Improving Site Conversion: How to Use Cognitive Beliefs

Friends, we want to share with you an adapted translation of an article by Tim Ash in the online magazine about effective, but not very common ways to increase conversion, allowing you to use the features of human thinking to increase conversion. The translation is complemented by examples and tips from the Witget team .

A bit of theory. There are “pitfalls” or cognitive prejudices in our minds . These are the installations with which we were born. These include:

1. Comparison.Our brain is designed so that it checks all objects for similarity with those images that we have in our memory. If he finds something corresponding, then he assigns to the seen object all the qualities of that object that he is familiar with. For example, someone does not like the name “Love”, but not because it is bad, but because this person has friends of Love, with whom he has negative memories.
2. The effect of projection. We often judge others by ourselves. If we like to relax abroad, then the rest too. If we get up at 8 in the morning, then it is nonsense for us when someone rises with roosters.
3. The effect of selectivity.Of the texts, dialogs, pictures, we often grab what we need. Such an effect is extremely useful and saves time, however, it turns against us when we don’t hear the opponent’s arguments, we don’t see important details.
4. The effect of justification. We often make rash acts under the influence of emotions and desires: we make purchases in large amounts, spend time lying on the couch, eat junk food. But after this comes repentance and the moment of justification of their purchases. We rarely admit that we made a mistake.
5. The effect of evaluation. We are used to evaluating the correctness of a decision by what result we have achieved.

Certainly, cognitive prejudices work on a subconscious level and influence our behavior. Even people who believe that they always act rationally and logically have cognitive biases that distort the way they perceive surrounding reality. In fact, some cognitive biases are so common that you can bet that most visitors to your site will have them. And for you, as a marketer, this information can be very useful.

Below are 5 cognitive biases that you can use to increase your conversion rates and make your site more effective.

Von Restorf Effect
According to the Von Restorf effect, elements that stand out from others are more likely to be remembered much better than those that merge with the background. This is why so many students highlight key points in their study guides. As it was found out, it is much easier to remember the information that is underlined, since it stands out from the rest of the text. This principle is not only applicable when you repeat the material you've covered - it can also have a big impact on the conversion rate.

You can use the Von Restorf effect to design your website in such a way that customers will pay attention to exactly what they need to see and remember. For example, you want them to pay attention to the call to action button. What color for this button would you choose: would you prefer a shade that is in harmony with the rest of the page, or would you choose a larger and fatter font ? Von Restorf suggests paying attention to the latter.

If the site’s improvements are not available to you, then to attract the attention of visitors, you can place bright widgets on the site — site elements that are placed on top of it and stand out markedly both in color and design, while performing quality marketing tasks.

Example.Against the background of an ascetic white site with black text, a bright girl with a sign.

An example from the Eco-Mecca website .

To create and test the effectiveness of widgets, you can use our service .
If you have done your job well, the conversion rate will increase significantly. Be sure to use a tool such as the Attention Wizard to make sure that the desired visual effect is achieved.

Pay attention to the beginning and end!
According to this phenomenon, when people look at items in a list, they are more likely to remember those that go at the beginning or end of the list than those in the middle.

For example, you place the logos of your customers. Most likely, you will arrange the images in the list in the order they appear in your company and will add them as you update. Same thing with the recall. Most often, a new review is put at the beginning. But is it better to sell and characterize you than the previous ones?
In the first and last place you really need to put the most key elements.
Including in listing the key advantages of your product.

Pay attention to the following example from the site . Try to answer the questions:
1. Is the registration form striking?
2. Which of the advantages of registration did you remember?
3. What diverted your attention from registration?

If there is a lot of information and you need toremember the whole text , then use other cognitive settings:
1. Meaningfulness. What is understood and felt is remembered faster. Therefore, write in a simple and accessible language - the language of the client.
2. Interest. If there is interest in the topic, then memorability is higher. Therefore, try to captivate, enable gamification. For example, at the beginning ask questions that a person can find answers in the text.
3. Installation on memorization. If a person understands that he needs to remember this, then the efficiency is higher. In this case, we advise you to give this installation to the person at the beginning of the text. For example: “It is important to know!”, “It will certainly come in handy”, “Useful information”.
4. Braking.Information that is similar to the one that was recently memorized is worse remembered. Therefore, the texts must be original, the images are different from each other. For example, often use different models to showcase clothes.
5. Understatement. Incomplete actions, phrases are best remembered. Therefore, sometimes it is possible to mark important places with a question, paradoxical thought.
6. Mutual influence.If you give a visitor to a site near two blocks of very important information, the first of them will be negatively affected and most likely will be forgotten. Therefore, alternate blocks of useful information and give only 1 key thought and key message per block. For example, that this English course will allow a beginner to speak after 3 weeks. Information about how many academic hours, questions and assignments are up to date, how many workshops, we just don’t remember because of the abundance of information.
7. Temporary layer. Events that occur close in time relate to phenomena of the same order. Therefore, try to divide the text into large blocks, accompany them with either a memorable example or a vivid illustration to create associative connectives.

The effect of negative emotions
People respond differently to the same fact, depending on how the data is presented: in a positive or negative light. For example, students who will be aware of the penalty for delaying the payment of a tuition fee will be more likely to register on time than those who are given a discount on early registration. This type of psychological impact can affect everything: from the choice of a dress for graduation to the acceptance / rejection of a plea bargain with a defendant in a courtroom. It also affects the likelihood of users switching to a particular web page.

According to psychologists, due to the fact that the effect of negative emotions is much stronger than positive ones, the fear of loss motivates more than the opportunity to gain benefits. Imagine the extent to which this simple principle can affect your message. As a marketer, you try to convince your visitor to perform the target action (make a purchase, sign up for a trial use of the product, leave an e-mail, etc.) and your messages are aimed at what benefits are gained by visitors. But, knowing the power of the negative impact, an alternative approach can emphasize what losses the user will face if he does not use your product.

For example, show that N hours and N minutes are left until the end of the promotion, inform that the quantity of goods is limited or even name the number of remaining goods / services, inform that the discount is reduced with each person who paid.

Example from the site .

Of course, you can report what will happen to the person if he does not buy the goods or does not use the service:
- 87% of the cases that are carried out by the plaintiff without the participation of a lawyer are failed,
- 64% of accidents occur due to the fact that the car owner does not arrive on time changed seasonal tires
- life without active sports (for example, in advertising for sports goods) reduces life expectancy by 7 years, etc.
Such hints at the same time inspire fear and motivate you to buy.

Images are more important than text!
Perhaps no one will argue with the fact that images are remembered much more effectively than text. However, did you know that text is much easier to remember if it is printed on a picture?

An example from the Renault Russia group on Facebook.

Not only do people remember visual signals better, they also process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. You, as a marketer, are obliged to pay attention to this phenomenon, because one of your tasks should be to develop an effective image that will attract the attention of the user. Take imagery not as a design element, but as a means of communication. Know that pictures convey information much better than text that is fixed in the minds of your client as a certain rule. Also remember that images not only help visitors form the first unconscious impression of your site, they are also remembered for a much longer period of time than a headline or text calling for action.

Therefore, pay great attention to banners, infographics and presentations. The merging of text, images, and numerical information is ideal for perceiving a marketing message.

Crowd effect
We can deny as much as we like, but obviously we like to do what others do. And the more popular your product becomes, the more likely it is that more people will try it. This is the so-called crowd effect, which largely explains the new-fangled trends in clothing, which ultimately puts on a woman who vowed to never again wear “such bad taste”.

It's no secret that the media is the main lever that makes this effect work for you.

When people see their friends like your post, they will also tend to rate it. You can use the crowd effect even on your website, proudly showing through ratings and reviews how many customers use your services.

Example from .

The effect of the crowd on your site:
- likes of social networks, comments,
- data of social networks: how many people are in your group, the number of people discussing topics, the number of visitors to your office / store on foursquare,
- reviews (opinions of real people who have already bought) ,
- an arbitrary scale of asterisks, where the product is rated based on points put by site visitors,
- an indication of the specific number of people who bought or used the service (for example, 18 out of 25 people have already registered for the Microsoft course),
- photos and videos about the use of your goods / services by real customers.

Learn to think like a client
At its core, conversion optimization is inextricably linked to human psychology. Convince users to make a decision on cooperation with you, make sure that you understand the peculiarities of customer thinking, understand what motivates them to make a positive decision. Once you begin to think as a client, use the accumulated knowledge to optimize the conversion!

Editor - Anna Chashchina .

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