The classic snippet by Dr. Seuss goes like this, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” However sometimes going places online isn’t easy if a website is complicated and difficult to navigate.
We decided to write a blog about a step in the website design process called journey mapping, that is sometimes skipped due to insufficient knowledge or rushed project timelines. Creating the right user experience while planning a website design should start by taking the time to track the visitor’s journey through the website.
If you have read, Oh the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss, then you know the lines, “life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all, ‘There’s fun to be done.” And, sometimes mapping out your customer’s journey requires a balanced content strategy and navigation plan, which isn’t always the fun part, but a necessary step in designing an effective website. Before you develop, write and create your website, start with the journey mapping process to give your visitors a better experience.
Common website development fails
Have you ever tried to purchase something online, but the website design was so confusing you couldn’t figure out how to pay for it? Or, maybe the contact section was hidden, or information about the company was hard to find. These examples are the result of poor journey mapping, or lack thereof, but not many folks understand the how to plan out the user experience (UX).
When visitors have trouble finding a product or signing up for a service on a website, it can frustrate the user, impact our perception of the company, and cause an increase in bounce rates, which means, folks aren’t staying on your site very long.
Let’s face it: online marketing is a sales tool you can’t afford to ignore. Did you know that 67% of the modern buyer’s journey now takes place online? Your business website should be designed to seamlessly guide viewers from the first moment of interaction to navigating through the product or service benefits, to performing the action you need to stay in business. If you’ve never considered a potential customer’s point of view when you develop a website, you are missing a fundamental part of the process.
What is a journey map?
A journey map is an online marketing tool that will outline the UX when visiting your site. It is a step by step plan of interaction with web pages, content and call to action. To develop an effective journey map, you need to analyze customer goals, motivations, and feelings at each step of the journey. Understanding the user journey will help you build an online marketing experience that aligns with actions, feelings, motivations, and experiences, which helps translate into sales.
So why do I need a journey map before you build a website? Let us walk you through five simple reasons:
1. Journey mapping helps determine your audience engagement.
Building a strategic website is all about figuring out the interactions and habits of your customer base. It’s tricky to discover customer intentions that when you don’t fully understand your audience, their goals, or problems. A well-researched journey map will include detailed information about your potential buyers – not just their demographics, but also their interests and obstacles. With this information, you can create online marketing campaigns that will speak directly to the people you’re trying to reach.
2. Protect your company’s reputation.
Ever heard of a touchpoint? It’s any interaction between your business and a current or prospective customer. This includes everything your customers learn through your online marketing. Touchpoints are important building blocks in your company’s reputation – and remember, word of mouth is some of the best advertising you can get.
A journey map will lay out your customers’ touchpoints step-by-step so you can understand what they are looking for and how you can meet their needs at each step. It will help you identify any problem areas where customers might experience frustration or disappointment, or gain the wrong impression of your business. By creating a positive experience consistently for customers, it will help improve your company’s reputation.
3. Make the narrative your own.
Building the right website design includes sharing your story with potential customers and demonstrating how your product or service can help visitors. A journey map will help influence buyer’s decisions and create impressions of your business.
4. A map is the foundation for the website design.
A customer journey map allows you to compile research and touchpoints to draw a blueprint that is easy to understand, logical, and eventually, create a website that is pleasing to the eye. Your website is a tool aimed at converting viewers into customers. However, once you’ve created the blueprint, your work is not complete. You’ll want to keep track of your website visitors and analyze their reaction.
Online marketing tools like Google Analytics will provide detailed information about the users, but all the data can be challenging to interpret if you don’t have prior experience. An online marketing professional collects and analyzes data to help keep your website design informative and relevant. The goal is that your site works hard for you 24/7.
5. The journey map is a living document.
The online marketing world is constantly changing, so your website design strategy needs to stay flexible. Once you have a thorough journey map planned, you can circle back and update it whenever needed. For instance, big changes in your industry, or new online marketing strategies may lead you back to the drawing board. Updating your journey map every now and then will help make it easy to identify the steps in your navigation that need to change.
To keep your online marketing relevant, it’s important to keep your website fresh and regularly updated. The goal is to keep your visitors coming back, alert customers of sales and other news, and establish a loyal customer base. A journey map can also forecast upcoming opportunities to engage your customers down the road.
Is your website too complicated?
Offering customers, a streamlined and enjoyable user experience will help drive sales to a business. When you prioritize the UX, you’ll reveal sales opportunities and prevent potential conflicts in your website design navigation. The faster a customer can get where they need to go, the faster you’ll get paid.
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
Mad Hat Maven can help you take the necessary steps to build an effective website design. If you have questions or want to schedule a free consultation, please contact us. We want to go places with you.