Let's start with the basics; what is a conversion? Simply put, a conversion is the point at which a prospect upgrades to a qualified lead or customer. A common example of a conversion is a website visitor submitting a form on a landing page. When it comes to designing a Landing Page, maximizing conversion rate should be your main objective. This approach to web design is referred to as conversion centered design.
Conversion Centered Design
What is it?
While user centered design is focused on creating a positive user experience, conversion centered design is focused on designing experiences that achieve a single goal, a conversion. Conversion centered design seeks to guide the page visitor toward completing one specific action, which often times is a form completion.
When you think of conversion centered design, you should be thinking of landing pages. A landing page is a standalone page with the sole purpose of guiding visitors toward completing an action, such as downloading an eBook or signing up for a newsletter.
Design & Content
I like to break down a landing page into two parts: design and content (in this case art and science!).
'Design' is how your page looks. When optimizing your landing page for conversions you should be thinking of persuasive design methods, which is using elements like direction cues, contrast & color, imagery, and layout to your advantage.
'Content' is what you've included on your page. When converting visitors is your main objective, your page's content should act as psychological triggers, driving visitors to complete the desired action. Tactics used to achieve this include simplicity, urgency & scarcity, offer previews, and credibility.
The Art of Persuasive Design
- Your call-to-action (CTA) should be clear, prominent, and visible above the fold. The user should easily identify how to move forward in the process when they are ready.
- Use shapes and arrows to point out your CTA.
- Strategic object positioning can create a natural pathway that guides a user's eyes and movements to your CTA.
Contrast and Color
- Make your CTA more prominent by having your headlines and buttons in high contrast with the background.
- Use a color that stands out from the rest of your site for elements you wish to highlight. (i.e. a "subscribe now" button).
- Put thought into your color selection; Different color combinations can evoke different emotions and therefore, different reactions (i.e. Green can provoke feelings of positivity, comfort, and growth).
- Using high-quality imagery or professionally designed graphics will make your page appear more credible to visitors.
- Imagery of people is known to have the largest impact. A human face can automatically trigger a user to feel connected to, or to empathize with, that person.
- Imagery should resonate with your target persona (i.e. a couple with a new born can relate to imagery of a young family).
- Babies and attractive woman have proven to draw the most attention.
- Use pointing, gesturing, or the eye gaze of subjects in your imagery as directional cues.
- White space is an area of blank space surrounding an area of importance, and can be extremely effective to emphasize an area of your page.
- Properly utilizing negative space, the space between elements on your page, will make the information on your page easy to scan and digest.
- Negative space also includes the space between paragraphs, lines of text, and letters. Proper formatting here will increase your page's readability.
- Encapsulation is the method of using boxes, borders, contrasting colors, or further styling to make an element on a page stand out. Encapsulation is often used for web forms.
- Utilize the Rule of Thirds, which balances your page's design. Objects placed in any of the four intersection points will naturally gain more attention from viewers.
Content as Psychological Triggers
- Hick's Law states that the time it takes for an individual to make a decision is directly proportionate to the possible choices he/she has. Limiting user choices tends to boost conversions.
- Remove most of your navigation and external links on your landing page. The possible paths a user can take should be limited to focus on the CTA.
- Keep the amount of form fields as low as possible, with only the necessities, to decrease friction.
- The page's purpose and your unique value propositions should be clearly stated in simple language.
- K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid!); ask yourself if there is anything you can remove to make the page simpler for users.
Urgency and Scarcity
- Urgency and scarcity are powerful, common, psychological motivators used in marketing and advertising.
- Urgency is the use of "limited-time" as a motivator.
- Scarcity is the use of "limited-supply" as a motivator.
- Want users to download an app? Show screenshots of the app in action. Giving away an eBook in exchange for a form completion? Provide one chapter as a free PDF.
- Offering a preview opens your product or offer to criticism before a site visitor even chooses to complete the call-to-action. This may seem counterproductive, but in reality it makes you appear authoritative and credible.
- Providing advanced information to educate users will also weed out any unqualified prospects, leaving you with high-quality leads.
- Including FAQs will not only heavily reduce buyer friction, but also add a valuable boost to your SEO.
- "The larger the crowd, the greater the likelihood that others will join it".
- Adding social proof will enhance your page's credibility, ultimately leading to more conversions.
- Common forms of social proof include shares/view counts, awards or certificates, and testimonials.
What Have We Learned?
The overarching theme for effective landing pages is to keep it simple and be direct. Certain content can be included to act as psychological triggers, while strategic design elements can help guide users toward your page's goal. By keeping these quick tips in mind, you're on your way to having a successful landing page. For more advice on professional website design, feel free to contact us!