The fifth step to visitor conversion is – what do you want from me? It is important to light the way for the user. Show the user a clear pathway through your web page design.
You should plan the pathway based on the amount of priority and importance you would like to give to each of your web site objectives. For example - if your primary objective is to “sell more products” and your secondary objective is to “get a newsletter subscription”, you need to decide how important out of 100 it is to sell more products. The remaining portion is the amount of importance you place on the other objective.
Pathways Based on Web Site Objectives
So let’s say that it is very important to sell more products – so much so that you decide to give that a rating of 90 out of 100 (90%) importance. That leaves the ‘newsletter subscription’ a rating of 10 out of 100 (10%). With this in mind, as we plan the home page’s pathways, we should use 90% of the screen’s available ‘real-estate’ to develop the product sales pathway and 10% of the available ‘real–estate’ to develop the newsletter subscription.
Pathways for First-time and Regular Users
When planning pathways we also need to consider the different types of customers visiting your web site.
A percentage of your customers may already be familiar with your web site and use it on a regular basis to make purchases, while another percentage may be new customers who are not familiar with your web site. Although your objective for each of these different audiences is the same, your site needs to be set-up and designed with a different pathway for each audience type:
First-time visitors to your web site will be hesitant about buying and will be asking themselves, “who are these people?” “what is this company?” “does it look like they would have the products or information I am after?” “is there a better web site for me?”.
A pathway of credibility and trust, clearly presenting information about the company needs to be laid out for this audience.
Regular users will want to see a consistent layout so they can find the regular information they visit your website for. They do not want to be wading through long welcome messages and introductory content.
Your ratio of new visitors and returning customers will change over time. To begin with, your site could be optimised for first-time visitors and be adjusted as your audience changes to more repeat customers.