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Don’t Lose Conversions by Looking Irrelevant

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Conversion Killer Profile

The Relevance ProblemMiss Match

The Relevance Problem

Not what you want.  Miss Match kills conversions by speaking in unexpected dialect and offering the wrong solutions to people’s problems.  Her lack of empathy is a considerable deterrent.

Visitors leave your site when you don’t ‘speak their language’ or when you don’t appear to offer exactly what they’re looking for.

The Language Barrier

I remember searching for a gym to join in London.  I typed ‘gym london’ into the search engine and looked at one of the first results: ‘Fitness Gym in Southwark SE1’.  It sounded promising, so I clicked through.  When I reached the homepage though, I couldn’t see gym – the term I’d searched for and seen in the search result.  The only words I could see were ‘health club’, ‘studio’ and ‘wellbeing’.  So I left and found somewhere that talked about a gym.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Alan Cooper explains the consequences of trying to please everyone at the same time:

“If you try to design an automobile that pleases every possible driver, you end up with a car with every possible feature, but pleases nobody.”

Would you buy an automobile with the front end of a sports car, the middle of a family wagon, and the rear of a truck?  Me neither.

Solution

Defeat Miss Match by being totally relevant to your specific target market.

First off, don’t try to please everyone; you’ll end up pleasing no one.  Don’t sell the all-in-one sports car, family wagon and truck.  Instead, focus on a specific audience – like Mumsnet – or specific topic within your niche, like WooThemes (WordPress themes).

Second, speak your customers’ language.  Don’t guess what words they use to describe and search for what you’re offering.  Find out with keyword research, for example.  Keyword research:

“reveals the actual language people are using when they think about those topics, which provides you with insight on how to converse with them”

Develop your copy, headlines, site structure, ads, page titles – all your content – around the actual words your customers use; not the ones you think they use.  Start with Google’s Keyword Tool.

Some more ways to discover your target visitors’ language:

  • Create surveys, run interviews and capture feedback onsite
  • Look at blogs and forums
  • Analyse social media posts e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

What if you cater to more than one distinct audience, such as buyers and sellers though?  Here are two solutions:

Segment the Audience Equally

Have equal sections for each visitor type or intention, like ClickBank:

Clickbank main menu

This approach tends to work best when there’s much overlap – shared intentions – between visitor types.  On ClickBank, authors, consultants, speakers and trainers are all experts looking to create content for money – a shared goal.

Prioritize One Audience

Focus on the most important (or impatient) visitor type.  MyBuilder targets job posters predominantly on the homepage, knowing that without jobs the whole thing fails:

MyBuilder home

My guess is that tradesmen eager to find paid work are more willing to scan the homepage for their section (Find Jobs) in the menu.  While people coming to post jobs are less patient, knowing they can probably find other means if things aren’t easy and obvious.

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