A good website can make or break your marketing efforts.  Without the proper elements in your web design, you could lose out on leads.  Not only should your website catch the eye of prospective customers, but it should also serve a purpose: increase conversion rates.  By incorporating a great design, interesting content, easy navigation, and a clear call to action, you can have a website that truly works for you.

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Create an Intriguing Design

While the main goal of your website should be increasing conversion rates, don’t underestimate the effect of a good design.  If your site is appealing to the eye, then users are more likely to spend time browsing it, resulting in more conversions.  To make the most of your design, take into consideration the following aspects.

White Space:  According to Carrie Cousins of Design Shack, “Space is one of the most important design tools because it dictates everything—from flow, to readability.”  It also helps create focal points on your pages.  One image or phrase surrounded by empty space – which doesn’t necessarily have to be white – forces the user to focus on just that item.  To make the most out of the space on your website, keep spacing consistent between similar elements.

Images:  The images on your website can either flop with viewers or make a huge impact.  You want to go for impact.  To do this, create unique, stunning visuals.  Avoid overusing stock images so that your site won’t end up looking the same or similar to someone else’s.  Professionals suggest hiring a photographer to develop a set of images specifically for your website.

Fonts:  Font is no longer limited to the few types that were popular a decade ago.  With more options than ever, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity to make your words pop with beautiful typefaces.  For the best benefits and simplest use, try a free service like Google Web Fonts.  Using a service helps you avoid licensing and compatibility issues.

Write Interesting Content

One of the things that brings people to your website in the first place is content.  Think about it.  You post a teaser to a blog that someone might be interested in, but to read the entire post the user must enter your website.  Ensuring that your content – whether it’s a blog, About page, or other information – is useful and stimulating to your target demographic will keep users coming back to your page for future information, leading to higher conversion rates.  To start, focus on your About Me page.

About Me

The About Me section of your website is the place many viewers will spend the most time because it contains the most information.  It’s vital to tell people who you are, what you do, and what you’re about.  This is a great place to include customer testimonials, reviews, and success stories.  Give your readers a positive impression of your company.  To create an effective About Me page, avoid being too wordy.  Keep your writing interesting but to-the-point, and consider adding some pictures of yourself or your company to give the page a little personality.

Make Navigation Simple

The next element to creating a website that increases conversion rates is easy navigation. Five to ten menu navigation items is the ideal amount.  The goal here is to make your website easy to use for new viewers.  Complicated navigation could mean you lose out on a sale.  Someone who is interested in your product could easily change her mind if she has trouble finding what she needs on your site.  Keep in mind that the attention span of people browsing the web is usually only a couple of minutes.  Anything that takes longer than that causes frustration, leading the user to move on to the next website.

Incorporate a Clear Call to Action

This is the reason your website exists; you want users to ultimately take action.  All the other stuff mentioned in this article should serve the purpose of leading potential customers to your call to action page.  The first thing you want to do is determine the exact purpose of your website.  Do you want users to download an app, give you their email address, or purchase an item?  Once that has been decided, then make your call to action obvious.  Place it in a prominent spot and use a contrasting color to say exactly what you need to say (Buy Now, Join, Sign Up, etc.).

Increase Conversion Rates

If you take all of the above into consideration when creating your website, you’ll in turn increase the rate of leads to conversions.  With a few simple website tweaks, you can make sure your website is doing what it’s supposed to do.  Ditch the “brochure” website design and create a site that works.