You are most likely here for a couple different reasons, either you don’t have a website yet and would like to figure out how to create one or you already have a website and it’s just not working like it should. Either way, you’re in the right spot.
If you already have a website and it’s not working how you envisioned you’re probably thinking, the internet is full of users so why is nobody taking action? Simple, your website isn’t optimized to convert. Not only should your website look great BUT the way you layout every element and word your website can have a HUGE impact on whether or not your users take action.
The problem is people think a great website is as simple as slapping together some pretty fonts and color themes, the truth is it’s not that easy. It’s actually about giving the users (the people who visit your website) what they want, and yes that means colors and fonts too (insert sad face emoji here). I know we all want pretty bright pink and glittered unicorns dancing around but…that is not how it works I wish I could say it was.
Everything about your website should be aimed to please your targeted customers, most importantly the fonts, colors, and content. Every element on your site should have a purpose and that purpose should be to please the user and get them clicking so you can gain more business.
Naturally, as humans, we are all about ourselves, and that usually means we tend to choose the things that we personally like, so you might be inclined to make your website about YOU and YOUR likes. Here’s the thing; If you want to create a website that is going to convert, you need to use this downfall to your advantage. Take the high road and create a website that looks, feels, and appears how your audience wants it to. For example, say you don’t like the color red but your target audience loves it, try including the red to appeal to others!
Keep your goals handy because we will come back to them, but first I want to touch on a couple of other things that are important.
If you want to create an effective website that converts, you are going to want to start off with a little bit of planning. Sit down with the old-fashioned pen and paper and start thinking about what you want your website to do for you.
When you think about your goals try to aim for ONE main goal and if you must take up to two other smaller goals, but always keep the main goal at the forefront of your mind whenever you are making changes on your website.
Some examples might be…
- Subscribe to Your Mailing List
- Contact You
- Purchase Your Product or Service
- Follow you on a social media channel
Remember how I said you want to create a website aimed to please your users? Well, your users are going to be your target audience.(Not sure who your target audience is? I’ll be talking about that in a future post so be sure to check back!)
Color Choice: Choose a color that is going to give your customer those inner butterfly feelings that you want them to have for your business. Touch on those feelings so they can’t help but want more of you. There is a such a thing as color psychology and you need to keep this in mind when you choose your website color scheme.
If you want your visitors to feel all romancy (is that a word?) calm, and warm inside use pink. Would you like them to feel love, passion or impulse? Use red. You want them to feel all, cheery, fun use yellow.
Of course, you probably don’t want to use exactly “yellow” or “pink” or “red” but you want to use those colors to create a custom color that aligns with your target color.
A great tool for creating custom color schemes is Adobe Kuler. This tool allows you to pull colors from images by uploading them, create custom color schemes, and they have hundreds of color schemes already made by other users if you click on “explore”.
Not good with color theory? There are tons of books on the subject! Or you can do a simple Pinterest search and start reading some blogs on it. You will be amazed at what you can learn from a little Pinterest or google search.
Less Is More
I see often where a business has so much going on within their website that users cannot focus on the main goal and have no idea what to do. Pretty soon they are all over the place and in most cases end up leaving the site. We like things to be organized in such a way that is simple, to the point, and makes sense.
My advice to you is going through your website AFTER you have thought about the main goal that you want your users to perform and clear out the clutter. If an element on your website has no real purpose and doesn’t support what you are trying to achieve with your website, ditch it. You don’t need it!
You want the focus to be on the action you want them to take. Your CONTENT is king and all of your content should support ONE main end goal.
The Who & The What
Statistics show you have about 3 seconds to get someone to decide whether or not they want to hang out and learn about your company. So, how do you grab attention immediately? Let’s think about the interactions YOU take when you land on a website to figure out how we need to optimize our homepage to get users to stay. ( I know my homepage needs some work, but I promise I’m working on it! Practice what I preach ha)
Users usually scan a website in one of a few ways. This can vary depending on the type of website you have, but we are going to go with a standard business website. Most commonly people will scan a website in a Z pattern. Looking at the top left corner first moving across the screen and then down the page.
You want to utilize these key spots and use the top “hero” space. The space that you can see when you first land on a website.
It’s become quite popular to include an image in this space. Why? Because images convert especially ones with humans! Be sure to include your Who & What (Tagline & Short Description), so that a user can immediately decide if they want to stay or not.
Don’t be vague with The Who you are and What you do. Make it clear so there is no guesswork. OR another great option is to include your opt-in if you have one! This will get them on your mailing list so you can pop on in their inbox later so always a good option!
Your CTA (Call to Action)
Now that your users know who you are and what you do and have decided “I could use this product or service”, you need to direct them where they should go next.
This is a great place to introduce your Call-To-Action. If you don’t know what a call to action is it’s simply a direct action request such as “Contact Us”, “Book Now”, “Sign Up” etc. usually placed on a bright button that screams CLICK ME to your visitors.
NOTE: You might want to change this up and use a different words or phrases because even your copy on your website has shown to have a subconscious effect on our choices. The way you word your copy on your website can have a huge impact on your conversions!
Here is a great article by Buffer about writing copy that grabs a customers attention every time.
A few things to keep in mind when you are creating your CTA button.
- Choose a contrasting color that stands out.
- Buttons have a much higher click-through rate than stand-alone text.
- Keep it rectangular, this isn’t an area that you want to go against the grain. Most users have grown to know that a rectangular and bright button is clickable and means an action.
Making sure your website is up to date and looks professional is another huge factor when it comes to conversion.
When a website looks professional it increases trust. Even though I am a complete advocate for getting a professional designer who knows all this information and then some, and can put it together in a way that will increase click-throughs. I also know that not everyone has the budget for a completely custom designed website.
However, there are so many other options that you can explore to make sure your website is looking good until you can afford to hire a designer to create a custom look for you.
If you are on WordPress (which I highly recommend) you can find amazing premium themes at a great price. If you aren’t familiar with the company check out the Divi theme by Elegant Themes (*afflink) they have a theme that turns your WordPress website into a drag and drop builder. It’s kind of like Squarespace and WordPress had a baby if you ask me.
It’s NOT Just About The Fonts & Graphics
As you can see, creating a website takes work. It’s not just putting together what you think looks good and hoping it will work, there is literally an entire science behind what makes a user trust you enough to give you their money. These tips should get you started off in the right direction. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask down in the comments.