The visual cortex is directly linked to the emotional brain. In other words, design can have a direct impact on your prospect’s emotions. Great design can help inspire trust, create a sense of rapport and build the desire to purchase. Poor design can create a sense of unease, of distrust and of the general desire to not be on the page anymore.

How can you harness the power of design to increase your page’s conversions?

Whitespace: Less is More

In design, it’s often better to have nothing than something. The use of whitespace is a big part of good design.

When it comes to conversions in particular, whitespace is a powerful tool for directing attention. If one element on the page stands alone with nothing else next to it, the eyes will naturally gravitate towards it. Use this to bring attention where you want it.

For instance, say you have a powerful headline that you want as the centerpiece. In that case, avoid having a navigation bar, a big header, or fancy graphics above or near the headline. Use whitespace to make the headline the center of attention.

The same goes for video. Bring it to focus by making it the only thing around.

Basic or Personal

There are two design styles that tend to work well when it comes to conversion oriented websites.

First is the basic design. This design looks good, but is simple. It avoids graphic elements and instead lets the copy do the talking. What makes this site look good is adding Web 2.0 design elements, like rounded corners or drop shadows on boxes.

Second, you have the “personal” type of design. This type of design uses images, mostly of people, to help give the design a “warm” feel. The images can also represent the product in action, or show the results of the product.

If you’ve only exclusively used one of these types of designs, it’s definitely worth it to test the other. Often time’s an ugly and simple page will convert better than a pretty looking page. On the other hand, adding proof and trust with design can sometimes drastically improve conversions.

Harness Directional Cues

Directional cues are anything that causes the eye to go in a certain direction. An arrow for instance is a directional cue. A picture of someone looking in a certain direction is a directional cue.

Research shows that people cannot help but look at where a directional cue is pointing. In one study, researchers deliberately told participants that the arrows on the screen had nothing to do with their task. Participants still looked at the direction where the arrow pointed.

Using directional cues to point people towards your call to action, towards forms or towards important selling points (like testimonials) can drastically boost conversions. Just switch out your images for images of people looking towards the direction of your call to actions, or add in one or two subtle arrows.

Experiment with your designs. Small changes can make a big difference.

Your Assignment

  • First, determine which site design works best for your audience. You can do this by checking out your competition. Find one or two versions you like and test them to see which one converts best.
  • Second, check how much whitespace you have around areas where you want to draw attention. Finally, add directional cues to help guide people where you want them to go.

What We’ve Covered

Day #1: Examine Your Audience and Your Core Offer
Day #2: Optimizing Your Call to Actions
Day #3: Improve Your Lead Forms and Increase Signups
Day #4: Your Headline – Your Page’s Most Important Sentence
Day #5: Keep Attention With Strong Transitions
Day #6: Web Design Tips for Better Conversions

Coming Up Next

Day #7: Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment by Improving Your Checkout
Day #8: Boost Conversions by Managing Expectation and Relevance
Day #9: Master the Art of Creating Urgency
Day #10: Use Video to Boost Trust and Conversions
Day #11: Add Social Proof to Your Sales Process
Day #12: Accessibility Makes You Real (and Improves Sales)
Day #13: Tailoring Your Guarantee and Return Policy
Day #14: Getting Started With A/B Split Testing
Day #15: More Ideas for Better Conversions