Being in the web design industry, I see many websites every single day. Some of them have really stunning and impressive design — visually. However, having a visually appealing web design is not enough, you need to create a website that makes your visitors stay, engaged, and most importantly, become your customers. It’s just like going on a first date, you dress well and look great but if you don’t think about how to make the evening unforgettable, you will never get a second date, let alone a serious relationship.
So how to create a website that converts? Is your website good enough?

Speed matters — both mobile and desktop site

First and foremost, your website has to be fast. Most people focus on their desktop site speed but don’t forget about your mobile site. More and more people are using their mobile to search for their answers online, if your website takes 20 seconds to load, the searchers wouldn’t stay, they would hit the back button straight away.

According to Google, 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Are you curious about how fast your mobile site is? Google has a nifty tool.
This tool provides lots of useful insights that you can act upon. For instance, the loading time on 3G network, estimated visitor loss due to the speed, and fix suggestions, etc. You can also compare your results to other websites in your industry.

Google has another interesting tool, it can compare your site speed to 9 other sites, you can easily find out how good or bad your website is, in terms of site speed, comparing to your competitors. What’s more, you can also calculate your revenue impact.

A slow website drives visitors away, it is also bad for SEO. Especially now Google is rolling out a new algorithm called mobile first indexing. The aim of mobile first indexing is to provide better search experience to Google search users. It involves different areas of your mobile site and one of them is your mobile site speed. Even though Google has just started rolling out this algorithm update, you should start acting now before it’s too late.

Don’t make your website visitors confused

Have you ever visited a website that has so much going on, you didn’t know where to find your information and eventually you gave up?
It’s very tempting to include all your business information on your landing page as you think the landing page is the first impression, all the good things about your work or business should be there, like your pricing, examples, testimonials, service descriptions, newsletter sign up form and so on — the more, the better. This is a big misconception.

Try to make use of your site menu and categorise your site content. The landing page, on the other hand, should be visually intrigued and with obvious call to action buttons. Don’t forget to add a search function to your website if it has lots of content. The good thing about having the search function is that, you can analyse what people are searching for, the analysis would help you find out what are missing and which areas of your website need to be improved or optimised.

There are some good tools on the market that help you understand how your visitors interact with your website. Hotjar is one of them. It provides heatmaps, visitor recordings and so on. The other useful tool is FullStory. Similar to Hotjar, it offers session recordings, click maps and a very interesting insight — Raged Clicks. The tool automatically finds customers who click rapidly in frustration.

Find a tool that matches your purposes and budget, I promise it will be a good investment.

Your website should give value

Most business websites focus on showing off how good they are. It’s always about me, me and me. This approach turns people away in no time. Let’s think about it — people go to Google and search for “the best SEO tool”. Your website shows in SERP, this is a good sign. After clicking on the link, your website shows up. It has a pricing page, a contact form, a FAQs page and a features list.

It looks ok but does it provide value? Does it offer solutions? Most people do not sign up or purchase right away, they visit your website, get information, consider your offer, compare your product to your competitors and finally decide. So how can you convince your visitors to sign up or even make a purchase?

My advice is: Do it subtly.

Do you have a blog on your website? If you do, start doing content marketing. Write something that is useful for your visitors. If you are selling a SEO tool, write something about SEO. It can be SEO basics to cater the beginners’ needs, SEO trends and updates for the professionals, etc. You can also do webinars, podcasts, publish E-books, the list goes on. The purposes of all these are, educating your visitors, giving them value, offering solutions and building your credibility.
The blog on your website should not just share your company news and development, it needs to provide engaging content to make visitors stay.

Don’t forget your USP

USP, unique selling proposition is a clear statement that describes the unique benefits of your product. Let’s look at FullStory’s website:

You don’t know what you’re missing
without session replay.
FullStory records and reproduces real user experiences on your site helping you support customers, boost conversions, and debug faster.

Their USP includes the main benefits of the tool — instantly you want to know more about tool.

If they put this on their landing page:

A comprehensive, affordable and easy to use user experience tool — Sign Up Today!

Would you sign up directly? Unlikely.

Write a compelling USP and include that above the fold of your landing page. This is the portion that greets your visitor as soon as they open your website. Remember, first impression lasts, so write a few copies and do A/B testing to find out which one works the best.

Final thoughts

Your website is your very first interaction with your prospects. Try to optimise it as best as you can, both visually and technically. Most visitors to your website have already got an intention to buy a service or product to solve their problem, the purpose of your website should convince them what you are offering meets their needs. Remember, your approach should be trying to help your prospects solve their problems. Don’t be pushy and stay subtle.