Conversion-Centered Design: Increasing Your Site’s Curb Appeal

Lorna Hordos / January 17, 2019

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When you design something interactive like a website, you want to guide people along a path or “user journey” so that they ultimately complete a desired action. Conversion-centered design is how you create that journey.

Think of your website as a house that you’re trying to sell. It’s designed with smart curb appeal to attract second looks, distinctive pathways that lead to the front door, and well-placed outdoor lighting for practicality and attention at all hours.

In the same way, your website should be designed with an attractive layout, distinct paths leading to the places where you want visitors to go, and cues that “light up” the parts of your site that visitors should pay attention to.

Use the following ideas to give your website curb appeal, with conversion-centered design that leads to longer browsing, more interactions, and increased sales.

Make your links stand out

While sifting through tips for effective websites or blogs, folks often stumble across the term “call to action,” or “CTA.”

A CTA is an invitation for a visitor to take a specific action. When it comes to site design, CTAs often take the form of catchy-colored buttons. These vivid buttons (or icons) are more than eye candy; they’re typically used to request that your visitors poke around your site, add something to their checkout carts, or share your post with their social media followers.

In conversion-centered design, CTAs are a must. They act as a house’s outdoor lights by guiding attention to a specific place. Although they’re visually alluring, you still have to give guests a reason to click on these buttons by using encouraging language.

Use sales-savvy language

A website with a consistent brand voice carries the same expression or personality throughout its pages. Writing sales language that aligns with your brand voice is also key to conversion-centered design.

Smart salespeople use words that trigger emotions because many people spend money based on feelings or impulses. Purchases are typically triggered by a suggestion, a compliment, a well-placed product (consider gum at a checkout counter), a sale, or the “good vibrations” of a store or website layout.

To give your site the “good vibrations” that will lead to increased sales, a Huffington Post contributor encourages peppering it with emotionally appealing words, such as:

  • Advantage — Who doesn’t love taking advantage of a bargain?
  • Amazing — Use this sparingly to highlight when a product or deal is actually amazing!
  • First — Getting a first look at a new product makes buyers feel appreciated and special.
  • Free — Free shipping, free installation with purchase, buy one get one free — you get the point.
  • “Now” or “Today” — For example, “Now’s the time to have your car professionally detailed.”
  • Save — As in, “Sign up for our newsletter today, and save 15 percent on pet supplies.”

Sales language is as much about saying the right things as it is about not using words that might offend or deter people. A few words to avoid, according to Inside Sales Box, include: cheap (suggests poor quality), obviously (comes across as demeaning), and buy (instead, find creative substitutes like invest, claim, or own).

Stage page real estate cleverly

Savvy websites use their page real estate thoughtfully, mapping them out like well-groomed front yards with smartly placed trees, flowerbeds, and benches. This is the opposite of crowded cities with countless overpasses and roadways zigzagging through a tangle of buildings.

One of the most important website pages is your homepage. It’s like a front porch where you welcome guests as they prepare to enter your home. Stage and arrange this key page with an airy, streamlined look that encourages visitors to step through the front door and explore the rest of your site.

Design for conversions

It’s no secret that well-staged or attractively arranged homes sell faster. They’re usually listed at higher prices than cluttered, unkempt ones; the same principles can be applied to your website or blog.

Keeping every page visually engaging, adding noticeable CTA buttons, and dotting your site with smart sales language will encourage visitors to stick around. Give your website an attractive, uniform conversion-centered design to boost brand awareness and your bottom line.

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