I’ve spoken before about the importance of a well thought-out clickflow that guides your website’s visitors from page to page. This clickflow is the basis of turning visitors into customers.
An internet user goes through several phases of information requirements in the process of searching for and purchasing a product online. There are many similar versions of this purchase-funnel model, and for this blog post I’ll stick with a simple one:
Discovery, Consideration, Purchase:
In the first discovery phase the user is typing generic terms in Google hoping to find websites that offer generic, high level information about the type of product she’s looking for. You’ll get visitors on your site in this phase by optimizing your product- and category-overview pages for this type of information. Include generic terms that users will search for and make sure the information on your website contains the right type of high level information about your products. Don’t get too technical here, detailed specifications are appropriate for the second phase.
In the consideration phase you can present much more detailed information about your products. These webpages should be a level below the overview pages in your website’s navigation tree and here it’s important to be more specific. In this phase a user wants to see specifications and comparisons between products he’s found in the discovery phase. Ideally you’ll want a system that compares products based on defining features and functions. You’ll also want to include statements that may persuade a user to choose for you as a vendor. You should mention your company’s and product’s unique selling points.
In the third purchase phase you’ll want to repeat these persuasive arguments on your website so that a user is affirmed in her decision. It’s also important to make the purchase process as smooth and simple as possible so that a user doesn’t encounter any obstacles before completing the purchase. The order form needs to be clearly indicated and easy to use. Remember you should strive to help your customers instead of merely sell to them.
There are many more aspects of your website that can help you turn more visitors into customers, but a solid clickflow and content optimized for the user’s purchasing process are the essential ingredients. Get these right and you’ll have a solid foundation to build on.