There are five types of people that browse the web:
(1) Specific Information Seekers
(2) Current Information Seekers
(3) Bargain Hunters
(4) Entertainment Seekers, and
(5) Specific Buyers.
When you identify the type of people you want to come to your website, or the type of people coming now (for those who already have a site), as well as what gets them there, what keeps them there, then and only then can you design your site to attract the type of visitors you want.
Specific Information Seekers (SISers)
To convert Specific Information Seekers into prospects, you will need consistent marketing and multiple trust building strategies. SISers usually search for a particular piece of information. If you have it, they will visit and might stay. If not, they want to find out fast that you don't and poof they are gone. This group is after timely and relevant information. It is an either/or decision - either you have it or you don't. If their search engine searching continuously sends them to your site and you have on several occasions let them down on having the information, they will see the URL link in the search engine and not ever return.
SISers like to ask questions, usually diving right into the question, giving little or no background to the question. If they have a deep sense that you have the answer, they will generate a quick e-mail to you. They are frequent visitors to the FAQ (frequently asked questions) pages. If you want to attract the SISers, track all the questions customers and prospects ask, provide answers, and post on your site. You can make them happy by placing the answers in larger or bold print.
SISers like several different levels of information. With each click you can barrel down the details. You can do with an overview page and then in a separate page add the full description and other details. Design the overview page for on-line reading (large font, white space, and fast, flowing language) and the detail pages for off-line reading (printable).
They also like an up-to-date websites with changing information. If the “last update date" is older than one week, or if your articles have old dates on them, they usually will not even enter the site. First impressions mean a lot to them and determine if they will ever return. Credibility is the second decision maker for this buyer. Do not compromise the integrity of the information you provide. If you're an affiliate just say so, they don't mind.
Their decision to buy is usually immediate if you have what they want. This group reads by scanning on the Net. They will scan and read bold, colored and highlighting in long sales letters.
In a retail store, SISers browse the aisles. They know what they are looking for before they enter a website or store. Retailers call these people aisle browsers. In a store, they walk through a store, first checking the aisle platforms for bargains. Men do fall mostly in this category.
Even though this group only reads what they need from a book, the next group, CISers read the whole book.
Current Information Seekers (CISers)
Current Information Seekers are curious people who find everything interesting. They can be reading about Mars and next learning about cooking, and later into something different. They purchase material based on whatever is hot in their life at that moment. Usually they over purchase material and get behind in their reading. Yet, that backlog does not seem to bother them, they would feel empty without it.
CISers enjoy reading a high portion of the newspaper and read the whole book. They want something interesting. . . something useful. . . something they would not have found on their own. They want something that will give them an edge, an advantage, an insight, something unexpected.
Use caution, this group does make suggestions that can lead you astray. They also cannot understand why others pigeon hole (their viewpoint) themselves with their businesses. They value exploration and freedom.
To use this group to your advantage define one or two topic categories that fit in with your niche. Then change the material daily or weekly. In addition, since they are so busy running after the latest and greatest, you will need to make sure they are consistently aware of those changes. Send them updates. They will find the frequent updates useful, interesting, and amusing even if they've heard them a million times before. They will return frequently. Frequent updates will keep you on their hot list and bookmarked.
CISers compare before buying. If everything is the same and your shipping is 3 cents less they will buy from you. However, they make sure they are exact offers. If you have something that looks more attractive, whether it pertains to their needs or not, they will also purchase from you.
CISers aren't a great group to receive testimonials from unless they have used your material and it has worked for them in some BIG or EXTRAORDINARY way.
This leads us into the next group, the group that chases free.
Bargain Hunters shop free for anything. Converting them to customers is tough because of the “free blinders" they wear. As long as they think they can find it somewhere free, they will keep searching for it. Time to money ratio for them is distorted - even if they spend 40 hours looking for it and the offsetting cost is $10. They relish in the challenge of finding it free. They also like to brag about how they found it free (use this to your advantage).
Add a monthly giveaway at your site and you will attract these visitors. It does not always need to apply to anything they are interested in - they want it because it is free. They may print out a 200-page free ebook and still think it is a bargain because it was fr*e*e. They don't make a connection that printing equals cost.
The upside to this group is that they are easy to please - just offer them bargains. The downside is that there is less than a 1% chance you will convert them to customers unless you offer them free for a long time. Sometimes you hear them comment something like, “I've been checking out your web site for years and I've finally decided to buy from you. "
Since “deals" travel fast, be assured that if you offer a deal they will pass along the message at lightening speed. Great viral marketers in this sense. They can create noise to other ready buyers.
Contests and games attract them as well as giveaways that accompany an order. Adding lots of fre-e bonuses to your deals work well with this web browser. Suggestion: Make the bonuses available after a purchase. Freebies are great pullers to get them to visit your sales page. Pile it on, they have a weak no threshold.
Like the SISers, Bargain Hunters also respond to detailed product information. They also like to justify what they are buying to others. And for this they need to know the benefits very clearly.
Bargain hunters are completely different from the next group. The next group age range is from teenagers to 30- year-olds. Between 30 and 40 the need for fast entertainment begins to subside.
Entertainment Seekers (ESers)
Entertainment Seekers get bored easily. They frequently browse the web when bored. They like interactive games, interactive contests and flash. You can attract them if you provide animation, sound clips, contests, games, and the latest and greatest in technology deliveries.
They frequently visit the horoscope, recipe, sex, drugs, and music pages. They begin browsing at their favorite sites, then move towards searching for new latest and greatest stuff, and then return to playing their computer game. If the first page seems flat, they don't even go past that page. They assume the rest is boring as well. The exception occurs if they enter and can transition to SISer mode seeking a specific piece of information.
Bright contrasted pages, black and multi-colored backgrounds pull them in. Holding their interest is tough because of the Internet's relatively flat presentation. If you want to convert them to customers, your product has to offer them the same type of perceived entertainment before they will buy. Keep the same color palette as well.
You will need to provide them with “advertainment". Provide advertising that sells your product while providing entertainment value - similar to the info-mercial strategy used in television advertising.
Unlike the next group, this group likes cleverness, however, the next group is the one that most independent professionals want to attract.
Specific Buyers (SBers)
Specific Buyers have something in mind that they want to buy. They demand an easy ordering process and fast delivery. They want it now. Prefer ebooks to the wait time of a book purchase. Make the benefits of buying very clear.
SBers like ideas and creativity. Add a “what's new" page or some type of interactive shopping helper (help them to make a selection) to your site and they love it. For services, you need to offer a phone number they can call, preferably 24/7 and 800, where they feel free to ask questions without obligation.
SBers also like to purchase things in complete packages – a package with all the answers to their challenges. A package that gives them everything from A-Z so that they do not have to look any further. Because of this, they usually do comparison shopping to find the best package for the best price.
Now that you can define who you want to attract, keep in mind these five overall steps to get people to buy on your web site:
1. Know your current customer profile well.
2. Know what they are looking for on the web and how they browse the web.
3. Choose the best approach to attract these buyers.
4. Deliver what you want to attract on your site. Like attracts like with all energy.
5. Make it easy for them to buy from you.
Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com blog: http://abundance.blogs.com