How you can use psychological principles to spur action on your site and boost conversions.
After my article on using neuroscience and psychology to boost your social media marketing, I thought a follow-up was warranted, this time for website and landing page conversions.
The psychology of web design has been a highly tested field, including relaying on triggers to entice users to complete an action. There are several different forces behind human behavior, like the classic FOMO (“fear of missing out”), curiosity, and the use of color to convey a message or feeling.
The following triggers are proven ways to increase action on your website.
1. Keep It Simple
As many tests have shown, there is consistently a higher click-through rate for calls-to-action on simpler websites and landing pages than pages with too much text or too many options off the bat. The reason for this is because most of us suffer from choice paralysis.
In a series of studies by Columbia University, participants were placed in various scenarios in which they were presented with a series of options. In each study, half the participants were given six options, and the other half were given 24-30 choices. The six-choice groups were not only more likely to make a choice (i.e. convert), but also reported being more satisfied with the choice they did go with.
2. Use The Right Graphics
When used in tandem with clear, informative and easily scannable blocks of text, thoughtfully chosen graphics can also increase conversions.
According to Canva, eye-tracking studies have shown that our eyes are drawn to images of people when we look at a website. Images featuring real customers are more effective than stock images, as they come across as more genuine. Furthermore, when we see an image of another person, we’re apt to follow their gaze — online marketers can use this to draw attention to important pieces of information on a page.
For online retailers and e-commerce sites, providing high-quality images of your products from multiple angles is a great way to ease consumer doubt and increase conversions.
An eye-catching and descriptive call-to-action can positively impact conversion rates as well.
3. Mention The Benefits…
When you outline the benefits a user will receive when they complete the requested action on a page, it makes it easy for them to weigh the benefits and costs. This is called a cost-benefit analysis.
Using this principle in web copy can help users see how their life is going to be better once they complete the action. List the highlights of what the action will hold for the user in a catchy snippet form that makes it impossible to refuse.
It is especially useful to reiterate if what they receive is free, as placing that word near call-to-action buttons has a proven higher ROI (as mentioned in the above-referenced KISSMetrics article).
4. …And The Drawbacks If They Don’t Take Action
This taps into consumer FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” People don’t like feeling like that aren’t going to have or know something that everyone else around them has or knows.
As Psychology Today points out, our relationship with our smartphones has only worsened this fear, as it now translates to making sure we stay up-to-date with everything we can so we aren’t in the dark about something we shouldn’t be.
FOMO is playing a part not only in our social lives, but our professional ones as well, as we utilize social media, RSS readers, e-books, and more to make sure we are staying relevant in our industry. Web designers and marketers can play into this fear by outlining what a user is missing out on if they don’t complete the action.
5. Design Matters
Subconsciously and not-so-subconsciously, we as web users now judge a company’s entire trustworthiness and service offering by the quality of their website design.
In a study as reported by Portland marketing firm Kinesis, 75% of those surveyed reported they had made a judgment about a company’s credibility solely based on their website design.
Kinesis also reported that 94% of a user’s initial reactions about a company’s website were design-related. This means that design has a major impact on not only whether a user will complete an action on a website, but even whether they will decide to utilize any of the business’ products or services at all.
Good design now equals trust in the online world, but if you complete a clear, concise website or landing page with graphics, explainable, easy-to-read content, and an emphasis on the benefits and drawbacks, your pages are on the road to a much higher conversion rate than their counterparts.
Written by: Jordan Kasteler