Designing to Convert
When a new user finds her way to your website, 94 percent of her first impression is based on your site design. If your website is clean and attractive, the user will stay and may convert. However, if your website is poorly designed or out-of-date, you risk losing conversions. Overhaul your website with an eye toward design to increase your conversion rate.
Basic Elements of Good Design
Color can make or break your website, and, unfortunately, there’s no clear rule about which colors work and which ones don’t. Color should enhance your website and strengthen your branding. In general, bright colors correlate with youthful brands and black is associated with luxury brands. If your website advertises a retirement home, bright yellow or aqua would be inappropriate, for example.
If a user can’t determine where to go to find needed information, she will leave your webpage and can develop a negative attitude toward your brand. Make sure that navigation labels are clear to your audience, not just to you.
· Reliance on Stock Photography:
While stock photography may represent an inexpensive solution to website images, it can make your site look generic at best and fake at worst. Users can tell when you’re relying on stock images.
· Poorly Written Copy:
If you hired a cheap writer to develop your Web copy, or if you did not take time to explain industry jargon, it may read poorly to your user. This has a direct impact on conversion rates, as users can see the poor writing as an example of the poor quality of your goods or services. Take the time to write and rewrite the content until it delivers, or hire someone who can deliver. If copy isn’t driving conversions, it doesn’t belong on your website.
Tips to Drive Conversion
While it’s not directly correlated to design, website speed definitely plays a role in conversion. If you have a slow Web host, your page will load slowly, your users will become frustrated and they will shop elsewhere. Likewise, if your host goes down regularly, you can lose revenue. Take the time to shop for a host that offers good customer support, ample bandwidth and storage to support your site, and little downtime. If you use a CMS, choose one that is designed to support an ecommerce site instead of going with the first freebie you find. Magento is a dedicated ecommerce CMS that many businesses like, and it can be customized to your brand. To make your job even easier, find a host that makes Magento easy.
If you’re overhauling an existing website, ask friends and family members to review your website and search for five to 10 different criteria that you specify. You might have them find your hours of operation, FAQ and shipping policies, for example. Can they find these items quickly? If not, your navigation needs improvement. If users were distracted by design elements like color or image choice, you’ll know other areas that need improvement.
Stop sabotaging your conversion and improve your bottom line. Redesigning an out-of-date website takes time, but improving your branding, marketing and sales makes it time worth spending.