“Sales funnel” is a simple way to describe how customers move from getting to know you to buying from you. There are different stages in the sales funnel, and your website needs to address all of them to guide customers through and make more sales.
The sales funnel is really a sales colander, because customers that aren’t a good match for your offers will drop out along the way. Whatever kitchen tool you use to describe it, it’s all about your ideal customers. Your website needs to meet the needs of your customer personas at every stage, so they’ll stick around and keep moving toward the sale.
If you Google “sales funnel” you’ll find lots of opinions about the number of stages. Let’s keep things simple and focus on the three general ones:
1. Awareness. Also known as “the top of the funnel,” this is where customers first find your business. Maybe they’re searching for something, saw one of your social posts, or a friend recommended you.
2. Consideration. In the “middle of the funnel” they’re taking a look at what you have to offer and deciding if you’re the business they want to get it from. After consideration, they move on to the final stage.
3. Decision. Will they buy from you, fill out your lead gen form, or look elsewhere for what they need?
How to create a sales funnel with your website
For each sales funnel stage, you’ll need to ask some questions, do some work and test your results.
The awareness stage
The sites here:
- used the right keywords to rank well in organic results
- selected the right keywords for their Google Ads campaign
- optimized their Google My Business profile and/or
- optimized their images and product feeds for Shopping results
The consideration stage
To make sure your site does this:
- Include page titles and copy that explain the product and/or category so visitors know right away they’re in the right place.
- Audit your site to make sure all your products are in the correct categories.
- Make sure your product pages and category pages display the most relevant info first.
The action stage
At the bottom of the funnel, your customers will do something:
- Buy from you (yay!)
- Request a sales call (yay!)
- Or leave because this last part is too hard (boo!)
To avoid that last outcome, your website needs two things:
- Clear calls to action. Your “checkout” or “request a demo” buttons need to be big, easy to find and tempting to click. We’ve got a whole post to help you create calls to action that work.
- An easy checkout or contact request process. The keyword here is easy—as close as you can get to a one-click experience. So,
- Don’t make customers create an account to buy from you.
Turning the funnel into a loop
It’s not a perfect analogy, but you want customers who go through the funnel to loop back and buy from you again. To do that, follow each sale with
- Order confirmation and package tracking
- Review or survey invitations
- Easy post-purchase support
- Drip campaigns and social/search retargeting with more customized offers based on their purchase or action
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