Kelly Zugay, Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold®
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What does it mean to have a conversion-driven website? Put simply, a conversion is an action taken by a visitor of your website in response to your call-to-action. We believe, for small business owners, your website should be more than a place to showcase your work — but a place where your prospective clients and customers can be seamlessly led toward booking your services or purchasing your products. So, your website should convert your visitors into paying customers or paying clients who confidently choose your business.
Behind a conversion-driven website, you’ll likely discover a great deal of purpose and structure — a web design rooted in connection, expertly-designed to lead visitors toward choosing your services or products. That’s why, today, we want to share your checklist for a conversion-driven website… actionable ways to ensure your website is truly designed to guide your visitors from simply learning about your business toward confidently choosing your business.
Your Checklist for a Conversion-Driven Website
Before we dive in, I believe it’s essential to reframe the way you look at your website — to see your website as more than a place for showcasing your work, but as a place where you can form meaningful connections with new and returning visitors, where you can build upon and grow your business by diversifying your revenue streams… a place you can rest assured is working on behalf of your business, increasing your revenue, even when you’re not working. For many small business owners, their web design can do and be so much more — and it begins with knowing your website can actually be a tool designed to grow your business with purpose.
With that said, here is your checklist for creating a conversion-driven website:
- Understand what the revenue-generating areas of your business are. What offerings generate revenue on behalf of your business? Perhaps you are a photographer, offering a few types of photography. Perhaps you are a stationery designer, offering both one-on-one services and pre-designed products. Perhaps you’re a content creator, offering sponsored posts, affiliate links, and one-on-one coaching. No matter your business, it’s essential to begin by understanding what the revenue-generating areas of your business are. These will be the areas of your business you’ll want and need to point your visitors toward so you can effectively grow your business. One common hiccup we see small business owners make is using too much of their web design to focus on non-renvenue-generating areas of their business, such as a very detailed About section, or a very robust featured Blog content area. While these areas can be truly helpful in building connection with your visitors and showcasing your expertise, the levels to which those areas should be showcased matters — which we’ll share more about later in today’s episode. Summed up, understand what the revenue-generating areas of your business are, so you can design your website with a goal of leading and guiding your visitors toward them.
- Create a user-friendly navigation menu. This is something we share about and have recommended in previous episodes, because it is so, so essential. When viewing a website for the very first time — or when returning to a website after comparing so many others — a user-friendly navigation menu can serve as a user-friendly roadmap to learning about and understanding your business. It’s important to remember that our visitors don’t see and understand our businesses in the same way we, as business owners, do. Therefore, having a clear, user-friendly navigation menu with simple, easy-to-understand page names, can make a meaningful difference for your visitors. Every business is unique, but we recommend considering that the top navigation menu should likely lead your visitors toward the revenue-generating areas of your business, and that a secondary navigation menu can be used for supplemental pages.
- Use hierarchy. Just like within your business, within design, different information can be prioritized differently. It’s important to think about what content is most valuable to your visitors or most valuable to your business, and to prioritize that content above all. Using headings, more prominent content areas, and strategic design, you can ensure your visitors take note of the content you’d like them to — and prioritize the revenue-generating areas of your business. Conversely, it’s important to consider what content you might be prioritizing too heavily… content that could potentially distract your visitors and keep them from quickly and easily pursuing your offerings.
- Create a call-to-action for every page of your web design. Once a visitor explores a specific page, or reaches the bottom of a specific page, what should they do next? Should they book a phone consultation? Complete your contact form? Purchase your product? Opt into your newsletter? For every page of your web design, a visitor should likely take a specific action. So, when designing your website, be sure a call-to-action is included on every page. That way, you can confidently know each page is communicating on your behalf, and guiding your visitors toward an important next step.
- Don’t shy away from repetition. As business owners and fellow website users, we know the way we explore websites can differ from the way other people explore websites. Further, the way we explore our own website likely differs from the way our audience members explore our website. With this in mind, using repetition can be extremely helpful, so we can better ensure our visitors are seeing the content essential for conversion. This means repeating calls-to-action or repeating beneficial information from one page to another can be helpful and better ensure our visitors are seeing and therefore given an opportunity to take our recommended next step.
- Use social proof. Social proof, or testimonials, can be an impactful way to build trust and credibility, to showcase the benefits of your products and services in a customer or client-focused way, and to nudge your visitors toward confidently choosing your business. Social proof can be extremely reassuring, especially in the world of online business ownership.
- Lower barriers for your visitors. Often, simplicity is key and less is more. While a more ornate web design can be beautiful, often, your visitors are simply hoping to learn about your offerings in a user-friendly way, and pursue your offerings in a user-friendly way. So, balancing beautiful design with purpose-driven design can make a meaningful difference. Practically speaking, prioritize user-friendly design when sharing about your products and services, ask for only necessary information through your contact form, and set expectations with regard to when your prospective clients can expect to hear back from you or what they can expect next.
- Monitor your website’s performance. In last week’s episode, Episode 159: 5 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid, we shared the importance of using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to understand your website’s performance and effectiveness. Google Analytics, in particular, can help you to better understand your visitors’ behavior once they arrive on your website. You can view which pages are viewed most frequently, how long visitors spend on each page of your website, and so much more. We always remind ourselves that one part of business ownership is setting goals, and another equally important part is monitoring progress toward those goals. So, using resources to monitor your website’s performance can be truly valuable.
Today, we shared a checklist for creating a conversion-driven website. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to infuse each of these strategies into your web design, know that there are a wide variety of professional designers equipped to create your web design strategically. At With Grace and Gold, for example, we blend both beautiful design and purpose-driven design to ensure your work is showcased beautifully while also ensuring your website connects with and converts your visitors. We are so hopeful today’s episode serves as encouragement that your website can be a place designed with your growth and success in mind.
About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay
Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business. Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has provided award-winning custom brand and Showit web design and completely customizable Showit website templates for small businesses worldwide.