Anyone in the Web Design, SEO or PPC industry will be all too familiar with the word ‘conversion‘. Essentially, the ‘conversion‘ of leads into sales. Nowadays, people (including myself) get caught up in ‘traffic’ (the web kind, and probably the car kind). We assume that a site with a lot of traffic is a successful site, but if it isn’t efficient at converting – it is just wasteful.
The spend priority is on traffic within most companies instead of conversion. And a respectable conversion rate is considered to be about 2-3%. Can you imagine a busy high street shop only getting sales from 2% of the people who walk in*!?
*Now I have no idea what the actual conversion rates for a high street shop, but after a bit of primarily school level maths I’m hoping my analogy still makes a significant enough point. If you disagree, feel free to email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog post focuses on what persuasion design is, why it is important for your company and how you can implement it right away (the how bit will be Part 2, just to build a bit of unnecessary suspense/frustration.) Persuasive Design is a relatively fancy, yet self explanatory term. I define it as:
“Websites that use certain design and content practises, in order to heighten the likelihood of the user completing the website’s purpose.”
But Persuasive Design needs to be more than a definition. It also needs to be:
- A Process – Persuasive Design needs to be embedded/ingrained into the core of your companies processes in order to work properly. The main reason for this is measurement and reminding yourself that constant scrutiny is a good thing. Having a systematic and structured approach means that your company allows time for this often overlooked discipline, and means that because it is constant – then it can be monitored. And this way, you can see what changes worked, and what didn’t.
- A Culture – Every single department in your company needs to buy into the importance of Persuasive Design and Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is because more often than not, Conversion Rate Optimisation spreads beyond just the web design team. A universal understanding of the required goal is imperative into getting a well oiled system in place.
Its baffling to think that Persuasive Design and ‘Conversion Rate Optimisation’ is not considered as important as traffic increasing techniques such as Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click Marketing. If a site is not converting, then it is not efficient.
Imagine a teapot. A site with a lot of traffic and a bad conversion rate is like a big teapot with a big hole. Wouldn’t you get more tea from a slightly smaller teapot with a pin sized hole? The answer isn’t getting a bigger teapot if the hole is the same size. The answer is using your money to make that hole smaller first. (Now I’m craving tea.)
Whether a website is the centre of a company’s strategy or not, a site with a bad conversion rate can be detrimental to the company entirely. If the site is not converting – then why? Possibly they got frustrated with the site structure? Or they saw a bad review on social media? Whatever it is, they may have left your site with a bitter taste in their mouth, and a lot of opinions like that can damage your companies reputation considerably.
Next month, I’ll be giving a few hints and tips into how you can start making changes that could help your conversion rate. But for now, its a secret.
You can now read the rest of this post here: Persuasive design: get your website to convert more (part 2)