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Use these 5 Psychology tactics in your Conversion Rate Optimization process

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What is it that triggers people to buy or enter their e-mail address to receive newsletters? What goes on in their mind that makes them do certain things?

As entrepreneurs and web developers it is a top priority for us to understand our customers better. We don't need to be psychology experts but we do need to know the most important things relevant for us. By knowing our customers better, we will be able to optimize our websites for higher conversions, faster and better than ever before. Let's get started.

Tactic #1

"Feelings" is the keyword here.
The reason why you buy certain products, shop in certain stores and prefer brands is because the way they make you feel.
When we get the feeling like we are the "boss", like a king, being valued and smiled at -- we get very happy inside.
Fabricated happiness is the fuel that motivates us to spend money and buy shiny things.

As marketers we can make our visitors and customers feel a certain way.
We can make them smile through our marketing tactics, by showing them pictures they like and saying words that inspire them.
It is important to understand that not everyone is going to like you, your brand and your products. Which is why you have to find out which people do and focus on them! Don't try to convert everybody. Old people aren't the ones you should be selling your high-tech products to, they want very simple and easy things. Teenagers on the other hand want sophisticated and cool things.

If you're a web designer, then have a look at this message:

"We are the best web design agency in New York".

When someone reads this, they will say "ok..." and that's all. You haven't made their day better in any way. They will be very skeptical about your company because you sound so damn selfish. So instead be a little bit more creative and think about your customer first! Here's some inspiration:

feeling design 1.png

"Do you want to amaze every visitor that comes to your site?"

"We make sure your visitors leave your site with a smile!"

"Every visitor on your new website will love your company!"

"Make every visitor on your website fall in love with you."

"Be unique and be great, we promise you that!"

The first impression counts. The first thing a visitor reads on your website is the headline, the message you want to tell them. Your message cannot be boring, it has to touch them, it needs to awaken the feelings of joy and happiness in them. This is the most important principle in sales. It does not matter if you're in online marketing or offline sales, this principle will always stand as long as there are people involved.

*note: this is why A/B testing is so powerful. You can test all your headlines and messages to see which one is the best one.

Tactic #2

"Less is more", one image can replace a 10.000 words.

Most website visitors are extremely lazy. They will avoid reading as much as possible, they will always look for shortcuts on your website. The more we force them to read and search the less patient they become, at a certain point they will leave your website unhappy and go to the competition instead.

This conversion rate optimization tactic teaches us that we should avoid and leave behind all the clutter and unnecessary information.

Just recently I was looking for a new book to order and went to my two favorite websites: "Amazon" and "Book Depository". Immediately I noticed that Amazon did a way better job because it had less details, less clutter and distractions on their pages than the latter.

Here is a part of Book Depository's homepage:

book depos.png

As you can see they are showing all these texts and buttons and prices and discounts. It makes my head spin.

Have a look at Amazon:


They are showing me EXACTLY what I want to see, I want to see books. I know that most books are in the same price range, so I'm not looking to get a 10% discount on a book. If it's a good book then I will pay any price for it. At Amazon I am not distracted, I get to see the cover of the books -- I'm not distracted by texts and discounts and promotions.

This is a lesson we should take home and apply to our Ecommerce sites. Keep things simple, hide all the garbage. Make sure the visitors can get all the detailed information on the product's page. If someone wants to know every single detail about your product, they will do whatever it takes to find it. But in most cases they do not want to know that, and it's distracting them a lot. You get the point I'm trying to make.

And please, put the "read more" button to good use.



There was a case study done by Unbounce not so long ago.
They wanted to know what impact the number of links had on conversion rates.
What they discovered was that the more links a website had, the lower the conversions dropped.
Have a look:


Distractions cause visitors to get distracted.
Simplicity encourages them to stay focuses on shopping.


Tactic #3

"Authority" and credibility makes people trust you.

How would you answer the questions: "why should I buy from you?" and "why should I trust you?"
You better have a solid answer, because if you don't then you will never win back their trust.

A website visitor will ask these questions within the first 60 seconds. This means you have less than a minute to answer them, using only your website. If your website and brand are widely unknown, unlike Amazon for instance, then you will have to use a few tricks to prove that you're a legitimate business.

Use your awards, certifications, testimonials and mentions to create trust. Do you have clients who mentioned you on their website? Do you have any degrees or certificates you can show? Present them to your visitors to show you're not fake!



Have you already done some work? Then show your portfolio. Almost every client will ask you to show your work. Make sure you have a portfolio ready!



Write blog posts. Having a blog may be used too much, but it's still one of the best way to show your visitors you are knowledgeable, that you're an expert in your craft. Not every blog post needs to be 500 or 100 words long. However that may have benefits for your local SEO results and traffic. It's a win-win for you.

Case studies are a must-have. These are related to the blog and portfolio mentioned above. You can also integrate them into your blog. The choice is yours, but make sure you have a few case studies with your name on it.



Create trust on your order and checkout pages using seals and labels. These are pure graphical ways to create trust. When people see these they instantly get a feeling of safety.


As you can see, it's not that difficult to make visitors trust you. You won't be seen as an expert overnight, but with a little bit of persistence and dedication you will be, eventually.


Tactic #4

"Plan to action" -- tell your visitors what to do. Take them by the hand and just "tell" them.

People love being told what to do. Deep down we all (secretly) want someone to take care of us, to handle our problems and show us the path. We want a sense of security in our life, we want to make the right choice, always.

All our website visitors are feeling the same way (see tactic #1). Security and safety is a core human necessity. Many online marketers forget this, actually, nobody ever told them this. They may have great websites, the best quality products, the lowest prices and the best support, but until they "tell" their visitors to buy, they aren't going to grow their business.

Don't hide your buy buttons. Make them stand out!

Don't expect users to call you without you telling them to call first. Don't expect someone to buy your services or products without telling them implicitly they have to buy it right now. You could even use the scarcity persuasion tactic using messages like "LIMITED TIME OFFER" and "Price will increase soon!".

Here's an example of a landing page from one of my products:



Another example: this was the first thing I saw when landing on a SEO agency's website. They tell you to take immediate action and not waste any time, very powerful!



Red buttons are hot, but they also show how many users are already using their services. The layout of the sign up form is very simple indeed.



If your website is more basic, with fewer products and services, then go straight for the goal. Put a big ass buy button on your homepage and make them click it.




Tactic #5

"Shine bright", like a diamond. Make sure your key CTA (Call-To-Action) stands out from the rest of your website. If your entire website is colorful, then your CTA button will perform poorly. It's all about creating contrast and ATTENTION.

If we can get the attention of the user on our CTA, we are more likely to make them click it.

This is NOT a good CTA (so small, nobody will care):


The golden rule is to show your CTA 3 times or more. The more you show your CTA, the more they will be persuaded to click on it. But if you show it more than ±12 times, then they might back off. Showing your CTA too many times might appear desperate, poor and fake.

Have a look at this website, you will notice how clean and simple their website is. It feels safe & secure, it makes me trust them immediately! And they show a CTA three times on their homepage.


"Have only 1 distinct CTA"

Here is what you should NEVER do:


As you can see from the image above, there are TWO different CTA's next to each other. First there is a button to get a FREE seo audit, but right below it is a buy button. Now, which one do you expect people to click on? If you give them two choices, they will chose neither. This website owner will make, guaranteed, MORE money by removing the "free seo audit" button and instead improving the order form!!!




  1. Feelings -- make visitors happy first and then they will buy.
  2. Simplicity -- because more is less.
  3. Authority -- create trust and value.
  4. Tell them -- don't be shy, ask them to buy.
  5. Attention -- make your CTA stand out.


I hope you've learned something new :)




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