After you attract visitors to your website, what's next? Here are some tips for how to guide visitors through the Buyer's Journey.
It’s important to drive traffic to your website, but once people get there, what should they do next? One of the key components of inbound marketing is creating opportunities for your website visitors to convert. In other words, you want to ask them for some information about themselves (e.g. first name, last name, and email address) in exchange for more content on a topic they are interested in. This gives you the opportunity to learn about your website visitors on an individual level and provide them with content that is specific to their needs.
If you are just starting out, creating an experience on your website that encourages visitors to convert can seem overwhelming. Let's review 5 ways to prepare your website, and your team, to deliver these opportunities and provide a more personalized experience for your website visitors:
1. Offers for each stage of the Buyer's Journey
The number one thing I would suggest you do is make sure you have conversion offers for all the stages of the Buyer’s Journey. With search engines being so robust, it is often hard to know at which stage of the buying process your new visitors will first visit your website. In order to have the content that each visitor may be looking for, it's vital to cover all stages of the Buyer's Journey. Having this content built out can also help you guide your visitors throughout your website and help them find the information that they need.
2. Lead your visitors through your website
When you are deciding on the placement of your content offers, keep in mind the structure of the Buyer's Journey. I would even go so far as to map out the ideal flow of the content offers which you built out in step one. When a visitor has just downloaded a certain piece of content, be sure to offer them the next step, rather than something from a step before the one they have completed. This will help guide them in their education on the topic and prepare them with the information they need to make the best decision for their team.
Often, when people are doing research online, they are looking for a solution to a problem or struggle they are going through. Although we all want to make a sale, it is much more important to make sure that your website visitors are educated and informed on all their options. This will help them make the appropriate decision for their circumstances.
This can also help you to further understand their investment in finding the solution to their problem or find out if they are simply researching a topic that interests them. As visitors continue down the marketing funnel, those that are simply looking for information on a topic of interest rather than a solution to a problem will often drop off, rather than continuing to seek out more information. This doesn’t always happen, but it can be a key indicator of whether a visitor is likely to become a customer. Allowing your visitors to tell you what pain points they want to solve and how much information they need on that topic will help you determine who is likely to become a customer and give you the chance to lead them through the Buyer’s Journey.
3. Avoid Dead Ends
When you create these paths for your visitors to follow, it is important to lead them through the Buyer’s Journey logically and not create any dead ends on your website. Even if a visitor seems to be in the decision stage of the Buyer's Journey, and you think, "What more could I offer them? They are done; decision made," do not leave them hanging.
Think back to the foundation of content marketing and inbound marketing; we do this in order to educate our visitors. No matter how educated a visitor might seem, you’ll want to dig deeper and offer them more follow-up information. This may not even be a conversion offer, but just more content related to their areas of interest.
Looking at what other information you can offer your visitors can also help you determine whether your team has more to say on a certain topic. This insight is a great way to understand what content you might need to add to your website to ensure you are meeting the needs of all your visitors.
4. Work with your team to create the most concise flow of content
Just in case you haven't taken the time yet to bounce these conversion paths off your other departments, this is when you should. You can seek feedback from the IT department, Sales, or other marketing team members. The idea is to bring multiple different views to the table and talk through how you all may see this differently. Getting this feedback may reassure you of the paths you've created and the website experience. It may also bring new ideas to light, helping you understand why you might need to create new types of content, address different topics, or define different paths through the Buyer’s Journey altogether.
Be sure to educate your other team members on the Buyer's Journey and the goals of creating these paths for your visitors, but remain open to their ideas on how to enhance the paths. This may mean creating a better technical experience or simply filling content gaps that you didn't realize were a pain point for your customers. By opening up the conversation to other departments, you can receive multiple different views and take a step back. It is important to lead this discussion with the mindset of your ideal buyer personas and how these ideas will apply to them, not the internal team.
5. Review and Adjust
Every 3-6 months, I urge you to revisit your content paths and examine the metrics on their successes or weaknesses. Based on these metrics, go back to the drawing board and make small changes in order to refine these paths. After another 3-6 months, do it again. This will help you to keep refining your website experience and determining the ideal content paths for your visitors. When doing this, be sure to factor in any company changes, any industry changes, and other marketing efforts that may affect the metrics.
Pro Tip: Personalized Content
Personalized content is quickly becoming a necessity in today's world in order to provide the best user experience for all website visitors. Many content management systems now offer this capability, and by combining them with a Marketing Automation Platform, they can eliminate the complex technical work that goes into targeting content to individual visitors. If you are looking for an edge, something that can push your marketing efforts further, I suggest investing in a solution for creating personalized content for your visitors.
Creating the best possible experience for your site’s visitors, no matter the stage they are at in the Buyer’s Journey, can be a daunting task. This process can take some time, but keep working at it, and you will soon see the benefits of putting in the time and effort to create a more personalized experience on your digital channels. If you are having trouble with where to start or how to refine your content on your website, feel free to reach out to me in the comments below or contact a Marketing Specialist for assistance.
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