By Steven Titchener
When we think about creating our new website, we always want it to look cool and show off the amazing services we provide and tell people how great we are. That makes sense right? The person looking at your website is looking for a service or product that you offer.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
To help us better understand what IS important on our website, we need to look at buying cycles.
The buying cycle is where a person is on their road to making a purchase and typically it comes in 3 levels:
The first level in the buying cycle is all about awareness. From a users perspective it’s about the awareness of a problem or challenge they are facing. For example, in web design a user might be aware that their website isn’t selling as many products as it used to.
In this stage they know they have a problem but aren’t really looking at a solution yet, but they will be receptive to ideas on how to solve that problem.
The second level is where the user starts to actively think about how they can solve their particular problem and might even start looking at outside solutions to do so. For example a user might look for web design agencies in their area to SEE what work they have done.
In this stage the user is focussed on gathering information to help them understand the solutions out there, so will be looking both internally and externally for this.
The final level is where users know their problem, have found a solution and are ready to buy. What they are looking for in this stage is all about finding the right people to help them.
Showing that you can help the user can also come in different ways, from reviews and case studies, to free consultations or quotes. This is the stage to really wow them, but also the most competitive.
These 3 levels can help you understand more about what a user is looking for at a particular time in their buying cycle. The main consideration here though is that the further you go down the journey the more competitive it gets.
The buying cycle looks like an upside down triangle and could be considered a funnel. This means that there are a lot of people in the awareness stage and a lot fewer people in the decision stage.
This happens for a lot of reasons, some just decide they don’t need to solve their problem and leave the funnel before progressing to the next stage and some go ahead and solve it themselves – for us they might use a website building tool and a template.
This means as you progress down the levels of the buying cycle, there are fewer people looking for your solution and therefore more competition to secure those people.
This is where the big mistakes happen.
Most companies align their website to people in the decision stage, they show them the services they offer and the case studies they have. Which is great… for about 3% of everyone in the funnel, and it’s that 3% that all your competitors are after.
The way to beat them and the best solution for a high converting website is to create content for people in all stages of the buying cycle. This way you can make sure that wherever they are in their journey, you have something interesting for them.
It’s all about keeping you front of mind for when they do get down to that decision stage. Remember that ALL of your competitors are trying to sell to those users at the decision stage, so if that is the first time they have heard of you, why would they use you over one of your competitors? Chances are you all do a similar thing at a similar price with the occasional difference here and there.
If you don’t have a solid answer here, the answer is you that you are leaving it to chance on whether they decide to go with you or not.
But by creating your website and marketing in a way that can and does speak to the users at the top of the funnel, giving them advice and guidance, when they do finally get to making a decision, there is only one obvious choice. You!
It sounds like a great idea having content for EVERY stage of the buying cycle, but it also sounds like your website could get very big and confusing, very fast.
So here’s a little infographic on the different types of content you can use for each stage:
Overall when thinking about your website you need to remember it’s for your users, not for you. Where you might think the information is required and wanted, your actual audience might not and it could be reducing your conversion rates because of this.
Part of The Digital Maze Group