Utilising Design to Boost Online Conversion
Do you have a professionally designed website but low online sales figures? Are there plenty of visitors but none converting into customers? Following on from our recent article on search engine optimisation, the next step towards increasing your online sales is boosting online conversion. In short, your website could have thousands of visitors but there are elements that could be preventing users from converting.
How a website is designed has a considerable effect on consumer buying behaviour, attitudes and feelings. An unattractive website causes more potential consumers to leave the page quicker, whereas an attractive, well designed-website influences a consumers’ willingness to purchase, where positive attitudes towards a website are associated with further exploration of the site and purchase behaviour. The understanding and theory behind this philosophy is called User Experience (UX).
A UX expert once explained it to me very simply: if you show people pictures of puppies or something that makes them happy, they are likely to make a positive purchasing decision; if you show someone pictures of something sad, they are likely to feel sympathetic and therefore donate. UX design taps into the psychology of web design and exploits consumers feelings and purchasing behaviours.
Let’s explore how we utilise design here at UNBXD to boost online conversion for our clients in our 6 top tips:
1. Consider your layout
The layout of your website is one of the most important elements: how your pages are structured grabs users’ attention and channels their focus towards making a purchasing decision. If you want to draw your users’ attention to specific elements on your website there are certain layouts that you can use to enhance design and readability.
In western countries we read books and screens naturally from left to right (in eastern countries it’s the opposite), which is why the F and Z layouts are considered to be two of the most popular. You should be filling those spaces with the most important elements of your website: service/product information, contact information, call to action etc. Any content that is placed between the main spaces is likely to be lost.
2. The law of decisions (Hick’s Law)
As humans we have to make decisions daily, in every aspect of our lives. While having choices and options is a good thing, in web design providing too many options can hinder the chance of conversion. The well-known Hick’s Law addresses this as it theorises that the more information provided, the longer the decision process, often causing users to become frustrated and leave the page before any conversion process begins. By removing too many options on a website, from the pages on a navigation bar to products in an e-commerce website, you will make the decision process much quicker and therefore increase conversions.
3. Colour theory
There are in-depth studies on the psychology behind human perception of colour, including the meaning behind specific colours and how colours can be used to communicate. According to research, people decide whether they like a product in 90 seconds or less from colours alone.
Different colours have different meanings: red reminds consumers of discounts and sales whereas monotone black and white is known to create a sense of luxury. Blue can invoke a feeling of sadness and yellow can create happiness. Warm colours are often associated with brightness, energy and action, while cooler colours correspond with peace and calmness.
McDonalds is a very good example of colour theory – it is replacing its traditional red backdrop with a deep green to promote a more eco-friendly image and also it makes the signature yellow M stand out more. Be careful if you are an international company – colours have different meanings in different cultures.
4. A picture can paint a thousand words
We’ve all heard that expression and in terms of web design it’s certainly true. A well-written piece of text can definitely leave a long-lasting message but when consumers flick through magazines or browse in shops, it’s the images they see first and remember. You can really increase conversion rates by making your website image heavy, using pictures that represent your brand well and catch the user's attention. Be careful not to use large high-resolution images as that can prevent the website from loading quickly.
5. Fonts matter
Don’t underestimate the power of choosing the right font and the effect it can have on your users. Experienced designers are aware of this and apply it to all their work, from graphic and logo design to font on web pages and choose their fonts deliberately. It’s all about setting the right tone with the typeface.
But why is font so important?
· Having a font that is on brand and succinct with other areas of the business creates a strong identity, readability and uniformity, creating a sense of trust and stability for your consumers. No more than 4 fonts should be used throughout this process to ensure conformity.
· Choosing a minimalistic font that is clear and simple regardless of the browser increases readability and helps to get your key messages across to the user. Books and newspapers don’t use fancy and ‘pretty’ fonts and nor should your website.
· Headers and call-to-action buttons should be large and bold to attract the user to the important information.
· Different fonts have different tones and connotations. The word ‘STOP’ is written very clearly and is strong – if it were different it would be much less noticeable and perhaps wouldn’t work as well.
6. Highlight your call-to-action
The main goal of most websites is to increase online conversion and the most useful tool to achieve this are call-to-action buttons. A call-to-action button instructs the audience on what you want them to do next: book, shop, reserve, read more etc. Its main purpose is to assist with conversion. That’s why experts agree that it needs to be in a prominent place on the website. It could be place on a colourful static bar that is still visible when you scroll down the page or it could be right in the centre of your page as the first element the user sees. There are several possibilities but as long as the call-to-action is clear and noticeable you’ll get more conversions and more customers.
If you would like to further discuss our design and web development services at UNBXD, get in touch with a member of our team today.