5 Tried and True Conversion Design Tactics That Will Increase Sales
The good news is that website design is easier than ever. Almost anyone can make use of a simple program and create a fancy-looking website, complete with all the bells and whistles. If you visit the page, you can be treated to a visual and aural extravaganza—photos, video, animation, even music. You can hardly decide where to look first.
And information? You arrived at the page because you were searching for something, and everything you could ever want to know is here—all you have to do is keep scrolling. There’s even more information that scrolls across the screen every time you move your mouse. You almost feel like you need to be taking notes.
The bad news is that website design is easier than ever. Almost anyone can abuse a simple program and throw up a webpage that is far too jumbled and busy-looking. There’s so much going on that you really don’t know where to look, which of course defeats the purpose.
Too much information, given in the wrong dose and wrong format will not educate the visitor.
When the average person sees that much unbroken text, they tend to zone out a little, and become disinterested. Once again, this defeats the purpose.
If you want to increase your conversion rate, it becomes necessary to subtly apply skills that in theory are grounded in psychology and backed in practice by recent studies. Here are some tactics that will keep your design focused on those methods most likely to have a positive impact.
RIGHT NOW, Get Rid Of The Rotating Offers
Repeat after me…”Rotating offers do not work”.
This applies to all forms: scrolling banners, automatic image sliders, accordions, and image carousels. Most conversion experts advise against their use, because of their negative effect on UI. The theorized functionality is often included when creating the website wireframe, but practice shows that theory is most often faulty. Although the rotating carousel or slider is frequently the largest and most prominent feature on the page, a test at Notre Dame concluded that only one percent of users click on moving offer tabs. There are several factors that may contribute to this abysmal percentage.
- Inhibits loading optimization of the landing page.
- Many people perceive that the movement denotes an ad, and tune it out.
- Image sliders and carousels can actually dilute the impact of the whole site. Too much information becomes no information at all if the visitor is numbed by overload.
- The information moves with the image. This can present a problem for users with poor literacy, physical limitations, or those users whose native tongue is different from that used on the site. Rapidly moving images and text can create usability barriers for a significant number of site visitors.
- The more images there are included in the rotation, the less chance there is that a particular image will engage the user’s attention. For example, if the rotation has twelve images on a one-minute cycle, each one will only be visible for five seconds. Five seconds out of a minute is not a lot of time to pique the user’s interest.
- Automatically cycling images actually detract from the user experience (UX), because it removes any perceived user control.
RIGHT NOW, Clear Out The Clutter
Sensory overload can make a user indecisive. If there are too many images, videos, offers, audio, animations, and other kinds of flotsam and jetsam, the user may end up confused or frustrated. This means that even if they are interested, they might be unsure of what to click next. This is the exact opposite of your desired result.
- Users don’t want to be inundated with a host of extraneous options and choices. They want to be able to find what they came for and get on with their lives.
- All messages were not created equal. Every department within your company wants their specific products to be always equally represented and promoted on the website. This is not always realistic. The site should be updated regularly to reflect current promotions, sales, or company news. Information that is most likely to be of interest to customers should be featured the most prominently.
- A basic philosophy of salesmanship is “People hate to be ‘sold to’, but they love to buy.” It is the purpose of the website to make that purchase as easy as possible. Don’t be so adamant in your desire to show each customer every possible option and model all at once that you make it difficult for them to do something with that information once they have made their decision.
The best salespeople—and websites— initially touch only on key points which may interest the customer, and then encouragingly offer more information about solutions to the customer’s specific needs. When the customer has enough data to make a decision, the best salespeople know when to shut up and make it easy for the customer take the next step.
Design your site’s pages so they know when to shut up
RIGHT NOW, Cut Down On Unnecessary Text
A study by the Nielsen Norman Group states that typically, web users only have time to read about twenty-eight percent of the pages they visit. Some sources say that amount may be as low as twenty percent.
Conversely, the same group found that an encouraging seventy-nine percent of readers habitually scan new web pages that they come across.
What we can take from these figures is the critical importance of choosing just the right words for any webpage scripts and also choosing just the right way to showcase those words.
- Use keywords that are highlighted for better visibility. Using different colors or typeface help those keywords stand out. Perhaps the best way is to use hypertext links, because if the reader wants more information, they take a measurable positive action by clicking.
- Use bulleted lists, which automatically draw the eye.
- Get in the habit of using the “inverted pyramid” style of writing. Introduce your topic by starting with the conclusion, and then lay your foundation in paragraphs supporting that conclusion.
- Practice writing short but powerful paragraphs. Remember, one idea per paragraph.
- When there is a lot of information that needs to be gotten across, learn to summarize key points in a few sentences or paragraphs. Studies show users don’t like long blocky passages. They prefer to scan the page, looking for the phrases and paragraphs that give them the information they are looking for.
- Word count matters. For good, concise webpage writing, the word count should be about half that of writing for print media.
Resist the temptation to show off your subject knowledge by writing and posting everything you know about the subject of your website, in the hopes that someone reads it. Unfortunately, most people won’t. Post the key information, and include links to other pages of your website, should the customer want more detailed information.
RIGHT NOW, Make The Next Step Stand Out
If you are using any Lead Generation Forms or Calls-To-Action (CTA’s) on your page, (and you SHOULD be), then you can greatly increase your conversion rate by using a few subtle persuasive design techniques.
- Encapsulation: Place your Lead Generation Form and CTA within a separate border or box on your webpage to make it stand out.
- Contrast and Color: The header and CTA of your form should be of a matching color that stands out from the rest of the page. They need to match so the user understands that they get what the header promises when they click on the CTA.
- Direction prompts: There should be a graphic cue, such as arrows, footprints, or a path, that visually guide the user from the informational main text and graphics to the encapsulated box containing the CTA.
- Have a conversion goal CTA opportunity on ever page within the site. For example, if you are offering a product, have the “Add to Cart” CTA available at every page, including the launch page.
RIGHT NOW, Start Forming Relationships With Your Users
One criticism of the modern market in general and the internet in particular is the loss of the relationships that used to be formed between customers and brick-and-mortar stores. If your company has the right philosophy, your website can help to break that trend, which, not incidentally, will increase your conversion rate and improve your bottom line.
Remember, with each contact, include an opportunity or invitation for the customer to take some positive action.
- Email (or even print) newsletters are an excellent way to keep your customers and potential customers informed and excited about news relevant to your company. Don’t make it just another sales flyer, ready to be deleted. Include reviews, upcoming projects, and an article that might be of interest to your customers.
- Independent of your newsletter, send out notices of upcoming promotions. Promote loyalty by extending exclusive promotions reserved only for customers or subscribers.
- During checkout, give the page the ability to suggest additional related purchase opportunities.
- After checkout, have a detailed pop-up appear, thanking the customer for using your company.
- After purchase, send out automated requests for reviews and rating.
Too many times, websites seem designed only to be all sizzle and no steak. They are so busy showcasing the designer’s coding skills that they leave out the basics. All of these tactics have one thing in common: They clearly present to your potential customers offers and information that they can use. They make it easy for the people who land on your page to take the next step, and it is that next step that offers the most benefits to both your customers and your company.