Websites do not, of course, have any sort of cognitive function. Just like a book, a magazine or any other published work, they express the views and opinions of their author (s) and, as such, act as a window into the minds of those who create, manage and maintain them.
For instance an owner of an e-commerce website which has been created with the primary objective of selling products online, may employ a number of psychological techniques in order to achieve the required sale. Perhaps the best known exponent of this is Amazon. The psychology involved in a website like Amazon is complex and multi-layered. In essence it involves finding out as much as possible about the visitor or customer and then utilizing that information to promote products that fit their selection profile.
Part of this equation is of course the psychological mix of the site visitor that makes them think, feel and absolutely have in their own unique way. This process of course is complex and surely does involve the interplay of a number of cognitive processes. Gaining some insight regarding these is an essential step in turning visitors into customers.
Trust is a concept that is dominant in relation to turning visits into purchases. This is especially so for ecommerce sites which require the provision of private information and personal details. Just how a website instils trust in their visitors is a classic display of psychology at work.
Reassurance that the site is "safe" to visit and make purchases takes time and some security backup. In terms of products, potential customers need to trust that their purchases are genuine and of good quality. Product reviews are one way of instilling confidence, by publicizing other peoples purchasing experiences and rating products according to levels of satisfaction. Good quality products engender a sense of trust and absolutely sales growth.
Let's move away from ecommerce sites now and take a look at a type of website that uses a very different kind of psychology, the online dating site. We can all accept that it's a fundamental part of the human emotional makeup to desire company, companionship and to avoid loneliness.
However it is equally fundamental to want to avoid the risk and anonymity that are integral to dating websites. So for the online dater there is a mix of emotions ranging from desire to fear and trepidation in achieving their goal. Some will take that risk and not others, depending on their level of risk averseness.
Another type of website that delves deeply into the psyche is the "Get Rich Quick" scenario.
There is no secret that that the goal is appealing to our fundamental desire for material wealth and all the feelings that we think that will bring us. In order to force people's hand and make a quick decision this type of website encourages us to accept a limited time, soon to be drawn, run it in your sleep, business proposition, and often … we do.
Website proprietors need to masters of many "trades" which intersect a number of disciples. No matter what specific skills they have, the ability to understand people and what makes them behave in the way they do is a fundamental undercurrent for building website traffic and extremely sales.