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If you don’t understand online human behavior your website will fail.

You have 0.05 seconds to make a good first impression online.

That’s only 50 milliseconds to hook someone — according to researchers at Carleton University.

Most important, this happens before a user reads any of your content. So, you have to capture their attention with your website’s nonverbal cues.

Do you have any of the following?

-- Low conversions
-- High bounce rate
-- Short average visit duration
-- Low sales
-- Slow traffic

Then you need to optimize your website’s nonverbal first impression.

Vanessa Van Edwards is a human behavior hacker, and today on the blog she shows you how to use science to optimize your website.

Why human behavior science? Because if you don’t understand online human behavior your website will fail.

Sure, you can produce killer content — and that’s a great start. But even if your blog unveils the meaning of life while saving baby pandas from grumpy cats, it’s not enough.

You have to understand your reader’s behavior to get them to convert. This is all about making sure your website produces a killer nonverbal first impression.

In this post, Vanessa lays out six scientifically proven hacks to improve your website’s visual cues.
If you don’t understand online human behavior your website will fail. Here are some aspects of nonverbal communication online that you need to know.
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17 comments
 
Really great points here.  I'm interested to know if you have any data that shows how site visitors respond to pictures of the site owner/team on the site - kind of like some of the images you included in the post.  I'm about to make some changes to my site - and was noodling around whether it would be more engaging to use pictures rather than fun icons.  Thanks!
 
Very grateful for this. Now, if I just weren't so design-impaired.
 
+Sonia Thompson
I have had clients tell me that they liked our company's group/team photo (when they were first considering us for work) because they got a sense of who we were, it was very personalizing for them. At the very least put team photos on the about us page OR on your company's Google+ page.
 
I have been looking for an article on this topic for months! And here it is! I will bring this information to all of my clients who have cluttered, hard-to-use websites!! 
 
The F shape is genius. Same with showing photographs that have people looking in the direction you want them to look.
 
+Sonia Thompson Hey! So glad its helpful! I haven't seen any specific numbers on this but I do know that pictures of real people (not icons or cartoons) always get higher trust ratings!
 
Great article. Helps having a great pair of legs in your photos :)
 
Thanks Vanessa, hack#4 was very useful. I have to agree with +David Frosdick on the pair of legs. I could dance all I want but it would get me nowhere near 5.4% conversion to Twitter :)
 
hey vanessa, your article is amazing and an eye - opener. But, I have a question. To achieve Hack #2: demonstrate trust nonverbally - we must have a professional photoshoot...but what if a person is just starting from scratch, and don't have enough investments to make a professional photo shoot. Then how he will show he's trustworthy? Waiting 4 your advice....  
 
+Sumit Gaur totally get it. Many of my photos are without a professional photographer (and I still use many of them on my website now!) I would recommend doing a casual shoot with a friend outside (better backgrounds and natural light) and you can absolutely use your iphone or regular camera. Just take a few casual shots showing your hands, looking different directions and then you can crop them down or use a basic iPhoto to punch them up a bit. Cheers!
 
+Vanessa Van Edwards  Just love your posts. All six points are greatly efficient. For our company, GIFs have been a great source of grabbing attention.

However sometimes, it is based upon your readers what matters the most. Though Reddit has sluggish design and can say no design at all, it grabs attention & there is content behind it. Clever use of content can also make your website attention grabbing. 

Here are nine things that we found the best and think could be used to optimize a page. www.smartinfosys.net/blog/make-landing-page-design-more-salable-intriguing/ .

This post was the most sought after post & most visited post on our blog & I think the leading GIF is the reason as well. 

Please do respond if you think they are unreasonable.

By the way the main photo on your post is sincerely grabbing one :)
 
+Vanessa Van Edwards that's a cool answer..and it will be little difficult to select best backgrounds...but it's worthy 4 your website....thanks
 
Really helpful article. I like the way you have the email capture in the main picture in the middle. It is clear and obvious. Out of interest why don't you have it in the top right hand corner? I have heard others suggest this. Tony Lynch from www.keepthinkingbig.com

 
I've replaced a photo of me (the one you see here) on my site with one where my hand is visible...an experiment to see how much of a difference it makes :)  Great ideas, Vanessa and thanks.  The color theory is interesting too.  I use pink as my main color with a dark grey background.  My product is my book.  I would like to see conversions increase.  I read +Sanjay Dange  post as well.  What do you think, Vanessa of GIF's on the landing page?
 
+Lisa Thomson  Thanks for reading the post, what do you think of nine reasons over there? All those are derived from our six plus years of experience. 
 
Loved the post, @SanjayDange Great ideas!
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