Get More Conversions By Using Active Voice On Your Website.
Getting more traffic to, and subsequently even more conversions on your website isn’t rocket science. It’s people science. Using active voice on your website makes the visitor the performer of the desired action. Whereas, passive voice makes the visitor the recipient of the action. Both are important, but active voice makes your visitor the star of the show, and that dramatically increases the likelihood of them performing your desired call to action.
Let’s start with the end in mind. Let’s say your desired call to action is for the visitor to actually contact you. Shifting the copy from passive voice to active voice makes a huge difference in visitor behavior.
Recently, I was asked to consult on a new website project. The site is promoting a service business that specifically focuses on branding. The first thing I noticed was that much of the site was written in the passive voice. For example, the header text said, “Making sense of all your layers”. I suggested changing that to, “Make Sense of all your layers”. Let’s take a look at the difference between copies.
Making sense of all your layers suggests that this is what the owner of the website does. It’s a passive “I-statement”. It subconsciously tells your visitor all about you. And that’s not why they came to your website. They came to your website to discover what – if anything – they can do to address a problem that they have. The irony here is that you both want the same thing. They just don’t know it yet.
When you change your copy to the active voice, “Make sense of all your layers.”, you are now the director of a movie. You are telling the actor (your visitor) what exactly you want them to do. You are building the case for the desired outcome by alerting the visitor that the only right decision is to actually MAKE SENSE of all their layers. And simultaneously, you are touching on a pain point for them. They don’t know HOW to make sense of all their layers. The only logical conclusion is for them to read on, and eventually contact you.
Here’s another example of how using active voice motivates the desired behavior.
The site I was looking at also said, “Photos communicate your message powerfully”. And it’s true. Photos do in fact communicate your message in powerful ways. But once you’re done reading that… there’s nothing more. It’s a statement of fact, and that’s it.
I suggested changing the copy to more of an active voice, and adding a desired call to action. My copy might read like this: “Use photos that communicate your message even more powerfully”. And immediately below that, I suggested a button that reads: “Evaluate My Photos”. This call to action accomplishes a couple of desired outcomes.
First, when someone clicks on the active voice button that says, “Evaluate my Photos”… they are telegraphing one of their needs. They are telling the service provider that they’re not sure if their photos are communicating their message as powerfully as they could be.
Secondly, they are drilling further into the website to find out more. That’s a major indicator that your visitor fits into your target market. The deeper they go, and the longer they stay on your site… the more likely it is that they need you and your services.
If the ultimate goal is to get your visitors to contact or call you, then using active voice is the most effective method of accomplishing that. Every element of your site should lead your visitor to either discover more about something, or to perform the desired outcome: contacting you.
Please note: not every visitor to your website is expected to drill down and eventually contact you. Click through rates (CTR’s) are often between 1-3% on sites that don’t establish a strong active voice strategy. For those that do, CTR’s can be expected to increase to upwards of 12%… sometimes eclipsing 40% depending upon the quality of content on each and every page. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if 4 out of every 10 visitors actually contacted you? I suggest that would be game-changing!
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Eric Reamer is America’s PR Media Coach. With decades of content creation, public speaking, syndicated radio, television and professional theater experience, he is uniquely qualified to educate business owners, PR and media professionals. He is the owner of Niche PR & Media, LLC.
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