How to Influence Your Online Audience

The words on your website have the power to influence your online audience or turn them off in an instant.

Paying attention to the humans reading your content rather than the search engine robots is more important than ever.

There’s been a lot of discussions recently about copy quality as a result of Google’s algorithm update, and below you’ll find five ways to influence your online audience and improve your conversion rates.

Research your market

The first step to influencing anyone is to know what makes them tick; assumptions won’t get you very far.

You might think you know what your target market is thinking, but do you really? Have you even asked them?

For example, let’s say you’re a local car hire company. You may write all your online content around the assumption that people place the most importance on price.

However, the reality may be that visitors to your site are more interested in convenience and looking for a useful service like being picked up from home to collect their rental car or having it delivered to their home/workplace.

Unless you ask people, you’ll never really know what’s important to them and guesswork isn’t going to buy you much influence.

Tap into people’s emotions

If people didn’t buy using their emotions we’d all be driving around in the same model of car.

A practical car might be the most fuel efficient, have low road tax and be reasonable to insure but it won’t excite many people.

Think about it – why would someone buy a Porsche when they could have a Peugeot? The answer lies in people’s emotions – a Porsche is deemed to be a more exciting car to drive and has a perceived status. It may well be more expensive to tax, insure and run a Porsche but many people still really want one.

If the text on your website can bring about a strong emotional response towards your product or service, you will influence more people.

The power of because

Because is a very powerful word. Imagine you were standing in a queue at a supermarket and someone behind you asked if they could go first. The chances are most people would say no.

However, if someone else asked the same question and gave a good reason as to why, wouldn’t you be more likely to say yes?

For example, a fellow shopper might say “could I please go in front of you because I’m already running late to pick up my 5 year old from school?”

When writing your website copy it’s not enough just to ask people to contact your or order online you have to give them a reason to and using ‘because’ more can help you gain more influence.

Make people think

Asking questions and making people think can also go a long way to influencing them. Lots of us go about our day to lives without paying much attention to the things around us.

If you can get people to think about how your product or service could change their life or one aspect of it for the better, you are much more likely to influence them into taking action.

Keep things simple

Imagine for a minute there was a knock at your front door. When you answered it there were three sales people all from the same company trying to sell you a different product. Would that make you more or less likely to buy?

The same principle applies to your website – keep things simple. Focus each page on just one idea, product or service – don’t confuse people by having lots of different messages. This type of ‘noise’ is only going to discourage people, just like the trio of over-eager sales people at your front door.