Use clarity to improve conversion rates

1. Use whitespace to draw attention to the most important parts of your site, like your value proposition or call to action.

Whitespace is a blank area on your page: a gutter, margin, or space between text. In an A List Apart article, Mark Boulton shared a great example of whitespace. The ad to the right is more sophisticated, upscale, and clear thanks to its designer’s use of whitespace. Mark Boulton Example

2. Choose images to place on your website homepage that are meaningful and communicate the same information as your text.

Select images that have the same context and allow users to create a connection with the text. For example, Airbnb’s home page reinforces the text Welcome home with a photo of a parent and child lying on a bed. Airbnb

3. Take a screenshot of a page you want to improve and analyze its visual hierarchy by listing the most important elements, visually speaking.

For example, look at this image. It has two clear levels of elements: the yellow circle in the middle, then the eight pink circles surrounding it. All of the pink circles are of equal importance. Visual Hierarchy Image Source If you have the wrong elements at the top of your visual hierarchy, your site likely lacks clarity. Move your logo, your value proposition, and your call to action to the top of the hierarchy. For a real world example, see Woopra’s homepage: Woopra The green TRY IT FOR FREE button is higher on the visual hierarchy than the muted PRODUCT TOUR button. The red NEW label above AppConnect moves that navigation link higher up the hierarchy.

4. Write text that uses informal grammar to help users scan content.

Ignore traditional grammar rules that hurt reading speed and clarity. Use numbers instead of spelling them out: for example, use 5 instead of five. Sentence fragments eliminate unnecessary words and can help drive a point home.

5. Use the same language, tone of voice, and grammar rules across all your pages to preserve consistency.

Add the same language consistency in your CTA buttons or links. Develop a brand voice with aspects like humor, conversational tone, and industry jargon, and use it consistently across the site. Use the same formatting rules, including spaces, bulleted points, and fonts, all over the website.

6. When you’re conducting your qualitative research, pay attention to the words your customers use, both in general and to describe your product or service.

Use those words and phrases in your copy to improve clarity on all pages. The best way to clearly describe a product or service, a pricing plan, or a specific feature, is to describe it in the words of your customer herself.