Online Business 101: Understanding Your Buyer’s Journey

Online Business 101: Understanding Your Buyer’s Journey

When it comes to establishing a strong online presence and building a successful online presence, it is imperative to understand your buyer’s journey.

buyer's journey

The journey of a buyer is no rocket science but begins with just one single problem. If you’re there to answer that problem, you can land a brand new customer and lead to the beginning of a new relationship.

In order to do that, you need to first understand who they are exactly and how they approach their problems.


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What Is A Buyer’s Journey?

The process of educating your users through various stages of a problem, ultimately resulting in a purchase, is what is known as a buyer’s journey.

It is the process that buyers go through to become aware of, consider, evaluate, and then decide to purchase a new product or service.

A buyer’s journey consists of three important stages:

#1 Awareness – The buyer realizes that they have a problem

#2 Consideration – The buyer defines their problem and searches for options to solve it

#3 Decision – The buyer finally chooses a solution

How you communicate with your audience depends a lot on the stage of the buyer’s journey. Consumers might not even be aware of the term for the problem that they’re facing in the awareness stage.

For instance, they just might know that their “Air Conditioner is making weird noises.”

After a little bit of researching online, they might discover that their AC has a problem with its compressor. Then they might search for something like “how to fix AC compressor.”

After digging into it a little more they might conclude that fixing the AC compressor is beyond their skill set. They might start looking for an AC technician thereafter.

The user progressively becomes more educated than before about the source of their problem and then starts actively seeking a solution. Understanding these stages can help you create well-targeted content aiming at helping users make a final purchase decision.

Let’s look at the stage in detail and understand how they can help you generate more customers.

Awareness Stage

At the inception of the buyer’s journey, it’s highly probable that a buyer doesn’t have any idea about your company, what you offer, and how they can benefit from it.

During this phase, buyers experiment with different search terms or look for clues about what their problem might entail. They could also be searching for potential opportunities or research something online out of curiosity.

Hence, this stage demands content which is rather informational than promotional.

Awareness stage queries could be like the ones mentioned below:

  • “How to do marketing online”
  • “How often should a car be serviced”
  • “How to prevent the leakage of the sink”
  • “What are the best destinations to travel to”

It’s noticeable that the buyer has an implied problem or there’s also an opportunity present but they haven’t determined what it is exactly. Instead of mentioning your business here, focus on answering the typical question they might have.

Create content using keyphrases and headlines what the buyer might be searching for. You might also have to avoid using technical jargon in some cases.


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Consideration Stage

Once a buyer becomes a little more aware of what they’re exactly looking for, only then can they start digging deeper to find a solution fitting them best.

Here the buyer would have a clearer idea of what they need and will be searching for a product or service for it.

Examples of queries in the consideration phase based on the above queries might be like:

  • “Guide to Google Ads”
  • “Reliable car cabin filter”
  • “List of plumbers near me”
  • “Cheap flights to Bali”

In this stage, buyers want to find various options and how to use them. Your aim shouldn’t be to sell during this particular stage of the buyer’s journey, but you can start capturing contact information using social promotions and landing pages.

It’s important to remember during this phase that buyers are considering your product or service here, but are not ready to go all the way.

Decision Stage

Once your buyers have a clear picture of what they’re looking for, it’s the right time to convince them that the best option for them is your company.

You can accomplish that using things like:

  • Case studies
  • Product reviews
  • Live demos
  • Product pages
  • Use-cases
  • Product comparison
  • Customer success stories
  • Support documentation

In this stage of the buyer’s journey, buyers are mainly looking for information on how your products work, how other buyers have benefitted from your solutions, and what could their experience be like if they decide to go ahead with your company.

In this phase, you need to provide appealing information. For example, creating downloadable PDF of case studies instead of having them on your website.

Final Thoughts

Understanding your buyer’s journey is a very essential aspect of any online business. Knowledge of what people are looking for, and the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at, should help your content team in creating more targeted content, with effective calls to actions.

Depending on the nature of the business, the buyer’s journey can span from days to even months. During this period, buyers will stumble upon content from various sources on different devices.

Since the buyer’s journey can span for long periods, and also overlap with the buyer’s journey of another business, you need to create the right content, in the right format, deliver it at the right time, to make an actual difference.


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