The Anatomy of a High Converting Website

I’ll start with a simple question…

How exactly do you convert your website visitors into leads and paying customers?

Because that’s the end goal, right?

You’re not investing money, working hard, and generating traffic to your website because you enjoy it. You expect to get clients, sales, or some other tangible result for your business. You expect your website to work as a medium for generating more business opportunities for you.

Except… what if it doesn’t?

What if your business website bounces back interested buyers instead of turning them into leads and paying customers?

What if your website visitors don’t show even the slightest interest in doing business with you?

The tragedy is that is precisely what’s happening with thousands of businesses around the globe. Their websites aren't capable of holding the visitors’ attention long enough and building a business deal.

In a 2016 report by Econsultancy on Conversion Rate Optimization, it’s been found that only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. (source)

Does it mean all your time, effort, and money you spent on developing and designing your website was a waste?

No!

But if you’re a victim of a low conversion website, you definitely need to reinvestigate. You’ve got to figure out at what point your audience leaves your website? What problems are they facing and why are they avoiding your website?

Believe it or not, sometimes a simple tweak in the design or content of your website can boost your conversion rate significantly.

In this post, I’ll talk about what elements and factors are responsible and play an important role in the conversion on your website. I’ll provide you with examples and key takeaways.

Let’s start.

Appearance Is The First Impression

“ You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” - Will Rogers

I won’t sugarcoat it. Your website’s appearance comes first before anything else. If your website doesn’t look professional on the screen, all the other efforts will go to waste. No matter if you’re giving the best deal for your industry, visitors won’t show interest.

A study says that the first impression is 94% design-related, and 38% of people stop engaging with a website if the content layout is unattractive. (source)

Of course, content matters. But if the design and appearance of the website aren't good, even your great content won’t help you.

If needed, you may change the style, add or remove an image, or redesign your entire website.

For example, RTS Cutting Tools was running their business with a 17-year-old website. They wanted to increase the website visitors’ engagement and conversion. So, they redesigned their entire website.

webpage example


After giving it a new look, they boosted the conversion rate by 470%.

Key takeaways:

  • Your website design must be clean, professional, and appeal to the user’s eyes. Do not clutter the design with irrelevant graphics or banners that may distract the user.

Understanding the Color Psychology

“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” - Wassily Kandinsky

We know colors play an important role in our day-to-day life. There are numerous studies showing that colors affect our mood. But would you believe colors can also affect your behavior and actions?

Studies say that 62-90% of people judge products based on color alone. And 85% of consumers buy a product based on color. (source)

Colors are associated with our brain. Each color evokes specific emotions and raises specific feelings.


For example, Rajesh Bagchi from Tech did an experiment and found changing background colors on websites and stores to red or blue influence consumers willingness to buy and boost sales. He summarizes his study and findings in this video:


Key takeaways:

  • Your website color is associated with your brand. Be consistent and use the same set of colors throughout your business (website, brochure, banners, etc.)
  • Choose a color for CTA buttons for your website carefully as they need to be standout on the page.

Fit in All Sizes

“Content is like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.”

Optimizing your website merely for desktop users isn’t enough anymore. You’ve got to think about mobile users, too.

More and more people are using multiple devices. People start the job on one device and finish on another device.

In the last few years, the number of mobile users has increased dramatically. In 2014, mobile users outnumbered desktop users, and they’re growing.

Source: Smartinsights

A study shows 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. And 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (source)

You can engage and possibly convert a huge number of visitors by optimizing your website for mobile users.

For example, TruckersReport found that around half of their website traffic came from mobile users but their website was not mobile friendly. They created a new, responsive design for their landing page and changed the form title to “GET A TRUCK DRIVING JOB WITH BETTER PAY”.


responsive website


These new changes generated 21% more opt-ins than the previous one.

Key takeaways:

  • Optimize your website for different devices. As the screen size changes, your website must be smart enough to detect and redesign itself accordingly.
  • If your business demands, develop an app specifically for your brand.


Load Faster

“Move fast. Speed is one of your main advantage over large competitors.” - Sam Altman

How long will you wait for a web page to load before you leave it?

Let me guess.

No more than 3 seconds. And if you’re a man of patience, 7 seconds max.

I’m not pulling these figures out of the air.

In a study, it’s been found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Source: Relentless technology

If you’re not fast enough, your readers will leave you without looking at your content, offers, and values.

For example, Strangeloop found many of their customers were leaving the cart in between purchasing because of slow speed. They did split testing and optimized the loading speed. To no surprise, they boosted the conversion rate by 66%.

Key takeaways:

  • Check your web page speed through Google’s PageSpeed Insight. Figure out what is consuming most of the bandwidth and eliminate all the obstacles slowing down your website’s speed.


Short Forms

"Less is only more where more is no good." - Frank Lloyd Wright

You may have great content and design. You may have succeeded in impressing your visitors. You may be giving away valuable freebies. But if your lead generating form is long and has too many fields, you’ll lose the winning game.

Research says that the optimal conversion rate occurs when the fields to fill out on the form are limited to two or three.

In a 2008 study, Imaginary Landscape deployed two versions of a “Contact Us” form. One with 11 fields and another with 4 fields only. The form with only 4 fields resulted in 160% more in conversion. (source)

And it’s justified.

Why would someone fill out long forms? They are time-consuming and they give the visitors a headache, and most of the columns (in most of the cases) are irrelevant.

The number of questions on a form directly correlates with the rate of people dropping off without completing the form.

For example, Flying Scot found that many of their visitors bounce back from the registration form. They realized that the booking form had some unnecessary fields which were making their prospects uncomfortable, leaving the booking incomplete.

website example


They removed those unnecessary fields, shortened the form, and found a 45.45% increase in visitors moving to the next step and a 35% increase in form submission.

Key takeaways:

  • Don’t bother your prospects with unnecessary questions. Keep your lead generating forms short. Only ask what is highly relevant.
  • If you need more information, give users an option to skip and fill out that information later.

Call to Action

"Adversity is a call to action, and your freedom lies in taking the first step. Don't worry about the entire staircase, just take one step, and then tomorrow take another." - Kris Carr

The purpose of your CTA buttons is to entice a website visitor to take a specific action.

Believe it or not, the CTA buttons and the text written on them play an important role in conversion on your website.

There are three main features of call-to-action buttons:

  • Design: how it looks
  • Copy: what it says
  • Location: where it’s placed

Be creative and experiment with these three elements.

There are many studies and examples proving that a small change in color or text of a CTA can improve the conversion rate.

Instead of bland, boring text like “Download”, or “Buy Now”, try something more creative and engaging.



For example, Nature Air changed the location of their CTA button and brought it near the top. This simple change in location increased the conversion rate by 591%.

Before

website example


In another example, BMI, a leading UK airline, increased their conversion rate by 2.5% just by adding a red background behind their message “Hurry! Only XX seats left”.

Key takeaways:

  • CTA messages and buttons play a huge role in conversion. Experiment with different colors, locations, and messages to figure what works best for you.

Build Trust

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” - Zig Ziglar

The internet is full of high promising and great deals. But merely giving great deals won’t bring your prospects in. You have to earn the trust.

Trust is one of the important factors in conversions.

According to BrightLocal research, 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. In the same study, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

To build trust, you can add reviews and testimonials. In fact, just adding images can enhance your credibility.

For example, Cook, an American Express travel representative, redesigned his web page by changing the headline and adding more credibility on the page.

website example

The result?

A 48% lift in conversion. (source)

Key takeaways:

  • Along with the benefits of your product or services, show endorsements and testimonials from happy customers to build trust.

Sense of Urgency or Scarcity

“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” - Jim Rohn

Creating urgency to boost sales is one of the oldest techniques in the book… and still works the best.

Maybe your offer is irresistible. Maybe you’ve proved that you’re trustworthy. Maybe your call-to-action is grappling. But sometimes, these things don't work.

Why?

Because people are lazy and procrastinate. They think too hard and often avoid responding to our calls-to-action.

For such cases, you need to go a step further.

Create a sense of urgency or scarcity in your offer.

According to the behavioral psychologists, urgent situations cause us to suspend deliberate thought and force us to act quickly. Similar situations happen when you find something in scarcity.

In a study, women were shown a photograph of their dream man. Half of them were told the man is single, and the other half were told he was in a relationship.

Fifty-nine percent of the women showed interest in pursuing the single man, but 90% of the women were interested in the man who was taken.

By creating urgency or scarcity, you increased the perceived value.

For example, Marcus Taylor applied the urgency method to boost his sales. According to the behavioral psychologists, urgent situations cause us to suspend deliberate thought and force us to act quickly. Similar situations happen when you find something in scarcity.

In a study, women were shown a photograph of their dream man. Half of them were told the man is single, and the other half were told he was in a relationship.

Fifty-nine percent of the women showed interest in pursuing the single man, but 90% of the women were interested in the man who was taken.

By creating urgency or scarcity, you increased the perceived value.

For example, Marcus Taylor applied the urgency method to boost his sales.


He added a countdown timer on this product page and saw 3x growth.

Key takeaways:

  • Give heavy discounts or special giveaways for a limited time period. Create a sense of urgency and scarcity to boost demand and conversion.
  • Be careful while creating urgency or scarcity for your product. It won’t work if your offer is full of distractions or if your audience doesn’t trust you.

Your Turn

If you find most of your website’s traffic is slipping away without conversion, the time has come to re-engineer your website. Find the loopholes and fill the gaps.

Munender Singh | Freelance Writer @msinghcopy.com

Munender Singh is a content strategist and B2B freelance writer. He helps startups and small businesses to find their voice and grow their customer base.