The Psychology of Landing Pages

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This is a guest post by Harry Maugans. While I am away I will be accepting guest posts. Email them in html format to jeremy at We ask they be original and not published anywhere else.

It’s possible to make a lot of money in arbitrage, but some small mistakes could cause you to lose a lot as well. The most critical pieces in arbitrage are your landing pages, and this post will try and help you smooth out the rough edges and increase conversions through a few simple psychological tips.

Direction – Give the visitor a clear sense of direction to move forward. Landing pages should only have one exit… text boxes to be filled in for the close. Giving too many choices or options will subconsciously be processed as “work” and the visitor will try to find a quick way out… usually closing the window. You can always add more options later, but on the first page, try to get the user to fill in anything just to move forward, even if it’s just an email. After the visitor has entered any information, they’re now engaged in your process and are much more likely to hang around and finish the rest of the forms on the next page, rather than sacrificing the time they have already spent with you. The K.I.S.S. principle definitely applies to landing pages.

Verbiage ñ The wording your landing page uses is key in motivating the visitor subconsciously to engage in your process and be converted as a lead or sale. When writing landing page text, always keep an optimistic tone and assume every single visitor is going to be converted. Furthermore, never ask the user for information- politely instruct. Rather than, “Will you fill out your email address below…” try “Please fill in your email address here:” or simply say the text “Email Address,” followed by a textbox. Also, positive reinforcement of your campaign can be twisted into instructions well, such as “Email address of a future millionaire:” or “To half your mortgage, enter your email here.” The most important aspect of the wording is the optimistic tone. Rather than saying “If you decide to participate in our program…” try this assumed-conversion wording, “When you begin participation in our program….” See the difference? A small change, but very psychologically powerful.

Color Schemes – Choosing the color themes on your landing pages is very important as well. Usually, try to match your product’s color (ie, green for money, pink for female products, etc), however if in doubt, go blue. Studies have shown the color blue is powerful for subconsciously encouraging the mind to engage and buy whatever is being sold. It’s professional, relaxing, yet provocative. Obviously a blue page won’t guarantee conversions, but it’s a microscopic change, that when bundled with others, will add up and could turn the scales.

Animation – Flashing buttons, moving arrows, glowing text, fading pictures… animation sells. In normal web development animation is avoided, however for a landing page, it’s a night and day difference. When a visitor sees a static flat landing page, they feel no rush or excitement. If they see motion, they’ll less often dismiss the window as an advertisement and close or minimize it. It’ll grab their vision and actually force their mind to process what it’s seeing, before making a decision to dismiss or continue. Now, animation can grab their eye, however without properly directing their vision, it’s wasted. Either use the animation to strike a chord of interest in your topic (pictures, headers), or use it to help the visitor find direction (point 1) by using arrows to highlight the entry point in the conversion process (textboxes or what-not). Be cautioned however, it is possible to use too much animation and seem unprofessional, or drive off potential customers. The trick is finding the balance where its just enough to catch attention, but not so much that it’s overwhelming.

Harry Maugans is the co-founder and lead developer for Desktop Nexus

46 thoughts on “The Psychology of Landing Pages

  1. Nicholas Mercer

    Considering that I’m spending a lot of time right now reading up on effective landing pages and trying to get into the affiliate marketing, this article was quite helpful! Thanks Harry!

    My only thing with landing pages that I don’t understand is that they all tend to look exactly alike and people claim they are “highly effective.” It seems that if all of the offers look exactly the same, more people would walk away from them?

  2. Winning Startups

    I just had my site redone and i think it needs to be redone again after reading this. I think the title bar/picture header should only be an inch, maybe an inch and a half so users can see content. However mine is about three inches deep. Color choices are interesting. I see shoe has blue background and he’s successful, though not only because of the color of his background.

  3. Popular Wealth

    The bigger trick is knowing your audience. If you’re selling to webmasters those flashing gimmicks will annoy them, but to someone clueless about web design they actually do draw attention to the right places quickly.
    Ever product and every site has unique challenges imo.

  4. Paul

    Well thought out and put together write up. Thank you for your perspective on landing pages. Besides your home page landing pages are obviously the second most import part of your website layout, imo.

  5. Gaje Master

    I read the post and enjoyed it even though I nearly started laughing at the part about people considering clicking on links as “work”. It is funny how the mind works.

  6. Nikolaj

    Great article for newbies. If you want to go in deeper on this subject then I will recommend The Landing Page book from sherpastore which costs a lot but also is very good :-)

  7. Dick

    Quite an interesting post! Motion on pages really grabs much attention (I experienced that!)! I haven’t thought about the importance of using special colors – special thanks for this tip!

  8. Zak Show

    Yes, I agrre and also the page that conain a lot of animations requierd more time to load and that may force your visitor to leave! So I try as much as I can to avoid animations and graphics.
    An advice from me: Keep it simple.

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  10. Web Marketeer

    Welcome Harry, and thanks for your post while Jeremy is in absentia. Refreshing to get a new writing style and information from you. Hope to see more in future. Have visited your site too, and given you a StumbleUpon thums up and review. Cheers!

  11. Web Marketeer

    Animation and flashing lights are generally considered no-no’s by most webmasters, however the casino effect could well impact positively on optimising conversions. Something that begs exploring….

  12. PPC

    Agreed! Some interesting perspective on boosting conversions here! Goes against the grain of the commonly accepted norm, does make loads of sense however. Some tricks to go and try on a trial site.

  13. PPC

    That is the commonly accepted norm, but we must realise that our target audience is continually being fed by ADD types from the bottom, and bells and whistles appeal to them, which in conjunction with increasingly faster and cheaper broadband is rendering this argument obsolete.

    1. Rusty

      Landing pages are all about making an immediate impact. You only have 2-3 seconds before most people make their mind up. Get your message across quickly. Neet and tidy sites are most effective. Leave the flashy sites to the big boys.

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  17. Bows and Arrows

    Landing pages are hard. Just when you think you understand you find the page you’ve just sweated over doesn’t convert worth squat. Thanks for this advice, would love to hear more on this topic.

  18. Shoogle

    Thank you for this post, I was in two minds as whether to add a static page or animations. I think simple animations are the way forward.

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