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Principles of Conversion Design: Tips to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rates

GemPages Team
10 minutes read
Principles of Conversion Design: Tips to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rates

The endless work of upkeeping a website is no joke. Apart from looking appealing, it is crucial to consider the conversion rates of your landing page. 

Will your visitors be able to navigate with ease? 

Will they make the ultimate decision to convert or click off instantly? 

The secret lies in the magic of conversion design. No matter the extent of your knowledge about web design, every website owner can tweak and optimize their pages by following a tried-and-true guide.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the ABCs of conversion design and its principles.

What is Conversion Design?

Conversion design, or conversion-centered design (CCD) is the framework that commercial website owners can utilize to achieve a high-converting goal. In eCommerce, CCD is often used to form a pleasant shopping journey and thus, increase conversion rates.

A successful conversion design does not only focus on driving sales. This framework encompasses an array of goals: collecting leads, promoting an ongoing event, announcing a new line of products, and so on.

Originally developed by Oli Gardner, this marketing model can be applied to eCommerce storefronts across different fields. With no over-the-top web design requirement, CCD is an ideal framework for businesses of all sizes.

In the Shopify ecosystem, conversion design is even easier to achieve with the diverse theme options and a plethora of page builders, such as GemPages.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty below.

Principles of Conversion-Centered Design

1. Capture focus on a specific goal

Screenshot of Olipop’s landing page.

    Customers are presented with a focused goal when they landed on Olipop’s landing page.

    The first rule of thumb: don’t make your visitors feel lost.

    The moment they land on your site, they should know what they’re there for. With a clear-cut goal in mind, you will be able to construct a conversion-focused website where everything flows well together.

    Take Olipop as an instance. Its solid landing page is designed to promote the brand’s new endeavor to Miami, which comes with a delicious $1 off for each can. Having eyes on a sole purpose, Olipop wasted no time in informing its buyers of this new campaign with an enticing headline pasted on a snazzy hero image, alongside concise copy and a hard-to-miss CTA button. This approach proves how meticulous the company is when it comes to CCD.

    Learn more: Effective Tips to Create Call to Action Buttons that Convert

    2. Build a solid structure

    Screenshot of Not Pot’s website layout.

      Designing a logical layout is the key in entertaining your visitors, as presented with this “Z” pattern method by Not Pot.

      Once you have captured the visitor’s attention, it’s time to keep them on the site until conversion happens.

      Alluring above-the-fold content would be for nothing if the rest of the page is not up to par.

      Too much text - customers will lose their interest. Too many visual elements with little to no text - customers will have a hard time to navigate. Thus, it’s ideal to achieve the perfect blend of yin and yang, if you will.

      Two most common reading patterns observed in internet users are the F- and Z-shaped patterns. This is how our human eyes are trained to take in information in the most optimal way.

      Many eCommerces have soon learned this tip, including Not Pot - a CBD-infused supplement company. After a few seconds of scanning its website, it’s not hard to notice the classic Z-shaped pattern right on the front page. Because of this practice, Not Pot’s storefront looks cohesive and visually-pleasing.

      3. Create consistency throughout the whole site

        Consistency lies in the colors, fonts, content, and other visual elements that separates a brand from other competitors in the same sector. To follow this principle to the fullest, a full-fledged marketing strategy cannot be overlooked.

        Once you have gotten an idea of which way to gear your brand towards, it’s another ballpark to translate it into your website. Lean into the use of the same color pallete, maximum 2 fonts, and a content-creating tactic that embodies the brand’s image.

        Screenshot of Omsom’s website.

        Omsom is a master at creating a cohesive brand’s image to sell its products.

        From a glance, you can tell Omsom has gotten this principle figured out. The brand has a flamboyant color palette, coupled by a perfect mix of bold and simple fonts. The product images are zhuzhed up with a dreamy filter and fun visual effects.

        Learn more: 10 Best Shopify Color Schemes + Color Palette Ideas [2024]

        Screenshot of Omsom’s recipes page.

        No page is neglected when it comes to conversion design with the use of similar visual components.

        Omsom has managed to carry this spirit to every page, including Recipes. The color combinations are dynamic, and the original red-yellow palette is boasted consistently. The brand’s online store looks incredibly professional, which goes to show that consistency is one of the most prized principles of conversion-focused design.

        It’s worth noting that mobile optimization also plays an important role in achieving website consistency. There are exclusive features that only work on the user's desktop and vice versa. Therefore, conversion design for mobile is a must-have when it comes to eCommerce marketing.

        4. Convey clear benefits

          Customers are aware of the purpose of your page, but why should they convert?

          Circling back to the popular AIDA framework, shoppers ought to feel a sense of interest and desire before taking an action. Hence it is your job to convey the benefits of the page through intuitive conversion-driven practices.

          Screenshot of Cocofloss’s website.

          Cocofloss conveys a clear-cut message with the use of a hero image on its front page.

          Based on Shopify, Cocofloss is a veteran among the most successful startups. Thus, it’s no surprise that they excelled at designing a page that converts.

          Without scrolling down, visitors are greeted with a beautiful hero image that showcases the new line of mini items, which is introduced by a brilliant tagline: Smaller size. Same impact.

          Once buyers see this as an answer to their (perhaps newfound) problem, they will feel inclined to spend more time to explore the products and eventually, convert.

          5. Pay attention to design elements

            As briefly mentioned above, visual elements like fonts, theme, colors, button placement, etc. are all the MVPs in elevating your website if done right.

            However, it’s not recommended to give your prospects an eyeful of design elements upon design elements. “Less is more” is the motto.

            Screenshot of Lovebug’s website.

            Lovebug coordinated colors and other design elements brilliantly.

            Let’s have a peep at Lovebug’s eCommerce store. For a one-product business, this brand has done an amazing job at designing an interesting storefront where every element serves a purpose. There are many things to love about Lovebug’s website, from the use of bold and vivid colors, on-brand fonts, contrasting CTA buttons, to fun illustrations and concise navigation bar. You don’t need to be a web designer to tell that Lovebug has put a lot of thoughts in designing a high-converting store.

            6. Make use of customer testimonials and social proof

              Humans have the instinct to trust other humans, that is why Word of Mouth stands among the best marketing tactics for both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce businesses.

              To drive the conversion rates up, customer testimonials and social proof are two core elements.

              Screenshot of Magic Spoon’s social proof.

              Magic Spoon leaves room for a social proof section on its homepage.

              You might have heard of Magic Spoon - a healthier cereal alternative that both tastes good and powers you. That said, there’s always hesitation when it comes to a brand new product. Does it actually taste good? Can the benefits justify the price tag?

              This is when the trusty reviews get to shine.

              With the magazine endorsements as well as the customer testimonials on the homepage, Magic Spoon has saved its visitors a ton of time before converting. Above all, the reviews come with the full names, jobs and photographs of the customers. By putting faces on these endorsements, the positive feedback feels more genuine and “human”. The urge to convert will be higher with this small but powerful tactic.

              Screenshot of Magic Spoon’s customer testimonials.

              Customer reviews are an unmissable component of a high-converting website.

              7. Ensure a seamless shopping journey

                The last principle in our list is a rundown of all the aspects above. There is a chance that you have studied and implemented all these elements to a T, but are still left with a messy-looking, counterintuitive website. If you run into this problem, then a balanced UI and UX design will be the solution.

                But, how to optimize these two web design essentials? Let’s check out the example below.

                Screenshot of Ouai’s “Find Your Ouai” quiz.

                Ouai streamlined its customer’s journey by offering a product finding quiz.

                Here we have Ouai, a chic haircare brand that focuses on giving you salon-graded treatment. Apart from the usual homepage and product pages, the store reserves a spot for a short, yet efficient hair quiz for buyers to find their best product match. This 2-minute quiz streamlines the user’s journey and reduces any friction, right up to the checkout page.

                Screenshot of Ouai’s “Find Your Ouai” quiz.

                Ouai’s intuitive interface gives customers options to either proceed with the journey or repeat the process.

                After you finished the quiz, Ouai gives you options to either retake it, or save results for future uses by signing up. This tactic is brilliant in simplifying the shopping journey, collecting leads, all while sporting the same stylish feel as other pages in the store. Shoppers won’t have any hesitation before deciding to convert.

                Learn more: How to Build a Lead Generation Sales Funnel + Pro Tips [2024]

                Your landing pages could look like these
                Try GemPages for free to create high-converting landing pages for any marketing campaign. No coding is required.

                Conversion-Centered Design in eCommerce

                We have gone over the principles of conversion design, let’s see which the most common uses of CCD in eCommerce are.

                1. Making a purchase

                  Sellers gotta sell, and buyers (hopefully) gotta buy. One way or another, sales are what most business owners strive for when looking at conversion design.

                  That said, you wouldn’t want to bombard your prospects with a bazillion of “Buy Now” buttons. An informed decision can only be made when, you guessed it, your customers are informed with enough information and benefits of the product. Thus, factors like the product page, product images, and a smooth checkout process should be highlighted with this goal in mind.

                  2. Adding products to cart

                    Before a purchase can be made, getting shoppers to add products to their carts is a lot of work on its own. In order to get a higher AOV, this process needs to be as streamlined as possible. By adding small, but effective elements like a “Quick Buy” button, slide-out checkout window, and a countdown timer to impose a sense of urgency, customers will feel more inclined to fill their cart with your items.

                    3. Creating an account

                      An account allows customers to manage their orders, update profile, and view saved information with ease. Plus, every account is a valuable variant in your company’s customer catalog.

                      If you are based on Shopify, it is important to enable the customer account option from your trusty Shopify admin first and foremost. A good conversion-driven practice to encourage customers to create an account is by offering an incentive (e.g. a discount, freebies), or an easier login option (e.g using phone number). These elements are best presented with a popup window upon the checkout process.

                      Disclaimer: do not overplay this element as it can hamper the customer’s journey.

                      4. Providing an email

                        Similar to the aforementioned detail, an email is also useful information in collecting leads. While this purpose does not heavily rely on visual conversion design, it matters how you get your hands on this information.

                        Some of the most effective methods to expand your client list are using exit-intent popups, sending a confirmation email to your customer’s inbox to verify its legitimacy, and of course, offering an incentive in exchange for their emails.

                        Learn more: How to Grow Your Shopify Email List with Website Popups?

                        Key Takeaways

                        By following this set of conversion design principles, you can get ahead of your competitors and build a website that speaks to your customers. That said, depending on your specific needs, there will be certain tweaks that need to be implemented. With GemPages Landing Page Builder, you are free to create an eCommerce with your own unique, yet high-converting design.

                        Important note: GemPages' is now offering Mother & Father's Day promotion: 20% Off Monthly Plans. It is exclusively for first-time GemPages users! From April 1 to June 30, 2024, UTC. Grab it now!!!

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                        FAQ about Conversion Design

                        What is conversion design?
                        Conversion design, or conversion-centered design, is a marketing method which website owners use to create a seamless customer journey. The ultimate is to get visitors to make a high-converting decision that satisfy a certain business goal.
                        What are the principles of conversion design?
                        There are 7 conversion design principles that marketers should be aware of:
                      1. Capture focus on a specific goal
                      2. Build a solid structure
                      3. Create consistency throughout the whole site
                      4. Convey clear benefits
                      5. Pay attention to design elements
                      6. Make use of customer testimonials and social proof
                      7. Ensure a seamless shopping journey
                        Get the details, plus examples, in this guide here: Principles of Conversion-Centered Design.
                      8. How does conversion design work with landing pages?
                        Landing pages are often built to serve one purpose, which is the perfect match to implement different conversion design elements to. Whether the end goal is to make a purchase or to sign up for a program, the principles of conversion design are an ideal benchmark to build a landing page upon.

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