Give people what they want, NOT what you want them to have
We all have our favourite subjects:
Ourselves. Our business. Our products. Our services.
Given the chance, we could talk about that stuff all day.
But as exciting as all that is, if you and what you do is the primary focus of your blog, you’ll be costing yourself website traffic daily.
The reason is simple. Your potential clients don’t want to read about you and what you do until they are getting towards the END of the Buyer’s Journey.
That is when it is decision time — and they are wondering whether to buy from you. Or not.
Until that point, they want more information about THEIR favourite subjects:
- Their problems
- Their questions
- Their decision-making process
- Their dreams
- Their hesitations and uncertainties
- Their aspirations
The more you focus on those issues and provide relevant, helpful information, the more visible you will become in Google search — and the more traffic you will draw to your website.
How to use your blog to bring traffic to your website
The first step is to think about the types of questions that people have as they go through the Buyer’s Journey, and use that as a guide when developing your content strategy.
It is important to remember that different people will be at different stages in their journey, and you need a range of articles and content to get (and hold!) their attention with information that meets their needs AT THAT TIME.
Imagine this scenario in the ‘real world’ and apply it to your website.
Let’s say you are thinking of building a new home, but you’re still in the early stages.
You’re thinking about designs/pricing/possibilities etc. You walk into Fudpucker’s Home Builders to ask some questions, but Freddy Fudpucker doesn’t understand where you are in your thinking.
He thinks you are ready to buy, so he leaps from his desk, whips out a contract for you to sign and gives you a gold pen to do it with.
There’s just one problem. You are not READY for that yet.
You must work your way through your Buyer’s Journey to get to the point of signing a contract. Because of Freddy treating you this way, he would be as popular as a rattle snake in a lucky dip. And you’ll be out the door.
It is the same for people looking at your website. The do not want to be ‘sold to’ before they are ready to buy. And if you try, they will run away screaming. (Or at least click the back button) and look for what they DO want.
Create blog (and web page!) content for people at each stage
Using the table below to get your thinking straight, you can plan topics for blog articles that will resonate with people at different stages in the Buyer’s Journey.
By doing this, you will expand the search visibility of your website, and set yourself up for the increase in traffic that you are looking for. You will also increase engagement on your website, as you are giving people what they are looking for. It is a great win/win.
Make no mistake, it is indeed a challenging exercise. It forces you to think about your products and services in a different light. And it isn’t easy to do.
The table shows you the three stages (Awareness, Consideration, Decision) of the Buyer’s Journey that ALL your potential customers go through when deciding to buy a product or service.
|Stage||They are thinking about||You should blog about|
Your potential customer has just realised that they have a problem or a dream.
They are in the very early stages of research, reading, asking etc.
They know very little about your type of product or service.
They may not even know that what you offer exists, so won’t necessarily be looking for your offering.
They’ll be searching for things that are related to their problem or objective.
Your blogging should be about the problems/objectives that they have.
• If you sell workshops for team bonding, capture people at the Awareness stage with blogs about things like “Why Teams Don’t Work Well Together” or “How To Increase Productivity in a Workplace”.
• If you are a custom home builder, capture people at the Awareness stage with blogs about home design ideas, outdoor/indoor living ideas etc.
These people are further along the Buyer’s Journey.
They now have an idea of what they want, and are considering more refined options.
|They are thinking about which way to go to reach their objective. They are considering, outcomes, options and different ways of reaching their goal.|| Your blogging should be about the ways to SOLVE their problems or reach their objectives.
• If you sell workshops for team bonding, capture people at the Consideration stage with blogs about “Are One Day or Two Day Workshops More Effective?”.
If you are a custom home builder, capture people at the Consideration stage with blogs about specific finishes, dealing with landscape challenges etc.
Or perhaps comparisons of design styles or different structural materials. (eg Timber vs Steel frame)
Now they are getting ready to buy. They know what they want.
Now they are deciding which business to buy it from.
Now they’re thinking about pricing, support service, scope of delivery, timing, testimonials, trust, capability etc.
NOW your content should be about the specific products and services that you offer.
• If you sell workshops for team bonding, capture people at the Decision stage with blogs about packages and specific activities in specific locations.
• If you are a custom home builder, capture people at the Decision stage with blogs about pricing, how to get an estimate to build their plans, and ‘first steps’ towards getting their new home underway.
Talk to the client-facing people on your team
To get the best insights about how your potential customers think, have a brainstorming session with your team to discuss the different stages in your customers’ Buyer’s Journey, and the type of questions that people are asking.
It is very important that you include people in sales or who have face-to-face contact with your customers. They know them well, and are familiar with the type of questions that people ask on the phone or in person.
Remember to look at the responses from forms on your website where people ask questions and make an enquiry. The questions and language that they use here can be very helpful.
Think about the type of questions that they would be asking in the early days of the journey when they are just aware that they have a problem and are wondering how to solve it.
As we said in the table above, remember that at this stage they may not even be aware that your solution exists. But that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them and begin the nurturing process.
A real-world example of the Buyers’ Journey
A case in point…
I once had a problem with grinding pain in my lower back when riding my pushbike. Seriously, it drove me nutzo.
At the time, I was not even aware that some physiotherapists offer a service called a bike fit — where they adjust the seat height, handlebars, gear/brake levers etc. to suit your body size using expert knowledge of body-mechanics.
Not knowing of all this, (I was, remember, still at the ‘Awareness” stage of the Buyer’s Journey where I was aware that my back hurt) I was not Googling directly to find a sports physiotherapist.
Instead, I was looking for other things about back pain on a bike — expecting to find information about bike frame size, handlebar width, crank length, etc.
But as I did my research (and moved along the journey to the “Consideration” stage), I discovered that they were indeed such things as a bike fit service —and that’s where I ended up spending my money.
Plan your content around the Buyers’ Journey
There is a good lesson in this for you.
Don’t just focus on what you offer. Think about the problem that the person INITIALLY has, and blog about that — and then gently lead them towards your solution as they work through the Buyer’s Journey.
So, back to your team brainstorming session…
Once you have thought through the Awareness stage, repeat this process for the Consideration stage.
Think about the type of questions that people would have when they know a little more about what you do, and are looking to understand the best way that they should move forward to solve the problem.
And then finally, at the Decision stage (bottom of the funnel), it is decision time — and that’s when you should be offering information about your specific product/service solutions. This is when you get to talk more about your favourite subjects: you and what you do. Result!
Remember, rather than your blog, this is the type of content that will be on your actual product/service pages. So be sure to include links FROM your blog TO these pages to draw people into your “Decision Stage” content.
Get help with your blog content and website conversion strategy
Following the principles in this article is a good start. It will help you to get your thinking straight, and start “blogging with a purpose” instead of just blogging because you heard you should.
To get expert help with brainstorming your digital marketing strategy, and with finding opportunities to increase your traffic, conversions and bottom-line profitability, call Crockford Carlisle on (07) 3891 3800.
We help successful businesses all over Australia to grow their search visibility and traffic, and we would be happy to help you to build on your success too.