94% of first impressions are design-related. Furthermore, 38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if they find its content or layout unattractive.
In other words, you need to take web design seriously. No matter how much money you may spend on SEO or social media marketing, your efforts won’t matter if your site’s design is not up to par.
But, there’s no harm in knowing a thing or two yourself. So let’s take a look at a few ways you could improve conversion rates with just a few design tweaks.
For starters, make sure to speed test your website.
40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. What’s more, each extra second of loading time will lead to a 7% drop in conversions.
In terms of web design, optimizing images and enabling lazy loading should make a difference.
Most people scan your website’s content in an F pattern: they start analyzing the upper part from left to right, then they lightly check other parts of the content as they move down. As a result, the bottom right will likely experience the least amount of visibility.
In web design, this means that you’ll have to highlight essential objects or calls to action based on this pattern, placing the rest in less visible areas.
For example, you could place the main CTA button on the left side of the upper part of the screen, as that’s where users will look first.
Other essential things could be placed a bit lower on the left side of the page, like the headlines of your blog posts.
Unnecessary elements can be placed on the right.
Giving users too many options to choose from will likely lower your conversion rates.
That’s because the more options they have, the longer it will take for them to decide. Or they won’t even bother making a decision and leave your website.
In web design, you can apply this to your navigation bar, for example. Including too many links will probably cause users to lose interest.
The same thing goes for product pages or the number of blog posts you display on a single page.
Simplicity is another critical part of increasing conversions.
Having too many elements scattered across the page will do nothing but disperse the users’ attention away from where it’s needed. Just like with the number of choices, users can only take so much information at once.
That said, keep the number of unnecessary distractions at a minimum and highlight what’s needed based on the F pattern we discussed. This way, you’ll not only enhance the user experience, but your website will look better as well.
Sure, it might be tempting to play around with the placement of certain elements to make your website stand out from the rest. But, your goal is to get users familiar with your site as fast as possible.
That said, make sure to place elements like the navigation bar at the top of the page, and the categories list at the foot of the page or in the sidebar, just like other websites do.
Whitespace is an integral part of web design. That’s because, without it, your website would be unusable.
Besides using whitespace to separate the header for the content or to put space between your buttons, you should also use them to space paragraphs.
If your content is made up of a wall of continuous text, nobody will read it. It’s difficult to read and hard on the eyes.
That said, make sure to break up large blocks of texts into multiple small paragraphs, as that will make your content scannable and easier to follow.
Color plays a significant role in your website’s usability and how it reflects on your brand.
That said, when choosing the color scheme, pick something that emits the emotion your brand is trying to convey.
For example, banks typically use blue, as this color evokes trust and security. On the other hand, red can be used for fashion, food, sports, or entertainment websites, as it’s associated with energy, love, and excitement.
But, this doesn’t mean you should use the same color at all times. You’ll still need to draw attention to your headlines or CTAs. You’ll need to use contrasting colors to make them stand out from the rest of the website.
Although this principle is mainly used in photography, you can also apply it in web design.
The Rule of Thirds is a compositional guideline that breaks an image, or in our case, a web page, into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. This gives you nine equal squares split by four grid lines.
The meeting point of these grid lines represents the focus of attention. That said, by placing key elements as close to the intersections as possible, users will be more focused on them, increasing conversions.
Low-quality images can ruin the user experience, especially for eCommerce websites. But the same thing can be said for blogs as well.
Displaying stock photos that are monotonous or irrelevant to your content will likely put off many of your visitors.
You need to come up with something eye-catching that complements your content, evokes positive emotions, and relates to your brand.
But, if you don’t have the time to create the images yourself, there are plenty of websites available that offer free high-quality stock photos, like Unsplash or Picjumbo.
Pick images that include human faces when possible. That’s because users will connect with the image better, increasing the chances of converting.
All in all, following these design tweak tips will likely get you an increase in conversions.
However, if you think you don’t have enough skill to implement these steps by yourself, you can always consider hiring a freelancer or a reliable custom web design company. It will set you back a bit, but it’s worth it in the long run.
But, keep in mind to take one step at a time and test any change you make. Otherwise, you’ll likely have a hard time figuring out what exactly works and what doesn’t.
Steve Hawky is a marketing specialist who focuses on driving business through digital, visual, and content marketing techniques, currently based in Los Angeles. I love creating innovative SEO strategies and solving complex problems one small task at a time. You can connect with Steve on LinkedIn here, or follow/tweet him @HawkySteve
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