Whether you’re redesigning your existing website or starting from scratch with a new business or new domain, high quality web design has the potential to really increase your business’s sales. Regardless of whether your business sells products online or promotes your service, web design has the power to determine whether or not someone becomes a customer.

A website is one of the most important marketing tools for a business and is arguably the most important when it comes to digital marketing. It is the shop window to your business. Just as you would carefully consider your bricks and mortar shop’s frontage and window display, if you have the potential to make sales using a website (whether it’s an ecommerce business or it is service-based), it’s essential you consider your website design. It has a huge part to play in a customer’s decision making, whether they know it or not.

Effective website design is to do with high-performing content and brilliant user experience (UX). Combining these with a compelling homepage that has appealing design elements will attract more customers, ensure your customers spend longer on your website and improve sales. A website presents many different conversion opportunities and it’s your website designer’s job to make this as appealing as possible.

There are many design elements that can increase website sales, I’ve outlined the two main reasons.

1. Good web design keeps your customers on your website

A well-designed website will display your brilliant content in an appealing and enticing way to your potential customer, encouraging them to click through to the pages that you want them to visit. User experience (UX) is one of the most important elements of web design and is what will encourage your customer to stay on your website for longer. If a well-advertised blog post or image catches their attention, they’re more likely to keep clicking.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider ‘bounce rate’, which is the rate at which someone visits a single page on your website and does nothing on the page before leaving. According to SEM Rush, on average, 41% to 55% of website visitors will click off your website before clicking elsewhere on your site. Which means you’ve got to do a lot of work to keep your customers engaged.

Try mapping out your customer journey. Start with what they see when they first click on the homepage and go through what content they’re going to see and what information they might need in order to make a sale. Consider it like you would a traditional sales funnel. What information do you want to direct your user’s attention to? Where do you want your user’s eye to go first? This journey will help inform the design of the website.

2. Helping to build your business’s brand and tell your story

Web design enables you to show your customers what your business is all about – its beliefs, its values and what makes it stand out from the crowd. A customer should be able to identify exactly what your business does by the first few seconds of visiting the homepage.

Brand colours and typography, clear sections on sustainability, beautiful photography of issues that matter to you and your customers, a blog that tells the story of your business’s daily life – it all needs to be carefully designed with your customer in mind. What do they care about and how will your website interest them? If a customer is on board with your brand’s beliefs, they are more likely to literally ‘buy into’ your business.

Good website design makes your website and, in turn, your business, seem more credible to your customer. Your main services or product categories need to be clear and easily identifiable and the design of your website will help you do this. Consider the typography, font colour, size and positioning of your key messages.

What website design elements will increase sales?

1. A clean and modern website

This will ensure your customer feels safe and comfortable whilst browsing. Keep it simple and clutter-free, so it seems more professional. This kind of design tells the customer you are considerate and careful when it comes to their needs and it is unlikely to detract from making a purchase or inquiry.

2. Your brand’s colour palette

A unified on-brand colour palette will make your website on-brand – you don’t want to confuse a customer who has been in your shop or seen your flyers by making them think they’ve clicked onto the wrong website. The colours you choose for your website need to match your logo, marketing literature and any physical premises you might have.

3. Responsive mobile-friendly websites

Responsive web design means your website can adapt to different devices. A lot of people no longer own laptops or computers and browse the web solely on their phone or tablet, so your website must adapt to these smaller screen sizes. Mobile sites should be intuitive and easy to navigate.

4. Clear call to actions

A call to action (CTA) is a prompt that tells users to do something specific. They enable you to guide your user to the right webpages. When potential customers want to ‘make the next step’ they look for prompts to guide them – so your CTAs need to really stand out on the page and you need to clearly describe what will happen if they click on it. An ‘add to bag’ CTA is clear and instructive and must be obvious and clear. Placing a coloured button on white background will make sure this desired action stands out and your customers will be drawn to it.

5. Easy to read text

A big block of text will put your customer off from reading and engaging with your content and they’ll bounce from your website. Break up your text into smaller paragraphs and consider breaking up with relevant images. If you have a complicated pricing system, the layout of the text is essential for making this information digestible.

6. Organised navigation & menus

Your customers should be able to find your products or services quickly and easily, with minimum effort. They should guide your visitors through your site. Consider having separate categories for your products and subcategories underneath them. You can’t afford to allow customers time to search your website for what they’re after – you need to make it immediately clear.

7. White space

Websites that fill every inch of white space with design elements can be distracting and overwhelming. Leaving lots of white space allows your customer to be focused on the information you want them to take in and will increase the engagement time. It also helps with the readability of the page.

8. A fast site speed

A recent Kissmetrics Infographic shows that by the time your website hits 4 seconds of loading time, you’ve already lost 25% of your potential viewers. So site load speed should be a priority for any website designer. If your site’s too slow to load, unless they’re really invested in your brand, it’s unlikely your customers will stick around on your website and you’ll lose their potential business. Make sure your image and video files aren’t too big and avoid interactive graphics.

9. Unique landing pages

Consider creating individual landing pages for a single product or offer. Rather than sharing your website’s homepage in every single piece of marketing, creating and promoting a tailored landing page can be beneficial. You can create specific and single CTAs that are intentionally designed to convert your website visitor into a customer.

10. Customer reviews & testimonials

You can use design to build the trust of your customers by adding social proof. Consider building testimonials into your webpages. If you do, they should be in prominent locations and written in easy-to-read fonts. Try building in a review system where customers can rate your business with 1-5 stars, or consider testimonial videos.

11. FAQ section

Write an FAQ page and include it in your navigation – these questions and answers might solve some of the problems your customer might be considering before buying. If they’re unclear about delivery or how a particular service works, they might click off the site and forget to come back. Answering their questions immediately will avoid this.

12. Simple contact forms

Contact forms must be straightforward and easy to use. If your contact form is long and tedious, your customer is going to get frustrated or bored and click off your website. They won’t have the answer to their question and will be unlikely to make a purchase or an enquiry, and you won’t have their details for your lead generation. Make the forms as short as possible and ensure they’re easy to submit.

What website design elements should I avoid?

  • Outdated or unattractive design – 38% of people stop engaging with a website if it’s unattractive.
  • Distracting content such as varying fonts and sizes. If these don’t match the brand guidelines, text can look confusing and disjointed.
  • Bad quality images that will make your website seem untrustworthy or irrelevant to the industry.
  • Overcrowded design elements that could detract from key information.
    Gendered design such as old-fashioned colour stereotypes is outdated and needs updating.
  • Inconsistent spacing can make the website design seem disjointed and messy. You don’t want your user to think that the site has loaded incorrectly as it can create confusion and mistrust.
  • Complicated navigations and menu bars with too many options or badly organised categories.

If you consider the customer’s user experience, how your website performs across different platforms, the site’s layout and the visual design, you’re over halfway to converting your customers into sales.

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