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Maximizing conversions: Expert design and UX advice

The connection between design and conversions is undeniable. A well-crafted website not only captivates your audience but also seamlessly guides them toward desired actions, whether it’s making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or simply engaging with your content.

From the arrangement of design elements to the selection of colour palettes and from optimizing navigation to presenting content with finesse, each aspect plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall user experience, potentially transforming casual visitors into devoted patrons.

In this week’s “Let’s Talk,” we dive into the crucial relationship between design and conversions in web design and UX. Whether you’re a seasoned web designer or a business owner, discover how design can guide your audience toward actions like making a purchase or engaging with content. We’ll explore essential strategies to elevate your website’s design and UX, from element arrangement to colour palettes, transforming visitors into loyal customers.

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Shaun Cochrane, Industry Lead ANZ at Genesys

Shaun Cochrane
Shaun Cochrane, Industry Lead ANZ at Genesys

“Excellence in application design and aesthetics is always fundamental; however, forward-looking businesses are investing in predictive engagement to bolster their ability to orchestrate personalised customer experiences that connect every touchpoint. Predictive engagement uses AI and machine learning to analyse customer behaviour across multiple channels, predict what they are trying to achieve and then assist them in achieving those outcomes.

“Predictive engagement could detect a customer reviewing their eligibility for a product and at what point they stall in their interaction, for example, when completing an application. Here, predictive engagement could pop up a “context-aware” BOT, which immediately enters a dialogue relating to completing an application and offers the option to be connected with an enrolment specialist. The same predictive technology can give the agent full interaction context, allowing them to quickly understand where customers are in their journeys and provide a timely and appropriate solution. The result is a customer who feels heard, valued, and more likely to convert. The business also benefits from improved efficiencies by getting the customer to interact with the best agent in the first instance.”

Shaun Broughton, Managing Director, APAC and Japan at Shopify

Shaun Broughton
Shaun Broughton, Managing Director, APAC and Japan at Shopify

“When it comes to increasing conversations, retailers should prioritise speed and simplicity. Shopify’s Australian Retail Report 2023 found that 25% of Australian consumers expect fast-loading online stores, so it’s critical your digital shopfront is optimised to reduce friction where possible, and provide customers the easiest path to purchase.

“For example, the payment info page can also often pose as a friction point, which may lead visitors to question the value of their purchase. So by utilising social proof techniques, like testimonials and money-back guarantees, as well as implementing autofill features for predictable information such as shipping and billing addresses, can help customers move through the checkout flow with minimal effort.

“In terms of website design, personalisation is key. This can enhance the overall customer experience, which can ultimately determine if a customer chooses to go ahead with their purchase. In order to create a unique customer experience, retailers should consider tactics such as custom landing pages and tailored product recommendations to engage users based on their preferences and browsing behaviour. Additionally, maintaining consistency across all touchpoints, on both your website and social commerce channels, can elevate the consumer journey and ultimately increase conversions.”

Olivia Jenkins, Founder of Olivia Jenkins Consulting

Olivia Jenkins
Olivia Jenkins, Founder of Olivia Jenkins Consulting

“In the competitive landscape of online business, impeccable website design and user experience are critical to optimise conversions. Our online platforms must be exceptional and convert visitors into adoring fans. My top tips:

  • User-centred navigation and simplicity. Simplify navigation to guide visitors seamlessly through your product offerings and implement an intuitive menu structure that categorises your products logically. Ensure that essential information is easily accessible and customers don’t need to search for your shipping or returns policy ahead of making a purchase from you.
  • Brand cohesiveness. Ensure you have cohesive brand visuals that accurately and effectively depict your brand positioning. Invest in high quality imagery, direct response copywriting and ensure your branding is cohesive across all touch points so the experience is unified across the board.
  • Mobile responsiveness and speed optimisation. With a significant portion of users accessing websites from mobile devices, optimising for mobile responsiveness is paramount. Ensure that your website adapts effortlessly to various screen sizes and focus on speed optimisation where possible to reduce bounce rates caused from slow loading times.

“By focusing on user-centred navigation, brand cohesiveness and mobile optimisation, you can elevate your website design and user experience – driving higher conversions and boost brand loyalty.”

Marcus Paterson, Sales Director APAC, Storyblok

Marcus Paterson
Marcus Paterson, Sales Director APAC, Storyblok

“eCommerce user experience (UX) is an important part of brand consistency. Visitors constantly expect high-quality interactions with your site. Failing to provide that even once can alter how they view your organisation. Given that customers are willing to pay up to 31% more for businesses that receive excellent reviews, maintaining your brand identity’s UX can directly impact your organisation’s success.

“Here are three ways to make sure your eCommerce UX leads to increased conversions:

  1. Don’t make your pages too busy: With too much going on, customers may find it hard to navigate your site, getting distracted and overwhelmed before they even have a chance to view a product.
  2. Be selective about your graphics: Visuals are an effective way to communicate with your audience instantaneously. However, it’s important to carefully position your graphics to have the largest impact.
  3. Localise: Different audiences have different tastes. One-size-fits-all websites may not do a good enough job of catering to a diverse customer base. Provide customised content that caters to a specific location to build stronger connections with customers, delivering more relevant products and offers.”

Emma Lo Russo, CEO and Co-Founder of Digivizer

Emma Lo Russo
Emma Lo Russo, CEO and Co-Founder of Digivizer

“There are three key things you can do to successfully drive more conversions from your website:

  1. Understand organic search – the exact terms and phrases that relate to the objectives you have, to ensure your website answers these in the most direct, relevant and valuable way.
  2. Continually measure what your customers do on your website – where they come from, where they go, how many of them are at each stage, until they successfully convert. Understanding these different metrics at every stage helps you focus on where to improve. If things change, test and measure again. Don’t forget to transact on your own website – nothing shows the customer experience better than putting yourself in the shoes of a customer.
  3. Ensure your content is considered end to end, as one customer journey, from one company. Make sure it’s great content that customers will choose to engage with, that it is frictionless as they go through each stage. Plan how content will deliver, from getting to know you to exploring who you are and what options you offer.  Leverage customer success stories, tips and valuable how-to information, and then make it easy for customers to transact.”

Nick Morgan, CEO and Founder of Vudoo

Nick Morgan
Nick Morgan, CEO and Founder of Vudoo

“Improving customer experience on websites to increase conversions comes down to understanding modern-day customer behaviour. With a majority of content consumed on social media platforms via vertical thumb scrolling, driven by a curiosity to discover new content, websites should also be designed to leverage and capitalise on this user tendency.

“Including assets like video can deliver a more engaging user experience as it’s a great medium that adds appeal and captivates the audience. When made interactive, it allows users to dive into a singular piece of content and choose their own adventure. This puts control back in the consumer’s hands, keeping them immersed for longer.

“When a customer is moved to make a purchase, it’s crucial to facilitate that decision on the spot, in a “hearts to carts” moment. Imagine falling in love with a bag at a department store, only to be directed to a separate checkout counter. Chances are, you’d reconsider the purchase. So why replicate this stumbling block online by rerouting consumers offsite?

“True shoppable video capitalises on this immediacy by enabling purchases directly within the video or ad. This keeps consumers engaged, eliminating the need to ‘click out’ of the page, video, or article they were initially consuming.

“In essence, the secret to boosting conversion rates is simple: remove barriers to purchase and empower customers to buy the moment inspiration strikes.”

Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia

Elise Balsillie
Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia

“A ‘sticky’ website is one that delivers a positive user experience and engaging content to ensure customers stay on the site longer and return frequently.

“There are several reasons why having a ‘sticky’ site should matter to your business. It contributes to your search engine optimisation (SEO). Google, for example, has algorithms that consider aspects of your website and how users interact with it. Anything that your website does well will improve your search rankings.

“A sticky site also fuels conversation and generates leads. If your website is driving increased engagement, it’s because your customers are benefiting from interacting with it. With increased traffic to your site comes increased opportunity to convert that traffic into conversations and leads.

“To help improve user experience, design your website so that it’s clear where you want customers to read, click and convert. Opt for a single navigation pane, and a single-column layout on your home page.

“Moreover, be sure to insert your brand’s personality into your website wherever you can!

“And finally, don’t be afraid to offer something in exchange for generating a lead on your website, such as a free trial, a subscription to your emails, or exclusive promotions.”

Brodie Haupt, CEO & Co-founder of WLTH

Brodie Haupt
Brodie Haupt, CEO & Co-founder of WLTH

“After recently updating our own website, we’ve found that navigating the digital terrain of today is not just about having a presence, but effectively communicating what your business does in a user-friendly manner. A crucial factor in achieving this is ensuring consumers understand your offering within the first five seconds of landing on your website. This immediate clarity can be the difference between a bounce and a conversion.

“An intuitive website design that allows users to self-direct to their specific needs (in our case, residential or SMSF lending options), can significantly enhance the user experience. Furthermore, it’s important to remember how many customers browse using their phones as opposed to a laptop or PC, so ensuring your site is properly optimised and mobile-responsive greatly improves your chances of landing conversions.

“Remember, a streamlined, transparent, and hassle-free digital journey not only increases conversions but also fosters trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships with your consumers. Your website is more than just a business card; it’s your digital handshake with potential clients. Make sure it leaves a lasting impression.”

Jane Nguyen, CEO at Pretzel Lab, a Mantel Group Company

Jane Nguyen
Jane Nguyen, CEO at Pretzel Lab, a Mantel Group Company

“There are many elements that contribute to the creation of a customer experience that drives increased conversions. Among these factors are a profound comprehension of the ecosystem and the customer value proposition, the utilisation of data to help decide what works and what doesn’t throughout the customer conversion funnel, and the establishment of a perpetual feedback loop that guides the ongoing refinement of your offerings. Each of these components plays a pivotal role in enhancing website conversion rates.

“Starting with a comprehensive understanding of the ecosystem and the customer value proposition enables businesses to align their website’s messaging and offerings precisely with their target customer’s needs and desires. This alignment can significantly boost conversion rates as it ensures your brand promise aligns with your offering and you are seeking to the right audience.

“Secondly, data-driven insights derived from the customer conversion funnel allow businesses to identify bottlenecks and areas of improvement within their website. Tools like Google Analytics can cheaply and quickly give you comprehensive information about how customers are finding you and where they convert don’t. By addressing customer drop outs and pain points, businesses can optimise the user experience.

“Lastly, speaking to customers early and often helps you to create a continuous feedback loop, which incorporates customer feedback and insights from analytics, ensuring that your website’s design and functionality evolve in response to changing customer preferences and behaviour. This iterative approach is essential for maintaining high conversion rates over time.

“Incorporating these elements into the overall strategy empowers businesses to create a customer-centric approach that not only attracts visitors but also converts them into loyal customers, leading to sustained growth and success.”

Kahne Raja, Chief Technology Officer at Home-in

Kahne Raja
Kahne Raja, Chief Technology Officer at Home-in

“Live chat messaging features have become common fixtures of many websites, but they’re almost always poorly configured or driven by an ineffective bot algorithm. It leaves customers angry and frustrated. When installing live messaging features, businesses should ensure these tools deliver the same high quality of customer service as the rest of their channels. Home-in has recently integrated a live chat messaging service into our web platform that connects customers directly with human home buying assistants, and already this has improved our customers’ journey with our platform, reduced phone call volumes and reduced customer response times by more than half.

“In our industry (real estate), too many businesses rely on email enquiries and email-based services with customers or prospects. Email not only takes customers away from the website; it leaves customers vulnerable to email scams and security breaches. For this reason, it’s important for businesses to provide official web or app-based channels for accessing products, services and communication. We’ve optimised our web platform to allow customers to communicate with us and access third party professional property services like conveyancing all via our platform. We estimate this has led to Home-in preventing hundreds of thousands of dollars in email-based scams to date.”

Tim Hill, Creative Director at SBM

Tim Hill
Tim Hill, Creative Director at SBM

“Whether you’re an online store selling products or a business promoting a service, customers need to feel confident that you are a safe and wise choice. Professionalism and knowledge, a great track record, and good site security are all paramount. Thoughtful and considered web design and UX will help achieve this.

“From presenting the perfect product quickly to explaining your services and their outcomes clearly and succinctly, the journey needs to be straightforward and intuitive. Use clear navigation with jargon-free language that is carefully proofread for errors. Heatmapping can help you understand your customers journey and adjust the site accordingly.

“Lastly, make sure all security information is available and easy to find. Privacy notices and return/refund policies should be clearly linked. Branding for all payment partners should be up-to-date and appropriately placed. If your customers are going to part with their hard-earned cash, you want them to feel comfortable doing so.”

Angela Rodgers, Copywriter and Creative Director at The Digital Brew

Angela Rodgers
Angela Rodgers, Copywriter and Creative Director at The Digital Brew

“As a copywriter, I might be a little biased, but one of my top ways to improve user experience and increase conversions is to start with the website copy, not the design.

“The design should support the message because it’s the message that does most of the heavy lifting. If you can talk directly to your audience and articulate who/what/why/how… as long as the design isn’t terrible, you’re going to win.

“On the other hand, if you start with design, you might end up with a pretty website that doesn’t say what it needs to. It’s like painting the walls of a house before you bring in the architect.

“Every time I’ve had to do it, squeezing words into an existing design has meant compromising on the structure and message (resulting in a subpar user experience).

“If you have the choice, always start with copy.”

Ilonka Hofmann, Marketing Consultant at Onlineable

Ilonka Hofmann
Ilonka Hofmann, Marketing Consultant at Onlineable

“Websites are the face of a business and need to be appealing and flawless to attract customers. A well-designed website not only improves user experience and increases conversions, it builds trust and fosters loyalty and brand advocacy.

“Here’s how we can improve website design and user experience to increase conversions:

  • Keep the design simple and easy to navigate.
  • Use clear calls-to-action to guide users through the conversion process.
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you and get what they need.
  • Adhere to webmaster guidelines and optimise for fast page speed on desktop and mobile.
  • Use high-quality media that tells your story.
  • Use a continuous improvement model to provide a holistic view of customer experience.

“Incorporating human insight into user testing can help create a website that truly meets the needs of your target audience. By testing your website with real users, you can identify pain points and areas for improvement. The level of care, friendliness, and competency keeps customers engaged, and when customers accept your overall competency, it leads to increased conversions.”

Kassandra Humphreys, Head of Marketing at IG

Kassandra Humphreys
Kassandra Humphreys, Head of Marketing at IG

“This year we launched our ‘Master Your Mindset’ hub encouraging our clients and all traders to better understand the psychology of trading and train their brains to improve emotion management in high-stakes trading situations. We worked closely with trading psychology experts to develop resources in video, blog and podcast form, covering topics ranging from understanding trading biases through to practical tips on resisting social pressures.

“The website has been designed to centralise access to all resources, providing a simplified touchpoint experience for our clients to engage with the materials and take action on the expertise provided. The design of the hub is a reflection of our customer needs in this market, as we continue to engage sophisticated traders eager to evolve their trading. The hub also plays a unique role in our acquisition strategy looking to attract ambitious traders focused on refining their skills and reaching their full trading potential.”

Kristin Austin, Managing Director at Kristin Austin Marketing

Kristin Austin
Kristin Austin, Managing Director at Kristin Austin Marketing

“So many people miss easy wins to keep people on their website.

  1. Research shows you’ve less than 5 seconds to make your mark on someone who arrives at your website. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of visitors will leave. Make sure you website loads as swiftly as possible – cache/minimise file sizes.
  2. Use imagery/video that reflects important outcomes to your client and if you can something that showcases your brand promise – ie: the results of working with you; how great health/life/business, etc will be after.  You want them to feel they’re absolutely in the right place instantly. Ask – does your website articulate that without the words?
  3. Keep your offering clear, simple and on-brand. Most importantly, make it all about your customer/client, not you and your company. Use you and your widely in your language (not we/us). Stay away from cliches/corporate speak.
  4. Especially if your’s is a B2B/service website, make it ridiculously easy for someone to get in touch with you, no matter which page they land on. Embed a chatbot, messaging or form on every page (not just your contact page).
  5. Follow up enquiries swiftly – ideally <1hr.”

Ricky Blacker, Partner Enablement Manager & WordPress Evangelist at WP Engine

Ricky Blacker, Partner Enablement Manager & WordPress Evangelist at WP Engine

“Website design and performance are inextricably linked to user experience, in general, the nicer something looks and easier it is to use, the more we’ll use it.

“To capture and keep a customer’s attention businesses should consider the visual layout, speed and responsiveness of their website. Ensure the site reflects the brand style and is easily associated with the business through colour, font and imagery. Good use of menus and white space makes content easy to find and access.

“It’s important to optimise for speed, if customers are left waiting for files to load, they may get frustrated, abandon the site and possibly their consideration or purchase altogether. Using services like the WP Engine Speed Tool makes it easy to track and report on performance and identify areas for improvement.

“Visitors should be able to navigate your site with ease on any device and with around 55 per cent of Australian web surfers preferring mobile devices a mobile-ready approach is key. Many WordPress themes and plugins are built on the concept of responsive design, and adapt to the device being used.

“An optimised, responsive, easy-to-use site enables a superior user experience which can lead to increased traffic, improved return rate and conversions.”

Matthew Endresz, Founder and CEO, XRii

Matthew Endresz
Matthew Endresz, Founder and CEO, XRii

“In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, enhancing website design and user experience is a key driver for increasing conversions. By leveraging innovative technologies like augmented reality (AR) and QR codes brands can create a truly immersive and interactive journey for their users. These advanced tools offer exciting opportunities to captivate audiences, deliver personalised experiences and incentivise customer actions.

“Let’s take a look at how:

  1. AR Product Visualisation: Integrate AR features into your website to allow users to visualise products in their real environment. By leveraging AR, customers can have a more immersive and interactive experience, gaining a better understanding of your products&#39; value, which can lead to increased confidence and higher conversion rates.
  2. QR Code-Enabled Rewards and Incentives: Incorporate QR codes strategically on your website to offer rewards and incentives to visitors. When users scan QR codes, they can unlock exclusive discounts, personalised offers or access to AR-powered interactive content. This gamification approach enhances user engagement, positively impacting conversions.

“By leveraging these innovative technologies, brands can foster deeper connections with users, paving the way for heightened engagement and ultimately, driving conversions to new heights.”

Mike Halligan, CEO and Co-Founder of Scratch Dog Food

Mike Halligan
Mike Halligan, CEO and Co-Founder of Scratch Dog Food

“Oh, man. Where to start?

“Actually, it’s simple – make it clear how you can meet their needs, and offer an easy process to get it.

“Eliminate room for error or distraction. Most websites contain too much information, content crossover and complex navigation. It should be immediately clear what the next step is and how to get there. That comes down to content design, layout and then design.

“When writing and designing, don’t just think through what you want (conversions). Think about what job the customer wants done. Why are they on your home page? What way could you make their life easier or meet a need?

“Copy is absolutely crucial here and getting a skilled copywriter who understands your product and the customer well is worth their weight in gold. You can have the best layout in the world and follow all the best practices, but the cream on the UX cake comes from your copywriter’s ability to get out of your head and make your solution compelling.”

Daniel Stoten, Executive Chairman of Localsearch

Daniel Stoten
Daniel Stoten, Executive Chairman of Localsearch

“Having a website that is easy for users to navigate is essential for a small business looking to attract and retain customers in today’s digital landscape. Making a strong first impression through your website can either capture their interest or drive them away, making it a pivotal moment for online success.

“Ensure that your website is easy to navigate, using clear tabs at the top so users can find essential information with just a click. Showcase your products and services with concise descriptions and engaging images. For extra engagement, include a call to action on all your pages encouraging customers to get into contact with you.

“To increase credibility and trust, it’s also a good idea to feature some Google reviews or customer testimonials. If a potential customer can see other customers love and trust your business, they’ll be more inclined to stay and explore what you have to offer.

“If you lack the time to set this up yourself, you can always get some help from a digital marketing provider such as Localsearch, who can take care of your website’s setup, ongoing maintenance, and search engine optimisation.”

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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