9 things that high converting websites have | W3 Lab

9 things that high converting websites have

What is conversion rate?

Conversion rate is the percentage of users that visit your website and complete the desired goal, like purchasing something from you or signing up for your newsletter. A high conversion rate is the goal of every website and is not quite easy to achieve.

conversion rate
Conversion rate – Background vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

You can pay a lot of money for a good website theme, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have a high conversion rate. It is a process that is achieved through trial and error, and many digital agencies and companies often make changes and test the conversion rates after them.

So today, we are bringing you 9 things that high converting websites have, to help you improve your own website:

  1. Clear navigation paths
  2. Effective headlines
  3. Responsiveness
  4. Visuals that build trust and engagement
  5. Live chats
  6. No unnecessary elements
  7. Quality images of products and good descriptions
  8. Highly visible call-to-action buttons
  9. Testimonials and reviews

1. Clear navigation paths

This advice seems like a given, but you would be surprised by how many websites out there have really confusing navigations.

Unclear and nonsensical navigations can drive visitors away in record speed. Make sure that your navigation is easy to spot, as well as easy to understand. It is recommended that you ignore hidden navigations and keep it simple.

If you look at the majority of successful and high converting websites, you’ll notice a few things. They put the navigation on top and keep only the important links, such as home, products, about, and contact. When it comes to submenus, they keep them simple, too.

Try not to overwhelm the user with options, and if you have a huge number of products and categories, it is recommended that you use mega menus.

2. Effective headlines

Never underestimate the effect of a good headline. 

There’s a number of formulas for good headlines, and most experts recommend that they contain urgency (Get a stunning website TODAY), a promise (We can help you improve your business), or a result (How we helped our client get 58% more conversions).  

A good headline can significantly increase your conversion rate, here’s a great example of how changing a headline lead to a big improvement. An online betting website, BettingExpert.com, had an idea to change its headline and see how it performed.

Here’s what they did:

form redisgn for better conversion rate
The BettingExpert.com form before and after the headline and button change.

The new headline and button modification increased their conversion rate by 31.54%.

3. Responsiveness

Desktop browsing isn’t the most popular form of browsing anymore. In fact, it hasn’t been for 4 years now, even since mobile browsing overtook it in 2016.

In 2018, 58% of website visits were from mobile devices, which means that more than half of your website visits are very likely to not be from desktop. What you can do is make your website responsive, if you hadn’t already.

Responsive websites are websites that can be accessed from all devices, both big and small, and if your website isn’t one of them, people who aren’t on the desktop will have issues accessing your website, if they can even open it, that is. To make sure that all of visitors will be able to look at your products and purchase them, choose a responsive website theme.

All high converting websites are responsive, with no exceptions.

4. Visuals that build trust and engagement

This includes photos of people and graphics and images that will make people know that they can trust you.

The human factor is an important characteristic of high converting websites. There was a study conducted by Medalia Art, where they replaced the photos of paintings with photos of their respective artists. The conversion rate increased by 95%, going from 8.8% to 17.2%.

art website change
Top to bottom: before and after the Medalia Art website change.

Similarly, Highrise changed their signup page and included a photo of a person smiling, increasing the signup percentage by 47%. Before the change, the page had a huge amount of whitespace and a ton of small elements and tiny images with people. What did the trick, it seems, was the simplification and a larger photo.

website conversion rate improvement
Highrise’s website improvement | Source

When it comes to visuals that build trust, it is most often graphics of padlocks that web designers use. They’re there to signify security and to assure visitors that their information will be safe. Other trust elements you can add on your website are badges (like a money-back guarantee badge), logos of the companies and businesses you worked with (this will grant you legibility), social proof and others.

5. Live chats

Having a live chat is a necessity nowadays, and all high converting websites have them.

Whether you have bots that are always there to answer customer questions, or humans whose job includes responding to customer messages, this is a huge advantage and an important element of any website.

chatbot for better conversion rate
Chatbots have been one of the most popular web design trends in the past few years. | Source

In case they’re curious about your working hours, or want to know more about a specific product, they can address someone in the chat, who will respond in a matter of seconds. If they see that there’s someone so ready to answer their questions, they will immediately think of your business as more serious. Being there whenever your customers need you is a huge plus in their books, and can only positively affect your conversion rate.

Think about it, is someone more likely to purchase something from you if you respond to their question online, or if their only option is to call you? Trust me, if people have the option of typing or texting, they won’t be calling.

6. No unnecessary elements

This is a tough one, because you won’t know how they affect the conversion rate of your website unless you make changes and compare the conversion rate before and after.

Unnecessary elements can be images, forms, some buttons, and even filters. They can distract users from more important things, such as products and call-to-action buttons. Here’s how the UK Tool Centre increased the engagement if their product pages by 27%:

filter removal for improving conversion rate
The UK Tool Centre website before and after the filter removal

They removed the huge distracting filter and saw a significant increase in user engagement. Keep in mind, high converting websites aren’t born, they’re made.

7. Quality images of products and good descriptions

Imagine if you went to purchase shoes from a website and you opened their product page only to find that the photos they used are low quality and don’t show the shoes from all the angles. Naturally, you would immediately think that they’re either scamming you or are highly unprofessional.

Images have a huge effect on people, as we already established in the paragraph where we spoke about the human factor and trust elements. In a case study conducted by VWO, they found that sales increased by 9% after they made the images of the products slightly bigger.

Avoid distracting backgrounds on product photos, and if possible, go for white. Also, have all the images be the same size, for the sake of uniformity, and enable zoom, so your customers can see all the details of your products. Go for high-quality images, and hire a photographer, if you have to. It’s true, you are spending money, but trust me, it’s a great investment.

8. Highly visible call-to-action buttons

Multiple studies have shown that red call-to-action buttons perform better than buttons of all the other colors. Red is the color of urgency and it is very striking, so these results aren’t really surprising if you think about it.

Button shapes and placement matter, as well. Rounded buttons perform better than plain rectangular ones and when it comes to placement, CTA buttons placed above the fold give better conversion rates, since it’s harder for users to miss them. 

more sales with cta - better engagement cta
Include call-to-action buttons for more sales and better engagement. | Source

9. Testimonials and reviews

We already mentioned legibility and how it helps build trust and testimonials and reviews are another way you can let your customers know how serious you are about your business and that it is legitimate.

Include reviews on your product page, so people can leave a comment after purchasing something from you. This will show your potential customers that you care about their experience and opinion, and if someone has any issues, they can post about it in the comments and you can respond to them and help them.

feedback - review
Reviews are a valuable source of feedback, as well. | Source

When it comes to testimonials, most of high converting websites have them. If you collaborate with another business, their testimonial will not only tell customers ‘hey, working with these guys was great’, but it will also serve as a seal of approval. After working with them, ask them to write you a testimonial that you can feature on your website.

Conclusion – Don’t forget that this is a process!

While some of these are things that can be used on every website, such as testimonials and quality images, some of them, unfortunately, can only be discovered through changes being made on your website.

it s recommended that you read case studies on different website elements and how changing them can affect conversion rate. High converting websites didn’t start being successful overnight, so don’t be afraid to change things up a little from time to time and see how the changes do compared to the old website look.

Thanks for reading!

Marija Milosavljević
Marija Milosavljević

Graduated as first in her class. Incredibly quiet and shy until the lag in Warframe turns her into a raging death-bunny.