Naturally you want people who visit your website to buy from your company. But the truth is, most of your visitors aren’t ready to buy. And if you focus all your marketing on the small portion that is ready to buy right at the moment they visit your site, you're leaving hundreds of opportunities behind. Beyond any other single marketing asset, your website needs the breadth and depth to attract and retain interest from visitors at every stage in their buying process.
Website visitors generally fall into three categories. You’ll increase your long-term business results if you tailor your content so that it speaks to each group’s differing needs.
1. People who are ready to buy.
You have attracted the right people with the right need at the right time. They match your target personas 100%. You connect, and the rest is purchasing history. Unfortunately, these visitors account for less than 10% of your total traffic, emphasizing the importance of targeting those who are not yet ready to buy.
Convert your ready-to-buy visitors with:
- Content that clearly delineates the benefits of choosing your products or services, now -- the sooner they buy, the sooner their looming problem will be resolved.
- Personalized calls to action – invite them to speak personally with an expert, get a live presentation or demonstration, etc.
2. People who are interested in what you have to offer, but are not yet ready to buy.
On average, this group is oftentimes around 20% of your visitors. These visitors are considering a purchase decision at some point, but for whatever reason the time isn’t right to make that final move. Perhaps they still need more information. Or perhaps they are simply waiting – for instance, a tax accounting firm knows they want to purchase new software but they just finished 2014’s arduous tax season and they want to kick back for a while before getting back to business. Or maybe they have existing contracts still in place and they want to wait till they're closer to expiration before talking with you about making a change.
These visitors could become new customers within 3-12 months. Give them content that helps them move closer to a decision – content such as:
- Tools to determine what their buying criteria should be
- Checklists to evaluate their needs and potential choices
- Guides about what to consider when evaluating vendors.
3. People who are not (yet) interested in your products or services.
Considering this group includes 70% or more of your total visitors, this is a wide-open opportunity. These visitors are looking for information, answers to specific questions or just trolling around to see what’s out there. They could even be looking for entertainment or something else extraneous. They don't have an immediate need or even near-immediate need, but by beginning a relationship with them and maintaining top-of-mind awareness with them, your company will be the first one they think of when their situation changes and they do suddenly have needs.
What to do for them?
- Make sure your website has multiple pages and articles that address questions that your target audience has, establishing your company’s knowledge and expertise rather than pitching your products or services -- for example, an accounting firm might publish a content piece such as “what’s new on this year's Form 1040 Schedule C.”
- Draw them in with long-tail keyword content that more specifically matches their needs. You’ll attract higher quality prospects and long-tail keywords are proven to dramatically increase conversion rates.
- Pair basic educational content with opt-in top-of-funnel premium content – for instance, along with the accounting firm's blog article about Schedule C changes, they could offer a downloadable guide to all the latest changes in the tax code for the current calendar year.
- Your goal is to stay in contact with these people, so build your database with forms that capture email addresses, then re-connect via email marketing automation workflows, social media, retargeting campaigns, and targeted batch email campaigns, etc. to maintain interest over time.
The last thing you want to do with this immense group of visitors is sit back and watch them bounce in and out of your website, with an “oh, well, they weren’t real leads anyway” attitude. They could be good – even great – leads, if you make the effort to understand and meet their needs. If you ignore this group of people, you are leaving money on the table.
Imagine this: what if you could convert just 10% more of your Stage 3 (not-that-interested, top-of-funnel) visitors to Stage 2? And then convert 10% of those Stage 2 visitors (interested but not-quite-ready-to buy) to Stage 1 (people who are ready to buy)? You would have significantly boosted your chances of making a sale. The bottom line is simple – the more effort you put into feeding the informational hunger of all three types of visitors on your website, the more your company can grow and prosper, and the more you'll look like a hero to your boss.