Top Web Design Blog Posts

Online marketing starts with your website. And so web design is a crucial part of marketing. While marketers should not be expected to be designers, they need to know enough about what makes design effective in order to set their companies up for success.

We went back over all of our web design blog posts for the past few years and grabbed the ten highest read titles. Here they are:

  1. Mobile First Web Design
  2. 3 Tips for Better Readability
  3. How to Use Design to Guide the Eyes
  4. Top 5 Website Usability Fixes
  5. Three Easy Ways to Improve Your Homepage
  6. Powerful Web Design Tips to Transform Your Website into a Conversion Driven Success
  7. Testing Form Fields
  8. 3 Ways to Improve Your Buttons
  9. Limit Your Navigation Options
  10. Designer vs. Marketer

Powerful Web Design Tips to Transform Your Website Into A Conversion Driven Success (Guest Post)

James Robertson is a passionate digital marketing expert who has worked alongside many great companies. He currently writes for CoFlex Marketing and is passionate about helping his clients succeed. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the gym and working out.

Your website, while being your asset in the digital sphere, also forms an essential part of your business strategy. In short, it helps build your brand equity, communicate with your target audience and drives sales.

As a result, driving traffic to your website is an important focus of your marketing efforts. However, traffic alone will not help your business thrive. Sales, the very lifeblood of your organisation, makes the difference between success and failure. And ‘conversion’ is what transforms visitors into revenue. Conversion can mean visitors entering their email address to download an e-book or book a trial of your product, make an enquiry about your offering or buy what you sell. It goes without saying, you must give ‘conversion’ its due importance when you design your website.

4 powerful web design tips to transform your website into a conversion-drive success:

1.       Pay attention to your landing page

When a visitor arrives at your website (via social media, Google search or simply keying in your URL)

  • What does he see first?
  • What is his first impression?
  • Does he know what step to take next?

An effective landing page helps answer these questions. This web page is possibly the most important aspect of your conversions strategy, as it helps the visitor to take the next logical step in the ‘decision to purchase’. Some key factors to consider on your landing page are:

  • Have one single Call to Action that directs the visitor to the next step, rather than confuse him with various messages
  • Go for a full-screen landing page, as it helps hide all the other content of your website which can distract
  • Divide the landing page into 9 squares and place your key message and visual along the center squares (center and left)
  • Clean, crisp copy - Forget about clever wordplay and ensure the copy clearly states the key benefit you offer for the visitor if he chooses to take the next step. Also, the copy must clearly tell him what to do. Never underestimate the power of phrases such as “Buy Now”, “Click Here”. Although they seem simple, they have been tried and tested, and have been proven to work. The world’s best websites have mastered the art of clean copy to drive conversions.
  • Aesthetics - Use an ‘easy on the eye’ color scheme and branding on the landing page. Also, visuals of human faces have been known to help improve conversions.

2.       Don’t give too many options

This may sound counter-intuitive, but think of websites such as Google and Apple. They don’t serve up a plethora of options. They offer limited options on the website, so as not to confuse the visitor with ‘information overload’. When a visitor lands on your site, they think:

  • What do I do next?
  • Where should I click?
  • Should I read all this information or can I skim through?
  • Why are there so many options?
  • How can I finish what I came here for?

With all these questions running through the visitor’s mind, it is your job to make his life easier by gently taking him through with limited options. Unless you’re Amazon or eBay, it’s best to keep one objective for each web page and tailor your content accordingly.

3.       Speed is king

On the road, ‘speed thrills, but kills’. When it comes to your website, speed is of utmost importance. If your website takes ages to load, your audience is going to grow impatient, and within seconds, will switch to another website, often your competitor’s. Studies have shown that website loading speed is directly correlated to conversions. Use the following tips to ensure your website loads fast:

  • Refrain from using extremely heavy content
  • Optimize images based on size and format
  • The number of elements you have on your website result in an equal number of HTTP requests, thus affecting download speed. Lesser the better! This means, less plugins too!
  • Aim for a server response time of less than 200 milliseconds.

The above aspects are of a technical nature. If you are not a competent website developer, don’t cut corners. Hire the best help you can afford to get the job done right.

4.       Write good copy

You wouldn’t believe the number of businesses that overlook the importance of good copy! Don’t fall prey to the notion that users don’t read. Yes, they do skim through, but good, clear engaging copy makes them pay attention. And, take action! From the moment a user lands on your website, your copy must get to work to connect with him. Keep these tips in mind when crafting copy to improve conversions:

  • Use clear headlines that outline the key benefit of your product/service
  • The headline should also tell the user what the page is about
  • Use words such as “YOU” to speak to the user
  • Use a clear Call to Action to tell the user what to do next
  • Don’t write long paragraphs of copy. Keep it scannable by breaking your copy into paragraphs of 4-5 lines maximum. Each paragraph should have one underlying goal or message. It is also a good practice to have sub headings which will help users scan through your copy and gauge what you are trying to say.

Conclusion

We’ve only scratched the surface of web design to transform your website into a conversion driven success. The above 4 tips are a good place to start. Do drop us a line and let us know how they worked for you

Not All Ad Placements Are Created Equal

If I told you to create a banner ad for me, how would you respond?

I hope you’d have questions. I hope you would want to know what it should say, what is the offer. I hope you would want to know what it was for, and where it was going to direct people. And lastly, I hope you would ask me who it was for, who do we expect to see it and click on it.

That last question is one of the most critical, because not all ad placements are created equal. It’s like a marketer being given a product and told to market it. To who?

We need to define our target market. Who are our customers?

And in the banner advertising world, a big part of the answer to “Who” is also the “Where”. Where an ad shows up matters, for a great many reasons:

  1. Where an ad shows up tells you what it is showing up next to. What are you competing with for attention? How can you leverage the content around you to draw people in?
     
  2. Where an ad shows up tells you why someone might be interested in what you’re offering. What are they interested in? What took them here?

From this logic, I draw two conclusions.

First, the practice of measuring display campaigns by number of impressions really doesn’t mean anything. That assumes that every impression is equal to every other impression. We know that’s not the case.

I get why we do it that way. It’s easy. But it’s stupid.

And second, while you might not have the bandwidth to create different ads for everywhere they might show up, it is a bad idea to simply use the same creative everywhere. Knowing where an ad shows up gives you vital information that your design team can use to create a more effective version.

How Fewer Form Fields Can Backfire

One common piece of advice for anyone working on conversion rate optimization (CRO) is this:

Fewer form fields leads to higher conversions

I’ve made this same claim. And it’s not wrong. But…

As with any other “best practice”, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While it works in most cases, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. So the best thing you can do is test and measure.

One way this popular advice can backfire is by providing you lower quality leads.

In concept, this appears more obvious. When a person fills out a form, they are giving away valuable information. The more of this information you ask for, the less likely they will be to fill out the form. But, those who do fill out the form are that much more qualified. These are prospects that will be easier to sell.

If you improve your conversion rate by eliminating forms, thereby getting more people to fill out the form, you also eliminate that added qualification. Now your leads might be more resistant to sales efforts, costing you more money and lowering the follow up conversion rate.

Companies must be sure to measure the overall impact of any change. In this case, the best metric would be “cost per sale”, which would take into account the initial conversion rate change as well as all follow up efforts.

Simple Website Fixes – Part 11

Welcome to the latest edition of our newest weekly blog series, Simple Website Fixes. Each week we will identify and explain one easy change that you can make to your company’s website in order to improve performance. Last week’s fix was – Add Speed.

This week’s fix = Use Optimizely

It is not possible for anyone, me included, to know exactly what changes you should make to your website. We might have some idea, based on past experience and industry knowledge. But we can never be sure.

That’s why the answer to so many questions is, it depends. Every company is different. Every customer is different.

But one surefire change you can make to your website, one that is guaranteed to improve its performance over time if used correctly, is to start testing. Running simple A/B tests and measuring the impact those changes have on performance will always be a winner. And Optimizely is a tool that makes that strategy easier than ever.

Optimizely is a site testing platform designed for marketers. It is an easy ‘plug and play’ system that requires a developer to simply add a small snippet of code to a company’s website to start testing. From there, you don’t need any technical knowledge to operate. Make changes, define goals, and measure results all in one place, for a low monthly cost based on the number of people interacting with your site.

Any self-proclaimed expert can tell you what you should do to improve your website. But only you can actively test changes on your site with real users and find out what works best.

Implement a testing strategy and you are sure to improve your site’s performance.

Have an idea for a simple website fix? Submit it here and maybe we will include it in an upcoming post.