Importance of Visual Design for Conversion Rates

by Joshua Strawczynski

People are visual beings, and it doesn’t matter whether you know anything about art or design, your eye is usually drawn to something that is designed well. It is no wonder, then that how well a website is designed can have a big impact on its conversion rate. A website that is beautifully designed doesn’t only make for a better user experience but also increases people’s trust in your brand or business. This trust is vital when it comes to conversion.

It only takes a split second for someone to decide whether they like your site or not. This calls for careful consideration of a number of design elements and a designer who knows how to design high-impact, high-converting websites.

Here are aspects of design to consider building websites for conversion rate optimization strategies:

1. Extremely quick to judge
According to research, people form an opinion of your website, good or bad, within a mere 0.05 seconds! This can have a huge impact on whether people like your website or not, in turn determining if people will stay and interact or leave.

What’s more, according to the author, Malcolm Gladwell, people are often ‘primed’ before they even make that initial snap judgment. For instance, if you sell insurance, people might already have a negative attitude by the time they visit your website, because many people see insurance as a grudge purchase, and just thinking about it already puts them in a bad mood.

Thankfully it is possible to change people’s minds through things like colors, copy, fonts, the position of buttons, and visual hierarchy, the factors that influence snap judgments in the first place. Find out what can potentially prime visitors, then design your site to counter it, instantly.

2. First impressions
Now that we know that people make snap judgments of your website, the question is, what is this speedy first impression based on? According to research, the overwhelming majority of people form a first impression based on the look-and-feel of a site, rather than the content. The elements that have the most influence includes the main images, colors, logo, and the navigation menu. If a visitor dislikes these elements, chances are that they will also dislike the rest of your website.

Why is this important? Research has shown that people’s trust is based on the design of your site. A well-designed site is trusted more than a poorly designed one.

3. Inspiration impacts first impressions
We’ve established that your website’s visual elements are the major influencer on people’s first impressions of your site, but what kind of images can boost first impressions? The short answer is ‘visually appealing images’. Using great imagery on your website can make people stay longer on your website, creating more conversion opportunities. It also builds credibility, which, along with ease-of-use also play important roles in establishing good first impressions.

People don’t want to have to figure out how a website works and they want to know you’re legit. If it’s not obvious, or they don’t think you can be trusted, they’ll leave.

HermanMiller – Simple, visually appealing images.

4. Simplicity and prototypicality
Simple, more familiar design without unnecessary distractions is the best way to win visitors over. The clearer it is to the visitor what’s going on on your website, the easier it is to use the site (and stay on the site). Not only that, according to research less really is more. People tend to find simple design more beautiful than complex design.

Simple design takes away the clutter and distracting elements and focusses on a particular goal. Keep in mind that some pages might be simpler than others, depending on the kinds and types of products or services, but it should always be as simple as possible. If something doesn’t serve a purpose in driving the visitor towards conversion, it must go.

Familiarity is another winner. When something is familiar, it feels safe and trustworthy. The idea that people have in their minds about what certain types of websites, such as news sites, or e-commerce sites, should look like is known as prototypicality. The higher the prototypicality of your website, the higher the chances that visitors will stay (or stay longer). This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t innovate, just be careful not to innovate too much, because it might cause people to leave.

5. Data-driven design is the best design
Using data can help identify what works and what doesn’t, thus allowing designers to improve site performance and design — this is a fundamental part of conversion rate optimization. Data forms the foundation and structure on and around which a high-converting website is built. Of course, there is a level of creativity and learned intuition involved, but data will show you where improvements and changes can be made to ultimately lead to top-conversion rates.

Things like where people look on your web page, where they click, how long they stay, at what point they leave, and how long it takes to convert are key metrics in the design of a highly optimized website.

Having a well-designed website is critical to your business success. Your website represents your business or brand online. It is where people experience your business and the products or services it sells, and where they buy it. Creating great experiences that ultimately lead to conversions, be it sales, sign-ups, or generating leads, is what conversion rate optimization is about, and it starts with design.

Take the short cut to digital marketing success. Contact JMarketing and discuss your options to increase your conversion rates, and immediately skyrocket your results. Click this link and complete the enquiry form, we will contact you back right away.

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About the Author

Joshua Strawczynski
Managing Director

An expert in influencing consumer behaviour online. Josh is an award-winning digital marketer, business manager and best selling author. He regularly appears in the media, providing insights into using influence tactics to enhance marketing strategy effectiveness.

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