The Customer Psychology Of Website Design

Are you appealing to the psychological needs of your customers and potential clients?

As a business owner, you know your target market. It’s also likely that you know their basic demographic information – age, gender, income level and so on. If you’ve really done your homework, you are aware of where prospective customers spend their time online and have probably created marketing strategies that cater to these online interests and needs. However, is there more you could do?

Are you appealing to the psychological needs of your customers and potential clients?

With the competition that exists today in every industry and marketplace, it takes more than a great email newsletter or flashy company website to reach customers. Your potential clients need reasons to move away from the products and services offered by your competitors and toward what you have to offer. They need to be reached on an emotional level with a strong, psychological appeal.

One of the first places you can start is with a strong website design. Here are a few tips to help you get started:


  1. Consider your target audience.

    While the discipline of psychology can make it seem complicated that different groups of people have different wants and desires, the bottom line is straightforward. Because your business is targeting a specific group of individuals, their needs and what appeals to them should be similar across the board.

  2. Consider the social status of your customers.

    If you need a place to start, a lot of information is available to define these groups, as developed by the Sinus Institute Heidelberg. Sinus Milieus can help you become familiar with your target audience. For example, once you understand whether your target customers are of the “High Social Status” – reached by luxury, expertise and reliability – or of the “Social Underclass Status” – requiring security, a sense of inclusion and fun – you’ll have a clearer idea about how to build your website to their needs. This will allow you to appeal to your audience on deeper, more psychological level.

  3. Make the important, obvious.

    While flowery language in your marketing content might sound great, it might also leave web visitors guessing. This has the potential to lead to inner frustration instead of desire. Instead, make the desired actions your website visitors should take obvious. Use clear hyperlinks and keep the language simple, to the point and decipherable. Demonstrate value at every opportunity.

  4. Think about basic human needs.

    Regardless of social status, occupation or geographical location, certain basic needs are universal to all human beings. For instance, we want closure, we want to feel included, and we want to know that our opinions and voices matter. Your company website can and should appeal to these needs.

    When you take the time to reach out to customers who make online purchases, thanking them and confirming that their transaction has been completed, you’re appealing to these needs. You’re letting them know that their purchase was a success, you appreciate their business, and that they will be receiving their order at a specified time in the future. If these gestures are not already part of your every day operations, you may want to consider making some changes if you want higher customer service ratings.

  5. Appeal to the senses.

    Humans are visual. They are drawn to certain concepts, colors, design elements and more. This is an undisputed area of psychology. While the specifics may be up for debate, the overarching idea remains the same: to appeal to a target web audience, your website must appeal to their visual senses.

    For example, white space matters, it allows a sense relief from busy web designs and creates focus. Meanwhile large, clear headlines stand out and clarify desired actions. Certain colors, especially green, red and orange, make a site more memorable. It is vital to ensure that you are using color to your advantage if you want to attract the right kind of attention to your website.

  6. Remember, less really is more.

    Busy websites with complicated designs can distract from your ultimate goal. By keeping your service and product offerings simple and easy to understand, you’re increasing the likelihood of success. You’re appealing to the human need for clarity. Contrary to methodologies of the past, too many choices can be seen as a distraction rather than a necessary freedom. Consider basic, but artful, design elements when developing a web strategy.

When crafting or redesigning your company website, take the time to concentrate on the basic, innate psychological needs of your target audience. By doing so, you will be more likely to create a website that appeals to them on an emotional level, leading to a higher chance of conversions.


Courtney Gordner is a passionate blogger who loves the internet and social media, find out more about her on her blog, www.talkviral.com


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