Whether you’re a small business owner, website marketer, content writer or web designer, you’re interested in your website giving a return on its investment – whether that is time or money or both. How do you make sure your web page is “optimised” as much as possible to have people convert?
The list below is OUR top 10 webpage design, layout and content tips for high web page conversion. And “conversion” doesn’t just mean sales. It could be a college group looking for sign-ups, or it could be a charity looking to attract more supporters and fundraisers … or anything else where you share a central idea, and then give people the option to powerfully choose to do something with you or not.
1. Keep the most important content above the fold
Make sure to capture your audience within 6 seconds or they will probably exit. The screen resolution you are using might be just 5% of your audience. Most users are now using a resolution of 1024×768 or higher. Put the most important content “above the fold” (so called from newspaper print days!)
If you need to, shorten sentences, or shift content around your page completely, then just do it. How do you know how big your webpage is? Try using Google Browser Size – it’s really handy but take it with a pinch of salt!
2. Call to action buttons
If you want your customer to go in a particular direction, then don’t politely suggest but shout your action out. “Buy now”, “Sign up now”, “Download Now” – strong action-based terms on a strong button or area. Prioritise and highlight this call to action using whitespace, larger fonts, different colours or captivating icons or images to draw attention. And make sure the call to action is above the fold!
3. Captivating headlines
Set out your stall with your headline. Why bother reading any further? What is the main focus or point of interest on this page? Get it said, and get straight to the point. If it’s dull as dishwater, people will not be enthused and you’ll lose your audience.
4. Scannable Copy
Visitors to your site will FIRST scan your website (the 6 second rule) and THEN if you win their attention, they’ll read in depth. Go back to newspapers and magazines – how do they do this? Some simple techniques –
- Headings and subheadings state an overview of the page without needing to write an overview
- Bullet lists slow visitors down and provide short, focussed soundbites
- Keep pararaphs short and succinct
- Highlight important words
- Use graphics to highlight – for instance, comments or testimonials in breakout boxes with quotation marks rather than just part of dull prose
5. Keep your first paragraph short and sweet
Following that concept of captivating headlines, make sure your first paragraph gets to the point – what do you want to say in the whole page, summarise it in a few words and blast it out to your readers in the first paragraph. After the page has been scanned, if someone hasn’t already clicked your call to action, it’s likely they’ll read that first paragraph. They’re likely to decide if they should still stick around based on that first paragraph.
6. Keep on-topic
What is the AIM of the webpage? And is what you’re writing adding to that aim or drifting off-topic? Is it going to help people choose to do business with you or take an action or is it starting to drift off-topic? If it’s off-topic, create another webpage and deep-link around your website. Keep content relevant. It’s often really good to write your webpage as follows:
- Write down the AIM of the page first
- Write the headings and any subheadings
- Go to the top and start to flesh out relevant, on-topic content under each heading
7. Envoke Trust
Use logos and words that convey credibility to whom you are. You want your customer to feel safe and want to choose you over your competitors –
- If your website is ecommerce, what about bank or credit card trust logos, SSL logos or billing guarantees?
- Are there professional associations, memberships or accreditations that backup your business?
- Get client testimonials and quote them where appropriate. If the client is a name/brand your audience will know, then all the better
8. Balance images and text
Lots of text is just plain boring. If a chart or table or image can replace scores of words or evoke the emotion of the audience in line with your content, then please, I implore, put images into your text. As you’re thinking of what image would backup, or replace text, if you’re struggling, that’s good – maybe the text isn’t compelling enough to evoke an image! So go and rewrite that copy, get back on-track with the aim, and find an image that drives it home.
9. Close the deal – the sense of urgency
Is there an incentive for the visitor to take action with you now, instead of waiting or leaving your site (and maybe not coming back)? It could be a time-limited offer, a discount, or a free gift/service that needs action now. Make sure that the urgency is credible and realistic. In fact, if customers perceive that you are trying to trick them into ordering quickly, that might reduce your conversions.
10. Compelling design
Credibility, believability and authenticity is not some amazing invention just for the web – this is a focus of all people and business the world over. And what’s one of the primary ways to be credible online? The design of the site, and the design of the page. A web credibility study carried out by Stanford University with over 2,500 candidates discovered that over 46% of the audience said the DESIGN of the site was the most important factor to enforce credibility.
So there you go – that’s our top 10 list to drive up conversion on your webpages and your website. We’ll add up some images and references in the coming days, but wanted to get this out while it’s fresh! It comes up on every single project for us, so I hope these insights and our own collection of the top 10 help you! Thoughts or comments? Please leave them below!