Finding the Right Trigger

by : Karon Thackston

by Karon Thackston © 2005

You've got a great product or service. Now, how do you makebuyers sit up and take notice? How do you get them excited aboutwhat you're offering? You have to pull the trigger.

There is at least one trigger for every product or service onthe market today. Finding it is the hard part. Once youdetermine what will set your customers in motion, you've wonhalf the battle. This was the case with

With a new site, the owner of (Jeff) wasunsure of what to do with the copy in order to connect with hissite visitors and cause them to take the action he wanted themto take. Not to mention, Jeff wanted to rank highly with theengines as well, so search engine optimization (SEO) had to betaken into consideration, along with the selling aspects of thecopy.

The Problem

The only real problem was finding the right trigger. Theoriginal site had little to no usable copy. That's not aninsult; it's the truth. You can see the original home page here: knew he needed help from a professional copywriter, so hespent little time on the site content.

The Solution

To determine the most powerful trigger, I took a look at all thesegments of's audience. It was broken downinto three distinct types of customers. They were all interestedin the most reliable weather forecasts possible, but for threevery different reasons.

One group was made up of meteorologists. Their obvious interestwas in being able to provide the most accurate forecasts totheir viewers and listeners. A second group was compiled ofweather risk managers. It is the job of these professionals toaccurately assess weather for industries such as the stockexchange, construction, transportation, national defense andmore. The last group needed weather forecast accuracy forpersonal reasons, usually as a hobby or for sports reasons(coaches, etc.).

While the last group was primarily interested in the weather asamateurs, the first two segments (meteorologists andweather-risk managers) have a lot on the line when it comes toweather forecast accuracy. Their reputations and their jobs areon the line.

And that's the trigger! I put it right up front in the headline,which read: Because Your Reputation Depends on Being RightAbout the Weather

The headline hit the nail on the head. It got the attention ofweather professionals, was of great interest to hobbyists andincluded part of one of Jeff's keyphrases. The last word in theheadline (weather) tied into the first sentence of the copy and,thus, created a keyphrase.

Keep in mind that engines don't read spaces or line breaks orpunctuation within the copy, so having one word of a keyphrasein the headline and the remainder of the keyphrase in the firstsentence of the copy is an excellent way to make the copy flowand keep in line with SEO protocol.

Now, the task would be to keep that same emotional twist andenergy throughout the copy. With the old copy, Jeff had norankings with the engines for his chosen keyphrases, so theoptimization of the copy needed to give him a presence.

The Rewrite

In the opening paragraph, I touted the praises of weatherprofessionals, letting them know their expertise was recognizedand appreciated. I also used one keyphrase twice and the secondkeyphrase once. In addition, I used the individual word"weather" and substituted "specialist" for "risk manager" insome instances to add to the flow and give a well-roundedenvironment for the spiders and bots.

Next, I provided a good overview of what ForecastWatch.comoffered. Again, a keyphrase was used in the headline (because itworked for both the visitors and the engines, not strictly forSEO purposes), and a keyphrase was used in the paragraph.

Finally, the copy was broken out into segments that targetedspecific individuals. This gave them precise information on whatbenefits offered them. Boxes formeteorologists, weather risk managers and weather enthusiastswere created. Within the copy for each block and again in theanchor text for links to internal pages, keyphrases were usedwhere appropriate. These boxes lead each visitor to informationthat was most relevant to him/her.

You can see the new copy here:

The Results

I always like to let the customer take over in this section.Here's what Jeff had to say about the rewrite of his home-pagecopy.

"Traffic has steadily increased, and I've gotten a lot of leadsand my largest non-weather-company business customer fromInternet search. The rewrite helped me with more than just thewebsite. It helped me to define my business goals and toarticulate them in other marketing materials as well." Inaddition, rankings continue to rise with current positioning inthe top five for one of his keyphrases.

Take the time to do a little research. Put yourself in yourcustomers' place. Uncover what's most important to them, andyou'll be rewarded with greater conversions in the long run.