Accommodating All Five Types of Web Visitors

14 Feb 2019


There are five different types of online visitors, each with unique reading and learning styles. In order to write effective copy, your website needs to reach each of the different types of readers and give them the information they need in the way they want it. Let’s take a look at each of the types of online personalities, and some best practices to get them hooked, make a sale, and convert them through your online copy.

Group 1: Information Gatherers

These folks want to know as much as they can before they make a call or place an order. They want to know your pricing, they want to read about your guarantees and warranties, they want to know how your product works, and they want to know your credentials — they want all the information they can get their hands on, really.

These are the people that will be reading your copy attentively, so all of the standard copywriting rules apply: Be clear. Be concise. Be specific. Be benefit-oriented. Remember, the golden rule of attracting Information Gatherers is to never make them guess.  

Group 2: Visual Learners

Visual learners hate to read. When they come to your website, they’re looking for a few pictures or charts where they can quickly grab the info they need to make a decision. You can accommodate visual learners by adding graphics — like a flow chart about how your business or service works, or a table comparing your prices to your competitor’s prices. There are also lots of web tools out there that can also accommodate visual learners, including:

  • Test results
  • Process charts
  • Labeled diagrams
  • Infographics

Group 3: Doers

Doers don’t want to research your company or read your website. Period. They want to get it done and move on. They want to find your action statement — and they want to find it fast. Doers literally read your headline and then scroll to the bottom of the page to place an order or fill out your contact form.

If you want to keep their attention, you’ll need to give this group something to do: Every page of your website needs to have a call to action — whether it’s “Print this Coupon Now for a 15% discount” or “Sign Up For Our Newsletter.” And remember: This group doesn’t want to dig around for information. Make sure that your call to action is clear and easy to find. Don’t bury it in a bunch of copy — highlight it, make it bold, make sure it’s in a prominent position on your website.

A few other ways you can capture (and keep) doers’ attention:

  • Put contact information on every single page
  • Allow for multiple methods of contact:  phone, email, forms and even chat

Group 4: Speed Readers

This name is a little deceptive, because “Speed Readers” don’t actually read your website — they skim it. The opposite of Information Gatherers, Speed Readers figure they can get everything they need by reading the headlines and a few bolded points. To make this group happy, your web copy needs to be broken up and easy to scan.

A few other ways to keep skimmers happy? Use bullets, big headlines, and bolding to guide them to the main ideas.

Group 5: Listeners

These guys would rather see and hear it than read it. They love videos and voice-overs. This is the group that will want to check out your company’s YouTube channel right away; they’re huge fans of things like product demos, unboxing videos, and video testimonials.

Unlimited Combinations

Most people are some combination of these five basic types. For example, Speed Reader/Information Gatherers skim your content for the important stuff, but if they like what they see, they’ll come back later and scan each page in-depth. Some people are Doers when they’re in a hurry — but when they have enough time on their hands, they’ll go into Listener mode and scour your site for video testimonials and demos. 

This is why it’s important to accommodate all types of visitors.

By tailoring your content to each type of audience, you’re ensuring that people can interact with your website however they want. Tweet this

This is also why redundant content is acceptable — and even desirable — in web writing. People are going to skim, scan, and skip around. By including things like key points and contact info on each page, you’ll ensure that nobody misses the critical information.

Stephanie Hashagen 
Stephanie’s expertise in English and writing spans over a decade in freelancing and teaching. Stephanie worked as a staff writer and editor for The Houstonian, contributed to The Huntsville Item, freelanced for The Houston Chronicle and spent four years teaching English and reading at the junior high and high school level. She has a Master’s Degree in English from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Sam Houston State University. Stephanie has also ghost-authored several non-fiction and fiction manuscripts, numerous fashion and travel articles, and countless press releases, pitch letters, taglines, and print ads. Her copywriting and journalism experience includes technical copy for Tyco Flow Control and customer communications copy for a major American credit card company. Stephanie has also worked on copy and campaigns for Hilton and Carpet One Floor & Home, North America’s largest floor covering retailer.

At The Writers For Hire, she has overseen, edited, proofread, or written copy for over 50 clients. Stephanie is an exceptional proofreader, writer, and editor and has a gift for adding a creative flair to projects while keeping copy professional and concise.

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