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Website teardown report

Take advantage of the thousands of dollars we’ve spent on testing and use this information to hit the ground running with a website that converts more visitors into buyers.

By Sebastian Alberti, Digital Marketer
Published January 5, 2022 | Read Time: 3 min

When it comes to building a website, everyone’s goal is to create a website that is deemed successful. But, with so many moving parts, how do you know what areas to focus on?

At Conversion, we regularly see businesses hit the ‘launch’ button too soon and run with a website that doesn’t quite hit the mark when it comes to converting traffic.

Thankfully, all of this can be easily avoided.

To help you, we’ve put together an essential checklist of the 11 most vital fundamentals a website needs to have, in order to generate high-quality traffic, leads and sales. This will save you time, money, and help you outperform your competition.

Discover them within this post.

Imagine for a minute that you’ve seen an ad for a great product. It’s sparked your curiosity, and you’re wanting to learn more about the benefits, price, brand etc.

You visit the website and it’s a total mess. It’s hard to navigate, the language used isn’t suitable, images are pixelated, there’s no social proof, it’s slow to load, so you bounce.

Suddenly you find a competitor who is offering the same product. Their website is well designed, easy to navigate, and completely user centric, almost like it was built for you. You flow through the checkout, process your order and leave feeling satisfied.

It’s websites that deliver that feeling of satisfaction, which are the ones that are deemed successful.

At Conversion, we’ve found time and time again that our clients’ websites don’t deliver the experience a prospect is expecting when they arrive.

Brands either neglect key elements or believe that website optimisation is a one time thing.

So let’s fix that.

Our aim here is to show you exactly how to create a website that will attract new clients, generate leads, and earn more sales.

Here are the key areas that make up a high converting website.

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A Comprehensive Plan

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Great design

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Engaging content

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Beautiful Images

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Clear & Concise CTA’s

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Speed

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Trust Signals

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Easy navigation

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SEO

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Tracking

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Conversion Rate Optimisation

Your website journey inspiration starts here. Let’s jump right in.

Every high-converting website that’s ever existed on the web has started with some sort of plan. A poorly planned website will throw up some problems with conversion from the outset. If your website is not targeted at one specific target audience, and is without a master brief detailing the elements and architecture of your wireframes, you will likely end up with missing elements and broken pages.

Before creating a comprehensive plan, you’ll firstly need to understand who your ideal target audience is and what problems they have. Understanding the reasons as to why your audience may be motivated into looking for a brand like yours, will allow you to create a plan/website that is built around them.

When creating a plan consider the following

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Who is my target audience?

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What is the goal of my website?

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What competitors can I learn from?

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What elements do I need to have on my website that will facilitate my target audience?

When your audience visits your website, they first notice its design. They will judge your business within seconds, and if your design is unappealing or outdated, your audience will immediately have a negative impression of your business and possibly bounce. To encourage more people to stay, a bright, modern and inviting design is the key. It’s reported that over 66 percent of online shoppers prefer beautifully designed websites over dull and boring ones. But in saying that, don’t get carried away with the beauty of your page. Overdesigning a website is a major problem for brands, and can have a negative impact on the functionality and performance of your site. The key to a well designed website is one that is beautiful, creative, functional, user-centric (built for your audience) and matches your industry’s expectations of what your brand should feel like. It’s going to provide your business and your customers no value if you’re a law firm that’s designed like a tattoo shop. A good web design will set you apart from your competition and keep leads on your page.

Things to consider when building or redesigning your website

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Create a style guide that is consistent with your brand

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Purposeful visuals have major impact on attracting the attention of visitors (images, videos, infographics, logos)

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Use white space to separate elements

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Clear call to action buttons

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Define your goal for the site and your pages

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Match the industry expectation of what your audience is familiar with

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Test its responsiveness on multiple devices

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Consider using templates, they can save you time and money

Examples of good website design

Overflow sample website
sample website
sample website

Most of the time, when we begin working with new clients, we find that their website is full of information about the company, and how great its product and services are. It’s all me, me, me.

That’s not why prospective customers visit your site.

The prospect is visiting your site because it seeks a solution to a problem or a set of problems. Your job is to understand these struggles on a deeper level and to help solve them. That’s what makes content engaging.

When content is engaging for the prospect it has the ability to impact their decision making. This is why content is seen as one of the most important and effective methods to growing audience engagement, developing your brand presence, forming strong relationships with your customers, and generating sales.

So, how engaging is yours?

Things to consider when creating engaging content

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Does your content have a unique and identifiable voice?

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Does your content build trust?

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Is your grammar off?

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Does your content solve a problem that your target audience is experiencing?

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Does the language used suit the tone of your business?

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Consider using different types of content such as audio, visual and written

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Break your content into digestible, easy to read sections

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Is your information current to what’s accessible within the industry

Don’t fill your site with poor images, it could be costing you sales!

Time and time again, we see businesses downplay the process of creating images for their website. Truth be told, it’s hurting them. Filling your website with poor quality, cheesy and irrelevant images simply to fill space, is a great way to frustrate your design team, and more importantly your customers.

Using images that have nothing to do with your brand or products can cause confusion and distrust in your audience.

Our advice to you is to invest the time in creating your own, personal, studio-quality images that tell a story, and remain unique to your brand. There’s nothing more embarrassing than when you see two websites with the same stock image. Right?

Additionally, you can consider creating alternatives such as graphics, infographics, or changing the background colors to keep your images fresh and updated. Make sure your images are optimized to speed up load times.

Nice page, what do you want me to do now?

That’s the question prospects will be asking themselves if your landing page doesn’t have a clear and concise call to action (CTA). If your CTA is tricky to find or is completely non-existent, prospects won’t know what step you’re wanting them to take next. If prospects are unable to reach key pages or take definitive actions on your web pages, you will most probably lose them. This can lead to dips in sales and high-bounce rates.

As standard practice, each page on your website should contain at least one call to action that is visible to the reader, clearly defining what you want them to do.

When creating a CTA, consider the purpose of your page – Do you want a visitor to purchase a product? Do you want a site visitor to sign up to your newsletter? Whatever the purpose, use a CTA that is big, bold and obvious to allow your visitor to fulfill them.

If you’ve ever visited a website that’s slow then you can vouch for how frustrating that can be. Same goes for your website visitors, although they aren’t as forgiving as you are. The truth is most visitors will decide whether they want to stay or leave your page within 3 seconds of landing (reported by Google). In fact, loading time is one of the biggest contributors to web page abandonments and low conversion rates, as you can see from the graph below.

page load speed

This direct correlation between speed and conversion is the reason why it literally pays to prioritize speed. Take for example Mozilla Firefox. They enjoyed 60 million more downloads of their web browser software after boosting their site loading times to be 2.2 seconds faster.

If you want to run a highly- effective website, it’s necessary to optimise for page speed.

Things to consider when creating a fast loading website

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Assess how fast your website currently is by running it through Google Page Speed Insights

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How many images, videos and media files are contained on the page

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What themes and plugins are installed on your site

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Your site’s (and the specifics page’s) coding and server-side scripts

When you walk into a physical store for the first time, you can observe definitive reasons to trust the business and start your shopping journey right away. You may notice other people checking out at the register, a staff member stocking shelves or ready to offer you help. You can even physically touch and feel the product that you’re considering buying.

Unfortunately the online shopping experience is different. Trust is hard to build online because you don’t see the people running the site, you’re unsure how many people are shopping there with you, and your interaction with the products are limited to images, videos and product descriptions.
The lack of trust signals on a website can cause customer distrust, which leads to an increase in abandonments and a lack of sales.

Trust is a major contributor in helping prospects go from ‘just browsing’ to checking out. The more trust signals you can fill your website with, throughout key stages of a prospects buying journey, the more enthusiastic they will be to purchasing one of your products.

Things to consider when creating a trustworthy site

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Include written and video testimonials throughout your site

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Include reviews and ratings on your products and services

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Place delivery and return policies at key checkout points

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If you’re collecting private information, place reassurement messages of how that data will be used next to your forms

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Place a physical address and phone number in clear view

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Place social icons to your social pages on your site

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Place payment assurance at checkout

It’s easy to understand why navigation is important to the success of a website. Good navigation means that visitors will be able to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. Bad navigation will cause visitors to become confused, frustrated and most likely bounce.

A navigation system that allows visitors to find content by searching and browsing, can not only improve your chances of keeping them on the site longer, it can also increase your chances of them taking action.

Navigation menus appear most commonly in headers and footers of websites, allowing visitors to access the most useful pages. But it doesn’t stop there. Good navigation allows visitors to understand the individual relationships between pages, making it easy for them to find the next piece of information that is relevant to what they just read, or what they visited the site for. This flow of information between pages is a journey you can create for your prospects through structured navigation.

How you structure your navigation should always depend on your target audience, and the format you think would be most intuitive to them. Find out how they would consider finding the information, product & services on your page, and categorize your site that way.

A pro tip – Intuitive and easy to use navigation is a bi product of good categorisation and hierarchy. This image below shows an example of

Infographics

Things to consider when creating good website navigation

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Make links and hypertext obvious

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Create a mind map or plan your hierarchy structure before implementing

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Categorise your header menu so it’s clean and simple

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Utilise your footer menu for additional pages

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Connect your navigation to your audience's needs

Examples of websites with great navigation
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sample website
Navigation image

What is the first thing you do when you are looking for a new recipe? Or how to change a flat tyre?

My guess: you turn to Google

Most online shoppers who are faced with a problem, challenge or even a choice, Google it.

And so it’s the harsh reality that without some sort of online presence on Google, it’s unlikely that your well designed website will unlikely last very long.

Search Engine Optimisation is an extremely important fundamental for any business, that focuses on nothing else other than improving the visibility of that website on the search engines. And in turn, drive more visitors to the site, increasing the chances of more conversions.

Holistically, SEO is made up of a number of different components that all play a role in optimising your site for the search engines. Those components are broken into on-page and off-page work, which are listed below.

Things to consider when creating a strong SEO strategy

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Set the website navigation and links to text only

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Create a simple URL structure

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Fix dead links or broken redirects

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Create a sitemap and Robots.txt files

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Create a keyword strategy of what you want your website to organically rank for

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Implement these keywords into your Post titles, URL, H1 tag, the first 100 words of content on your page

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Implement descriptive meta-tag titles and meta descriptions for each page

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Name your image files

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Consider implementing backlinks to build authority and relevance

When setting up or running a website, it’s a priority that you not only track quantitative data such as add to carts, lead submits and sales, but it’s also extremely important to track qualitative data to learn more about your customers.

As your site sees more traffic, you’ll generate more data that will give you a better understanding about your users behavior. Gaining a deeper learning of how well your audience is responding to your website, will allow you to measure what’s working and what isn’t, so you can accurately invest your time, money and efforts into making informed decisions that will ensure the success of your brand.

There are both paid and free analytical tools available on the web that you can use to track both qualitative & quantitative data.

Consider the following when setting up website tracking

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Use Google Analytics to track your website data

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Track where traffic is coming from

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High Bounce rates and low time on site can determine if there are problematic areas on your site that need addressing

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Connect your traffic channels to your analytics to measure the success of your marketing

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Consider using heat maps and visitor recording sessions to understand user behavior

As we mentioned earlier, the success of a website isn’t determined by a smooth build process or a solid month of sales, it’s a result of an on-going optimisation process. Like cars, websites are made up of many different components that require regular maintenance and optimisation to improve its performance, which is why we’ve decided to include conversion optimisation within this process.

Conversion optimization is an ongoing process that can make your website work smarter by improving its user-experience. Using the data you collect from your analytics and tracking tools, you can carry out a number of tests that will help you improve the performance of your site (conversion rate), that can propel your business toward long-term and sustainable growth.

If you’re able to continuously improve the conversion performance of your site, you’ll be able to generate higher profits at a lower cost, unlike competitors who will continue to generate larger amounts of traffic to their already poorly converting site in the hope to grow sales.

Consider the following when running a CRO strategy

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Make sure the data you’re collecting is accurate

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Calculate your current conversion rate so you have a baseline of what you’re trying to improve

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Create a hypothesis of what you’re trying to achieve and choose a test that is suitable for your goals

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Consider A/B, multivariate or split testing for CRO

To learn more about Conversion Rate Optimisation
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Increase the likelihood of getting the sale

by listening to what your customers want and providing it on your website. We’ve observed that customer experience is paramount to conversions.

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Maximize user experience

by putting the needs and wants of your prospects first. The minute your website prioritises the needs of the business owner over your prospects, you’ll see profits and revenues dip the other way.

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Set yourself apart from competition

by creating a website that is completely user-centric. Customers will love visiting and revisiting your website if they gain that feeling of satisfaction when shopping from your brand.

After years of hands-on experience with building and optimizing websites for companies large and small, we learned quickly that the areas mentioned above will always remain at the core of a website being successful or not.

Although many will argue that there are other parts of a website that require your attention, we’ve found that these are the biggest levers when it comes to performance – so use this information to your advantage.


So, there you have it. We told you that we were going to reveal the most important areas of a website and how to focus on them to get the upper hand over your competition.

We’ve done that!

So now it’s up to you whether you’re willing to use what we’ve discussed to plan a website that you’re going to build or enhance your current.

Need help?

Call Conversion

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