The 7 Principles of Conversion Centred Design

Are you experiencing challenges in getting more website engagement and converting visitors into paying customers? It might be beneficial to look into conversion centred design fundamentals that can improve your website’s key performance indicators (KPIs). We will discuss simple and practical principles to help you optimise your website and increase your sales.

What is Conversion Centred Design?
Conversion centred design is a set of design and user experience patterns that you can follow to improve conversions, whether that’s on a landing page, sign-up forms, surveys or other pages. Successfully converting users is essential for your inbound marketing and sales goals.

These conversion centred design principles were coined by Oli Gardner, the Co-Founder of Unbounce, a landing page builder app as general guidelines for marketers when building conversion pages, and to help point to ideas on what to A/B test on pages.

Here is the list of 7 principles of conversion centred design.

1. Attention Ratio

Attention ratio is the ratio of interactive elements (links) on the page vs. the number of conversion goals. On a landing page, there should only be one link, which is the link that’s directly related to your conversion goal. For example, a “Sign-Up” or “Buy” link (button).

This is especially important when you are paying for Google ads that drive traffic to a specific landing page. Focusing on only one call to action allows for a higher return on your paid ads. It makes sense to drive your target audience towards doing one clear action. If you include too many options, you run the risk of losing your website visitor’s interest and lower the ROI of your campaign.

2. Conversion Coupling

When people type specific keywords into the search bar, they are expecting pages that will provide them the right information, answer or solution. It is important to remember that in conversion centred design, your ad campaigns must link to a focused landing page. If you utilize a generic landing page with generic company information or various product offerings, the visitor will just likely to bounce back to the search page since he didn’t immediately find the right info he is looking for.

When driving users to your landing page, the user’s pre-click experience should always match the post-click landing experience. For example, if the ad is for marketing services, the landing page should be solely focused on marketing services, not sales or design services.

3. Congruent Design

Every element on the page should be aligned or work together to tell one cohesive message. There shouldn’t be any elements, such as text or images, that contradict or bring doubt to your main message.

4. Contextual Design

The experience, look, feel and tone should make sense and be appropriate for your product or service. Look and feel can mean the colour palette, types of images, font style and even sound effects. You may choose to give your site or landing pages some “personality,” but be careful as this may backfire if you are in an industry where users are more conservative and have certain expectations of companies in that field.

5. Clarity

The message and purpose of the landing page should be dead simple to understand. The user should easily understand what the product or service the page is for, and what will happen next when they click the link (button) on the page. Cut the jargon. Don’t assume that people will understand technical terms. Excessive use of uncommon acronyms can cause confusion. Conversion centred design does away with unnecessary complexity. You may think it can help your company seem more knowledgeable, but it may just hinder in your prospects’ decision-making process.

6. Credibility

Use trust signals such as social proof, testimonials, reviews and ratings, to gain credibility and get more conversions. This is particularly important in the B2B space where products run in the thousands of dollars and require more than one decision maker. In conversion centred design, social proof is vital to assure your buyer of the quality of your products or services. Ease their fear or trying a new vendor by demonstrating that other companies have patronized your product and it has helped them reached their goals or have provided them a solution to their challenges.

7. Conversion Continuance

Use the opportunity to gain extra conversion with fresh leads, for example, thank you pages and registration confirmations. A user who has performed an action already is more likely to perform a second action.

Aside from these basic principles, here are other elements that can boost your conversions rate:

Urgency and Scarcity

Urgency and scarcity are psychological triggers that put pressure on your target to make a decision before it’s too late. It taps into the tendency of people to act for fear of losing out. These are undoubtedly powerful techniques that support conversion centred design.

Free Trials

People are risk averse and they fear failure so by giving them the opportunity to try something for free through a free trial period can help you get more leads. If they do not convert after, have a program in place that will continue to nurture your relationship. This could be through regular emails, connecting on Linkedin or having a salesperson connect with them from time to time. Remember, in B2B, it takes a lot more touches before actually selling a product.

Encapsulation Techniques

Encapsulation is the strategy where you lead the visitor’s eyes to the most important section of your site or landing page. This can be accomplished by using compelling images, eye-catching graphics or just simple arrows or frames around that information you wish to highlight.

Responsive Design for Mobile

Because many business professionals are now using mobile phones when researching or finding out specific information on the web, if your website or landing page is not optimized for mobile you may be losing out and missing significant web traffic.

User Feedback

Make sure you regularly assess your website to determine which elements work and which ones need to be revamped. One tool that can be useful is Google Analytics. The treasure trove of data that this can provide can help you make informed decisions and make the necessary improvements.

You can also check out the presentation below for more details and examples that demonstrate each of the principles.

To learn more about how conversion centred design fits into your inbound marketing and sales strategy, contact us or sign-up for our monthly newsletter.

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated by Janina Bernardo.