The Buyer's Journey Stages and Your Website: Why They Must Match
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
Let's be honest, your website isn't working, is it?
If you’re experiencing stagnant growth, have a lack of decent leads, or you just know your site isn’t functioning the way you need it to, it’s time to rethink your website strategy.
Every website needs to align with the buyer journey stages. Whatever path your ideal customers take before purchasing needs to be reflected in the pages, copy, and content offers on your website.
If you're having trouble cracking that code, don't despair. A lot of people struggle to make that happen. That's job security for us, and sources of frustration for you. But, after reading this article, you should see the big picture a little clearer.
Mapping Buyer's Journey Stages To Your Website
When a website doesn't perform, all the other efforts of your marketing team are less fruitful.
Your sales team will get frustrated, and lack qualified website leads to pursue. This causes a ripple effect that not only impacts website visitors and potential customers, but your entire brand, and all of your team members.
It's time to turn that around.
Buyer Journey Stage 1: Awareness
Most purchases are emotional. At the Awareness stage, people are feeling a lot.
Through their own lackluster performance or day-to-day frustrations, they have a problem they don't know how to solve.
So, they start Googling around to see if anyone else has that problem and if there are any solutions. This is where top-of-funnel (TOFU) content performs very well.
All of your anchor pages, blog content, and landing pages with TOFU lead magnets need to:
- Be customer-centric.
- Focus on the potential lead, instead of yourself. Really dig into the pain points they're experiencing.
- Address their core problems.
- Figure out all of the problems your customer could have, and what questions shake out of those problems.
- Address the problem, don't pitch your solution.
- Don’t sell the solution. Help them understand their problem has a solution.
At the awareness stage, focus on building up your brand awareness, and lead with the customer’s needs, wants, and fears. Be the one who helps them understand their problem, not the salesperson who wants to sell a product or service.
Buyer Journey Stage 2: Interest
At the interest stage, make the contacts aware that there is a solution to their problem. You’re not pushing them to buy your solution, you’re just helping them understand solutions like yours.
At this stage, MOFU lead magnets, educational content, case studies, and webinars will be the most beneficial throughout your site.
This content to support the interest stage needs to:
- Deliver facts and data.
- Give the leads the stats they need to understand the solution to their problem, and explain that solution to decision makers.
- Build rapport.
- MOFU content needs to encourage trust between you and the consumer. Personalize emails and enable smart content where you can.
- Qualify leads.
- With gated content, progressive profiling on HubSpot forms, etc., you can start to learn more and more about your leads.
Buyer Journey Stage 3: Consideration
Now that leads are interested, show them why your solution fits their problem the best. Make it easy for a lead to choose you over a competitor, and show why other customers have chosen you.
Beyond just the product, showcase the benefits of your solution. Content such as side-by-side competitor comparisons, expert guides, blog posts, webinars, and videos should be across your site and landing pages in order to:
- Be honest.
- Every company bends their check-mark feature list to make it look like their competitor has fewer features. No one trusts those charts. Instead, be honest about your product. There are customers who are a better fit for your competitor. Tricking them into doing business with you isn't a good long-term strategy.
- Speak to your value.
- Explain the value of your specific product or service in the marketplace. Don't try to tear down competitors or talk a medicine man by claiming your product is miraculous compared to all others. Instead, communicate clear value, and let your product sell itself.
- Inform the decision maker.
- The person doing the research might not sign-off on the purchase. Provide shareable content, such as .pdfs, that break down the content and make it easy to read.
Back to all purchases being emotional. The website needs to support this stage by catering to the lead, and showing them how your solution makes their life easier.
Buyer Journey Stage 4: Decision
Your site needs to continue to provide value, persuade, sell the decision-maker, and make it really, really easy for someone to decide to become a customer.
So far, you've shown them there is a solution to their problem. And that your solution is a good fit for their needs. Now, they are making the decision to buy. The decision stage is not about whether or not they need your service, it's about why they should buy right now.
Urgency and scarcity can drive that final decision to completion, if done tactfully.
It’s likely that at this point, your point of contact is securing approval from upper management. That upper management member hasn’t been on this journey, and don't have the same confidence in you as the lead might. Support your lead, and you'll support the sale.
Design A Website That Support Buyer's Journey Stages
Stop settling for stagnant growth. A website that properly supports each buyer journey stage will help nurture, educate, and guide your website traffic through your funnel, and finally relieve your team.
By investing in a site that really performs, you can provide the support necessary to make marketing initiatives more successful, and sales teams efficient and productive.
Luckily, you can download our Website Strategy Kit that walks you through everything you need to know to have a great website that supports the buyer journey.