Internet Marketing Tips for the Small Business Owner: Website Design Elements that Will Make or Break Your Conversion Rate
When we meet with clients for the first time, more often than not, they’re frustrated because their sites don’t convert. They’ve got a web presence but are learning that it’s no longer enough to simply be online with the digital version of a business’ brochure. As marketing consultants, my colleagues and I often discover the same set of website design issues–conversion rate killers–that are responsible for the low number of leads and/or sales the clients are attracting.
Internet marketing may be ever-evolving, but what remains the same is that a site that’s not converting is a liability, not an asset. If you own a small business and are looking for clues as to what it is that could be preventing your site’s visitors from taking action, take a look at the following:
Clutter Kills Conversions: An Internet Marketing No-Brainer
You’d be surprised to learn just how many business owners are shocked when we tell them it’s the clutter on their website that’s preventing them from converting more of their site visitors. Really? You’re surprised that the 12 images, five buttons, six paragraphs of text, nine navigation links and side bar brimming with more post titles than there are verses in the bible, just on the home page, turns people off?!
No amount of internet marketing is going to save your site when people are overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ you’ve got crammed onto your web pages. Visitors, in fear of getting lost and never getting out, will just skip over your content and exit about as fast as they entered.
Instead, consider this:
- Conversions Require White Space: Researchers found that people actually read more slowly when there’s more white space on a page…
- Keep side bars neat and tidy, with ads (if applicable) at the top of the side bar, and a small summary of your recent posts, or reserve this area for straightforward navigation.
Font: Direct Attention without being Obnoxious
This is not an excerpt from Web Marketing for Dummies: the type and size of the font you use can help or hinder your conversion rate. Seem pretty basic? Tell that to the loads of business owners out there who are still using ridiculously hard to read fonts because they think it looks cool. This is another area where it’s best to keep it simple.
That being said, don’t be afraid to highlight important bodies of text or calls to action with a larger font or even bold. Both can be very effective ways to guide site visitors further down your conversion funnel.
Format and Speed:
I know that in our internet marketing business, this is one bit of advice we’ve offered (maybe ‘pleaded’ is a better word), again and again: You DO Need a Mobile Site. To compete online today, and that means converting website visitors into your customers, you’ve got to make your site more user-friendly for the growing number of people using their mobile devices to search for goods and services.
Adding to this, if your site is slow, it’s not just going to frustrate the people who discover your site while searching from their smart phones. Even the people sitting in front of their laptops, not going anywhere, are going to give up. Waiting for web pages to load is annoying and one of the biggest conversion killers there is. No amount of web marketing will save your site from high bounce rates if it loads slowly.
Convince Your Visitors
A site that lacks testimonials or social media icons will always have more difficulty converting visitors. When people have proof that someone before them has used your services or purchased your product and can attest to your authority, they will always be more willing to look at your business more closely, sign-up for your newsletter, buy your product, or feel motivated to contact you for more information.
Now is the time to make the necessary adjustments to your site so that it can perform the way one should. While these basic web marketing strategies will get you started, deeper analysis of your site and the way people behave when on your site will give you an even more accurate idea of how your site must change if you want to improve conversions.