Have you noticed how important prospect motivation is to your landing page’s conversion rate?

c = 4m + 3v + 2(i – f) – 2a

conversion = 4 motivation + 3 value proposition clarity + 2(incentives – friction) – 2 anxiety caused by the process

This formula from marketingexperiments emphasizes prospect motivation as the most important factor involved in conversion. In other words, when the prospect is motivated, she will take action on a landing page or website.

I’d like to illustrate the power of prospect motivation and/or urgency…

The first spring after I bought my house, I began hearing some unfamiliar sounds coming from the attic at night, right above my bedroom. It sounded like some animal scratching on the beams up there. At first I thought rats, but as I continued to hear it night after night, I realized it wasn’t rats but some animal bigger than a rat. I discovered that it wasn’t just one but a few squirrels.

During the day light hours I noticed a hole in the eaves of my house right outside my bedroom. I knew I had to seal up the hole but not before the squirrels were out.

Did you notice any motivation to solve a problem?

  • I got squirrels in my attic making noises that keep me awake at night
  • I’m not as productive at work the next day because I’m sleep deprived by those @#&% squirrels
  • I don’t want to provide a home to animals in my attic, what if they make babies?

When they woke me up at night scratching and doing their thing in my attic, I said to myself, “I will kill every one of them tomorrow.” But, when the next day came I said to myself, “Self, maybe you over reacted, why not just find a way to get rid of them without killing them?”

So, to solve my problem I searched for something like “how to get rid of squirrels.” On the search engine results page (SERP) I found ads, articles, products, and a video, I skipped right over the ads and clicked on a couple articles, skimmed them and went back to the SERP. Then I clicked on a web page that looked interesting because it had info that made me think, “hmm, they know what I’m dealing with here.”

I continued reading and found that there was a solution to getting rid of unwanted squirrels in a safe and harmless way: use the scent of the squirrel’s main predator – the fox. At this point my left eyebrow raised because of an “ah-ha” moment.

I continued and found that there was a product available that had enough fox pee in it to scare the crap out of squirrels. “Once they smell it, they won’t be back.” And just below that I saw a picture of the product and it’s price.

Guess what I did? Bought some squirrel be gone and high-fived the nearest officemate. “Finally I can get a full night’s sleep again.”

In case you missed it, I bought emotionally when I had the “ah-ha” moment. But an “ah-ha” moment isn’t enough, it has to point to something for which you are the source. Collecting the facts about how to buy the product was all that was left.

And that’s the power of prospect motivation illustrated with a real life story from yours truly.

What does this mean for your web business?

  1. Identify opportunities to set up your target prospect for an “ah-ha” moment
  2. Prepare landing pages for each scenario or problem your target prospect wants to solve
  3. Utilize SEO or PPC to gain a first page ranking in the search engines

Here are more ways to capitalize on a prospect’s motivation to solve their problem:

  • Does the tone and theme of the landing page match the motivation of the keyword that the visitor will enter the page with? And, is the visitor ready to buy, negotiate or research?
  • Are “call-to-action” buttons clearly displayed?
  • Are images used effectively as to not distract from the goal of the page?
  • Are there confidence builders (testimonials, seals, stats, etc) especially near the call-to-actions?
  • Is the text large enough to appeal to the visitor?
  • Is the copy precise enough as to not intimidate the visitor?
  • Are headings and sub-headings used to separate information and guide the visitors eye?

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.