Your website is the digital face of your company – you might have heard this phrase a number of times. It’s one of your top sales people, the spokesperson of your organization.
It’s no coincidence that web designers, marketers, and anyone with the authority to put their two cents in regarding the topic of websites for businesses, drill this theme over and over again. Because when you approach it this way (rather than the “you just gotta be online these days” approach) you can understand the thought process that goes behind crafting your website – and how each element is there with a purpose.
The ultimate purpose and underlying theme being, of course, boosting conversions.
There are different things to consider in order to make your website work for your business, but in order to ensure a fruitful collaboration with the web designers you hire, it helps to know how you want some key elements to be implemented. In light of that, we’ve rounded up the top web design elements that will help engage visitors and increase conversions.
Nevermind the web designer lingo. To put it simply, micro-interactions are the little animations that provide users feedback when they perform certain actions. For example, it’s the little “refresh” animation you see when swiping down to refresh a web page on your phone.
They’re visual responses which serve to confirm users that their completed actions have had the desired effect. On your website, you can use them to provide visual feedback for any action, such as form/e-mail submissions or to confirm they’ve requested pricing estimates.
Why this works: Micro-interactions help make your page more engaging and inherently more human. They’re a tiny detail that enhances the user experience by forming a connection between a human and a machine – an interaction that feels more communicative on both ends. Subtle details such as these keep users involved through the different stages of navigating your website, bringing them closer to conversion.
A lot of thought is put into the CTA (call-to-action) buttons – after all, they’re the most obvious (that is, direct) part of guiding users to take a desired action, whether it’s subscribing to your newsletter, booking an appointment, placing an order or any other kind of request. Everything from their placement to their size and shape to how they’re worded makes for important design decisions directed at boosting conversions.
Being your key player in the game, the goal is to make them stand out, grab attention, and be inherently inviting. And in regards to that, there’s a little trick which designers might use sometimes – animation.
Why this works: It’s pretty straightforward – subtle animation is bound to grab your audience’s attention quicker. Subtle being the crucial word here.
The point is to enhance visibility and interest the viewer without being distracting and disrupting the feel of your website.
It’s also a matter of context, so you might decide that you’d rather make your CTA stand out by good old strong contrast. But if you do opt for animation, make sure to keep it tasteful and don’t get carried away. They can be put to good use if you have several CTAs, where you can establish a visual hierarchy by making only the most important one animated.
Here’s the thing: nobody likes online forms. Lengthy forms are especially intimidating and likely to result in high abandonment rates. It’s best to keep them as short as possible, demanding the bare minimum of information as to not intimidate (and annoy) visitors now that you have them close to conversion.
But sometimes, no matter what, you still need a form that demands more than two steps to submit. To overcome this obstacle, top web development companies recommend using multi-step forms. The idea is to break up the long form block into a couple of small forms, or rather steps, which demand a single piece of information. Through the process of completing each step, users get visual feedback for their actions, as well as insight to how far they’ve gone and how much is left to complete – now there’s a wonderful example of micro-interactions put to use.
Why this works: It really makes the whole process more immersive and more encouraging. It’s simple psychology which we apply to our daily lives – break the big task up into smaller steps and let the satisfaction of achieving each one encourage you to push through until the end. Plus there are the micro-interactions to add an extra boost of engagement, making the whole process feel much less time-consuming.
You might not be a fan of them yourself, but yes, evidence points to the fact that pop-ups do work. And you might want to employ one in response to website abandonment. Exit-pops are generally used to convert the people who’re about to leave your website into email subscribers. Provided, that is, that you’re keen on converting leads to customers via email marketing.
Ideally, your website should be optimized for conversions so well that you’d never need an exit pop-up – but c’mon, let’s face it. You can’t score with every single visitor you get. And that’s fine, some people are there to look around and they might want to come back later. Cue the exit pop-up to make that happen! You can also use them to make a last-ditch offer (a discount or a free consultation for example) to get yourself another chance at conversion.
Why this works: If you can provide them with a valuable offer just before they walk away you can build customer trust and persuade them to convert. Otherwise, you can obtain more leads this way – if they’re willing to give you their email, chances are, they’re not ready to do business with you at this very moment but you’ve got them hooked.
Okay, this might not be a web design element per se, but it is a powerful tool which companies can (and should) use on their website. It’s especially effective for tradespeople in various industries, where it’s crucial to showcase craftsmanship, dedication, and trustworthiness. Whether you’re showing social proof of satisfied customers, a job well done, or just presenting your company message to the audience, video is the way to go.
Why this works: There’s a number of reasons, but the point is that videos are more persuasive at the core. It’s a simple and effective way to get your message across and truly communicate with your audience as you would in person. And there’s a key point to highlight here – show human faces in your videos. This will help build trust, showcase your work and your values, and persuade them to do business with you.
Web designers hone their craft and base their design decisions on the knowledge they have about how people navigate websites and how certain elements guide their decision-making process. You’ll find that effective websites share similar design principles, naturally, because some practices are simply better at driving conversions than others.
For example, the popularity of minimalistic design and lately, bold typography, is no coincidence either – it’s all about streamlining the user experience, making websites responsive, simplifying navigation, and amplifying the company’s message.
All in all, in order to make your website serve its purpose, you’ll want to weigh each decision with conversion in mind. These five elements can be a great boost to your efforts, so give them a try and see how they’d work within the context of your website.
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