How Will Website Design Increase Sales?
“Marketing agency is not usually something that is done lightly, but once you begin to receive this support, you’ll be sorry you didn’t do it sooner.”
If your company website is tasked with increasing revenue for your business, then making sure it’s optimised is vital.
A fundamental part of any website is how it’s designed. It wasn’t too long ago that you could launch a fairly simplistic, even counter-intuitive website and still be getting some moderate levels of success.
However, like everything in the digital world, website design has moved on considerably and continues to do so at a frantic pace. It’s also an important aspect of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), with Google rewarding or penalising sites in the search engine rankings based on good or bad usability.
How you design your website and set-out your navigation can have a significant bearing on how successful your site is for a whole load of reasons, and for the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you judge success on sales.
Throughout your website design process, you need to keep in mind that a customer needs to find information quickly and easily. Additionally they need their trust to be built up so that they feel conveyed to buy. All of this is achievable through your website design and can help you increase sales.
So, with that in mind, here are 10 areas in which your website design and navigation will help you to increase sales.
Navigation and usability
It’s never been more important in website design to make your website super intuitive and easy to use as it is today. Navigation is a critically important part of this and something you should pay attention to long before you begin to think of colours.
In fact, your site map should be the first guiding principle about how your site structure will look, and from there you need to devise the most efficient way of customers navigating through your site to find those pages and products. Always think mobile first as it’s likely that the majority of your users will be on a mobile device.
Incorporate a ‘burger menu’ which will work across mobile and tablet and make sure that your desktop variation continues to maintain easy navigation. The less levels of navigation the better.
The bottom line here, is if your website is too hard to use and customers cannot very quickly find what they’re looking for, they will leave and likely never return. That’s an opportunity lost. Design it well and make it easy for them, then they’re into your sales funnel.
Calls to action (CTAs)
A call to action on a website is effectively a prompt for the user to do something. ‘Buy Now’, ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Contact us’ are all common examples of them. But where do you place them and how should thy look?
In short, have your most important CTA above the fold, ideally across all devices. You need the customer to be able to complete that CTA or transaction with minimal thought on their side. The more obvious your CTAs are, the more likely you are to convert them in to sales.
We could write an entire article alone on the importance of your colour choices in website design. A tonne of research has been conducted in this very area. In short, keep your colours on-brand, sure, but don’t overpower users. If you’re trying to convert them, then keep websites clean and use colours for a reason.
For example, make your ‘buy now’ buttons red or green. Red is proven to be a signal for urgency and users want to press it (think of a big red panic button) while green is a safe colour which people are also more inclined to click.
Also, when it comes to website design, avoid colours which may cause a problem from an accessibility point of view. Yellow writing on a white background is a perfect example of this.
Easy, distraction-free checkout
Website design is more important during the checkout process than arguably at any other point on your website. Users that add products to their basket and begin that journey to checkout are on the brink of committing and purchasing your product.
So, from a design perspective, cut out any distractions that may exist elsewhere on your site. Once they advance from basket to that first checkout phase, don’t even think of suggesting any additional products or displaying banner ads. You may also want to remove your main website navigation completely from the checkout process.
It’s proven that the more distractions there are for a user, the more likely they are to abandon their cart. Give them no excuse to leave the checkout – your design principles here should be to keep it as clean, easy and simple as possible.
Also, this includes the data capture forms. If you can use a post code look-up when the user enters their address, then that absolutely should be implemented. Allow them to select to use the same shipping and billing address and use only required fields during checkout. If you don’t need phone numbers, interests and other data, don’t ask for it here. A long form will definitely put the user off of completing.
Any website development should take speed in to account. A slow and sluggish site will not only completely turn-off your users and see them leave, but it’s likely to damage your search engine rankings too. Google penalises slow sites. Can you really blame them?
Security is a massive part of website design. Yes, from a functionality point of view you need to ensure you have an SSL certificate and adhere to other security guidelines and legislation, but you need to show your customers how seriously you take it.
Make sure you tell them about how you user your date and use logos for any security services you use in your footer design (e.g. Thawte, VeriSign).
Most website users remain vigilant and a often even nervous when considering a transaction. Aligned to the point about security, you also need to give them every indication that this is the best place to buy and the best deal they’ll get.
Include testimonials, certificates, review scores and logos, Which? Magazine ratings or anything else you may have. It all helps build trust.
Social proof and reviews
Social proof is a very important area when it comes to website design. You need to make sure your site includes product reviews where possible as well as social media sharing options. User reviews are the most powerful selling signal – look at some of the biggest digital companies online right now. TripAdvisor, Yelp, Trust Pilot and Amazon. User reviews are fundamental to their success.
Website design covers many things, but it can also be over-complicated by some people. When it comes to product information – that is the product you are looking to sell – then put yourself in the mind of the consumer. Make the product description readable and detailed enough to sell the product to them.
Don’t hide key product information or specifications and if you have reviews or videos of the product, then link or embed them as prominently as possible. When the user arrives at your product, the only thing you need them to do is buy – don’t make it hard for them.
Monitor conversion rates constantly
Once your website is up and running, you should closely monitor conversion rates on a daily basis. See how the website is performing, and when you make a change or tweak, make a note of when you did it. This way, you can identify whether it made a positive or negative impact. If it didn’t work, you can simple roll it back to a previous version.