The science behind a great conversion

We all want a great web user experience. And many of us have at least heard the basics when it comes to proper and effective web design for customers–less content, easy navigation, fast loading, ample pictures and video, etc. But, have you ever wondered if these were simply trite recommendations or thoroughly researched, tried-and-proven methodologies? Turns out, there’s actually some science to back up this guidance. What your user sees goes beyond what meets the eye. In fact, it’s all mental. Check out how these scientific principles play a part in how your prospects are likely to respond to your website.

1. Clean and orderly is the way to go.

You may already be aware of the importance that balance plays when it comes to web design–simplicity, organized, clear and light on the content. But, do you know why? Thanks to a little subconscious method our brain uses called cognitive fluency, your customers actually judge your site at first glimpse. Cognitive fluency determines how you evaluate and weigh information each and every day. Your brain subconsciously processes the level of difficulty you have in completing a specific mental task–be it reading a book, following a recipe or investing in a product/service. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that the decision is actually difficult to complete, your brain utilizes perception and the emotions associated with this perceived notion to make its decision. 

Cognitive fluency is extremely important to the user web experience–so much so that products or services that can be attributed to having a higher cognitive fluency actually produce more conversions. For apartment marketers, this means that minimalistic, clean website design elements and navigation features that are properly positioned will prove more effective among your users.

2. Call-to-actions are non-negotiable.

When you visit a website, one of your expectations is likely that the site will offer a decent call-to-action. Apartment hunters share that sentiment. This concept or expectation can be attributed to the psychology of perceptual set theory. In part, it’s a tendency or readiness to perceive certain elements of an object or event and ignore others. For example, the brain does not have to read every word in a sentence because it selects certain important elements from that sentence and relates it to the rest based on a preconceived expectation. So, (more plainly put) in marketing terms, when users land on your website they too have certain expectations that specific elements will be present, to include you call-to-action, among other things. In addition to just being present, they expect this directive to easily shine among the rest of your content. By rolling without one, you risk interrupting one’s perceptual set process, mental flow and your overall conversions.  

3. It only takes a blink of an eye to form a perception.

According to a study by Javier Bargas-Avila, Senior User Experience Researcher at YouTube UX Research, users form impressions on your website based on the level of difficulty the design is (or, visual complexity) and how good of an example the website is for its category (prototypicality). The study also revealed that users form an aesthetic judgement for a website within approximately 17 and 50 milliseconds (human blinks take 1– to 400 milliseconds) . In essence, if a website’s visual complexity is high, then visitors perceive it as less beautiful, and if the design is unfamiliar (or has low prototypicality), it’s judged as not attractive. For marketers, this means that users prefer sites that are both simple and familiar–not just one of the two. So, when designing your website, you’ll need to avoid the temptation to “break the mold” with a design that users wouldn’t quite expect, as it may hurt your first impression by damaging expectations in the grand scheme.


Rentbot can help.

The science doesn’t lie– a properly designed website is key to scoring conversions. And, at Rentbot, we know how to optimize a mobile-friendly design, SEO and other web elements to meet each of our clients’ needs. We remain committed to building and supporting property management websites specifically for small and mid-sized properties–and it shows.

There’s a reason why our clients report higher leads, greater conversions and increased tenant retention with their Rentbot site. And with a 97% client satisfaction rating, we can guarantee that you’ll be next. Check out how we can get you started with a new, optimized website for your property:



About the Author

Jonsette Calloway joined the Rentbot team in 2015. With a background in public relations, advertising and copywriting, she has helped a multitude of clients achieve their marketing and communications goals within various fields, but she particularly enjoys working with the apartment industry.