How to Know Your Audience like a Psychologist

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If Psychology is the practice of understanding a person through their actions and behaviors, isn’t website optimization pretty much the same thing?

The folks who invited me to speak at the Chinwag Psych Conference in London think so. Here’s why.

What a person says they are feeling and thinking doesn’t let a psychologist know what is going on in their subconscious. It’s the subconscious that drives our behaviors more than our rational, conscious minds.

No, the psychologist has to read between our words, evaluate our unconscious behaviors to begin to see deeper.

A Conversion Scientist can ask a web audience what they expect from a website and why the did or did not buy. The answers will be rationalizations, and often will contradict the actual actions of these visitors.

We have to read between the lines, watching their online behavior. Our analytics database is like our couch.

In the end, both the psychologist and the Conversion Scientist must speculate as to why people behave the way they do.

The psychologist may recommend additional therapy. They may prescribe medication. If they are good, they will monitor the patients to see how the treatment worked.

After seven years of website optimization, I may need medication.

The Conversion Scientist may prescribe building trust, stronger language, more social proof, better images and more. And we always measure the effectiveness of these “treatments.”

So, if you’re in London on May 15, you should come and see an amazing lineup of psychologist-marketers. Nathalie Nahai, Craig Sullivan, André Morys, and Bart Schutz round out my list of favorites.

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Brian Massey is the Founder and Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences. He is the author of Your Customer Creation Equation. His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses were developed over almost 20 years as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, international speaker and writer.

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