10 Tips for Web Design That Drives Sales

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Every business owner wants a website that encourages visitors to take the next step: buy or contact. This step is called conversion, and it’s the moment your lead converts to become a customer. If your website has a lot of traffic but few conversions, you need to identify why.

It’s true that many factors may contribute to the problem. Believe it or not, web design can have a powerful impact on buyers and their choices. Studies show product assessment takes about 90 seconds. Users grant websites a fraction of that time: less than eight seconds. Those first impressions are about 94 percent design-related. What’s more, about 75 percent of users will judge your brand credibility based on your website design.

Most first-time visitors to your site are not ready to buy. They’re investigating options and comparing you to others. Do you know how you stack up to the competition? Take a look at websites for leaders in your market space. Then, turn your critical eye inward.

Here are 10 aspects to consider when evaluating your website design and deciding which changes will yield the greatest results.

1. Color.

Performable changed its call-to-action button (CTA) from green to red, resulting in a 21 percent increase in conversions. Ript Apparel changed its button from green to yellow, increasing conversions by 6.3 percent. It’s also good to know that red and green are the colors those with color blindness or deficiency struggle with the most. Further, you might consider your audience. If you’re targeting women, focus on blue, purple, and green. For men, select blue, green, and black. (Obviously, these are generalized preferences.) The least effective colors? Brown and orange.

2. Video.

Product videos usually increase sales and conversions. The amount varies, but some companies report an increase of as much as 144 percent. Business-to-business (B2B) or service-based companies also can use video to share their stories or talk about their differentiators.

3. Ease of use.

Put the most important information “above the fold.” Don’t force people to scroll and hunt for what they want. Create simple navigation so users intuitively can find items that aren’t on the first page.

4. Clear UVP.

What’s your unique value proposition? If you don’t know, that’s your first problem. Your second problem? Your UVP probably isn’t apparent to your website visitors, either. Make it obvious right up front why they should choose your brand.

Related: How to Develop a Winning Value Proposition

5. Trust symbols.

Badges from Yelp (or other review sites) and PayPal’s certification logo are two examples of trust symbols. You might have a security seal or any other industry-related symbol to share. Testimonials from customers serve a similar purpose, and you can showcase these as well. Your goal is to make sure your potential buyer feels as if he or she can trust you to provide a good experience or product.

Related: The Importance of Building Trust Online

6. Free offers.

If you’re offering a white paper or other free item, be sure the word “free” comes through loud and clear. What are some reasons someone wouldn’t buy from you? Your website also should explain how you proactively fulfill customer needs and address issues.

7. Short forms.

Potential customers don’t want to give you their city, state, last name, pet’s name and six other pieces of information just to score that free download. Keep it short: Go with a first name, email address and zip code. If you currently use a captcha test, you might try turning it off to see if that makes a difference in response rate — without increasing your spam.

8. Virtual chat.

More people than ever prefer a quick online chat while they browse to picking up the phone and dealing with an options menu. Even if they don’t want to chat, they know the option exists. That alone can increase trust.

9. Headlines.

Your big, headline text needs to address any concerns your potential customers feel. Are they worried about timing? The process? The results? Whatever it is, address the solution in bold.

Related: 4 Steps to Writing Content That Converts 

10. White space.

A cluttered webpage looks ugly and feels cramped. Too many elements can confuse people and turn them away.

Bonus: A/B Testing.

While some web-design standards are proven, every industry and business will vary somewhat. Businesses that succeed will continue testing small changes on their website. (What happens if the color of the CTA button switches from blue to green?) While you often will see only slight movement up or down, your site will be stronger overall if each change in the series causes a small increase.

During testing, commit to making only one change at a time. You might experiment with button color, text or placement of elements. Then, depending on your website traffic, wait a few weeks before analyzing the data and deciding whether that change becomes permanent or reverts to the previous layout.