The design of your website plays a major role in your conversion rates. Yes, your sales message is important, but if it’s not presented in an attractive way because of poor web design, your message will never get read.
What can you do to maximise your conversion rates? You can start by avoiding these 5 critical web design mistakes.
1. Cluttering the page
Say this with me: Less is more when it comes to web design. Say it again. Repeat it until you’ve really got it. Whitespace is your friend.
Too many websites look like someone vomited graphics and widgets all over the page. Every single available space on the page is filled with text, a picture, a Facebook button, a contact form, and advertisement…you name it.
This kills conversion rates!
Why? Because it’s overwhelming to your visitors. Whenever their attention is being pulled in several different directions, they become highly unlikely to convert. Your design needs to be clean. Eliminate any distractions and unnecessary elements from the page. You should be leading their eyes to the important parts of your sales message and to the main call to action.
2. Placing key information below the fold
Did you know that the average web surfer spends 80% of his time looking at information that’s placed “above the fold” on the website? That’s the stuff you see without having to scroll down. In other words, people don’t like scrolling, and if your most important information can only be seen when someone scrolls down on the page, you’re going to have a bad conversion rate.
When someone lands on your website, they should instantly see information that lets them know they’re in the right place, a strong, benefit-driven sales message, and a call to action. All of these things need to be placed above the fold in your website design if you want to get the most conversions.
3. Hiding the call to action
Speaking of the call to action, that’s the most important piece of your website for getting conversions. No one is going to take action (e.g. place an order, sign up for your email list, etc.) if you don’t ask them to do so. You have to tell visitors what you want them to do.
You also have to make sure they can see your call to action. Don’t bury it beneath the fold. Don’t let it get lost in the rest of the text on your website. Make sure it really jumps out. Put your call to action in bold print. Better yet, design a button or a banner around your call to action so it really jumps off the page and no one can miss it.
4. Making the copy difficult to scan
Numerous studies that track the eye movements of computer users have discovered that they tend to scan content rather than actually read it word-for-word. Why is this important? It means your content needs to be easy to scan.
You can improve the “scannability” of your web content by:
- Bolding a few, select important phrases
- Using bulleted and numbered lists
- Writing clear, descriptive subtitles
- Keeping your paragraphs short and to the point
5. Trying to reinvent the wheel with your navigation
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be creative and push the envelope with your website. That can certainly be a good thing, but you have to remember that people have come to expect certain things from websites. Internet users have been trained to interact with websites in a very specific way. One thing that’s important to note is that they expert clearly marked site navigation along the top or side of the page.
If your site navigation is confusing, visitors won’t be able to find what they need on your website, and they’ll leave.
Are there any other conversion-killing design mistakes you’d add to this list? Leave a comment to let us know.