I love creating websites! These projects are the perfect combination of the technical and the creative, of taking everything you’ve learned about a company’s external and internal needs and creating a product that is functional, attractive and effective. Understanding the buyer’s journey is essential to building a successful website because that understanding should impact your design elements, content organization and just about everything you do when organizing your website!
Defining the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is the path that prospective customers will take as they go from not knowing anything about your company and what you have to offer to becoming customers. When creating a website, the challenge is creating an online experience that can guide your prospective customers through the different stages of the buyer’s journey so that they can leave the website a customer!
There are 3 stages in the Buyer’s Journey:
In this stage, the buyer is only aware of that they have a need. They have noticed symptoms of a potential problem but they are likely unaware of your company and what you have to offer.
To target buyer’s in this stage of the buyer journey, your website must be able to create awareness of your product, service or company so that the prospect can begin to understand what it is that you offer and more importantly, how you can help them. This means that as your prospects begin to search for solutions, you must be able to have presence in their search.
72% of buyers will turn to Google in the research stage. This means that the website must have a strong web presence and be optimized for search engines like Google.
As the buyer conducts more research on their problem, they now have a better idea of what they need. In the consideration stage, they are seeking different approaches and vendors for their problem.
Buyers today are 5x more dependent on content than they were five years ago. This means that today’s buyers are more likely to conduct their own research online before making a decision. For most buyer’s, 70 – 90% of the buyer’s journey is complete even before they make contact with the vendor! This means that your website must be able to properly communicate the products and services that you offer, the benefits of dealing with your company, what your company is about etc.
The call to actions on your website homepage should also target the questions that your buyers might have in their minds as they are doing research. Again, the better you are at answering those questions, the more likely the buyers will choose you when they are ready to make a purchase.
Finally, in this last stage of the Buyer’s Journey, the buyer is ready to make contact with your company, select a vendor and make a purchase.
But just because they’ve made a purchase doesn’t mean your work is over. Most buyers will continue to look for other (better) solutions so make sure the resources available on your website, combined with a great customer service experience continues to prove to the buyer they’ve made the right choice.
The Buyer’s Journey ddoesn’tjust apply to the online experience. It should also apply to how you conduct business offline. Have you figured out your Buyer’s Journey? Do you know where in your journey your prospects come from? How can you better educate them on your company and what you have to offer?
Follow me on Twitter and Google+.