Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Business with These Web Design Principles

Many digital marketers emphasize the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), Pay-per-Click (PPC), and the like, yet often overlooking the creation of an engaging and eye-catching website. The design of a website is more than just a pretty face. It can make or break the conversion rate of a business.

According to Adobe’s report on the State of Content, 66 percent of respondents who only had 15 minutes to consume content would choose to look at something brilliantly designed over something that looks plain and simple. If visitors do not find a website attractive, they’ll likely leave and go somewhere else. This translates to lost leads and opportunities to make a sale.

If you’re looking to have a new website created for your business, the final product should use design subtleties that get visitors closer to your conversion goal. Here are a handful of design principles that will help you achieve your goal.

Rule of Thirds

You can apply this popular photography principle in the overall design of your website. The rule states that you need to divide a photo (or in your case, a website page) visually into three, both vertically and horizontally. This will give you nine equal squares. The rule also states that the four middle intersections in the image are strategic points of interest. You can create an impactful image when you place objects at these points.

When relating the rule of thirds to web design, you can position the most important elements of the page at these intersections, so that people can pay more attention to them. An example is placing a call to action (CTA) button on or near the intersections. Doing so helps keep users focused on the page’s CTA rather than leading the eyes to navigate on a different area of the page.

The Use of Negative Space

Web design has two types of spaces: negative space, also referred to as whitespace, and positive space. Whitespace consists of all the empty spaces in the page, including the ones that separate letters, lines of text, and paragraphs. On the other hand, positive space contains all the elements of the website. Despite the name, negative space is a positive thing to have on a website, as your pages would be unusable and unreadable without whitespace.

An effective way to utilize negative space is to place a CTA or a conversion form on the whitespace to make these elements more noticeable. When incorporating negative space in your content, you can have large blocks of text broken up into smaller paragraphs to increase the whitespace and make your content more readable.

While whitespace is an important design element, make sure not to overuse it. Inserting too much negative space between the actionable area and the supporting content, for instance, can create a sense of disconnect. Visitors might see the CTA as a separate element instead of the continuation of the text.


According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, a trusted research and consulting firm, the natural behavior of users when browsing the web is to read or scan the screen in an “F” pattern. This means that individuals look first at the top of the screen from left to right, scan the page downwards, read across an area, and finally scan the left side of the content in a vertical movement.

You can take advantage of this behavior to boost your conversion rate by putting relevant CTAs along the F-shape lines and relocating less-important objects in lower visibility areas. A good example is to place your primary CTA at the top-left side of the page, as this is where the visitor will look first. Less critical information, such as a cookie policy and sponsored ads, can go on the right-hand side or the lower right-hand corner of the page.

Hick’s Law

This popular theory, named after William Edmund Hick, a British psychologist, states that the time it takes to come up with a decision increases with the complexity and number of choices. When relating Hick’s law to web design, you can help raise your conversion rate by limiting the number of options for your visitors.

An effective example is to decrease the number of choices in the navigation bar of your website. When a visitor has too many links to choose from, he/she will likely lose interest and leave the site. Limiting the links will prevent the user from feeling overwhelmed, trying to figure where to start.

Gestalt Similarity Principle

Kurt Koftka, a Gestalt psychologist, summarizes the Gestalt theory’s central principle by saying that the whole is other than the sum of the parts. This means that a person’s brain and eyes perceive a unified shape differently to the way they perceive the individual components of those shapes.

The law of similarity is one of the many Gestalt principles. It states that the human eye and brain tend to group similar objects. When thinking of a design for your website, you can leverage this law by grouping objects that you would want to associate with one another, such as conversion buttons and testimonial boxes.

If you have an amazing client testimonial and want to utilize it to increase opt-in conversions, you could put the text directly below the form. Even if you did not write the testimonial specifically for your lead magnet, the visitor would associate the two elements due to their proximity.

Eight-Second Rule

A study by Microsoft published in Time magazine revealed that individuals generally lose focus after eight seconds. This means that you only have this short window of opportunity to engage a visitor when they first land on your website. Some of the things you can do to attract attention and boost conversion within these few precious seconds are:

  • Make signup buttons clear, simple, and large.
  • Incorporate multimedia and interactive content on your site.
  • Use animated exit popups to reengage users who lost interest.
  • Use a large and benefit-driven headline that’s short and to the point.

When you need a company that can create an engaging and functional website for your business, RemarkableTEK is here to deliver what you need. We offer affordable website design and development services, which include responsive web design, user experience (UX) design, information architecture design, and cross-browser and platform testing. We make sure that the website we create for your business meets your needs and accessibility standards.

Let’s get started on your project. Fill out our web design questionnaire today.

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