First, let us understand the term “Conversions” in relation to the Internet. A website that converts is viewed as active content (as opposed to casual content). The web content has a purpose, which is to achieve a reasonable conversion rate. The conversion rate is the number of goals achieved, divided by the number of visitors to the website. The goal of “Active” content may vary from website to website. For a services website, a conversion may be an enquiry, for an ecommerce site it may be a sale, for a blog it may be a newsletter sign up. If you want to design your website therefore, you must have conversion at the back of your mind.
The conversion funnel design
The most sophisticated form of website design for conversion rate involves a conversion funnel. This is a marketing technique where a viewer is exposed to a series of events/elements, which move him or her closer to a sale.
The technique is not a new one, as traditional advertisers have been doing it for years with the AIDA method (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). The thought process of a potential viewer must be analyzed, and each page must ponder to what the viewer is likely to think or feel. This information is used to move a viewer through the various elements, almost as if the web design were a narrative. The last element is the conversion tool, such as a newsletter signup or checkout. How you choose to structure your conversion funnel is up to you. Below are some tips to help you design your site for a better conversion rate, which could all be applied to a conversion tunnel design.
Remove any barrier to a potential conversion
A big barrier is navigation. Poor navigation leads to frustration that will often cause the user to leave the website. Worse still are the occasions where a viewer has decided to purchase (convert) and cannot find the means to do so. This is one of the dangers of a poorly constructed funnel design.
A web designer will imagine that a user will only purchase at the end of the funnel. As a consequence, he or she will only put the ability to buy at the end of the tunnel. If you fear that this is you, then you should make sure that a user is able to convert on every page. Have the checkout link, newsletter signup link, enquiry form link, etc, available on every page if you must.
Start the process off-page
Run adverts to increase brand awareness and post reviews of your products/service on other domains. Be prepared to receive visitors who are already amenable to purchasing from you. In these cases you will not need to market to them as hard. Consider having them enter the conversion funnel at a later stage.
Design your Website around your goal
Creating a conversion tunnel is one way of doing this, but that is just one element of your website. Apply your goal to every section/element of your website. If you have an ecommerce site that is 150 pages large, and 5 of those pages consist of your conversion tunnel, and 9 are landing pages, you can apply your goal to all 150 pages. Your landing pages can drop people off at certain points during the conversion tunnel. The other pages may simply link to or advertise your goal, with each link placing the viewer at the beginning of the conversion tunnel.
Improve your websites focus
A mess of information and design may seem useful, but it is not ideal for converting people. Casual content can afford to lack focus, since its usefulness is not relative to a specific actionable goal. A lot of the time, it comes down to either making your point, or purging elements that detract from your point.
Include images to aide conversion
This is a no brainer in many cases. It is hard to imagine an ecommerce site without images. But consider them also when you are linking from other domains, linking internally, or trying to prove a point. Picture links have less SEO value, but we are dealing with your conversions and not your SEO, and images aide conversions.
Reduce the thinking needed to click
The popularity of big boxes and widgets that are links has grown because they are a needed part of mobile browsing. This is not a bad thing because clicking on a big box requires little thought. Now, compare this to the website that puts five text links in a list and asks you pick one (it takes some thought). Thought is good if you are trying to provoke a reaction, but if you are trying to convert someone then help them to think less (at least when it comes to using your website). Design your website in such a way as to make the visitors have less thinking work to do.
Credibility is king
This is the last point for anyone who was good enough to read this article in full. Credibility is the biggest and most important key to your conversion success, and your web design can go a long way to increasing your credibility.
Poorly designed websites are the first credibility killer. If your website takes ages to load, is hard to navigate, has tiny text or is cramped then your credibility will evaporate.
If you design your Websites to like they were built by amateurs are credibility killers. Boxy designs with sparkly or poorly animated features and plain color backgrounds will kill your credibility.
Too many security and association logos are a credibility killer. They are often added by fraudsters in an attempt to fool people into thinking a site is safe.
Less is more–sleek and minimalist websites are easier to trust. Cramped or over filled websites look desperate. And over promotional websites look like they offer reduced quality at a higher price.