How to match website content to the decision-making stage of visitors
An important question to answer when creating or reviewing a website is “What are the needs of my visitors?” The answer will drive your site design and marketing decisions.
Customer decision making process
One way to understand visitor needs is to think in terms of the customer’s decision-making process. Visitors’ needs vary depending on their stage in the decision-making process.
Karon Thackston, writer and owner of Marketing Words (http://www.MarketingWords.com) explains dividing the customer decision-making process (i.e., the buying process) into at least four stages: Need/want recognition , information search, evaluation and Purchase.
If a visitor has already made a decision to purchase a product or service, for example, you need easy ordering options. However, if the client is early in the decision-making process, he needs more general information.
Sales-oriented information or content?
Dee Kreidel, owner of Dax Development Corporation, recommends identifying a site as either an information site (for early decision stages) or a sales site (for later decision stages), but not both:
“Our experience with our customers shows that most people won’t buy from a site if they see it as an informational site because their mood/focus is different when they’re there; they’re not necessarily looking to buy, they’re wanting information.”
Attract the right visitors
By understanding the decision-making process of your site visitors and giving them the right information, you can convert more visitors into buyers. attract more of Correct visitors can also improve conversions.
Manage a sales site
If you own a sales site, chances are those early in the decision process won’t buy from you. Logically, attracting visitors who are behind in the decision-making process will increase conversion rates.
One way to do this is to have a presence on information sites that attract visitors in your target customer groups. On information sites, visitors collect information and evaluate options. In other words, they are preparing to make a purchase.
Michelle Horstman, owner of Choice Promotional Products ( [http://www.choicepromotionalproducts.com]) says: “I get hits from advertising on ‘informational’ sites like [http://www.barmitzvahfindit.com]where they have a vendor area.”
For those on a budget, Michelle suggests purchasing advertising on sites that participate in pay-per-click programs like Overture or Google AdWords.
“When you list with Google and others on your own, you may have to pay more than your ROI would justify.” She explains. “However, when you advertise on an informational site, that site can afford to pay more for clicks as it is supported by multiple vendors/advertisers. Ask the site if they will offer a trial period so you can see how much traffic you are getting.” producing”.
Manage an information site
If you run an information site, most of your visitors will be too early in the buying decision process. So how can they attract visitors in the early decision stages? Y get income?
You can attract information seekers by structuring each page of your site so that it provides information on a specific topic. This broadens the list of keywords through which search engines can find your site.
Other ways to earn income from an information site:
– Participate in a few select affiliate programs, which you can promote on specific topic pages on your website.
– Join a targeted ad network like Google AdSense.
– Sell your own advertising space.
In either case, timing your website marketing and site content to match the visitors’ stage in the decision-making process creates a win-win situation. Your visitors find the information they need, and you profit (through sales, advertising, or affiliate income) by meeting those needs.