Most of you have probably heard the saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That doesn’t just refer to me...
Most of you have probably heard the saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That doesn’t just refer to meeting new people, it also refers to people visiting your website.
You only have one short chance to grab a visitor’s attention before they decide to stay or move on. This is actually a proven by a couple of studies. However, what you need to know is that it takes no more than 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website and first impressions are 94% design-related.
That means that even if you have great content, visual appeal and navigation have a bigger influence on people’s first impression of your brand. So, here are 10 ways to improve your website in order to increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate.
1. Incorporate a Mobile-Friendly Design
Your website should be able to open up perfectly on all mobile devices as well as any desktop, tablet or laptop screen. This refers to a responsive site design and it needs to be a priority for any website from here on out.
The main reason for this is Google’s New Mobile Index Rule that started pushing marketers to go mobile due to the majority of mobile users. It also forces businesses to offer a better user experience for mobile users considering that they make up about 80% of website visitors.
2. Enhance Content – The Soul of the Site
If your website design is good but the content is not up-to-par then it could be futile for conversion rates. Visitors may stay on your site because it looks cool, but they might not they may not become regular users or customers if they don’t relate to your content.
A recent study found that companies who focus on content marketing increase their website conversion rates 5x more than companies who didn’t create the right content. Those only saw a slight conversion rate increase of 0.5%…that’s a huge difference.
Therefore, we recommend you come up with crispy, short and effective content pieces that can not only attract visitors but also push them through your sales pipeline. After all it doesn’t hurt that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3x as many leads.
Read more about Why Web Content is Key in Boosting Web Design
3. Use E-mail Sign Up Contact Forms
In order to effectively collect data and track conversions, you should rely on a contact form. A contact form allows you to better manage customer data from the backend by setting analytics goals and knowing where conversions are coming from. However, from the front end don’t forget users are filling out the information. So, make it clear to them what they are signing up for before they do it.
With every form, you should have a unique thank you page. This helps keep people engaged by giving the user the ability sign up for your newsletter, receive a coupon code, download a video, follow you on social media and so on. Users are always looking for a way to make a connection with a company before they decide to buy and this is a great way to let them do that. On the plus side, thank you pages and contact forms are inexpensive and easy to implement.
In addition, it’s easier for users to fill out a contact form, then it is to contact you directly. They can also feel safe about you receiving their message instead of having to wait for a person to reply.
4. Acquire an SEO Strategy
Nowadays there’s hug emphasis on a company’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Without SEO your site will be hard to find. That is why you must develop an SEO strategy that includes:
- Key search terms or words about your product or service
- Content that’s relevant to visitor needs
- Videos, blog articles and ebooks that are SEO-friendly
- Images with ALT attributes and meta tags
- Pages with meta descriptions and key words
- Add internal links such as linking your homepage to service pages
On top of these strategies an important one to remember is to Regularly Update Your Website. That includes content, design, images and maybe even its platform.
5. Offer Clear Navigation
Web visitors crave simplicity and are often impatient when it comes to navigating through multiple pages. Site navigation helps visitors find what they’re looking for as well as your search engine rankings. However, the main objective should be to create a good user experience.
That entails using to-the-point navigation which means visitors are able to quickly find words they’re looking for and navigate your site. Try to avoid jargon or big words that can confuse visitors. Instead use language they understand and can relate to.
Therefore, make navigation pretty clear with a top bar menu, footer and sidebars (if necessary). Each navigation tab should clearly explain what the site is about, what is being offered to the customer, where to go and so on.
6. Add Call-To-Action Buttons
Calls to Action (CTA) Buttons are ways to tell a potential customer what to do, such as “Get a quote,” “Subscribe,” or “Go to checkout.” Visitors need some sort of direction while on your site in order to avoid getting frustrated. Therefore, the button should definitely describe an action.
An easy way to make sure you’re doing it right is by asking the questions “I want to…” right before clicking the button. If the action makes sense, then you’re doing it right…if it doesn’t then you need to change it until it does.
7. Embrace Social Media
It would certainly be good to showcase the number of followers you have on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. These social profiles will propel visitors to take services or buy products from your with more confidence.
But more importantly, social media makes it easy for your visitors to share your content and interact with your brand. This is especially effective if you include social links and follow buttons on every website page, landing pages, articles, email blasts and other forms of marketing material.
8. Involve Testimonials
Testimonials (text or video) act like magic for your site because they help boost sales and credibility. Testimonials are a great form of social proof that your brand is worth sticking to. The more great things you can get customers to say about your business, the more people will follow.
However, the best way to display testimonials for your visitors is to scatter them through out your website. Don’t just stick to a testimonials page but rather involve case studies or video testimonials into product or services pages.
9. Let There be Scrolling
There’s a website design concept that makes people believe that no one scrolls below the fold, so stuffing it with information is the only way to inform visitors. But that couldn’t be more wrong. Scrolling is actually a normal action for visitors.
Definitely try to put your most important information or attractive message above the fold, but don’t waste the rest of the page. Even if your homepage ends up a little longer than the norm, including key sections on your homepage will really set the tone of your site.
Some key sections could include:
- Value proposition (company mission, vision and goals)
- Services offered
- About us snippet
- Testimonials / Case studies
10. Utilize Whitespace
Don’t be afraid of leaving some whitespace on your website. Filling up every space with colors, text or images might actually turn against you because whitespace is an essential design element. Whitespace allows visitors to navigate your content easily and declutters your pages for a more polished and professional look.