How Design Influences the Conversion Rate of a Website
A company's conversion rate and revenue alignment are important for a successful website. The conversion rate is the ratio of total visitors who take desired actions. As a general categorisation, there are two different types of conversion — Macro and Micro.
Macro conversions include visitor's actions aimed at completing tasks which directly influence a company's revenue. Those actions include direct purchases, signing up, taking a trial, being directly contacted, filling out the contact us form and when somebody requests for a quote. Micro conversions are actions that accelerate macro conversions. It includes blog subscription, social media followers, case studies, e-books, reviews and views.
In short, If it doesn’t convert, it's not working. To make a website profitable and worth the hard work -- designers, the marketing team, sales team and business owners should be concerned about both micro and macro conversions.
Design plays the basic and the most important role to influence conversion. The design includes — looks, aesthetics, typography and the first impression of a website but it also includes usability, user engagement, key performance indicators, clear navigation based on data of user research, consumer insights, short term goals, long term achievements, marketing goals, persona profiles and design trend reports. In this post, we are going to cover 8 factors through which design and designers influence the conversion rates of a website.
Know the Goals
First things first, know your goals. Before starting a project, a designer should understand all the objectives of a business. A detailed stakeholder's interview and analysis of the information is the key beginning. Next step is to place the goals in the ladder of priorities — the main objective of the website, secondary and tertiary goals. The website should be designed on the basis of the priorities defined and associate programs and campaigns that serve these goals to make sure that the user sees exactly what needs to convert into leads.
Know your Users
Knowing the users is a comprehensive and multilayered activity. User research aims at collecting information about the potential target audience of the product. To know the users a designer has to turn into a researcher or work in parallel with the research team to get maximum information and it's analysis to create user-friendly design solutions.
The basic understanding of the users and getting deeper into details of the core users is vital for design. These are a few out of many things that define the user research -
- Who are the potential users and audiences?
- Gender segregation.
- What is their age group?
- Understanding the preferences of potential users.
- Understanding the psychological aspects.
- Understanding the demographics and the market.
Many important elements of the website are designed and derived by the analysis of the user research - like colors, style, layouts, emotional aspects and the basic sense of the interaction with the defined group. It makes the website more engaging. The visual outcome has the potential to create an original and recognisable style. It helps to get the website the attention it needs. If the landing page design is a challenge for the users to understand, the website will probably drive the users away.
Understand the Color Theory
Colors are predominant, are a source of information and evoke the right emotions in a website. People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with a website. About 62-90 per cent of the assessment is based on colors alone. Careful use of colors contributes only to differentiating products from competitors, influences moods and feelings and also the attitude towards the brand and its product.
Choosing the right color scheme for a website and creating a sense of aesthetic balance amongst landing page, backgrounds, graphics, headline, typography, buttons, borders, products, popups and more are an extremely important aspect to drive conversion.
The fact that designers should understand color theories is unarguable. Read the details of color theory in our posts about the same in An Understanding of Colors for UI Design. and From Hue to Color Story - A Basic Understanding of Colors.
A readable website with clarity, high-contrast typography and logical hierarchy of information makes it easier for the user to consume the content and understand the objectives of the website. A designer should make sure that the heading, sub-heading and important content is different from each other and still balanced through different fonts, font sizes and colors to look like a well-synchronised design. Fonts that are consistent on a website helps the user understand the motive behind them naturally.
Another important aspect of readability is the use of appropriate words. As per many surveys, the users have more choices and reduced attention span. This is where a good copy comes into play, good copywriting leads to a better website.
This is how good and appropriate copy influences to create a good design which leads to better user experience.
- An actionable and focused copy helps tell the complete story.
- Copywriting helps the user understand the needs.
- It helps to explain the next steps.
- Copy, voice and tone as an afterthought could misdirect the objectives.
- Copy elevates, directs and influences the success of a website.
Clear Navigation Flow
The simple the better. It's through navigation design that the user explores - enjoys the website and gets access to the important information. Overwhelming the users with many choices and complicated navigation can seriously impede a website's conversion rate.
From the breadcrumb menu to dropdown, tabs to everything on the website should be designed to achieve a simple, time-saving, user-oriented flow. The key to well-designed navigation is to keep the flow simple, easy to use, predictable and consistent.
Focused Call to Action
A well-designed call to action button is meant to be persuasive, intuitive and should motivate the user into the desired action. Call to action buttons are usually given a prime place in the website and are highlighted enough to sign up, downloads or make a purchase etc.
For the right placement of the call to action button, a designer should understand the user's goals and examine how each action progresses towards it. The key is to provide the right visual weight to all buttons and to make the flow intuitive.
Keeping up with the Trends
If the design is inclined towards trends, then trends have to be studied ahead of the season of the launch of the website. Trends go down very well with the design and the always-changing user mindsets.
- trends tend to exponentially increase in the popularity of a website over time.
- Since trends tail off after a specific duration they work best with campaigns, secondary and tertiary goals of the website design.
- Designing with trends facilitates the users with relatable content for that period.
- Trends give websites a conversion mechanism to expand their reach quickly.
- Trending designs have a quick way of becoming famous and increasing discoverability.
Conversion through trends has to be done quickly and should serve the period it is designed for. Trends wear off quickly but moving ahead with consistent trends often result in loyal members and visitors of the website.
One design doesn't fit all and can't be universally loved. A designer's goal should be to make the design intuitive, easy to access and well balanced. The analytics come in to understand what works and what does not. This helps a designer to prioritise design needs according to the users and the right metrics.
- Analytics show concrete problems, that design can usually fix.
- Analytics show user behaviours within diverse categories and regions which make design decision easier.
- With the analytics, every design decision has a valid reason and user data to back it up.
- Analytics insights help pay attention to the right details both negative and positive.
- Analytics show how design affects the numbers required.
- It's easy to learn the needs and unlearn the not requires aspects of the website.
- Analytics data answers very specific questions and helps to understand precise needs.
As an example to the above points, analytics show what are the buyers dropping and picking up from the website, it exactly shows how many visitors are converting into sales and which pages get the maximum attention span. It also exactly shows which users are not getting converted into sales or signed-in users and that helps in making the right improvement and enables testing with the real users which is what the while design is centred around.
Analytics should be aligned from the beginning of the project. Designers should not limit the research methods to get analytics. Mix and match the methods and processes, speak with the stakeholders to get the concrete data to solve the issues through design.
As with all the things online, new website designs, technology, devices and trends bring in different challenges with every project. There is no single way of creating a perfect website but an approach to prioritise the objectives, goals, users, aesthetics, usability, functionality, analytics and design trends are likely to yield intuitive and responsive design influencing conversion rate of a website.