Website Design Practices for a Better Conversion Rate.
“Your website is the center of your digital eco-system, like a brick and mortar location, the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.”
— Leland Dieno
You should always design your website to be informative and attractive to the intended audience, by doing this you provide your customers an opportunity to build trust with your product. Also, increased engagement for your domain will help your website climb up on google search engine page rankings. You should build your website to sell. There are certain design practices that help you do that. Let me tell you there is no ideal way a webpage can be designed. There can be many ways that a single web page can be designed, it’s just all about what your target audience prefers?
We always ignore the importance of web forms while designing our websites. But there are case studies that have proven where by just tweaking the single form field has increased conversion rate by more than 100%. Few things that need to be taken care of while designing a form are:
- Keep it short and clear.
- Set clear expectations (How much longer the form is and what it is about).
- Don't ask for information that you don't require.
- At what stage form should appear in the CTA lifecycle.
- If more info is required use multi-step forms.
- Start with easy info(Helps reduce friction).
- Pre-select whatever you can.
- Proper error feedback
Eg. If it’s a user login/registration form for an e-commerce website, make sure this form comes later in steps. Filling forms builds friction and reduces the conversion rate. 1 in 4 abandon online purchases due to forced registration. People are less likely to register before checking things out. There can be many ways of further reducing user registration friction such as keeping default guest account so that users won't have to create an account, using “Single Sign-Ons” from various social websites such as Google, Facebook.
Buttons and Call To Actions
Buttons come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, and there really is no ideal solution that works every time. How likely Users are to take action depends on whether
- they notice the CTA begin with,
- the next step is obvious and makes sense, and
- they see value in the next step.
Well, all these things matter when a customer visits your website and tries to buy something or use it. You must first identify a CTA for the page and highlight it. There can be secondary CTAs on a page but the focus must be on your primary CTA.
This is the landing page of Netflix. When you first glance over it, it’s clear that Netflix wants you first to subscribe to it. And secondarily, if you are already subscribed then you can sign in.
All the ‘Subscribe’, ‘Login’, ‘Buy now’ etc. buttons must be highlighted. Button’s color plays an important role in catching the visitor's attraction. It must be in contrast to the background color so it catches the visitor's eyes. Trigger words are the words and phrases that trigger a user into clicking. If the user is looking for ‘pricing’, and your link says ‘pricing’, they’re going to click on it. So in this case, ‘pricing’ would be the trigger word. In web design, whitespace is often referred to as negative space. Positive space is the space that contains all the elements on your site, whereas negative space is all of the empty space in between. Use negative space to create more contrasts for the CTAs.
Web Page Length And The Fold.
Web page length plays an important role when users visit your website. The Fold is a term used by web designers and Internet marketers to describe a part of a webpage visible when the customer first visits the website. The fold is very much alive and has a great impact on conversions. The length of the fold can not be fixed as the website can be opened on various devices with various resolutions. But the part of the landing page displayed in the fold is very important as it creates the first impression of your brand to the potential customer. All the value proposition and CTAs are placed here. Just as seen in the previous example of Netflix's landing page, both the primary and secondary CTAs are placed in the fold. Every single web page has a fold. Your landing pages, checkout pages, and so on. If it’s a checkout page the customer should be able to checkout without having to scroll down, if the user is on the cart page he should be able to go to the ‘Buy now’ page without having to scroll.
Researchers have found that a user’s natural behavior when browsing the web is to read the screen in an “F” pattern. People scan web pages left to right and then they go downwards. So the bottom right part of the page gets less attention so make sure to consider F-layout while deciding on the placement of CTAs and value propositions on the Fold.
People judge websites in less than 50 milliseconds. Hence it is very important that your website is attractive and promising. Irrespective of whatever unique idea of the product you have if it doesn't look promising visually it will not sell. First impressions of your brand are very important to gain the trust of the customer. This first impression depends on many factors: structure, colors, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more. The color scheme you use on your landing page makes a lot of difference.
Check the two landing pages for a travel agency web sites. Which one you would go for? of course with the second one. How much time did you take to decide? Maybe less than the time you took for reading the question. This is why it is very important to have an attractive landing page.
These were the few commonly used designs in every website. There are many other such practices that need to be followed for a better user experience. Every aspect of web page design takes part in conversion rate optimization. Generally, we tend to overlook these practices, which unknowingly cost us a lot. Conversion Optimization course at CXL Institute has opened me to this new horizon. It has been a great learning journey with CXL until now, excited to explore more.