How to create a website which engages and converts

Despite the typical British Summertime weather and small matter of voting, on June 8th, a variety of interesting people from businesses around the Midlands made the trip to The Bond to join us for our second Digital Glue seminar. The seminar focused on creating websites which engage and convert, an essential topic for nearly every business in the modern world. If you couldn’t make it, here’s a snippet of what you missed.

Engagement through design

Our seminar kicked off with Ben King, Creative Director at Digital Glue, talking about achieving engagement through design. Ben leads on our web design projects, shaping the user experience and ensuring that the creative fits in with the brief and audience, so has plenty of knowledge to share.

Ben’s top 5 tips

  • Strong web design equals strong consumer trust. Badly designed websites are often not read, trusted or visited – 94% of the reasons a user rejects a site is for design related issues, while only 6% is for content-related issues.
  • Do your best to avoid popups – they only annoy and frustrate the user.
  • Ensure navigation is distinct and consistent throughout the site to make it easier for the user.
  • Menu order and size matters! Try and keep your menu under 7 items, and put the most important items at the beginning and end.
  • Mobile responsiveness is essential in today’s world. With far less screen space available on mobiles, it is important to use the space you do have wisely. Use a burger menu to tuck the menu away when not needed so you can focus on key messaging and call-to-actions.

The homepage of a professional looking website has a clearly defined menu and navigation, captivating photo(s), and a compelling call to action. Your website has about 5 seconds to make an impression – make sure it’s the right one.

The right imagery for the right audience

The second part of the seminar was delivered by James Crockford from Associated Images. James is Digital Glue’s photographer of choice for almost all our web design projects. Not only does he take great photographs, he also understands the client and what images are being used for, creating images which stand out and capture the personality of the business.

James’ top 5 tips

  • There is no right and wrong image. An image is only right if it is right for your audience. When choosing imagery for your website, think about how you’re trying to make the audience feel and how you want to convey your business.
  • Really understand your brand. How will you know if you’ve picked the right image for the right audience if you don’t know what you’re trying to convey?
  • Consider different imagery options; you may want to commission a photographer, use stock photos, or take your own snaps on your phone. Your decision should always be based on what’s right for your audience, and all are legitimate choices.
  • If you use a photographer, brief them properly. Be clear on what your business does, who your audience are, and where the photos will be used – but invite their creative input too.
  • Don’t shy away from other types of imagery. As well as photography, consider how imagery such as animations or infographics could work for your audience.

Images work with design and function. They should engage, draw your audience in, and say the right things to the right people.

Turning engagement into conversions

The seminar concluded with Javan Bramhall, Managing Director at Digital Glue, exploring how to convert visitors once you’ve got them engaged. Javan’s experience of running an ecommerce website for 6 years, devising and managing the PPC and landing page strategy for the business, has given him a real focus on ensuring that visitors become customers.

Javan’s top 5 tips

  • If you want people to take an action on your website, it needs to be visible. We recommend keeping calls-to-action ‘above the fold’ – the fold being the portion of our screen which we see immediately and don’t need to scroll down for.
  • Make your calls-to-action buttons, rather than inline text. It’s generally proven that moving from an in-line link to a button will increase clicks and conversions by at least ten percent. It’s far easier, and more compelling, to click on a button rather than a word – especially if you’re on your mobile.
  • Test and measure, and test and measure again. Testing what works for you and your customers is crucial – this means live testing what works and doesn’t work as well. This should be an ongoing process and something which constantly evolves.
  • Keep calls-to-action simple, clear and compelling. Avoid generic text, such as ‘click here’, and strike a balance between too pushy (‘DOWNLOAD YOUR MUST HAVE GUIDE NOW!’), and too weak (‘Get in touch’).
  • Create trust through customer testimonials. If we’re asking customers to take action, we need to surround that request with compelling reasons or safety nets to do so. Peer reviews are trusted by 92% of consumers!
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