In this episode of the I’ve Heard That podcast on the Hurrdat Media Network, host Meghan talks with Digital Strategy Director Aaron Mackel and Content Director Bailey Hemphill about how we build websites around the customer journey to ensure good user experience.
How do we start planning for the customer journey?
Hemphill: When a business comes to us and says they need a new website, we have to figure out what they’re trying to accomplish first. Do they need a website up so people know they exist? Do they need it for actual product purchases? Do they need it so people can find information about their business? And then, we say “Okay, what do you want your customers to do on your website when they get there?”
Mackel: I think the next kind of progression of that is to really dive into what the conversion steps are for the customer. Every website is different, and every purchase is different. A natural next step is to really dive into that with the client and understand the preferred method to get someone through their website’s process.
How do we optimize content around the customer journey?
Hemphill: When we’re setting up a brand new website or even condensing or expanding an existing one, we look at the site outline and how we want to set up all of the pages so we can accomplish multiple goals. Obviously, we know we need to accomplish SEO goals, and we need to accomplish brand marketing goals. As far as the content information delivery system, it has to be simple enough that somebody can land on the homepage and understand where they should go next.
Mackel: You really need to approach every main entry point as having a little bit of that lobby aspect, where you’re able to include important brand elements, important competitive advantages, and keep that present throughout the entire site. It’s important to not have these only on a homepage or an about page because you never know where the visitor is going to go next. You want to make it easy for them to navigate from those pages to other important pages without having to think if it’s the right step. This keeps them moving in the right direction.
How do we avoid creating a website that only feels like it’s selling something?
Hemphill: A big thing we think about when setting up the website is that we don’t want people to just feel like the website is saying “Give us your money,” even if the ultimate goal is a transaction. You don’t want it to be that way for the customer. You’re supposed to have a relationship of “We give you this, you give us this” and back and forth as they make their way through the site. We want there to be a specific direction and not have the customer feel like they’re constantly bombarded with “Fill out a form!” or “Sign up for our newsletter!” because that will negatively impact that customer journey.