HOW TO UNVEIL YOUR CUSTOMERS’ CONVERSATIONS WITH GOOGLE
8 minute read
Google is a battlefield. You need valuable clicks and customer engagement to be top-ranked – in contrast, getting lost on page 4 means irrelevance. We’re here to tell you how the Customer Journey Mapping Method can help your business move to the top on Google and convert visitors to customers.
YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO
- Own your prospects’ and customers’ conversations with Google to create on-point content.
- Focus on customers’ search intentions rather than keywords to win with SEO.
- Make your marketing better – based on data and not your gut feelings.
YOU’LL LEARN FROM
Two of our most experienced SEO brains, based in our sister company IMPACT Extend.
Christopher Hofman Laursen
Lead SEO Consultant, IMPACT Extend
When not immersed in reading the latest tweets from SEO experts such as Kevin Indig and Will Reynolds, you’ll most likely find Christopher out running or playing a brain-wracking game of chess.
Senior SEO Consultant, IMPACT Extend
Ane gets inspiration from SEO leaders like Maria Hayes and Tammy Wood. When not immersed in next-level SEO, you’ll find her at the local climate NGO working for a better tomorrow.
WIN GOOGLE, WIN CUSTOMERS
You probably don’t question the importance of being top-ranked on Google. But just for the sake of it, here’s an unforgettable quote to get you in the zone.
TOUCHPOINTS ON GOOGLE ARE 50-90% OF THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY.
What that means?
Google is the most dominant part of the customer journey. Traffic to websites is mainly caused by and initiated on Google – no matter which niche we examine. And this is great news for you if you’re working with SEO and digital marketing.
We have access to loads of data to track how customers behave in different states of their journey to become buyers. All we need to do is create the content to solve possible customer pains from A to Z.
To do so, we need to look closer at the Customer Journey Mapping Method. But first, let’s talk pains.
FIX THE PAIN
Fun fact. It takes an average of 7 interactions with your brand before a potential customer decides to act. As a marketing-SEO-business owner type, your job is to make sure that your potential customers see and connect your brand with being able to fix their pains.
By using the Customer Journey Mapping Method. A great fit to unveil your potential customers’ conversations with Google. And the best part? Knowing what they talk about gives you the ability to foresee your customers’ next question on Google.
A customer journey map makes sure that you understand all the touchpoints your customer has with your brand – both online and offline.
And that’s what the method is all about. To identify your customers’ possible touchpoints with your brand when being in different purchasing phases. Why? To present your USP’s to convert customers based on data.
But what does this method bring to the table that other methods lack?
- Google understands search intentions and not just search words. Be dominant in your niche with relevant content.
- Forget about silo thinking. The insights SEO analyses provide must be used across disciplines to better understand content, communications and formats across the different channels.
- Make SEO agile with quick analyses for the marketing team to use in the annual content wheel.
Still not entirely on board? This next piece of content has the purpose of convincing you that the method of customer journey mapping can truly elevate your SEO and marketing efforts.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR TARGETS AND GOALS
First things first. Before creating detailed, problem crushing customer journey maps, you must identify who your customers are. If you don’t know your customers, you can’t know how they’re likely to act or think.
Start by creating a persona and a clear target – often conversions and buys. You must know who’s interested in your product and what you want them to do.
- Who’s my target?
- What do I want them to do?
STEP 2: DETECT THE CONVERSATION
And now to the actual customer journey mapping and how it works. Let’s have a look at the AIDA(L)-model – a tool that helps you get to know your prospects’ and customers’ behaviour on Google.
If you’re into the outdoors, here’s a real-life scenario to guide you to the model’s 5 phases.
Phase 1 – Awareness
Every purchase begins with a need assisted by a random Google search.
“My son’s about to go on a camping school trip. I’ll need to buy him a proper sleeping bag.”
Search word: ‘Sleeping bag.’
Phase 2 – Interest
Loads of options pop up. Let the research begin.
“Well… what does he need? A sleeping bag suitable for October’s chilly, windy nights.”
Search words: ‘Sleeping bag for autumn’.
Phase 3 – Desire
Slowly but steadily, the customer’s knowledge about the proper solution increases and the search becomes more and more educated.
“Ahh, I need a sleeping bag with fill powder 650 and length 188 cm. And it’s great if the zipper ends by the knees and if it has an inner pocket. I remember one brand, RAB, telling me about sleeping bag specs.”
Search words: ‘Sleeping bag RAB fill powder 650.’
Phase 4 – Action
From education to comparing and adding the correct item to the card.
“Great, I’ve narrowed my search down to a handful. Finally, here’s the perfect sleeping bag to send my son off to his camping trip.”
Phase 5 – Loyalty
Post-purchase, customers still need and search for guidance – even months or years after the actual purchase. Help them fulfil their next need and keep them coming back for more.
“The sleeping bag worked perfectly! Warm and dry. But… My son slept next to the campfire, and now it smells. A lot.”
Search words: ‘How to clean a sleeping bag.’
The biggest challenge is to detect the conversation from potential customers with Google, who hasn’t yet decided that your product is the solution to their pain points.
Your primary job is to identify your potential customers’ chats with Google in the awareness and interest phase. Why? Because you want to know what kind of content they seek to be able to guide them to your sites.
- Google Search Console
- First-party data
- Ahrefs / SEMrush / Searchmetrics
- Google Tools (Google Trends, Related searches, Google autocomplete)
When creating a customer journey map, the actual task is to identify your potential customers’ search intents in each phase in the AIDA(L) model. And that’s what this next section is all about.
STEP 3: IDENTIFY SEARCH INTENTS
When searching on Google, most of us go through three phases of search intentions, each with different purposes.
What this means?
First, you identify a problem, e.g. your son needs a sleeping bag. You go to Google and search in an uneducated way on symptoms – “What’s the best sleeping bag for autumn?”.
Second, your view on the solution slowly expands, and you narrow down your choices, searching in a more and more educated way – “Sleeping bag fill powder 650”.
Third, you’ve bought the perfect sleeping bag and are now aware of new pains and doubts – “How to cleanse a sleeping bag?”
Every Google search has a purpose. Before creating content, you need to identify every search intention to understand your customers’ pains. Next step: Content and topic clusters.
STEP 4: EXPAND YOUR TOPIC CLUSTERS
By now, you’ve identified your customers’ search intentions in every phase. What you need next is the right amount of topic clusters, each with a different purpose to meet search intentions in every phase.
Topic clusters are groups of related content that collectively covers and links to your main site – also called pillar content.
What this means in a real-life context? Let’s revisit the sleeping bag example.
Your company, a sleeping bag manufacturer, is more than just a manufacturer. You’re providing potential customers with knowledge. You’ll have to know what customers ask Google and create content relevant to these specific topics. If customers want to know more about how to store a sleeping bag – you create content about it and link to your main site for them to buy what they need.
Acting like guidance in every aspect means winning. It’s essential to link between your different cluster sites to make Google understand that your business is the topical authority in your niche.
The purpose of topic clusters is to own every search intention related to your pillar content. To make a great network of topic clusters means winning top ranking on Google within your niche. And that’s why you need to expand your view and focus on all aspects of content related to that niche.
FOCUS ON MORE THAN JUST THE MESSY MIDDLE
Most industries focus on topic clusters related to the solution searches. If you want more than just owning the messy middle, you must expand your view.
When we use topic clusters, most of us think while wearing blinkers. We need to re-focus on symptoms and support searches to proper own the conversation with Google.
Let’s have a look at why it’s just as important to look at topic clusters when talking about symptom and support searches.
INSPIRATIONAL CONTENT: SYMPTOM SEARCHES
In 7 out of 10 cases, customers select the brand they see at the beginning of their customer journey, according to research done by Forrester. If you’re able to identify the symptom searches leading to solutions searches, you’re more likely to win. Brand relations start with symptom searches. And the idea is simple: Create content to catch customers’ attention as soon as possible to position your product as a possible pain solver.
Our customer asks for a sleeping bag ready for autumn – well, you should create content guiding her to the right solution, e.g.: ‘How to choose your sleeping bag for the autumn weather?’
FAQ CONTENT: SUPPORT SEARCHES
Your job is to know exactly which questions your customers can’t live without knowing the answer to. And topic clusters are the way to do it. Why? Because 58% of customers select another brand when repurchasing, states a study by Forrester. To offer advice secures brand loyalty and makes ambassadors.
Your customer is lucky! Because you’ve already created content talking about how to take proper care of her new sleeping bag. Great service. And why not help her buy a new air mattress from your brand too?
GREAT SERVICE EQUALS LOYALTY
Creating topic clusters focusing on every need within your niche is a great service. The idea of creating a customer journey map is to unveil your (potential) customers’ conversations (and search intentions) with Google. To make you able to create content to help them understand that your products will kill their pains. No matter where they are in their purchasing process.
Now: You’ve completed the 4 steps to understand the Customer Journey Mapping Method – all there’s left to do is to start optimising your SEO content to fit the lives of your customers.
GO WIN GOOGLE AND FIX THE PAIN
To own customers’ conversation with Google is worth more than gold. And thanks to the Customer Journey Map Method it’s possible. Not only to own the conversation but to position your brand as the best-in-class to solve customers’ pains – no matter their intentions.
All you have to do is adjust your SEO focus to search intentions and cover all customer purchasing phases. It’s not an easy task but done right, and based on data, your business’ niche will benefit remarkably. Based on previous cases using this method, we’ve experienced increased revenue and sales for multiple companies.
LIKED WHAT YOU READ?
This piece was a readable version of one of our most viewed webinars. Brought to you by Christopher Hofman Laursen and Ane Skovsted, our in-house SEO experts. Eager to learn more on how to build customer journey maps and win with SEO? Contact Christopher at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ane at: email@example.com.
Or watch the on-demand webinar to get real-life examples and more knowledge on how to make data-driven topic clusters and conversions.