Psychologically Profiling of Your Site Visitors

May 21, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

Must Visit OkDorkEstablished off line industries already know everything about their customers and clients and have well developed psychological profiles, so they are pretty successful at selling their products and services. Websites and online sites also need psychological profiles of their visitors and customers to be effective and in business.

Wal-Mart knows you’ll buy more bananas on Tuesday than any other week, and that selling Crest toothpaste at $2.49 increase sales by 11% than if you they sold it for $2.44.

Why Make a Psychological Profile?

It allows you to make decisions easier. If you know the your visitors come to your website to satisfy three different needs, than you’ll know what to hit on when designing and developing your site.

Getting better results. You will not waste time and resources on activities that get substandard results. You won’t preach mountain biking to geeks or car racing to nerds.

Components of a Psychological Profile

The Psychological Pathway I learned about the Psychological Pathway when I was studying direct mail advertising. The pioneers in direct mail advertising walked through what a customer thinks when he is dealing with the direct mail that comes in their physical mail box. That is where A|B testing came from and other tricks based on the thinking of people that dealt with direct mail.

You have to write down the thinking processes that occur in your visitor’s heads when they use your site. What are they thinking when they click on this button or that link? You need to know the difference in psychological needs of a Google visitor and a repeat visitor and treat each differently.

Other factors:

Needs what does the user need in his life that is not being fulfilled, which you can supply, this could be emotional, physical, or psychological
Personality types – Introverts, extraverts, caring, cold, driven, laid back, direct, and indirect.

Surveying รขโ€ฐย  (Truth or Fact)
Surveying is gathering information on the people’s self image and how they view themselves. People always view themselves and answer surveys based on how they view their ideal self. This is usually not how they are in reality. Looking at behavior gives you the true picture of their motivations.

After Action Questionnaire
Asking questions and surveying after a visitor or a customer makes an action is a lot more effective. The answers will allow you to peek into the thought processes of the person and see what lead up to the action. This will allow you to align what the people do, with what they thought they did.

There will always be exceptions to the rules and profiles that you build. Keep that in mind. You think you’ve covered the market that your site appeals to most, but you might find that a different demographic uses your site also.


Don’t fly with your blinders on. Start with a basic psychological profile of your site visitors and keep that in mind when building and developing your site. As you get more feedback from what works and what doesn’t and from usage and after action questionnaires, you’ll be able to modify this profile and further tone your messages to hit spot on with your target visitors and customers.

More about Andre Nosalsky at his site.

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7 responses to “Psychologically Profiling of Your Site Visitors

  1. Andre Nosalsky Reply

    Via the contact form I was asked by Trevor what to study when looking to get better in Direct Marketing. And my response is to read everything by these guys:

    Gary Halbert <- read EVERYTHING by Gary Dan Kennedy <- excellent material, read everything John Carlton <- worked with Gary DM Magazine <- read latest Jay Abraham <- very unique approach, read his book to start Joseph Sugarman <- Read Triggers to start Robert B. Cialdini <- read influence book to start Claude Hopkins <- read his two popular books Al Ries <- good branding material David Ogilvy <-one of the legends of DM & advertising Start at the top and read everything that all of these people have produced, that is if you really want to understand this area and not just half*** it. Reading what these guys wrote will give you a foundation that you can build on for pretty much any business.

  2. Mike Reply

    If a post ever needed a picture of Homer Simpson with a see through head that revealed his brain is just a hamster on a wheel, this was the post.

    What went wrong?

    It was thought provoking none-the-less.

  3. Jen Reply

    I once got an envelope with a warning that tampering with it would result in a hefty fine and imprisonment. I opened it up and it was a mortgage financing offer. Totally misleading, but it got me to open the envelope when I usually toss it into the shredder.

  4. Ilya Lichtenstein Reply

    Good post- psychologically profiling site visitors is basically my job ๐Ÿ™‚

    A minor nitpick though- personality type theory(introverts,extroverts,etc) has largely been disproven- people are more extro/introverted in some situations and less in others. Therefore, a better question to ask is “How can I design my site to bring out the extrovert in my visitors?

  5. andre nosalsky Reply

    @Jen, I think we all have fallen before for very legitimate looking mail, I think the DMers do what works.

    @Ilya, you’re right, it’s not always 100% intro/extroverts, it’s a mix, usually the person is leaning one way or the other.

  6. will Reply

    well see this is very interesting to find this topic posted while visiting this website. I actually just had a dream the other nite in regards to how Google had made a large mistake in purchasing You Tube. You might object to that last statement, however I will give out more information. Google main goal was to create a great search engine. Accomplished! However instead of buying You Tube, Google should have brought a company that is more than likely going to go belly up without this buyout from Google. This company had properitary software that measured the phychological and behaviour profiles of users that used the google search engine. With the workings of the properitary software with Google’s Algorithm would have dove tailed perfectly which would have in return, turned Google from a $4.8b dollar quarter to a whopping $428 b a quarter. I guess Google decided to take the Sex, Drugs, Rock& Roll route, But then again, it was only a dream