Conversion Web Design: Everything You Need to Know

Julieta Troitiño-Herrera
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Optimize your website
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9.1.2023

Conversion Web Design: Everything You Need to Know

Especially in industries such as software as a service (SaaS), a website is an essential component of an effective marketing strategy. If your team’s working to make the most out of your website, there’s a concept you should know about: Conversion web design.

In this post, we'll dive into:

  • What conversion-oriented website design is
  • How conversion-oriented web design makes a difference
  • 10 key tips for designing a high-converting website

Ready? Let’s get started!

What Is Conversion Web Design?

Conversion web design or conversion-oriented web design is a design approach that prioritizes maximizing a website’s conversion rate.

Conversion web designers conceive websites as tools for business growth. So they focus on:

  • Defining objectives based on the users' needs and the company's objectives
  • Providing data-backed, user-focused insights
  • Adopting a content-first strategy where copy is used strategically
  • Building structures that can facilitate the implementation of an SEO content marketing strategy 
  • Iterating according to stakeholder validation, user behavior metrics, and new business requirements

Why You Should Implement a Conversion Web Design

Nowadays, the average cost of creating a website with an agency or freelancer ranges from $10k to $150k. Plus, some vendors charge a maintenance fee of up to $60k per year. 

An image showign how much the average cost of creating a website is.

A well-designed website is a crucial investment for your company. And the web design process is usually long, expensive, and demanding. Even if you minimize costs through a low-code solution, you'll have to hire web design, content, and marketing professionals.

So, you’ll want your web design process to give you more than just a pretty digital brochure. It’s key for your website to have an actual ROI. That’s how conversion web design enters the picture. 

According to Forrester, sites with great user experience can have 400% higher conversion rates than their competitors. So, providing a good experience is a essential. And, if your web design process is guided, not only by UX best practices, but also by conversion-oriented insights, all the better. 

A graph showing an statistic about how sites with great user experience have higher conversion rates than competitors.

In short, a conversion web design team will:

  • Help you to increase your website’s ROI
  • Enable you to analyze user behavior and optimize your website to capture new opportunities
  • Shape your website as a sales asset, bringing a sense of purpose to its structure and interactive elements

Overall, conversion web design goes beyond visual appeal. It combines usability know-how with marketing strategy, to turn your website into a growth engine.

10 Key Tips for a High-Converting Website

Now you’ve got a clear picture of what conversion-oriented web design is and why you should consider it. In this section, we'll share 10 essential tips for building a high-converting website.

Every company has its own unique characteristics. But there are some general guidelines that can help you start implementing conversion-oriented web design all industries and cultures. 

We suggest you:

  • Don’t let the “wow” factor jeopardize accessibility
  • Build a site structure that puts users in control
  • Use concrete language (and imagery)
  • Choosing a clear CTA
  • Build an easy-to-understand hierarchy
  • Use lead capture mechanisms (carefully)
  • Make each page as specific & focused as possible
  • Don’t overlook mobile performance
  • Measure results
  • Adopt a growth-driven design approach 

Let’s dive into each tip!

Don’t Let the “Wow” Factor Jeopardize Accessibility

Oftentimes, web designers get carried away by visual elements: large images, complex animations, and counterintuitive interfaces. However, even though it may be appealing to some audiences, slow-loading websites with heavy images, tons of Javascript, and odd layouts may have trouble converting users.

Don’t get us wrong: Brand differentiation is key. You shouldn’t hop on trends or default to “what works” just because it works. However, it’s wise to try to strike a balance between eye-catching elements and accessible structures. Remember that users like to feel in control of their experience.

Experimenting with your design? Make sure to:

  • Use inclusive and plain language. 
  • Use clear, descriptive, and consecutive headings.
  • Optimize your text style for readability.
  • Check the contrast of all borders, icons and text. Pay special attention to text that overlaps images and videos.
  • Add descriptions to sensory-based instructions.
  • Avoid excessive motion behind the text.
  • Keep your navigation simple, straightforward, and consistent. 
  • Avoid including important text as images and don’t forget to add alt tags.
  • Avoid abrasive, abrupt, or confusing animations (blinking colors, for instance)
An image showing a checklist about design and what you have to make sure when experimenting with it.

Build a Site Structure that Puts Users in Control

When creating your site structure, consider doing it in the most intuitive way possible.

Basically, build site structure where the user does not have to navigate through more than three pages to achieve their goal. For instance: read a blog post, download a resource, or schedule a demo. 

Especially if you want them to convert, you should make their navigation experience as easy as possible.

Use Concrete Language (and Imagery)

Provide users with content and images that clearly explain the product or service you are offering. Keep in mind that users stay on a page for an average of 54 seconds. So, captivating them at first glance is almost imperative. 

In order to do that, we suggest keeping your content:

  • Clear - avoid technicalities, acronyms, and complex sentence structures.
  • Concise -  be direct without sacrificing clarity.
  • Self-explanatory - always give the user the context they need to understand your message.
  • Human - write the pages according to the voice and tone of your company's brand. Even when semi-automating your content production.
  • Targetted - don’t give the user information that’s irrelevant to their goals, needs or story.

An image explaining how your content is supposed to be. It should be clear, concise, self explanatory, human, and targeted.

As for imagery:

  • Feature original images, if possible
  • Provide a peek into how your product work
  • Avoid using free stock images

Choose a Clear CTA

Establish clear CTA hierarchy on each of your website’s pages (home, product/service landing pages, resources, and more). 

Additionally:

  • Include key CTAs on the header and footer. 
  • Provide a brief and concise description of what the user can expect after clicking. For instance: “Let’s talk about your content strategy”, or “book a discovery meeting”.
  • Make the button's text clear. For instance: Book a meeting, try {tool name} for free, schedule a demo, contact sales, or download for free.
  • Don’t overwhelm the user with too many calls to action, particularly above the fold. 

Pro tip: Make sure your hero section’s CTA stands out. You can make your header CTA a lighter shade to avoid the visitor's eye focusing on it and to focus on your home page’s essential content. 

Stripe's website is a good example:

a Screenshot from stripe's website showing a phone with an app opened and some charts with numbers.

Build an Easy-to-Understand Hierarchy

Image ilustrating how to strcture a site and it's hierarchy.

Make your website’s structure as easy to understand as possible. If you keep it simple, your visitors will have a better and smoother journey. This applies to both your website’s general structure, and the layout of your individual pages.

We recommend you:

  • Keep navigation simple and hierarchical
  • Implement a search function
  • Use breadcrumbs
  • Apply visual cues to your on-page elements, in order to set a clear hierarchy, such as font size, color & whitespace
  • Establish a clear sense of how each page and section fits within your users’ journey

Use Lead Capture Mechanisms (Carefully)

Make it easier for your users to move forward in their customer journey. Incorporate intuitive lead capture mechanisms. 

Four graphs showing different statistics about lead capture mechanisms.

We recommend you:

  • Capture your users’ contact information in return for specific resources. To do so, create contact forms that only ask for essential info (name, email, company) and offer something valuable in exchange. Interactive content, templates and e-Books are great options.
  • Use different lead capture mechanisms on different pages. And don’t forget to develop hyper-personalized email marketing campaigns to nurture your leads depending on where and why they signed up. 
  • Install a lead-generating chatbot. Include an accessible chatbot in your website to answer questions and qualify prospects before transferring them to the sales team. By using a chatbot as a filter, your team can spend more time on qualified leads.

Make Each Page as Specific & Focused as Possible

Design highly-targeted landing pages that address particular types of customers, pain points and goals. Each page should cover the needs of a specific segment, in the most engaging way possible. 

This focus will also allow you to cover more land SEO-wise.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to focus on your ideal customer profile, their priorities, and their search behavior. 

Don’t Overlook Mobile Performance

High-converting websites are responsive.

According to Warc, most people are primarly mobile users. So, they expect mobile sites to be accessible and fully functional. Adopt a mobile-first mindset, even if you’re targeting enterprise-level users. Why? They may be in a hurry, browsing your website on an airport or between meetings. 

Here’s how to make sure your website performs flawlessly on mobile:

  1. Use responsive units such as rem, em, vh & vw
  2. Make sure your images are responsive
  3. Adopt next-gen image formats (such as WebP) to maximize speed
  4. Perform regular site speed checkups
  5. Reduce animations & non-essential visual elements on mobile
  6. Test mobile usability on actual devices
  7. Implement accelerated mobile pages in your blog and product pages

An image showing a checklist on why you should make your website perfomr better on mobile.

Measure Results

Keep track of user behavior. Take into consideration which pages they visit most, whether they click on CTAs, and whether the path to conversion is clearly defined.

If you notice that users' behavior is volatile and they tend to “bounce”, then you probably need to revise your design and content. Your product may have a great story, but you may also not be telling it in a way that your audience can relate to.

It’s also key to distinguish between actual KPIs and vanity metrics. We recommend you keep an eye on:

  • Key Experience Indicators (KXI), which analyze the website’s performance based on visitor satisfaction.
  • Traffic Source Indicator, which notes what campaigns generate traffic for your business and where to put your efforts.
  • Average Session Duration, which measures the average time spent by the visitors on each page.
  • Bounce Rate, which measures how many people visit a website page and leave immediately.
  • Page Load Speed, which indicates how quickly your website loads.
  • Conversion KPIs, which measure how many people convert after viewing an ad or marketing piece on your website.

Adopt a Growth-Driven Design Approach

Your website’s design process isn’t done when it goes live. As your goals shift, and your user needs mutate, it’s essential to continue updating and optimizing your platform. That’s why high-performing startups leverage growth-driven design.

Growth-driven web design involves:

  • Researching your users’ on-site and off-site behavior
  • Continously improving your site, in order to keep it competitive and performant
  • Setting a web design workflow that’s sensitive to the goals & insights of the sales and marketing teams

Start Growing With a High-Converting Site

In this post, we dove into conversion web design and its impact. Conversion-focused website design plays a crucial role in the success of a company's marketing strategy.

Whether you’re planning to launch a new website or enhance your current one with a conversion-oriented strategy, we can help! Get in touch today.