Whether your goals include building a subscriber base, getting new leads, increasing your organisation’s presence or improving the number of registrations or donations, the first hurdle your website has to overcome is conversion.
Simplify your website
In case you haven’t noticed...there’s a design trend towards a more simple, clean, flat, clutter free, minimalistic style of websites. One of the most evident examples of this is Microsoft’s new design philosophy. Above all, to me, it seems to give power to the user. It lets the user immerse themselves in the website (or app) and it almost seamlessly allows the user to decide what to do – without making it a tough decision.
Your design can be simplified with less colours, less columns and boxes and less different types of font sizes. Let the content breathe and it’ll surprisingly take a different life of its own. Find a colour that you’re using and ask: is this colour needed? Can I replace it with a colour that I’m already using? Maybe it’s time to revise the company brand guidelines, too.
Look at HP’s homepage and you’ll Notice the cleanness and restricted colours. This is a huge company, one that could have far more on their homepage and with far more colours and clutter. But they’ve opted for a simpler front door.
Your product offering can be simplified by categorising all your offerings into distinct groups and thinking hard about what products to showcase on your homepage. Maybe only highlighting one product prominently will do wonders for your company. We all know McDonald’s has many more products than just Fish McBites but they’ve dedicated almost the entire homepage to this one product instead of showcasing everything they sell.
Your calls to action can be simplified by following some best practice guidelines: make them relatively large, use contrasting colours and keep ‘em straightforward.
Kashflow has a large, contrasting, call-to-action on their homepage. It is for a 14 day free trial and spells out the offer quite simply all in the button: "TRY FREE FOR 14 DAYS". A secondary call-to-action invites the visitor to watch a demo of Kashflow.
There’s a great run through of calls-to-action and how to master them over at HubSpot.
Your website text can be simplified by optimising it and making it shorter (if it improves conversion). Whatever works is the best mantra here.
Cutting back on the number of different colours used on a website will benefit conversion.
You noticed that call-to-action, didn't you?
Don’t think simplifying improves website conversion? Well a certain Basecamp increased their conversion by 14% after redesigning their homepage. They were “interested in more visuals, less text, and a generally simpler and less dense presentation". Sound familiar?
Don’t forget testing
A/B and usability testing is of course a crucial component when it comes to finding out what changes work and what don’t. In fact, testing has been the reason why Google’s homepage has been so clean, yet effective, all these years.
There's more competition on the web now and people have limited time on their hands so keeping a website simple is always a good starting point. Complex pages may work for your audience, but test them first.
Have you thought about simplifying your website? Do you agree with this? Let us know!
Image credit: Wing Hei Choi Photography