Do you really know your audience? Like, really?

I work really hard with my clients to get a firm understanding of what their users are looking for when they come to their site. I’m not just talking top-level desires (so on an ecommerce level, your users are probably looking for the thing you sell), but I mean what kind of language, style and information appeals to them.

It’s so tempting to focus on the smaller details of CRO – the colour of a button or the size of your font – but the truth is, understanding what your prospects want or need and prefer is always (or should be!) the first logical step in CRO.

Writing ‘good’ copy depends on how well you know your audience. If you don’t know them, how can you be sure your copy is actually any good? Exactly.

Unresearched copy is crappy copy

When I talk about research, I’m not talking about fact-finding (although that’s obviously important), what I mean is you need to look into what your prospects like or dislike, what they do or don’t read and what they’re likely to buy or buy into. Without understanding these fundamentals, you’re not going to have much luck in selling to them.

Identify where your offering and their needs overlap – this is where you’ll start to really work towards gaining higher conversions.


Sending out an email requesting feedback post-conversion gives users the opportunity to evaluate their experience and highlight anything they particularly enjoyed as well as things they feel need improvement. It’s always nice to find a person has liked part of your offering enough to comment on it, but the negatives will help identify areas for improvement, as well as help draw a picture of what your users do and do not like.

what-your-target-audience-wants-in-a-landing page

Live User Feedback

Similar to the survey option, you can invite users to fill out a questionnaire about their experience while on the site (I like iPerceptions). However, rather than waiting for a survey post-purchase, you reach out to users while they’re actually on your website, so you get timely feedback while it’s fresh in the users’ minds.

iPerceptions example

iPerceptions is a great way of gathering user feedback


Check out the reviews of your product or similar products from independent retailers or review sites to find out what customers really think of your product and/or competitors. There’s a cracking article on copyhackers about using reviews for improved conversions you should read.

Collect as many reviews as you can, then identify ideas or themes that run through them. You’ll be able to see what people like as well as what people don’t like. Use these likes and dislikes to build user personas. If you go the way of Copyhackers, you should make note of any memorable phrases that crop up – they lifted a quote directly from a review and improved CTR by over 400%.

Amazon could be a great place to read reviews of similar products

Using User Generated Content

By taking a look at what your users are commenting on, you can gauge what they’re genuinely interested in. You can group their responses and successfully create copy that is truly relevant to each group.

Enjoyed the post? Stay tuned for Part Two of ‘User feedback for improved conversions’ where I harness the user-data already available in your Google Analytics and Social Media Analytics to create user personas.