While the world of e-commerce has been evolving for years, the arrival of COVID-19 made a major impact on the way that customers shop. Instead of brick and mortar locations, people started flocking to online stores, and entrepreneurs with existing websites likely saw a boost in profits.
If your website is new on the block or you do not see the conversions that you thought you might, then it is possible that your website design is to blame. While you may not realize it, everything from the shape of your buttons to the color of your background can influence customers and whether they decide to move forward with your business or go to a competitor. Let’s look at good website design and improvements you can make today to maximize conversions.
The Story Of Your Website
If you have an existing site that simply isn’t getting you the conversions you hoped it would, then the first step is to look at where your design is falling short. You can do this with analytics, and more specifically, with story mapping. This process allows you to track how your audience interacts with your website, and you can use that information to make successful sections even more enticing or improve areas where the customers get stuck.
For instance, are you seeing that many customers are spending a lot of time looking at your product pages, but they never seem to place an order? If so, you may need to look at your navigation and call-to-action buttons to ensure that they are visible and enticing enough to click. Keep in mind that simply adding more buttons and choices is not necessarily the best way to have customers move forward. Instead, you need to be strategic. Make sure your buttons actually look like buttons by being square or round, and put them in a place where the customer can clearly see them.
When it comes to your Call to Action (CTA) buttons, they should say exactly what the customer will be doing when they click, so an example may be “place order” or “subscribe.” You might also try matching the button with a reward, such as getting a free consultation or newsletter.
Use story mapping to see where customers are spending the most time. If they are on a page for a long duration, but they aren’t active and clicking, it is possible that the webpage is loading too slowly. Your website needs to be quick to load, or customers will go elsewhere. Spend the time and money necessary to get the bandwidth you need to give the customers instant satisfaction.
Even if you have the best products in the world, the actual appearance of your website may be the determining factor for customer conversion. Start with the color of your pages. You should choose a color scheme that is appetizing to the eyes, and the more professional your colors, the more attracted your customers will be to your site. There has been a lot of research about the most attractive colors to buyers, and it often depends on the demographics of your audience. For instance, women are more drawn to blue, men are attracted to orange, younger audiences like bright hues, etc. Consider your audience when making your choice.
When it comes to the background of your site, it is always a safe bet to go with white. This color creates negative space, and when customers have nothing to see, their eyes will be directed at the elements on the screen that you want them to see, such as your call-to-action buttons. Put important buttons and forms in the middle of the screen as that is where most eyes will go first. The point is to not overwhelm the user by giving too many choices, or they may get frustrated and leave.
As for the wording on your website, you can get the most conversions by formatting your text in the F-pattern. This is the natural way English-speakers read, which is starting at the top left corner, then over to the top right corner, and then down and over in the form of the letter “F.” To fully take advantage of this reading habit, format your paragraphs in this style by having short sentences and phrases that are left-aligned with the most important words following this pattern. Mix in some images to bring home what you are trying to say.
Accessibility and Mobility
When it comes to maximizing conversions, the idea is to make your website available to everyone, so you get the most eyeballs on your content. Accessibility is the term used when modifying your website for everyone to see and use in equal regard. For instance, website colors that are too bright might be damaging to visitors with photosensitivity, and those with hearing impairments may not be able to hear your videos. In these instances, you can improve accessibility by showcasing neutral colors and putting captions on your video clips.
In addition to improving your chances for a sale, accessibility may even be required by law, as recent rulings have determined that all public places must be accessible to potential patrons, and websites are included. Part of accessibility is also making your site available to those with limited internet or resources. To expand your reach and help those who cannot afford a computer, your website should also be available on mobile devices.
Having a mobile site should be a given for any e-commerce business. After all, customers spend almost three hours every day on their phones, and your website could be one of the places they visit. To have the most effective mobile presence, the mobile site should load as quickly as the computer version, and users should be able to navigate the website with only one hand and thumb. It is a smart idea to test your mobile platform thoroughly before release to ensure that everything displays correctly and there are no overlapping features.
In the end, there is a lot of thought that will go into the design of your website, but smart features will mean increased conversions. Start mapping your site today and see where your business can go.
illustration: infographic vector created by vectorjuice
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer living in the Northwestern U.S. Her areas of expertise and topics she typically covers revolve around business productivity, marketing strategies, and web design. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter: @HamiltonJori