Little web design standards that have a big impact on conversions

When it comes to improving on-site conversions, strategic marketers know that design makes a big difference – yet building a high-performing website is overlooked far too often. Regardless of whether design is your forte or not, organisations trying to compete in today’s digital world simply cannot afford to overlook it, regardless of sector.

So here are a handful of vital web design elements that will give you an instant and sustained boost in conversions.

Clear Navigation

You have the power to direct users exactly where you need them to be. Navigation is a massive driver of conversion rates. Not only do the items listed in your main navigation make or break a user’s visit on your site, they also are a great way to clearly convey exactly what it is that you do.

If your conversion rates could be better, have a look at your menu items first. If you have 5 different drop downs, with 11 different options all cluttering the top header of the site, you’re really not making it easy for people to know where they should go. If this is your current site, a quick win would be to narrow down the options and ensure that one of those options includes a call to action page or link (contact form, click to call, etc.).

Respect a user's time

Or rather, lack thereof. People are very impatient when it comes to surfing the web. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, a mere one-second delay in page load time results in a 7% reduction in conversions. So don’t underestimate the importance of loading times. Make sure you are continually checking your site speed and troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

White (negative) space

In design, whitespace is also known as negative space. Positive space is where the elements of your site live, where negative space is the empty sections in between. Without negative space, your website would be cluttered, illegible and unfit for purpose. Take special care to ensure that there is plenty of negative space throughout your site to ensure that everything is clear, scannable (essential, since this is how people read websites) and easy on the eyes. All of this leads to increased conversions.

Less really is more – which we cover in more detail on ‘Keep it simple’ below.

Responsive design

Based on our own experience managing accounts for over 1,500 clients across all sectors, more than half of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. If your website isn’t responsive, your losing sales – simple as that. This is one of the most basic of requirements for a website design.

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, users will simple bounce off and go to a competitor that has the same information in a much better format, and we are not just referring to a desktop/mobile version these days. Screens comes in so many shapes and sizes now, your website needs to adapt beautifully to anything from a mobile phone to a 77” TV screen.

Keep it simple

We’ve all heard the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) mantra before and when it comes to web design, it’s particularly apt. Simplicity is essential when it comes to driving conversions. Look at your current website and ask yourself, is there a way to simplify this? Are there any distractions that can be minimised or eliminated? Is the design clean or cluttered. Is it clear what you are asking a user to do and have you made it easy for them to follow through, or do that have to click 5 times to find your phone number? Is it instantly apparent what services or products you are offering, or does a user have to wade through paragraphs and pages of text to find out?

Use high-quality images

It seems a small thing, but imagery plays a very important role in the perceived quality of your website. Studies have even shown that users are 60% more willing to consider search results with imagery and another 23% are more likely to reach out to businesses that showcases compelling images. But what’s a compelling image?

Research suggests you are best sticking to high-quality images that develop positive associations with the content and feel more personal (think own photography over stock photography and more lifestyle images over staged/posed). People like brands that feel personal and similar to themselves. If your photos are too generic, stock, stuffy or corporate, you could be turning visitors away.