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5 Website Design Principles That Can Instantly Increase Your Conversion Rate

So you built a website, and have watched patiently as traffic steadily increased, waiting for sales to do the same, but the results are less than promising. The site’s conversion rate is shrinking as your website’s traffic grows, when it should be increasing alongside it. Now is the time to take a long hard look at how your website design could be improved to boost sales and get your business back on track. Here are 5 tried and tested website design principles you can implement on your website to increase your conversion rate back on track.

Increase your conversion rate by Highlighting your call-to-actions

This doesn’t necessarily mean framing your CTA’s in an eye-popping neon box, but they should be designed so that they stand out clearly from the rest of the contents of the page. Both positioning and graphic elements should play a role in this.

Use bold colours in both the CTA button itself and on its border, and don’t forget that white space can be a useful tool to create a bright contrast in an already-full colour palette. Keep fonts simple and easy to read, so that the compelling copy you’ve written for your call to action isn’t lost.

Be clever with your colours

A basic principle of design, color theory can also be used to manipulate website visitor judgement and behaviour. Use specific colour palettes to appeal to different types of consumers or demographic groups, attract attention and create feelings of urgency, or instil a sense of trust or authority around a brand.

The choice and intensity of colours used on a website can quickly convey important information about the personality of a business and drive visitors to adopt a specific attitude or behaviour with a brand. It is worth looking at your logo, website design and print collateral to re-asses the subliminal messages that your branding is communicating to customers.

Point visitors to where you want them to go

As much as we like to believe that we are a highly evolved and intelligent species, humans beings are still driven (or at least strongly influenced) by basic, instinctual reactions to visual and social cues. A good example of this is seen in the way we react when viewing images of people. For example, smiling people making direct eye contact can make us feel reassured, groups of happy families and friends make us want to join them, and we instinctually want look at what the subject of an image is looking at.

Likewise, we have ingrained subject responses to specific shapes, such as arrows that we give our attention to wherever they point us. Take advantage of this by directing visitors to important content and call-to-actions with prominently placed arrows or including an image of someone looking at a CTA.

Clear away the clutter

Embrace whitespace, at least as a means of ensuring that your layout looks clean and keeps call-to-actions visible in in contrast to the rest of the website’s design elements.

Likewise, keep the use of flashy effects, animations, JavaScript effects and pop ups to the bare minimum as these can serve to distract, rather than engage, your audience.

According to web design company Magicdust; the best practice for website design in Australia has been to ‘keep visitors usability and mobile compatibility as the focus- with a less is more approach to website design. Using a lot of HTML5 or JavaScript in website design in an effort to impress visitors- often just distracts them from the value that you’re trying to communicate’.

Make sure your site caters to mobile customers

The latest statistics for mobile internet usage are a reality check for any website owner still not convinced that their website needs to be mobile friendly or accessible across multiple devices.

In the US almost 50% of consumers use their smartphone to search for products or companies and in general, mobile traffic accounts for roughly 30% of web traffic. Over 20% of internet users worldwide use their smartphone or tablet exclusively to access the internet.

Mobile users are most likely to look for a company’s contact details on their site, particularly as they’re on the go and likely want to get in contact with you quickly. So keep these details along with any other contact information clearly visible in your mobile design.

Consider how users view information

Focus on the shape of the letter Z when laying out page content. This shape is the way that most of us scan a page, starting at the top left, scanning to the right, then down and back to the left and scanning right again, the same way we would read lines of copy in a book.

So make sure your websites design and copy is laid out in a way that is complimentary to this behaviour. By having items in unexpected places users could feel confused with how they’re meant to interact with your website. Even more concerning is that if your design isn’t intuitive; they may miss important information all together.

Best practices for web design and user experience design are constantly changing to keep up with the convergence of new technology and their respective user behaviours. Along with these changes, there is often debate around best practices and how to best approach applying them in practice.

To maintain your conversion rate as user behaviour changes and evolves, it is worth getting back to basics to guide you in this decision by frequently revisiting these principle elements of web design.

This article was contributed by Magicdust, a full service digital agency providing quality web development, online marketing services, eCommerce solutions and website design Australia wide.

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