We have the product, a beautifully designed platform and lot’s of traffic passing through our site, but how do we convert that traffic into paying customers?
It’s a common problem, but one which has a logical solution.
Before you start investing your time or money into fancy keyword research tools, make sure you take the time to learn the questions your prospects ask as they move through the conversion funnel. They will start by becoming aware of a need or problem, which brings them to researching potential solutions before finally being drawn to purchase one particular product or service.
Although our first instinct is to reach the highest number of potential customers, we then need to convince them they not only need our products and that our products are essentially better than any of the alternative offered by our competitors. That is a scattered approach, which will ultimately waste time and the sales that you rely on to stay profitable.
Keyword Research needs to be adapted for increasing purchases. So we need to understand each customer persona within each stage of the conversion funnel:
Awareness – Consideration – Decision
If this is news to you, don’t panic. The joy of the internet means that we can access solid learning materials on just about anything. Whether it’s how to build your site around the conversion funnel, how to improve your Google rankings, or the best free WordPress themes, it’s all online and there for the taking.
There is a lot of noise and fuss created around increasing traffic through engaging content. So much so that just about every operating business has a blog, anything from a major tech company to small retailers selling things as niche as Cuckoo Clock.
These blogs are, of course, extremely valuable not just for driving traffic, but also for establishing trust and building credibility within your industry. But targeting keywords that drive traffic are, for the most part, ¨awareness¨ centric, in that they are great for driving traffic, but converting that to a sale is much more tricky. To put it bluntly, keywords that target questions asked in the awareness stage of the conversion funnel won’t increase purchases and that is essentially the ultimate goal of every commercial business sales.
So what is the Conversion Funnel, and why is it so relevant to Keyword Research?
The conversion funnel is a series of phases prospective customers go through before making a purchase. Meaning, that content, and keywords have to be created and optimized with a specific phase of the buyer’s journey in mind. At each phase, the customer is feeling something different and this will impact what they are looking for and the questions they are asking.
Currently, many companies tend to have content which is targeted towards the awareness stage and as a result, they see an increase in traffic but without any tangible benefits – sales/profits.
They are over-optimizing for one phase in the buyer’s journey, seeing results in one area, but will struggle to filter that success further down into the next stage the customer goes through before making a purchase. This common error demonstrates the importance of doing keyword research alongside a carefully researched buyers journey.
This brings us to the construction of a Conversion Funnel. And a key process to facilitate that is content mapping. HubSpot defines Content Mapping as ¨a plan to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Content Mapping takes into account the characteristics of the person who will be consuming the content and their lifecycle stage.¨
Here is a template we can use to draw up our content map for each customer persona:
A template like this should be treated as the driving force behind your content strategy.
Questions > Content Ideas to answer those questions > Keyword Research
Once you start filling this template in for each buyer persona, you will start to form a content plan. This content plan is backed up by listing the questions that each buyer persona is asking at each stage of the conversion. Content is then developed to answer those questions at each stage of the conversion funnel, and keyword research is carried out to ensure that the content is accurately optimized – it reaches the right audience at the right time.
Credits: Illustration by unDraw