Who doesn’t want to have a high conversion rate?


Well, in order to achieve it, you have to run experiments and do some testing to identify which one could have the largest effect on your conversion.


Apply the following psychological principles to your testing plans and uncover big gains with it.

Psychological Principles of High Converting Websites
  1. Law of Past Experience

Law of past experience explains that our experiences in the past contribute to our interpretation of current experiences.

This law is a little trickier than others simply because of these two main reasons:

  • First, past experiences are highly personal, so what influences a single person might have no effect on the other. 
  • And second, past experiences hold a weaker influence over our perception than most other psychological laws. So it can be overridden easily.

These past experiences such as “the chairs are for sitting” are both universal and powerful.


  1. The Law of Pithiness

The law of pithiness ( or the “law of pragnanz” in German) explains that we tend to order our experiences in a symmetrical, simple manner.

We usually choose things that are clear and in order. We are afraid of complicated and complex ideas or designs. This is why we are afraid of credit card terms of services and choose the simple return policies instead.


  1. Facial Recognition

Human faces can improve conversions.

As humans, we subconsciously watch for other humans. When we come across a human face on a website, immediately we jump to it and check the emotions that the face expresses. 

So when you put a face on your website, your visitors will notice it. But how can these human faces increase conversions?



  • Conveying Emotion

We all read human emotions, and whatever emotions we find displayed on faces influence our feelings about a website. So if a person looks happy or sad, we’re likely to feel the same. But be cautious of stock photos. Exaggerated (fake or unreal) emotions might just turn your visitors away


  • Attracting Attention


Faces can grab attention better than anything else. So you can use them to direct your visitors’ focus to the key elements on a page. 


  1. Principle of Cost/Benefit Analysis

According to Eliot Shmukler (of LinkedIn and Wealthfront), all growth can be boiled down to three:

  • Increase exposure (reach more people)
  • Decrease friction (make it easier to take the target action)
  • Increase incentive (create a better benefit)


The principle of cost/benefit analysis explores the interaction between the last two mentioned above. Human behavior is mostly influenced by the relationship of an action’s perceived benefit versus the perceived cost.


  1. Fitt’s Law

Page load time affects conversion rates. But what about the time required to take a desired action?

Fitt’s law proposes that the time required to move your mouse to a target area (such as sign-up button) is a function of (1) distance to the target and (2) size of the target.

You can increase CTR to a desired action by making the target large (a button rather than text for example) and placing it near the expected mouse location.

You can also decrease undesired actions such as cancellations by using a small target at a distance from the starting mouse position.

In WordPress, their UX follows the Fitt’s law. Actions like “Publish” use a large buttons while less frequent actions like “Move to Trash” use smaller text links.

These behavioral psychology “laws” are useful theories that are proven and tested. However it doesn’t go really smoothly. They sometimes overlap. And maybe violating a law while applying one law.

These are just guide to discover and plan powerful A/B tests. You need to run the tests to make sure which works best.

Results vary from website to website. So plan potential split tests and start improving your conversion rate. 


NOTE: This article has been adapted from the blog created by Neil Patel: 5 Psychological Principles of High Converting Websites (+ 20 Case Studies)