How Website Design Affects Conversion Rates

An important strategy for growing your business’ sales is to get new customers – this is what marketing and promotion are all about and for many businesses this revolves around their website. However, many business owners make the mistake of focusing on the amount of traffic and the number of visitors they get. While these are important metrics, they don’t mean anything if that traffic isn’t converting into sales!

In a previous post, we’ve gone over some important points for boosting your website usability, which goes hand in hand with conversion. Things such as making your support and contact information front and center, and keeping your forms as simple and clean as possible are all important ways to help turn that visitor into a customer. We’ve also discussed how having an out of date website can affect your business.

Let’s look a little more closely now at web design specifically. The look, feel and general user experience on a website are also crucial to conversion. This all comes down to the talents of your web design team – there is no underestimating the power of a professionally designed website!

While websites are all visually unique when it comes to design and layout, there are general recommendations that apply to any site and can help your business boost conversion rates:

Highlight Important Content

Good web design focuses on putting your most crucial information front and centre. Eye Tracking Research conducted by Jakob Nielsen, reveals that users’ attention is focused at the top of web pages. This means that you must have your important information above the fold, where 80.3% of users spend their viewing time.

Fast Read Information

When a visitor lands on your site, they want to quickly find the information they are looking for. They will continue scrolling down your web pages if what is initially communicated above the fold makes them believe that it is worth their time to continue reading. It is also important that your web content is easy to read and scannable to encourage them to dig deeper, one of our top 10 tips for getting web usability right. Break up your content and use white space to your advantage.

Good web design also highlights your offerings and showcases the features and benefits of your product or service. Visitors are presented the information they need to make a purchase decision in an enticing and visually appealing way. They don’t need to dig around for the details they need.

Strong Calls to Action

Good web design uses calls to action throughout website pages to encourage visitors to take a desired action. Don’t assume that visitors will do what you want them to. Make the desired action explicit. The visitor should always have a doorway to move forward.

Consistent Look and Feel

One of the most important indicators of good web design is a consistent look to a website, no matter what page or what section a visitor is on. Stick to your colour scheme and use similar types of images and graphics. Keep things looking clean and polished – don’t distract a visitor from your offering with a website design that is visually unappealing or so busy that a user doesn’t know where to go next or what action they should take.

First impressions and user experience on a website are crucial to conversion rates. Ensure your website design works to support your sales and business goals.

About the Author:

Hartland Ross is the Founder and President of eBridge Marketing Solutions. He has over 15 years experience in marketing and business development, focusing for the last decade or so on the technology sector. Prior to starting up his own internet marketing agency, he operated a successful franchise, worked with two different online advertising startups and was the VP of Sales and Marketing for a national development and training company. He now puts his entrepreneurial and business skills to work running eBridge, which since its inception has supported the internet marketing efforts of over 150 web hosts worldwide.

Posted June 12, 2012
Categories: Blog, Design, Development and Usability
Tags: , , , ,

One comment

Setting up heat maps from someone like hotjar can be very revealing, as that’ll give you clicks and where people scroll to on the page. People do scroll, but that tends to be because what appeared on the initial load wasn’t appealing to them. If they do scroll you’d hope they came across something of interest and off they went deeper into the site. Monitoring the clicks and bounce rate will help with that.

I think Google Experiments and Events (especially if you’re working heavily with Javascript for UI) can be very revealing when it comes to how successful the page is and allows for A/B testing. They’re not all that straightforward to setup as they’re code based, but definitely worth getting your head around if you’re looking to fine tune and optimise your conversion funnels.

Comment by Paul Marshall on November 4, 2016 at 8:36 AM

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