The Psychology of Conversion

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The Psychology of Conversion

Human beings make automatic and unconscious judgments about all aspects of a website from the color to the font and layout.  Just like buying behaviors offline, online consumers have attitudes and expectations about how the buying process should progress.  Listening to your audience, building trust with them and understanding their needs as individual consumers helps build a core audience and loyal following.  Most importantly, understanding your customers on allows you to communicate with them on a personal level and find out what motivates them. Once you know what motivates them, you can create an online experience that serves their needs and inspires them to buy from you.

When you built your business, you probably started with a mission statement and core values you wanted translated to your customers and employees.  These same emotional starting points should be values that you want to communicate through your website and into your online marketing campaigns.  In fact, it’s important to remember that your web presence is reflective of your brand and must appeal to customers exactly like you would offline. You should always keep the needs and wants of your target market at the forefront of your mind.

Conversion Triggers

Once you’ve tapped into the psychological profile of your customers, you can now build an online experience that caters to their needs. Conversion is all about articulating and visualizing these needs. There are many conversion triggers that you can use that are statistically proven to improve customer engagement.  Here are the top conversion triggers that will compel customers to act and grow your business.

Design LayoutPage placement and design influence conversion and moving things around can make a difference.  In the Western world, we are accustomed to reading top to bottom and left to right.  Thus, the upper left corner of a webpage is known as the “golden triangle”. Be aware of this when choosing placement locations for important information.  The same is true for the lower half of your webpage.  If you put a conversion form below the fold, consider putting it in an eye grabbing location.

HeadlinesWith 80 percent of visitors reading a headline, it can make or break your page.  Be thoughtful and create an attention grabbing title that will pique your readers’ curiosity.

Website Copy Anticipate objections to your sales pitch.  Encourage the reader to want to say yes with enticing copy. Make the customer want to read through the first line, then the second, until they have read through the whole page.

Language Triggers Using emotional and exciting language is an easy way to up your conversion.  Test different words or ask a question of your audience that forces them to consider what you’re saying and raises their involvement in what they’re reading. Obviously, if you’re selling toothpaste vs. a luxury car your trigger words will be different but inviting nonetheless.

Unique Value Proposition – Many companies stick to attributes and features of their products forgetting about highlighting the unique benefits it will bring to their consumer.  “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle” is an adage to keep in mind when demonstrating why your company is the best choice.  Show them the value of incorporating your product into their life such as being healthier and feeling great or regaining confidence and building better relationships.  Provide them with a better quality of life through your benefits.

Confidence Builders  These are elements that put the visitor at ease and make them feel like they’re going with a trusted brand many other customers have worked with and are satisfied with. Trust icons are good examples of confidence builders.  If someone sees that I have worked with companies they know and trust I feature those icons on my website, I am building confidence by using trust icons.  Just like you’re most likely to entrust your money to a bank that is backed by the FDIC, a customer is more likely to want to give their business to a company online that they trust.

Calls to Actions These are all about lowering the barrier to entry and making it easy to take action and move onto the next stage in the sales process. Users need a mechanism by which to take action. If your click through button explicitly tells the consumer to “click here!” you have made the decision about where to click that much easier.  The immediacy overcomes short attention spans and other factors competing for their attention. With so much time to capture their attention, get them to take an action while you have it.

Colors and Contrast Colors can have an immediate and automatic influence on the human brain.  Certain colors have subconscious resonance with people. We have formed symbols in our brain that we connect with certain emotions, which trigger certain action. Blue is trustworthy and safe, which is why so many banks it for their branding and website. Red is a symbol for hunger, power and warmth. You would never see a bank website with a logo in bright neon yellow because no one would trust them with their money.  Pay attention to the message your website is sending through its color palate.


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