The Consumer Path To Purchase. Why SEO is Never Quite Enough

If you are a business with an online presence, the end goal of your online presence is for people to buy your product or service right? Most of us know about SEO, but is that enough?

Are you relying on SEO?

So you have a website. Great! How are people going to find it? Ignoring all the offline methods, they are going to do one of two things. Search for you, or see an advert and click on it, or a mixture of both. Despite the data that is right in front of us, many website owners still distrust the power of digital advertising and rely on SEO. As a business website owner,  you may have been told outright that advertising online is a waste of time and you need to rely on SEO. Whilst its an important strategy, most business owners would agree that in the offline world, one channel alone is not the way to grow customers. So why would online be any different?

Someone finds you, so what? What happens when they go away and find someone else? It's important to understand how consumers behave online. understanding this can help you reach them at the right moment during their online path to purchase. That micro-moment.

With this in mind Here are some of our main considerations when it comes to the consumer path to purchase.

Your audience are informed.

Count on an audience that knows their onions. On average we will research ten products or services before we commit to one. And many of us will spend hours and dozens of searches researching the best camera bag, the best climbing gear, the best car to drive if you have a family, the safest car seat. The list goes on.

Moral of the story is don't just advertise your product. Be helpful. If you are seen as the one providing help along the customer journey, it can go a long way towards influencing that final purchase or sign up. Create informative content and advertise that content. Make sure you give consumers relevant information along their digital path to purchase.

Think Outside The Box.

We always ask people who they think their target audience is. Most people know who they want to sell to, but there may be audiences out there you haven't considered. A permanent makeup artist recently approached us. Her target audience was "Women 18-35 in the whole of the UK" of course this is pretty broad, yet also quite narrow. What about women over 35? Would they be more likely to have over plucked and misshapen brows? And the money to pay for them to be redone. And what about people suffering from hair loss. Our artist in question has had people fly across continents to use her. We explained that a little out of the box thinking could open up a whole niche market where she could add amazing value to people's lives.

Moral of the story: Your audience may not be who you thought it was.

Never underestimate the power of Mobile.

Our mobiles are now our digital friends. People expect data at their fingertips. We get annoyed when it's not there. Google data shows us the following: Smartphone use has risen exponentially in the last few years. 2014 was the year that mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic. As of now, 52% of searches take place on mobile. Mobile is not the future. It's now.

Despite many customers and advertisers still denying this and saying most or all of their conversions take place on a computer, they may be leaving out the obvious fact that mobile was where they were discovered, and where the customer spent an hour doing their research, in a queue, in bed, in the bath. Well anywhere!

Be There.

So your customer found you online. And then they fell asleep. Or it was out of hours, or they put it out of their mind as something they might look at later. Chances are by tomorrow, they have forgotten and moved on to something else. Now, this is where the power of remarketing comes in. And this is why organic search is never quite enough. No amount of organic search is going to haunt you around the web whilst you look at other stuff.

The usual answer we get here is "I don't like those ads" but here's the thing. They are getting smarter, more relevant, less obtrusive. So for anyone who thinks they haven't been influenced by an ad, think again. You probably don't even realise it because the average website conversion rate is 2%. 2 visitors in 100 do something. That could just be filling in a form, It depends what you measure. Retargeting can boost your conversion rate up to 400% read more about that in these 15 mind-blowing stats about retargeting.

To conclude

In conclusion, if you think you are all set with your organic reach, or even that your search campaign is doing everything it needs to, think again. You are missing out on the market share, and so long as you are, someone else is taking all your customers.

We are Made By Factory. An award-winning digital Agency in Manchester, Greater Manchester, ran by design expert Andi Wilkinson & Ex-Googler Ben Tennant. We advise businesses on all things digital including Google Ads & have run workshops with The Business Growth Hub, Google & Enterprise Nation. It's our mission to help business 'grow online'. 

We were selected in 2017 as one of UK 30 Google Partner agencies to attend Google's elite coaching programme 'Elevator' and one of a select cohort of agencies with high growth potential to take part in the Business Growth Hub's Greater Connected programme. 

For some top-notch quality marketing, without all the mystery, talk to us today! 

Written By Andi Wilkinson Last Updated 1st April 2019 
Creative Director of Made By Factory. UX Designer & SEO Nerd, Andi is also a board member of Manchester Digital, and speaks and writes on a variety of web-related topics.
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