Five Easy Ways to Design Your Website for More Effective Monetization
Did you know that 55% of people spend less than 15 seconds on a web page they’ve just clicked to? Or that the average for the other 45% is around 40 seconds?
And nearly 66% of attention paid to a page is below the fold. So any special sliders or banners you’ve placed at the top of the page are of little interest and therefore not good real estate for monetization opportunities. (1)
You should pay attention to these statistics, not just in terms of your content – that’s a given – but in terms of your site design.
Because to hold the attention for longer, to encourage readers to go below the fold and engage – with ads, links, products, opt-in forms – you need to make sure your site design is visually pleasing and leads your site visitors to wherever you want them to be.
Always remember: the longer someone stays on your site and the more often they can be encouraged to click through to another page, the more likely you are to monetize.
“But I’m not a designer!”
No problem! Here are five simple design guidelines you can use to make sure your visitors’ short attention span is directed to your monetization goals. Encourage them to keep reading, scrolling and clicking. Inspire them to trust you enough to buy from you.
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Mobile webtime is growing fast; latest statistics show time spent on mobile devices now stands at around 51% – with desktops dropping to 42%. (2)
What does that mean for you?
It means that unless your site is mobile-friendly you will lose out to your competitors. End of story. Modern site visitors just will not tolerate sites that download slowly and don’t display properly on their mobile screen.
Fortunately, SBI! has this covered. The latest responsive templates, and ‘Mobilize It!’ for older templates, mean there’s no excuse for sites not to be mobile-friendly.
If your site is not yet mobile-friendly, your first priority is decided for you. Just do it, today.
Make Your Design Pop!
Did you know there’s evidence that between 62% and 90% – yes, 90% – of your site visitors’ assessment of your page is based on color? Or that certain tones will encourage people to click away from your page? (3)
The way your pages look must lead your site visitor to like them. Using the wrong colors can create discord between the page and the visitor, and a visitor (a potential customer) who doesn’t like the site will not buy from it. Conversely, sites that appeal to the eye will be more likely to receive the click.
Here are some useful facts…
- The majority of women dislike earthy tones.
- Most men don’t like purple.
- Blue is a color used to cultivate trust.
- Black promotes feelings of luxury.
- Call to action buttons do best in bright, primary colors.
The psychology of color is a huge – and fascinating – topic. If you’d like to read more there’s a link at the end of this article. But in the meantime here are five things you can take action on now:
- Make sure your site palette matches your niche. Kids’ sites, for example, are most popular in primary colors while sites about yoga do better in calm, restful shades such as blue or green.
- In a similar way, know your site visitor demographic and consider options from their point of view. For example, if your demographic is largely women, think about the value of changing your colors to match their favorites – blue, purple and green.
- Don’t use too many colors – they’ll distract the reader because the eye doesn’t know where to look next, and distracted readers will not stay on your site. Stick with two or three for a bold but understated look that pleases the eye.
- White space is friendly. It gives the page an uncluttered, fresh feel.
- Make sure your call to action buttons are colors that convert well: there’s evidence that the most popular are red, green, orange and yellow.
Make Your Pages Easy for the Eye to Follow
There’s evidence all over the Internet that an uncluttered page leads not only to more time spent there, but to a higher conversion rate. (4) Keep in mind the well-worn acronym KISS: “Keep it super simple”. Make it your mantra.
How do you achieve this? That’s pretty simple too.
- As mentioned above, use lots of white space. Leave gaps between paragraphs, leave some space between headings and content, and around images.
- Make sure your font is large enough for people to read, but not so large that it shouts. Bear in mind that text is easiest to read when it’s dark text on a white or very light-colored background.
- Use sub-headings to draw the eye down the page. We know that people scan pages very quickly (remember – 15 seconds!). They will not read every word you write, at least not on that first pass. They need to get to the parts with the information they were looking for, and get to them quickly. Sub-headings help them know what information is where.
- Think very carefully before adding pop-up boxes to your page. As a general rule of thumb, do not use them on sales pages. Keep in mind your most wanted response. If it happens to be newsletter sign-ups, a pop-up may be appropriate. But if it’s to sell a product or to link to a sales page, don’t add the pop-up.
- Above all, do not clutter your pages with ads. It may be tempting if the yield per ad on your site is decreasing, but the evidence points to more ad clicks on pages with fewer ads.
Use Images Well
Site visitors love photographs and infographics. They’re colorful, interesting and, used properly, inform far more quickly than words. If you sell products – your own or someone else’s – images are one of the most critical elements of the sales page.
Ensure your images…
- Are large enough to capture attention. Small thumbnails are no longer enough in an increasingly visual world – the whole width of your page is not too large if you use the right image. If you’re worried about size in relation to download time use an image optimization program such as TinyPNG (https://tinypng.com), which now accepts .jpg as well as .png files.
- Tell your site visitor something about the page content. Don’t add them to a page because you think they look pretty. Think about each one. What does it add to the content? What does it tell a potential buyer about the product?
- If the image is a product you’re selling, try to photograph it being used in an everyday setting. Potential buyers like to see merchandise in action – and it helps them envisage it in use in their own world.
- When using product images, make each of them clickable to the product sales page as well as providing a call to action (sales) button. Give your site visitors every opportunity to click!
Blow Your Own Trumpet!
Testimonials! They speak of satisfaction with your product – whether that ‘product’ is your site itself or an item you’re selling. They speak of trust – someone has trusted you enough to read your content, and found it useful, or to buy your product, and found it works.
People want social proof. That is, they like to hear from others to make sure they’re spending their time, energy or money well. Think of all the major sales sites – Amazon, Expedia, TripAdvisor. One of the most common reasons for using them is that they have real, honest reviews.
You need testimonials. Use them well.
Here are a few practical suggestions :
- Quite often when you receive a testimonial, you will not have time right then to put it into your website. Create a document on your computer now. Each time a testimonial comes to your notice, copy and paste it into the document, making a note of the name of the person and the page or product it relates to. Then reply to that email, thanking that satisfied visitor/customer, and asking if you can use the testimonial on your site.
- Now you have a supply of testimonials to use on your pages, in your newsletters, on your Facebook page – wherever your customers are.
- Use a ‘callout box’ to place testimonials on a page so that they stand out from the rest of the content.
- Content of testimonials: When considering whether a testimonial is worth keeping or not, think about your niche, your site visitor and your site visitor’s needs. What pain points are you addressing; what solutions are you offering?Does this testimonial address a ‘pain point’ you know your site visitors have? Does it speak of the benefits of a solution you’ve offered? Does it say something like “I had this problem; I didn’t know what to do; I found this website; it offered me this solution; now my life is happy again!”? If it does, it’s pure gold! Put it on your site as soon as possible!
- Where to find testimonials: Emails are the obvious place. Your Facebook page is another. You may receive some on your site if you have comments enabled. Someone may be very generous and leave on in a forum post.
The design of your website can critically affect how well your site monetizes for you. In every design decision you make, in every tweak of color, in the creation of every sub-heading and in the selection of every image – make sure you think about the impact it will have on your bottom line.
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Sources and further reading:
(1) Tony Haile, CEO Data Analytics company Chartbeat, writing in Time magazine. http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong/
(2) Danny Bosomworth, ‘Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015’, published in Smart Insights. http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
(3) ‘How to use the psychology of color to increase website conversions’ : published in Kissmetrics. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/psychology-of-color-and-conversions/
(4) ‘Uncluttered web pages make ads work better’ : published in Business Wire. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120607005281/en/Uncluttered-Web-Pages-Ads-Work-Research-Media#.Vdx7pHs1ioU