In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Top Floor is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile here.
There is a lot of time, work, and investment that goes into building a new website and to see that your site is not reaching its full potential is a hard pill to swallow. Your website is meant to be a significant source for new leads and business growth. So, if you’ve done the research, taken SEO into consideration, and the website still is not performing then the question you should be asking yourself is how can you optimize your user experience.
A web designer that understands the psychology that goes into user interactions can have a drastic effect on your website conversions. To better explain, below are five basic design principles that can factor into your website conversions.
1. Understand Your Users
Whether we like to admit it or not, prospects will spend a large amount of their time on websites that are not our own. Throughout their time online, users have come to have an expectation of how a site should function and now assume that there will be consistency on every page they visit. Taking this into consideration, we know that it doesn’t always make sense to “reinvent the wheel”.
When it comes to any website’s design, navigation, terminology, and workflow, visitors have developed a familiarity of these basic website elements. As an example, when most users visit a website they can expect to find a navigation bar at the top that includes common topics or products, often times a search field, or even a login field.
These are all elements that you would not expect to find, for example, at the bottom corner of a web page. Just think about the level of difficulty that user experience would be. It’s not something you may actively be thinking about when you visit a website but, like second nature, you notice it if it’s not there.
2. Limit the Number of Choices
For example, have you ever gone to a website’s blog page only to find an archived list of the past 48 months to select from? As a user, would you start clicking on each month to search for a topic relevant to you, or would you give up and move on?
Web designers have the capability of increasing conversion rates just by giving users fewer options to choose from. Providing visitors with too many choices can create confusion, frustration, and ultimately can cost you conversions. The longer it takes for a person to decide about how to proceed, they more likely it is that they will simply give up and never complete the task.
3. Shrink Your Forms
If you are looking to increase your form-fill conversions, start by looking at the form itself. What are you asking your visitors to do in order to get what they want?
Users are becoming increasingly cautious about giving out any type of information online, so consider if each field you are requiring is necessary; if not, then skip it!
A study conducted by Hubspot showed that by reducing a landing page with 11 fields down to only 4 fields, conversions increased from 13% to 19%, and by removing just one more field conversions spiked to 26%. When it comes form fields, less is more.
4. Visually Encourage a Desired Outcome
One way to encourage your website visitors to take a specific action on your product or service page is by making one of the options stand out visually over the others. Much like a restaurant will outline their specials or signature dishes on their menu, your website should highlight a product or service that is niche, most cost-effective to the customer, or most frequently purchased.
This isolation effect guides the user to where you want them to look, rather than overwhelming them with options. The example below highlights the business’s Classic Plan, and even though it’s the second option your eye immediately is drawn to it based on the visual representation.
One of the most important factors in website conversions is the visibility and location of the CTA button. The size and placement of these buttons need to be carefully considered, and should make it as easy on the user as possible:
- Clearly labeled: your button should convey a clear message to the user of its function, such as “Download eBook”, “Add to Cart”, or “Contact Us”.
- Visually distinct: a large button that is easy to see will catch the eye of the user, reducing the amount of time the visitor is looking for next steps.
- Positioned nearby: limit the distance between your CTA button and where the user’s cursor would naturally be on the page to reduce any confusion of where they should be clicking next.
As an example, Wisconsin Oven has a clear CTA that is positioned at two optimal points of the page, immediately stands out, and clearly explains the action the user will be taking if they click on it.
5. Take Action and Measure Results
Consider these design principles when looking at your own website. Are your call-to-action buttons in obvious and relevant positions? Do you have too many options that might overwhelm a visitor? Are your forms too long or complex?
Take time to go through these design elements and hone in on the ones that might be having an impact on your website conversions. Just as important as making the changes, be sure to track your results. Make one change at a time and prepare to conduct split testing with your web design and layout.
Until you test your website optimizations, you won’t have a solid understanding of the effects your changes have on your conversions.