Here at Caffeine Consulting, one of our favorite sayings is: “Your website should do more than just look pretty—it’s a lead generation tool for your business.”

You didn’t create your business to look pretty (leave the beauty pageants to Donald Trump!). You created it to be successful. And in order for it to succeed, it needs to convert sales and generate revenue.

Your business website is an essential tool in this process. While an aesthetically-pleasing website may help you shape and deliver a strong brand, good looks aren’t enough to sell the products or services you offer. If you want to succeed online, your website needs to be designed for conversion.

Unfortunately, this is often overlooked—people primarily focus on the beauty of the site, and ignore the number one goal: conversions. The thinking behind it is that a beautiful site will naturally convert…but this thinking is flawed.

A beautiful site that doesn’t generate and convert leads is just that—a beautiful site, and nothing else. It doesn’t help your business succeed.

Essentially, it’s a giant waste of time. The sweet spot is a beautiful website that also CONVERTS.

So, how do you get your website designed for conversion?

Well, it helps to understand the ingredients of a website that converts—and to make sure that you and your developer implement those characteristics into your website.

Here are 5 Ingredients of a Website that Converts:

1. Built Around Marketing Goals

High-converting websites are designed around the marketing goals of the business.

So, first and foremost, you need a thorough understanding of your marketing goals.

Ask questions like: “Why are customers visiting the site?”; “What are they searching for?”; “How will they use the site?”; “What are their expected outcomes?”; “What are your calls to action?”; etc.

Consider your goals for the website. Do you want people to opt-in for a free offer (like a free consultation), sign up for your email list, request a quote, or something else?

How will you generate traffic? Will you use Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), or a combination of both? How do these strategies fit into your marketing budget? Will you have targeted landing pages based on certain search terms?

You should discuss all of your marketing goals and questions with your developer—before they start building the website. When your website is aligned with your marketing goals, your website has the potential to be MUCH more effective.

2. Visible Contact Number

Adding a contact number may not always seem essential, especially if you sell a digital product.

However, you should always include a visible contact number on your website.

Why? It increases consumer trust and lends credibility to your offer (notice how we have a big contact number in the bottom left corner of this website!).

Even if your customers don’t actually call the number, its presence still makes them more comfortable. They know they can quickly reach you if necessary.

3. Powerful Imagery

Don’t just slap pretty images on your site. Why? Well, every image sends a message, and can prime customers for certain behaviors—and this is backed by research. For example, a study on children showed that, after being shown a Santa Claus cap, they were more likely to share candy with their peers.

The children associated Santa Clause with the norm to share one’s wealth with others, so the image spontaneously activated the “sharing norm” in their behavior.

However, when shown a “Toys ‘R’ Us” logo, which activated the opposite attributes as the cap, they were less likely to share candy.

When choosing images for your site, consider the message you want to send. Work with your designer/developer and pick images that are meaningful and symbolize that message or feeling.

Every image should have a purpose—otherwise, you risk using images that convey the wrong message and hurt your conversion rate. Not to mention, useless pictures also increase the loading time of your website.

4. Limited Choices

“Less is more.” You’ve been beaten over the head with this cliche since you were a kid. But it plays a crucial role in the success of your website for one important reason: choice paralysis.

Choice paralysis occurs when your customers are given too many choices, and are confused where to go. They end up spending an excessive amount of time deliberating between the options, and they become paralyzed—they can’t make a decision.

According to TED speaker Barry Schwartz, customers end up avoiding a specific service or task when they are overloaded with choices. This is the choice paradox.

So, how do you prevent choice paralysis? Make it easy for people to find the right product or service that fits their needs.

Explain what each option is great for, and then suggest an option for them. Many businesses use visuals to highlight the most popular product/service—you can do this as well. And when it comes to landing pages, each landing page on your website should have a single conversion goal.

Keep this in mind when developing the website—and before implementing a feature, be sure to evaluate whether the feature contributes to the conversion. If it doesn’t, it’s probably just confusing your website visitors.

5. Intuitive Navigation

Website visitors should be able to quickly find the article, product, service, or link they’re looking for on your website. The website should be obvious and self-explanatory.

When building a site, focus on eliminating the question marks—the decisions users need to make consciously, considering pros, cons, and alternatives.

If the site isn’t intuitive, there are more question marks and it’s difficult for users to get from point A to point B.

Utilize a clear structure and make it as easy as possible for users to navigate. The more easily users can navigate your site, the higher the conversion rate will be.

Are you looking to create a new website or improve an existing one? Here at Caffeine, we work with you to develop your marketing strategy, and build a beautiful website that aligns with your marketing goals and, most importantly, converts.

Click the link below to schedule a call and get a free quote for your development project!

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Dustin DeVries

Dustin DeVries

Living and breathing software strategy and architecture, Dustin has been building software for over 20 years. He really enjoys working with clients to determine the right technology, whether it’s a web application framework like Django or NodeJS, or a simple CMS solution like WordPress. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. During his spare time, Dustin enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, playing guitar, running, and hanging out with his family.