Your business website is your brand’s online representation that reflects the value, principles and objectives of your business. Creating an appealing website is therefore important, but there is more to a website than its aesthetic appeal. A website is essentially a marketing tool that helps generate brand awareness and converts traffic into customers. In fact, the purpose of your website is to generate leads and sales, without these no business can generate revenue.
It is therefore imperative to audit your website from time to time, analysing the conversion numbers and understanding what changes your website needs in order to improve those numbers. But can a few changes in your website design boost your sales? Yes, it can and the following pointers will help you get a perspective about how your website design impacts your overall sales and what you need to do to improve it.
1. Make your design responsive
According to the 2015 US Digital Future in Focus published by ComScore, around 31 per cent of traffic generated by the top 10 websites came from mobile devices. And this already significant number will continue to increase in the coming days. If you fail to provide your visitors with a pleasant mobile experience, chances are both your traffic rate and conversion rates are going down the drain.
A responsive website design is absolutely crucial, much more so than just having a mobile website. A responsive design adapts and fits any screen, be it a desktop, laptop, tablet or a smartphone. This approach to web development uses flexible images, fluid, proportion-based grids and CSS3 media queries for delivering optimum user experience, regardless of the users’ device.
Besides, it reduces bounce rate as the user experience is consistent with every device and the loading time is also less since there is no need to redirect your users to another URL, which is a major issue with a mobile-only site. Another reason to make your website responsive is Google’s recent mobile-friendly update that uses mobile-friendliness as an important ranking signal.
It is therefore quite obvious that responsive design has more advantages than having a separate mobile site. For one thing, it will give you a competitive advantage over other businesses that are yet to invest in this technology.
2. Leverage colour theory and contrast psychology
Colour is one of the most significant visual cues that web designers often love to play with and test. But remember one thing, colour can make or break your website. While the right contrast will compel your visitors to come back again and again, a wrong move can destroy all your efforts.
To find the perfect colour for your call-to-action button that compels, you need more than random testing. You need to understand the colour theory and how it affects human psychology. Each colour conveys a “feeling.” For example, red increases heart rate and creates a sense of urgency, yellow on the other hand is great for grabbing attention. So based on the colour theory, red is largely used for clearance sales while yellow is used to get window shoppers’ attention.
This infographic from Kissmetrics will help you decide the best colour combination, especially for your call-to-action buttons.
Make sure you are using the right colour in your website that conveys the right feel. It is also important to set a perfect contrast. Royal blue, for example, contrast really well with bright yellow. You need to find a similar striking contrast for your website’s background and foreground colours to draw your visitors’ attention instantly.
Many say red converts better than green or blue. But that’s not always the case. While we do agree orange is an aggressive colour that makes a strong call to action, it is the right combination that actually helps you to grab people’s attention and compel them to take a desired action.
3. Say no to complex noise
Anything over the top is a big no-no these days. This also applies to your website design. Lots of flash and animation not only affect the loading time of your website adversely, they also annoy your visitors. The secret to create a website that helps you make sales is to keep your design clean, simple and flat. People do not appreciate quirky features these days, they want a nice, elegant and clean layout that is easy to navigate.
There are several advantages of using minimal web design as well. It takes the guessing game out. As Steven Krug rightly points out in his book, you should never make your users think. You are likely to lose traffic (and sales) if people need to think too much before clicking on a button. Keeping your web design simple is therefore an important usability convention that you must remember.
Of course, you need to impress your visitors, but instead of using complex and quirky designs, impress them with high-quality content and offerings. Today, less is more; but if you still think flashy stuff can help you boost sales, this sheer-pain-to-your-eyes might be able to convince you to do otherwise.
4. A simple navigation is what you need
This is the ultimate thing you need to keep in mind while creating a website. Your visitors must be able to take desired action within two seconds after they land on your website. They are likely to get frustrated and leave your website if it takes any longer than that.
A complicated navigation with too many options is likely to overwhelm your visitors. Keep your navigation menus to a minimum. Typically, five to ten menu items at the top end are enough, depending on your website.
Chances are you are already familiar with these web design principles. But perhaps you are not aware of the results these design principles can help you achieve. For one thing, they can help you provide a great user experience, which in turn, can give a massive boost to your conversion rate.
Wynn Zhou is the founder of Novage Communications