3 DIY web design hacks for increasing sales

Web design is more than just colors and logos, it’s about making sure your visitors have what they need, when they need it. It’s about offering clear pathways to conversion, instilling confidence, encouraging visitors to take that final step to becoming customers.

Here we’ll show you three simple ways to improve the journey from visitor to customer, with no major design or user experience skills needed. Just a willingness to roll your sleeves up and have a go.

Before you start

If you’re not getting the sales you want, you may first want to check your analytics to see if it’s your conversions or your overall site / page visits that could be improved. If it’s the latter, you should look beyond conversion hacks and at the bigger picture. Consider things like improving your SEO or reaching out to customers through email marketing, social media, or even through more old-school PR coverage for your business.

If you really think it’s your site that’s letting you down, then here are some quick wins and tactics to try.

illustration of confusing user flow

1) Clear away the clutter

The compulsion to want to tell your customers as much as possible about your business and products will always be strong. The more the better, right? Well… not quite.

Website visitors can easily be overwhelmed and put off by the amount of copy and other visual elements they see when they land. The content might feel like solid gold to you, but it won’t get read or understood because the visitors won’t hang around to read it.

No one wants to be pulled in too many directions by a website. visitors want things to be clear, simple, and easy to navigate. So, make sure you’re landing pages only offer exactly what visitors need:

  • Headline and subheadings – keep these short and clear and use subheadings to break the page up into bite-size chunks.
  • Benefits over features – always lead with benefits: simply tell the visitors how you make things better or easier for them first.
  • Imagery / visuals – make sure these work alongside your content to add context: everything must have a function.
  • Testimonials / reviews – back your statements up with short quotes from existing customers… more on this later.

How can you tell what’s really clutter?

Take a look at your website through the eyes of your customers by using heat mapping. It shows you where your customers are looking and interacting with your website. More importantly, it’s showing you where they aren’t looking.

If visitors aren’t interacting with something, you can usually cut it from your website. The pages get simpler and conversion rates get higher. Take a look at some of the free trials from providers like Crazy Egg or Mouseflow amongst others in the market.

heatmap illustration

2) Sharpen your CTAs

Calls to action (CTAs) might be one of the simplest website components, but they also have one of the most important jobs. Done well they are the final push that gets visitors over the conversion finish line. Done badly they are a hurdle or even a barrier that stops conversions in their tracks.

  • Grab the eye – make sure your CTAs stand out and don’t get lost: buttons never go out of style, and subtlety is not your friend.
Click me
  • Be crystal clear – don’t try and be too playful or clever with your CTA: give clear instructions to your visitors.
download button options
  • Make it easy – keep your CTSs looking effortless and enticing do people don’t have second thoughts.
confirm purchase button options
  • Adjust for different pages – adapt your CTA buttons for different website locations, because one size doesn’t fit all.
download ebook button options
  • Get psychological try a few best practice words that tend to increase conversions across CTAs, but feel free to adapt to your needs and brand.
various button ideas

You can also take a look at your website’s analytics to check which pages are bringing the most visitors. Make sure you have strategically placed CTAs where they’re most needed.

Most of all test, test, and test again to see what’s working.

3) Let your customers do the talking

It stands to reason that you’ll want to talk about how great your business is, but there is often no greater advocate for your company than its customers. Their seal of approval is essentially ‘social proof’ that you’re as good as you say you are, so use it to your advantage – right from the homepage or important landing pages.

Testimonials and quotes

Many websites have a ‘Testimonials’ page, and even full case studies, but adding short quotes from happy customers on your homepage and on other key pages can really help validate your business and drive sales. They don’t need to be epically long. It just takes a quick email or phone call.

Try and include as much customer detail as possible. Quotes and testimonials work best when they are from important or senior figures – especially in the B2B world

Company logos

Using client or partner logos gives your website an even more professional shine. They are a great way to show you work with credible people. Even if the logos aren’t instantly recognizable: a modern looking logo equals a professional logo in most people’s minds. The more recognizable the better, though.

Remember to check it’s ok to use the logos with your clients, however, otherwise you may be infringing copyright law.

Example of a good review

Customer review platforms

If you have the volume of customers, and the budget, you could use customer review platforms such as Trustpilot or Shopper Approved which comes with a free trial. This is essentially adding validation on top of validation: showing new customers fully verified reviews. You can then update your website with the best – although make sure you’re ready to commit to making regular updates.

If you’ve got a few more tech-savvy skills, you can also link to a live page that filters and shows the reviews.

sample website reviews

Every market and customer base has its differences, and so the ability to adapt and test is most important when looking for long-term customer growth. But de-cluttering, creating better CTAs, and showing social proof are universally recognized ways to increase sales. If you’d like to dive a bit deeper, then check out 10 website design tips for a stunning and usable website to take your knowledge to the next level.

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wpadmin March 11, 2022 0 Comments

Optimizing Core Web Vitals to speed up your site

Have you been trying to speed up your website to boost your Google rankings? Then you’ve probably come across the advice to improve your Core Web Vitals.

But what exactly are Core Web Vitals? And how does improving them speed up your site?

In this article, we’ll give you the run-down on what Core Web Vitals are, how they work, and how you can improve them.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Essentially, Core Web Vitals are specific site characteristics that are important to Google in evaluating a website’s user experience.

These three metrics are what Google calls a website’s “cumulative layout shift,” its “largest contentful paint,” and its “first input delay.”

Sounds complicated?

It is – a little bit. Below, we’ll walk you through what each of these metrics actually means. For now, it’s enough to know that they’re a measure of page speed and user interaction. They characterize a page’s loading speed, visual stability, and time until it becomes interactive. If you want to take a look at what your own site’s Core Web Vitals look like, you can do so in the Google Search Console.

Why are they important in the first place?

Core Web Vitals have an impact on your site speed and user experience. And consequently on your Google rankings.

In fact, Google has explicitly made “page experience” an official ranking factor. Apart from Core Web Vitals, page experience also involves aspects like mobile-friendliness, connection security, and passing the safe browsing check, which means ensuring that your website is free of spam.

According to Google, page performance has a massive effect on bounce rates, which measure how many people leave your site after only viewing one page. For example, if your page load time is three seconds instead of one second, your bounce rate increases by 32%. If it’s six seconds, your bounce rate will be 106% higher.

To keep this from happening, here is the scoop on what the three Core Web Vitals actually measure – and what you can do to improve them.

Google logo and graph

Elements shifting around during page load

Think about a visitor who comes to your site for the first time. They spot an interesting link while it’s loading, but before they can click it, it abruptly vanishes. This user won’t thank you for having to go hunt for it.

That’s the problem the first Core Web Vital, cumulative layout shift (CLS), deals with. It measures how many elements shift around as the page loads. If they move a lot, your page has a high CLS score.

And that hurts the user experience.

To fix this, that movement has to be minimized. Especially on mobile, though, achieving layout stability can be tricky.

Fortunately, there are a few tried and tested strategies that you can follow.

  1. Set size attributes and dimensions for any media elements on your page. This includes images, GIFs, videos and the like. This lets browsers assign the right place and space to each, which means they don’t have to adjust the layout later on.
  2. Elements that load later should be below the fold. This way, they won’t displace content that’s already being displayed above it.
  3. If you run ads on your site, make sure to assign them their proper space, too. If you fail to do that, they might suddenly pop up and scramble the content layout all over again.

Load time for the biggest piece of content

Usually, you don’t have to wait until the entire page has loaded to see its main piece of content. That might be the body of a blog post, or a video.

The time between someone clicking on a link to your page and seeing this main content is very important for the user experience. And that’s exactly what the next Core Web Vital measures.

The largest contentful paint (LCP) is defined as the largest image, video, or block of text on your page. Your LCP score is how long it takes to appear on the screen.

In Google’s book, LCP speeds under two seconds are “good”. Speeds between 2 – 4 seconds “need improvement”. Anything longer than that counts as “poor”.

For a direct look at your LCP, you can use Google PageSpeed ​​Insights. This is a fantastic tool since it uses real-world performance data from Google’s Chrome browser.

Alternatively, if you want that data for your entire site, you’ll find it in your Search Console account. This lets you spot the best targets for LCP improvements.

But what influences LCP?

In general, websites with many high-resolution images and interactive elements have longer loading speeds. Getting their LCP to an acceptable level can be a real challenge. Still, it’s possible.

Examine which large page elements are really necessary, then remove the rest. Also get rid of any unnecessary third-party scripts. In addition, you can minify your CSS and set up lazy loading.

Plus, you can consider changing your web host. The best hosting services have significantly faster load speeds than other options.

All this ensures that your main content starts loading sooner, and is done loading faster.

Time until the user can interact with the page

Finally, there’s first input delay (FID) as the third Core Web Vital. This one measures how soon users can interact with your page.

Interactive elements include menus, navigation links, forms, and accordion text. If you don’t have anything like that, scrolling up and down or zooming in and out also count as interactions.

As soon as you choose an item from a menu or enter your email into a newsletter sign-up form, you’re giving the site input. The time it takes until that’s actually possible is that webpage’s FID.

As with LCP, Google has standards for FID. If it takes less than 100 milliseconds until you can interact with a website, you’re in the clear. FIDs between 100 and 300 milliseconds “need improvement” – anything above that is “poor”.

For many pages, such as blog posts, FID is not a big problem. However, for login pages, quizzes, or sign-up pages, FID can be a massive issue.

So what can you do to minimize FID for interactive pages?

One way to go is to use a browser cache. Another strategy is to minimize JavaScript. Finally, you can remove unnecessary third-party scripts, as with LCP.

illustration of LCP, FID and CLS

The Bottom Line

Your website’s Core Web Vitals are an essential part of ensuring a fantastic user experience. And, by extension, better Google rankings.

Checking in on your CLS, LCP, and FID should be a key part of your website maintenance. They’re also great starting points if you’re setting out to improve your page speed.

Optimizing your Core Web Vitals can be tricky, depending on what kind of site you have. But ultimately it’s well-worth the effort – one that will be paid in an amazing user experience and happy website visitors.

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wpadmin March 9, 2022 0 Comments

#BreakTheBias in 2022, a call to action on IWD

International Women’s Day (IWD) is fast becoming an official holiday across the globe. From its inception in 1909 as a call for equality, women’s voting rights, and socialist ideals, IWD today seeks to lift up women’s voices and empower female leaders throughout the world.

This year’s theme, #BreakTheBias, calls for a gender-equal world. Imagine a society free of bias, discrimination, and stereotypes where difference is valued and celebrated!

At Namecheap, more than half of our company’s leaders are women. Thus, IWD is particularly important to us. We’re living the commitment to diversity as exemplified in our teams and collaborations.

artistic chicken

And to mark the occasion this year, Powered by Namecheap is celebrating International Women’s Month, March 2022 by calling on all women entrepreneurs. Are you a dreamer, creator, or innovator? Powered by Namecheap’s International Women’s Day edition has a great opportunity for you!

In recent generations, women have come a long way to becoming leaders in all professional fields. From STEM to start-ups, politics to peak sports performance, women are at the forefront of innovation. Beyond the ‘girl-boss’ years of the early 2000s, women are now in solid standing in leadership and design. It’s never been a better time to launch your online business or creative project and showcase your ideas.

What you can win

If you’ve got an amazing idea to start your next online endeavor, Namecheap will gift you with one year of domain registration and web hosting that best suits your business needs. You’ll receive an SSL certificate and other key Namecheap products to get started. You’ll even be featured in our Newsletter when you’ve launched your project.

award-winning website

How to apply

Tell us all about your idea using our application form. Every application will be considered on merit, and our favorites will receive sponsorship. With your winning pitch, you can get everything you need to build your website for FREE in our International Women’s Day 2022 Initiative! We’ll be accepting submissions through March 31, so what are you waiting for? Let us know your great idea today!

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wpadmin March 7, 2022 0 Comments