Your website is arguably your brand’s single most important sales and marketing tool. As such, we expect our websites to do a lot these days. This typically includes goals like promoting brand authority and trustworthiness, offering social proof, capturing leads, building our email marketing address list, encouraging contact from our target audience, booking appointments, selling products, and so on.
Some of these goals are more measurable than others, of course. And while the intangible ones are important, ultimately we look at the quantifiable ones like newsletter sign-ups and online product sales to determine how effective a website is.
Lots of factors converge to make a website more or less successful. Part of this includes how well your website design makes use of certain things we know about human psychology. Let’s take a quick look at a few key ways that compelling web design takes these things into consideration to accomplish more website goals.
Psychology Tips to Accomplish More Website Goals
- Minimize distractions. Some people have shorter attention spans than others, and some are more focused than others, but everyone is susceptible to having their attention pushed and pulled around. Especially online. A web page shouldn’t have superfluous text, images, or other content that can lead visitors astray and prevent them from completing the main goal of the page. Also, too much clutter can make users think the page is too complicated or too much trouble and cause them to leave.
- Make things easy. It’s not that people are lazy, necessarily, it’s just that they appreciate when things are quick and simple. Intuitive navigation, an obvious purpose for web pages, concise and easily skimmed text, clear messaging, and a prominent call-to-action (CTA) that tells users exactly what you want and what they’ll get are ways to benefit from everyone’s deep-seated desire for uncomplicated, smooth, efficient processes.
- Limit users’ choices. Sure, we all love having options. But decision paralysis is real. When faced with too many choices, people often refrain from making any decision at all. Every web page should have one clear goal, and one clear path for users to follow to get there. Web design studies have shown that while having more choices brings in more visitors, it also decreases the number of conversions.
- Create a sense of urgency. All those corny ad proclamations like “Act now!” and “Limited time only!” and “While supplies last!” became clichés for a reason. Humans are wired to respond to urgency that plays on their FOMO. That’s “fear of missing out,” if you’re not hip to the lingo. By conveying a sense of scarcity, creating a deadline, or otherwise letting site visitors know that an opportunity is somehow limited, you will accomplish more website goals.
- Play to people’s emotions. We make decisions for all sorts of reasons. Some are purely intellectual and made out of necessity. If you have a monopoly on something people must regularly purchase, you’re set. Otherwise, you’ll achieve more success if you trigger an emotional response. It can be happiness, fear, a sense of security, nostalgia, or something else relevant to the goal. Incorporate images, words, colors—even sounds—that encourage the emotions you want to evoke and have associated with the particular goal of a given web page.