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The Lab
Use the following tips and tricks to quickly get more leads, customers and sales by optimizing your web presence.

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How Website Design Can Make or Break Conversion


When creating a website for your business, you're ultimate goal is to create a platform that ushers visitors towards a predetermined action. If you want your visitors to buy something, then your goal is to design a website that encourages that. The same thing applies if you want visitors to make a donation, subscribe to your blog, watch a video, etc.

So when designing your website, you should always have that end goal in mind, whatever it may be. When visitors complete the action that you want them to do, then you've successfully made a conversion. Your conversion rate, which tells you how many times you made a conversion out of total visitors, is your guide to understanding whether your method (web design, in this case) of getting people to that accomplish that goal is working. A bad design can mean a poor conversion rate, while a good design will increase conversions.

Unfortunately, creating a successful design on the first try is easier said than done. Website design can be tricky, especially when it serves a purpose beyond aesthetics.

Below is a powerful design tactic for you to consider when creating your site.

Declutter Your Space

This references many aspects of your website design.

When you declutter your page, you simplify things. In terms of content, this can prove useful. Your web page consists of two different kinds of space: positive and negative. Positive space refers to your content, such as text, images, headlines, task bars, navigation tools, etc. Negative space then refers to the space left over after you've inserted your content, i.e. unused space. Negative space is often referred to as white space in web design, although it doesn't have to be white. So when you declutter your design, it means using more negative space than positive. Make things simple and clean.

Which leads into the second part of decluttering: choices. When you optimize negative space, you're effectively reducing points of interest to a few things, which then emphasises their importance. This can apply to a few areas of your design, most notably your navigation tool. Giving your visitors too many options to navigate to will actually decrease interest. This is based on a common theory, known as Hick's Law, which states that the time it takes for a person to make a decision is directly related to the number of decisions given to them. Simplified, it means the more options you give someone, the more time it will take them to decide.

Makes sense, right? So if you have too many options in your nav tool, then it will take someone longer to decide where they want to go, which will take them longer to get to your end goal, or prevent them from getting there altogether.

Limit your visitors to a few options, between 5 and 10, to help boost your conversion rate. You can also use a welcome gate that covers the entire screen, which gives a visitor a single choice (the one you ultimately want them to do). This can be extremely effective since the typical consumer has an attention span of just 8 seconds, according to a Microsoft Corp. study. By shortening the time it takes for your visitor to get to your end goal, you could potentially see a significant increase in your conversion rate.

There are, of course, many more features of a successful website design, yet you can efficiently increase your conversions with this single, simple tip. Remember -- less is more.