Web design and marketing news Wysi Berkshire

Keeping small businesses up to date on business online, including web design, web development, web marketing, digital marketing, SEO, and much more

Increasing Conversion Rates with Design

Robert Wakefield - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

When you commission a website to be made for you, you want it to work, right? Obviously, even the best looking site in the world needs to work properly. However, what most people don’t give a great deal of thought to is the business of converting the reader into someone who actually buys your goods and services.

Poor website design kills conversion rates. Converting visitors into buyers is after all, the main reason you have a site. Research shows that 95% of visitors to a site are drawn in by the visual appeal, with only 5% noticing the content. So first and foremost, your site needs to be attractive. Cluttered landing pages with too much written content will do nothing but confuse your visitor, so it should always be as clean as straightforward as possible, with strong visual images.

Visual hierarchy is key to conversion rates, so well designed sites place emphasis on the most important elements of a business for better results. Subtly guiding visitors around the site needs visual cues that really work. Strong well placed ‘calls to action’ attracts clicks and conversions, but fail to design these properly, and you lose your visitor. The biggest mistakes a designer can make are ‘below the fold’ calls to action, huge chunks of text, too many images competing for attention, and site designs that are so ‘cool’ no one can work out where to go on them. If you want visitors to become sales, then designs that optimise conversion just can’t be underestimated.

The Benefits Of Flat Design

Luke Wakefield - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Flat design is back! But what exactly is it and how can it benefit your company?

Companies such as Windows and Google have recently paved the way for a resurgence in flat design - a notion that has been in existence for many years. From websites to app design, more and more companies are leaning towards a clean, effortless approach in a bid to improve the user's experience and the business's success.

Simplicity

Before fancy graphics were a possibility, websites had to be simple - there was no other way. But then technological developments took over and websites started to sing and dance. There was no disputing that they looked great, but content was starting to get lost behind all the performance in many situations.

So flat design started to make a comeback. But by using everything we've learnt about design over the years and mixing it with fresh coding possibilities, the approach is much more attractive and the possibilities are almost unlimited.

Focusing on content

If the past year in web design has taught us anything, it's that we must never lose sight of a website's purpose: to sell. Whether it's a product, a service or simply an idea, a website should always there to display useful content that keeps people coming back. Naturally it should look great as well, but a responsively designed, flat website is far more likely to create a straightforward user experience.

Fast and responsive

Flat design is also making it much easier to achieve truly responsive design. Websites that look good from smartphone to laptop (and everything in between) are essential to success. Flat design makes this much more achievable and what's more, load times of a flat design website are far quicker.

Clear marketing

Successful companies have leaned on crystal clear content marketing for many years, so why should a website be any different? By adopting the flat design approach, your website can be as pure as your marketing.

What's more, flat design can help companies to achieve higher conversion rates on their website. Because of the uncomplicated design, the eye is drawn directly to calls to action buttons and the user is less likely to be distracted from their main reason for being at your website.

If you are considering a redesign for your website this year (and thousands of companies are), just think about the benefits you could reap from a flat design.

Why landing pages make all the difference

Luke Wakefield - Thursday, May 09, 2013

How to create rich, themed content that improves conversion rates and boosts your SEO.

Recent developments in search engine algorithms have dictated that the content of a website is now more important than ever. In a shift that was long overdue, the words in your website are now just as important as meta titles, descriptions, code and other SEO efforts that take place 'behind the scenes'.

How themed pages work

Search engines now interrogate a page thoroughly to determine exactly how useful it is for the user. In an effort to return precise results to their users every time, search engines are really starting to narrow things down.

Rather than simply scanning the meta description, the search engine will swoop through the entire page to check that the words match up what the page claims to be about. In order to benefit from this new system, a page should ideally have a 'theme' running through it so that the content perfectly mirrors what it is supposed to be about.

The importance of 'landing pages'

You may have heard the term 'landing pages' banded about in the world of SEO, but what exactly are they? Landing pages basically act as a funnel into the rest of your website. Depending on the search term, you want to direct people to the most useful page in your website. So instead of landing on your home or contact page, visitors are dropped directly on to a page that sells your service. This page will be themed around exactly what they've searched for.

So for example if a googler types in 'florist service in Bristol', you can craft a legitimate page (as long as you're a florist in Bristol or nearby!) that is themed around their search term and sells your service as exactly what they've been looking for. By entitling said page 'The best florist service in Bristol' you're immediately positioning yourself as the undisputed best choice.

Getting it right

The best route for developing a host of themed pages that get results is to enlist the help of a web design agency that knows the subject inside out. They will be able to help you identify strong themes and build upon these to increase your conversion rates

Improving your website's effectiveness - part two

Luke Wakefield - Monday, April 01, 2013

Following on from last week's post, we look at more ways in which you can boost your existing website.

Last week we looked at using SEO, social media and content marketing to increase the effectiveness of your website, but there's so much more to be done. So we stopped before our typing fingers fell off and decided to save the rest for this week.

This is no April Fools' - you really can make all the difference to your website's effectiveness by following Wysi's advice on getting it right.

Corporate branding

If you don't have what most would consider to be a strong brand, you need to address this pretty sharpish. Many businesses don't realise the power that can come from having a recognisable brand that runs throughout every aspect of your business. It's especially important to use sturdy corporate branding across your website, as that's where a vast proportion of your customers will find you.

Getting your branding done right isn't cheap. But when you consider that being consistent in the way you present your company is crucial to developing customer loyalty and awareness, it's definitely worth the investment. Make sure you talk to a design company that can help you apply your new branding to your website.

Video

Video is becoming an increasingly popular way to talk to your customers. There are plenty of readers out there but there are also many customers who prefer to listen. Combining your company message with a visual prompt has proven extremely effective on websites.

But a word of warning: get some help in making your video. Anything that's poorly produced can do your business far more harm than good. A well-made video should pull in ample business, so your ROI won't be in question. You also need to get advice on the best way to host these videos. Videos can take up significant hosting space but there are ways around this.

Landing pages

Put simply, a landing page is your chance to convert a website visitor into your next customer. Your visitor will be arriving at your site because they've clicked on something or filled in an online form so this is a huge opportunity to nail that sale.

When building a landing page, make sure it's relevant to the lead that brought the traffic there. Include strong calls to action and perhaps a special offer.

The uses of and explanations behind landing pages are many and varied but with the right team behind them, they can be an extremely powerful marketing tool.

Wysi can help you with everything we've talked about over the last week. If you need some help with getting your content marketing right, we're your guys. If you want to shoot a great video but don't know where to start, give us a call.

There's not much Wysi doesn't know about turning your website into a powerhouse of conversions!

Why users are leaving your website and how to fix it!

Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Monday, March 18, 2013

When planning a website, we find that many people tend to forget one key stakeholder; the website visitor. It's easy to design a website that you feel works for you and makes sense to you. But where does that leave your website visitors, your potential clients?

When planning a website, we find that many people tend to forget one key stakeholder; the website visitor. It's easy to design a website that you feel works for you and makes sense to you. But where does that leave your website visitors, your potential clients? Below are some examples of what not to do when designing your website.

Slow loading speed

Slow loading speed is one of the main reasons why vistiors leave a site. If your web pages take a long time to load, you're in trouble especially if you happen to have an ecommerce website.

Solution; optimise your website for all major browsers and devices, ensuing that every page loads quickly.

Bad Navigation

Nothing frustrates a user more than a website that's hard to navigate. Complex or inconsistent navigation can cause users to feel helpless, confused or angry - certainly know the emotions you want potential customers to be feeling.

Solution; Your website navigation should be logical and easy to use. Try grouping navigation elements in a central area. For longer websites why not try adding a sitemap.

Having a bad content structure

Having a bad content structure on your website can destroy your conversion and retention rates. Many sales are lost each day as customers can't find what they are looking for

Solution; Don't have your visitors fish around for the content they're looking for, simply group similar content in a clean, concise manner and consider using bold headings in addition to highlighting certain keywords that visitors may be searching for.

Poor readability

Bad fonts, non-white backgrounds, insufficient white space, colour links, and excessively long paragraphs can alienate visitors from an otherwise high quality and informative website. A bad layout and an overwhelming density of ads per page can aslo decrease readability.

Solution; When it comes to presenting your content, stick to the accepted web conventions

Not sure if your users are leaving your website? Why not speak to us here at Wysi and we can do a FREE website audit.

Boosting your conversion rate

Luke Wakefield - Monday, February 25, 2013

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is, if it doesn’t convince people to become your newest customer (aka ‘convert’), it’s not doing its job properly.

No website has a conversion rate of 100%, but many sites suffer alarmingly low figures. Let’s look at some areas you need to concentrate on in order to boost your site’s current conversion rate.

Simplicity

Too many companies these days lose sight of how important it is to keep things simple. A really good website will put up no user boundaries whatsoever, making sure that any user who drops by the website is able to use it with no hurdles.

This means the site should:

  • be compatible with all browsers
  • be accessible worldwide
  • feature extremely obvious buttons/links (such as ‘buy’/’checkout’)
  • be usable and engage the visitor

A good web design agency will be able to help you tick these issues off your list.

Honesty

Nothing infuriates a user more than being vague. So if a product is out of stock, make it obvious on the product page, not when the user gets to the final point of the checkout process. Or if you receive a less-than-perfect review, don’t immediately take it down. And, most importantly, be up front about your pricing as early on as possible. Shipping, packaging and any other additional charges should be obvious immediately, not at the final stages.

Simplicity (again)

Yes, we’re keen on keeping things basic. In this case, it’s to do with customer information. Be realistic about just how much information you need from your customers in order to complete their requests. Okay you need their shipping address to send a product, but do you need two telephone numbers? And if a customer is downloading a PDF, do you really need their email address?

Creating accounts is something that should only be demanded of your customer when absolutely necessary.

Call to actions

Probably the most important aspect of conversions is the strength of your call to actions. These should be featured throughout your site (though don’t overdo it) and they should be obvious and effective.

An age-old trick is using ‘urgency’ in your call to actions. Bare infinitives such as ‘buy’, ‘subscribe’, ‘act’ etc. are often used as they encourage users to take action. You should create a small list of your favourite ‘call to action’ texts and dip into these across your site. Keeping your CTAs consistent is important as users can be overwhelmed by too many different phrases.

To find out how effective your website is request a FREE Website Audit.

Optimisation - That gets you seen

Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The days of just 'seo-ing' a website and forgetting about it are long gone, make no mistake. Your competitors will immediately up their ante and Google will bring in another update, and before you know it your precious money has been wasted.

There are many different factors that will determine your website rankings. Your Keywords, content, coding and lots more. But what many people fail to remember is that keeping your ranking is a job within itself, especially in a competitive market!..

The days of just 'seo-ing' a website and forgetting about it are long gone, make no mistake. Your competitors will immediately up their ante and Google will bring in another update, and before you know it your precious money has been wasted.

There are many different factors that will determine your website rankings. Your Keywords, content, coding and lots more. But what many people fail to remember is that keeping your ranking is a job within itself, especially in a competitive market! We have seen time and time again, people have obtained a good search engine ranking and think "That's it jobs done", but really that is half the job. The rest of it is to keep your website ranking and to stay one step ahead of your competitors.

The first thing to look at would be your content. Search engines such as Google love text content, the more of it the better, and the more frequently it is updated the better. The best way to do this is to add a company blog to your website. Within this blog you can write about goings on within your company and general news and announcements that relate to your business sector. This increases your website's page count, the amount of content on your website and can also be useful for people visiting your website.

For further details of how SEO can be integrated into your business, contact our sales team or leave us a message with details of your request on our contact form

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