Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on January 5th, 2010

Conversion Rate Optimization: Do You Know Who Your Customers Are?

It is officially The Year of Conversions around the Volacci office for ourselves and our clients. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the new black as far as we are concerned. With the average website on the Internet (only) converting less than three percent of their traffic, CRO should be everyone’s focus.

As one of the first steps to optimizing your conversion rate, you need to know exactly who is buying your product: Mr. Bigshotlawyer, Mrs. Housewife, or Captain Crook? You don’t have to buy them coffee, meet their pets, or take them miniature golfing (though it wouldn’t hurt), but you should get to know who they are and what they do. Some business folk will even say that a business’ clients determine who a business really is... but without getting any “heavier on the cream”, let’s get to know your potential customer.

Hi, How Are You?

If you want to convert, you need to know your customers better. This will determine the type of language, visual aesthetic, and tone your content will take on. So let’s take a look first at the demographics:

Male or Female?

Are most of your clients male or female? Males lean towards logical reasoning and base their decisions on concrete facts. Females tend to be a little bit more emotional and rely on their feelings when making a decision. I’m not trying to invoke a gender war here, but ask anyone who’s married in here... there is a difference in decision-making.


If your target audience aren’t rolling in dough, then you may want to reflect that in your language and approach. However, if your customers tend to be business owners or CMOs, then your approach will be different. This may not be the tail that wags the dog, but it will make a difference.


This not only pertains to their intelligence, but also how much they know about the initial product upon entering your website. Take this in consideration when determining the vocabulary of your site. Niche terminology and elaborate language could scare off some potential customers who just don’t understand you.


We use a personality tool called a DISC profile around our office that helps us understand the types of people we encounter every day. People with different personalities react differently in dynamic situations. Know what type of personalities are landing on your website pages.

Customer Goals

This can be a tough one to determine. Ask your current customers what they want to achieve. There will be some that give you precise goals, while others will simply mumble “make more money”. Obviously, since we are talking about conversions, that will be a main goal that you will want to discuss. But if you don’t understand what your customer wants, how do you know if your solution is the right one? Look for their problems and use your brain to fix them.

Here are a few more questions you should keep in mind for each client:

• What benefits do you provide that are most important to your customers?

• What are your customers’ most FAQs?

• What are your customers’ most common objections?

• What are your clients’ main frustrations or complaints with your products or services?

• What do you guarantee?

Getting to know your customer will help you not only help communicate with your potential customers more clearly, but also help you understand your business better as well. There is more to the equation of online success and search marketing than simply optimizing your website for rankings. You need to be optimized for conversions as well, and that is what Volacci is going to focus on in 2010: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Check back with us over the next few days, weeks, and months for more effective tips to optimizing your conversion rate.