5 Tips for Increasing Conversions (and REVENUE) with Basic Website Design

June 19th, 2013 - Posted by
2 Comments

Do you want to increase the number of leads and sales you receive through your website?

Start by looking at your current website design.

Did you know many simple elements such as the size of the text on your website and the simple addition of an arrow or two can positively impact your conversion rates? It’s true!

Sometimes, something as simple as adding the word “Free” to a button can garner you more leads and sales.  In fact, when software company Soocial, added the phrase “it’s free” to their sign up from their conversions increased by 4.2%!

increase conversion rates with the word free

What would a 4.2% increase in leads or sales mean for your bottom line?!

While there are many facets of web design that can positively affect conversion rates, let’s cover the top five that tend to help website owners increase their leads and sales quickly.

 

Add Directional Cues

A directional cue is something like an arrow or other line that draws the eye to an important element on a web page, usually the call-to-action.

For example, the downward pointing arrow in the Art Institute image below is a directional cue that points the viewer’s eye to the form being used for lead generation.

use directional cues to increase conversion rates

Directional cues aren’t always as explicit as arrows though, some smart web designers are able to use color blocking as directional cues.

use color blocking as directional cues

In the above example the pods in the middle are a much brighter color than the rest of the page (and even the pods below it) drawing the reader’s attention to the call-to-action.

The pose of the woman in the picture is also a subtle directional cue. Her eye gaze is pointing towards the call-to-action rather than away from it.

All of these small web design touches do a lot to help increase conversion rates.

 

Thoughtfully Select a Color Palette

When it comes to designing a web site that converts well, it is really important to consider color selection.

As mentioned in the section above, color selection can act as a directional cue, which is really important. However, color selection can help in many other ways.

For example, the color selection for your hyperlinks should easily stand out and using an underline beneath them helps to make them look more clickable.

Additionally, colors tend to be associated with different feelings, so a basic understanding of color psychology is helpful. It’s important to note that different cultures view colors differently.

color psychology chart

In the United States we tend to associate:

  • Blue with trust and security
  • Purple as a soothing and calming color
  • Black as powerful and sleek
  • Pink as romantic and feminine
  • Yellow as optimistic and youthful
  • Red as energy and urgency
  • Orange as aggressive

Knowing these facts can help you when designing your website that tells the right story to your target audience.

 

Perfect the Readability of Your Site

Sales and informative copy is key element for increasing conversions. This means your copy must be easily readable. When designing a website that converts carefully consider font size, font color and background color.

The font size should be big enough that it is easily readable by someone with average to slightly poor eyesight. I would never recommend using a font size smaller than 12 point.

The color of the font against the background of the site is also very important.

Shari Thurow a noted usability expert says, “The highest color contrast comaes from using the two colors black and white. Some Web designers like to use white against a black background because it seems to be more stylish, but it is actually more difficult to read and can lead to lower conversions.”

Thurow recommends steering clear of other hard to read combinations such as white text on a light grey background.

Your safest best will always be black text on a plain white or off-white background.

 

Use Social Proof to Sell

One of the most important key elements on any website is social proof, which can come in many different forms including:

  • Testimonials
  • Trust badges (like Verified and trustE)
  • Member statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Press mentions
  • Customer logos

For example, here Zoosk uses multiple forms of social proof to increase conversions on their landing page:

example of social proof on the landing page

And on Nimble’s landing page they highlight a testimonial from Mark Cuban, someone most people will know.

testimonial on the landing page example Note that Nimble also invokes the use of an arrow as social proof!

 

Make the Site Really Useful 

The final, but perhaps most important, tip in this list for increasing conversions using web design is to make sure your site is useful.

Pretty graphics, a big call-to-action, a nice color scheme and social proof are all important, but they are helpers. They are the little things that push someone over the edge.

Knowledge about your product or service and what makes it better than the other available choices is what gets a person interested in converting. This means your website should answer basic questions any potential customer might have. It must be more than a nice looking website, it must be a useful website.

Zach Bulygo of Kissmetrics says adding an FAQ section as well as a comparison chart (of either you against your competitors or your different product levels) can boost the usefulness of your site.

pricing comparison chart example

 

The Bottom Line

While there are many tips available on ways to increase your conversion rate through good web design, the most basic rule is: build a site that is easy to use, informative and has a simple design.

The sites that convert the highest don’t tend to be the fanciest. They are the most useful and visitor friendly.

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    About the author

    Chris Kilbourn
    Chris Kilbourn
    Chris Kilbourn is the VP of Strategy at Fit Marketing. In past lives, he was a professional rockstar (seriously), and he built and scaled 3 successful companies from the ground up.

    » More blog posts by Chris Kilbourn

    • Tyler ‘Sully’ Sullivan

      Chris. Interesting. But how much does his really make a difference. I manufacturer a custom golf driver that no on else sells. So if the customer wants the product…and the buying process is fairly smooth, wont they make a purchase regardless of an arrow or certain call action color.

      I constantly test my set and currently doing A/B testing as well.. Look forward to hearing more.

      http://www.bombtechgolf.com

      • Chris Kilbourn

        Hey Tyler,

        Great question!

        The right test can make a huge difference- regardless of the product.

        I’ve had conversion rate optimization (CRO) success with websites that sell unique products in your same situation.

        We have clients that have done CRO for years and continue to see improvements. You can never stop testing.

        Let me know how it goes!

        Chris