How Web Design Affects Conversions

Why web design isn't all about appearance

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How to Design for More Conversions

The path to a successful conversion winds through obstacle after obstacle, from the beginning of the buying process all the way to the end. This means that there are many variables to consider when optimizing for conversions.

So, how does web design affect conversions? There are two main areas to explore: User experience, and the technical side.

User experience – what do your visitors want?

Imagine walking into a store that has merchandise haphazardly strewn about, with no discernible method of organization. You push on, and eventually find what you’re looking for. Then, you realize there doesn’t seem to be a cash register anywhere. You spend a minute looking around, give up and leave the store.

This sounds like an absurd scenario, but it’s exactly what happens when a potential customer is met with a poorly designed website. Why would you spend precious time figuring out how to work a website when you can just hit the back button and navigate to a better one?

Ease of navigation

Confusion is the number one reason visitors will back out of a website. In the context of user experience, the architecture of your website doesn’t matter as long as the navigation process is straightforward.

Users need a clearly-defined path to follow. Elements like too many internal links, too many choices to make, and obscure menu placement serve only to draw your lead further and further away from the end goal of conversion.

The “scent” of information

Visitors seeking information will continue to visit pages on your site as long as there are signals indicating that there is more that will interest them. As long as they know that your site has more to offer, you’ll keep their attention.

Users must feel as if every action they take on your website advances them towards their end goal of buying a product, locating information, or signing up for a service.

It can be useful to mimic the sales funnel when considering your website’s design. You want your lead to progress through the funnel as seamlessly as possible, with no chance for hesitation or distraction.

The technical side - Page load time affects conversions

User experience and technical optimization often go hand-in-hand when designing for conversions.

We are an impatient species, so it doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if it never loads. In fact, 64% of consumers won’t wait more than 10 seconds for a page to load before abandoning it. You can’t land a conversion if your lead isn’t on your website!

Website speed is also important because Google likes fast websites. Load time is one of the many signals their search algorithm uses when determining where a page should rank. This means the slower your site is, the lower it will rank – and the less traffic it will generate.

Website load times can be drastically reduced by doing a few simple things like compressing images, minifying CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, and utilizing browser caching.

Better web design = more conversions

There’s no getting around it. Web design is one of the most impactful facets of conversion optimization. All of the traffic in the world is worthless if your website is confusing or slow to load.

Building your online presence on a firm foundation of proper web design is an absolute must going forward. Get the basics of user experience and technical optimization down pat and you’ll see an increase in conversions before you know it!


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