UX Design Tips for better Conversion Rate Optimization

If you have a website, you have a purpose for it. Goals and aims you wish to achieve through your online portal. For all businesses that have digital presence, this means conversion.

By definition, conversion rate is the percentage of people (out of total site visitors) who take a desired action: make a purchase, register on your website, download content, like or follow on social media, subscribe, etc.; pick one or all of them.

Any investment in UX design will show up in conversion rate over time.

Conversion rate and user experience are inextricably linked. At its very core, UX is the overall experience of users while interacting with your website. It’s broad and encompasses everything: from navigational structure to content hierarchy to simple buttons’ designs and more.

If your site’s UX turns out to be pleasant then people will continue using it. This widens the funnel: As your prospects (users) increase, so could your customers. This is why any investment in UX design will show up in conversion count and rate over time.

Here’s how you can ensure a healthy ROI on UX Design in the form of increased conversion rates:


  • Content

Vive le roi! Long live the King.

Content and its usability can affect your site’s UX in subtle ways. 61% consumers make a purchase based on a blog post. And 70% consumers learn about a company through blogs (than ads).

The numbers speak for themselves, really.

Why it Happens:

A significant chunk of your visitors (82% to be exact) like to read relevant content from company blogs.

How to Leverage it:

Pay attention to content quality across the website and blog.

This is easier said than done. I can attest to that. The SEO team wants keywords (although WordPress has everything you could ever need or want in that department). The design team sits in terror of ungodly long articles that will mess up their handiwork. The Users just want readable, relevant content.

Since users win (every time), make sure your content is:

  • Broken into manageable chunks of info
  • Properly formatted
  • Compact and precise: Don’t beat around the bush and come straight to the point
  • User-centric and relevant
  • Legible and comprehensible: Talk in a language users understand

A lot of people might add engaging, attractive, etc. to the mix. But users aren’t idiots. They’ll read your content if they get something out of it. Don’t waste time trying to be catchy. Just focus on providing relevance.


  • Broken Links

broken links

Many websites have broken links. They’re the slight imperfections that remind people and systems alike can make mistakes.

Now to put philosophy aside and take a long look at reality: Broken links are frustrating and annoying for users. They disrupt user experience and can negatively impact the cumulative experience before them.

The traffic to your broken links can shoot up or down without warning.

Why it happens:

Simple user error, server problems, or gremlins mean a minimum of 1.3% of your unique site visitors reach broken links.

How to Leverage it:

Instead of sweeping it under the rug, fess up and apologize.

Many websites simply redirect to the homepage, which I (along with many users) find annoying as anything.

But to fix that dip in UX caused by the 404 page, put your creative efforts to customizing it. The fact that a 404 page is unexpected can be used to make it absolutely delightful (as seen here) or terrifying (as demonstrated here).

On WordPress, you can use the nifty Broken Link Checker plugin to find broken links and do with them as you please.

Here are some more ideas to use on a 404 error page:

  • Link to certain or related posts: A little more traffic for them
  • Include a search bar and/or sitemap
  • Allow users to report a dead link
  • Explain the situation: In contrite tones (it could be your mistake after all)

The best error message is no error message at all. We all desire ‘perfection’, but we are more likely to feel fond of someone’s mistakes if they have the wherewithal to apologize for them.


  • Humanization

It’s the digital age. Everything is numbers and data. Both newborn baby and street murder are nothing but statistics. The world of difference is in emotions they elicit.

The point is simple: emotions (often) drive actions. Powerful images evoke powerful feelings and emotions, which can hack your users’ brains for a favorable (or otherwise) gut-reaction.

On a related note, here is a story where putting human photos on landing pages increased conversion.

image 2

Simplifying and humanizing the landing page increased click-through rate by a 100% for 37signals.


image 3

Introducing ‘persons’ on landing pages increased conversion rate. Making sure it was the ‘right face’ gave an added boost.


NOTE: The above Images have been taken from “Behind the scenes: A/B testing part 3: Finalé” of Signal V. Noise.

Why it happens:

Familiarity appeals to everyone. Relevant images of people using your product/service give users a glimpse of ‘real’ You. People make emotional connections with other people, not machines or intangible services.

How to Leverage it:

Make digital age personable. Humanize your website with pictures and videos of real people. Not cheesy, overused stock photos but relevant, contextual photos of actual people.

Don’t overdo it though. Use people to show your product/service in use, in your CTAs, and social media posts.

You can also add an ‘Our Team’ page to amp the trust factor up a notch.

  • The Social element

Social element

The debates can rage all they want, but the fact remains that we are social animals. No matter how logical or plain ol’ psychopathic some people are, everyone is more likely to put their trust on something which is already being used by other people.

So it’s not entirely surprising that more than 40% marketers found customers through Facebook and LinkedIn by 2013.

Why it happens:

It is trust and safety in numbers. People will always do their best to connect to each other using technology. Xbox Live is proof of that.

How to Leverage it:

Be specifically social. WordPress’ social plugins will spoil you for choice, but don’t go cack-handed on them. Instead of putting ‘Like’, ‘Share’, and ‘Follow’ buttons on every single page (even the registration forms? Seriously?), narrow the scope of the social sharing functions.

Put social sharing buttons next to content users would want to share. If it’s a single quote from a 1000-word article, put a button on it.

Use it in moderation. Countless websites go over the top with these (the ones showing any kind of statistics, specifically), and defeat the purpose.

Also: Instead of just stacking every social platform on your pages, choose the ones that are popular with your users. Go for an integrated community instead of fragmented one so your site can profit from the combined power of multiple platforms at once.


Bottom Line

There’s more to UX than twiddling the dials and waiting for the frequency to catch something. But twiddling (read: testing) is the most crucial element.

Keep testing your Content, Interface, and Design until you hit the sweet spot. And once you do, keep testing anyway. Just because it’s good doesn’t mean it can’t get better.

1 thought on “UX Design Tips for better Conversion Rate Optimization”

  1. “A Developer builds the product, a Graphic Designer makes the graphics and a Salesman sells it. Easy to understand. And what does a User Experience Designer do?”
    In my experience, they try to tell the Graphic Designer what to do. Am I right?

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
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