Optimize for system two

1. Use popups, alerts, and unexpected imagery to add an element of surprise.

Use popups that present a choice because this element of surprise will trigger system two to make the decision. Make your popup copy simple and straightforward. Set alerts that present a choice. For example, use a Qualaroo alert asking, “What is the likelihood that you would recommend this product to a friend or colleague?” Add surprising imagery and copy in choice locations. Place this imagery and copy near decision points, for example, near product search, product pages, and checkout.

2. Use intuitive design to focus your visitors on the most wanted action of each page.

Determine your most wanted action on every page. You may want your visitors to take multiple actions. For example, you may want visitors to purchase your product and subscribe to your newsletter, but you must have the most wanted action on every page. Your job is to focus on that action and make completing it as intuitive as humanly possible.

3. Use visual cues to direct attention, like subtle or obvious arrows or the gaze of people in photos.

4. Use contrast to demand attention.

Contrast your most wanted action with the rest of your site so that it is near the top of your visual hierarchy. Use contrast to separate blocks of text on a long home page and keep eyes moving downward.

5. Use prototypes that your visitors can recognize.

For example, visitors expect to see About, Services, Case Studies, Blog and Contact Us in the navigation of an agency site.

6. Remove choices and distractions from your design and copy.

Identify points of distraction on your site through heuristic analysis. For example, you and your colleagues can look for design and copy elements that may distract visitors from your most wanted action. Record your findings, make suggestions for improvement, and begin optimizing. Identify choices on your site through heuristic analysis and eliminate them when you can. For example, ask yourself: Where are they located? How close are they to calls to action? Are they difficult choices? For example, Postmates’ website has no distractions and minimal choices in its design and copy.

7. Present facts and figures in your argument.

Compare the benefits and features of your products on your ecommerce site by listing out the product specifications, providing reviews and ratings, and showing similar products. This will reassure visitors that they are making the best, most logical choice for them. Provide price comparison information to your customer by answering questions like: How much money will visitors save if they pay annually vs. monthly? How much do they save per month by choosing the Pro option instead of the Basic option? How much do other companies charge? How much are they saving on this product? For example, on Hootsuite’s pricing page, all features and benefits are listed side by side for easy comparison.

8. Create a heat map using Google Analytics to understand when your audience is the most likely to make a purchase.

To create your heat map: Create a custom report in Google Analytics. Choose Flat Table as your report type. Your dimensions will be Day of the Week and Hour. Your metric(s) will be Average Conversion Rate. Export the report data to Excel. Insert a pivot table and add conditional formatting to color-code the table.

9. Use the heat map data to inform decisions about retargeting campaigns and call to action placement.

Use your heat map data to target your visitors when they are most active and capture visitors who did not convert the first time. Collect emails for a drip email campaign. If you find your visitors are not making a decision, you can persuade them to provide their email address instead. That way, you can enter them into a drip-email campaign and continuously communicate the rationality of the choice you want them to make. Use multiple calls to action because system two is slower and visitors may want to read up on your product or service. As they scroll down, they are likely moving away from your above the fold call to action. Include additional calls to action because visitors may only be ready when they have read over half the page’s copy.