Everyone wants that “killer” website that people just “ooh” and “ahh” about. At the same time, a business owner only has a few seconds to engage a visitor, not just with a beautiful design but also with something that motivates him to stay, have a look, and get a value proposition. What this means is that the website design has to get the right balance between the “wow” factor and getting down to business. Sometimes, some subtle tweaks can do the trick. Here are five of them.
1. Watch Your Visual Hierarchy
This is matter of layout. Remember, humans view things in an “F” shaped pattern. They start at the top left and go across, then back and down, then across, then back and down again. Obviously, the most important, engaging stuff needs to be at the top and across. This is the place for your value proposition. Take a look at the landing page for Dollar Shave Club. The first thing that the visitor sees is a video – enticing, since consumers love visuals, especially videos. They will probably click and watch – and it is hysterical. To the right of the video is the value proposition in large print.
The goal is to drive visitors to a conversion, even if that is only to click to get more information – ergo, the “Get Started” button.
2. Watch How Your CTA Button is Fashioned
This button is a critical element. You want it to stand out, and you want it prominently placed. All of your other elements on a page should take a “back seat” to the conversion button – it needs to catch the eye and it needs to be clear exactly what you want the visitor to do.
Color and style play an important part in CTA buttons. Consider this A/B test from ContentVerve:
What they discovered was two things: First, the green color attracted more because it was in direct contrast with the background color. Second, the green button was also rounded rather than a definite square. The rounded edges cause a visitor to look inward; the squared edges take the eye outward.
Many designers recommend the “squint test.” Look at the page, squint, and see if the CTA button still stands out. If so, you are probably on the right track.
The other thing about CTA buttons is this: You can entice visitors more when the text on the button is more engaging. Instead of just the word “Submit,” try a phrase, such as “Get My Free Trial Now.” Tests on button copy confirm that personalizing (“my”) and telling the visitor exactly what they are going to get have better CRO.
3. Use Color Psychology
There is a large body of research that speaks to the use of color and its psychological impact. There is a reason that the Rolex website uses grays, silvers, blacks and muted purples – they depict sophistication. Contrast that with the Lego website that uses bold, primary colors to appeal to kids, parents of kids, and to energy and enthusiasm.
One interesting case study was reported by Moz. It was an online slot machine business that wanted to see what color changes would produce in terms of conversions. The company, through A/B testing, discovered that changing the color of the CTA button from green to yellow resulted in a whopping 175% increase in conversions. And according to OWDT, a premier website design firm, using color psychology correctly can actually increase conversions as much as 300%.
It would serve any online business with CTA buttons to conduct some research on the psychology of colors and to do some testing of the same type as the slot machine company.
4. Directional Cues
A directional cue is anything that is used to draw the visitor’s eyes toward what you want them to see or do. It can be very obvious, like an arrow or a human hand pointing to something. Or it can be far subtler, such as an “eye cue.” Here is a case study conducted by SnoopTank for a diaper site:
The heat map shows where visitors’ eyes were focused in each variation of the page. Changing the baby’s direction made a huge difference.
5. Make Use of White Space
The key elements that you want visitors to focus on, whether they are a value proposition, a CTA, a signup form, etc. should be in color and surrounded by white space. This will bring eye focus to the element because it stands out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be white, but it should be a solid color, preferably light, that surrounds an important element. Probably the most famous example of the use of whitespace is Google search page.
There is only one thing Google wants you to do – type in your search terms. Businesses can take a lesson from Google. Put plenty of “negative space” around the key elements.
Experiment a Bit
These five tweaks are certainly not the only means by which conversions can be boosted. But they certainly are a good start. And they are backed by solid research. Begin experimenting with the elements in your web design, do some testing, and discover what works for you.
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