In today’s virtual age, a website is an important part of a business’s marketing and communications strategy. As more websites are created everyday, competition for page views and website traffic increases. A website needs more than just an appealing look, although that is a part of the equation, to be successful. Here are five tips to help you optimize your website and increase your conversion rate.
1. Your web design matches your brand
When users come to your website, would they recognize it as your brand? It’s important your brand is consistent throughout all your different platforms. A great example of successful web design branding from a well-known brand is Starbucks. When you go to their website, you’ll notice they use a lot of different shades of green in their design. That’s because their customers have come to associate green with their brand and logo. By utilizing multiple shades of the same color, you can then add some variety while staying consistent with your brand.
Brands will often have accent colors too. They aren’t your main color, so they aren’t used as frequently, but they add that extra pop to call out information or draw in the users eyes to something important.
It’s crucial that your website’s voice is also in line with your brand voice. Starbucks tends to have a professional but also fun voice to their copy. That voice can change a little depending on the product they are marketing and who they are marketing it to. They tend to also have very short and sweet blurbs to market their content. Long form copy isn’t optimal for an information or landing page. It’s okay for blog posts and content that is intended to be longer, but you don’t want users struggling to find basic information.
2. Adaptive To Any Device
With mobile phones being the most prominent device for most individuals and users, it’s important that you optimize your website to work for mobile as well as other devices. Oftentimes, websites display poorly on mobile phones because they haven’t been optimized for a mobile format. This can really affect your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance and thus your pageviews and conversions. Google ranks websites higher in their search engine algorithms when they’re mobile friendly.
If you’re using WordPress, you can preview the mobile version of your website with their theme customizer. Simply go to Appearance > Customize. It will open up the theme customizer and there should be icons at the bottom of the menu on the left of the screen. This allows you to flip through multiple devices to see how your website looks.
3. User Experience (UX)
The way your website functions is just as, if not more so, important as it’s design. In fact, your design should be determined by its user experience. According to Hick’s Law, the more choices a user has, the less likely they are to make a decision. Basically, simple is better. The more complicated the website, the less likely you are to have a higher conversion rate and the more likely your users will get frustrated.
Ask yourself these questions; is it easy to navigate?; Is it interactive? The best way to answer these unbiasedly is to do some user testing if you’ve got the resources. Otherwise, researching the key demographics and psychographics of your audience is a must do for any successful brand strategy, not just websites. If your audience doesn’t typically understand technology very well, then having a website with less bells and whistles would be the route to take.
Placement of information is important too. Looking back at Starbucks’ website, just like a newspaper, they put the information they want their users to see the most “above the fold” or in the main landing page. An important thing to note is that they don’t overwhelm the user with text either. It’s short, simple, and snappy copy that relays the message clearly without having to make the user search for it.
Make sure to put any big promotions, news, or content that is important to your users on the main landing page. The less you can make them search for it, the better. Oftentimes, companies who have more resources hire positions that focus specifically on UX and UI design or copywriting. Or if they’re even bigger, a whole team. This section has only just scratched the surface of UX design, but it’s enough for what we’re dealing with without getting too complicated.
4. Calls To Action
All businesses need their customers to do something––buying a product or service, engaging in content, reading information. A great way to do this is by utilizing “call to actions”.
Sticking with Starbucks again to be consistent, there are three “call to actions” when you first land on their page. One is the “Sign In” button, another is the “Join Now” button, and the third is a call to action to send an e-gift card to teachers and nurses (this, of course, is a timely call to action). Call to actions invite the user to interact with the website, increasing your conversions and SEO.
These can be anything from a button to some bolded or colored text as long as it draws the users attention––keeping with the integrity of your design. This is also where your accent colors could come in handy to draw attention to specific words or visuals.
5. Reference Google’s Core Web Vitals
Last year Google announced an important update for 2021 regarding their Core Web Vitals. These Vitals will become a big part of Google’s ranking algorithm for websites.
There are three Core Web Vitals to keep in mind:
1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Measures the loading speeds and performance of websites. Google says the LPC should occur within 2.5 seconds.
2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Measures visual stability. It refers to any unexpected layout shifts occurring during the lifespan of the web page.
3. First Input Delay (FID)
Measures interactivity. FID measures the time it takes from a user’s first interaction with a web page element to when it begins processing in response to the user action.
They are a set of signals Google will use to evaluate the page experience of a user. Websites will also get separate scores for desktop and mobile experience. So, your desktop rating could be “good” while your mobile is “poor”. Furthering the importance of mobile friendly websites. This will be a big update for Google and one that all of those wishing to strengthen their website should be aware of.
Don’t Skip On The Quality
It’s important to keep all of the above in mind when running your website. However, make sure you’re still producing quality content. Sometimes companies focus too much on the algorithm and forget about the content they’re producing.
Go for quality first and then figure out ways to optimize it without affecting its integrity. Your users just as easily won’t come to your website if the content they are getting isn’t what they need or want. Also, this can and will be reflected in Google’s many other page experience signals. Negatively affecting your website’s place in the algorithm. Ultimately, great content is going to be nothing but beneficial towards the success of your website and business.
Give these tips a try when you’re ready to take that website to the next level of optimization.