5 Simple Site Layout, Design Tips & Tools To Turn Your Site into a Well-Oiled, Conversion Machine!
September 19, 2016
As an SEO, it is easy to get caught up in rankings and driving as much traffic as possible to the site, but if these users aren’t converting to sales, what’s the point? Too often, I see clients who spend all of their time and energy worrying about how well their site is ranking or how much traffic they are pulling in, but they overlook one major detail: conversions. Failing to have a proper CRO (conversion rate optimization) strategy can waste countless hours of SEO work, so it is critical that this step does not go overlooked.
1. Use a Heat Map
One way to visualize data that Google Analytics cannot easily represent is to use a click and scroll heat-map. There are many tools out there to do this. I use CrazyEgg, which allows for a 30-day free trial. It allows you to see what users were clicking on and provides some information I would have never known without running a heat-map. For example, I had a client who believed their target audience was not on social platforms, yet their tiny Facebook button was one of the most clicked through portions of the page. This opted me to run a likes campaign to ramp up their social presence, which would have never occurred to me without looking at a click map.
2. Place the Most Important Info at the Top
This may seem very obvious, but every day I see sites with essential information hidden in the footer or blended in with other content, so it is always good to have a reminder. Why does the information need to be at the top? Not just because it is the first thing visitors will see, but because people spend 80% of their time above the fold so this area of your site is extremely valuable real estate and should be laid out in the most effective way possible. However, attention does increase slightly at the very bottom of the page so placing a CTA or additional contact information in the footer is also a good strategy.
3. Keep It Left
People spend 69% of their time looking at the left hand side of the screen according to Nielsen Norman Group. This is because people skim sites in an “F” shaped pattern, meaning their main focus is used for scanning headlines and sub-headlines. Studies also show that if users are not interested in your first two headings it is unlikely they will continue to read anything below. This is why you must use attention-grabbing keywords in your headlines because if you can’t reel them in during their initial scan, you will lose them immediately.
However, if your page is more image-based, people will tend to view it in a horizontal matter than an F-shape.
4. Lose the Slider Carousel
Slider images have been quite a common feature to use on the homepage for sometime, typically on WordPress Sites, because they are visually appealing and relatively easy to implement, but in reality, these moving images are not helping your click-through rates. Society’s attention is at an all time low and few people aren’t going to wait around for all your images to run through their cycle. Instead, I recommend using a static image and adding a call-to-action.
5. Short & Sweet
Continuing on the theme of users having short attention spans, it is important that you do not waste the small amount of allotted time users will give your site. If you have blogs on your homepage, do NOT post full-length articles. Instead, post a brief summary of the article with a link to read the full version. This allows the user to quickly browse through your content without spending all of their energy on the first one they see.
These five tips, though not revolutionary, can be extremely effective in boosting your conversion rate so keep them in mind the next time you are on your own website and see if you could benefit from these changes.