“Good design encourages a viewer to want to learn more.” - Alexander Isley. The reality is that consumers are scrolling through absolutely endless amounts of information on a daily basis. So how do we as business leaders help draw the attention of the consumer to our specific product and encourage them to click through and dive deeper? Implement a good design strategy.
It’s important to start with realizing just much information consumers are asked to process each day. Based on a study from 2009, “the average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day - an increase of about 350 percent over nearly three decades — according to a report published Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.” (New York Times) Break that down further and we see that consumers are inundated with 5,000+ advertisements every day. We can anticipate that these numbers have only increased exponentially since the publication of this study.
In order to help your brand stand out in the clutter, taking a deep look at the design of your website is a great place to start. In 2018, 87% of all shopping began online, even for brick and mortar stores (Retail Dive). Your website needs to catch their attention within 8 seconds and answer the questions of “what do you offer that will help me and how do it get it?”
These 8 tips will help your team in guiding discussions and implementing changes that will increase conversion rates and returning visitors.
Calls to Action
Let’s be honest here. If we want our visitors to do something, we need to tell them what to do. Don’t assume visitors will make it to the bottom of your homepage to click the “learn more” or “buy now” button. They’ll likely never get that far. (Hint: if you want to know how far visitors are scrolling, consider adding a scroll depth trigger.) Place a Call to Action button directly in your header and/or in your main navigation bar. If that still doesn’t yield the ideal conversion rates, try changing the color to increase the ability to catch the eye of the visitor with text that compels them to want to take action.
Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Visitors should be able to answer 3 key questions within those initial 8 seconds of landing on your website: what do you offer that will help them, how do they get it, how are you better than the competition. Placing your UVP in the header with a Call to Action button guarantees that those questions are answered easily within those critical seconds.
An estimated 10 billion mobile devices are currently in use today. It is essential to the success of your business to have a solid mobile strategy that includes a website with a responsive design. Simply having a mobile-optimized website isn’t enough. 40% of consumers will turn to a competitor after a poor mobile experience. A responsive design ensures that visitors utilizing any mobile device will have a similar, streamlined experience with your brand.
Simplify the Messaging
Visitors to your website don’t need to know every single detail about every single product or service that you offer. Simplify your messaging and cut out all of the non-essential text that doesn’t make a clear and concise point and bring value to your visitors. Asking visitors to wade through endless paragraphs of text practically guarantees they will exit your site within those initial critical seconds. Reduce the text clutter and make statements that make them want to dig deeper and engage with your brand by completing the contact form, make a phone call or make a purchase.
Visitors who don’t explore more than one page of your website need guidance to drill down further. Blogs with links to additional interior pages to keep the audience engaged, frequent Call to Action buttons to tell them to take the next step, multiple opportunities to connect with your brand via contact form or phone call and links to interior pages from your homepage can improve your bounce rate as well as improve audience engagement and conversion rates.
Embrace White Space
Your website doesn’t need to be filled with content - photos, text or other design elements. In other words, it shouldn’t be a Where’s Waldo experience for your visitors. The use of white space allows for the content to stand out more clearly, Call to Action buttons are more easily located, and creates a more visually compelling experience for visitors.
Eliminate Stock Photography
People connect with people. Photography presents opportunities to connect on a level that text simply cannot. The use of faces in the photographs on your website helps provoke the specific emotion and empathy you are driving with your brand. Authentic photographs are key, however. Reduce or eliminate the use of stock photography and replace it with real-life photos of your team, your clients or customers. Stock photos have their place, but your website shouldn’t be all stock photos.
Streamline the Shopping Process
eCommerce businesses need an ultra user-friendly shopping experience designed for their visitors. Products should be displayed with professional photos and clear descriptions. Adding items to the cart and navigating back to the product pages needs to be seamless without having to add filters and search criteria again. Offer guest checkout, offer mobile payment options like Android Pay, Apple Pay or mobile wallets, and reduce the number of steps to complete the checkout process.
Whenever you implement changes to your website, always make sure you provide a sufficient amount of time to monitor the changes and have solid data to compare against. Start by establishing baseline metrics. If you aren’t currently tracking your website user data, Google Analytics is a great, user-friendly tool that is easy to implement.
Be realistic in establishing KPIs for website performance. Your bounce rate isn’t going to shift dramatically overnight and your conversion rate isn’t going to jump from 15% to 79% in a week (although it would be awesome if it did)! Setting realistic goals with realistic time frames is the key to determining what changes are effective and what changes need additional refinement.
Take into consideration how the other tactics in your marketing strategy are affecting the performance of your website. If you aren’t actively directing people to your website through other channels, it’s unlikely the changes made to your website will make a substantial difference. If your website has high traffic volume but low conversion rates, making these few simple changes should yield positive results over time.
As business leaders, there is always a long list of “to-do’s” and many of them are vying for a place at the top of the priority list. If you, like many leaders, find that updating your website is a priority but finding the time and skills it takes to complete the work is a challenge, Green Egg Media can help. Outsourcing your web design project to Green Egg Media frees up your time to focus on other key business development areas while providing peace of mind that the work you need to be done will be completed with accuracy and professionalism. Schedule a call with me today and let's chat about how Green Egg Media can help you.
Megan Greene is the Director of Marketing for Green Egg Media, a Denver-based software development company.
Green Egg Media specializes in solution implementation from concept to delivery focusing on custom software development, web design/development, e-commerce solutions, mobile and web apps and more. Megan lives in Castle Rock, CO with her three children. She enjoys running, coffee and being outdoors in the sunshine.