Simplifying Web Pages and Increasing Conversions: Tips from Ben Hunt

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“Treat pixels as though there is a worldwide shortage.”

These are words that web marketers should live by according to Ben Hunt, web marketing veteran and author of the book Convert!

In a Landing Page Optimization episode, Ben shares tips on simplifying web pages and other things you can do to boost conversions.

Be Purpose-Driven

Ben sees clutter as a big problem for pages and says that it’s often a result of a lack of identity and purpose – people don’t know what their web site is trying to do. This can be addressed by setting a goal for every page. You should clear on what actions you want visitors to take at the end of the page (e.g. stay on the site, pick a new page to read, buy something, or subscribe).

Only use pixels –words, boxes, lines, photos – if they’re going to help the web page do its job.

Just Ask Visitors to Do It

Web marketers have a misconception that calls-to-action (CTA) are only important to landing pages or sales pages. However, CTAs are important everywhere. Ben stresses that the CTA doesn’t just apply to the final “Buy” or “Add to Cart.” He says that if you want visitors to do something, you should just ask them to do it and give them the opportunity to do it.

Pixels Ben Hunt

Design the Content, Not the Box It Comes In

Users interact with web pages at commuter speed. The want information and clues on what to do next. They only care if they’re in the right place and if they’re going to find what they want. According to Ben, the reality is, no one cares about how your web page looks apart from you and other web designers. So, put important content on the page, and decoration doesn’t matter.

Tim Ash reminds, though, that this comes with a caveat: clean means unembellished, not unprofessional and unattractive.

Think About the Qualities You Want to Communicate

Visual priority is crucial. When somebody lands on and glances at your web page, even without reading, they should know that they’re at the right place and should immediately know what to do. Ben imagines a well-designed page as a room with one large brightly-lit open door that represents that one thing that you really want people to do.

It’s also important to think about how you want to be perceived through graphic design. If you’re selling dirt-cheap shoes, then the site needs to look relatively cheap. Sometimes unprofessional or cheap-looking is the right thing, so you can externalize the intangible aspects of the service, but that has to be done deliberately for your intended audience.

Think of Multiplicity

Ben notes that most web sites are still created and designed as though they are brochures which are expensive to print. The reality, however, is that the web is quicker, faster, cheaper, and easier to publish. So, think about multiplicity -if you’ve got three different groups of users visiting the site with three completely different goals, they don’t need to use the same page. If you know certain things about your users, present content that is customized to each particular path that they need to be on. The goal should be one to one personalization.

webmaster-radio-1.jpgThere’s more where these tips came from. Listen to Tim Ash’s conversation with Ben Hunt online or download “The Power of Simplicity with Ben Hunt” podcast from WebmasterRadio.fm .

First Air Date: May 26, 2014