3 Web design strategies to improve online conversions and marketing
"Want to learn 3 killer web design strategies that can help to increase online conversions and generate more money online from existing traffic?"
Web design is an integral part of the Internet marketing chain that can be used maximize conversions.
The goal of the following 3 Web design strategies are to lower the bounce rate by speeding up page load times, introduce an interactive aspect to increase engagement, and simplify the marketing message to efficiently funnel readers to a conversion.
Web design, conversions and Internet marketing
Great Web design can be used to improve the rate at which a blog or website converts. It's therefore an important part of any Internet marketing strategy because it helps to generate money (by maximizing conversions) from the traffic arising from other, off-site, marketing activities.
I've chosen the following three Web design techniques because they offer the greatest return for as little effort as possible. In other words, you should be able to implement them quite easily and derive great benefit almost immediately.
1. Optimize page design with CSS3
"Why is it so important to optimize webpages?" Pages that load quickly not only offer a better browsing experience for visitors (and potential customers), they also impress Google.
Google takes page speed into account when determining where in the search results content should appear. All other things being equal, a page that is faster will appear higher in search results and drive more traffic than a slow loading page.
A fast website is a part of good SEO, and should not be overlooked as a powerful tool for online marketing purposes.
If you aren't familiar with CSS3 or why it can be used to cut down on page size and speed up your site, then I recommend you read How CSS3 can improve SEO and maximize conversions.
CSS3 offers design effects and functionality that allow you to get rid of clunky images that are one of the main contributors to page size and load time. By updating your blog or website to make use of CSS3, you can get a foot up against competitors who are slower to wake up to the SEO benefits of CSS3 web design.
As mentioned in How CSS3 can improve SEO and maximize conversions, you don't even have to know anything much about CSS3 because there are some fantastic online design tools to help out.
2. Increase engagement with an interactive CSS3 widget
I have never been a big proponent of gimmicky, flashy widgets as a way to attract attention on-page.
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That's not to say I'm against a lightweight, efficient widget that helps to engage readers by offering them a course of action (designed to help them find what they need and convert). With CSS3 this is now possible.
WSM4B recently added a cool engagement tool (called the dialog slider) to all content pages. The dialog slider uses CSS3 transitions to fade in and out and slide on and off the page whenever a reader hovers over the "PSSSST! tab (shown on the left hand side of your screen).
The slider then asks a simple question "Did you find what you wanted?" and offers the reader actions to take based on their answer. The beauty of this dialog is that it is a win-win situation for WSM4B.
If the reader did find what they need, they can share that page socially. If they didn't they are provided with some great additional options (on WSM4B) to find the information they need, or get expert advice if they can't.
3. Make conversion actions prominent and easy
I'm going to start off this section with a lesson in how not to design a webpage to maximize conversions. This example comes from Telkom (one of the world's largest providers of telecommunications services).
To set the scene, Telkom offers a DSL topup service that allows customers to buy more bandwidth if they have burned through their monthly allocation. When customers reach their limit, they are restricted to local Internet coverage, which prevents access to important overseas websites.
Take a look at the following screenshot (the Telkom DSL topup page):
Where do you convert? Telkom has hidden the link to topup (convert). The action the customer needs to take is not immediately obvious. In fact, the most striking part of this page is the "Go back" button, which I clicked a few times before I noticed the well camouflaged click here link.
Not only that, but as I mentioned, the only time Telkom customers need this page is when their bandwidth has been limited to local access. Telkom include Google analytics on this page and the analytics urchin is served from overseas.
For bloggers and business that don't enjoy government support, my advice is to do the exact opposite. Make conversion actions immediately obvious, with a clear message and simple design. This takes the guess work out of browsing your site, and actually leads to an improved browsing experience because there is no frustration or confusion.
Don't be afraid to be bold. Make links or buttons big. A prominent call to action makes your intentions clear. If customers should sign up to your newsletter, tell them.
Also, online marketing messages need to be simple. People aren't idiots, but a simple and intuitive landing page leads to a better browsing experience and is more likely to establish trust; leading to a higher conversion rate.
Here are a couple of well designed webpages; each with a clear call-to-action:
Does your blog or website convert at a high rate? What web design tips and tricks do you use to improve on-page marketing, SEO and bounce rate? Share your Web design advice and experiences in the comments or join me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ to continue the conversation.
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