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How the language you use can affect conversion rate.

The author

Lorna Fraser

CRO Analyst

The copy on a website can hugely affect whether or not traffic converts. Too much information can dilute the main message and look overwhelming to visitors, but getting this just right can encourage users to progress along their journey.

Visitors to a site won’t read the majority of the content; they will scan for what they need, so crucial and quality content needs to be displayed quickly and jump out on the page to catch their attention. 

Sentence construction

The way in which a sentence is ordered can impact which words and information a user focuses on. When users scan a page, they will concentrate mainly on the beginning of a sentence, so words can be strategically ordered to capture a user’s attention.

Placing the biggest emphasis at the beginning of a sentence could encourage a user to advance further on their journey through a site.

For example, the two sentences below say the same thing, yet reversing the object and the subject can change how a user reads the sentence:

1)      Purchase today and get free sweets.

2)      Free sweets with your purchase today.

The emphasis in the first sentence is on the purchase, which adds more pressure for the user by reminding them that they have to buy something before being eligible for the free sweets, potentially deterring them from converting.

In the second sentence, the focus shifts to the free sweets, which relaxes the tone and may encourage users landing on a site to continue browsing, making them more likely to convert.

Persuasive language

The first sentence in the above example also uses two of the most persuasive words in the English language, free and you.

According to Gregory Ciotti; free, you, instantly, new and because are five power words with a high influence over decision making.

Everyone loves free stuff, so this is highly likely to capture attention. The word ‘free’ can encourage users to make different choices and persuade users to purchase.

For example, the incentive of a free audiobook with any orders over £10 could encourage impulse orders, persuade users to complete a purchase they have been flirting with, or encourage users to spend more to qualify for the free item, increasing the conversion rate and the AOV of the site.

This persuasive word can also be applied to PPC ad copy, if users are browsing the web and see a free incentive such as Free Delivery, then that user will be more likely to choose that PPC ad over competitors.

Involving the user

The personal pronoun ‘You’ invokes the self and creates an experience that is more about the user.

It’s good for sites to promote their services and unique value prepositions, yet this can often appear quite egotistic. Implementing you into a sentence can put the user’s ego first rather than the company’s.

For example, the USP – The industry’s leading insurance provider for 20 years can be personalised with the inclusion of the pronoun ‘you’,

Providing you with insurance that you can trust for over 20 years. This second sentence involves the user and tells them how they will benefit from the company’s service.

As well as the personal pronoun ‘you’, a personalised user experience can be created on site with the user’s name. Amazon provides a good example of this, as returning users are greeted with a message, ‘Hello ‘user’s name’ and even have their own tab ‘user’s Amazon.’

This is a technique that will particularly benefit sites which allow users to create an account or sign up. Studies suggest that when we see our own name printed on site, it generates excitement and makes us more likely to trust the services on offer.

Using this technique in email marketing can help improve conversion rate by changing the mood of the user before they even land on the site – if the user has already seen their name in the email, they will land on the site in a better mood which increases the chance of them converting.

Small changes, big impact

Whilst these language methods seem quite intricate and small; perfecting the language on platforms that users will see before they land on the site and on the website itself, can have a positive impact on the conversion rate.

These small considerations work together to improve the user’s journey through the site and encourage them to take the path you want them to take through to conversion.

If you’d like to chat about the changes you can make on your site to impact your conversion rate, please get in touch with us.