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Using Psychology to Craft a Killer Landing Page

consumer psychology, landing page, web design

January 9, 2018 by

Editor's Note: Lesley Vos is a seasoned web writer who helps peers develop skills for better articles creation and promotion. Today she joins us to share psychological tactics and visual techniques to develop a better landing page -


2018 is here, but has your landing page gotten to first base yet?

You do everything right: data, evaluations, A/B testing, stellar copywriting, and UI design in the light of the latest marketing trends...but that horrible feeling of shooting in the dark...it doesn't let you go.

You know you could do better. An average conversion of 2-5% is not your limit. This year, you plan to kickstart your landing page: more numbers, more visual content, more testimonials – they will attract consumers by all means!

There's only one problem with such approach:

Rationality and logic aren't enough when it comes to human brains. No matter how hard you try to polish a landing page, people won't buy just because you've "made it!" Decision making is less about logic and more about emotions. Dozens of psychological factors influence users' reactions when they visit your website.

So what's the solution?

Consider the psychology of decision making when optimizing your landing page. Once you understand how human brains react to specific stimuli, you'll get the power of evoking a positive response from visitors.

1. Build a stable foundation

First you judge how nice, then you judge how wise. To make people stay on your landing page and start examining your offer, pay attention to the psychology behind its design. Here is an example of how you shouldn't do:

Ouch!

Don't you want to close it without reading? No matter what a great product it offers, your eyes start bleeding once you open this page. And your brain screams something like "Dude, no! Make me unsee this!"

Why is that?

You know that people are 90% visual beings, and 93% of all communication is nonverbal. A human brain doesn't want to absorb ugly pictures, blocking them and protecting itself this way. Especially on the web, where tons of images attack all around, and we don't have time or desire to examine each for useful information.

You'll never have another chance to produce the first impression. Do your best to design a landing page so it would evoke positive emotions towards your brand.

Colors

Are you a naysayer who's skeptical about color psychology?

I have a bad news for you:

Color matters. Why do you think many brands use orange for their CTAs? Yes, it's bright; but what is more, it affects action and invites people to click! OMI nailed it:

Your landing page palette can change the impact of your marketing message. While choosing a color, consider emotions as well as associative flows it may elicit from consumers so you could influence their decision making.

Learn the psychological properties of all main colors, decide on associations you want to build with your brand, and optimize a landing page accordingly.

Shapes

A quick reminder:

Our brain is lazy. That's why we don't read but scan online; that's why we respond to different shapes in different ways, and that's why different fonts evoke different associations and emotions.

For instance, circles of PlagiarismCheck.org communicate friendship, unity, and partnership:

The triangles in Marketo's logo speak about professionalism and efficiency, while horizontal lines of WordStream scream about community, calm, and tranquility.

Consider fonts and shapes while optimizing your landing page. Remember:

  • Don't use more than three different fonts.
  • Make sure your font is 14px minimum, and you combine dimensions such as length, width, and height right.

In other words, a color palette together with shapes and fonts used on your landing page need to be pleasing to the human eye.

Visuals

The first detail consumers see when opening your landing page is a picture. (Yes, the one saying a thousand words.) And with the fact that human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, you might want to put a special emphasis on it.

I can almost hear you thinking, "I need a hero image!"

What is that?

As I mentioned in an article at Convert, it's "the fastest way to help people acquire your information and message right." With only about five seconds to build an impression, you need an image that would express a definite goal and encourage visitors to learn more.

Variants are many:

  • Use a picture of your product.
  • Consider photos or videos of your team.
  • Try images of context: think of emotions you want to evoke and choose applicable photos.
  • Images with no context work well, too: if having strong visual cues, they may elicit desired emotions from visitors.

A primary example is Apple:

Words

Once you've attracted their attention with visuals, consumers will start examining a text behind all those colors, shapes, and images. The rule of three C's works here: make it clear, concise, and consistent.

Here's how you solve this:

  • Put a navigation menu on the top.
  • Use a one-column format for your landing page.
  • Write short but informative headlines.
  • Think of a slogan to communicate your message. IconiContent nailed it:

  • Avoid generalization and copywriting cliches.
  • Ensure that your page answers the "So what?" question.
  • Use power words to appeal to emotions and make consumers feel a certain way.
  • Neuro copywriting tricks may come in handy, too.
  • Avoid long words and sentences and don't create huge blocks of texts – people will ignore them.
  • Speak the same language with your target audience, but don't forget about your brand voice and tone.

2. Listen to psychologists

Robert Cialdini, in his seminal work Psychology of Persuasion, reveals and describes six behavioral principles that make other people say "yes" to us. These principles work in business, marketing, and daily life; they are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Commitment
  3. Social proof
  4. Authority
  5. Liking
  6. Scarcity

According to Cialdini, all decisions you make in life – including “to buy or not to buy” – are based on these six; and, recently, he introduced the seventh one – unity – saying that the more you identify yourself with others, the more you are influenced by them. Practise the persuasion principles when optimizing a landing page to improve your marketing results.

For instance, that's what a social proof looks like when introduced in a landing page (source: HubSpot.com):

It creates a positive influence: when a visitor finds out others do it already, he or she wants to join them. Customer testimonials, number of subscribers, case studies, trust seals – all can build brand awareness and trust.

And here goes the principle of authority at work (Tor Refsland uses it right):

What about scarcity?

This principle perfectly works in advertising of all kinds. In his book, Cialdini sums it up with G. K. Chesterton's quote, "The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.Yep, it's true: we value things more when we know we can't have them anytime we want.

That is why giveaways, member-only exclusives, and limited offers are evergreen strategies in marketing, used by many. Especially in a e-commerce segment:

Some specialists use this principle in email marketing, as well:


Long Story Short...

The psychology of decision making is crucial for marketers to understand, as it determines strategies and tactics they will use for landing pages optimization. When tailoring websites that correlate with human brain's default settings and internal biases, your landing page will turn into a powerful weapon for sales.

So, build a pleasing visual foundation, communicate your message with psychological principles in mind – and your target audience will respond to your landing page with trust and love.

To learn more about optimizing your landing page and improving your website to generate more leads, check out our classes on the following topics:

Advocate Marketing Best Practices for Business Results

How to Create the Perfect Landing Page

B2B Website Design

 

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

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