SEO Guide for the Online Buying Cycle

During the five stages of the online buying process, you need different SEO keywords per stage to target potential customers and appeal to their mindsets with the aim of driving them to your online store.

Let’s start by bringing this closer to home and simply think what you yourself would do before committing to make a purchase in any shop. Let’s imagine that you are hungry, so you go into a supermarket. You have a look around the snack section and focus on the chocolate bars. But there is more than one chocolate bar on offer so you compare and contrast them and any special offers etc.. You make your decision and then purchase the bar. If you like it and are happy with it, you may purchase this particular chocolate bar again.

Bringing the above example into the online shopping arena brings with it a set of online prompts and influencers that you and I know as search engine optimisation (SEO). Below is the breakdown of the online buying cycle and what way to action your SEO keywords at each stage of this cycle.

Arguably the most difficult part of the cycle to pin down keywords for is the awareness stage. Here you must guess what potential customers will first search in Google for in the hopes of linking to your online shop eventually. At this stage, the term ‘garden design examples’ may be searched for. The potential customer is clearly interested in changing or improving their garden space – so what types of sellable products will this entail?

As they browse online some more, they start to narrow their focus down to potted plants. Here lies potential for your category pages of your online shop to become potential hits as no doubt if you sell potted plants, these will be referenced in your SEO efforts.

Now they have decided on a plant and would like to buy a rosemary plant for their garden. They may like the appearance, size and attributes of the plant – but is this all they need to take into account before buying the rosemary plant? No, they need to further research the differing types, behaviours and care methods for the plant. A great way to bring your website into the mix here is to have an FAQ page or blog post detailing some of the most commonly sought after and searched for items from your online store. This arms the potential customer with that bit more of a knowledgeable edge to help make up their minds about the purchase.

Now that they know that a particular type of rosemary (for example the Albus rosemary plant) is the perfect fit for them due to the fact that it has white flowers, their search term becomes very specific. Thus a search for ‘albus rosemary potted plant dublin’ should be guessed by you as a potential avenue for customers to reach your product page(s) on your online store.

While SEO cannot directly help with retention, it is a part of the buying cycle because as a business you should want to encourage and experience customer loyalty and repeat spend. At this stage, the customer has made it to your online store and made a purchase. It is now up to you to deliver what has been promised and stated by you on your website to ensure that your new customers remember you in good faith and may go directly to your website for their future gardening needs.

At Ireland Website Design we make sure that all of our website builds are search engine optimised and are considerate of the five-step buying cycle when it comes to the SEO of online stores and eCommerce websites. Our experts in SEO and marketing liaise with our web designers so that your website is delivered to you ready to thrive and survive in the competitive world of shopping online.

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