Paras is a pioneer and leader in usability, design testing, and conversion rate analysis. His company’s product, Visual Website Optimizer that he founded in 2009, has helped popular startups and big corporations like Groupon, Microsoft, GE, Mitsubishi Motors, Airbnb, and countless other companies increase their site’s conversion rates. He and his team also regularly publish their findings and case studies on how to improve conversion rate, which have helped many Web professionals discover better ways of building websites.
I emailed Paras and asked him one question: Based on your experience, what are the top 5 things a designer can change with his/her design that will significantly increase conversion rates and/or usability? Here are his top ways to increase your conversion rate:
- Remove multiple calls to action
- Show more product/service images
- Provide lots of whitespace. Remove clutter.
- Fix navigation
- Do not miss out on social proof
*This post has been updated by the WebFX team since its original publishing.
How to improve conversion rates on your website
The five top ways to improve conversion rates on your website include:
1. Remove multiple calls to action
What frustrates users most is seeing multiple CTA options on a landing page and not being able to decide which one he/she should be using. This is also called the paradox of choice. If you have all “Sign up for a free trial”, “Watch a video”, and “Learn more” buttons/links side by side, a visitor is bound to get perplexed about which one to choose.
We assume people know exactly what they want. But, instead, I’ve found that people want to be gently guided towards a possible solution instead of solving a maze to eventually get to what would benefit them the most.
2. Show more product/service images
How many times have you picked up a product at a retail store and examined it? It’s likely you do it for all new products you are interested in. Of course, on a website, customers can’t pick up a product like they would at a physical store.
But you can give them the next best thing: images and screenshots. Mere text won’t do. People want to be wowed, surprised and become emotionally attached to a product/service before deciding to purchase it.
People do read text, no doubt. But text alone does not convince a customer to make a purchase. Providing screenshots or images goes a long way in establishing a comfort level with your product, thereby improving conversion rates.
3. Provide lots of whitespace. Remove clutter.
It’s tempting to always try to cram a lot of information on a page.
As designers, we’re in love with our product, and we want to talk about it as much as we can. But visitors think differently. They need space to pause, think, and analyze.
Whitespace helps them do that. It provides a natural structure to the page so that the eye can jump to the information it is seeking effortlessly. Improving the usability of your landing pages in this way is a great way to improve conversion rates on a website.
4. Fix navigation
It’s surprising how many designers do not design navigation at all or design it as an afterthought. A visitor needs to always know where he/she is right now on the website and where he/she could go. Navigation should be designed right after considering business objectives — for example, products that are sold together could be grouped in a category.
Design menus, recommendations, footers and other elements of the website with navigation in mind. This helps keep users on your website, making them significantly more likely to convert.
5. Do not miss out on social proof
Social proof is a sure-fire way to increase website conversion rate. Many designers provide too little social proof or introduce it too late on a landing page/website.
As a prospective customer, I need to know whether a particular product is tested and proven. Adding testimonials, case studies, success stories, logos of companies you have worked with, etc. right after an introduction convinces a visitor to want to know more — this is the right time to give more details.
Building consumer trust in this way, paired with the other conversion rate design tips included above, is a major step toward improving conversion rate on your website. Learn more about Paras Chopra by visiting his personal site.