A Little Personality Goes a Long Way

by Hamlet Batista | November 28, 2007 | 9 Comments

If you read my last post on advanced keyword research, you probably thought that there was no way you could look deeper into your search visitors’ desires. Well, think again. I want to share a clever technique I’ve been using for several months now to drastically improve the conversion rates of some of my projects.

The technique I am going to present is useful for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing like Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. As you will see, you can later leverage the results for your SEO efforts.

From millions of personalities to just 4

Have you ever taken a personality type quiz? I did, and it helped me understand my personality better. I got to know my strengths and my weaknesses and focused on the areas I needed to improve. The assumption behind these tests is that human beings can be classified broadly according to our psychological functions. There are multiple classification systems; a couple of popular ones are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Big Five personality traits.

In essence, these tests try to find answers to at least these four questions:

  1. Are you introverted or extroverted?

  2. Do you sense or intuit?

  3. Do you think or feel?

  4. Do you judge or perceive?

Obviously, the answers don’t imply that an individual has one trait or the other. The goal is to define which trait is the prevalent or dominant one.

Imagine that you could apply the test automatically to all your search visitors without them even knowing. Understanding their personality will help you craft a more persuasive message. You will be able to tell them exactly what they want to hear and how they want to hear it, ultimately leading to more conversions.

Appealing PPC to each personality type

Ads are in essence a persuasive offer that you are presenting to searchers. The more enticing the offer, the more likely they are to click. To take advantage of this, we simply need to create ads that appeal to each personality type and see which ones get clicked the most often.

In order to simplify things, let’s create an ad for each of the four personality types described in the excellent book Call to Action – Simple Formulas to Improve Online Results. (If you are ambitious, you can extend the idea by creating ads for the 16 personality types of the MBTI system.)

Type: Methodical

Wants: Accuracy or proof

Ad Strategy: Provide hard evidence and superior service.

Ad copy: Tested by experts. Outstanding results and a 100% money-back guarantee!

Type: Spontaneous

Wants: Acceptance

Ad Strategy: Address immediate needs with relevant, credible options.
Ad copy: Be the first on your block! First 10 customers earn a free gift.

Type: Humanist

Wants: Applause, to be part of something

Ad Strategy: Offer testimonials and far reaching incentives.
Ad copy: Go green! Receive great products, join a community and help others too.

Type: Competitive

Wants: Accomplishment

Ad Strategy: Provide rational options, probabilities and challenges.
Ad copy: Got what it takes? Three easy steps for guaranteed results. Start today.

It’s not possible to give persuasive ads without identifying an actual product, so don’t pay much attention to the actual copy here and only try to grasp the idea. Deliver a message that appeals to a specific personality type and direct the searcher to a landing page that delivers on that specific offer and meets that customer’s needs.

The real benefit comes when you split test the ads and see which ads generate the most click-through. That tells you which is the dominant personality type among your visitors. When you know that, you can set the copy on your default landing page (the page your visitors from organic searches come from) and drastically improve your conversions.

Have you tried something like this? Please let me know in the comments.

Hamlet Batista

Chief Executive Officer

Hamlet Batista is CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers. He holds US patents on innovative SEO technologies, started doing SEO as a successful affiliate marketer back in 2002, and believes great SEO results should not take 6 months

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