Driving traffic to your site is relatively simple; moving clicks to sales is something entirely different. Much of that conversion comes from beautiful science-based web design and understanding how people perceive your website. Idea Maker specializes in designing beautiful and practical websites, and we want to share our top web design tips based on scientific research.
Top 12 Web Design Tips
Science has discovered some strange things about the way our minds work. Technology and psychology have become more intertwined over recent years as so much of our lives have been converted to digital interactions. Our society is built on speed, convenience, and ease of action. Creating your website with these factors in mind will make your conversions and lead capture more successful and improve your sales and engagement.
1. Visual Hierarchy has a Huge Impact on Navigation
Humans like linear order, this is why we read in lines, and we build our homes as vaguely squared angular shapes—for most people, having an easy-to-follow sitemap or outline. However, it goes beyond the apparent line-by-line organization of a site. You’ll want to learn more about the visual hierarchy of font size, color, and focal images and texts.
There is an entire line of design techniques dedicated to the user experience or UX, and they have a lot of focus on the Laws or Fundamentals of Visual Hierarchy. Findings someone who is naturally a visual person will be a massive asset to your web design team. Please pay special attention to the format of successful business websites and their use of color to keep the reader scrolling.
2. Make Every Word Count
There is no kind way to say it; when it comes to reading things, humans are lazy and have a short attention span. After you’ve chased the click-through with Google or Bing, you’ll need to hook the reader into your content.
Using keyword-heavy but easy to read and process content broken up into easy-to-manage chunks will help you keep visitors on your website long enough to make an impact. Long-Tail keywords give you a ton of organic traffic while conveying a significant amount of information to your readers.
3. Focus on Mobile Compatibility Above Desktop Compatibility
Over 68% of all web traffic in 2020 was mobile-based. This is a trending increase year over year and looks like it’ll continue. Designing your website to work with both mobile and desktop viewers will be beneficial because our society tends to follow the path of least resistance. It is more convenient to pull our phones from our pockets and look up what we need on the spot.
Mobile design has to accommodate the portrait layout preferred by mobile browsers, while desktop browsers are primarily viewed in landscape. One of the most challenging aspects of making it compatible with both formats is the navigation menus. Put focus here, and you’ll be so much closer to success. If the site navigation frustrates readers, they won’t want to stick around.
4. Prioritize the Need for Speed
If your site loads slow enough to make your readers reminisce about the days of dial-up, you’re losing potential clients. With 5G networks, DSL, and Fiber networks, your website shouldn’t take more than a second or two to load. Reduce your use of large images and fancy gallery effects. These are two of the biggest speed killers for website load times.
Prioritize your load and reaction speeds to keep your viewers engaged. The speed of your website directly influences your site’s bounce rate and conversions. Putting focus into speeding your website will take time but will be worth the effort.
5. Learn About Your Fold
For some designers, the fold isn’t essential. But for influential designers, it matters. The fold is a holdover from the days of newspaper sales. Everything you wanted to convey to sell your newspaper had to appear on the top fold of the front page.
In simple web design terms, the fold is the point at the bottom of the first screen before your reader has to scroll to view the rest of the content. Scientifically, it’s essential to put critical information above the fold. Using this first chunk of your website to hook and engage readers is vital to keeping them on the page.
The fold will be different for every device, but you can average the fold across several devices and focus on the pre-fold content field. Making your early content pack the biggest punch and pique your reader’s interest will pull viewers beyond the first page of content.
6. Hick’s Law Prevents Choice Overload
Studies have shown that when a client is spoiled for choice, they’d instead not choose then make the wrong choice. In a supermarket, that reflects as choosing to buy when too many options are given. On your website, that will manifest as an experience of overwhelm by the number of options and will drive traffic away.
To take advantage of the Hick’s Law hypothesis, make sure to streamline your menu options and only give options that will benefit your conversion funnel. Reduce the fields in forms, make things easier, focus on a single goal on each page, and avoid multiple calls to action requesting different actions on the same page.
7. Don’t Get Fancy with Visuals
In the past, adding carousels, accordions, and other gallery styles was on trend for web design. However, as we now need to focus on the speed of our site’s load times, they are not adding to your website’s efficiency. Rather than getting flashy and fancy, organize the information and put it all on one page. People don’t mind scrolling down your page so long as the information is valuable.
Tabs, carousels, slides, and other processor-heavy visual galleries slow your website’s load and navigation speeds, negating your efforts for fast load speeds. It’s better to space out your images into a list with relevant information or into a visually appealing static grid of images. Simple images also serve as an opportunity for linking to an alternative service page.
8. Visual Cues Direct Eye Movement
When you look at heatmaps for web pages, you can see that people are more likely to fill out a form or act as a call to action if they’re directed visually to do so. If your page has a person looking at the camera between the text and the form, it serves as a visual barrier. If that photo has the person looking directly at or pointing at the form or call to action, you’ll see that eyes travel now to that location the image is pointing to. The image is no longer a barrier but a direction.
In most cases, using images of real people is more effective than other images; however, in some situations, using arrows, signs, or inanimate objects to direct attention is more effective. You can always test one way and change it later if the initial option isn’t achieving the goal.
9. Repeat Your Call to Action & Avoid False Bottoms
Earlier, we mentioned focusing on one call to action per page or section. While that is the best practice, it doesn’t mean you can’t repeat that one call to action. Try to avoid being pushy and spam-like; your content creators should be able to sprinkle in at least two or three natural calls to action with links to make it simple and easy to complete the lead capture process.
Try to avoid truncating your content with a false summary-type call-to-action. In the first few lines and the final line, call-to-action statements fit nicely. However, adding in a finalizing call to action in the middle of your content will short circuit your reader and cause them to leave the site before engaging in the lead generation action.
10. Valuable Lists Ease Navigation
People like lists. There is an entire genre of blogging that focuses on lists: listicles. Buzzfeed and Social Media popularized this format because it’s a fast and efficient method to convey information without bogging down the message with extra detail.
Use a list above the fold to engage the reader in what is yet to come. Use this informative listicle format to link to other pages so that the content is easy to find and engage in. This is an excellent option in addition to a well-designed menu for navigation. Plus, search engines like lists.
11. Real People – Real Testimonials
Use real people and their experiences to convince future customers to trust your brand. Word of mouth is the top influential factor in converting from shopper to customer. People will always tell others about a bad experience. When there is a positive testimonial, you know the product, feature, or service impact. If you highlight these reviews, it gives your company more gravitas. Social Proof is going to sway customers to make that purchase.
Content Creation Value
Hire content creators if writing to please Google and Bing algorithms aren’t your strong suit. The content you put on your website is both the thing that gets you in front of readers and engages the reader to act.
Naturally incorporating SEO into your blog and services content will help people find you and understand the value you provide to them. Search Engine Optimization is how Google and Bing find your webpage and involves the primary content and Meta content.
Writing Formats for Conversion
There are specific restrictions to formatting that can make or break your conversion. The average website reader has a fluent comprehension level around a 5-6th grade reading level. Keeping sentences under 20 words and paragraphs around 3-4 sentences long helps readers process more information.
Visual White Space
Double spacing your paragraphs to create white space between chunks of information ease your reader’s comprehension and enjoyment. People are more likely to keep reading if your content isn’t taxing their brain processes. When readers are comfortable with the information they’re reading, they’re more likely to choose to purchase from your company.
Writing your site in a way that makes it more accessible to those with disabilities will open your business to an entirely new market of potential clients. Working with someone who has experience creating a more accessible website will be incredibly valuable to your business goals.
Keeping Up with SEO Algorithm Changes
Google and Bing are notorious for changing their algorithm searches for user types in a search query. Working with a writer who researches and grows with the search standards will provide higher quality content consistently.
Solutions with Idea Maker
Designing an efficient website that leads readers to convert into customers can be overwhelming. Idea Maker is an Orange County web design company specializing in every aspect of creating a successful website.
Contact us today to see our past projects, our tried and tested design process, our past clients’ portfolio, and set up your free consultation. We look forward to discussing your company’s needs and designing the perfect website or app for your business.
Our team of specialists has proven their skills time and time again in dozens of different industrial projects. You can learn more about our experts and us and have a conversation about your needs and concerns.
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