Searching So Why Aren't They Buying?
Thackston Copyright © 2003
There seems to be a common myth regarding site visitors and the
buying process these days. I've heard this statement more than a
few times over the last several months: "My visitors find me
when they use search engines. They type in the exact keyphrases
I'm listed under. So when they get to my site why aren't they
buying?" The simple answer is that they aren't ready to buy
Just because surfers type a specific keyphrase into a search
engine does not mean they are ready to buy. In fact, it could mean
just the opposite.
The buying process is made up of several stages, and your site
visitors could fall into any one of the five. Let's say a surfer
typed "water filtration systems" into Google. This same
keyphrase can be used by people in all five of the buying-process
stages. Take a look at the steps, and I'll show you why - during
each one - your visitors might come to your site.
Step One - Need/Want Recognition - Deciding there is, in
fact, a need or a want to be filled. During this stage a site
visitor may be wondering. Take yourself for example. Suppose
someone told you about a new water filtration system that is just
awesome. Being a health-conscious person, you want to determine if
this is something that would be good for you and your family. You
jump on the Internet and begin looking for general information
about the product.
Right now you aren't the least bit interested in price or sales
pitches. You just want to know what this filtration system is all
about so you can decide IF there is a need or want on your part.
Likewise, a site visitor in the need/want recognition stage is
looking for solid, unbiased information.
Step Two - Information Search - Trying to determine what's
available. So now you've found out that these filtration systems
are fabulous, and you've decided your family needs one after all.
Next step? Jump back on the Internet and start searching for
Are there various styles or sizes? What's the price difference?
What features/accessories come with the system?
This is one time to focus on benefits, to make yourself available
for questions, and to direct your site visitor toward your
Step Three - Evaluation - Eliminating
products/services/companies and deciding who's best. After you've
gathered a good bit of information, you'll begin to weed through
the product brands and companies to determine which one you will
A site visitor in this stage will likely come to your site for
additional information, to find the answers to questions he/she
came up with since the last visit, or to double check facts and
This is a good time to not only focus on benefits, but also to
have customer service, warranty, price incentive, and other
Step Four - Purchase - Actually buying your
product/service. Finally! After all this time, the customers are
ready to buy! Support their decisions by making your ordering
process and shopping cart quick and simple to use.
Step Five - Buyer's Regret - Wondering if they made the
right decision. This is where money-back guarantees can save you!
Most people simply need the reassurance that they *can* get their
money back if need be. Especially with high-ticket items, buyer's
regret is common. Reinforce their buying decisions by letting them
know they can contact you with any problems they have.
So, as you can see, even though every stage in the process is
different, the same exact keyphrase could be used to search the
'Net for information. Create your site to accommodate every step
in the buying process. Don't assume that - just because someone
typed your keywords into a search engine - they are automatically
ready to buy.
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