Going through a poorly designed website is a bit like walking around a garage sale or the middle aisle in Aldi.
There’s no order, it’s random, you don’t know where to look or what you might find.
And if you do happen to come across something you want, it’s a total fluke after 20 minutes of looking.
Except when it comes to websites, we’re not likely to look around for 20 minutes trying to find something. In reality, if we can’t find what we’re looking for in a few clicks, we just go somewhere else.
It’s not like we’re short of websites to go to.
A high converting website relies on two things:
- A simple design
- Easy to use
In his book “Don’t make me think’ Steve Krug argues that a good website is one that allows a user to accomplish their tasks as easily and directly as possible.
Here, we’ll go through the key features you should think about in order to design a high converting website.
Fix your page load speed
Let’s start with the most obvious.
Slow web pages are one of the main reasons users never get to a website in the first place.
They click a link and then 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9 (see how annoying this is getting?)
Even just a delay of a few seconds can be enough to drive people away from your site.
Pages can load slowly for a number of reasons, common ones being lots of hi-res images or media on the page, or files not being cachéd.
One thing all websites with a high bounce rate have in common is they don’t make it obvious what a user is meant to do when they land on a webpage.
Are they meant to scroll down to find information? Is there a main navigation for them to use? Is there a form clearly displayed if they’ve come to a landing page to download a guide or eBook?
People aren’t going to take time out of their day to work through a maze.
Make your website easy to navigate and make it absolutely clear the areas of the page a user can or should go to to do what they need.
If you’re expecting them to fill out a form, it should be placed top right of the page so people see it straight away. Not buried in the bottom left underneath endless blocks of text.
Use clear headings and sub-headings
Ad-man David Ogilvy once said that five times as many people will read a headline as will read the body copy of an article.
It’s the same principle for newspapers. If your headline doesn’t grab attention, then no-one is ever going to read the story, no matter how important or interesting it is.
Make your headlines about your users, give them something they’ll be interested in and then use sub-headings to guide them down the page.
We can’t emphasise this point enough.
Clear copy is a major part of any high converting website, so make sure you give it the best chance of standing out.
Focus on outcomes and benefits
You probably already know that you should focus more on benefits over features.
But focusing on outcomes is what will really make a difference for your website.
You can rave all you want about how you can save a business 30% of its operating costs or improve productivity by 75%.
But ultimately it’s still you telling users about yourself.
Instead get testimonials, case studies and real results that you’ve achieved for clients, and put all over your website.
Having five existing customers explain how they used you to achieve a goal is worth more than an entire website filled with benefits.
Have Calls to Action
Modern marketing seems to have become more about providing information for free and hoping a customer decides to take an action with you.
And sure, it’s good to be helpful and give information.
But you still need to make a living and generate leads. The only way you’re going to get people to click your website, download your forms or buy from you, is by asking them.
And be clear about what you’re expecting people to do.
Again, people won’t follow ambiguous directions.
If you want them to click a button, write “click here” on the button.
Also, test your CTAs to see which messages work best. Does a button saying “start getting results” perform better than one simply saying ‘click here’?
And test everything. Colour, placement on the page, wording, size – everything.
Use images and videos
Some people are quite happy to read through 800 words of text to find what they need.
But others might prefer to get their information from a video, or get details quickly from an infographic.
Similarly, product videos and images can be a great way of allowing people to see how products look and work before they buy them online.
Not to mention that images and video can add to the user experience.
Don’t overcrowd pages
White space is your friend on a web page.
It can help your content stand out and keep users focused on what they’re looking at, or what you’re getting them to do.
If you’ve ever seen a webpage with too many different things you’ll know why it’s a problem.
Videos and images everywhere, text taking up the whole screen and pop ups coming at you every time you scroll.
All this is overwhelming for a user and can distract them from what they’re trying to do. Worse, it could drive them away from your website and to a competitor.
Turn your website into a conversion machine
Businesses have a website for one purpose.
To get customers and make money.
So why would you build a website that gets in the way of customers finding what they need from you so they can spend money with you.
When you design your website, always come at it from the perspective of your customers.
How would they like your website to work? What information would they want to get from you, and in what format?
Is your design and UX clear?
Ultimately, are you making it easy or difficult for users to spend money with you?
If you want help designing your next business website or are building one for the first time, get in touch and let’s see how we can help you build a website that drives conversions instead of driving your customers mad.