Is it time to consider moving away from WordPress? I would never have thought so. But with Automattic pushing their block builder Gutenberg, now might be a good time for design agencies to look at alternatives for building high-converting websites.
WordPress is not best for every type of site. What is the point of having a website if it doesn’t convert visitors to leads and sales?
Besides, there are hundreds of variables that affect the performance of websites your team creates for clients. They require consistent testing and modifications to maximize conversions.
Some 64.8% of websites are built on the WordPress platform because it is easy to set up and flexible. And there are thousands of professionally designed themes.
However, it is not geared towards web design agencies that need to manage clients and collaborate with team members effectively.
Website designers need to know how to build, optimize, and scale high-converting websites for their customers in the most efficient way – especially if they’re operating as part of a team that depends on rapid project turnaround for business growth.
3x Increased Productivity and 50% Reduction in Development Costs
This Duda case study points out some exceptional results from moving away from WordPress.
When WebAct, a Denver-based agency, switched from building websites on WordPress to Duda, they were able to triple their customer base in only three years. They also saved over $200,000 per year and cut site development costs by 50%.
Before making the switch, WebAct management evaluated several website development platforms, ultimately selecting Duda because of its focus on value to agencies. Duda has given WebAct the ability to:
- Assign customized permissions and roles to clients so they only have management access to the parts of the site they need. This saves them time from having to fix parts of the sites that less technical clients might accidentally mess with.
- Create client websites in half the amount of time WordPress takes, using Duda’s flexible design tools.
- Make requested changes faster because design features such as images, spacing and header tags, are set up from the beginning.
Their overhead for building a WordPress site was over $2,000 yearly. In turn, the price to the customer also needed to be relatively high.
The cost of plugins and time needed to fix bugs that might occur added up for each client.
If something broke on a site, the client expected WebAct to fix it quickly and for free. As a result, they had to retain and pay a team of developers to manage client sites.
That is talent they would rather dedicate to building new sites that would bring in more revenue.
Because development costs for WebAct have been significantly lower with Duda than WordPress, they can charge less to new clients and make the sales team’s job easier, taking on a higher volume of work.
Platforms for Agencies
Web design agencies need to be able to create websites for multiple clients at scale, work collaboratively as a team, and utilize efficient workflows.
A platform like Duda, which uses a central hub for improving collaboration and centralizing assets into shared and assignable libraries, is the best choice for agencies to build and sell high-converting websites at scale.
In addition, solutions that offer complete web development packages, including hosting, SSL and personalization capabilities are a compelling option for agencies designing websites for many clients.
Being able to collaborate, automate and manage projects is key to their success.
After you have chosen which platform you will use, the next step is to increase conversions. How can you do that?
Use a Structured Approach
According to Neil Patel, websites that are designed with a structured approach towards conversion optimization are two times as likely to increase sales than those that don’t.
While it is important to offer website visitors a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate site design, many other factors are just as essential, including specific pages.
Some of the most essential web pages are:
The Home Page
Most visitors will land on your clients’ home pages first. You have just a few seconds to grab their attention, so make those seconds count. Engage them enough to keep them on the site.
If you don’t immediately make it clear to them how your client can help them, they will bounce off the site and on to another. Below are a few suggestions on how to keep visitors on the home page:
· Make sure your headline is short, clear, unambiguous and to the point.
· Include customer testimonials as social proof of the value your client offers.
· The testimonials should address the problem that your client’s company solves.
If the home page is structured and designed effectively, it will increase the chances of website visitors reading more.
About Us Page
The About Us page is your chance to let visitors know who your client is, what makes them a credible company, and builds a connection with the audience.
Rather than generically describing your client’s company in a boring way, try telling their brand story interestingly and compellingly. Talk to the audience as a person rather than a template or machine.
Introduce website visitors to your client’s team with pictures and short bios. If you have photos of employees at company events, include those too. They will show the personality of those who work behind the scenes to make the business work. People buy from other people – not from brand identities.
Products or Services Page
This is the most important page for the audience to take action and make a purchase. No matter what your client is selling, you want to describe the offerings in a compelling way.
Lead with the benefits before going into the features. Benefits are about “them,” and features are about “you.”
Focus on the emotions of potential customers. Motivate them by making it clear how your client’s solutions can help them or make their lives easier.
Use Shorter Forms
Less is more when it comes to website forms. The more questions you ask a website visitor, the less likely they will be to complete the form.
Time is a valuable commodity. Respecting the time of your visitors will be appreciated and rewarded by getting more form completions.
In general, shorter forms lead to more conversions. However, you don’t want to exclude important qualifying questions.
Test different forms and online form builders to see which ones convert the best. Be sure to include questions you need answered and avoid ones that aren’t necessary.
Don’t Offer Too Many Choices
When someone lands on a website or a form you’ve designed, don’t make it difficult for them to choose what to do. In other words, limit the number of decisions they must make by:
- Not having too many tabs in the navigation bar.
- Minimizing distractions without losing functionality.
- Using a clear call-to-action so that visitors know what to do next.
Don’t Make Them Wait
People today are busy and don’t have the time or patience to wait for pages to load. Google recognizes this and includes page speed in its ranking algorithm.
Also known as page load time, this refers to how long it takes for a page on your site to open in a browser.
Google offers a free tool for you to check the speed for pages on your site here. Web designers need to know the importance of page speed and make sure all clients’ pages load quickly.
Make Modifications Based on User Experience and Collected Data
Leveraging data provided by website visitors and existing clients gives valuable insights to web designers.
Use these insights to improve product or service pages and provide greater value to site visitors.
Website analytics, user engagement data, and social media interactions can be used to make changes to structure, strategies, and mechanisms for a better user experience and higher conversions.
Test, Test, Test
When you make changes to your website for better conversions, if you don’t test it against what you changed it from, you won’t know if it is effective. Read How To Master A/B Split Testing Quickly (And Increase Conversion Rate) to get more insights into how to test the right way to boost your conversion rates.
All businesses have a website for a reason. Whether your clients’ sites are blogs, and they’re looking for more subscribers, or they have a product or service to sell, you have a goal to meet. Getting more visitors is only as good as the number of conversions a website gets.
How to Design High-Converting Websites
Websites that are designed to maximize conversions are the most successful and the easiest to sell to customers looking for an agency to handle their site creation from start to finish.
Originally published June 5, 2019. Updated 5/6/21 to increase the % using WordPress, improved SEO and content flow, and added additional resources.
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