Neuroscience of Web ConversionsTom Shapiro, Founder and CEO of Stratabeat, presented The Neuroscience of Web Conversions at the March Boston WordPress Meetup. He gives key insights to: What makes a site visitor click? What makes a site visitor frustrated and leave? Here are some of the main topics from the presentation.

Neuroscience of Web Conversions

The smartest and most successful marketers are focus on how their customers think and what makes them take the actions they do. The majority of marketing today focuses on increasing traffic, not conversions. For every $92 spent on traffic generation only $1 is spent on conversions. Increasing your conversions by 1-3% you can double your revenue.

Power of the Subconscious Mind

Our brains process 11 million bits of sensory information every second. Our conscious mind processes less than 100. Ninety percent of buying decisions are made with the subconscious mind. There are only to things that drive behavior. The first is to avoid pain. The second is to achieve goals. Your website needs to address one of these two issues.

Invoke Emotions

Is your site focused on the products or processes, or on invoking emotions? 100 percent of purchasing decisions are based on emotions. If your site is not invoking emotions, it’s severely handicapped. Tom talked about Nike – Just do it. This successful campaign has nothing to do with their product, it’s all emotion. He gives a few more examples in the presentation.

Getting People to Convert

Making things visual is the most important thing to do. Forty-six percent of people say that the design of a website is the most important thing to give credibility. The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. It also remembers visuals much better. After 72 hours people remember only about 10 percent of what they have read. They will remember 65 percent of the visuals they saw and 90 percent of the videos. There is a special part of the brain that remembers faces so this may be better to use than visuals of your product. Colors are also important. Color increases brand recognition by 80%.

Mirror Neurons

The Neuroscience of Web Conversions also looks at mirror neurons. The neurons produced in your brain from doing something is the same as when you are watching that same thing. It’s really powerful to show something working. Story telling is important. Showing the story is more powerful.


Our brains are hardwired to love surprises. If you can use elements of surprise this is a great way to increase retention. At the very least, you can’t be boring. Red Bull is a great example of this. They use extreme sports and surprise. They really don’t talk about their product.


Simply put, I’ll do something for you and you’ll do something for me. Olay launched a campaign call Olay For You” where they walked you through a series of questions. What type of skin to you have? What are your skin problems? It kept adjusting new questions based on your answer until it gave a recommendation of a product. They had a 83% conversion rate over the first 3 months.

Social Proof

We are much more likely to purchase something if we know that everyone else is doing it. This can be accomplished with showing how many people are using your product. Try having a highly respected individual associated with your product. People trust social reviews 12x more than product descriptions.

Test and Test Again

There are lots of tools available to test. Use A/B plugins, or companies like Nelio, Optimizely or Unbounce are great. You are not going to know what works best until you test it.

Here’s the Neuroscience of Web Conversions video.

About Tom Shapiro: Tom Shapiro is Founder and CEO of Stratabeat, a marketing strategy and design agency. Services include WordPress website design & development, marketing strategy, branding, SEO, paid search, conversion optimization, PR and display advertising. Through the years, Tom has developed digital strategies for various market leaders, such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Kraft Foods and P&G. Tom’s insights on websites, UX and marketing have been published in,, iMedia Connection, MarketingProfs, MediaPost, Search Marketing Standard, Website Magazine and others.

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