A Guide to Building an Effective User Journey For Your Business

Here is what would happen in a perfect world – Visitors would land on your site from a marketing campaign, buy your product or service, and become life-long customers. But anyone in business can tell you things are rarely that straightforward.

The path that prospects take before they become customers is more scattered. A visitor may land on your site, but then decide to research their other options. Or something about your offer might be unclear, so they close the page. The point here is that visitors are often at different points of the sales cycle. Understanding each of these points is at the heart of what a user journey map is all about.

What exactly is a user journey map? Here we’ll answer this question in more detail and how you can create one for your business to capture more sales.


What is a User Journey Map?

A user journey map (also known as a customer journey map) is a visual representation of the steps that prospects take with your company from initial contact to becoming a customer. It maps out a series of user goals and the actions they take throughout each touchpoint.

User journey maps are a useful tool as they can provide detailed insight about your prospects and identify gaps that can be closed with a marketing campaign. By understanding exactly what a prospect is trying to achieve, you can restructure key touchpoints to make it easier for them to do so.


User Journey Map Example

Let’s look at a practical example of how user journey maps can be utilised to capture more sales – Content marketing. Content marketing is a marketing technique focused on the creation and distribution of relevant content to a specific audience. Distributing engaging content on channels like a company blog or a social network can reach more prospects and drive them to take action.

A user journey map can reveal content gaps that your business can fill. If users are abandoning their carts, you can overcome any objections by adding a product guarantee page. Likewise, you could create an FAQ page to address any questions that prospects early in the sales cycle might have.

BYO Group provides outsourced accounting services to businesses in Australia and can enable activation for automated lodgement facility with STP software. To help prospects with a decision, the company put together a case studies page that highlights how other businesses have utilised their services.

The page also serves another purpose – Business owners in Australia researching how they can comply with the new compliance set by the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) can discover these pages, and reach out to learn more about their services.

By understanding each stage of the customer journey, you can create a more effective content marketing strategy and make it easier for prospects to find you. Now let’s look at how you can create an effective user journey map for your business.


1. Create User Personas

Understanding who your customers are is the first step to creating a user journey map. As a quick primer, a user persona is simply a generalised profile of your users. It includes basic background information such as age, occupation, and income as well as their level of product awareness.

User personas make it easier for you to create focused marketing campaigns that address the specific needs of a particular user. Someone early in the buying cycle knows they have a problem, but they may not know what solutions are available. So you can create a Google Ads campaign that focuses on research type keywords. Likewise, someone later in the sales cycle is likely comparing your product to your competitors. So you could create ads on social platforms that offer comparisons and demonstrate why yours is the better option. 

You can gather data about your users through customer interviews or even through tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insights. If your products or services appeal to a range of customers, create multiple user personas. That will enable you to deliver more relevant content to the right users.


2. Define User Goals

The next step is to look at user goals for each stage. What are they trying to accomplish? What problems are they hoping to solve? Let’s say we have someone thinking of switching their mobile plans.

In the early stages, the user might be wondering if they can pay less on their mobile plans. A competitor could use a user journey map to gain a competitive advantage by matching a compelling offer with what users are trying to accomplish (e.g. find a better deal).

As mentioned earlier, defining user goals can also help with your content marketing efforts. If you know that prospects later in the sales cycle are comparing their options, you can create pages on your site that compare your products or services to a competitor. This also has the added benefit of helping those pages rank in the search results for review type keywords.


3. Map Out Touchpoints

Touchpoints are points of contact that prospects might have with your business. In other words, it’s how your potential customers find your business online. Examples might include:

  • Social media channels
  • Paid ads
  • Email campaigns
  • Review sites
  • Local directories

Each touchpoint is an opportunity to move prospects closer to making a purchase. It’s also a great way to identify hidden gaps that you can fill. For example, an ad drives targeted traffic to a landing page and click-through rates are above average, but visitors just aren’t converting. The problem likely has to do with the messaging on the landing page. Improving this single touchpoint can result in more conversions.

Use Google Analytics to view traffic sources and identify common touchpoints that prospects have with your business from pre-purchase to post-purchase. Then list out the actions that they perform throughout each stage.


4. Identify and Remove Roadblocks

So far you have created user personas, defined their goals, and mapped out common touchpoints they have with your business. Perhaps the most valuable benefit of creating a user journey map is it allows you to identify any roadblocks that are preventing prospects from converting.

For example, your research may reveal that users are adding products to their shopping carts, but not actually following through. Research from the Baymard Institute found that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69%.

So how can you address a high shopping cart abandonment rate? You can add an additional option on the checkout page that lets visitors checkout without creating an account or simplify the checkout process to minimise the number of steps it takes to make a purchase.

Take a look at your user journey map to identify common roadblocks and address any issues to build a more positive customer experience across all your marketing channels.


Author’s Bio

Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.