The way that a consumer finds your company and first interacts with you and your brand during the purchase funnel is called the user journey. The user or customer journey is a term than you’ll hear all the time when it comes to marketing because it relates to the touchpoints that a user is experiencing your brand. It can be a little confusing, though; we should be thinking about potential customers before they’ve bought whatever it is that we’re selling; we should track them earlier. The first time a customer becomes aware of a brand has a tremendous impact on the way it’s perceived from that point on, and this can impact the chances of a user searching for your brand later.
Today, the customer journey is not linear, nor does it always happen quickly. Every customer journey is different; today, we can’t control all of the messaging around our brand with social media and the internet so prevalent. Every step of the funnel has a search associated with it, the discovery portion of the journey is a time when you may hear about a trend and then search for it, you then learn more about.
Another part of the funnel with searches associated would be the verification stage, where you search with the intent to see what others are saying about a brand. It’s important to keep your reputation managed online, so having pages that address any negative press ranking highly on Google can do wonders for maintaining a positive brand image. When a user is considering your brand or product, they’ll be conducting comparison type searches and consideration related queries.
Even after the purchase, customers will be searching for the support of the product they purchased or some follow-up questions. This is also where reviews come into play; customers can leave feedback on your Google My Business page in the form of a review, which impacts your future sales.
How Does SEO Impact the Journey?
As mentioned earlier in the article, there are so many touchpoints for a user throughout their experience with a brand or product, so the goal is to have an answer for what users are searching for. This means working with your entire company to learn the touchpoints that customers may have, allowing you to create relevant content at every stage of the journey. Many touchpoints can make it difficult for all of your marketing channels to be aligned with each other, but it’s essential.
It’s no marketing secret, but getting to know what your audience is interested in will help you tremendously in the user journey. An industry-related forum or your own website’s search bar will give you insight into what’s popular and the questions that people have.
In summary, the customer journey is the sequence of touchpoints where a user encounters your brand. SEO plays a role in this entire sequence, no matter how simple your product is, users are going to have questions associated with it. You can positively influence consumers throughout this journey and also use it as an opportunity to address any negative review or media attention. If you’re interested in having your SEO strategy managed, our team at Boston Web Marketing can help, contact us to get started.