The Customer Purchase Lifecycle
Customer comprehension is a variant that is tricky to deal with. How do you teach someone that "thinks" they know exactly who their customer is, but they are completely off base?
You have to follow certain metrics that prove that you understand exactly who your customer is. These are the determining factors at it comes down to how well you know your niche. Your answer should be YES to the following questions:
(1) Do you read regularly about your niche?
(2) Can you effectively communicate with others in your niche?
(3) Do you comprehend customers issues?
(4) Can you come up with your own "pros and cons" for each customer situation (product, service, etc)?
(5) Do you understand the core problems within your niche?
You should comprehend all of these, if you don't, then you need to spend some time in the trenches learning about your niche and the customer idiosyncrasies. Let's look at an example.
If you were selling golf clubs..
If you are trying to sell golf clubs online, where would you start? What keywords would you try to target?
If you were to deliver traffic coming from general keywords like "golf" or even a keyword phrase like "golf clubs", chances are you would have a low conversion rate. The reason that "golf clubs" won't convert is because you're picking up this visitor too early in the purchasing life cycle.
At this point, they are typically looking for information about golf clubs, and you cannot make an assumptions as to what they are looking for. Perhaps they want to see what a golf club looks like so they can draw it...who knows. Chances are at this point they are not ready to buy, and will usually perform several more searches before they do decide to make a purchasing decision..
Let's drill down a little more and catch someone a little further along in the purchasing lifecycle. We now know that "golf" & "golf clubs" won't convert very high. After visiting a few forums, you can easily discover that people are searching for irons, putters, drivers, wedges, or specialize clubs. So, chances are that the keyword "golf clubs" (although seemingly targeted) is actually way too broad.
If you start promoting here, it will take a lot more work to actually sell than if you were to dig a little deeper into the purchasing lifecycle.
Drivers, wedges, irons, and putters are still too broad and people will want to learn about brand names, types, loft, and reviews before they make a purchase. That is where you can capture people at the "decision phase".
Ideally, you would hyper-target someone who types in Taylor Made r5 Driver, or someone who is searching for a 56 degree Cleveland Gap Wedge. People that are searching these terms are very far along in the lifecycle and it will take far less effort than someone that is searching for "golf clubs" to convert them into buyers.
And the ultimate search terms, the ones where the person is in the "action phase" would be terms like:
- where do I buy Taylor Made r5 Driver
- best deal on Taylor Made r5 Driver
- buy Taylor Made r5 Driver online
- Taylor Made r5 Driver ebay
- purchase Taylor Made r5 Driver