Are you guiding potential leads in a circle instead of directing them to convert online? If yes, it may be time to revisit the full customer journey for your target audience. The better you understand the journey leading up to conversions and sales, the better signs you can put in place to point potential customers in the right direction.
As a digital marketer, you have the control to steer your website users to the information they seek while giving them an off-ramp to convert at the right time. That said, we already know that a customer journey doesn’t start with a form fill or conversation with your sales team. It doesn’t even start with a user landing on your website or seeing your Google Ad. It starts with the idea in a potential customer’s head.
The six steps below will guide you through a customer journey exercise – one that we recommend doing as a team. Write down all ideas like a brainstorming session, go back through to edit and gain insights and take action where you see gaps and opportunities.
1. Identify the target audience you’ll focus on
To make this process as impactful as possible, start with your primary audience. This exercise should be very focused on that persona so you can dig into motivations, outside factors, and common challenges and address what is most important to them upfront.
2. What are the triggers?
Think of a trigger as an event rather than an ongoing problem a potential customer is facing. For example, your potential customers may very well be unhappy with their current solution or provider. However, that in itself is not the trigger. Instead, the trigger would be the thing that finally gets them to search for an alternate solution to solve their problem, such as they received an additional budget or their company size growing too large for them to continue using a less robust tool than what your company provides.
3. What do they do first (prior to landing on your website)?
Knowing what people do once a trigger happens helps you determine where your brand needs to appear for maximum visibility. Do they do a Google search? If so, what keywords are they using? Do they seek recommendations from an industry association? Do they look for a list of “best of”? You can’t bring eyes to your website unless you know where your target audience is looking and ensure you appear there and grab their attention.
4. When they get to your website, what page(s) are they landing on?
Related to the step above, it’s essential to understand not only what channel users are coming from but what page your audience is landing on most because this is the part of the journey you can control using navigational cues, impactful copy, and user-friendly design. (It also allows your team to reassess priorities of what pages, CTAs, or forms you want to A/B test or update).
5. What is the best way to now guide the website visitor to convert?
This is where you might want to look at your current landing page and assess where users are being led. Often we have too many links drawing attention away from the CTA we most want users to choose. Once you can map out the page or pages you believe users need to see to convince them to fill out a contact form, place an order or complete whatever conversion it is you desire, you can really comb through the user experience of how they would get from page to page, making their site visit easy and obvious.
6. What happens after that conversion?
Lastly, consider what happens after a conversion. Is it a salesperson who follows up on an email? These are also part of that customer’s journey and interaction with your brand. Again, think of what you want to provide them and ensure the messaging, support, and experience align with everything else you are doing along the way.
Traffic circle. Rotary. Roundabout. Whatever you call it, no one wants to be stuck spinning. To avoid any “Look kids Big Ben” moments, understanding and optimizing the customer journey is a crucial step a marketing team can work through. For better marketing performance, take control of guiding your customers from the first touch point to the post-conversion phase.