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Halo effect

Reviewed by expert Scientifically proven

The Halo effect is a phenomenon in social psychology which discusses how people make judgments based on a single trait of a person or a thing. For example, what do you feel when you see a tall, handsome person? When we see such a person, we tend to believe that he is smart and intelligent without having any logical reason for our assumptions. This is how the Halo effect functions in social psychology.

Table of contents:
  1. Why is the Halo effect important?
  2. How to use Halo effects to optimize your website?
    1. Make your website easy to read
    2. Use a complementary colour theme throughout the site
  3. Use celebrity endorsement if suitable
  4. How to improve user experience?
    1. Make navigation effective
    2. Use a clean layout
    3. Reduce the loading time
    4. Use quality content
    5. Enhance responsiveness
  5. Conclusion

Why is the Halo effect important?

The Halo effect has a direct bearing on the decision-making of people. Our brain attracts positive feelings accompanied by trust, regardless of whether that trust was rightfully earned or not. There are instances where people experience shocking disillusionment due to this quality of human psychology. Nevertheless, the rapid influence of Halo on decision making can be seen everywhere. There are both positive and negative impacts of the Halo effect.

When we really like even just one trait or aspect of someone or something, we unintentionally accept every other aspect of such a person or thing as positive. This works the other way around too. If we don't like just one trait that we notice first about something or someone, we tend to think negatively about every other trait of such a person or thing without a logical reason. This theory in psychology explains why sometimes we don't like certain things or people without any logical reason.

Marketers and businesses take advantage of the Halo effect to boost their sales. Also, when applied correctly, it can be used to drive more traffic towards your website and for Conversion Rate Optimization. (CRO)

How to use Halo effects to optimize your website?

A good website not only has visual appeal but also gives a positive user experience with clean content, easy navigation, and by enabling effective user engagement. But, we cannot overlook the importance of first impressions as it's the ultimate cause for a visitor to spend more time on your website or to leave right away.

Your website stands for your company. A good-looking site can make your company appear good and it's the opposite with poor visual appeal. No matter how great your company is, if your website appears bad, it can create an adverse feeling in the minds of the visitors about your company due to the Halo effect. You hold the power to make a change in what your target customers feel about you. Having a nicely designed website can attract more leads towards your business for Conversion Rate Optimization. (CRO) Optimize the first impression created by your website, by adhering to the following key points to get the maximum use of Halo effect.

Make your website easy to read

Choose one font type and stick to it. This will give a clean finish to your content. Having to see multiple font types can create confusions and most importantly it creates an unhealthy look. Don't make your visitors feel that you don't bother much to keep things in line. It will definitely create a bad first impression not only about your website but also about your business as a whole.

Plenty of spacing is important Do not overflow your website with content as it will make the content less readable. The ideal strategy is to allow plenty of white space as it can grab the visitors' focus on important details.

Be smart with font sizes Excessively big or small font sizes add an unprofessional finish to your website. Use font sizes wisely to separate headings, subheadings with the other content, etc. For example, 16px is the ideal font size for main body texts. Most importantly, pay attention to the sizes in the cases of cross-device compatibility.

Use a complementary colour theme throughout the site

Use a monochromatic colour theme A monochromatic colour theme consists of various shades of the same colour. A combination of completely different colours can overwhelm the visitors and create a bad impression on your site.

Leave a simple background Having a clean background has a direct impact on highlighting the call-to-action on the page. Use light colours for the background.

Use celebrity endorsement if suitable

The influence the celebrities can make on people cannot be overlooked. This is a straightforward way to get the advantage of the Halo effect. People trust the celebrities they like. Seeing their favourite celebrity endorsing your product or services makes the people trust your brand. Just a few pictures of a celebrity on your website can bring great benefits and will help to boost Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

The appearance of your website definitely shapes up the first impression it creates. Assume that you landed on a beautifully designed website and it creates a bad user experience in functioning? Would you still consider the website as useful as you thought it would be? Of course not! This is why stepping forward further to ensure a hassle-free user experience is very important to get the maximum benefit of the Halo effect. After all, no visitor would turn into a potential lead just because they loved how your website looks. Here are the tips.

How to improve user experience?

Make navigation effective

Make your navigation menu as short as possible. Keeping the menu short can eliminate confusions and the options are easy to remember. This way, users can find information easily and effectively. Keep a prominent place to the navigation menu as it should be the most element of the website to direct visitors towards information.

Use a clean layout

The layout of a webpage can instantly show whether contents are organized effectively or not. A messy layout can create a bad impression on you at the first glance. According to how the Halo effect works, nobody would bother to explore your site any further. Therefore keeping a clean and easy to read layout is vital for CRO.

Reduce the loading time

Would you ever bother to wait for a website that takes more time to load than your tolerance level? Even if you do, would you wait any longer to navigate through pages that take plenty of time to load? The truth is at the instance we experience greater loading time, we just give up! There are plenty of service providers on the internet. So why should a person bother themselves waiting for you? And they will never think of getting back again. This would directly affect conversion rate optimization adversely.

Use quality content

Quality content has the characteristics of accuracy, relevance, consistency, completeness and timely updates.

Enhance responsiveness

People across the world use different devices to access websites. When they do, they expect everything to work perfectly. If your website is poor in responsiveness it only would be enough cause for the people to create a dull impression on your website.


The Halo effect is a big deal when it comes to website design. It's all about how people perceive your brand based on the design of your site. However, it's not just about making it look pretty - you also need to ensure that the user experience is good. If your site looks great but is hard to use, it can actually work against you and cancel out the positive effects of the Halo effect. So, it's important to focus on both design and user experience to get the most out of the Halo effect and improve your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

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Example of hypothesis applied

  1. Because consumers trust and are influenced by celebrities, we believe that featuring a celebrity endorsement prominently on our website's homepage will increase the credibility of our brand for the population of new visitors to our site, and cause an increase in conversion rates.

  2. Based on research showing that people are more likely to purchase from websites that have high-quality images, we believe that improving the quality of our product images to showcase our products in the best light will make it easier for customers to envision themselves using our products. This change will cause an increase in the number of visitors who add products to their cart.

  3. Because people often form first impressions within seconds of arriving on a website, we believe that improving the design and layout of our website to create a clean and visually appealing experience will encourage visitors to spend more time on our site, explore more pages, and ultimately increase the likelihood of conversion.


Would you like to go more in-depth? Here are our recommendations:

The Halo Effect: . . . and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers by Phil Rosenzweig Buy this book
Neuro Design: Neuromarketing Insights to Boost Engagement and Profitability by Darren Bridger Buy this book

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Halo effect?

A cognitive bias where positive impressions influence perception of an unrelated attribute.

How does the Halo effect impact decision making?

It can lead to biased decisions based on incomplete information.

Can the Halo effect be used in marketing?

Yes, it can be leveraged to influence consumer behavior and brand perception.

What are some common examples of the Halo effect?

Attractive people being perceived as intelligent, or luxury brands being associated with higher quality.

Is it possible to reduce the impact of the Halo effect?

Yes, by seeking out more information and avoiding hasty judgments.

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