Ample website traffic is only the first step in growing your online business and increasing sales. Once you’ve built that traffic, you need to analyze what makes a visitor become a customer, and that task can be much harder than driving traffic.
The reality is, consumers have very high expectations for websites now, meaning you better tailor a fantastic experience that wows them and makes the next steps apparent. And for this to happen, it all comes down to one thing: website design.
Your website design can make or break the sale. And with online sales continuously growing year after year, it’s the elephant in the room you can’t ignore. According to Digital Commerce 360, 2019 U.S. online sales accounted for $601.75 billion of consumer spending. That’s a 14.9 percent increase over the prior year.
While focusing on website traffic is good, it won’t matter if that visitor came from a search engine, social media, or email marketing, they’ll need a clean and clear design once they get there that sets forth everything that’s important about your brand and makes it clear what they should do next.
The troubling reality is, if you choose to ignore your outdated online presence, all your traffic could be for naught because visitors will just leave and find solutions to their problems elsewhere. So here are the ways your website could be sending your visitors to your competitors instead of converting on your website.
Your website doesn’t guide the user to important content
Today’s consumers are rather spoiled from outstanding online experiences. Whether it’s a car dealership that puts information in the header graphic to go here for used cars and there for new cars or Apple who sets up easy-to-read charts to compare their technology, consumers expect a lot out of websites now.
So if your website isn’t offering that guidance to your visitors, the consumer might feel misunderstood and fatigued from navigating your site. And so they leave and you miss out on that sale.
Good website design makes it so that the next step is clear. Bold calls to action that tell the user specifically what to expect when they click on them, effective value positioning, and suggestions for similar products you sell at the bottom of every product page can all help tell the user what to do next.
Clutter and slow load times frustrate the user
A slow-loading website is a website that most people don’t have time for. You have seconds to showcase who you are, what you offer and why all of that matters. After all, there are plenty of websites out there that sell what you sell or offer the services you offer. So why would a user stay on your site and wait for your content to load?
Even if your website loads quickly, if it’s cluttered and busy, you’ll overwhelm your visitor. For example, some websites have two or three calls to action before the consumer even scrolls. That’s too many and can weigh down your online experience unnecessarily.
Well-designed and executed websites load quickly, offer important information on the first page and compel the user to take the first step toward purchasing with your business.
Discuss with your website designer file types that provide the best user experience and quick load times. Even if that’s the only aspect of your website you can fix right now, it will have a huge impact on your online business.
Calls to action are lacking or ineffective
The calls to action throughout your website might be the most important content you host. They tell users how to get more information about you, where to go to purchase a product, how to navigate the purchasing process and what number to call if something goes wrong.
Some pages might have primary and secondary calls to action, such as make a purchase and join our email list. So what happens if both calls to action are strong and demand the user’s attention? Simply put, they won’t function as primary and secondary calls to action. Instead, they might confuse and overwhelm your visitor compelling them to take neither action and leave your website.
A website designer is skilled at presenting your calls to action in a bold yet inviting manner. Sometimes, removing hyperlinks from your body text or images can strengthen your buttons and primary calls to action to nudge the visitor to the pages and information you really want them to view.
In your preliminary conversations with your website designer, make sure you discuss the customer journey and the information consumers need to make a purchasing decision. This information can help your designer ensure that this customer buying journey is visually presented within your website and optimized for conversion.
The website is outdated and lacks the “coolness factor”
This aspect of your website is a bit more abstract but still very important. Outdated websites can be a serious turn off for visitors. They might exude a certain image that you don’t care what the consumer thinks and that isn’t a great look.
And not only that but websites that lack a modern look and feel are less likely to be shared. To show your consumers that you care about them and about engaging with them, you need a modern design.
Build in encouragement for social sharing. That doesn’t mean cluttering every page with social media buttons or saying “share this” on every webpage. Be strategic and highlight the most shareable pages. These might be your images, blog posts or product pages. Use subtle calls to action on these pages to share with a friend.
Or even include the option to share the fact that they’ve purchased with your company. Luxury brands or services that are social events, such as concerts or 5Ks, can benefit from a purchase thank you page that offers the option to share that purchase with the consumer’s social network.
Purchasing or completing a form from mobile is too hard
Just about every website platform on the market today has a mobile-first design because mobile is essential. So why are we still talking about mobile websites? Easy, because many still lack the features and ease for mobile that encourages purchases and engagement.
Whether you like it or not, the Amazon app allows consumers to make purchases with the click of a button. No, we can’t all be Amazon. But when you think about how convenient they make it, you have to at least come close.
All forms and your online purchasing process must have a mobile-first design. That means enabling autofill, simplifying the information you request to only what’s essential and offering the option to log in so that consumers can complete the purchase process using the information you already know about them.
Mobile e-commerce sales continue to take up more and more of the online purchasing marketplace. And with that comes the importance that your website design be ready to meet this demand.
At Wieting Design, we know that websites are a crucial aspect of all business strategies, even those that sell in-person at a brick and mortar location. We’ve made it our mission to help local small businesses convert more visitors into prospects and more prospects into customers. Contact us to learn more about our services and what sets us apart.
Wieting Design offers modern websites that delight customers and turn website visitors into prospects. We have experience designing websites for a variety of industries and would love the opportunity to discuss your project with you. Contact us to learn more.
Wieting Design offers Graphic Design, Website Design, Search Engine Marketing, Video Production and Logo Design to our clients.