Where To Start: The Buyers Journey
I had been working as a professional copywriter and SEO specialist for around seven years before I learnt about The Buyers Journey, and for me, it was one of the most significant learning points in my experience, because everything felt like it fell into place and made so much sense, particularly in terms of optimising content for search engines (SEO).
Essentially, understanding the Buyers Journey should be the starting point if you are setting up a new website or revamping an existing one, because it is all about user experience which should be your number one goal, no matter what product or service you sell. If the customer has a great experience on your website, they are more likely to come back.
So, what is The Buyers Journey?
In simple terms, The Buyers Journey is exactly as it sounds, it is the journey a person/customer/client takes from realising they need a product and/or service to using it at home/work etc. During this literal and emotional journey, the Buyer is going to stop at a lot of passing places before reaching their final decision-making destination, and you want to make sure that you are at the forefront of all those temporary stops.
Many businesses focus on the hard-sell which can be a great tool, however it is important to be careful as it is easy to make them feel like they’re being coerced into making a decision that they are not yet ready to make. Customers don’t always know what they need, because although they are experts in their roles, they might not understand the true purpose or role of what you are offering or how it will impact their lives. For example, imagine you are an Electrician or a Painter and Decorator by trade:
Billy has decided that he wants to replace his ten-year old kitchen. He’s found the one he wants; however, the retailer doesn’t offer installation services so he’s going to need someone to install it. He’s also going to need someone to move around his electrics, decorate his walls, fit new flooring and a variety of other things. He has a list of things that need doing, but he has no clue what kind of tradesman he needs to hire to do each of them.
During these initial stages, if Billy lands on your website, he is not going to hire you. At this point, he is researching what he needs so that he can pull all the information together to form a final decision of what his next steps will be. If he can be bothered, he might give you a call or shoot you an email, but why would he bother if he can get all the information he needs from someone else’s website? Instead, he’s going to move on and contact the businesses with the most useful websites when he is ready to hire someone.
On the other hand, Joan has just replaced her bathroom suite and is now looking for a tiler to sort out her walls and flooring. She knows exactly who she is looking for, so you’ll need to prove to her – quickly – that you are the person for the job. Only once you have convinced her of that, will she call you.
Fully understanding which stage your customers are at in their purchasing journey, when they reach specific areas and/or pages of your website, will help you to target those people with the best content for their needs. Many marketing companies will advise you to focus on three areas of The Buyers Journey, however, I would argue that there are actually four with the forgotten one perhaps being the most important.
We’ll focus on the specific stages in my next blog post.
If you want to figure out your Buyers Journey, to help with the overall flow of your website, and boost the user experience for your customers and/or clients, get in touch