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Website design:

Why website design impacts
your conversion rate

A recent study by Microsoft concluded that the human attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years.

The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp. people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds.

This means most users today will find it a waste of time reading through every word of your website. Consequently, a successful business needs to have the right sort of web design in order to keep people’s attention long enough to convert them to customers. This will normally involve things like a simple, aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use website, using colours that complement your brand.

Keep reading to find out how you can make your website convert your audience to customers. It is possible to do this using simply the design of your website, let find out how.

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What are conversion rates

Conversion rates measure the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action. These actions could include: 

Making a purchase.
Completing an opt-in form.
Downloading content.
Placing a phone call.
Scheduling a demo or consultation.

To calculate the conversion rate you need the number of people who completed a goal and divide it by the number of people who visited your website. For example, if 100 people visit a website page, and ten people complete a conversion, the conversion rate would be 10%.

The higher your conversion rate, the better you’re doing in terms of messaging and strategy.

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Using psychological triggers, minimising distractions, and optimising user experience can drive conversions and sales.

When adopting conversion-based web design, calls to action becomes the core principle. The rest of your web design will focus on getting the user to respond to the call to action. This includes the layout, colour, text, and images on your site.

So what should you be doing with your web design to increase your conversion rate?

1. Keep important elements above the fold

What is above the fold? Above the fold is the content that appears on the screen when a page first loads. Anything you have to scroll to see is “below the fold”.

It is essential that you keep important elements above the fold. This should include a large, benefit-driven headline that is brief and to the point and a clear call to action.

However, you need to remember that the fold will be different on different devices depending on the dimensions of the screen. This means that the fold is different for a smartphone screen, a laptop screen, and tablet screens.

2. Make CTA buttons large, simple and clear!

The simplest example of a call to action is ‘Buy now!’

It’s all about being clear and concise with your CTA, it is important to get straight to the point. If your CTA is vague and unclear, your visitors won’t pay attention to it. They’ll be less likely to take action. Let your audience know exactly what you want them to do. Start your CTA with the desired action.

 For example,

E-commerce website:
Start your CTA with words like ‘buy,’ ‘shop,’ or ‘order’
Promoting an article/newsletter:
Start your CTA with words like “download” or “subscribe’
Want someone to request more information?
Try ‘fill out a form for…’

Now you’ve decided what your call to action is going to say, you need to make sure it looks good too.

Choose the right color
Make your CTA bigger than the rest of your content
Use effective action words

If your website visitors have to go on a treasure hunt just to find a ‘sign up’ button, they’ll most likely leave before that happens. Read more about why CTAs are important here.

3. Readability of your website pages

Since the human attention span has dropped to eight seconds people need to be able to scan/read the content on your website. That means that the design of the content on your website needs to be simple with professional fonts and have enough space in between the lines to make everything easy to skim through

Using white space helps increase the contrast between text, headlines and CTAs. This contrast between content can do wonders for your conversion-optimised design. Cluttering your web pages with colours and images will prevent people from seeing what matters most and cause them to click off your site before converting. 

Any time you’re creating a page, ask yourself whether there’s a way to make it simpler. The result is usually more aesthetically pleasing, and it almost always converts better.

To sum up…

Any time you’re creating a page, ask yourself whether there’s a way to make it simpler. The result is usually more aesthetically pleasing, and it almost always converts better.

Other things to consider when designing your website pages:

  • Use eye-catching imagery that conveys the main point or purpose of your page and draws the eye towards your main call to action.
  • Use power words to make your copy more enticing and engaging.
  • Incorporate multimedia such as video, audio, or other interactive content.
  • Use hover effects on your buttons to make them more satisfying to click, e.g. make them change colour or size when you hover the mouse over them.
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