3390744261_fc5b008658Let there be light.  Of course that’s the first step.  What else would it be?

Isn’t flicking on the lights the first thing you do when walking into a dark room, even to the point of reaching your hand around the door frame to find and actuate the light switch before you’ve even technically entered the room?  And how many of us just plain leave the lights on even if we’re not in the room?  Bottom line: we want to see where we’re going, even if it means wasting electricity.

It’s no different online.

People want to know where a link will take them before they click a link.  They want to know what will happen next before they click the submit button.  Visitors want reassurance that an action isn’t irrevocable or a click won’t bring them somewhere they don’t want to go.  In fact, a large proportion of Web design best practices are based around this single principle:

  • Point of Action Assurances reassure visitors that you won’t sell their info or spam them and/or that your shopping cart is safely encrypted and their purchase is money-back guaranteed
  • Proper hyperlink construction allows visitors to predict where the link points and what kind of content awaits them on the other side of the link
  • Well-made check-out processes show shoppers where they are in the process and what steps are left
  • Call to Action Buttons announce their importance through visually prominence and 3-dimensional design/lighting effects that make the buttons look “clickable.”
  • Great Product Photos help people see what they’re really buying, just like great product copy and user reviews help describe the ownership experience
  • Working With Us” and/or “Our Methodology” Pages along with timelines all help prospective clients see what engaging your services will be like and they all boost lead gen conversion
  • And so on.

With that in mind, take a look at this A/B test described by Anne Holland’s Which Test Won.  Does it surprise anyone that the version which tells visitors what happens next converts 190% better?

Maybe not.  But let me ask you: are there places on your Website where you’re failing to tell visitors what to expect?Does your Web design unintentionally turn the lights off on prospective customers?

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