Your Three Brains and Conversion Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) involves creating a website or landing page experience that makes it easier for users to get what they came for.  The first step is getting the best traffic to the site or page: The people most likely to get what they want from it.  Even before you do that, it’s important to carefully consider the experience you are providing your lucky visitors.  How will you show them you have what they want?

Neuroscience can actually help answer this with the ‘Three Brains’ model.*  It’s about how parts of the brain work and work together to shape the way we gather and process information from things like web pages.

The three brains are:

  1. New Brain (Neo-Cortex): Thinks – it processes and shares conclusions with the other two.
  2. Middle Brain (Limbic System): Feels – it processes emotions, gut feelings, and shares these with the other two.
  3. Old Brain (Basal Ganglia or Reptilian Brain):  Reacts – whether we should fight, flee or take it easy.

When a person lands on your page, the immediate reaction, before processing anything, comes from the old reptilian brain.  It’s asking easy questions like, Is this good or bad for me?  A few milliseconds is all it takes, and your message may be completely missed, causing your potential lead to fight, flee or bounce away.  We want the lizard brain to take it easy so the other ones can get more involved.

One simple takeaway here:  Impart immediate trust and confidence in your users.  Here are 3 ways to do it.

  1. Make page appearance clean, simple, direct and geared toward showing users how they can get what they want from it.
  2. Include recognizable trust logos high on the page and near any form fields.
  3. Test page iterations against their previous versions and gather ample information about user behaviors.

Learn more about Fathom conversion rate optimization and analysis here:

*The Three Brain (Triune Brain) model was formulated by the American physician and neuroscientist, Paul D. MacLean in the 1960s.

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