Bad Website Design – Part 1: The Single Conversion

Ever since the advent of design, there has been bad design. Gork the Caveman chipped away at a rock and it was breathtaking. Kenk the Caveman chipped away at a rock and it was A-Okay(we didn’t want to hurt the caveman’s feelings, after all.) But there were unnecessary cracks and rough spots; nothing at all the Gork’s rock. Bad design like this is easy to spot.

Most people think that bad design is easy to spot, be it print, the web, or the parking lot layout of the newest strip mall(who really thinks all those medians and other traffic obstacles are good ideas anyway?!). It doesn’t sit right with us and the viewer or user. It feels unbalanced or amateurish. Wrong colors or not easy to use. Basically, just bad.

So good design is stuff that looks, well, good. Right?

Yes. But then again, very very no.

You see it depends on the objectives behind the design. Print design is typically meant to grab your attention and make a brand memorable with the hopes that you will make a future purchase from them. Web design is typically meant to get conversions. And Parking lot design is meant to frustrate and confound drivers.

Now web design conversions can be a tricky thing. Most site owners thing of them as users completing a contact form. “Get a free quote!!” says the site and when your lucky, the user will oblige. Success!!! Or, success?

A website that relies on only one form of conversion is a badly designed site. It’s too narrow minded. So even if your site has the coolest slideshow and greatest hidden-content-sider-outer and has a color scheme to make Da Vinci weep, a one trick pony is a one trick pony and eventually that trick will get old.

So unless for some reason your business objectives only require the website to capture leads(and they are out there and if that’s all you need then hey, that’s cool too), you’re going to want to have multiple conversion channels. Say your a landscaping company and your website’s only conversion channel is the quote form. Now say it’s December. How many people are thinking landscaping with 6 inches of snow on the ground?

But say instead of having just a quote request form, you also have a newsletter signup. Your newsletter contains helpful advise on taking care of the recipients property, other landscaping tidbits and how to get your yard/garden ready for Spring in the Winter.

While a user might not want or need a quote for landscaping in December, they will want ways to get their yard ready in the Winter for the Spring. Maybe they just want some good advise for when the weather turns for the warmer. That is all of use to them right now. So they enter in their email, click submit and think nothing more of it. There is not feeling of commitment that you get when you submit for a quote. Then you know you have to deal with the company and, to be honest, sometimes people just aren’t ready for that.

But something else just happened too. You have just used the newsletter to capture what I call a B Grade lead. Someone that may not be ready for your service/product now(or else they would have submitted the quote form) but it is someone with an interest in your company and/or the services you provide and like your company’s brand image enough to give you their email address. They have an open mind to your organization and with a little marketing targeted for that specific type of lead you can easily turn them into a customer.

These multiple conversion structures can be used across all sites for a multitude of industries. While a contact form may get you the best quality of lead in that the prospect will be more inclined to to buy your services immediately, there are other ways to get A Grade leads as well as B Grade leads that don’t require a form submission. Each business is a little different in both needs and objectives, so contact us and we will evaluate your web site design and structure to find opportunity areas where you can capture some of the leads that are being left on the table.

In our next installment of Why Your Web Site Sucks we will talk about how to make sure that multichannel Calls to Action aren’t confusing(whats the point of having multiple conversion channels if they fight each other for the users attention.) Stay tuned!

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