So what is the User Journey.....and why should you be aware of it?
If you're running a small to medium sized business you need to have some knowledge of other aspects of business that are not directly related to the physical job that you do. After all, a business exists to make money......and the days where clients just turn up at your door ready to buy are long gone. Buyers are now much better informed! And you need to be as well.
The phrase User Journey is related to all the steps a user takes to reach their goal. In the case of buying something, the user journey is comprised of the steps they take before they make a buying decision. For example Internet searches, reading reviews, price comparisons, supplier comparisons etc. When you can map out the user journey you're then in a position to place content on all the points a user comes into contact with.
Really......this comes down to having some basic knowledge of marketing and how it can be applied within your business sector. This is the AIDA model which is now over a hundred years old, but it's still very valid today.
AIDA stands for:
Attention: Get your potential customer to notice you.
Interest: Find a way to hold that attention to build interest.
Desire: Persuade the customer to make them want your product or service.
Action: Get the customer to make that conversion.
And these days you could possibly add an R for Retention! Because you don’t just want to simply convert a sale, you also want to gain a customer for life!
The basis of all this is knowing your customers' requirements! You have the knowledge about your industry.......so you need to demonstrate that on your site and on Social Media channels!
Google rankings are obviously important, and if your site delivers information which is a useful resource to potential buyers then Google is likely to rank it higher. Ask yourself......how useful is your site in that respect? Forget about whether you like the nice pictures on there or whether it's a pretty colour. I'm talking about delivering value and information to users.....because that is what Google and Users are interested in. Of course the site must look professional and attractive, and be user-friendly. But the overriding criteria that you will be evaluated on is your content.
But don't solely focus on Google to the exclusion of everything else! These days it appears that their first pages are now full of Ads! Obviously that's where they make their money! So you now need to explore other ways of getting in front of users directly, thereby cutting them out of the equation. Fortunately the Social Media boom of the last 10 years has given everybody a direct path to potential clients. And again......this is where the quality content is important.
Look at the AIDA marketing model above and you can plan your posts in such a way as to hook people in at the start of the User Journey!
Great lead photo, interesting intro, then a link to the relevant page on the site. And driving organic traffic to your site is another positive signal to Google in terms of them evaluating your position in the search rankings. But be aware that it's a numbers game, so you need to accumulate followers on all the major channels, and whenever possible get them to share your posts.
To summarise.....know your industry, know your potential clients' requirements, get in front of them directly, and then take them on the User Journey. And the final destination on that journey is where they become your customer!