There are a lot of things outside of your control that can contribute to your website’s lack of success in generating leads, such as what your competition is doing or economic factors. But there are several things you can do to greatly improve your chances of being found and converting them into leads.
The main factor Google considers for organic ranking is “relevance”. How relevant is the content to the search term used to arrive at the page? How relevant is the content on the page to the visitor? What is the users’ intent of their search? It is more important than ever to make sure that you know who your audience is and craft your content to their needs and wants.
To ensure your website resonates with your target market and contains content that results in visits that convert into leads, develop personas. A persona represents a typical purchaser of your products or services. Ideally, you would build a persona for each type of buyer that you have. There are generally between 3-5 personas for most companies.
How do you create a website persona?
To develop a persona, you should answer, at a minimum, these questions:
- Who is the persona (i.e., title, demographic information)?
- What motivates the persona to buy your product or service?
- What is the persona’s pain points?
- How does your product or service address the persona’s pain points?
- What type of content helps them learn (i.e., case studies, infographics, videos)?
- What is your unique value proposition?
Some companies rely on their sales organization to create lite personas or “guess-ona’s”. These are definitely easier to create and can usually get you 80% complete within a short period of time. For more robust personas, you would likely engage with an agency to run surveys, focus groups, and 1:1 interviews with both internal and external stakeholders, prospects and customers. This can take several months to complete and is highly data driven. Most companies end up somewhere in the middle – they start with a lite persona and add in some survey data to fill it out a bit more. This is generally the best result for time and money.
How do you create a website buyer journey?
A buyer journey is the process your personas take to reach their buying decision. You would typically create a separate buyer journey for each persona you have defined as the process one persona goes through may be very different than another. Within this process, you really want to understand how the persona goes about making their decisions. Once again, a great place to start identifying this is with your sales department. They are talking to prospects and customers all the time and should have a good understanding of the process they go through. However, lots of research has shown that prospects are waiting longer and longer to talk to a salesperson when progressing through their buyer journey. Prospects are taking on more and more of the research phase of their decision making process on their own.
When creating each buyer journey, be sure you understand the how the persona goes through the following phases:
- Awareness of a need and a pain point to solve
- Interest in learning how to address the pain point
- Educating him/herself of solutions that could address the pain point
- Selection of a solution
Mapping your content to your buyer journey
The last step is to review your site’s content and map it to each stage of the Buyer Journey. Here are a few tips to help you address your content needs:
- Awareness content will identify a common problem so that the persona relates your brand as a solution. Examples include whitepapers, videos and ebooks.
- Interest content informs users about your services; establishes your brand as a valuable resource in your niche. Examples include product literature and online demos.
- Education content draws the persona’s attention to your solutions that is geared toward providing you with a competitive edge. Examples include trial software downloads and product comparisons.
- Selection content encourages personas to choose your brand. Examples include trial software downloads, client success stories, vendor comparisons.
Once you have identified all of the content pieces you have, make sure that they are included on the appropriate website pages with clear calls-to-action so that the persona can easily find them. If you have identified content gaps, that is where you should focus your content creation efforts.
Understanding your buyers, their pain points and their motivations to buy your products and services, coupled with creating content that contains the keywords they’ll use to find you and that speaks to their needs will undoubtedly improve your website’s lead generation performance. Remember, too, that you should always be looking at the data contained within Google Analytics to continuously improve each page.