60% of your customers’ journey takes place before they talk to a sales rep. You may ask, “what does this have to do with a content audit?” Well, let me give you an example. Sarah H is a consumer in the market to buy a new car. She’s had the same hand-me-down, economy sedan that her parents sent her to college in 10 years ago. Now that she’s settled into a comfortable career, she’s ready for an upgrade. So where does her journey begin?
"60% of your customers' journey takes place before they talk to a sales rep."
– click to tweet
With upwards of 3.5 billion searches performed every day on Google alone, it’s a well-known fact that the first thing Sarah will do, just like millions of other people, is perform several online searches to start her purchase journey. While Sarah is conducting her online research, educating herself about options she has available to her before she is ready to make a commitment to buy, is your website showing up on the first or second page of search engines? Are you part of the online conversation that Sarah has before she picks up the phone to talk to a sales person or visit your store. Is your web content built to handle all of Sarah’s questions for every stage of her customer journey?
So let’s back up for just a minute. The obvious, initial answer to why you need a content audit is the all too common, day-to-day problem you are experiencing with your marketing efforts as it pertains to your website: lots of traffic coming in but not enough visitors actually converting into sales. If this sounds familiar, then ask yourself (and your marketing teams) one important question: “Is your content holding the hand of your potential customers throughout their entire customer journey, or is it only there for them when they are ready to move to the shopping stage of their purchase funnel?”. Do you have enough content on your website to cover every stage of their purchase journey, from awareness to exploration to consideration and then finally shopping?
It may sound like a daunting task to provide content for every stage of your customers’ journey, but here’s the most rewarding stat for marketers that translates into tangible and desired business outcomes: 98% of customers surveyed said that they will end up buying a product from a company that holds their hand throughout the entire purchase journey, not just the final stages.
And according to DemandGen report, nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
"98% of customers will buy a product from a company that holds their hand throughout the entire purchase journey." – click to tweet
So how do you determine if your content is truly there for your site visitors? Here is a one minute quick exercise we always conduct with our clients during our content marketing workshops and audits:
Step 1: Login to your website analytics tool
Step 2: Find out what the top 50 most visited pages on your site are.
Step 3: Now ask yourself these 3 important questions:
Do these 50 pages help your customers in each step of their customer journey?
Do they skew more heavy towards a certain step in the purchase funnel?
Are there content pieces that are missing in the top 50 most visited pages that should be there?
These 3 important questions are the answers to whether it’s time for a content audit that leads to a customer journey focused content marketing strategy.
You may know exactly what your customers want at every stage of the funnel or you may not. If you are among the people who could use some help in determining what types of questions your customers are asking along their customer journey without having to spend a lot of money, here are some excellent (and mostly free!) resources you can use to guide your content development journey.
Infinite Suggest enables users to look up the search terms that pertain to their offering, and generate a list of the top relevant keywords. This not only helps marketers to identify the content types and topics to include on their website, but should also be a driving force behind overall SEO efforts, or messaging within various assets. Note: This site focuses on Google’s search engine exclusively.
Your number one goal with your content strategy should be to become a one-stop-shop for your customers, empowering them to get answers to all questions they have along their entire customer journey. Focus on addressing two important areas: barriers to purchase, and their aspirations. If your site content doesn’t guide your customers through their purchase barriers and motivates them towards achieving their aspirations, then you are in need of new content for your website.
Armida Markarova is the Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Marketing Srtategy Hub, a marketing consultancy firm that offers marketing education (workshops, seminars, webinars and coaching), strategic marketing plan development and project based services to help you turn your marketing dollars into business outcomes that matter.