What are the best ways to increase website conversions for small and medium sized businesses?  Is your website bringing in the results you expect?

Owning a website sounds simple until you’re in the thick of it and realize that there are so many parts of the process you might have never considered. Maintenance is one of them.  For example, if you own a WordPress website, it should be monitored for theme and software updates, search engine indexing alerts, and plug-in updates.

You need a dependable hosting service, backups and 24/7 security monitoring, as well as yearly domain renewals and server renewals. On top of this, you want people to know that your business is online, so you look for ways to promote it in search engines and social marketing sites and apps like Instagram.

Every website has to meet performance standards for mobile search and mobile devices. Not doing so is noticed by search engines, whose search algorithms rank the best search results for searchers.

This is where the disconnect is often noticed.

Once someone chooses to click a search result or a link from a social site, they expect to be rewarded with exactly what was promised to them.

Why do so many websites fail to meet visitor expectations?

One of the reasons is that we don’t understand who is coming. Another reason is that our website is not designed to guide them to what they came for. There are many reasons and fortunately, people who research how we use websites. We can learn from their discoveries.

Gather Up Your Requirements First

The most important place to start when considering a website, or redesigning an existing one, is to evaluate what you want it to do.

For example, do you want a website that sells products or services? Provides information? Subscriptions? Appointment scheduling? Bill payments? Is it an online community? A mobile app?  Will it generate revenue? How?

Next, consider who the website is for.

Is it for your local area? How well do you know your area? Is there a specific culture? Age? Education? Employment?

These might sound like unusual questions but if you wish to sell services in an area where people have a fixed income, or you provide products that are not in demand in your area, your website may not perform as you would like. It is similar to when a shop opens up in town and it is not a good fit for the area, and they go out of business.

If you expect your website to reach a national or even global target market, it becomes even more important to know your prospective visitors because your website will need to convince them that you have something of value for them.

Design for Conversions is Design for People

There are a few tricks of course. We have been watching how people use websites for over twenty years and gathering interesting data. In fact, there are studies on human computer behavior, persuasive design and neuroscience research that eventually became the foundation for website design standards.

We also design for inclusion. This simply means that a website is built so that everyone, regardless of any disability or impairment, whether permanent or temporary, can use the website from any computer device, including screen readers or text to speech applications.

The more user friendly and accessible your website is designed; the more people can use it with ease. This is why professional web design is critical to your online success. A cookie cutter approach will not do because it is not unique to your specific business requirements.

Here are quick and easy tips to start with.

  • Be sure your web pages are easy to read on all computer devices, from mobile to desktop. This means a larger font size, shorter paragraphs, headings and sub-headings for scanning.
  • It’s difficult to make good choices when there are too many to choose from. Carefully consider the placement of links in your content, the amount of links to other pages, and how you describe them. Help visitors make good decisions with link text that describes exactly and correctly where you are taking them next.

  • Color contrasts are important. We all see colors differently. Test colors, especially if using a colored text over a colored background color. There are specific guidelines for color contrasts and color choices. You can also simply take your website out for a stroll outside, on a train, or try view it inside a brightly lit building.

  • Remove distractions. This is especially important for pages with content that requires reading.

  • Place your most important calls to action, such as button to new product or service, or subscription form, near the top of the page. Avoid forcing people to scroll down for the things they really want to find.

  • Anticipate questions. Answer them in your content where you know your visitors are looking for help. This includes payment methods, shipping, office hours, address, and how to contact you.

  • When you present a new idea that requires a click to a new page to explore it further, be sure to link to that page at the precise moment you present the idea. If you wait and place the link somewhere else, we know from our research that the user may never find it because they saw somewhere else to go, or worse, they left the page altogether.

  • Avoid overwhelming your navigation menu with too many options.

  • Be sure that your images load quickly.

  • Always test your web pages on different browsers and computers, especially whenever there is a change to design or update to the software. You want to be sure everything is working, not matter what.

And finally, invest in skilled web designers who have your best interests in mind. It is their job to take the worry out of the process of owning a website, so that you can focus on your business.

Have questions or want more information?  Please contact us!

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