Graphic designers often have a bad reputation when it comes to conversions. One of my favourite quotes to demonstrate this point is from Tim Ash. Tim claims one of the easiest ways to improve conversions is to “Shoot your graphic designer in the head”.
As a graphic designer, this quote is the reason I lock my door at night. But as a web marketer, I completely understand this frustration. Graphic designers tend to consider themselves as creative, and tend to go overboard to make their work standout, and reflect who their personality. Plus, it’s more entertaining than just “production work” .
As a result, I’ve created a list of graphic design rules for conversions that I will be featuring. I will be posting them one at a time to give you time to adjust your page, and test out these rules one at a time to get a result.
It’s important to remember that like every other graphic design rule, take it with a grain of salt. Websites are delicate, and although these rules may work for some elements, it may conflict with others or may mess what’s working on your page right now. Keep in mind that you should always split test any changes to your site and that you’re only limited by your imagination.
Part 1: Don’t over clutter the area Above the Fold
As a graphic designer, we all have horror stories of bad clients. My horror story has to deal with a stubborn client who wanted to keep “everything above the fold”.
- A money-back guarantee
- Free shipping notice
- Unique sales proposition
- 5 selling points
- Savings calculator
- Contact form
- Warranty information
- Incentive to buy
- Navigation bar
- and a live chat button
Despite my attempts to rationalize with the client, the amount of information they wanted above the fold started a competition for eye traffic. Some users saw the savings calculator, while others saw the video, but none grasped all the elements, or the complete story of the company. Even worse, the headline had to be shrunk so small, that nobody saw the unique value proposition.
Consider your above the fold as a 5 second movie trailer to your company. On a good landing page, your above the fold should clearly answer three things within 5 seconds:
- “where am I”
- “what can I do here”
- and “why should I do it?”
2 of these points (where am I, and why should I do) can be answered within a strong headline that states the value proposition. For Example “With over 32,000 international moves a year, XYZ moving company is your destination for large scale moves. Who being XYZ moving, and why, because of their experience.
The 3rd third point (what can I do here) I typically place on a call to action above the fold, as it typically solves what you can do on the site, and typically sums up the metric of a conversion. “Click here to book your move” or “Click here to download your ebook” as an example.
The website nightmare I faced could have been easily fixed by establishing an eyepath that encouraged the user down the page, where the rest of the information could have been placed. Although having a promising product, sadly the company’s online sales were less than expected.