Website design is critical to the overall success of your page. It affects not only the bounce rate but also the chance of a visitor converting into a lead and eventually a customer. But what should you do to make sure you best utilize the space on your page to maximize visitor potential? Here are what the statistics suggest you need to include on the front page of your website.
Easy Access Shopping Cart
The purpose of your website is to make sales. When a customer selects a product for purchase, you want them to continue on through the checkout portion of the site. The problem though is the vast majority of items selected for purchase will end up abandoned.
According to Annex Cloud (2018), anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of potential purchases end up abandoned for one way or another. This accounts for between two and four trillion dollars of lost revenue annually.
There are a number of potential causes behind why someone might abandon their potential purchase. The top two, according to Econsultancy are products ended up with unexpected costs and the shopper was just browsing. However, 25 percent of customers say they abandon their shopping carts because the website navigation is too complicated, while another 24 percent said the website crashed.
By making it easy to access the shopping cart these issues are less likely to prevent a customer from making the purchase. In fact, nearly all issues that lead to shopping cart abandonment can be addressed on your end without any changes to the overall usability of the website.
Design With Mobile In Mind
Websites need to have a mobile friendly version. More and more Internet users are now accessing websites via their smartphone than with a desktop computer. According to Hootsuite (and reported by We Are Social, 2018), 53 percent of all Web traffic now comes from smartphones. Another four percent of traffic comes from tablets. This makes up a total of 56 percent of all Internet traffic. Traditional laptops and desktops account for just 43 percent, which is three percent less than last year.
Due to the continued popularity of using mobile devices to access the Internet, it is important for your site to perform well on mobile Internet searches, otherwise, you’re instantly handicapping your website performance and putting you behind the competition.
In order to make sure mobile users have the best experience possible, search engines such as Google rank mobile-friendly sites higher than non-mobile friendly websites (Business News Daily, 2018). This means if you do not implement a mobile design on your website you run the risk of being automatically ranked lower than the competition, which is devastating when you consider the 46 percent of Internet users who utilize a mobile device for their Internet usage.
Making sure to design a mobile-friendly website is potentially the most important design process you need to follow all the provided tips.
Above the Fold
Above the fold is an old newspaper term that refers to the front-page material that appeared on the top half of the newspaper, or “above the fold.” Those walking past newsstands and newspaper vending machines would see the above the fold material. Basically, for those who did not subscribe to the newspaper this information is what drew customers into the newspaper. The same is true online.
The information on the front page of a website that loads as soon as a visitor arrives on the page is of critical importance, whereas if a visitor is not impressed with what they see above the fold, they may not scroll down to read the information below the fold.
As Neil Patel points out, 80 percent of all website time spent is done above the fold. For those who prefer to scan over a website instead of reading it, 79 percent of their time is spent above the fold. Additionally, 69 percent of the time someone spends on a website they will view the left side of the website over the right. In other words, just like a newspaper, you need to put what will sell your product and what will grab a visitor’s attention right front and center above the fold. If the information you need to sell a product is located below the fold than it might be too late, because they may never scroll down to this area of the website, to begin with.
Speaking of left side placement, you want to provide product details or other crucial information on the left side of your website. As the vast majority of languages have readers moving from the left side of the page to the right, consumers are conditioned to look from the left to the right. This starts as soon as children are introduced to books and it continues on through adulthood. Due to this, a possible customer is going to start on the left side of your screen and move to the right.
Web Alive conducted research on consumer interactions with a website that measured 1920 pixels from left to right. 63 percent of website interactions took place between the first pixel and 768 pixels away from the left side of the screen. This is almost the leftmost third of the screen. So, if you have something to say or navigational tools you want easily found, put it in the left of the screen.
Ditch the Bloat
The space on your front page is a valuable real estate. You want to take advantage of it and do the most with it. However, it’s possible what you’re doing with this real estate is actually costing you, visitors and customers. In fact, while this is valuable domain real estate with 80 percent of time spent above the fold, this needs to be limited to one eye-opening graphic or one simple saying. The fact is stuffing too much content onto your page is actually doing you more harm than good.
According to Social Media Today, 40 percent of website visitors say your load time is a primary reason why they stay or leave, your website. In fact, the same percentage of website users said they would leave a website if it took longer than three seconds to load.
As the same Social Media Today research indicates if your website loads in less than a second you’ll see a 4.6 percent increase in traffic. If it loads in under two seconds it will result in a 2 percent increase in traffic. If you push four seconds you will see a decline in traffic.
In order to cut load time and speed up your website, you need to ditch the bloat. This includes everything from unnecessary pictures to coding your site doesn’t require. You need to also make sure your images are properly formatted and compressed down to be viewed online. If you’re posting pictures directly from your camera to a website, it is far too large and will drag download time significantly.
Show Trust, Develop Trust
Website visitors want to trust the site they are on, especially if they are considering making a purchase. They want to know their financial information is secure. They also want to know they can rely on the information you have to give to them. According to Social Media Today, 94 percent of people say the website design influences whether they trust a website or not.
There are a handful of ways you can demonstrate the trust you’ve already earned with other carriers and service providers. One way you can do this is by including links to media coverage of your website and storefront. This can be anything from the New York Times to a local newspaper. Just as long as it is a credible media website. While backlinks to other blogs can be helpful, it doesn’t do much in the way of developing trust.
Another way to improve customer trust is to display the logos of clients who use your products. If McDonald’s purchases potatoes from your local farm, or if a local university uses a product you have to offer, make sure to let your audience know by including the product logos right on the website.
If you have a large social media following, you can highlight your social numbers as this indicates your company’s influence in the industry. However, when creating a website, you want to avoid using mass generated templates. If a customer comes to your website and it looks like a carbon copy reproduction of dozens of other online stores it doesn’t showcase originality and it gives it a quick copy-and-paste look.
You should also ideally avoid stock photography. The photography looks fake, isn’t brand specific and doesn’t help push the products. Additionally, many of the customers may have already seen the overtly staged photographs before. Due to this, it’s always best to use your own imagery and do what you can to use original media.
Give the People What They Want
When someone arrives at your website for the very first time there is a crop of information they want to find. While it doesn’t need to be instantly available to them above the fold, this is content that needs to be easy to find right on the front page. The easier it is for a potential customer to find desirable information the better your chances at converting them from a potential customer to an actual customer.
According to Web Alive, there are a handful of specifics a customer wants to see on a vendor website. 86 percent of those polled said they want to see products and services listed on the front page. It doesn’t need to be the entire catalog of goods, but by showing the highlights it does educate a customer on what you have to offer. By giving them the highlights, there’s a greater chance of them looking further into the other items you have for sale.
Other information the average customer wants to see includes contact information. Whether this is in the header or clearly in the footer of your website, a customer wants to know they can reach out and contact you at any point in time. If they have to search for your contact information, it shows up as a red flag.
Some other points of interest you need to focus on and make sure you have listed right on your front page includes details about the company (or an obvious link to an “About Us” section on the front page), plus user testimonials, such as reviews or star ratings. A handful of customers would like to see social media icons, so they can easily follow you on social platforms and links to your blog.
There are a number of attributes you need to make sure your website takes advantage of. From positioning content above the fold to easy access shopping cart, these slight alterations and adjustments to your website have the ability to improve usability and make your product more attractive. By taking into account these suggestions, you’ll see an improvement in the overall level of lead development and, eventually, your bottom line.