Making Impact on Your Visitors is High Priority

For a decade now, marketers have been focusing more on the visitor experience and user engagement.

Everyone’s catching up on an important concept — that the customer experience is driving more of digital success, whether in Google rankings, user engagement or sales.

IMPACT, which we discuss below, is perhaps the most important part of the visitor experience. Impact is about emotions. It’s all about resonating with their real desires and values. And as you’ll learn in this post, emotion powers up attention, engagement, and memory.

If the visitor isn’t emotionally affected by your content (which to them is your brand), they will leave.  That makes them unlikely to return and it also ruins your ranking performance on Google search. IMPACT helps grab your visitors and keep them long enough for you to get your UVP and messaging across.

IMPACT elevates the rest of your marketing too, and can actually determine whether leads are converted. Those initial seconds, minutes and pages of the visit can generate to a lasting outcome — unforgettability and repeat sales.

IMPACT – Determines Success More than Anything Else

Let that message sink in as you’re planning your marketing budget. Research from Harvard (HBR) showed that emotional impact is a better gauge of future value than anything else.

Your site’s initial and ongoing impact triggers interest and positive emotional associations, builds emotion, commands continuous attention, and launches your visitors into a brand experience they’ll love.

Impact Definition: The customer’s state of attention, emotional readiness and openness they experience when they view your marketing material.

Creating a Shockwave of Attention

Impact is a shockwave of attention that puts your product/brand first and foremost in the prospect’s mind. The shockwave clears competition and moves noise out of the way (out of their mind). It’s often part of a blitz marketing promotion because it clears a path for you to enter, which puts your product at top-of-mind.

“It is the feelings we evoke in others that have a true, lasting impact. A feeling of inspiration, connection or fun create an inner resonance, memory and desire for more” — Vince Gowmon

What Kind of Content Generates Impact?

There are many drivers of impact, and any one of them might work. And this is more than just images and web design.  You may want to pack in a cluster of impact drivers to reinforce the value of your content piece and offer. It’s not easy to engage and motivate people online. Strategy is so important.

  • a hook which is a statement, visual, slogan, promise or image that visitors believe is strongly associated with their ambitions, values and beliefs
  • a first paragraph of text that draws them further into the idea you’re presenting
  • text/headings containing important relevant keywords and related words
  • a solution or path that looks like it could be successful
  • relevant images that tie your promise to their real-life needs
  • blogs, pdfs, videos, charts, and posts that are shareable which makes them feel more valued to their connections
  • a topic people currently are interested in and would like to promote further conversation on
  • has proof/support from an authority they recognize and respect in it
  • includes a big, recent news story with commentary that supports your product/idea/brand

What About Visuals?

There’s no doubt visuals such as photos, illustrations, charts, videos, color palettes, logos, videos, and design elements are a part of the IMPACT equation. Videos tap into the whole non-verbal realm and grab more complete attention.  Visuals increase comfort and hold attention.  However can slow down your page load times and seriously lower your Google rankings. There is a tradeoff here with respect to SEO.

Visuals are their own language. They lend support to the text message and give it an extra dimension. Building a branded design can help convey credibility, trust, and stimulate the visitor. It builds a consistent message and avoid confusion.  Brands receive higher lead conversions.

Great visuals are shared more and encourage others to link to your website. Definitely pursue a brand visual design with your graphic designer, after getting guidance from a branding consultant.  The visuals must be right or they can actually create the opposite effect.

Here’s a property management website that uses video on their homepage. A stunning and unexpected view of Los Angeles, California and it gets the point across about beauty, worry-free relaxation, with lots of properties in view.

Sometimes it’s just simple things that can do it. In this graphic below from Oda Creative, the font overlaps the image.  That’s enough to create distinctiveness and elevate the site beyond millions of competitors.

Screenshot courtesy of

Visitors Buy Your Brand

There’s an important note about impact and viral sharing potential — branding is powerful. Your brand or reputation is important.  In essence, people don’t buy your product, service, marketing piece or whatever — they buy your brand. Try to sell anything with a shoddy brand, you’ll see how the difficulty increases.  Your brand affects whether visitors will be willing to be impacted and listen further to your messages. The brand is the giant standing behind everything your business appears to be. Your brand is your UVP, and if they don’t like it, nothing you say and do will matter.

Top brands drown out any new competitor entering the marketplace.

Big marketing results are often achieved through brand power itself, and can sometimes launch content that isn’t particularly strong. Check out most blogs/content from big successful brands, and you’ll see they’re thin, slanted, and not very helpful.

For your SMB company, keep producing great content and over time, you can build that impactful brand. Then you’ll find the same content you’re producing will be 3 times more effective — accepted and engaged by customers because now it’s wrapped in a brand they like.

Creating Positive Values and Associations

It’s what your content conjures up in the visitor’s mind that grabs them. Your content connects them right away to something powerful they feel or believe in.  You’re building the connection between your offer/brand and their ideals.

Buyer’s emotions are their first response to your brand, but also their attitude after getting to know your company and product. This means the impact we really want isn’t a 7-second effect, but instead, something that’s profound and lasting.  After all, that’s what it takes to win a customer now.

Some Companies who Make IMPACT

One example of impact is shown by Hotel La Jolla’s website. The visuals are stunning, and the first heading says “The Seashore is Calling.”  That connects the hotel to the ideal vacation experience for La Holla lovers. They quickly back that up with visuals of comfort, sumptuous food, and expansive Pacific Ocean views. It’s all about luxury relaxation in La Jolla California, one of the most beautiful locales on the west coast.

Castelo DiaMorosa in Napa Valley, USA shocks its visitors with a video of a stunning, authentic Tuscan castle in California’s wine country. It presents the culture and experience of wine better than any website in the world. The site conveys the full experience from wine tasting to hotel rooms to tours of the castle’s authentic Italian architecture and vast wine storage rooms all built in stone.

The opportunity to visit and explore a castle definitely keeps your attention.  However, it’s not just the initial impact but prolonged emotional engagement with winery features packaged in an amazing branded experience.

IMPACT Powers Your Customer’s Journey

And there’s more they want. To take your company seriously they need to be emotionally impacted — registering a strong emotional influence on their attention and intent.  This is well beyond web design and visuals. It’s the immediate and lasting impact of the value proposition they receive.  It makes yours the most significant and unforgettable solution, making others fade away.

It’s not an easy topic to comprehend which is why most avoid it. IMPACT is different for each type of product category, customer profile and channel so it requires some mental dexterity.  However, this gentle introduction should help you move forward on using IMPACT to create many marketing benefits for your campaigns.

10 Key Benefits of Making IMPACT

  1. creates strong attention and more receptiveness to your unique value proposition
  2. overcomes prospect’s resistance, prejudices, and misguided beliefs about products
  3. eliminates noise, distracting messages that erode your sales conversion process
  4. generates substantial long-term loyalty and sales revenue (LTV)
  5. increases engagement
  6. keeps you top of mind longer
  7. lowers cost of marketing and lead generation
  8. creates brand ambassadors who will promote your company
  9. helps you compete against wealthy, market-leader brands
  10. puts you on a path to market leadership

Heightening the Receptiveness to Your Value Proposition

I’m sure you’re well aware that it’s not an intellectual response that leads to sales. It’s their emotions.  Exciting, significant, timely content and promises grab them — which opens them to your pitch.

Creating an emotional impact on visitors means understanding what your visitor’s experience is, what they want, what’s missing, and what will make them open to your unique value proposition.

Even if we use advanced SEO strategy and professional quality content, with a persuasive edge to it, we still have to register an impact to turn visitors in to real leads. It’s more than visual branding too. It’s about communicating a message that removes their defenses and opens their mind.

Removing Material that Detracts from Impact

If you’ve done everything right, but have some words, images, messages or features the visitor doesn’t like, and it can lower impact. Customers have ingrained attitudes and preconceptions cloaked in negative emotions. Find out what they are or what they don’t like.  If you fail to do this, you won’t get past their iron curtain to engage them in conversation.

As you prepare your impact strategy, you’ll realize you need to get all of your materials optimized and synchronized. A bad web design, hard-to-read font, low-quality photos, lack of charts and proof, and a fuzzy goal for the customer can sabotage everything. A lack of authority or popularity can be one such detractor.  Make sure you and your brand are credible and likable.

Anything that detracts from IMPACT could ruin the lead. Let’s be perfectionists!

In this graphic, HBR shows how uniqueness, confidence, comfort, joy, security, and belonging play into choices. These deep seated needs along with urgency, significance, hope, awe, and exhilaration and more drive purchase decisions. E.g., whether you hire me as your professional search engine optimization consultant depends on whether I create these emotions in you.

Emotional Drivers from Impact
Screenshot courtesy of Emotional Drivers for brands.

When visitors arrive on your site, that first page must make a great impact on them, otherwise they’re demotivated and leave. The experience they expected/wanted didn’t happen and it’s a tough save situation. Lacking an industrial psychologist you might need to hire an advanced content strategist with a strong testing approach so you can learn what does create the right emotions.

How do You Generate Emotional Impact?

Be the ultimate solution or provider. Be the most significant. Demonstrate that and showcase it in a way they can enjoy. Examine your competitor’s welcoming of their visitors and how they generate a wonderful experience for them.

Yes, prospects have a vision of who can fulfill their pains and needs and you need to embody those characteristics. You’re starting with what the market respects and wants first, then through your messaging, show how you’re much better than their current ideal.

Only then can you wow them with the great, relevant skills, benefits you deliver. If you do what most companies do with the “here’s our stuff” promotion, they will leave. Here’s our stuff may only work for well known companies that already have a well established brand, or for big companies who are leveraging the “big corporation promise” — the big money and a slick product backs up their ability to deliver.

Certainly, you can integrate a corporate theme in your design and copy to project that message of assurance. It could work with conservative prospects.

What do Prospects Want?

Let’s look at SEO Companies and how they would make an impact.

Business owners need traffic, high rankings, and leads. They’re not so much interested in professional SEO, but rather the leads, sales and revenue that search engine optimization would deliver.

Business people ahve different perceptions but most SEO companies will focus on services and benefits such as rankings, and links and keyword research. Poor quality prospects will find that cluster of features appealing, whereas high quality leads want industry relevance experience, SEO expertise, knowledge, and a strong overall understanding of modern marketing strategy.

Most prospects don’t know how to evaluate quality. You should help them with the evaluation, and then show them how relevant you are to their company. After proving significance, you move onto building more trust and credibility, and make it seem logical that contacting you now is the right next step.

An SEO Company then, can make substantial impact by demonstrating mastery of content strategy and the Google ranking algorithm, then explaining the value of their service within a full marketing program. We should show how we would solve their pains, with a unique high level of expertise, proving we are one of the best in the industry.

Business owners don’t want to think about SEO complexities, and they expect an advanced SEO will do what’s necessary. As long as we have the budget, we can get it done so their confidence is well placed.

Impact however, means showing definitively how you are into and understand their industry, market, and competitive space. When you look like an insider, they feel you’re one of them. They relax and move back to the big picture because they’ve just resolved their pain point — finding an advanced SEO provider.

The point being made here, is not that you’re pushing your product, but rather you’re opening the prospect’s mind wider. You do that by leading them from one pain point resolution to the next in the right sequence.

12 Key Assets that Build Emotional Impact:

  1. professional quality website design that makes visitors feel comfortable
  2. excellent marketing pages that lay out services and value clearly
  3. excellent graphics, visual data, informative blogs, interesting stories, relevant photos enhance the experience
  4. a personalized, unique value proposition that is transparent and clearly presented
  5. what you say and how you say it — the copywriting voice that speaks to them
  6. choosing the right benefits to focus on and how easy it is for them to respond
  7. services are aligned to each of the prospect’s pain points
  8. build credibility, accomplishments, credentials, staff, other clientele you’ve served
  9. case studies, ebooks, surveys, research, interviews
  10. transparency about you and your staff and how their experience supports your offer
  11. company purpose clearly stated (why you do what you do)
  12. links to websites that validate you or your company
  13. understand the Impact You Want to Make

What’s Your Wow Factor?

Understand the exact impact you want to make and the emotions you’re trying to stimulate. What’s your WOW factor? Why are they impressed? Why are they emotionally invested? The more focused you are in this, the more impact you can register.

The more personalized and specifically relevant it is to your best prospects, the better the results will be. Remember that you can be relevant to them, look like the top dog, but may lack those personal intangibles to make you the number one, most significant company to them.

Make being a market leader the real goal, as that top rung in significance makes them forget your competitors. Then it’s easy to make an impact because you’re the only one in town and everything you do will be fascinating to them.

Credibility, Trust, Significance

Credibility is important. They may be impressed with your consultancy or tech company, but if your credibility is lacking, the impact will be lost.

Online, a high quality, slick but conservative website generally equates to trustworthiness and credibility for most visitors. The size of your company, key staff, and how solutions are slickly presented can help register strong impact.

If achieving all of these is a tough task, take them one at a time and focusing is the way to go. Start with pinpointing your customer’s pain points. Then redesign your marketing strategy using new content, case studies, and high informative and helpful content. Rewrite employee bios, show accomplishments, and perhaps consider hiring a new super talent to give your significance a big boost.

Build Your Massive Reach and Catch Better Leads

Before you can make an impact, you need to reach a big audience. The best prospects will likely come from your blog, Linkedin and Google ads. Using advanced SEO strategy is the best way to reach the best prospects who are mostly clicking the first three ranking sites on Google.

Get into professional grade search engine optimization here on the blog.

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