The main objective when designing a website is to connect with as many members of your target audience as possible.
Understanding their way of thinking is the key to making an emotional impact on them. But who are they? Who are these visitors? They are us.
The best way to understand web visitors psychology is to put yourself in their shoes. What are your expectations when you visit a website? What would you like to see there? How do you want to feel?
When you visit a website, you expect to find information that is relevant to your needs. You want the site to be well organized and easy to navigate. And most importantly, you want to feel valued and respected as a customer.
Web Visitors Psychology: Understanding User Intent
When it comes to understanding the psychology of web visitors, it is essential to understand how and why people search in the first place. Every search query indicates intent. And that intent is what we need to focus on if we want to design a website that meets the needs of our target audience.
People search for information. And depending on the type of information they are looking for, their intent will be different. A study conducted by The Pennsylvania State University broke down the internet searches into three categories:
- Informational queries – users are simply searching for a specific topic. This type of query is used in the early stage of the buying process. Some search examples could be: “how to improve SEO”, “what is social media marketing”. This category represents 80% of all searches.
- Transactional queries – users are ready to purchase a product or service. This is a type of query used in the stage in which the user is planning to spend money. Some search examples could be: “lead generation Birmingham”, “web design agency Birmingham”. This category represents 10% of all searches.
- Navigational queries – users are looking for a specific website, they are interested in a brand’s products or services. This search usually leads to some sort of action. This category represents 10% of all searches.
Web Design Tips: How to Optimise Your Website Design for User Intent
Now that you know how and why users search, let’s see some tips about how to design your website to make an emotional impact on your visitors.
1. Meaningful and keyword-focused at the same time.
Your headers should be catchy, clear and descriptive. Users should be able to understand what the website is about by reading the first header on the page.
If you want to be clear about your services or products, but still want something different then subheaders are the solution for you. A website’s subheadings should be interesting and unexpected, so you can play around with the words here.
Subheadings can be meaningful and keyword-focused at the same time. You can transform your ordinary headings by adding a little sparkle. For instance, ‘Our Customers’ sounds like a boring headline. So why don’t you try making it special by changing it to ‘30 years of quality web design services? Out of ordinary but still including keywords.
2. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
On average, 73% of homepage visitors do not see any below-the-fold content. Nowadays, chances are for any given search query, there are hundreds of search results. Hence, the level of tolerance for bad websites is very low.
So yes, you have a small space to write big ideas, which will catch the attention of the visitors and will make them keep scrolling and spend more time on your website. Think wisely when you write the text in your heroes and have in mind the tips from above.
3. The best structure of a homepage.
Maybe you are wondering if there is a perfect way to structure your homepage. Research of psychology of web visitors shows that there is a specific manner to build your homepage and catch the attention of your visitors.
When first arriving on your website, visitors will see the hero and they will ask themselves “What does this company do?”. That’s why you should answer this question from the very beginning by adding a clear and descriptive header.
Place the logos of your clients right after the hero section. The higher they are, the better, because the next question in your visitors’ minds will be “Is this company legit?” and the answer should be already there.
Undoubtedly, people like to see real videos and pictures of your work. Therefore, the next section should answer “How do they do it?” question. Adding some authentic text about your company, accompanied by a real video is a great way to introduce yourself to visitors.
After you present your company, the visitors would want to know if you can do it for them. Having this in mind, try writing an informative paragraph about your work process – a section with a clever subheading answering top questions. These could be steps of how they can get your service (heading e.g. “How it works?”) or FAQs.
Last but not least, add credibility to your website by displaying reviews or testimonials from your clients/partners. In this way, you will answer “Have they already done it for others?” question.
4. Credibility and Consistency
Don’t judge a book by its cover is not something applicable when it comes to websites. In a world full of boundless options, it doesn’t take too long for users to judge your website. First-time visitors quickly decide whether or not to keep scrolling through the website.
For keeping them engaged as much as possible, one of the best methods is building credibility. It is a well-known fact that people buy from those they trust. But how can you build credibility on your website? Well, there are quite a lot of options here. Adding social proof quietly builds confidence and there are so many ways to add it on your website.
Fill your pages with evidence by including testimonials/reviews, certifications and accreditations, studies and statistics, numbers (of partners or customers), endorsements, social media shares or social media widgets, best-sellers, press mentions and so on.
Another important aspect of your website to catch your first-time visitors attention is consistency. Try keeping it compact. For instance, use the same wording for CTA (Call To Action) buttons, don’t confuse users with totally different CTAs. Telling the same thing in other words is not boring, it is consistent.
5. Don’t hide important information
People tend to hide important information such as testimonials, press mentions, unique selling points and clients’ logos. How is that? Unfortunately, using carousels and flip boxes is not as cool as many may think. By using these in your design, you don’t serve people the whole information once, you make them discover it. And users don’t have time. They want the information they are looking for now and complete.
Furthermore, carousels are not recommended by Google. A recent research shows that only 5.7% of users click on carousel navigation to see the whole content. So, why hide a significant amount of information in this way?
Another useful tip is not to have testimonials pages. Some tests show that this type of page is the least popular page on a website. Therefore, sprinkle your website with social proof and place testimonials right, so that they can help you gain clients.
That being said, understanding the psychology of web visitors is the key to creating websites that convert. If you’re seeking to improve your website and make it work for you, we are here to help you. Book a FREE web design consultation now.