Web Design: The psychology behind boosting conversions

It’s all well and good to have a pretty website with pretty images but, is it actually helping or hindering your conversions? If you know that you could do better then you’ve come to the right place! Good design is about more than just the aesthetics, it’s about understanding how humans think, and what subconsciously triggers them to convert.

Did you know? The average human takes anywhere between 100-400 milliseconds to blink, but it only takes 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about a website. So, with that little amount of time to make a lasting impression, a site’s design is the one thing you can’t afford to slack on.

The principle behind the method…

The key factors to getting better conversions are based on one’s ability to convey professionalism and trustworthiness through the design of your website. This is because more often than not, users will judge the trustworthiness of your website based on the quality of the design. That along with using design subtleties to drive visitors towards a desired action.

In a study conducted by the NNGroup stated that, “The first step to garnering trust is to make your site appear legitimate and professional.” You can achieve this by having a well-organised site with an appropriate colour scheme and most importantly high-quality imagery.

Ok, great! So, what can I do to boost conversions?

KIS (Keep It Simple)

When users first land on your website they don’t want to be spammed with a lot of information. Studies have shown that visitors are willing to scroll for as long as there is something to scroll for. Therefore, don’t cram everything above the fold. Keep it simple, and focused on one objective. The example below shows a simple eye catching image, text and CTA.

Distinguish important elements

Your most important page elements such as lead-gen forms or call to action buttons should be highlighted to make them stand out. Look at the image below, which CTA catches your eye first?

As you can see, something as simple as encapsulating your CTA pushes the attention of your visitors to that particular element more so than before. If you’re not fully convinced, try the squint test. It allows you to see which elements stand out when you can only see that largest and most basic of shapes.

Choose the right hero image

If you are a company that deals with skydiving equipment then it wouldn’t make much sense to use a scuba diver. Keep the hero image consistent with your brand and products. Not just above the fold as a hero image but across the whole site.

Use directional cues

As the name suggests, directional cues guide your visitors to the direction where they point. There are two types of directional cues that can come in all shapes and sizes: explicit and suggestive. Explicit cues can be physical arrows and lines and suggestive cues use imagery to subtly direct your prospects gaze.

Page elements considered as explicit cues include:

  • Arrows
  • Fingers pointing
  • Eye direction
  • Lines
  • Curves

Below is a great example of an implicit directional cue, note how much of a different a little change can make;

Don’t use carousels

This design feature is loved by designers and clients alike, however from a usability perspective due to its distracting nature it’s extremely ineffective. Notre Dame University conducted a study which found that the first hero image out five received 84% of all clicks – it’s fair to assume the rest are just distracting carousels.

Key Takeaways

Hopefully, now that you should have the fundamental knowledge behind the psychology of consumer trust and purchases, you’ll be able to take your conversions through the roof. Best of all, the changes aren’t going to be large and expensive, you may have noticed, the majority are small tweaks adjustments that if executed correctly, can increase not only increase the value of your business but also generate better conversions for it.

It’s worth mentioning that although these tips are general and were selected on the basis that they work well across the board, everything is subjective and some of these tips may work better than others, which is why we always recommend split testing. And for that, you should consider the assistance of an agency to help you.

If you’re interested in learning more about conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and how we can help you find out more here.

Written by Tony Conte

Founder and Owner of Brave Agency, an Integrated Agency transforming businesses through design, digital and marketing, helping you, our clients to get results by applying the right strategy.

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