- Alex Karei, marketing director for Webspec Design, blogs about web strategy.
In April, I started a series on this blog about the buyer journey and how it impacts your website. I introduced, at a high level, what a buyer journey may look like in regards to making a purchasing decision, and outlined an example. Then, on Wednesday, I talked about stage one: discovery. If you didn’t catch those two posts, I recommend heading over to the “Web Strategy” page and catching up a bit.
All right, let’s talk stage two: consideration!
At this stage in the buyer journey, buyers know they have a solvable need, and they likely know about several companies that can address that need for them in different ways. In essence, the client has clearly defined the problem and is now in full-on research mode for the best solution. Your goal? To get them to consider YOU!
Buyer consideration and your website
If you recall, the last phase we talked about was “discovery,” or how we get potential customers to your website. To follow up on this, what we really need to talk about is what those customers are doing once they’re on your website.
Did you know that the average human has an attention span of eight seconds? That’s shorter than a goldfish (although only by one second). Think about your website -- what are you doing on your home page to keep individuals focused on your content?
This isn’t an issue we’re going to fix for you by the end of this blog. But it’s certainly a point to think about. For a casual test, I would recommend inviting a friend who’s not familiar with your website to sit down with you for coffee. Pull up your website -- for maybe 15-30 seconds, depending on how brave you are -- and take it away. Ask them what they remember. More than likely, what they remember is what attracted their attention first. Now think about it: Is their answer what you want it to be?
Attracting the attention of website visitors
I can’t emphasize this enough: PLEASE keep in mind that “attract attention” does not mean “make a button flash and change colors.” What we’re trying to address here is the question of whether your website visitors are indeed receiving the message you’re trying to send when they get to your home page.
In essence, you should be thinking about the user’s experience on your site first and foremost. Yes, you want to capture them as a lead, but if you cater to them and make their experience a good one, good things will follow.
I’ll close with one of my No. 1 pieces of advice that I give to those starting to think about website content. Granted, it’s based on personal experience, but it’s not inaccurate.
Think about the last time your boss came to you and asked you to find a new product to solve an issue occurring in your department. Maybe it’s 4:30 on a Friday, and you’re ready to head out for the week. Knowing this, they say it’s OK for you to give them a few quick options that they can review more in depth the following week.
You fire up Google, hit some search terms, and find a few websites. If you can’t find the “what we can do for you” statement within a couple of minutes of looking at the website, what will you do?
You might disregard the company completely.
Obviously this is (hopefully) a rare example. My point, of course, is that you shouldn’t try to make your visitors hunt for what they need when they’re in the consideration phase. Yes, you’ve got a lot of great content. But think about what needs to really be on that home page to pull the visitor’s interest. Then, when they come back for more, you’ll get your opportunity to really shine.
Join me for my next blog to learn how to address “decision,” and be sure to leave any questions in the comments below.
Alex is the marketing director for Webspec Design, a website design and development and digital marketing agency in Urbandale. Connect with her via: