7 web design strategies to improve conversions

Your website plays a crucial role in attracting leads and boosting conversions. When 41.6% of users state that web design is the top criteria for determining a company’s credibility (according to research by Stanford University) this shows just how important a factor it is. There are plenty of web design strategies you can implement to help you improve your conversation rate. In this article we will be looking at simple tactics that you can implement without too much fuss, to start boosting those conversions!

Have you heard of any of these web design myths?

1. Make your site fast and responsive

One web design strategy you should adopt if you wish to increase your conversion rate is to make sure your website is both fast and responsive. That includes making sure the experience a user receives from your website is the same across all devices, including mobile. To highlight the importance of a fast and responsive website, around 40% of users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. 

Failing to keep your page speed as low as possible will affect your conversion rate and your SEO ranking. The more people who land on your site, and then leave without engaging, can damage your SEO. Search engines such as Google will penalise you for this. To further emphasise the point, a 1-second delay in your page’s speed can cost you up to 7% in conversions.

To make sure your page is running fast, consider using an online speed test tool, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights. An average loading time is around 3 seconds, so you should aim to improve on that. This will help to create a favourable impression and keep your bounce rate to a minimum. If you don’t have a decent page loading speed, the other strategies we covered here won’t be worth a dime.

Are you making any of these web design mistakes that could be hindering your website performance?

2. Don’t be afraid of whitespace

White space (or negative space as it’s sometimes referred to) is another strategy you should incorporate into your web design to help improve conversions. White space is a bit like marmite, some web designers love it, and others are not so keen. There is some confusion around ‘whitespace’ with many believing that it needs to be the colour white. That’s not the case.

Whitespace can be any colour providing no content or design elements is filling the ‘empty’ space. That includes both written copy and imagery. Some web designers are tempted to fill the space with brand messaging, call-to-actions, and other elements that they feel will boost actions and conversions. Whitespace can actually have the opposite effect and allow your content to ‘breath’.

A web design trend for 2022 that we pointed out was the increase in simple, minimalist designs, which incorporates the use of whitespace. Many modern web designs are starting to join the trend of adopting whitespace. When it can make such a difference to your conversions, it’s not hard to see why. Using whitespace can reduce the distractions a user will face on your page, allowing them to focus on the elements that matter. It also helps to keep a favourable impression by not overloading the users’ vision.

The Valenza website makes effective use of whitespace:

Valenza whitespace example 

Whitespace can be implemented into many areas of your design. Not only does it include leaving blank spaces around content, but can also include padding around design elements, spacing between your written copy, and making use of page margins. Removing any unnecessary elements from your website’s design will help to free up the page and could also help boost your speed. As the saying goes, kill two birds with one stone.

3. Use the ‘F’ layout

Another consideration for your web design to help improve conversions is how your content is laid out. Besides from making your copy compelling and easy to read, the placement is just as important. Users on a website will read left to right and top to bottom. Focusing the most important elements within the gaze of your reader can make a huge difference.

Nielsen Norman conducted a survey that examined the reading patterns of 232 participants. The study involved the participants viewing thousands of different pages. Using eye-tracking software, the study found the participant’s reading behaviour was relatively consistent. They read the pages in an ‘F’ pattern. While there are other reading patterns a user might follow, the ‘F’ pattern still holds today as the most common.

Here’s what the F-shaped reading pattern is like:

The F shape reading pattern

Placing the important elements, such as your copy and call-to-actions, within the order of the F-shaped reading pattern will help drive your conversions. By following this you can make sure that the most important elements on your page will take priority. You should also make sure that those elements the user sees first are designed in such a way to create a strong first impression.

To see how well the F-pattern works for your web design, consider using a heatmap to check the areas with the most engagement and interaction.

4. Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We’ve all been there. We visit a website, and frustratingly, cannot find what we are looking for. Whether it’s going through a maze of pages and navigation links, or having to jump through hoops to search for something. Poor navigation doesn’t do your web design any favours and it certainly doesn’t do your users any favours either. If a user cannot find what they are looking for, they will leave and seek their answers elsewhere.

Making your navigation easy to follow will help you keep users on your site. Allowing a user to easily guide themselves around will help lead them towards taking an action. Not only does this make it easier for a user to find what they are looking for but can also help increase their interest towards your brand or products.

The Egg Machine website uses a clear and easy navigation bar:

The Egg Machine easy navigation example

Another factor to consider for improving navigation is reducing click fatigue. Reducing the number of times a user has to click through to achieve a desired action can help boost your conversion rate.

Find out more about how you can improve your site’s navigation.

5. Tell users what to do

Another web design strategy you should consider for improving conversions is including call-to-actions (CTAs). Using specific CTAs in strategically placed locations on your web page can help drive conversions. Including CTAs is vital for allowing users to complete that all important action. If you don’t tell users what they need to do, they will abandon your site and you will lose a potentially valuable lead.

Your CTAs should be brief and to the point. If you want a user to download something, tell them. The language, tone, and colour used in your CTAs can make all the difference. Look at these and take note of the language:

Call-to-action language and tone example

While both action phrases may work, using the word yes at the start of your CTA can help increase a user to act by helping to spin a positive light on what you are offering. Find out how to boost the effectiveness of your CTA to boost conversions.

6. Use of colours

The colours you choose in your web design can make a huge difference. From evoking emotions to driving action, colours are the most striking aspect of your design. For that reason, the use of colours is another strategy that can help drive conversions. The colours and combinations you use can evoke different emotions and reactions. You should make the colours you use within your web design reflect the emotions and reactions you want your brand to evoke.

Whether it’s the colour you use in your design, images, or call-to-actions, they can all make a difference. While you will want to create a colour theme that is consistent with your brand, you should also consider the psychological connotations of the colours used in your web design. The use of colours in your call-to-actions can have just as much impact as the written copy. Using colours that drive action will perform much better to help capture those conversions. And remember to test, test, test to see how well your CTAs perform!

7. Using people and faces

Our last (but not least!) web design strategy for driving conversions is using people and faces. Whether you subconsciously realise it or not, including human faces and people within your content can help to elicit stronger emotional responses than any written copy would ever achieve.

The Christmas By Design website effectively incorporates people into their web design:

Christmas By Design using people example

What is even more effective is when the people you incorporate into your design are looking at an element you want to draw people’s attention to. Whether that’s a CTA or important information, people’s eyes will feel more compelled to look at that element. Just make sure that the people you incorporate into your web design reflect your brand and values.

Implementing these 7 simple strategies into your website can help you improve and boost that all-important conversion rate. While these 7 web design strategies will get you off to a good start, you should also consider other elements to help attract attention and lead to that all-important action. Consider also implementing AIDA into your next web design project and you should start to see those conversions grow.

See how to implement AIDA into your web design project