From social media to paid advertising and everything in between, a great deal of your marketing efforts is invested into driving traffic to your website. Whether you’re running a blog, an e-commerce site, or a website as the digital representative of your business, boosting website traffic is surely on your list of business goals for 2019. But here’s the thing: that’s just the beginning.
Without all these visitors responding to your call to action, you don’t really have anything going on. Once you’ve got all those potential customers or subscribers through the virtual door of your enterprise, you want to guide as many of them as possible through your conversion process. And that’s something that can always be improved on each year. Whether your conversions pertain to sales or sign-ups, take a look at these 8 effective principles for boosting your conversion rates in the year ahead.
An enticing call to action
Your CTA (call to action) button is one of the crucial elements of effective web design and a major concern in conversion rate optimization. It’s literally where you’re telling your site visitors what you want them to do – navigate the website, buy a product, request a quote, download an ebook, subscribe to your newsletter or blog, etc. So how do you convince them and get them to click?
It’s crucial that the CTA is relevant to the content of the page it is displayed on, otherwise it will simply look like an irrelevant ad. So for example, when you have a blog post talking about a certain topic, you can place a CTA to download your e-book which will provide more in-depth information regarding that specific topic, or you can place a CTA to buy a product that is somehow mentioned in the post.
The CTA button needs to be suggestive, so magnify it and make it stand out both visually and with strong wording. Rely on color psychology to entice your visitors and use contrasts to make it pop. It’s best to place your CTA right above the fold, which is in the middle of the page rather than at the top for maximum effect.
Less is more
First and foremost, you want to limit the amount of CTA’s per page – it’s best to stick with one. The more options your visitors have, the more difficult it will be for them to choose, which puts you at risk of losing their interest entirely.
By minimizing distractions, you’ll be able to guide your visitors’ focus throughout your website and your conversion funnel. This doesn’t only pertain to the placement and number of your CTA buttons, but the overall web design.
Using negative space (whitespace), which is the space free of elements, is an important part of increasing the readability and usability of your site. Remember, negative space also refers to the space between paragraphs and lines of text in your blog posts, where it is equally important. Empty space gives breathing room to your pages, making the experience of browsing your website effortless and intuitive. You need it to minimize friction and provide a pleasant browsing experience that ultimately encourages conversions.
A website that makes visitors jump through hoops to get where they want to be is incredibly frustrating to use. Quite simply, users don’t have the patience for extensive menus, confusing navigation terms, and ambiguously suggestive icons. It’s why the “Less is more” principle extends far beyond the visual aspects of your website and needs to dictate its very logic – the essence of how your website guides the user experience.
With simple and intuitive navigation, you’ll be able to guide your visitors effectively towards your CTA no matter which page they’ve landed on. This takes plenty of expertise and testing, with the goal of optimizing conversions through optimizing usability. It’s not something that you want to delve into yourself or leave to amateurs.
To get the most out of your buck and ensure your site provides outstanding UX, you can use online platforms to compare website companies and filter-search UX professionals. That way, you can find somebody to work with who fits your budget, project size, and various other requirements, without compromising on quality.
Sure, you have to rely on web design principles to optimize conversions, but that’s not all there is to it. You need the human factor to build trust and make a convincing case. In the era of customer reviews and online reputation management, you can be sure that displaying testimonials and even case studies is becoming increasingly more important. It’s simple – customers are savvier than ever, and in order to convince them to buy or subscribe, you need to show them how your product or service has worked for people just like them.
Faces for familiarity
Because of the same human factor we’ve mentioned above, the images and videos on your site don’t only need to meet the high quality standards of today’s digital marketing – they need to display human faces too. Seeing a human face gives the website visitor a sense of familiarity, approachability, and empathy. In many cases, they work better than just beautiful images because they are able to trigger these feelings that ultimately encourage the visitor to take action.
That’s why it is recommended to display human faces alongside case studies and testimonials, on landing pages, opt-in pages, and even within blog posts in order to boost conversions. Just make sure the faces you’re displaying are relevant to your target audience and contribute to the way you want to build your brand identity.
A sense of urgency
When you’re trying to sell a product or service through your website, you want to limit the time you give your visitors to take your offer. When there is no limitation, there’s a higher chance that the visitor will put the decision off for later, change their mind, or be distracted by another offer. A time limit creates a sense of urgency – which makes your offer all the more coveted and encourages your leads to act now. This is a principle which Amazon has landed brilliantly, offering information on when you can get your product if you order now and countdowns toward expiry.
Use limited-time offers and emphasize which products you’re running out of to improve the effectiveness of your product pages. You can pair this principle with your social media marketing efforts to lead special campaigns and limited-time discount codes, which will be especially helpful in driving conversions from the audience you “borrow” from social media platforms. If you’re aiming for newsletter or blog subscriptions, you can also create a sense of urgency with a special limited-time offer for the next few (or few hundred) subscribers.
- Free shipping
As we enter 2019, there’s a lot of buzz in the e-commerce landscape about new methods and technologies that can be utilized to improve delivery logistics. Consumers have high expectations and they’ve grown accustomed to the standards set by giants such as Amazon. At the very least, they expect to see total shipping cost at checkout. They’re out for the best deal possible, and free shipping is incredibly convenient.
This is the part where you need to rely on simple psychology to encourage conversions and even promote brand loyalty. Raise your product prices if necessary to make free shipping work for you. And make sure you emphasize that you offer free shipping. It’s what your customers want to see, and it’s what will keep them satisfied.
- The 8-second rule
This is not a rule or a principle per se – just a warm recommendation in regards to a now famous study by Microsoft Corp, which showed that people generally lose concentration after 8 seconds. From YouTubers to web designers to high school teachers, this unsettling piece of information has become a guideline for anyone who’s trying to engage their easily distracted audience. When it comes to web design, you want to make those first few seconds when a visitor lands on your page really count.
That’s why, as we enter 2019, fast and responsive websites are no longer a recommendation to boost conversion rates – speed is an absolute necessity, and your visitors expect a fast-loading and mobile-optimized website. It’s just a part of the underlying principle: don’t make your visitors hold on any longer than they need to.
This means that you also have to optimize sign-up forms and shopping carts to ask for as little information as possible, and minimize the number of steps that need to be taken. Likewise, use effective headlines and imagery to engage your visitors and make your copy simple and clear.
These are some of the most important principles you should rely on as you go over your conversion optimization strategy for the year ahead. As we’ve mentioned, boosting conversions is something you can always improve on. This article combines some longstanding principles with new insights, so hopefully, you’ll find it helpful.