Most online businesses fall into two categories, they either sell their products online or instead take enquiries for their services via their website. For sites which want to generate new business leads, the overarching website goal will be to convince the user to submit their details. In contrast, for e-commerce sites the goal is to get someone to make a purchase. However one thing they will both have in common is that the design and layout of the site will always have a fundamental impact on how well the site performs.
Of course design is inherently objective, but doing some initial research can pay dividends in the long run, as we found out with a legal lead generation site we recently redesigned and developed. Below are the main facets we researched before coming up with a new design…
Colour palettes of other sites in the industry
The importance of this varies from industry to industry, but in the sector we were working in it was clear, darker colours such as Navy and Black were popular, perhaps to engender credibility, authority and trust. Bright colours were certainly not suitable and would have made the site look well out of kilter with other competing sites. Checking out what the top ranking sites look like is always a good idea.
Tone of voice / content
Again this is vital to ensuring your copy resonates with the target user. We ensured the copy was providing the right information that the target audience would want to know as well as writing it in a suitable tone. It has been widely researched that people do not read web content in it’s entirety and instead skim read headlines for information they think is relevant. Therefore, on a lead generation site, headlines and opening sentences are a pivotal part of getting the user engaged.
Choose the right imagery
A picture tells a 1,000 words, or so the old adage goes. Which is why the images you pick are absolutely vital. Although we were using stockphoto’s, we spent a great deal of time looking for the right images which would deliver the right messages to the end user.
Use attention grabbing headlines and bullet your USP’s
Headlines which ask a question or deliver a statistic are two popular methods of grabbing people’s attention, even if they are quite abrupt. Again it is better get the user interested than use something bland. Two examples below..
“Check our our latest deals on car insurance”
“Think you can’t get your car insured for less then £300, think again!”
Use a simple web form with as few fields as possible
If you want to maximise sales you need to maximise leads. Although it can be tempting to try and qualify users by adding additional fields, the more you add, the more chance there is for the user to drop off. Most businesses can work with just a name, email and phone number. There may be time-wasters, however that is a latter sales function whereas the website is key to driving the initial interest. With an overly cumbersome form, there is always the danger you could lose a potential customer who was put off with having to complete so many fields.
Find a good domain name
One thing we advised the client to do was to change their domain name. They happened to own a more targeted domain which better reflected the services they offered. As the majority of the traffic was being generated via PPC at £4.00 CPC, changing the domain reaped benefits in terms of an improved click through and conversion rate. If people see www.redwidgets.com vs www.company.com/redwidgets, assuming neither are established brands, the former is likely to get a better CTR and possibly conversion rate.