15 Web Design Principles That Will Boost Your Conversion Rate

Many factors have a direct impact on the conversion of your site. However, web design is the most important of them.

The first impression we get is visual and decisive. Therefore, if you want to improve the conversion rate on your site, then web design is the first place to start.

In this article, we have put together the basic principles and tips that will help you with this task.

Boost Your Conversion Rate

Make Sure Your Web Design Is Responsive and Mobile-Friendly

The share of mobile traffic is growing and will grow in 2020. Research suggests that most users will refuse to interact with the brand if it is impossible to perform the necessary action from a mobile device. Therefore, before making changes to the design of your site in order to get more conversions, make sure that the website displays correctly on mobile devices and that users do not encounter stumbling blocks in their path.

How to do it? Everything will depend on the way you create your site. For example, sites on WordPress and other popular CMS will be responsive from the moment of creation. However, an additional test of the usability will not be excessive.

Give Fewer Choices According to Hick’s Law

This law suggests that fewer choices increase the speed of decision making and vice versa. For example, if you use three calls to action at once on the main page, for instance, register on the site, get a discount and download an e-book, then it will be difficult for the user to decide which action to take first. It will be much more reasonable to arrange these calls to action in a logical sequence – as they were listed and offer the user the next action after the previous one.

The same goes for the number of products that you display on the page. You should not show the user all possible products suitable for his search query – it is better to show the five most suitable options and allow continuing the search using filters.

Add a Fullscreen Website Gate

Think about the possibility of showing a full-screen lead form at the moment when the user scrolled the main page to a certain point. Firstly, the full-screen form will take all the user’s attention and will not let him get distracted by other elements of the site, and secondly, it’s just about the choice possibilities that we talked about before. So the user receives only two options. The first is to close the lead form and continue interacting with the site. The second is to give you his email address in return for your offer.

Place the Most Important Points on the Intersections

You probably know about one of the main rules of photography – the rule of thirds. According to this rule, two lines visually divide the screen horizontally and vertically, resulting in nine squares. So, the four intersection points of the lines in the center of the screen are the user’s center of attention, which is why the essential information, such as a call to action, should be placed here.

Optimize Your Website Loading Speed

This item is directly related to design, as your page may be overloaded with heavy images that slow down the loading of your site. Remove everything unnecessary and optimize the images that are key. According to statistics, the optimal site loading speed is from two to five seconds. And in this case, you need to strive for a lower indicator, since 40% of users say they will close a site that takes more than three seconds to load, which means that you will lose a potential lead every time the site slows down.

Use Negative Space to Get Positive Results

Jan Tschichold says that negative space should be seen as an active element, not a passive background. There is a connection between distance and attention. A greater distance attracts attention, and the absence of other elements more strongly distinguishes existing elements. Designers can use this space property to highlight important elements. Adding spaces to a specific segment of the content makes the user pay attention to this area simply because there is nothing more on the screen to attract attention. As you can see in the example below, Google is a big proponent of white space in its projects. It helps to immediately understand the purpose of this project: the focus is on the main goal of the page.

Choose the Right Colors to Establish Proper Associations

Unfortunately, there is no universal advice about which colors convert better. Everything will depend on the specifics of your business. For example, white and blue colors cause a feeling of stability and reliability. Therefore PayPal uses this combination to form the correct associations.

If you are not sure that your colors are working correctly, just go back to the origins of color psychology in marketing and also re-examine your company’s values and find your perfect match.

Besides, there are different opinions about the color of buttons that convert worse or better. The correct color of the button is an old philosophical question. Someone claims that the highest conversion is achieved through red buttons. Others say green or blue. The correct answer sounds like this (like many other answers in marketing and design): “It needs to be tested.” Therefore, choose a button color that will contrast with the primary colors of the design, and do a few tests to understand which color converts better.

Use One Large Image Instead of Several Tiny Ones

A correct image can say more than a few paragraphs of text. Therefore, use the power of visual perception and emotions in the design of your site. For example, you can make the image the background of your site and then place all your elements in such a way that they follow the basic rules of web design. And by the way, it also contributes to better conversions.

Also, this approach promotes simplicity and minimalism, which is a trend of recent years, and a correctly selected image evokes the necessary emotions and associations. And vice versa, as we have said, too many images make a choice more complicated and scatter the user’s attention.

Get Rid of Everything That Is Not Related to the Design

In other words, strive for maximum simplicity. In the modern abundance of informational noise, simplicity and clarity have become a real shortage. Studies have shown that 76% of users consider simplicity to be the main deciding factor in website design. And here, you need to keep a competent balance between simplicity, minimalism, but at the same time functionality – since simplicity is also the opportunity to find what the user needs in a few clicks.

Use Faces and Other Social Proofs

Unfortunately, the Internet is full of fake reviews, and do not doubt that your users also know about it. Therefore, instead of forcing them to search for feedback about your products or services (which can be written by your competitors to undermine your business), you need to give them this opportunity right in the spot.

Therefore, think over the site design in such a way that you can put some real reviews (and even better a carousel) near the end of the page. And be sure to use photos of living people (ideally your real customers) to create the impression of strong social evidence.

Simplify Your Navigation

You have probably seen sites that contain a million categories, and it is simply impossible to choose the right section on the first try. And if before, users still paid time to such a search, today they want to see what they need without additional actions.

Therefore, reconsider your approach to navigating the site, reduce the number of categories, remove all unnecessary, and leave only the most important sections. As we have already said, the full range of choices complicate the decision or, in general, force the user to leave the page and postpone the task for later.

Integrate Achievement Counters

This is a psychological trick that triggers a subconscious reaction – people tend to believe statistics. And this is another opportunity to increase conversion by building trust and creating an impression of reliability. But there is one crucial point. Remember, we talked about the rule of thirds and strategic intersection points? These are precisely the places where you need to put your statistics so that they are in the center of attention and perception.

Create an Impression of an Artificial Deficit

Marketers do not agree on this sales tactic, but for quick and seasonal sales, this approach is still appropriate. Therefore, if you have a seasonal or promotional offer, or if you are testing interest in a new product, it makes sense to create the illusion of scarcity and reflect this with the help of design. For example, you can set a countdown timer and, again, put the numbers in the focus of the visitor’s attention.

However, here you still need to position the call to action buttons properly. And in this case, it is better to do this following the Z scheme.

The user’s attention slides along the upper horizontal, diagonally downward, and goes to the information at the bottom. In the top left corner, place the logo, horizontally – the headers. The lower right corner is an ideal place for a call to action.

Reduce the Number of Necessary Steps

You can rightly notice that this is the responsibility of the UX designer, but in practice, this is just the case when the web and UX designer must work together to get a single result. UX design is another factor that has a direct impact on conversions, and the fewer steps separate users from the target action, the more likely it is to complete it.

Therefore, you need to make once again sure that the information or product that he needs is no more than three clicks away.

Make Sure Your Call to Action Is at the Right Place

To improve your site’s conversion, take advantage of the rule of thirds and Z scheme when you place your calls to action. You can enhance the perception of a call to action if you duplicate it – at the intersection of lines and in the upper right corner of the page, where the top line of the letter Z ends. Thus, the user’s attention will first stop in the upper right corner, then slide diagonally down and rest directly at the strategic point of intersection of the lines on the left.

Minimize User Input

Modern users are very impatient, and we already talked about this in the paragraph on the speed of loading your page. And a huge fill form can kill your conversions, since no one wants to waste time, especially from a mobile device. Therefore, review your registration form and leave only three lines – for a name, email address, and password, plus add the ability to register via Google and Facebook.

Conclusion

As you can see, many tricks can affect conversions. However, the most important thing to remember is that any new approach should be tested on users. Each business and each target audience is specific; therefore, there can be no template instructions on what to use in your design to increase conversions. In addition, the design is the first but not the last factor that converts (or does not convert), and this also needs to be remembered.

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