By Christine Warner
In website development, design is for differentiation and structure is for functionality. Design attracts the eye, structure keeps the eye. Both must be rooted in a deep understanding of online behavior to convert leads into sales.
Conversion Point Architecture aims to turn online visitors into customers. Common conversion points include visitor data acquisition such as email and phone number, visitor engagement through inquiries and social media, and calls to action such as registration and purchase. These website features are designed to engage and retain customers. The ultimate goal is to improve bottom-line through leads and sales.
Conversion Point Architecture is both a science and an art. Studies analyzing online viewing habits have proven consistent and regular behavior and eye movement. Standard reading patterns follow the shape of the letter F. First, the eye moves horizontally across the top of a web page. It then scans down slightly and repeats the horizontal motion. Finally, the eye vertically scans down the left side of a web page. Crucial information and conversion points should be organized accordingly.
The most valuable information and conversion points should appear within a web page’s fold. The fold is the portion of a web page that can be viewed before scrolling. It is the first and often the only part of a website that visitors see before deciding to leave or stay. Nonnegotiable elements of the fold include the main navigation, contact information, brand identification, product or company introduction, and site search.
Conversion points should be determined based on a website’s objective and targeted visitors. A nonprofit site seeks to gain volunteer registrants. A product site seeks to gain sales. An agency site seeks to gain new business. A software site seeks to gain downloads. Every site should have a diverse range of conversion points to accommodate varying levels of engagement.
Houses need doors. Websites need conversion points. And the more obvious the better. Visitors will leave without a clear invitation to come in and engage. They won’t linger on the porch or the landing page to stare at the exterior.