Moving Beyond the Journey Map and Recognizing the Guideposts
Now that you have a journey map, what do you do? Do you keep refining it? Do you try to perfect it? Remember, a journey map is a tool to help you visualize your customers’ actions and their goals, in order to reveal key moments where your brand has the best opportunity to connect and make an impact. It’s ultimately a springboard to other actions, so at this stage, it’s no longer about refining, but rather, utilizing. In order to do this, you need to be able to recognize the “guideposts” in your map that will drive your next steps. While you always want to have a unique approach to each customer and his or her individual journey, we have found over time that there are a few guideposts that are common to most journeys.
4 Common Guideposts Your Journey Maps Will Reveal
1) Your customers need help finding you online.
Quite simply, you can’t sell to people who never reach you. This is where SEO and keyword research is so important. While many experts today shoot down SEO and keyword research because it’s not as dominantly important as it used to be, there is still a tremendous amount of valuable data to be mined from it. Most importantly, it helps you speak your customer’s language, translating what you want to say into what they want to hear. Keyword research helps you find the terms, and subsequently the topics, that matter most to your customers. Knowing these topics can then also help you identify and address any gaps in your content.
2) Your customers need an easier way to do research.
Consumers are doing unprecedented amounts of research before making purchases. As such, designing and strategizing your content for that step in each of your customer’s respective journeys is crucial. You have to figure out how people are reading and drilling down into your content. Each section needs a header, it needs to feature keywords that “map” to what the customer cares about, and then you need appropriate content that drives them to eventually convert. Further, you need to understand the decision factors of your customers and then make it easy for them to get what they need to make a purchasing decision, such as price, ratings/reviews and specifications.
A first-hand experience we’ve had with this guidepost was in working with Culligan, a water products treatment company. We found out through SEO and keyword research that potential Culligan customers were researching ways to solve “smelly water.” As such, we developed a content strategy geared toward helping customers more easily find answers to this concern.
3) You need to optimize for mobile use.
Mobile responsiveness is a given. Mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a task if a site isn’t optimized for mobile. Plus, there are also a few other points to consider when it comes to optimizing for mobile.
- Do you need a mobile first design?
The majority use case for accessing your site drives the answer to this question. Know where your customers are when they “shop” — are they in an office on a desktop? At home on a tablet? On the street using a smartphone?
- Design for “multiple folds”
This goes hand in hand with content strategy. As you scroll, you should “chunk” your content and place it accordingly to tell your story as the user moves down the page and scrolls through sections of your site.
- Personalize when possible
When you can, leverage location awareness. For example, on an Arizona banking site, your customer should see pictures of local Arizona locations, not of New York. It’s about personalization based on the customer’s location and proximity to your products and services.
4) You need to address pain points.
While customer pain points will vary depending on the type of business, there are a few general pain points that you should make sure to address in your design and content.
- Service/Expectations/Goals — When you clearly communicate to your customer what he or she can expect from you, you gain trust, which is a huge step toward converting.
- Answers for FAQs — Not only does this help your customers, but it also reduces the overhead of your customer support.
- Targeted Calls to Action (CTAs) with relatable language — Don’t put off your customers at the top of the funnel. For example, with one of our university clients, saying “Apply Now” or “Register” on top-level pages was “scary.” On the contrary, “Get More Info” and “Learn More” were safer and moved people through their research.
- Friendly forms with condensed requirements — Putting nice-looking forms on your site isn’t good enough. Spend time understanding the conversation around it and how it relates to the customer.
- Optimization for local search — When someone searches for a specific location of your business, you should be optimized to easily show up in one click, not many.
Don’t Stand Still — Start Your Journey Toward Success
The biggest benefit of having a journey map isn’t just that it shows you your customers’ journeys, but that it shows you how you can improve those journeys. By understanding the guideposts in it and proactively addressing them, you can build better and more profitable relationships with your customers. As Gavin Heaton states in “The Future of Marketing: Six Visionaries Speak,” “That’s our challenge: to be in the spaces where our audiences are and understand that they will leave us if we don’t work with them and understand their needs.”
Need help with your journey?
Ethology’s goal is to optimize every part of the digital experience to drive measurable results. Our team can help you create a customer experience that drives the right traffic to the right places, maximizing conversions and impacting your bottom line.