How to Create a Professional Website that Converts

Updated: Jun 18, 2021 / Article by: WHSR Guest

Clicks, shares, subscriptions, downloads – no matter what call to action you’re aiming for, there are plenty of ways to optimize your website and get those conversions rolling in. Read on for our tips and advice to increase conversion and ensure your website delivers every time.

What Does It Mean to Increase Website Conversions?

  • A conversion takes place when a user carries out a desired action from a website, like ordering a product, downloading a white paper, or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that take these actions. For your total conversion rate, you take the number of unique visitors divided by the number of visitors with any type of conversion, i.e. a ratio of 1 conversion to every 10 sessions would be a conversion rate of 10%.
  • Increasing your conversion rate is when you increase the number of visitors carrying out your desired actions.

What Is a Good Website Conversion Rate?

This differs according to industries. A Growcode eCommerce 2021 market data report compared eCommerce conversions according to the sector, with Arts and Crafts right at the top reaching 3.79%, followed by Health and Wellbeing at 3.62% and Pet Care at 3.28%.

WordStream - Search conversion Rate distribution

Although a solid conversion rate tends to stand between around 2% and 5%, research from WordStream also found that the top 10% of Google Ads advertisers have much higher account conversion rates of 11.45%.

The research also discovered around 25% of accounts have less than 1% conversion rates, the median was 2.35% and the top 25% of accounts have twice that, i.e 5.31% or higher.

How Do You Design a Website for Conversions?

When designing a website, you need to consider what type of conversion you’re aiming for. For example, if you’re specifically looking for eCommerce conversions (i.e. online sales), putting your products and/or services front and center will help. If you’re looking for newsletter sign-ups, ensuring your sign-up form is simple and easy to access will also be key. Keep your messaging clear and focus on your desired conversion rather than trying to do everything at once.

If you’re looking to increase conversion, here are 10 action points to remember and why they matter.

1. Make your Value Proposition Clear Through Design, Content, and Messaging.

Good design converts. Forrester's research found that having a well-designed user interface could raise a site’s conversion rate by up to 200%, and better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%.

Define your goals

What action(s) do you want your visitors to take? Design your website with this in mind, i.e. if you want your visitors to buy a new product, don’t make them spend ages searching for it.

Remember the top left

The upper left corner gets the attention first when a visitor land on your site.
The upper left corner gets the attention first when a visitor land on your site.

Eye-tracking studies have found that users mimic the way they’d read a book when they scan websites. Couple that with the fact it takes just 2.6 seconds for a user to settle on a particular section, and you can see how important it is to define your key area for conversions and ensure it’s easy for visitors to find.

2. Use Attractive Web Design

Web design should never be an afterthought. Design alone forms 75% of the judgment towards a company’s credibility.

Consider trends

Dark Mode trend took the web by storm. The trend embrace by large brands such as Apple and Hublot.
Dark Mode trend took the web by storm. The trend embrace by large brands such as Apple and Hublot.

Being aware of web design trends and incorporating those that work within your industry can also help. Current web design trends include the dark mode, collage, anti-design, minimalism, and organic design.

3. Keep It Simple

This one is so important. Take just this example, the freight quote start-up Open Mile. The company wanted to increase homepage leads so redesigned its homepage masthead, removing clutter and making the call to action clear and easy to spot. It saw a 232% increase in leads.

Be strict on which elements to include

It may be tempting to tell your entire business’ story on the homepage, but it pays to be selective. Research from Google found that as the number of elements, i.e. text, titles, and images, on a page jumps from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops by 95%.

4. Choose High-Quality Images

Selecting high-quality images is crucial if you want to increase website conversion. They can help to decrease bounce rate and increase user engagement—and by increasing the time users spend on your site,
you can increase your chances of conversion.

Pick relevant images

Quality and meaningful images can make an impact on your website conversion.
Quality and relevant images can make an impact on your website conversion.

Customers need to see products before they decide whether to invest. If you’re selling clothing for example, show different angles so your user can see whether the product is right for them.

Find out more about high-quality yet cheap stock photos.

5. Optimize Across Devices

By the end of this year, global mobile eCommerce sales are expected to hit $3.56 trillion, with 54% of total eCommerce sales from mobile. Shopping habits have changed, it’s no longer good enough to produce a beautiful desktop website with mobile and tablet little more than an afterthought.

Learn from the data

Once your website has been live for a few months, check to see how and where users are interacting with your content. If only 2% are viewing on mobile, for example, consider amending the design or even developing a dedicated mobile website to increase users, and therefore conversions.

The number of those who access the internet exclusively on a mobile device will grow by 10.6% in 2019, reaching 55.1 million users. Tools like Mobile-Friendly Test are useful to check if your website design and features are suitable for mobile.

6. Remember Functionality, Inclusivity and Accessibility

71% of individuals with disabilities will leave a website that’s difficult to use. According to Forbes, this results in an estimated loss of £11.75 billion each year in the United Kingdom alone. To ensure you’re inclusive, you should follow website accessibility guidelines.

Consider sizing

Website accessibility guidelines also state that all features should be usable when the text size is increased by 200% and that content reflows to a single column when it’s increased by 400%.

Remember colors

According to a survey by Scott Design, Blue and Green appear to be the two favorite colors.

It’s essential that you design your website so it’s as simple to use as possible. Website accessibility guidelines include not using color as the only way to distinguish something and making sure to use text colors that show up clearly against the background color.

Learn more – Website color schemes you can use.

7. Focus on Site Speed

According to new research from Forrester Consulting, two seconds is the new threshold for an average online shopper to wait for a site to load, with 40% of shoppers waiting no longer than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site. A one-second delay in page response can also result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Check your site

WebPageTest - An alternative tool to Google's Pagespeed Insights that provides results of your web page information such as speed and element sizes in detail.
WebPageTest – An alternative tool to Google's Pagespeed Insights that provides results of your web page information such as speed and element sizes in detail.

Tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights can help you see how quickly your site is performing, with information about how to improve.

Learn more – Tips to speed up your website.

Be aware of image and video size

Visual content is key if you want to increase website conversion, but don’t be a victim of your own success. If your content is too large it’ll slow your site down, if too small, it’ll look pixelated and impact your site’s design. Testing will be a great help here.

8. Incorporate Testimonials and Social Proof

Research from Hammacher Schlemmer found that expensive items with customer reviews saw a 380% increase in conversion rate, while lower-priced items saw a 190% increase.

  • Ensure testimonials are clear – Whether you’re using a website template or starting from scratch, testimonials are important so make sure they’re easy to find.
  • Use multiple systems – Some people may prefer to leave a starred rating, others may want to write their opinions in more detail.

9. Include Clear and Strong Calls to Actions

Calls to action (CTAs) are seriously important for securing those all-important conversions.

  • Be bold – The use of color is so important here, with SAP finding that orange CTAs boosted its conversion rate by 32.5%.
  • Design for clarity – Using words as well as design to encourage users to act is important. Helzberg Diamonds saw a 26% increase in clicks once it added an arrow icon to its CTA buttons.

10. Utilize A/B Testing Capabilities

When you create a website, the work is never really finished. Running A/B tests, or split testing, means creating two versions of your website to see which has the higher conversion rate.

Don’t stop

If you run two versions (i.e. a call to action placed in two different homepage areas) and see conversions increase, take that as a success but not as a reason to stop there! There will always be more tests you can try, so get experimenting and watch your conversion rates soar. Sites like Google Optimize can help with this.

Read more – Guide to A/B testing with examples.

Time to Increase Those Website Conversions!

You now have plenty of tips to get you started and ensure you have a high-conversion website. Work through the 10 sections and see how your website stacks up—there will always be room for improvement. Remember, even boosting your conversion rate by a single percentage could make a vast difference to your bottom line.


About the Author

Hermione Wright is a freelance writer for Envato based in Brighton, UK. She worked in creative roles at advertising agencies for many years before setting up her writing business, Hermione Writes, in 2017. When she's away from her laptop, she's often found walking her cockapoo, Maggie, on the beach.

About WHSR Guest

This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.