Understanding the buyer journey when designing your website

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If you want to use your website to generate more leads, you really have to understand the buyer journey, in particular the journey of your ideal customer, and how they might be interacting with your website.

Tapping into this information is absolutely essential if you want to design your website in a way which is going to engage your ideal customer or client. This article is essentially a thought experiment, guiding you through the work you need to do and the questions you should be asking yourself.

By the end, you should have a solid idea about the strengths and weaknesses of your website when it comes to generating leads.

Understanding the stages of the buyer journey

When designing your website, adding content, and planning what to put where, it’s important to consider the buyer journey. There are three stages to this journey, and they look a bit like this:

A diagram showing the three stages of the buyer journey, which start with Awareness, then follows along to Consideration, and finishes with Decision

Awareness stage

During the Awareness stage, your potential customer becomes aware of your presence whilst researching solutions to a specific problem or query they have. At this stage, they might not be ready to buy, but it’s important to keep them engaged, and there a number of ways to do that using your website.

Here’s how a potential scenario could play out:

Jenna, a dedicated vegan, recently discovered she’s pregnant. She’s excited but also has some reservations about her diet. Turning to Google for answers, she types, “Is a vegan diet healthy during pregnancy?”

One of the first results that comes up is an article titled “Is Vegan Pregnancy Healthy?” Intrigued, she clicks and starts reading. The article is detailed, unbiased, and well thought out. It suggests that if following a vegan diet during pregnancy, it may be a good idea to get some specialist support from a dietitian, to make sure the baby gets all the essential nutrients it needs.

This article is a blog post by Laura, a private dietitian who specialises in pregnancy and childhood diets. She has a series of well-written articles on her website that demonstrate her expertise in this field.

Jenna also browses the FAQ section on Laura’s website where one of the questions, “Can I get enough protein during pregnancy on a vegan diet?” catches her eye.

She downloads Laura’s free eBook titled “First Steps for a Healthy Vegan Pregnancy” and signs up for the newsletter, eager to learn more.

Stop and think:

How do you drive traffic to your website? Blogging? Social media? Business cards?

How does your website increase engagement during the Awareness stage?

Consideration stage

During the Consideration stage, potential customers begin to find out more details about what you can offer them. It’s important to give them all the information they need at this point, to make it as easy as possible for them to understand what it’s like to work with you, and the benefits they would receive.

Let’s follow Jenna’s progress and see how she interacts with Laura’s website during the Consideration stage:

A week later, Jenna receives an email inviting her to a webinar Laura is hosting: “Common Concerns During a Vegan Pregnancy.” The timing couldn’t be better. She attends the webinar and finds it incredibly informative, offering her specific solutions like meal planning and nutrient tracking.

At the end of the webinar, Laura directs the attendees to her website where they can find more information about how to work with her.

Impressed with Laura’s knowledge, Jenna is considering booking a consultation, but is still weighing her options while checking out Laura’s website.

She reads the About page, where she’s reassured to find out that Laura had extensive experience working in the public healthcare sector, before she started her private practice. She finds out that Laura is also a mother herself, so understands the drive to do what’s best for your baby during, and after, pregnancy.

Jenna also checks out Laura’s service pages. The 6-month dietary support package and tailored meal planning catch her eye. They sound like exactly the kind of thing Jenna needs.

Stop and think:

Do potential customers have an incentive to re-visit your website?

Once they begin to consider working with you, do they have access to detailed information about what exactly you offer, and what it’s like to work with you?

Decision stage

During the decision stage, your potential customer needs to feel that that they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by working with you. It’s important to reduce any kind of friction that could stop them from getting in touch, so displaying pricing clearly and inviting them to reach out to you is the key here.

Let’s take a look at how Laura’s website is engineered to encourage Jenna to make her final decision:

Jenna feels she’s on the cusp of making a decision but needs that final push. That’s when she discovers the case studies section of Laura’s website. She reads about Emily, who Laura supported the whole way through pregnancy with personalised dietary advice. Emily’s glowing testimonial, complete with newborn baby pictures, nudges Jenna towards taking that final step.

She visits Laura’s pricing page, reviewing the different consultation packages and what they offer. Everything seems well-structured and fairly priced. An eye-catching call-to-action at the bottom of the page states, “Book Your Initial Consultation Now,” inviting her to make her choice.

At this point, it seems like a no-brainer. Jenna clicks the button and books her initial call, going on to purchase a 6-month dietary support package after the first consultation.

Stop and think:

Is there any kind of friction on your website that would stop a potential customer from getting in touch with you?

Have you given them all the information they need to make their decision?

Considering the buyer journey when designing your website

I hope this example has demonstrated how important it is to consider the buyer journey when designing, or adding content to your website.

The buyer journey is an essential part of website strategy and user experience design, with the first step being to define your ideal customer, and the problems you can solve for them.

If you want to find out more about the buyer journey and how you should be considering it within your marketing strategy, there’s a great article here that explains more.

And speaking of marketing strategy, hopefully this article has highlighted how your website should be working alongside other marketing elements like social media and your mailing list. If you treat your website as a stand-alone asset, it’s never going to get the results you’re hoping for.

Here are some ideas of how you can maximise the results from a new website, or give your current website a boost.

If you have questions about anything in this article, feel free to reach out for a chat with me!

If you’re wondering how to generate more leads and enquiries through your website and you’d like my support, I offer one-to-one website consultations to help you develop a strategy for improving your website.

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