Posted by Michael D Jensen on September 18th, 2006
Now unless you have a conversion rate of 100%, some of your customers are getting scared. Certainly some come accidentally to your site, but what is scaring the rest of them from taking action on your site? What can be done?
Don’t blame me, Blame the medium!
True, true, it’s not all your fault. The medium of the web does not give us the full ability to adjust for each customer’s individual needs. Surprise! No medium does that. We can only do as much as we can with what our customer is willing to share about themselves. They do share some things, even without their knowing (referrer, browser, OS, IP address –> city/state/country, time of visit, where they clicked, etc), but only so much can be inferred from this. We can ask them questions to find out more, but how many are willing to do that in the space of time leading up to the purchase? The bottom line is most of your customers come and you know next to nothing about them, so that is what we have to work with.
What we can do
I’ve been reading this book, “Waiting for your Cat to Bark?” by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg. They are online marketing gurus, and have taken years of experience in other mediums to address what we face here on the web. The book is a must read, and I can’t wait to read their other books that I have (one on my shelf “Call to Actin”, one in transit from amazon [something about writing for the web]). So you’d probably be better off reading the book than this post, but thanks for humoring me.
This is what the book has said to me so far (I’m on page 140) about what we can do, and this is from the top of my head so it’s what has “stuck”:
- Identify “personas” instead of demographics
- Organize your site and create content and usability factors for each persona.
- Somehow lead them to “their” part of the site.
- There should be some way for them to take action on every page, and think first before you put it right down at the bottom.
- Put yourself in the personas shoes. What keywords are they searching for? What “risks” do they have that need to be addressed. What “knowledge” are they lacking that they need first? And how can they trust you?
This last part, trust, was mentioned at a recent post by CopyBlogger, titled “How to Overcome Skepticism” where he outlines how tutorials can be a great help in marketing. Tutorials would be just one part of an overall strategy, obviously.
Our attempt at “Personas”
I’ve been trying to go through personas with SoloSEO. I’m not sure how successful or on-the-point I will be, but here’s my thinking. Those looking for “Do-It-Yourself” SEO are:
- Economical – Can’t pay for a big firm, or hire new staff
- Control – Want control over their “marketing”
- Self-Learner, Independent – Willing to put time and effort into learning and doing it himself
So then from this list, I have put together three “personas”:
- Sam, the SEO amateur – Sam has three sites of his own that he is running. He’s started to make some money off his products or advertising, but doesn’t have the funds to hire an SEO firm to take him to the next step. He likes learning about SEO, but is not at expert status.
- Ingrid, the In-house Marketer – Ingrid is an assistant to an executive, and wears several hats. The company has a decent website but needs some work in marketing. Ingrid has some working knowledge in marketing, and is asked to help market the company website.
- Paul, the SEO professional – Paul is a professional SEO, has several clients. He does not have a programmer, nor wants to hire one, but he wants to use some tools to organize his SEO clients and track each client’s progress.
What do you think? Am I missing a “persona”?
As I came up with these personas, I also thought that this works out quite nicely with the idea of “Siloing”. See Bruce Clay’s and Graywolf’s write-up about Siloing if you’re lost. Essentially you come up with “topics” for your site, essentially a vertical within your site. Within each topic you have specific keywords, content, and links that are related to this topic. If your topics are personas, the visitors fitting the persona should be able to find the content and resources built for them. This “topic” or “Siloing” is integrated into SoloSEO, so all your keywords, content, and link strategies all fall into “Topics” that you create.
Instead of scaring our customers, let’s make them feel happy and at home. Give each “persona” of customers what they are looking for, and you’ll have less scared customers, and hopefully more confident (and paying) customers.
3 comments Visited 20773 times September 18th, 2006 Michael D Jensen