Look around the web and you’ll find some common traits of the websites that convert best. Not only do they draw in visitors with catchy headlines but they also showcase design and deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.
How can you do that for your own site? Try adopting these five simple design principles.
1. Choose the theme that fits your brand
Whether your business is known for bold ideas, fast delivery, exceptional service or creative energy, it expresses a brand that promises customers something. Your website should reflect that brand, and the best way to do that is to select a theme that’s infused with similar attributes. If you’re an entrepreneur with bold ideas, for example, you might do best using a website theme like Paper, which supports engaging and dynamic layouts.
2. Write clearly
Use short sentences. Avoid jargon. Write to compel rather than to explain. Do you offer smart IT consulting? Instead of listing your services try something like this: “We’re here when the network goes down at midnight and your operations in Asia are just getting started. Call us, we’ll fix it when you need it.” Let your writing address the human needs of your audience and they’ll consider if yours is the right business to meet them.
3. Use images and video
Sharp photos and short videos can be a great way draw in visitors. After all, between them, Instagram and YouTube draw over 2.3 billion monthly visitors. Read that number again. If you aren’t posting images and video to these two networks and then pulling those images and video back to your website as embedded content, you’re missing a golden opportunity to increase traffic and conversions.
4. Make your best ideas easy to find
Few things are more frustrating than hooking a prospect with a great ad or piece of content, only to lose them after a couple of clicks because your website is tough to navigate. Try adding a table of contents or a top-of-the-page navigation bar with categories and drop-down menus. Or, create a sidebar where your most popular posts and products are ever-present. Give visitors clear guidance for where to click to next and they’ll follow much of the time.
5. Give your visitors a reason to stick around
You can’t expect visitors to click an uninteresting headline that promises nothing. To convert, you need to be always whetting visitors’ appetites. For an eCommerce site that might mean including related products below or to the side of every catalog entry. Or give them an instant, pop-up coupon to buy more. Or offer savings if they’ll sign up for your newsletter. The more chances your audience has to stick around, the more likely it is they’ll buy and come back for more.
No two eCommerce websites are alike, but the traits of the most successful are universal. Use a design that fits your brand, fill your website with clean, compelling copy, use images and video, employ smart navigation and give visitors plenty of options to browse deeper. The better they know your business and what it stands for, the greater the odds they’ll become customers.
Alena Courtney is a Content Marketing and Organic Growth Manager at Weebly. Weebly makes it surprisingly easy to build a high-quality website, blog or online store with powerful eCommerce features and beautiful responsive themes. Alena also runs Weebly’s Inspiration Center, where experts from around the world share advice to help entrepreneurs bring their biggest ideas to life.