7 Key Website Design Elements that Convert Visitors into Customers

People often forget:

The whole point of having a website is to increase your bottom line.


Why have a website unless it is built purely to convert visitors into business?

That leads to the question:

What does your website design need to become a converting machine?

The answer:

It needs compelling copy that guides the visitor through a storyline conversion process.

(Remember, It’s the words on a page that make the sale)

So, how do you write compelling copy?

There are seven vital copywriting elements to make any website convert.

Here they are:

1. The Hero & Their Desire

First, your website needs a hero.

However, it can’t be you.

Why not?

Because, your customer is the hero of their story. And…your website must align with their journey, not yours.

Every story always starts with a hero who wants something.

To create a website that converts, you need to clearly define who your customer is and what they are looking for.

Then you can convey that in your “hero” section (the big headline above the fold of any website).

The most common mistake I see with websites these days is that they don’t explicitly define the hero and their heroes desires. Instead, they focus on what their company does.

In contrast…

Other websites try to cater to too many different “heroes.” This clutters the website while confusing the visitor. (not a good thing, of course)

Your website should focus on a single target market and their needs.

“Simplicity creates sales.”

Which brings us to:

What does our hero want?

Here are the seven things that all human beings want at their core.

  1. Conserve resources We want to keep what we already have.
  2. Conserve Time – We want more time for ourselves.
  3. Build social networksWe want more friends in my circle.
  4. Gain status. – We want luxury and status symbols.
  5. Accumulate Resources – We want to make money.
  6. Be generous – We want to give back to the community.
  7. Have Meaning – We have a desire for meaning.

Usually, your customers will align with either one or two.

For example, maybe your clients want more time and money. Alternatively, perhaps they want meaning and time.

Spend some time thinking about what your hero truly wants. Only then, can you know what’s standing in his or her way to get it.

2. The Hero’s Problem

The hero of a story always has a problem (or villain), something stopping them from getting what they want. This is the same dilemma we face before making a purchase.

Let’s go a little deeper…

Every problem has 3 Layers:

  1. The External
  2. The Internal
  3. The Philosophical

An external problem is something like I don’t have enough customers. Or, maybe I have a toothache. In both cases, it’s something “out there”.

An internal problem is how their external problem is making them feel. For example, they could feel frustrated, overwhelmed or stressed that they don’t have enough customers.

A philosophical problem is something that is just plain wrong. Something that “ought” to be different than it is. So “I don’t deserve this.” Or “it ought to be easier.” These are underlying philosophical beliefs.

Most companies only sell solutions to an external problem, which leads to mediocre sales results.

Keep in mind…

Emotion is what moves the needle. Always address how your clients feel. Then they will justify buying it with their philosophical reason.


People buy for internal reasons to fix external problems and support or justify their purchase decision with philosophical beliefs.

It’s simple. If your website does not contain something that plays to each one of these levels, it won’t convert.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

This website is what I will call a mediocre site that you and I have seen many times before, right?

“Affordable lawn care.”

“Reliable and assured since 1985.”

“Learn more about affordable, reliable dentistry certified since 1978.”

However, it’s the wrong approach. It’s not hitting the three levels of their heroes problem.

Let me show you a different way, based on addressing the three levels (external, internal, and philosophical) of your hero’s problem.

“Be the envy of your neighborhood.”

Let’s be honest lawn maintenance is hard work and time-consuming.

Schedule a Cut Today.


The picture I’m painting is a premium service. A beautiful lawn for a beautiful house. It’s not people who are looking for a 50 dollar cut, right?

So, I’m basing this on the idea that my heroes would be people with a 500k – 1 million dollar home, who can afford regular lawn maintenance.

They don’t care about affordable lawn care (conserve resources) in this case. They want to be the envy of the neighborhood (gain status).

With just this simple heading, subheading and call to action, we’ve addressed multiple levels of the heroes’ problem.

“Lawn maintenance is hard work and time-consuming.”

Now we’ve addressed two of the pains. Notice how we haven’t mentioned anything about ourselves or our company. It’s 100% percent about the visitor.

The reason why there is nothing about the company is that ultimately nobody cares. We all simply want to know; what’s in it for us?.

“Schedule a cut today.”

Nobody wants to “learn more.” Nobody wants to “get started.” They just don’t. They want to know; how do I get that?. How do they get to be the envy of their neighborhood?

They do it with a cut.


3. Be the Guide

Once we know what the hero is and what the hero wants, they need a guide to help them achieve their goals.

The guide is us. We’re not the hero. We are simply there to help them achieve their goals and dreams (using our products and services).

Like Yoda we are.

By the way, you can look at almost any movie. They are all based on the same storyline.

Remember, people aren’t looking for a hero.

People want a guide with the two best qualities for a mentor could offer:

  1. Empathy
  2. Authority


To display empathy, we start a sentence with something like “I understand how you feel” or Nobody should have to be frustrated with [insert problem here].”

Show people that you understand their pain. That’s what they want. They want to know that you have empathy for them, right?


You should display authority using testimonials, awards, and certifications that show how you have done it all before and know what you’re doing.

It’s like saying, “hey other’s have trusted me and achieved their goals, so you can rest assured knowing you are in experienced hands.”

However, don’t be a prick and brag about yourself or how long your company has been in business.

Firstly, the fact you’ve been in business since 1985 doesn’t mean much.

We’ve known plenty of companies who have been around for 30 years and still suck, whereas other companies can be awesome in their first year.

Remember, age is just a number ;). Plus, it doesn’t move the needle.


Nobody cares about your company’s story. They just really don’t. So many people think clients want to know the fact that their grandpa started the company back in 1928.

They don’t.

They simply want to know that you have a plan to fix their problem.

Which brings us to:

4. Have a Plan

Every guide offers a plan for the hero to succeed.

A plan is a simple methodology. It’s a process. It’s how you do things. It’s simple.


It could be a one step plan. Or it could be a six step one. That’s up to you. However, I would stop it at six. And between you and me, I like the three-step processes.

Take our 3 Step process for example:

Step 1. Strategy
Step 2. Execution
Step 3. Results.

With this, our clients see a simple plan they can understand to help them reach their goals. No need to burn calories to understand the plan either. It’s simple.

People do not want to learn more. People want to know how you plan to help them, and what they need to do for you to start.

Which leads us to:

5. A Clear Call to Action

If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.

The fifth element that converts visitors into customers is a clear call to action.

Your call to action needs to be:

  1. Obvious
  2. Specific
  3. Strong
  4. Clear.

The key words here are “obvious” and “clear.” However, the vast majority of calls to action I see are “learn more”, “more info”, and “contact us.”

Moreover, if you use these on your website: I’m here to give you some bad news:

Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to learn more about your company.

They just don’t.

You need to stop believing that they want to learn more. Just show them what action they must take to fix their problem.

For example: “schedule a cut today,” “Make an appointment,” or “Buy Now.”

I like to do this exercise with my clients:

I ask them: What is the first step your clients need to take to engage in your products or services?

That’s your Call to Action

For my Katapult Marketing business, clients are going to call me on the phone to talk about their business. That’s why my CTA is “Schedule a Call”. What about you?

  • Is it a strategy session?
  • Is it scheduling a lawn service?
  • Is it making an appointment?

What is it?

If the first thing you do with your client is to sit down and have a strategy session, then that’s your call to action “Schedule a strategy session”.

It’s not learn more. It’s not “contact us”.

People need to know what is it that they need to do right away. We all get thousands of messages a day, and 3000 individual marketing messages. We’re bombarded with TV, Facebook, Twitter and more…

The last thing we need to do is create more confusion in the world.

6. The Success Story

What does success look like to your clients?

How is it going to look like Financially? Emotionally? Physically Spiritually?

Now when I ask this question, people often get stuck on the word spiritual. They’re like “I don’t know how I create spiritual success for others”.

I tell them, think about it, I just had someone that said:

“My clients feel more open after working with me.”

And I’m like:

Well, that is what people are feeling when they’re buying your product. Just for a traditional old father like me to be a little more open-minded, that’s already a holy miracle in my opinion.

Financial success obviously means they are going to make more money and profit.

Emotional success relates to changes in how a person feels after using your product or service.

Physical success means they may have a kick in their step, or perhaps less pain or discomfort.

Someone once asked me what I meant by physical success, so I explained it this way:

Imagine someone used your service. How are they acting? Maybe they have a kick in their step, and they feel physically energized after buying your product or service.

7. The Risk of Failure

Now the last element you need to convert visitors into customers is to identify the failure they risk if they do not engage your product and services.

You need to raise the stakes.

Your website needs to identify the loss they will experience if they don’t act now. Specifically tell people what will they will avoid by buying your product.

Show them the financial, emotional, physical and spiritual consequences of their choice to buy, or not to buy.

Once you define what failure looks like…

…People will be much more likely to take action in pursuit of success.


Those are the 7 Key copywriting elements to convert visitors into customers. If you don’t have every aspect perfected yet, don’t worry. It takes time.

You can also always Schedule a Call with me to discuss what we can do to help you implement these elements to optimize your website’s conversions.

So, what part of this article has you thinking the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Katapult Marketing7 Key Website Design Elements that Convert Visitors into Customers