Online Marketing Pioneer, Wall Street Journal and NY Times Best-Selling Author
Sleepless nights. And days. In the office. On the sofa in the Living Room. You want to drive traffic to your site. You’re trying to figure out this SEO stuff. You won’t be satisfied with a few hundred unique visitors to your site anymore. You want thousands. Why?
You figure the more traffic the more conversions. It’s in the numbers. You got a point there. But, only partly.
Let us tell you something. The SEO highway can be a lonely one for your business even with tons of traffic if the cars passing through it are stuck in a jam and are not converting to customers.
A pre-cursor to SEO that has been for the most part neglected over the years is web design.
Before you begin any SEO campaign, you must work on your landing page’s design.
Elements such as effective calls to action, opt-in forms in exactly the right place, colors you use and images are all design factors that translate to conversions. If your landing page(s) aren’t optimized design-wise, it doesn’t really matter how many people visit your site.
That is why those site owners who are finally waking up are beginning to realize that 2013 and beyond will be the years of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Before you start with any SEO campaign, start with your design.
Read below on just some of the ways that your design will lead to increased conversions and are a necessary step before you commence any SEO campaign.
Minimized Bounce Rate
When a visitor hits your site, you have about 8 seconds to make an impression on them and hopefully it is one that will not have them bounce back to Facebook, twitter or the Google search page from where they came. If your bounce rate is high then those visiting aren’t buying.
Here are just a few things to look at and ask yourself when designing your site.
a) Within a few seconds can you tell what your site does? What does it offer? Does it solve a problem?
b) Are the contact details for your business easy to find?
c) Does the site seem trustworthy? Is the information credible?
d) Is the site full of distractions such as ads and banners?
e) Is it a site that you would recommend to a family member or close friend?
f) Are the images fresh or does the site use stock photos we’ve all seen before?
g) Is there a clearly defined difference between advertising and actual site content?
h) How much better does the site of your competitors look?
Good Content and Bad Design: A Poor Mix
It’s true what they say. Content is king. Now more than ever, you want content that connects with your audience and inspires. If you have great content and bad design, it’s sort of a waste. Most people will not read your content (even if it is great) on a poorly designed site. The font that you display, the colors you use, the spacing all have an effect on whether your content will be consumed or passed over.
Building Trust for your Brand
The slogan you only have one shot to make a first impression looms large over building trust.
In building trust with your visitors, you want to make sure that your website gives people a feel that they are dealing with a credible business.
The use of Stock photography is generally a turnoff. Visitors want to see real customers, real employees, and not some businessman in a 3 piece suit clutching his briefcase and pumping his fist into the air. Most visitors can tell right away that is a stock photo.
While these images do break up the space on your page, they do nothing to establish credibility, connect people to your brand and what you’re trying to sell. Visitors want to see real people. They might not be as pretty, handsome or wear perfect clothes, but they are real and this is what people connect with and will seem more credible.
Make sure your contact details are prominently displayed, so people can see how to reach you. Basically, they should see that you have a mailing address and a phone number. Preferably not just a Skype account.
Showing Who You Are
Displaying your logo and brand reinforces that the business is confident with its identity and will instill a feeling of trustworthiness with your brand.
The points above are all highly important when designing the architecture of your site and layout. Visitors will be more likely to share your offerings with friends and share your content on their journey to your call to action and hence increase conversions.
Of course, there is much more to increasing conversions with good design. But, the guidelines above are a good start.
This is one of the reasons why the Pluralis platform was created. By crowdsourcing scores of top optimizers, we empower you to within a short time after launching a contest, to have scores of trained eyes looking over your landing page and making adjustments, corrections and revisions to your design that they feel would heighten conversions. And unlike some companies that pay tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars to optimize their landing page(s), with Pluralis you pay for results and not efforts.