10 Design Conversion Tips
Design is important.
When people first arrive at your site, the first thing they see is your design. Does it look professional? Is it easy to get around and find what they’re looking for? Does it add credibility to you?
To test the importance of design I’ve been running a series of tests on a few of my sites where I kept the sales text (and a video) the same while simply changing around the design of the site. Design changes increased conversions by as high as 45% in my recent tests.
In other words, you can increase your sales dramatically simply by adding a few design changes to your site without hiring a high priced copywriter (although a high priced copywriter might make even more improvements).
Here are 10 quick conversion tips that revolve around the design and photos on the site:
1. Do you feature a spokesperson prominently near the beginning of the site?
When you go into a retail store, they have staff members there to help you with what you’re looking for. Of course this can be done online through live chat and other features, but you’ll often find that real live chat is expensive for lower cost products and services.
How else can you introduce the human element to your site? One of the simple ways is through having a photo of the person who is the voice of the website. This could be you or another spokesperson…whoever has the credibility the marketplace is looking for.
2. Is the person in the photo smiling and making eye contact with the audience?
Physical attractiveness can help, but for all of us who aren’t movie star quality there is still hope. Make sure the person in the photo is smiling and making eye contact with the reader. This goes a long way to building your relationship.
You like hanging around with people who smile, don’t you? At least it’s better than being around those that are dragging you down to the dumps all the time. Show enthusiasm and interest in your photo.
3. Does the clothing and background fulfill on the promise of the site?
You’ve seen me talk about tests on this subject for some of my own photos. A picture of me and my dog originally beat the professional photo of me in a suit. Eventually the dog photo has been beaten by my picture at the Grand Canyon for sales sites.
I’m sure I’ll find another better producing photo. Why do these beat the professional photo? First of all they show me in more of an environment that fits my slogan of earning more while working less. In addition I don’t really feel comfortable in the suit which I think shows through (which has been mentioned to me several times while speaking at events).
4. Do you have a promise related caption on the photo?
I’m going to keep drilling you on this one. All photos should have a caption. People’s eyes are drawn to the photos on your site, so the captions underneath them are some of your strongest selling tools. Ignore them at your own peril.
Think of these captions as mini-headlines throughout your site since they will have the next highest readership after your main headline. In fact, I’ve got some ideas on testing a series of photos that tell the story as you go through the copy (which is exactly what people have been doing with video sales letters).
5. Have you added sidebars to the site with additional credibility, proof, testimonials, or another benefit you want to call out?
Years ago we were limited in how wide our pages could be. Today you can easily create much wider pages than the old 600 standard we used to use. BUT that doesn’t mean you can have the main text section extremely wide.
Over the past week I’ve counseled two clients to reduce the width of their main text section because it was simply too wide, and that made it difficult reading. You could just see it the moment you hit their web page.
Since we obviously can go wider, what does that mean. It means we have room to put sidebars and photos as mentioned above. These sidebars can add author bios, additional credibility, or even highlight additional benefits.
6. Do you include photos, charts, awards, videos, etc. throughout the site to break up the copy and not make it as “intense” to read?
Include other visual elements on your site to make it more inviting. I’ve been doing this more and more often. And it was highlighted to me in a recent review from another copywriter. I paid Ryan Healy for a sales letter review for one of my sites. While he gave me a ton of ideas to pull out and test, one of the statements he made somehow I completely ignored for myself…even though I regularly advised others on it.
I had forgotten to add the visual elements throughout the whole second half of my online sales letter (long form sales letter page). So it looked very difficult to read and was cutting down on my readership. Have you ever forgotten some of your own tips? Yes, I have to raise my hand to that question.
By the way, I’d highly recommend Ryan if he still offers this type of paid service…
7. Do you use any of the safe shopping logos?
You’ve probably noticed that you’ve started seeing that little logo on a lot of my sales pages lately after some tests with it on the lower ticket items (where I could generate a large number of conversions and results quickly).
8. Have you added any attention grabbing images such as arrows or other graphics?
Often it seems we suffer through the misconception that our visitors read all our glorious text which took us weeks to write or we payed thousands of dollars to a copywriter for. Don’t fool yourself. They don’t read all of it. They skim it and read the sections they’re most interested in.
Use little attention grabbing images like arrows and the like to point to the most important elements such as a video you want to them to watch, or a form they need to fill out.
9. Are you using short sentences, short paragraphs, and numerous subheads?
This is often a copywriting issue, but I consider it when I’m looking at the overall design of a site. For example, you might have written a paragraph in copy that only took up five lines. When you put it live on your site though you placed a photo right beside it and now that 5 line paragraph actually looks more like a 9 line one. You’re likely better off cutting it into two paragraphs to make it look easier to read.
In other words, all the guidelines you might have heard really come back to how it looks on the site and how it reads. It must look inviting and easy to read. Go slowly through the site reading everything outloud and seeing where your eyes are drawn on the page.
10. Have you resold the prospect on the shopping cart page?
I made the mistake for years of ignoring my shopping cart order forms. With Netofficetoolbox.com and some other sales systems you’re able to add top and bottom HTML to your order forms. DO it. Restate the offer, the core promises, and the guarantee.
Basically consider the order form another sales tool. If you don’t resale the customer here, you can lose them.
What about order forms where you don’t have this ability like Clickbank or Paypal. On these types of forms you can explain how the order process works before they click on it and possibly even show a photo of the order form on your sales page letter them know where they’re going. This is not really an issue when selling to “internet savvy” customers, but in other markets you can scare off some of your customers with the change in design and layout as they go to your order form.
The inspiration for this post comes from the 5R Formula Daniel Levis shared with me recently. IN that interview, we actually covered 76 ways to grow your customer and prospects lists 4 to 7 times faster in just 90 minutes.
Not only do you receive the 90 minute mp3 audio for immediate download, you also receive the full transcript and a special report I created as a checklist for all the profit enhancers Daniel shared throughout the entire presentation.
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