5 Design Techniques That Will Control Your Website Visitors Like Puppets

At Froggo, site landing pages are at the core of what we teach and implement for our clients.  Getting traffic to a website is easy but the skill comes in controlling vistors like a puppet master – sounds evil doesn’t it?!  BUT it’s not.  What I am referring to is knowing and understanding why someone likes one website design more than another but more importantly, what specifically on that website influences and guides them deeper into a given website.

If you have a website with poor conversions, I guarantee you that by reading on and 

implementing just some of the techniques below, your website will see a dramatic change in it’s success rate.  So let’s get stuck in…

1) People Scan Screens Based On Past Experience And Expectations

It’s an obvious one but it’s always the first thing that stands out for me when a business owner seeks help with their website conversion.  I see things like the logos positioned right, the navigation tucked away on a small vertical sidebar, some times some strange flash entrance!

People Scan Screens Based On Past Experience And Expectations

So where do people look on a web page?  Well it depends partially on what they are looking for, doing and expecting.  If a visitor speaks a language that is read from left to right like English, they tend to scan the screen from left to right – it’s just natural.  That said, people avoid the edges of pages.  We’ve been trained to know that logos and empty spaces don’t contain any important information for us, so we tend to look at the center of the screen.  An offline example of this could be a Word document.  The margins are large and over the years we’ve been trained where to look.

So, it’s important that you follow best practice web design which is based on making sure that information is presented to a site visitor in a way that they have previously experienced.  This way it’s easy for them… A question I like to ask myself is, “Could my Dad navigate this website”.  If the answer is No, we gotta change it up!

2) People See Cues That Tell Them What To Do With An Object

Login To My AccountWhen you’re thinking about your web site design you need to con

sider how things in the real world get people to take action.  For example, if we take a remote control.  There are clearly buttons to press, but what is it that tells our brains that these objects are for pushing in.  Is it what’s written on the button, is it the button shadows?  Both of these options can be simulated and tested online.  Split tests that we’ve carried out on buttons show an increase in click through rates when a shadow is applied.

These visual cues are so subtle that most site visitors won’t even be conscious of why they have clicked,  it’s the unconscious mind that we’re playing with here.

3) We Look Where The Face Looks

Look where the face looks

This is one of my favourites as it’s pretty much impossible not to fall for it!  Imagine being sat in a cafe with a friend.  You’re talking away to your friend and you can’t help but notice that your friends eyes keep wondering away to something that’s going on behind you.  What is it they’re looking at?! You can’t help it, you have to turn around and see!

Using this online is effective.  Perhaps you want to divert a visitors attention to a product on the page or some other type of Call To Action (CTA).  One thing to note though is that just because people are looking at something, it doesn’t mean they are paying attention.  It’s a choice you’ll have to make on your web site design.  Emotional connections are established by the eyes looking right at the site visitor, or you can create direct attention to something by having the eyes focus on something else on the page.

4) People Are More Motivated As They Get Closer To A Goal

people are motivated as they get closer to a goalOne of my favourite tools that we use at Froggo is Dropbox and they have a great example of using this particular technique.

Dropbox offers a cloud based storage/file sharing platform for you and anyone that you want to share with.  It’s free to join… until  you go past your 2GB limit, then they know that they’ve got you.  But the clever part is that they know the more features and functionalities you use within their software, the more likely you are to stay.

So, to play on this, when you sign up for a new account, they give you a task list of things they want you to do in order to hook you into their product.  It’s displayed in a list format and users get the satisfaction of crossing things off the list.  The secret here is that people focus on what’s left to do than what’s already been completed.  Very sneaky Dropbox… We like it!

5) People Are Motivated By Progress, Mastery, And Control

This is the element of “game”.  People  donate their time to things like the open source movement and… even things like Farmville! (don’t start me on Farmville).  BUT it works online really well to get people to do things on a web site.  Membership sites work well with this in particular.  A good example of this is Aweber.  They use a progress bar to let you know what percentage you have completed when setting up a new list.  Think about it.  If you didn’t know that percentage wasn’t quite 100% would you really make the effort to go back and write your first follow up message right there and then?

So if you want to increase your landing pages or core website conversions, or anywhere that people are finding you online, start to implement some of the techniques above and watch what happens.  Before you do though make sure you have Analytics running on your website.  At the very least you should be using Google Analytics.  I advise you to get up to speed on it fast and learn how to use their goal setting functionality.

Other paid tools that we use with our clients at Froggo you might consider using are, Visual Website Optimizer, ClickTale, and Wistia if you’re driving traffic to a video landing page.

That’s it for this blog.  I welcome any comments or questions you have… or maybe you just want to say ‘thanks’ for an amazing post ;)

  • Elaine Grimaldi Allen

    Well, here ya go: “Thanks for an amazing post!”

    • jamesdownton

      :)Thanks Elaine, glad you enjoyed it.