NEW: Fred Schebesta

How do I get someone to take some action rather than just be a passive visitor to my website? I’ll tell you how.

How to test the conversion rate of your website design

Designing a new website can be very subjective as even the water boy has an opinion. In order to reduce the backwards and forwards with your designers and give yourself some peace of mind with your website design, here are some shortcuts to share.

Your objective with each page should be to persuade the user to take one objective or “action” on each page.

Your job is to determine whether or not the user will take the desired action on each page. Most people enter this process when they are designing their new website although this can still apply to a current site and how it is laid out.

Nine quick questions to test your website design

Get your homepage or landing page that you are sending your visitors to and ask the following questions. Pretend you are a new visitor to your website. Make your website full screen (Press F11 on your keyboard). Look away from your screen and pause for a second. Look back at your screen and ask yourself the following questions each time.

1. What is the first thing you look at?
The attention grabber will usually be a picture or a strong headline. Hopefully it’s something which immediately grabs their attention and pulls them in wanting to read more and get engaged.

2. What did you immediately think the company did?
As a user, how can this webpage (company) help me right now? What benefits do you have to offer?

3. What is the second thing you look at?
This will normally be close to the first item although you want to ensure its leading the user towards the desired action you want them to take. Hopefully its a subhead or thumbnails of your products.

4. What is the last thing you look at on the page?
The last thing here can be the last thing you saw or that caught your eye or the last thing you saw before you would click. You are trying to build trust and credibility as they travel through your website so try and use your side columns to do this. The main centre section of your website is where all the action happens and where you want to focus the user towards to get them to take their action.

5. Where is the first and second place you would click?
Hopefully this is one step closer to your conversion page. That is the user is clicking one step towards the sales process of them buying. Remember that when a user comes to your website they are either dead cold with what you offer or piping hot and ready to buy. You need to push them from cold to hot and get them to buy/signup or call!

6. What would you expect to be behind those links?
Take a look at your sitemap before you ask this question and look at what page is behind each of the clicks. Then look back at your design and ask, “If I landed at the page, would the content satisfy me?” That is, has the promise in the call to action been lived up to?

For example, if you sent a user to a page that said “Free whitepaper” can they get the free whitepaper? Second, “will this page continue to help persuade the user to convert to a customer?” That is, is it continuing the user along the buying process?

7. What did you spend the most amount of your time looking at?
Whatever it was that you kept going back to with your eye, make sure that has a good strong call to action to persuade the users. Thousands of visitors are going to be doing what you do, so try and persuade as many of them as you can to take the action you want them to. Don’t require your users to search all over the page for the action you want them to take. It’s not going happen..

8. What did you expect to be behind each of the navigation buttons?
Just do a sanity check to make sure that behind each link of your navigation is relevant content that will help the user. Don’t you hate it when you click a navigation button and you are sent to a page that replicated the homepage with a very limited amount of content to help you?

9. Did all of the questions match your answers?
If yes then you are on your way to internet marketing success, there are going to be more tests when you actually launch the site! If no, note the changes to the pages and chat with your online marketing agency.

An example? I will do a little case study next week of a website. I have chosen a friend of mine’s website as they have launched a new landing page.

Let me know your initial thoughts and write a comment if you would like to be a case study.

Fred Schebesta’s company Freestyle Media is an established innovative online media agency that tackles combining proven approaches with new thinking and ideas.

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Jean Cannon from writes: This makes excellent sense and I can see where my new website has some gaps. I would love to be a case study.

At present is up but not quite completed and is the old site, which will be changed to look like the .com within a few days.



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