Posted by admin on May 26, 2014
You can't afford to waste time selling products or services which don't look pretty. Any business person would agree. However, many business owners tend to forget that the same rule applies to websites.
As part of our series on digital fundamentals, this post covers how website layout affects sales.
Converting website visitors into customers is not only about headlines and compelling web copy. Reducing bounce rate and making sure visitors are motivated to do what you want them to do is largely determined by layout.
William Hick, an expert in experimental psychology, discovered that a visitor's reaction rate (i.e. whether they do what it is you want them to do) is directly influenced by the amount of choices they have¹. Hicks' work indicates that the more choices visitors have the less likely they are to be motivated to make the choice you want.
The easy solution is to not give too many choices - a smart web designer applies Hicks' work when creating a website. They need to understand how people behave online to successfully motivate visitors into making a desired action.
Holding attention is the biggest challenge of web design.
People skim webpages far more than they read. When was the last time you read over 1,000 words on the web? Most people find the information they need and move on. Skimming is especially common on e-commerce sites. Customers looking to make a purchase only want two things: to find product information (price, size, &c.) and to make a purchase.
Don't let their attention wander with poor design. It will cost you a sale.
A well-informed designer knows what works. The human element is what makes working with a designer infinitely more productive than doing it yourself. Your designer will know which type of layout works best for a website in your industry.
For example, did you know that F- and Z- shaped websites tend to grab the most attention? Most people don't think of websites this way, but eye-tracking studies have shown that web users follow a pattern when browsing the web.
They spend the most time scanning horizontally at the top of the page.
Next, they scan a slightly smaller horizontal bar in the middle of the page even more quickly.
Finally they glance vertically at the left side of the page.
Website layout is just one aspect of web design which most people don't consider when gauging how profitable a website is. That's why hiring a web designer makes sense. They design layout with users in mind so you don't have to. They will know what works in the industry and make you succeed.
Are you satisfied with your website? Contact us for a free consultation if you feel your website layout could use an update. Our dedicated in-house team can start building your business today!
Sources: 1) Hick, W. E. (1 March 1952). "On the rate of gain of information". Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 4 (1): 11–26.
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