With such a competitive online environment, website visitors tend to have short attention spans and will leave websites very quickly if they can’t easily navigate to the information they’re looking for. While some bells and whistles are awesome, depending on the industry and target audience, simplicity can many times drive higher conversions.
At cj Advertising, our number one goal is to help our clients’ websites convert higher than industry standards. Here are some steps we follow when planning a new website:
1) Do your homework.
Analyze your competition, and look for common themes and elements. Notice the tone of voice, what types of images are used, and where the different calls to action are placed. Then think of ways to make your website stand out from the competition.
2) Create a content outline and website wireframe.
Content outlines provide the basic framework of your website and wireframes make those elements come to life. Think of these as the blueprints of your website. It’s always easier to adjust the blueprint than to move a finished wall.
3) Depend on your building blocks.
Create visual hierarchy with imagery, strong calls to action, descriptive headlines and sub-headlines, and provide users with engaging, valuable content. To keep users focused and reading, structure your imagery and content into smaller sections, emphasizing the subject matter.
4) Make important elements easy to find.
Visitors don’t have the time or patience to do a lot of browsing for buttons, contact information, or other conversion elements. Keep the most important information easy to find at the top of the Web page.
5) Choose colors wisely.
As you’re designing your website, select a simple color scheme. The more colors you add, the more they compete with conversion elements, such as links, buttons, and social media icons. When in doubt, remember, less is more.
6) Write quality content.
Messaging is one of the key components of a successful website. Hire a seasoned copywriter (or freelance) to help you wordsmith your website. Depending on your target audience or what results you want to achieve, a copywriter can develop content that speaks directly to your audience, ultimately leading to conversions.
7) Use your type wisely.
Although Web browsers are adjustable in content size, most users keep the size of the browser’s default setting. Depending on the target audience, try to use a font that is big enough for the visitor to read without being obnoxious.
8) Keep text readable.
Avoid using white text on a dark background when displaying paragraph text to make it easier for users to read. Forcing a user to fixate on the white text for a long time can strain the user’s eyes. White stimulates all three types of color sensitive visual receptors in the human eye in nearly equal amounts. This makes reading white paragraph text on dark backgrounds stressful on the user’s eyes.
9) Sell only YOUR services.
Unless your company model is supported by sponsorships, resist filling your website with affiliate banner ads, especially animated ones. If you do need to add sponsors and supporters, designate a page specifically to them. This is also a perfect opportunity to promote sponsors on your social media platforms.
10) Invest in analytics and heatmapping.
People will have their opinions about your website, but data doesn’t lie. Turn on analytic tools when you launch your website to see what works and what does not. Web analytics deliver data about your website, your visitors, and your visitors’ behaviors. Heatmapping shows you where people are clicking and how far down they are scrolling. These tools combined help you measure what’s working and what isn’t, so you can focus on improving site performance.
It’s hard for a company to create a strong Web presence without creating a well-planned strategy. At cj, we use mountains of data and years of experience to help craft unique and powerful brands for our clients. We constantly monitor, test, and optimize to ensure that you are getting the most traffic to your website, ultimately leading to conversions.
Ready to take your website to the next level? Contact your Interactive Client Services representative, today.