Marketers tend to overthink the why behind consumer behavior. We get lost in the latest trends and strategies and forget that psychology is perhaps the most important tool at your disposal as you look to grow your leads and conversions.

Once you fully understand the thinking process of our audiences, you’ll know how to capture their attention, as well as eliminate friction that may keep them from converting.

And while certain demographics do impact the why behind a consumer’s behavior, for the most part, psychology is universal, meaning no matter the industry or target audience, these tips can help you see a greater return on your investment.

1. The “this looks different all the others” phenomenon

unique

Back when we were a little less evolved than we are now, it was important for our ancestors to spot contrasts in the environment. This allowed them to identify both predators and potential prey.

Today, that same phenomenon, known as visual salience, can be used to guide your audiences to a specific action.

You want the most important elements on your web pages to stand out and be different from everything else. More times than not, this important element is your call to action. Make your CTAs stand out from the rest of your site. If you have a particular color palette associated with your site, make the CTA look completely different.

Our higher education marketing agency recommends that you try some A/B testing for your CTA buttons. You might find, for example, that your audiences prefer green or red.

Only testing will tell.

2. Keep it simple …

You might not be wholly familiar with cognitive fluency, but implementing it will help your web pages convert with greater ease.

Take a look at the current Apple homepage:

apple homepage

Not much content there. That’s done on purpose. Apple employs the psychological strategy known as cognitive fluency (or cognitive ease), which is essentially the ease in which our brains process information.

Apple doesn’t overwhelm our brains with too much information – and neither should you.

You can implement cognitive fluency throughout your website rather easily. While you can trim down your words and hire a writer, one of the other ways to achieve this is …

With …

More white space.

White space is your best friend when it comes to keeping your readers engaged and ready to convert.

3. Don’t make your audiences wait

waiting in lineNobody likes to wait if they don’t have to. This is particularly true these days, in a world where our attention spans are waning at an incredibly scary rate.

In fact, there’ve been MRI studies that show that our brain’s frontal cortex is highly active when we think about waiting for something, while our mid-brain lights up when we think we’re about to get something right away.

The mid-brain is the part of the brain we as marketers want to activate.

Making that mid-brain light up is pretty easy, actually. Begin to use words like instantly and immediately in your web copy. Sites like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon use terms like “Instantly Watch” to remind audiences that benefits are accessible to them in the here and now – which then increases the chances of a conversion being made.

4. Throw good karma into the world

tippingMarketer Neil Patel once talked about an old experiment where candy was used to increase restaurant tipping.

Customers were given after-dinner mints along with their checks. Some customers were simply given the mints – no reason was provided. Tips for this segment increased 3%.

Other customers were given mints, but the waiter then approached the customers and told them that the mints were given just to them.

Tips increased by 20%.

In other words, your audiences are willing to reciprocate your good will, so long as your good will is of value to them and makes them feel special.

Perhaps you could offer a free eBook, a PDF, or a discount code (without asking for any contact information). Many of your visitors will want to reciprocate and will be more likely to convert elsewhere on your site.

5. People buy from people

There’s an interesting study from 2011 that we think still holds some value today. It involved A/B testing on a landing page for the marketing company Highrise.

There’s no need to go into great detail about the study, other than to conclude that the moment the company included a picture of a person smiling on their web page, their conversions increased by more than 100%.

That’s why service sites like Bluehost incorporate this tactic:

person image on homepage

This type of tactic shows the power of facial recognition. We as humans are highly skilled at reading emotions; when you include actual people on your web pages, you are more likely to capture your audiences’ attention and, if the image is chosen correctly, you are more likely to get your visitors to evoke your desired type of emotion.

Get your conversion rate where you want it to be

Are your landing pages underperforming? That’s OK; this likely isn’t a permanent flaw in your design. You simply need to get back to the basis of human psychology and adapt your web pages using the tips referenced above.

Admittedly, this process requires a bit of trial-and-error and testing; but once you stumble upon the marketing mix that works for you, you’ll turn your web pages into your best conversion-making tools.