Optimizing Your Website’s Personality

Published: January 26, 2015  by 

I routinely assign personalities to inanimate objects. I don’t know why, but I’ve been that way ever since I was a child. I treat websites no differently. If you’re willing to use your imagination for a bit, I’ll show you how treating your website like a person can be the first step to improving your conversion rate.

Imagine that your website is a person

When you think about it, it isn’t much of a stretch to say that your website has a personality. Its design generates a first impression just like a person’s physical appearance does. Its copy influences a prospect’s thoughts just like a salesperson’s words do.

The good and bad qualities of a website cause the same response as the good and bad qualities of a person would.

With that in mind, let me show you how you could take the first steps to conversion rate optimization using considerations that you already make on a daily basis.

1. What do people think about you and your friends?

Like it or not, preconceived notions exist in every industry. These opinions can be good or bad, and sometimes they can be a handicap to your business before somebody even thinks about visiting your website.

As much as we’d like to believe that everybody is willing to give a company a fair shot, I’ll guarantee you that there may be not one person on earth who doesn’t have an opinion locked and loaded. I say “fast food,” and instantly you think “fattening” or “cheap.”

If you want to have a fighting chance at improving your conversion rate, you have to know and fully understand what the pre-existing notions about your industry are. This applies to any business, from a lawn mower repair shop in your shed to a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Once you understand these pre-existing notions, you’ve got to ask…

2. Do you fit the preconceived notion?

Here’s an example of how fitting the stereotype can affect you: You own a car dealership. The majority opinion is that car dealers are loud, obnoxious and high-pressure. Somebody visits your website looking for a car and they’re met with a high-intensity color scheme and pop-ups left and right. BAM! You’ve just lost their business.

Facepalm.
Facepalm.

Now that you understand what people think about your industry in general, you have to do some honest soul searching to figure out if your business fits the pre-conceived notions of people.

If people generally distrust your industry, does your website give them reason to hold that opinion against you? If people hold your industry in high regard, do you appear to go above and beyond?

Armed with these concepts, you can begin the conversion optimization process by asking the single most important question of all:

3.How can you become the type of person that your target market trusts?

The answer is different for every company in every industry. Like Honest Abe said, “You can’t please all people all the time,” but in order for your website’s personality has to be in line with what your customers are looking for.

Once you truly understand the fundamental relationship between your business, its website and the people you want to sell to, then you can start thinking about split testing headlines, copy and images.