4 Web Design Features That Naturally Increase Conversions

Every site in the world wishes it could have more conversions. After all, more conversions translates to more revenue (and more profit, if you’re running your business well). But some business owners are convinced that their conversion rate is suitable (when it really isn’t), and others know that they’re struggling; the top conversion performers see double-digit conversion rates!

That doesn’t mean it’s possible for your business to see that high of a conversion rate (depending on your industry and competitive environment), but it’s almost certainly possible to get more conversions than you’re currently getting by way of a few design tricks.

The Psychology of a Conversion

Before we get into the tips themselves, let’s talk about the psychology of a conversion. At their core, conversions are an exchange of value between two parties-your website and your user. The user needs to know that he/she is getting a fair exchange, but do to that, there are certain prerequisites that must be met:

  • Value: Users will only pay for something if they feel it’s worth the money, but money isn’t the only value users can exchange; they may also withhold sharing their personal information until they receive some kind of value, like a downloadable piece of content.
  • Trust: This is especially important for first-time visitors. If a user doesn’t trust your brand, for any reason, they aren’t going to buy from you. Building some level of trust and accountability is crucial to getting a conversion.
  • Immediacy: Many potential conversions are lost simply because a user delays the action indefinitely. If you want a conversion, you need users to convert in-the-moment.
  • Convenience: If a conversion process is too long, confusing, or difficult, your users are going to bail. It’s that simple.

If your user sees what you’re offering is valuable, trusts you to supply it, has a reason to take immediate action, and can do so conveniently, there’s nothing that will stop them from converting. You can address some of these with what you’re offering—for example, you might offer a better product for a lower price, or make a “limited time offer” to increase immediacy; but there are also design changes you can make to enhance or introduce these qualities to your site.

Design Tricks to Increase Conversions

Without further ado, here are the tricks that will help you increase your conversion rates:

  1. Include more dynamic imagery: Showcasing strong images is a way to increase your perceived value (and to some degree, trust). You might choose to show off your product in action, or show images of your team hard at work. The key is to give users a visual cue that tells them you’re good at what you do. For unique businesses with a natural visual element, this is easy—just include some powerful images of what it is you’re selling. Take this San Diego whale watching website as an example; they make it a point to show off what makes them special.
  2. Shorten your form fields: Too many businesses have made the error of creating long form fields when requesting personal information. There are two problems with this; first, adding more fields means asking for more information, which decreases the value of the conversion to the user. Second, adding more fields makes the conversion less convenient. Shortening those fields, therefore, increases the likelihood that a user will convert. Take a look at the way HubSpot does it-to download their eBook, all you need to do is enter your first name, last name, and email. They don’t waste time or sacrifice value by clamoring for things like “current position” or even “company name.”
  3. Show off some trust badges: Trust badges are simple design features that usually take prominence near the top or in the footer of a page. They showcase different brands, logos, or affiliations your brand is connected to (and that your users might recognize). Take a look at what eBags does just below the fold. They feature icons of some of their most trusted brands, showing off their affiliations and giving users who have established trust with those brands more reason to trust eBags. It’s basically a way of “borrowing” trust from other institutions and, to a degree, increasing your brand’s perceived value.
  4. Demonstrate social proof: Codecademy features several of the tricks we’ve already mentioned, but it also demonstrates how to incorporate social proof into your design. Social proof is a demonstration from other users that your brand is valuable. These might be user reviews, testimonials, or case studies, but they’re more effective when they’re more personal, such as using names and faces to strengthen the emotional connection of a case study.

All these tricks can help you improve the conversion rate on a given page of your site, but if you want to be effective in the long-term, you need an overall conversion strategy. Ask yourself, who are you trying to convert? How many conversions do you need to be sustainable? What ongoing practices (such as AB testing) can you put into place to guarantee some level of consistent growth for the future? Answer these questions and form a solid strategy that you’ll be able to consult indefinitely as you continue to grow your conversion rate, and always be on the lookout for new ways to experiment.

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