When people make the decision to buy a product, they go through a complex process in which emotions and logical arguments are working together to create the buying decisions. Many factors are taken into consideration, both at the conscious and the subconscious level of the prospect’s mind. Among these factors, visual ones are some of the most powerful.
This is the reason why all advertisers know the psychological significance of colours and apply it consistently in every material they produce, be it for print or for the online medium. And this is also the reason why some web designers price their services in the range of tens of thousand AUD, while others will do the work for a couple of hundred AUD.
In case you were still in doubt, here is an eye opener: the design of your website plays a key role in your conversion rate. The way a website looks and the ease with which it can be browsed by a visitor are among the most important factors which contribute to or deter the buying decisions. Here are some of the most notorious killers of the desire to make a purchase:
- An Outdated Design
Modern website have a sleek look, with infinite scrolling, parallax effects and graphics which are nicely embedded and blended in the design. Gone are the complex frames, and the self-scrolling headers and footers of older websites. And gone are the cumbersome and unreliable flash animations as well.
If your website did not get a design update in the last 5-6 years, it already looks old fashioned in the eyes of any potential buyer. They will not trust you one bit with their money and will look for another company which knows how to keep up with the times.
- Difficult Navigation
If it takes clicking through three or four menus and submenus to reach a product page, then pity the poor visitor who wants to read a few details about it! Most likely, they will abandon the exploration and look for a website where the navigation is simple and intuitive.
The age of complex ramifications in a website menu has gone. Most company opt for associated microsites if they want to create in-depth presentations of all their products and services. At any rate, it is unreasonable to expect anyone to click more than three times in your website in order to reach their desired page.
- An Explosion of Colours
We have already hinted at the importance of colours in advertising. Knowing what each colour means helps you design a website appealing to your target customers according to their interest and demographics. It is also crucial knowing how to associate colours and how many to include in the colour palette of your website. Anything beyond two contrasting colours and two complementary ones is overkill and will cause eye fatigue and confusion to your visitors.
- Slow Loading Pages
There are three key reasons which cause website pages to load slowly: flash animations, large graphic files (photos or images) and broken links. If your website suffers from any of these, you should get rid of them as soon as possible. People have a shorter attention span than ever and demand websites to load in under two seconds. They know that they have lots and lots of alternative websites available and will not waste time waiting for yours to load.
- Small or Inexistent CTA Buttons
The key purpose of your website is to sell your products or services. For that purpose to be fulfilled, your visitors need to see your call to action buttons at the first glance. And these buttons should be designed in a manner which leaves no doubt as to their purpose. Many website have great looking design and compelling copy but fail to fulfil this basic reason for their existence: taking people to a sales page.
This is a crucial design mistake, one which can cause you incalculable losses, because a motivated prospect will quickly lose interest if they are not prompted to do something once they reach your website.
As a final thought, refrain as much as possible from using stock photos on your website. They are impersonal, they have been seen over and over again by people in various contexts, and they manage to ruin any kind of image you may have tried to build through your content and social media marketing strategies.