HOW A WEBSITE DESIGN AFFECTS YOUR SALES FUNNEL
Like other trends, web designs and styles go through seasons. The web design that was popular last year or ten years ago is out of date today. As you browse through websites, you will find that some look crisp and modern, some look cool and hipster, and others looks high-end and trendy.
As you consider your website and what you want it to accomplish, don’t lose sight of the fact that the primary purpose and ultimate goal is to attract visitors to take action. In other words, your website can be the start of your sales funnel or a part of the overall process, but it should always be a lead generation machine that compels guests to become paying customers.
The Analogy of a Brick & Mortar Store
If you walk into a new store, you have certain expectations. This includes the items you expect to find, the prices you expect to pay, the guarantee on your items, the return policy, the quality of the items, and more. Imagine walking into a store that is modern and roomy. You love the look, but as you begin to look around, you realize that this store is filled with confusion. The items are not sorted, the prices are not clear, you can’t see the checkout counter, and there are no descriptions of any of the products.
You wonder around in a state of confusion, and then you do the obvious – you leave to find a store that actually has what you want and need. Unfortunately, you had lots of money to buy many products, but it was too confusing, and you walked away to find a place that gives you the answers you need.
Of course, you know where I’m going here, but this scenario happens again and again with websites. People come to sites and have no idea what is going on. The prices aren’t clear, the items aren’t in any order, the shipping options are vague, the descriptions are sloppy, and it’s impossible to find the shopping cart, return policy, and acceptable forms of payment.
Rather than looking, most people will leave and find a place that gives them what they want and need. They came to buy; they had the money. But the site did not lend itself to a buying decision, and the majority of people won’t spend their money there. The unfortunate reality is that they may end up paying more money, but most people don’t care because they need the “experience” in order to buy.
The Online Store Experience
We don’t usually look at a website as an “experience,” but it truly does meet the definition. We go to many websites with an expectation and hope of finding something. Many times, we are looking for a product or service, and we are excited and curious to see what is being offered.
The first thing we do is take in the whole site and get the broad picture of the experience – the images, the colours, the layout, the fonts. Certain things will draw us in – a piece of clothing, a quote, a special free product or service, even a beautiful image. Those elements – the aesthetics – make us feel comfortable, as if we belong.
Will They Stay or Will They Leave?
The fact is that most visitors to your site won’t read most of the content. In fact, the average page visit lasts less than a minute. They will jump around as they get to know you and learn how you might be of service to them. This actuality can certainly make your job of sales seem challenging. But, you can overcome the challenge.
Here are a few items to keep in mind as you put your site together:
- Use bulleted lists that can be scanned.
- Have short paragraphs that only take a minute or two to read.
- Use subtitles that can quickly be skimmed.
- Eliminate as much fluff as possible.
- Use language that is familiar to the average person.
You can’t make someone stay on your site, and you can’t guarantee that your site will be appealing to any one person. However, you can create a sense of order and warmth that will draw in the right people.
Building a Sense of Trust
Just like the “experience” example, we don’t usually think of “trusting” a website. If you consider, however, that you are attempting to sell something to someone who can’t see you, can’t physically touch a product, and/or can’t talk to a salesperson, it’s easy to see why trust is so important. Your site needs to create a feeling of trust and security. Some of this trust will be achieved through the visual design of your site such as the colours, fonts, images, etc.
There are other things that can create that credibility, however, and these include:
- Images of real people such as you and people in your company.
- Easy to find contact information.
- Less sales talk and more expert information.
- Social media links.
- Biographies about you and your team.
The goal in all of these items is to show your viewers that you are authentic – the real-deal – and that your products and services are trustworthy.
Too many people create beautiful websites, and when people aren’t converting, they wonder why. The ability to turn visitors into paying clients is always the bottom line. It may take some time, but through trial and error, you can learn how to have a website that not only looks good but serves as an important component of your overall sales funnel.