Version 2.1.9

Website Guidelines

In-depth website guidelines to help build, refine, or audit your own website to modern professional standards.

Conversion

Call To Action

A call to action is a phrase that tells a user exactly what action to take and how to take it. While this sounds straightforward, it can be tough to get right. Simply putting “Buy Now” on a button is technically a call to action, but to convert you need to use strong messaging that convinces users to act.

Your website should have clear call to action phrases, buttons, and links that stand out (via wording and visually) which direct the user to take action on your site. Ideally, you should use phrasing that makes your offer seem irresistible to your target demographic.

Effective CTAs need to be compelling, have a clear benefit for the user, continue the conversion momentum, and actually cause action – i.e. increase your conversion rate.

Over 90% of users who read a headline read the Call to Action (CTA).

Further Reading

Call To Action

A call to action is a phrase that tells a user exactly what action to take and how to take it. While this sounds straightforward, it can be tough to get right. Simply putting “Buy Now” on a button is technically a call to action, but to convert you need to use strong messaging that convinces users to act.

Your website should have clear call to action phrases, buttons, and links that stand out (via wording and visually) which direct the user to take action on your site. Ideally, you should use phrasing that makes your offer seem irresistible to your target demographic.

Effective CTAs need to be compelling, have a clear benefit for the user, continue the conversion momentum, and actually cause action – i.e. increase your conversion rate.

Over 90% of users who read a headline read the Call to Action (CTA).

Further Reading

Analytics

In order to measure how well your website is converting, you need to collect and analyze the data from your users. Google Analytics allows you to measure how many visitors your website is getting, where the traffic is from, and how your users are interacting with your site. This also allows you to track marketing campaigns in order to calculate your return on investment from those campaigns. With Hotjar, you can collect visual heatmaps which you to see where users are clicking, what they're reading and for how long, as well as collect and analyze recordings of real visits to your site.

Along with website analytical data, you can view data based on search engine traffic and impressions with Google Search Console. This also allows you to check your website indexing status, submit updated sitemaps, and view potential errors that could prevent you from properly being indexed and ranked in Google.

"Funneling resources to features that aren’t captivating users is clearly not a smart business move, and Google Analytics can help you avoid making that mistake."

Using just the information from Google Search Console to inform your marketing strategies, you can drive up to 28% more traffic to your website.

Further Reading

Compelling Messaging

Your website messaging needs to use a strong, consistent voice that clearly communicates what your business does. Your copy should describe the value you provide while being straightforward and to the point as users have short (read: 15 second) attention spans.

Compelling messaging plays a vital role in establishing credibility and getting users to take action on your site.

A stunning 55% of users spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page.

With your website messaging, your goal is not to convince your visitors to buy something, but to reveal their needs and highlight your product as the solution.

Changes in just a few lines of text on a website can boost conversions by up to 30%.

Further Reading

The Fold

Your ‘above the fold’ content (what is visible on the page without scrolling) is the majority of what your visitors will see when they come to your website. The content 'above the fold' needs to draw them into your site and entice them to continue throughout the rest of your site. Your website should be responsive, and thus you'll want to pay attention to the different viewport areas on all common devices.

It’s important to use this vital area to prioritize content that leads the user down the page. Simply shoving ads or call to actions up there and hoping for the best may not always work in your favor; especially with Google penalizing certain practices like this. Context and balance is key.

With social media and apps promoting consistent scrolling  behavior, users have gotten used to scrolling past the fold. Never the less, taking into account 'above the fold' content is still an important consideration.

Users do scroll, but only when what’s above the fold is promising – an average of 22% of users will scroll to the bottom of a webpage, regardless of length.

Elements 100 pixels above the fold are viewed on average 84% more than elements 100 pixels below the fold.

Further Reading

Trust Factors

Your website needs to use signals that users look for that help give your website credibility and make you appear trustworthy. Clearly displaying testimonials and reviews from real customers, as well as displaying awards, industry certifications, and industry affiliations all help illustrate your website’s reliability and authenticity.

Case Studies, or similar breakdowns of your proven value – as well as guarantees – will all help improve the trust in your business, leading to a higher likelihood of a user acting on your site.

Four in five users say that being able to trust the information on a website is very important to them.

Customers will terminate 70% of online purchases due to lack of trust.

Further Reading

Ease of Contact

The process to contact you needs to be as simple as possible. Even with a professional design and excellent copy, if trying to get in touch with you is in any way difficult or confusing, users may abandon their attempts and look for an easier-to-reach competitor.

Your website should avoid unnecessary form fields, and have a live chat available when relevant to your niche. Important contact information (such as email, phone number, hours, and address) should be easily found.

44% of online customers say that having questions answered by a live person while purchasing something is one of the most important features of a website.

37% of users will abandon a form that requires a phone number. Adding the word “Optional” next to the phone number field increased conversion rates from 42% to 80%.

Further Reading

Marketing Integration

Your marketing strategies should be well integrated into your website. Strategies such as email newsletters and social media help establish a relationship with your audience. Users expect to be able to easily navigate through all your resources – like following you on social media when they aren’t ready to make a purchase or contact you.

Users seeing consistent brand messaging across all marketing platforms will increase your brand’s trustworthiness, increasing the chance that user will return to your site (and thereby increasing the chance of a lead).

Integrated (or Multi-Channel) marketing vs. non-integrated campaigns are reported to be 3 times more effective.

72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses through multi-channel marketing.

Further Reading

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