When presented with particular problems, like the scarcity of a desirable product, our brains function in very predictable ways. Understanding how we respond to these problems allows us to fine-tune our marketing, and pitch our SEO services in the most effective way possible.
A basic understanding of psychology is a powerful ally in the fight for improved sales and increased revenue. So, to help improve your sales and marketing performance, I’ve covered 5 of the most powerful psychological hacks that your SEO agency needs to be using.
People hate missing out; to the extent that we’ll pay more for something if it’s about to become unavailable. Businesses regularly harness our fear of missing out to encourage sales, using manufactured scarcity to send buyers into a feeding frenzy of purchasing.
During the recent Black Friday events, many of the products on sale could be bought at lower prices at other times of the year. The limited-time nature of the Black Friday sale was powerful enough to overcome the typical price comparisons that consumers conduct. Consumers not only assumed that Black Friday prices would be lower than at other times of the year; they also stopped caring about price, and started caring purely about scarcity.
Aside from participating in Black Friday sales, your agency can benefit from this by promoting limited time offers. Restrictions on stock levels, maximum number of customer purchases and Today Only! special offers will all trigger our fear of missing out – encouraging consumers to buy your products and services there-and-then, or risk missing out.
2. Social Proof
In an age of misleading advertising, consumers are understandably suspicious of marketing. The recommendation of friends, family, colleagues and authority figures are much more powerful than outlandish advertising claims – and in order to persuade potential customers that your business is worth buying from, you need to leverage social proof.
You SEO agency should constantly seek out testimonials, customer reviews and social media feedback. Engage with your existing users, and incorporate their comments and opinions into all of your marketing material. Avoid the outdated ‘Testimonials Page’, and instead choose to integrate social proof into your entire website – particularly at crucial points of your sales funnel.
This psychological hack is in evidence all around us, especially as Holiday season rolls around. If you’ve ever received a Christmas gift from a relative stranger, it’s likely that you’ll feel obligated to return the favor, and buy something to give back to them. This is known as reciprocity – the desire to avoid being in someone’s debt. It’s a powerful psychological impulse, and one that causes millions of people to shell-out for presents destined for people they barely know.
If your agency is willing to give away something valuable, your audience will want to return the favor. Whether you’re offering your professional advice through a blog, creating killer actionable eBooks or offering free trials of your software, giving away your expertise will encourage visitors to offer their time and custom in return.
4. Customer Commitment
As a general rule, we hate going back on our word. Once a decision has been made, most people will go to extreme lengths to standby their choice; choosing to stick with wrong decisions even in the light of changing circumstances.
If you’re able to solicit a commitment from your customer, it’s likely that they’ll choose to stick with your business for the long-run – and feel good about doing so. A common tactic in the SEO industry is to offer free trials of software. Potential customers agree to it because it’s a free, no-obligation service; but once your user has invested themselves into your product and service, it’s unlikely they’ll want to quit after the trial is over.
5. Pricing Contrast
First impressions play a vital role in securing customers. Whenever a visitor clicks-through to your product page, they’re performing dozens of subconscious comparisons – analyzing products, services and pricing between your own range of offers, and those of your competitors. In order to maximize your chances of getting a sale, you may be inclined to hit your visitors with a super low-priced special offer as soon as they click-through. You shouldn’t.
The first price your visitor sees will act as a benchmark for their price comparisons. By hitting them with the lowest price first, all of your other services will seem expensive by comparison. To benefit from the power of pricing contrast, hit them with one of your top-tier services first. By promoting your most expensive offer, every other offer on your page suddenly seems much more reasonable in comparison – and your visitor won’t be put-off by seemingly high price tags.