You know all about your customer. Who they are. What they need – why they need it.
And you intimately understand your product or service. Why it is the best answer to their need. Why it is better than your competitors’. How it is unique.
(If you don’t? Please spend some time thinking about these questions. They are critical to the success of your business.)
But are you helping them along in their journey to buy? Are you there with the information they are looking for every step of the way?
If you are like most website owners, probably not.
Recently we completed an SEO content audit for a client who had strong marketing expertise and lots of content. But we pointed out some disconnects. They immediately saw the problem and commented that their site was missing the span of the customer’s journey.
It was clear on the site what their customers sorely needed. And their delivery results were detailed. But they hadn’t built the bridge to get the client from one to the other.
Many Different Entry Points
Customers don’t all arrive at your website at the same point along the path. Some are brand new, just realizing they have a problem. Others have researched and know of several solutions that might work. Or she’s talked to others and has some ideas. Maybe they are making the final decision between your product and a competitor’s when they come to the site.
Each of these people is looking for very different information.
And typing very different searches into Google to find you.
Stages of the Customer Journey
What are the steps? Think of a purchase that you’ve recently made online. You probably went through a process similar to this.
Learning – You just heard about something new that intrigues you and you are trying to learn all about it. You are interested in general info on the topic or even related topics. You are looking for photos, ideas, stories or other peoples’ experiences.
Researching – You realize this is something you have a need for. You are more focused now and doing some initial fact finding. What choices are available? What would best fit your situation?
Comparing – You have a clearer idea of what you want and are narrowing down to a few top contenders. You are probably reading reviews and fact sheets.
Deciding – You are looking for assurances that you are making the right decision. Case studies, reviews, testimonials and comparisons are all important.
Purchasing – Ah, the end of the journey. Hopefully it is clear, quick and easy.
Thinking About Your Customer
- Do you understand each of the different points along her journey?
- Do you have information (a page, blog post, FAQ, photo gallery, testimonial, case study, before/after) that answers his question at each point?
- Is there a next step clearly laid out for her?
- And is each page focused around a unique keyword phrase, so that the searcher easily arrives at the answer he needs?
Congratulations – you have a customer’s journey.
It may not be a straight line – someone may skip some steps. People enter at different points.
But if you have each covered in a journey with SEO and content on your website, you have a much better chance of answering their query with the right information at the point that they are looking for your product or service.
Let us know in the comments what part of the customer journey you think you might be missing.
Image: “Wonder of Nature” courtesy of JON_CF creative commons license