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guest blog post by Kyle Gray, CEO of Conversion Cake

Most websites today are underperforming in various ways, leading to lower engagement, and lower revenue, but why? It’s easier than ever to get a website these days and it’s common sense by now that an online presence is an essential part of any growing business, but how to get the most value out of a site may not be so well understood. But you deserve a website that is as great as the product or service you are offering, and you can’t afford to miss out on customers just because they didn’t engage with your website.

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So what’s wrong with my website?

Many sites prioritize fancy design and creative copy, but few consider the decision-making processes of their visitors or how they will use your site. A high-converting site (one that converts visitors into customers) is built around an understanding of the customer’s needs and aims to address them at every point of their interaction with the site. This reduces friction the visitor experiences when considering if your offer is what they are looking for. This is a tough thing to do and it is a constantly evolving process, but there are a few easy guidelines to remember when building a site, or improving one you already have.

Before you just dive in and start making changes, I recommend getting set up with a good A/B testing tool such as optimizely or visual website optimizer (my favorite). With one of these tools you can easily modify different elements of your site and test them against see how your changes are performing compared to the original content. This way you can know with statistical certainty that the changes you make will benefit you.

The three essential ingredients for great websites:

Clarity: These days there’s information in abundance but attention is scarce, especially online. You may only have a few seconds of a visitor’s attention when they visit your site, it’s important that you communicate your offer and your value as quickly and clearly as possible. Keep it simple, masking your offer behind creative marketing copy only makes your visitor have to think more and increases friction, lowering conversion rates.

Visibility: What’s the first thing your visitors see when they arrive on your site? The brain, like a computer, has limited amount of processing power. It quickly scans your site and makes a decision of whether or not you have what it is looking for. You might be surprised how little your users really see. It’s very important to ensure your visitors aren’t distracted by irrelevant information and miss your offer. A good way to examine how visitors will see your site is with eye mapping tools like eyequant or attention wizard.

Have your call to action and value proposition be highly visible on your homepage or landing page. Make them bigger, or a different color than the rest of your site, place them above the fold (they don’t have to scroll down your page), and again at the bottom of your page.

Legitimacy: Trust is hard to build online, you want to ensure that it is easy to see that your offer is legitimate. Placing trust badges on your site can help as well as testimonials from past clients. It’s better if the testimonials have recognizable names and faces to them, anyone can pay for reviews these days so showing the person behind the words adds incredible value to your reviews.

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Try to combine these ideas for more improvement on your site. You could increase your sites legitimacy by increasing the visibility of your testimonies or trust badges. You can visibility and clarity of your offer by enlarging the benefits of your product or service.

So there you have it! You’re on your way to having a website that is as great as the product or service you are offering. Your customers will thank you!

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