At its core, your website is simply another tool to drive sales for your business. Unfortunately, there are dozens of pitfalls that can result in low conversion rates. A truly great website will be set up to lead the visitor to desired actions. Luckily, there are a few simple design elements you can use to help create a clear path for your users.
The last thing you want to do is ruin what would otherwise be a guaranteed sale…
Clutter-Free Home Page
Your home page is imperative in deciding whether or not a visitor will be interested in your product. Your home page gives users their first impression of your business, so if it’s cluttered and unorganized, chances are your users will think that you are too.
Try to limit your front page to information that you know new users will be looking for – what kinds of products and services you offer, store hours and locations, and of course your website’s calls to action, whatever they may be.
Don’t try to detail the history of your business on the front page – if visitors are interested in that, they’ll be willing to click through to an “about us” page.
Large, Focused Calls to Action
A call to action is any text that invites the user to take an action on your site such as “buy now” or “contact us.” When people are presented with a multitude of options, enough to confuse them, chances are that their reaction will be to remove themselves from the situation rather than choosing a potentially wrong option.
In the context of your website, this means that if your home page has large calls to action for multiple actions, you can bet that many users will simply leave. Choose a primary call to action and make it clear with large, brightly colored buttons that direct users to “click here” or “sign up now.”
Once you’ve gotten a visitor to respond to a call to action, you need to ensure that completing that action is intuitive and that you act as a guide throughout the process. Lay out each step and be sure to make the benefits to the user clear.
Will signing up for your newsletter get them access to exclusive information or discounts? Will reading your ebook provide them with the answers they’re looking for? Along with outlining the benefits, make sure to include clear directions for each step, which brings us to our next point:
Easily Understood Directions
Confusing directions help no one, and in many cases they can increase confusion and anger rather than helping anything. The best test for this is “The Grandma Test.” Show your site to your grandma (or anyone’s grandma or less-than-tech-savvy relative) and ask them to follow your call to action from beginning to end. If they can’t do it, go back to the drawing board and determine where the problems lie.
Fast and Easy Checkout
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had an item in my shopping cart and then encountered some kind of hindrance that made me close that tab and head to Amazon to find an alternative. The last thing you want to do is ruin what would otherwise be a guaranteed sale with an overbearing checkout process.
Does anyone want to click “checkout” and be redirected to the beginning of a two page registration process? No, they do not. The best sites give you the option to create an account by letting you choose a password after you’ve checked out. Ancillary information can be added at a later date – securing the sale is far more important.