The design of a website can have a positive or negative impact on conversion rates, so it’s important to understand the relationship between the two.  While you may think a fancy looking site is the way to attract visitors, there isn’t much point in the website at all unless some of the visitors decide to convert.

There are many design mistakes that businesses make when building a website – often because the aesthetics are prioritised over the function. Always remember what the sole purpose of the website is; to sell your products or services. Therefore all elements should assist in the business purpose of the site.

It’s quite easy to get caught up in elaborate design elements and flashing animations, but it should never be at the expense of functionality. In some ways, web design can reduce conversions by either putting consumers off or somehow making the buying process too difficult. Here are three ways you could be unknowingly jeopardising your conversion rate.

  1. Bad navigation and unclear icons

Before a visitor decides to buy, they first have to find what they are looking for. If this isn’t easy, then it’s unlikely they will convert. Have a simple navigation bar with clearly labelled categories to help visitors browse the site and find certain items. A search bar is also a good idea. Shopping cart icons should also be simple and easy to find on every page –if it takes people more than a few seconds to view their basket, they are likely to abandon it.

  1. Slow loading designs

If there is any design element which is slowing down loading times – animations, large images, too many forms to fill out – this is almost certainly harming your conversion rate. Take them away and see if there is an improvement. People do not like to wait for pages to load, so it’s better to have a simple site which loads faster than an amazing looking site which doesn’t convert. Always stick to the purpose!

  1. No calls to action

Never forget that visitors need telling what do to. They might be viewing a product or considering signing up to a newsletter – but without a call to action they won’t have the motivation to do so. Make a web page convert by using carefully designed CTAs which stand out from the rest of the text. One word or short phrases on these buttons work best, such as ‘Sign up now’ ‘Buy’ and ‘Request a sample.’ Unless you give your visitors a nudge in the right direction, they’re unlikely to convert.

Always ensure your web design team optimises your website for conversion, or you could be wasting your time and effort.

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