website converts day one

How to Build a Slick Website That Converts from Day 1

Latest posts by Irwin Hau (see all)

There are countless articles on the web about how to A/B test your website and optimize it post-launch. While these guides are helpful, we recommend you do one better: apply conversion thinking in the planning stage. Doing so after your website has launched is a bit like building a house before the foundations: a bad (and probably quite expensive) idea. In this article, we’re going to share five conversion tips and tricks that all of our projects swear by that you can include in the preliminary stages of building your startup’s website.


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Armed with the following advice, you’ll be able to hit the ground running with a website that converts from Day 1:

Be bold with punchy headlines and personable copy

A study by the Nielsen Norman Group revealed the not-so-shocking fact that web visitors only read about 16% of content word for word, so there is no room for dull copy. To increase website traffic and make sure viewers get the most out of what they do read, you must personify your brand. Unique copy fizzing with personality is way more likely to resonate with your audience because it feels more human, and customers are more likely to trust a person than they are a brand.

When writing your branded copy, focus on what your customer will get out of your product or service, and how your product or service will help solve their problem. You can even go one step further and deepen the connection with a more personalized narrative.

Here are a few examples:

  • Try, “Our company guarantees…” instead of “Our organization provides…”
  • Leave behind lifeless calls to action, such as “Book” and “Submit” for more incentivizing, action-oriented CTA buttons, like “Reserve my seat” or “Claim this offer.”
  • Make your copy more scannable and SEO-friendly with short paragraphs, plenty of headers and a smattering of bullet points.


Don’t be shy with social proofing

Oftentimes, customers don’t want to be the first trying a new product or service and risk a bad experience. It’s the same principle underlying how people will more likely line up for a busy restaurant than take a chance on the empty one next door. This means you must build credibility.

Include different kinds of social proof throughout your website to build your users’ trust in your authority and credibility. These include customer reviews, video testimonials, security badges and globally-recognized partner logos.

To implement these best practices, consider:

  • Scattering social proof throughout your website, especially on product pages.
  • Highlighting results-orientated testimonials to increase the tangibility of your product or service, with statistics or specifics if possible. Share the in-depth customer reviews you receive that show how your product or service solved a customer pain point.

Add interactive checkpoints and small interactive rewards

According to Salesforce, 52% of customers surveyed expect offers to always be personalized, up from 49% in 2019. Customers don’t want to just feel like another number or transaction, especially online where the human experience can feel more removed.

Adding more points of interactivity and rewarding engagement can make the experience more meaningful. Consider the following:

  • Include video content on landing pages, as video content can boost conversion rate by 80%
  • Create a poll and let users vote to share their thoughts on your products
  • Allow users to enter their zip code when registering for your email newsletter to create a more localized user experience

Each positive interaction builds on the relationship you’re building with users, making your users more receptive to what you have to say and moving them along the sales funnel from a curious consumer to a delighted customer.

Go for speed

In an age where patience and attention spans are at an all-time low, make sure your website loads quickly; otherwise, users might not even stick around to see what you have to offer.

According to Google, “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability,” while Google aims for load times under a half-second. While your goal should be 1 to 2 seconds, if your site loads in 5 seconds, it’s faster than approximately 25% of websites out there.

Take a look at these tips to optimize and speed up your website for better user conversion.


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Don’t ask too much of your users

When it comes to keeping your customers happy, think about your own frustrations when it comes to user experience. While you can’t walk away from filling out a lengthy form at your doctor’s office, your users can easily bounce from a lengthy form online.

More form fields require more effort and correlate to increased abandonment rates. In fact, QuickSprout revealed that by simply eliminating one form field on their sign-up form, their conversion rates jumped by 50%.

If you have an e-commerce component on your website, simplify the steps required to make a purchase and allow users to check out quickly as a guest with the option of creating a user account. Additionally, keep the required fields for signing up for a newsletter or registering for an event to a minimum to avoid abandonment.

Key takeaways

Creating a conversion-focused website from the start is the best way to set your new business up for success. Conversion starts with a website that loads quickly and won’t keep your customers waiting. Draw them in with conversational headlines and persuasive copy. Smartly scattered testimonials and social proof will subliminally build your authority and trust in your brand. Enhance the positive user experience with rewarding micro-interactions which encourage users to spend more time on your website, and therefore make them more likely to engage with your products or services. Finally, let your customers check out or sign up quickly with minimal hassle.

Originally published on May 7, 2021. 

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