I have spent years in the digital marketing industry while working under different banners and roles (i.e. agencies, in-house, remote and as a consultant). One thing that I faced for almost 90% of the time was, most businesses did not have the kind of website that communicated effectively with its visitors. The most difficult part is to make someone understand the fact that their current website is not ideal for commercial growth and conversions through online channels. Obviously, it is almost impossible to come up with a format that works for all kinds of websites and businesses, but there are a few things every conversion friendly website should have in order to captivate its targeted audience. In this post, I am going to cover the aspects that any conversion friendly website should have in order to win over their competitors. The Technical Aspect Technicalities are the first area where most business owners make mistakes. This area covers the hosting server, domain name and website CMS. #1. Hosting Server Remember, your website is not only your company’s digital identity, but it’s your reputation online and at the same time it can help you get much more business than all of your physical sales team can collectively bring to the table. So, in order to maintain and build your reputation as well as online visibility, you need to have a powerful hosting server that stays up 24/7 and entertains each and every visitor who lands on the website at any time of the day. The company you choose for your hosting is obviously your choice, but here are a few ideas that can always help. Dedicated servers are secure, but expensive whereas shared servers are risky but economical. Research thoroughly over countless companies providing hosting services. Never compromise on bandwidth limit and server uptime. #2. Domain Name Luckily this part is played by most of the business owners. However, I’m including it because I have seen a few cases where the website was running on a highly inappropriate domain name. Also if you’re buying domains for SEO, just make sure you don’t overdo it else it will hurt you rather than helping you. The whole idea of domain name is to be as relevant to your business as possible. Ideally, the name of your brand should be your domain name. There was a time when keyword-friendly domain names worked, but today it is more about your brand name and less about the keywords because Google is much smarter while ranking the website as compared to what it was a few years ago. If you are using domain name for redirecting make sure they are not too many in number plus there should be no bad history attached to it or else it might hurt your organic visibility in search engines. Back in 2007, Rand did an amazing post that contains 12 rules on choosing the right domain name, consider these while choosing a domain name for your business. #3. The CMS Again a matter of choice and unfortunately most people make the wrong one. Before you pick any CMS, the idea is to list down your needs, business size, goals and any other options in mind. Choosing a platform or CMS is the first step of building a website, so keeping your needs and goals in mind is really important. For instance if your goal is to increase subscribers and share free content and grow the readership (ideal for a blog), then WordPress is an ideal platform for you as no one provides a better CMS platform then WordPress for blogging. If you are a big store like Workplace Depot with thousands of products, in that case the ideal CMS system is Magento. On the other hand, if you are small business with a smaller inventory and still want to give the best to your customers, Shopify should be the choice as their Omni-Channel retailing allows small businesses to offer more shopping options to their customers. The Design Aspect No website can attract their targeted audience without an attractive design. The only problem is, most businesses consider design as beauty aspect only, which at the end of the day fails them to attract online traffic and increase revenue. In my opinion, designing is more of a science than an art, and a conversion friendly design is one that understands the behavior of its targeted audience. Here are a few ideas you should consider when it comes to the design of a conversion friendly website. #1. Clean and Clear Navigation It is critical to ensure that the navigation of the website is clean and clear and there is no problem while visiting different parts of the website. If the navigation will be problematic, chances are that it’s SEO and visibility in search engines might not help as the bad navigation will stop people from converting into customers and this will result in greater bounce rate. The easiest idea to solve this problem is by hiring different testers and see if they can reach different destinations within a few clicks, if not, you probably should change the navigation to something that is more user friendly. #2. Minimal design This is a buzzword in the design industry these days. It is important for a website to have a minimal design as heavy designs usually frustrate users and take time to load as compared to the former. Some of the best websites, when it comes to minimal design, are frieze magazines and Mark Bolton designs, as their load times are quick and visitors can navigate through them with ease. Hongkiat did a research of top 100 websites with minimal design that can be found here. #3. Clear call-to-Action The most common problem that I see in many websites is the wrong placement of call-to-action buttons and this confuses visitors. As a result, the visitor bounces from the website. A/B Testing is important in order to test and see where exactly to put the call-to-action button for better conversions. The Development Aspects In this section, I am going to cover the aspects that are important to consider while developing a conversion friendly website. #1. Optimized HTML Code SEO or not, your website’s code needs to be optimized not only because it is one of the requirements from the SEO standpoint, but also because a clean code is more likely to support the page load time which has a direct impact on rankings as well as conversions. Once your website code is complete, it is ideal to use a tool like pingdom to check how much time it is taking to load a page and if it is taking longer than usual, the tool suggests ways to optimize it. It is always good to make sure that you are using java scripts below the fold and all CSS are external, as this will increase the page load time significantly. #2. Easy and Quick Conversion Paths This point mainly applies to ecommerce stores and websites that have a conversion path different from usual. Setting up a website on the internet might not need as much investment as a physical store, but at the same time when you are on the internet the competition is huge and end users always has more alternates available all the time. If you are going to make them work extra while moving towards the conversion funnel, they probably will go away. The best idea to make people stay and complete the conversion process is to make it easy and provide them everything exactly when they need it! I personally love the checkout and order process of express writers as their conversion path is different from the normal, but they make it so simple for users that nobody leaves from any part of the conversion path. #3. Search and Advance Search Option If you are a big store or a website that contains in-depth content, it is very important to not only have a search option, but an advanced search option as well. This will allow users to dig deeper and better into different parts of a website. I love the search feature that Wal-Mart uses on their website. It’s very smart plus the URL structure is very clean which makes it easier for even a layman to understand the search. Other Options The Subscribe Option is important especially if you are in the ecommerce niche, as this data will allow you to re-sale and up-sale your products accordingly over a period. If you are using WP, here are a few plugins that may help. Collection of Survey is very important and if you can collect data about the audience’s behavior, the results can be marvelous. I personally use Qeryz, as it is easy to set up. Blog is important if you have a commercial website no matter what your niche is. If you do not have it, start today! ☺ Email marketing is important and in order to run it effectively you need a tool that tracks everything. I personally use Mail Chimp and recommend you the same. There are probably a lot more, but this is what I could think off the top of my head. So tell me… is your website conversion friendly? Images: “Asian business man write words on wall, Conversations Matter / website development project on whiteboard /Shutterstock.com“ ______________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.