From portfolios and blogs to business profiles and online storefronts, each type of site has a lengthy list of dos and don’ts to maximize performance and effectiveness.
What’s more, the metrics for success can change within a few years. A friend looking to relocate and get a new job needed help building a robust portfolio that showcased his photography. He needed templates that magnified his images’ real estate, with minimal interactivity and dynamic content.
Now that he has moved and re-established his photography career, it was time to transition to more of a conversion-based web strategy—same domain, same photos, but drastically different purpose. He needed to not only bring more people to his site, but have them inquire about his availability for photo shoots and purchase prints and image files, as well.
Tearing down and rebuilding his online presence was a major effort, but you can create gorgeous photography websites with a WYSIWYG web builder. By working both effectively and efficiently, website owners can boost their conversion rates, revenue, and overall online presence.
Here are six tips that are sure to send you in the right direction, regardless of the online business you’re looking to create.
1. Give a Good First Impression
In conversion-based web design, most visitors do judge a book by its cover. Whether they come to your website through your homepage, a landing page, or a random blog post, the immediate internal reaction to the look and feel of the site determines whether they will stick around.
Aside from being visually intriguing, a strong website design or template can direct readers or potential customers to other parts of your business. Examine and improve your bounce rates to identify opportunities to improve design. Often, that includes anything from navigation menus and strong content to clear typography and calls to action.
Impressive, clean designs don’t have to take forever or cost an arm and a leg. Website builders enable new businesses to save money by wrapping design, hosting, and eCommerce tools in one streamlined, easy-to-use system. An updated user interface, responsive templates, and flexible eCommerce tools top the list of features highlighted in Jimdo reviews that attract customers to the platform and let them skip hiring an expensive development agency.
2. Give Customers Less to Do
Website visitors react to a website in as little as 50 milliseconds, so there should be no surprise that their patience for digging up hard-to-find information is just as short. Don’t choose design templates based on what visually appeals to you; every pixel should have a purpose in serving your potential customers. Some examples of this, from conversion experts VWO, include:
- Shrink the number of form fields: Conversions mean getting people in the door; you can follow up with them later to get less-critical information.
- Call-to-action buttons should stand out with contrasting colors: The easier you make it to click, the better.
- Stay clear of image sliders: Most customers automatically tune out the animated carousels. You’re better off putting all your eggs into one super-optimized conversion basket.
Focusing on user experiences or UX design, increases the odds your visitors will think positively about your online business, will refer your brand to friends and on social media, and will be more likely to convert to consumers or subscribers. Likewise, a positive experience during checkout and using the product will improve the chances they’ll become repeat customers or brand advocates.
“The best designed user experiences get out of the way and just help people get (stuff) done,” Fab.com Founder and CEO Jason Goldberg said online. “Less is more. If you have to explain it, you’ve already failed.”
3. Cater to Mobile Users
More than 80% of US smartphone and tablet owners used their mobile devices for shopping-related activities, according to Nielsen—and that was in 2012. Although tablet users more commonly purchase products than phone shoppers, the rates are growing as mobile-centered UX design trends continue.
Starting in late 2016, more users accessed the internet from smartphones and tablets than from desktop computers. Jimdo users can rest easy knowing they have dozens of modern template options from which to choose. The platform’s responsive designs seamlessly adapt to various screen sizes, and website owners can preview the tablet and mobile versions of their site before publishing any changes.
Beyond the template, UX design is extremely important here, as well: Make sure calls-to-action are large and noticeable; text should be large and readable; and, above all, your website should be fast. Any delay just gives potential customers more time to leave.
4. Use Your Words More Effectively
A frustrating user experience can be like dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler—”use your words!” Customers want to know what you do and how you can help them—and the advantages you offer compared with those of competitors—as soon as possible.
When it comes to highly successful websites, powerful language that clearly expresses a passion for your products carries immense weight in conversions. Starting with the page’s headline or display text, find succinct ways to communicate the who, what, where, when, and why of your brand.
Somewhat surprisingly, you can invite users to spend a little more time by adding useful content—emphasis on useful. Don’t go adding words for the sake of adding impressive-looking paragraphs, of course, but customers appreciate knowing everything they can about a product before they buy. Small businesses have the advantage of sharing personal stories and connecting with visitors on a more friendly basis than some big-box stores. Use that to your advantage!
5. Do Better Keyword Research
Improving your search engine rankings and increasing your conversion rates is a bit of a chicken-versus-egg situation. High volumes of traffic certainly bode well for the charts you peruse on Google Analytics, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to more business for your brand.
Ranking well for relevant keywords, however, brings your target audience right to your website’s front door. The users are ready to make a purchase, and your appearance on the first page of search results might be all it takes to get them inside.
As you’ve done throughout this process, you’ll want to think like your ideal customers—what exactly are they looking for? Web visitors are at various stages in the purchasing cycle, from just doing preliminary research to ready to buy. They might want product reviews or to know if something comes in a particular style or size.
Strong keyword research can make or break your business. Once you’ve taken the internal steps to lay down your website’s conversion red carpet, start welcoming new customers by cultivating a list of relevant keywords. Think about specific impacts you can make by differentiating yourself from competitors. Maybe you’re a local business owner who will find the most success within a geographic region; perhaps you specialize in a particular aspect of your product or service. Capitalize on the details, rather than the big picture—there are tons of free or premium services that will help you get on the right track to understanding the play between search engine optimization and keyword conversions.
This guest post is brought to you by our friends at hostingadvice.com
Laura Stamey deeply enjoys a well-crafted pun or analogy—particularly if it involves food. By blending her sense of humor, creativity, and rich experiences in the worlds of web hosting, WordPress, design, and development, she distills intimidating technical jargon into easily digestible information for the benefit of all site owners. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.