SEO Strategy:
Buyer Persuasion Points

By James Atkinson, LLB and Sarah Jamieson

In understanding SEO Strategy - you saw in the previous article that there are certain 'stages' a typical online buyer goes through – from perceiving a need > to buying a product. There are a number of “Buyer Persuasion Points” at which you can influence and persuade prospects as they go through these stages.

The next image illustrates this. The green dots are Buyer Persuasion Points:

SEO Strategy - Buyer Persuasion Points

The image is an idealized process. After the prospect perceives a need or desire (A) he or she may move from B, C, D, E, to a Sales Letter (F) or may jump around in no particular order, or may return from say E back to B and so on.

The four green dots are Persuasion Points that you use to create reciprocal relationships – that eventually lead to sales. The essential issue here is that you must cover all the bases.

Your strategy should be aimed at allowing the prospect to FIND you no matter what approach they take to solving their perceived need or desire (A).

You should aim to “take your prospect off the market” at every point of the search continuum and at every persuasion point. That is, you need to ensure that prospects who find you, at any stage of the search continuum, look to YOU to be their only point of information - and ultimately of sales.

The image below shows the accompanying actions you need to do to take advantage of the various persuasion and research points:

SEO Strategy - Persuasion Actions

The red column: The Market & Buyers, shows where your persuasion and research efforts interface with prospects and customers in the marketplace.

The blue column: Your Persuasion Actions illustrates the tasks you need to do to affect a good persuasion strategy. The blue dots show the various efforts you must make to persuade your customers to BUY.

The green dots are the four main Persuasion Points. You can see clearly that in relation to persuasion, there is a lot to do BEFORE the first sale - the First Buy Point - and that all subsequent sales and buy points also require work on your part.

In Persuasion Pyschology I explained that trust building and persuasion must begin when you first meet your prospect. Then, you must use every possible opportunity to state your persuasion message – in blogs, videos, web content, social networks / relationships, email campaigns, direct response process, and in your sales letters.

The important thing to remember is that each of the persuasion point actions outlined above should include – in a consistent way – as many of the persuasion principles as you can muster.

That is, run the golden threads of persuasion through ALL your marketing efforts:

SEO Strategy - Persuasion Golden Threads

Thus, when you:

  • conduct surveys - use persuasion principles to obtain a better response rate;
  • compile your blogs - ensure that a persuasion is incorporated in the content;
  • write your educative, social media, and direct response content, make sure it is well grounded in relevant persuasion principles;
  • Compose your marketing emails and sales letters - ensure that persuasion is deeply embedded throughout - and so on.

Right at this moment, on search engines and social networks all over the world, your target audience is online searching for information and by extension information about products.

Getting your message in front of them at this crucial search period is the difference between making a sale and losing one.

If you’re NOT ranked well in the search engines and social networks, then it will be your competitors who are engaging your prospects and influencing their buying decisions.

Most online marketers believe that ranking in the search engines to too difficult and so they resort to direct response marketing. That is, they advertise on Google Adwords (or similar) and direct prospects to sales pages. In effect, they are trying to make the sale straight away – without the benefit of a reciprocal relationship.

Other online marketers modify this strategy by opting-in prospects to an eMail list – and then sending a series of autoresponder eMails to the prospect.

Many marketers neglect to influence, shape buying decisions, and position themselves as trusted authorities before the sale. Once a prospect’s mindset has shifted to view you as an authority and trusted advocate, sales follow naturally.

Likewise, after the first sale you can build strong loyalty and keep your unique benefits top-of-mind with customers - making it hard for competitors to lure your trade away.

This leads to strong backend sales and a long relationship with customers, creating high lifetime customer value. Doing business in this way allows you to:

  • Make more sales
  • Make them more easily
  • Spend less money on advertising
  • Continue to sell to customers on the backend – over and over again.

I have found that my backend sales are so much more profitable than frontend (first) sales. This is because my existing customers buy more easily than “cold” prospects who have never bought from me before.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could set things up BEFORE the first sale so that prospects feel the same positive feelings towards you that existing customers do?

Well, you can – and it’s all the more powerful because most marketers are not doing it, and don’t even know how. Basically it comes down to one equation:

Relationships = Sales

The difference between selling to someone you have a relationship with vs. someone you don’t - is dramatic.

You can shift the prospect mindset before the sale so that by the time they buy, they’ve gone from seeing you as nobody they’ve ever heard of - to a trusted authority who has their best interests at heart.

Once this mindset shift is made, sales follow naturally.

Here’s how relationships boost sales:

Trust: I’ve said above that trust must be in place before a sale happens – but sales letters are not the ideal way to build trust. There is very little time and the prospect is well aware you are trying to close the sale.

The best way to build trust is gradually, by creating high-quality, extremely relevant content that firmly cements your authority as an expert.

Repeated contact: Research shows that prospects are more influenced by those they are familiar with (Liking Principle), so build that familiarity with regular contact.

Prospects will associate you with quality and expertise as they are repeatedly exposed to your high-quality content.

Authority: By creating highly relevant content that answers all your market’s burning questions, prospects will irresistibly come to see you as a trusted expert and authority figure (Authority Principle).

The internet offers you great opportunities to engage with prospects and shape their mindset throughout the buying cycle or search continuum. This builds trust and your authority. When prospects accept what you say and follow you it’s easier to maintain that trust and authority through email.

Through eMail you can contact prospects in a strategic way - rather than just having them visit your blog / Twitter and soon.

Once they’re on your email list, give prospects more great content. Gradually segue into mentioning your products.

I have found that there is little need for hard sell – sales will happen naturally because prospects perceive you as the best choice in the market.

Let’s look at the first Research Point – which provides you with the data you need to properly persuade your prospects.

SEO Strategy > Buyer Persuasion Points > Sales Prospects Perceive a Need >