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    Cognitive Bias to Improve SEO and Marketing

    Cognitive Bias to Improve SEO and Marketing

    Cognitive bias: what is it?

    Cognitive bias is the propensity to think in particular ways, which frequently causes one to deviate from making logical, rational decisions. All facets of life involve it, but behavioral economics and psychology are the fields in which it is most frequently studied.

    Cognitive biases affect how we think, feel, purchase, sell, and engage with friends.

    You’re exhibiting egocentric bias if friends and family tell you that you should feel less guilty than you should about a particular circumstance. Suppose your freelancing career is new, and you’re starting to feel like an imposter. In that case, you’re experiencing a worse-than-average impact.

    Biases influence consumer decisions

    We frequently don’t realize how our own cognitive biases affect us and how they affect our lives.

    Everyday choices we make, such as what to eat, how to live, or which brands to buy, impact our lives. Although the exact mechanism by which people make judgments is unknown, we cannot discount the importance of the unconscious mind. We usually use heuristics to make decisions without realizing it, and they work well for us. However, occasionally, they might result in faulty assessments and illogical behavior known as cognitive bias.

    Simply said, cognitive bias is a mental distortion that happens when people let their emotions, personal preferences, or beliefs affect their decisions. For example, use a product from Brand A and notice something good about it. You can carry that positive perception over to other items from the same brand.

    Here are some of them which are used in marketing:

    The Framing Effect

    The saying “glass half empty, glass half full” is standard. Here is a prime illustration of framing. People’s responses to a term depend on how you portray it. Additional instances are “You won” against “He lost” and “50% off” versus “Save 50%.”

    While you should always tell the truth about your product, there are other essential considerations to make when presenting the facts. Make careful to present statistics in a way that best showcases your offering. Write in a style that promotes a favorable impression of your brand among your audience.

    Aversion to Loss

    We fear losing things. Losing opportunities, belongings, respect, and the dread of missing out. Loss aversion can be used to craft offerings that motivate your audience to take action. You’ve undoubtedly also heard of the scarcity strategy, which creates a perceived scarcity for your goods and/or services to stimulate demand. This is something that many high-end brands do. All of this is classified as loss aversion.

    Try creating time-limited social media content once you’re ready to pitch to your audience. Maybe there is a limited quantity of your goods. It’s unnecessary to be a well-known holiday if you have a holiday offer ready. The idea is that opportunities might be missed, and human nature compels us to act accordingly.


    Salience originates from our inclination to select the alternative that most stand out when given a choice. We rationalize this by believing that everything distinctive must possess other advantageous qualities.

    For marketers, salience has long been the golden rule. Ensuring your product has the prettiest mascot, the best catchphrase, and the most enticing packaging can raise the likelihood that it will fly off the shelves.

    Ensure your product is advertised with a feature that differentiates it from the competition. If a product or service is limited to a small group of people, this will also make it more desirable. Create a visually striking design for your newest products that stands out from your current line.

    You must work very hard on appearance and user experience (UX) if you want to attain salience with your customer retention. Having a referral or rewards program also makes you stand out.

    Use badges and distinctive icons to represent specific acts or themes in the purchasing trip. Consider including experiential rewards in your loyalty program, as they are far more engaging than standard discounts. Create a vibrant, themed membership page.

    FOMO (fear of missing out)

    A cognitive bias known as FOMO plagues many of us, reminding us that we may miss out on essential opportunities or experiences if we don’t take action right away. FOMO is a two-edged tool used by many to land the transaction of their dreams, but it has also led to many hasty judgments.

    In marketing, the FOMO effect scarcely needs to be explained. Salespeople have naturally exploited it to incite demand for their goods by creating a sense of scarcity.

    Among these strategies are: 

    • Adding a countdown in real time to a limited-time deal
    • Notifying clients via email that the current sales event is almost ended; • Listing the number of items still in stock on product sites;

    It is obvious how FOMO can be applied to client retention; all it takes is setting a timer on some offers and prizes or limiting who may access them. Limited-time loyalty program double point promotions are always well-liked, particularly around the holidays.

    Customers frequently go crazy for first dibs on new items or sales. To spark interest, provide a few expensive prizes, such as experiential rewards.

    The Trick Effect

    The decoy effect is a marketing phenomenon in which people’s preference between two original options is influenced by the introduction of a third, unappealing option (the decoy). The purpose of the decoy isn’t always to be selected; instead, it’s to elevate one of the initial selections to a more desirable position.

    seo and marketing

    Here are some strategies that marketers can employ to their benefit:

    • Present a “decoy” product tier beneath the one you want the buyer to select (the target tier).
    • Use strategic pricing to position your decoy tier in close proximity to your target choice but with a clearly lower value; this helps to convey the idea that the target option is a “good value.”
    • Make it simple to compare and distinguish values by emphasizing tier-to-tier comparisons using tables or displays.

    Despite how bizarre this effect may sound, it may be a very effective strategy for encouraging customers to choose your higher-margin or better-value products.

    Value of Money

    The money’s worth bias can be thought of as the antithesis of the zero-risk bias. It’s the idea that anything must be of superior quality if it costs a lot of money, especially if it comes from a reputable brand.

    The Value of Money in Marketing

    You must be confident in your good or service in order to use this type of cognitive bias in marketing. Show off the price without fear, but make sure it’s justified by emphasizing the item’s merits and presenting it in the best possible light.

    • You may make it appear as though you are getting a fantastic deal, even if the price is excessive.
    • Assign superior products next to inferior ones.
    • Convince skeptics with FOMO techniques.

    The Value of Money in Customer Retention

    The money’s worth principle is applied in customer retention to create exclusivity and a sense of privilege among members by providing incentives that are difficult to attain yet have a high intrinsic value.

    • Provide limited-edition, higher-value coupons, discounts, or incentives like free quick shipping.
    • Permit participants to become early access club members. Simply making a payment for admission.
    • Make a tier available solely to invitees in your loyalty program.

    The Impact of Ikea

    We were more committed to a process or activity if we contributed to it, even in minor ways, according to the Ikea effect, which is based on research where participants had to assemble Ikea furniture and judge their own performance.

    This type of cognitive bias is highly beneficial in fostering an emotional bond with clients. Just give them some way to contribute to your growth. Even though their involvement may only be superficial, your brand will still become more recognizable to them, and they will enjoy the experience.

    Impact of Ikea

    • Allow clients to contribute artwork or design concepts for upcoming products.
    • Encourage people to post product reviews on your website;
    • Permit them to test specific features or items before launch

    The Impact of Ikea on Retention of Customers

    Be prepared to engage customers on an emotional as well as a financial level in order to maximize the Ikea effect.

    • Ask high spenders to try out upcoming product launches.
    • Get input and design suggestions from customers. • Soft test your loyalty program with your brand advocate segment before launching it.

    The Impact of Google

    A cognitive bias known as the “Google effect” causes people to forget things that are readily available online and can be accessed with a quick Google search. This is a result of people thinking that if they can rapidly locate the knowledge online, they don’t need to remember it. Digital amnesia is another term for the Google effect. For example, we no longer instinctively grab a real dictionary, turn the pages, and look up the definition of a problematic term we come across while reading a book. Instead, we only use Google to look up its meaning. Since information is always at our fingertips, we no longer need to set aside memory space for storing it.

    Because people no longer retain or store knowledge in their minds, they rely on Google to get information quickly; SEO specialists must make sure that their pages are correctly indexed on Google. This phenomenon also encourages technical SEO experts to make sure websites are well-maintained and free from issues with indexing.


    In conclusion, it is important for us as marketers to become aware of these biases and strive to enhance the caliber of search results while taking into account our own prejudices. The Pareto principle states that you can use 20% of your efforts to get 80% of the results you want. One technique to optimize your website as part of SEO is to concentrate on the 20% of keywords that drive 80% of its traffic. If marketers are ignorant of cognitive biases and how they affect consumer’s mental processes, we might unintentionally make decisions that aren’t supported by reliable data, which could harm our SEO efforts.

    Written by Aayush
    Writer, editor, and marketing professional with 10 years of experience, Aayush Singh is a digital nomad. With a focus on engaging digital content and SEO campaigns for SMB, and enterprise clients, he is the content creator & manager at SERP WIZARD.