In today’s world, your website design is your shopfront. Just like a grocery store or bookstore has an external face that needs to be advertised and presented to the public, your website is the means through which customers find your company and choose to do business with you.
And just like in a traditional shop, there are steps to take to ensure that your website is converting customers as well as possible. You may no longer be on the sidewalk, but you’re on the internet now, and the principles are the same.
First and foremost, you want to make it easy for your potential customers to contact you and make a purchase. Keeping it simple, straightforward, and seamless is the key to increasing your site’s performance when it comes to conversions and sales.
1. Responsive Mobile Design
First, making sure your website performs well on mobile devices is one of the most immediately powerful things you can do. Well over 50% of initial site visits are done through a mobile device in the US, and the number is even higher in developing markets. Even if your customers end up switching to the desktop to complete the sale, the first few seconds is the only chance you have to convince the customer of your brand’s quality.
Having a website design that displays well on an iPhone or Android is essential. A responsive design, which adapts to your device’s display size, means your site will look good and be readable on any device, whether it’s a small phone, a medium-sized tablet, or a large desktop computer.
2. Page Speed
Page speed is one of the most important factors in improving your website’s conversion rate, as we covered in our article on improving speed in WordPress sites. In a study commissioned several years ago, Walmart discovered that a page load speed improvement of just 1 second improved their conversions by over 3%.
That’s pretty incredible, but it’s an accurate assessment of how important your website’s page speed is. Website visitors are very impatient, and there’s no shortage of competitors out there. If your visitors have a better experience elsewhere, your slow-loading website design could harm your sales.
3. Clear Messaging
Once you’ve got a fast, responsive mobile site, it’s important to think about your messaging. Do you clearly state the purpose of your website, without any jargon or confusing words? Especially if you’re the original designer and copywriter of your site, you could be too close to your work to see the problems: not seeing the forest for the trees!
It’s always a good idea to talk to someone more distant from your site, and ask them if the messaging and copy on your website design is clear and understandable. Simple is better: so don’t afraid to edit, and edit again! Get a few second opinions as well.
4. Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
It may be one thing to visit a new website, and understand what it’s about, but what’s the next step?
A call to action is usually a button or a hero banner that indicates clearly what you, the visitor, need to do next. What your call to action should be depends upon your site’s purpose. If you’re an ecommerce store, something like “Shop Now” or “Browse Our Catalog” would work. If you’re a professional services website, a more appropriate call to action might be “Contact Us For More Info” or “Learn More”.
Imagine your website, once again, as a physical brick-and-mortar building. If a customer walks by and is standing in your store, what do you want him to do? Check out the items on the shelves? Ask to speak to the owner? Or browse your catalogs and samples? In the same way, you want to help push your potential customer a little further along and make it easy for him to find what he’s looking for.
5. Modern, Clean Design
It can’t be overstated, but having a pleasing, modern design is essential for a website that converts well. Even if your existing site works well, there is a lot of understated value in having a brand that is on the cutting edge of website design.
Even if your site is two or three years old, it might already be falling behind. That’s why it’s a worthwhile investment to complete a website refresh. You don’t necessarily have to rebuild your entire site, but keeping a modern edge is essential.
The importance of having a virtual shopfront can’t be emphasized more!
Just like you would want your physical office to be in excellent shape, it’s just as important to keep your virtual face easily accessible, highly optimized for performance, and furnished with a modern design.