3 Ways Web Design Massively Impacts Conversion Rates

At Rouge we understand that a website must be totally fit for purpose, whatever that purpose might be. But besides building brand new sites we are often called in to ‘refresh’ sites, sites that have become a bit ‘staid’ and have not kept up with the ever changing world of the Web.

The interesting thing is that these changes can sometimes make a site perform less well than before, that is, unless careful thought is given to the changes and that the site’s performance is tracked before and after the changes are made.

Tracking Conversion Rates is Vital

This tracking is something that all sites should do, especially Ecommerce ones (and especially if Adwords or Banner advertising is being used) as you just have to know whether a site, or indeed a page is working as well as it should. If there is thought to be a problem, then changes can be made and tested, perhaps using split testing to see which works the best. However, you have to have a lot of data before you can ‘believe’ the figures, small data sets being too easily skewed. In some cases you also have to bear in mind the time of year, as this can have a huge impact on conversion rates.

Call to Action and Conversion Rates

The main point of the article we found (and are sharing here) is that it can be the simple things that make all the difference and that you just have to make sure that you follow the basic rules (like making sure a site loads fast enough – people can be so very impatient you know).

Too Many Calls to Action Confuse!

All of the points below are actually quite obvious, so obvious that some designers (not Rouge) overlook them. For instance the issue of Calls To Action. Using CTA’s are well known to increase conversions, the user being inspired or nudged to make that next step on the path to a conversion / sale. It is then pretty obvious that if you use too many you could end up with a confused user, one that does nothing. So make sure that the action that you want the user to take is the OBVIOUS one, one that stands out from the rest. That way you can’t go far wrong.

Semi Flat Design is Starting to Win Favour

The trend to ‘Flat Design’ (one where buttons appear to be flat for example) is being amended, in light of the conversion rates no doubt, to ‘Semi Flat’ where there is some indication, for example of what is a button / is clickable. This is good news for designers in that it allows us to be that bit more creative too.

Site speed, well that is a pretty obvious one, a slow loading site is just going to put people off from the start and that first impression is pretty vital. Thus anything you can do to make it load faster should be done.

The article on ‘Increasing Conversion Rates’ is very interesting though, click the link for the full story.

Have you ever made a change to your site only to notice that moments later your conversion rates drop substantially? Was the change something minor? Perhaps you tweaked the color of an upgrade button, or you swapped out a font style? These seemingly minuscule alterations can have a massive impact on how people respond to your product. I should know.

A few months ago, infographics company Venngage decided to change the color of the ‘Upgrade’ button from orange to green. Conversation rates dropped over 30% in 2 days. We immediately went back to orange and everything was fixed! We even got a minor increase in blog traffic. Why? Well apparently orange is an overtly clickable color, according to Unbounce.

Aside from adding orange to your new website color scheme, what other design changed can you make to boost your conversion rates to the next level? The following 3 methods highlight some simple solutions that you can act on right now.

1) One Call-to-Action

Including just one major call-to-action can be a lifesaver for your conversation rates. Many sites make the mistake of overwhelming their site’s visitors with too many offers and actions, that instead of actually clicking one of them, they bounce from the site in search of something simpler. But by sticking to just one main button that converts users, you know they can’t do anything else. They are far more likely to click the only button rather than struggle to decide between multiple options. Whirpool was able to boost their CRO by 42% by going from 4 CTAs to just 1.

2) Simple and Semi-Flat Design

According to The Next Web, the future of design is semi-flat. According to the author, semi-flat design is an approach to Web design rooted in practicality and necessity. The new need for semi-flat designs comes from prior issues with flat design. According to FastCoDesign, for many individuals navigating a website based in flat design, it can be very difficult to differentiate from what is text, and what is a link, or from what is an image and what is a button.

Semi-flat design adds shadow and density to a page to make certain elements pop a little more.

Anthony Novikov CEO of Nova Solutions, one of the top online marketing and website design agencies in Miami predicts:

    “Looks like those minor issues caused by flat design will be eliminated by the new trend of semi-flat design in the near future.”

3) Speed

If a page takes too long to load, chances are people will get bored and move on. How many times have you exited from an app or a website because it was too slow? We all have. The speed of your site has a massive impact on where stay or bounce, convert or cancel.

So what can you do to increase speed of your site?

A lot of it comes down to image and file size and how complex the code is. Using a lot of fancy CSS and Javascript will force your site to work harder in order to load. If it’s not necessary to include all the bells and whistles, limit the use of animations.

If you use WordPress to host your site, try to resize your images to smaller kbs. You can make use of a plugin like Lazy Load. It limits the images that load to the ones only visible on the user’s viewport.


Just because your conversion rates aren’t where you want them to be, doesn’t mean you need to pay an arm and a leg to fix the issue. In some case, the changes you need to make are very minor. Something as small as a single orange button


here at Rouge Media.

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