May 20 2010

In Search of a Conversion Based Web Design Company

Category: conversion rate optimizationTom Shivers


two agendas - one conversionThere are many aspects of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) that SEO Companies address effectively: testing headlines, the call to action, content, images, etc. But, there is an aspect of CRO that SEO firms don’t address well: web design.

This element can make a big difference to increase conversions, but most web developers and businesses are not aware of it.

I find that many websites are designed upside down. “Upside down design” means the site communicates more from the perspective of, for and by the company than it does of, for and by the target audience that the company wants to engage. These kind of upside down websites focus on getting tons of traffic so they can sell sell sell, without thinking through how their target audience perceives and interacts with the website. If conversion is the goal of all marketing, then target audience engagement is key to getting the kind of response you want from your website.

SEO plays a big part in planning for an excellent conversion rate, especially content development.

Yesterday most web developers did not consider the implications of SEO during the design phase.  Thankfully, that has changed now and most web designers either have an SEO professional on board or outsource to one.

Today most web developers do not consider the implications of conversion rate optimization during the design phase.

Let me illustrate. Many businesses get into Internet marketing like this:

  1. Design or upgrade the website.
  2. Google Adwords, social media and/or SEO.
  3. Ask what the target market thinks.

It’s a ready/fire/aim approach to Internet marketing that wastes time and resources (sound familiar?). But there is a better way:

  1. Know the target audience.
  2. Design the site and develop content to tap into the target market’s motivations, following SEO best practices at each step along the way.
  3. Test the site by letting your users’ natural actions help you craft the design and content that gets the best results.
  4. Continue testing to gain optimal ROI.

Sure, you can go to one of the big web design firms for CRO, and after you dole out 10 grand or more, you will likely have a design that fits your online target audience. But, testing different designs doesn’t have to be that difficult, especially for a talented and reasonably priced web developer. The problem is most talented, reasonably priced web developers don’t have a clue about testing their designs for conversion, but they might invest in getting the proper resources in place if businesses asked for it.

Testing designs for conversion should be a normal part of any web design project, if the goal is to get a response from web visitors.

I’m sure I’m not the only one asking this, but are there any talented, reasonably priced web developers who engage in conversion based design? …Hello?

And now for your visual pleasure, here’s a fun before and after of a CRO project we managed:

(Original landing page conversion rate: ~ 3.2%)

(New optimized conversion rate: ~ 6.1%, a 91% increase in conversions)

Want to know  more about this medical case study?

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3 Responses to “In Search of a Conversion Based Web Design Company”

  1. Free Optimizer says:

    This is a great site, I love the theme you are using. I Stumbled it for you and bookmarked it on Digg. By the way, if you get a moment, check out my Warcraft Gold Guide

  2. Evelynn Villafane says:

    Wonderful post, This has helped me very much with my seo learning! I continue to learn a lot from your blogs.

  3. Tom Shivers says:

    Thanks Evelynn, I hope this helps you take things to the next level in your biz!