Hello there! I'm Alex, a Chicago designer curating a creative online community for entrepreneurs.

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Website Design Principles that Convert

Effective website designs for growing businesses carefully balance displaying the look and feel of their brands while also guiding website visitors toward becoming conversions and engaging as new customers or clients. The design principles I’ve outlined below are a great place to start when designing a website that converts. 

Consistent Branding

A professional looking site helps to make you more credible in the eyes of your audience, which is the groundwork for more website conversions. Visitors to your website should be able to quickly get a sense of your business and what it stands for – your site should tell a story that aligns with your values and your branding should be apparent across your site. 

Your logo and the fonts, imagery, and colors in your website design should align with your branding. Choose prominent aspects of your brand to incorporate throughout the site and then keep things consistent. Try to limit the number of fonts used to two to three to avoid making the page feel too busy. Thoughtfully use your brand’s color palette, working the primary colors into every page and tapping into secondary colors for calls-to-action and other elements meant to grab attention.

Email Sign-Up

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with potential clients and customers, so as a business owner you should always be growing your email list. Email lists have been proven to do a better job at increasing website conversions and leading to actual sales and can get up to 10 times the conversions that social media campaigns do.

There are several places on your website that are ideal for asking visitors for their email addresses. Welcome Mats are full-screen greetings featuring a call-to-action that visitors view before they access your site, and are perfect for email requests. There are also tools available that enable an email address capture depending on how far visitors have scrolled through your site. Traditional locations at the very top or very bottom of your website are equally effective spots to ask visitors to join your list.

White Space

Effectively using white space (also called “negative space”) gives your content room to visually breathe, giving your visitors time to easily scan your site and digest its content. An organized website that uses white space strategically is more balanced and is easier on the eyes. If your page is too busy and full of competing design elements, visitors might feel overwhelmed and leave, taking conversions with them.

Use white space to draw focus and attention to elements that support conversion actions. Make sure blocks of text and paragraphs have white space between and around them for better readability. Try not to incorporate too much white space between action items and the content that supports them to avoid visual disconnects for your visitors.

Reduce the Number of Options

One of the most important website design principles for encouraging website conversions is limiting the number of visual options a visitor is given on your website. The average website visitor spends about eight seconds taking in content before navigating to another page on the site or leaving the site altogether. Make it clear what you want your user to do on the page without overloading them with too many options. 

Think about your ideal customer and what they might be seeking when they come to your site – can they find it easily? Have a clear user journey and guide website visitors through thought patterns with design elements that naturally flow.

Design for Loading Speed

The time that it takes for your website to load in a browser can have a significant impact on website conversions. While zero to two seconds might sound super fast, studies have found that window of time to support the best conversion rates. If your page is too slow to load, your conversions will likely suffer.

Some simple design fixes can speed up your load time, so take the time to review your site’s content. Make sure that images and videos are sized and compressed appropriately, and reduce the number of custom fonts used on your website. Your design elements should be intentional, and anything that isn’t serving a purpose should be removed to reduce overall loading speed.

Pop-ups

As annoying as pop-ups might seem, if they’re done correctly they can boost website conversions by drawing the eye of the user to a specific call-to-action. Effective pop-ups can successfully collect email addresses, increase blog subscriptions, promote your content, and fuel leads. 

Think about locations on your site where pop-ups will function best. Scroll Maps help you to see where your visitors are often pausing as they navigate your website and can provide good ideas as to where and when pop-ups should emerge. Making sure that users can easily click out of your pop-ups is key, to avoid frustration or creating any distaste that would drive visitors to leave the site.

Analyzing Your Data

Understanding your website visitors’ activities and actions can help you to design your site to better appeal to them and to improve your website conversions. Google Analytics offers a ton of great insights into your website, showing you how visitors get there and their behaviors once they’ve landed.

With Google Analytics you can identify your top-performing content and see what is gaining the most traction and attention. Their metrics let you get a sense of where clicks are happening, how long visitors are spending on different parts of your site, and where visitor attention goes while navigating the site.

Creating a high conversion web design that is also visually appealing should be a major focus for any growing business with an online presence. These website design principles can help you to enhance the visitor experience on your site while improving your conversions.

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