Mapping the customer journey to online purchase from initial Discovery through to Shortlisting and Decision Making reveals a useful framework using SEO, PPC & PLAs to attract and convert customers on your ecommerce site.
In Discovery phase, customers are looking for ideas and inspiration; a search for “best wireless headphones” or “latest mens winter coats” are best met by serving up information, resources, case studies, tips, videos & photos. These require well written content rich articles and are the classic domain of search engine optimisation “SEO” in the modern age.
In Shortlisting phase, customers narrow their searches to specific BRANDS & CATEGORIES looking to identify suitable products such as “aptx bluetooth headphones” or “Burberry wax jackets”. Pay Per Click “PPC” Google Adwords is best suited here, using keyword search to serve up text ads that take customers to specific category landing pages within an ecommerce website.
In Decision phase, customers have decided which products they are interested in buying and are researching products, models, price & availability. These product specific long tail searches such as “Sennheiser MM450-X headphones” or “Barbour Bedale wax jacket” are best met by serving up Google Shopping ads.
By considering what information to present at the different stages of the customer journey to online purchase provides a useful framework within which SEO, Google Adwords & Google Shopping each play an important role in meeting the customer’s search objectives.