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How to Leverage These 8 Website Elements to Subconsciously Influence Visitors

Naturally, your website copy can directly influence your visitors to make a purchase, sign up for your email list, or download a file. Did you know other website elements can also influence your visitors?

Check out these 8 website elements you can leverage to subconsciously influence your website visitors.

1. Your email signup form

Everything about your email signup form has the potential to subconsciously influence your visitors. For example, the placement of your form can influence immediate signups when presented in a pop-up delayed by several seconds.

There have been countless studies performed to find the ideal time delay for pop-ups, which you can read about on CrazyEgg.com. For example, the owner of ask-leo.com found that a 60-second delay captured more emails than a delay of 45 or 75 seconds.

Another website owner found that a 7-second delay skyrocketed his conversion rate to 40%, but increased his bounce rate by 9.02%. Other metrics suffered as well: his visitor duration and pages per visit declined by 10% and 9% respectively.

Lead magnets generate more email signups

What are you offering in exchange for someone’s email address? Your offer can make or break your number of signups.

Most people won’t sign up for an email newsletter unless you present them with an irresistible offer.

Your headline will also directly influence how many signups you receive. Regardless of how amazing your offer is, you need to communicate that to your visitors. For instance, using the headline “sign up for our free newsletter” is boring. Instead, use a compelling headline to market your irresistible lead magnet.

For example, “Find Out How Homeowners Are Saving Hundreds on Insurance” is a great headline for a lead magnet that will get you more signups. However, lead magnets need to live up to the hype. Make sure your lead magnet delivers on the promise in your headline and be sure to provide visitors with instant access to the promised content.

2. Your header image

What your visitors see when they land on your website can alter their perception of your brand and influence them to buy (or not). For example, if you have a giant stock photo on your home page, your brand will appear cheap to visitors.

There is a time and place for stock photos, but keep them off of your home page. If you need a photo for your home page, commission a photographer or designer to create a custom image that conveys your desired message to your visitors. Stock photos will never fully represent your brand.

There’s a reason many business owners don’t use imagery in their website headers. Images take up valuable page real estate, and unless they actively add something of value, they’re just placeholders.

If you’re going to put an image in your website’s header, make sure it serves a purpose beyond aesthetics. Yes, you want your website to look good, but if you’re going to use valuable real estate, make it count.

3. Your color scheme

Color psychology is fascinating. If you haven’t looked into the way color subconsciously influences people, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to increase your conversions and sales.

For example, blue is considered a trustworthy color that communicates loyalty and integrity. According to ColorPsychology.org, blue feels peaceful, tranquil, and orderly. For many, it’s a mentally-soothing color.

The trustworthiness of blue is why you’ll find many business websites using a blue color scheme. Blue has become symbolic of business, mostly because of color psychology.

What’s your ideal color scheme?

Your website’s color scheme matters. However, be careful when using colors that match your brand’s design. Sometimes brand colors don’t make good website colors. Although, most colors can be used in ways that don’t disrupt a visitor’s ability to read your copy. This will require a skilled graphic designer to get it right.

For example, T-Mobile’s colors are magenta and gray, but magenta isn’t the ideal color for copy. If you browse their official website, you’ll notice that magenta is used sparingly as button backgrounds, high-contrast content backgrounds, and occasional headings. You won’t see large blocks of magenta text.

4. Your typeface

Have you heard of the “Baskerville Effect?” It’s an interesting phenomenon discovered in 2013 by a documentary filmmaker named Errol Morris.

As a regular contributor to the New York Times, Morris published a survey entitled “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” where he discussed an asteroid that recently passed close to Earth.

At the close of his article, Morris asked readers to review a brief passage from a book and then decide whether or not the passage was true.

The passage came from a book titled The Beginning of Infinity, written by physicist David Deutsch. The passage talks about how Earth is unlikely to be destroyed by an asteroid because we “live in an era of unprecedented safety.”

The survey question Morris asked readers was, “Do you think Deutsch’s claim is true? Is it true that “we live in an era of unprecedented safety?” Then, the survey asked readers how confident they were in their conclusion.

More than 45,000 people participated in the survey. However, the survey wasn’t really about living in an era of unprecedented safety.

Morris discovered a typeface that altered perception of truth

Morris didn’t care whether people agreed or disagreed with the passage. He wanted to find out how a typeface could subconsciously alter a person’s perception of truth.

The survey was randomly delivered to readers online in six different typefaces: Baskerville, Computer Modern, Georgia, Helvetica, Comic Sans, and Trebuchet. Analyzing the results showed that Baskerville generated the most agreement while Helvetica and Comic Sans produced the least agreement.

Baskerville is a font worth buying

If you want to subconsciously persuade your website visitors, publish your copy in the Baskerville typeface. If your site runs on WordPress, you can download a Google Fonts plugin and use one of two Google Fonts based on Baskerville: Baskervville and Libre Baskerville. Although these typefaces are free and easy, they differ slightly from the original Baskerville.

Don’t bother searching for a free, authentic Baskerville download. Baskerville is a premium font. However, the Baskerville font family pack is affordable and worth every penny. There’s no guarantee that substitutes and “close” fonts will generate the same results.

The Baskerville typeface can increase your conversions

If you could automatically increase your conversions and sales just by changing your website’s typeface, what would that be worth to you? What if you could increase your base level of sales for under $100 just by switching your typeface to Baskerville?

With a small, one-time investment, you can gain a fundamental, effortless, long-term advantage over your competition.

5. Your menu labels

When your menu labels are so unique that visitors don’t know where your links lead, that’s a problem. Would you click on a link titled “Lemongrass meadows” or “Just in thyme?” Perhaps you’d click if you were visiting a website selling loose leaf teas, but on any other website, these phrases would be confusing.

Creativity can backfire regarding menu labels. However, plain, boring menu labels don’t inspire more clicks.

The balance for menu labels is somewhere in-between. Some menu items shouldn’t be creative. For example, your “contact,” “products,” and “services” menu labels are best left plain. However, you can change other common menu labels.

For example, you can set your blog menu label as:

  • Resources
  • Articles
  • News
  • Posts
  • Learning Center
  • Insider News
  • News Bulletin
  • Industry Updates
  • Resource Hub

These words aren’t overly creative, but they’ll maintain the integrity of the destination while giving visitors a better word than “blog.”

You might have other link destinations that can be named creatively. For example, if you own a circus, you can create a menu label titled “My circus, my monkeys.” As long as your creative menu labels are related to your content, you can get as creative as you like.

6. Your link underlines

The standard website link appears blue with a thin underline. This has been the standard since the internet was created. However, most people would agree that blue links are boring.

Although the standard blue links are recognizable, they’re so common they don’t stand out anymore.

Thankfully, you don’t need to follow the old standard to get people to click on your links. In fact, you can get more clicks by being a little more creative with your link style. As long as your links remain underlined and the color doesn’t make your copy hard to read, you can style your links any way you like.

One way to display your links is to create a CSS class that eliminates the standard anchor text underline and instead, and adds a thick, 2-to-3-pixel bottom border in the same color.

You can also use two new CSS properties to create a more authentic underline. For example, the text-underline-offset and text-decoration-thickness properties give you complete control over the thickness and location of your underline.

If you can’t come up with a simple logo, it might be better not to display your logo on your website at all. Sometimes complicated logos can make people feel weird about doing business with a brand. For example, if your logo looks like scratchy clipart, you’ll lose people.

Have you ever noticed that the most recognizable logos are usually simple? The largest brands in the world have logos that can be easily printed without any distortion. Most don’t have gradients or intricate lines.

Simple logos are more memorable and don’t take long for the brain to process. This means you’ll get a fast emotional reaction from people when your logo is simple, and that’s exactly what you want.

8. Featured images on your blog posts

Make every image count. Stock images might be free, cheap, and easy, but that doesn’t mean they’ll represent your blog posts.

Your blog’s featured images have the power to influence your visitors in whatever way you want. You can use images to influence email signups, purchases, and even comments.

Be mindful when selecting your featured images for your blog posts. At the very least, use images that will inspire your visitors to keep reading.

Your website is your strongest marketing asset

Your website has the potential to reach thousands of people all across the world. It’s the best marketing asset you could ever create.

Did you build your own website and are now wondering how you can get more sales and conversions? It might be time to have a professional developer turn your website into a stronger marketing asset.

At website.design, our team of expert website designers and developers specialize in revamping existing websites to turn them into sales-and-lead-generating assets. If your website is ready for an upgrade, contact us today for a free quote.

Ryan Nead

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