When was the last time you viewed a brand-new website and immediately made a purchase without doing any research?

Our guess is never

That’s because a typical purchasing experience is much more complex than ‘see the product, buy the product.’

Instead, there are levels to this.

A GIF of UFC fighter Corey Anderson explaining that there are levels to this.

In particular, those levels comprise your buyer’s journey and the different stages of your sales funnel – and content mapping is how you present the right content at each level.  

For example, if you’re like 89% of other customers online, your buyer’s journey begins by researching products using a search engine like Google. 

At this stage, you’re looking for informative, educational content about the products you’re interested in eventually buying. 

So, if your customers do a search hoping to find information but land on product pages pushing hard for them to convert, they’ll likely click away. 

In that scenario, your content mapping was off, as you presented the customer with content appropriate for the very end of their buyer’s journey, not the beginning. 

When your content mapping is done correctly, you’ll always present the perfect content to your customers at the right time, effectively making you a mind reader. 

Stay tuned to learn how to master the impressive power of content mapping for your business.

Why Bother with Content Mapping?

If you’ve been doing SEO for a while now, you may be on the fence about putting the effort into creating a proper content map. 

After all, if you’re ranking high for your target keywords, why fix what isn’t broken by throwing a content map into the mix?

Well, while your rankings may be where you want them, your conversion rates, bounce rates, and dwell times are likely off. 

That’s because, without proper mapping, you aren’t satisfying each visitor’s search intent, likely causing them to leave without completing your desired action (i.e., signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase, etc.). 

In other words, content mapping helps you get the most out of your SEO efforts

The basics of a content map and why it is importantEven with lots of #1 rankings, if you aren’t fulfilling the search intent of your organic visitors, your bank account won’t grow – and you won’t build a loyal customer base, either. 

If visitors simply leave a few seconds after landing on one of your web pages, all that hard work you put into obtaining high rankings was for nothing. 

For this reason, content mapping and SEO go hand-in-hand, as you wouldn’t want to have one without the other. 

If you want to see more conversions and build a better reputation, you must build a picture-perfect customer experience through content mapping, so let’s learn how.

Creating a Winning Content Map for Your Business 

Avast, ye matey! 

There’s a treasure to be had in the form of more online revenue, and content mapping is how you find the X that marks the spot. 

To create a content map, you need to have an intricate understanding of your target audience, which brings us to the first step. 

Step #1: Build buyer personas 

A buyer persona (also called a customer avatar) is a fictional representative of a member of your target audience. 

Buyer personas are where you put your market research to work as you build them based on surveys and interviews with your existing customers. 

If you don’t have that kind of data yet, then now is the time to get cracking and start talking to your customers. 

Besides market surveys, you can also peer inside your customer’s minds by frequenting their favorite online haunts. Facebook and Reddit Groups, Quora, LinkedIn, and other popular social media platforms are great places to start. 

AI is also a massive help with this, as AI programs like ExactBuyer are capable of doing deep dives into vast volumes of customer data, helping you build extremely accurate personas as a result. 

When building personas manually, each should be fully fleshed out and contain things like:

  • Name 
  • Occupation
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Average income
  • Hobbies
  • Goals (what do they want to achieve more than anything else, and can your products help?)
  • Challenges (what pain points do they have that your products can solve?) 
  • Shopping habits (when they are most likely to shop, what kind of content they prefer, etc.) 

Examples of a buyer persona

Don’t limit yourself to creating just one buyer persona, especially if your products appeal to a few different audiences. 

If you notice common characteristics among a specific buyer persona segment, don’t hesitate to split it into two. 

Step #2: Mapping out your buyer’s journey 

Next, it’s time to map out the specific buyer’s journey for each one of your buyer’s personas. 

Map out your customer journeyAI is helpful for this stage, too, as AI-powered tools will help you understand the specific shopping habits of your personas based on complex data analysis. 

For example, let’s say you sell guitars and have three buyer personas: gearheads, serious musicians, and wealthy collectors. 

The buyer’s journey of a wealthy collector will look much different than that of a serious musician. 

Wealthy collectors will want to learn about your rarest and most visually appealing guitars, regardless of price. 

Serious musicians will want to dive into informative content about things like tonality, the wood used, and durability for playing shows. They’re also more likely to be concerned with price. 

Gearheads are all about specs, specs, and more specs, so they’ll eat up buyers’ guides that contain lots of technical details. 

Step #3: Brainstorm content ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey/sales funnel 

The different stages of a buyer’s lifecycleLastly, it’s time to match content ideas with each stage of your buyer’s journey, which looks something like this;

  • Awareness stage. This is when the customer knows they have a problem they need to solve with a product. Informational content is the way to go here, such as blogs explaining how your products will solve their problem. 
  • Consideration stage. At this point, they’re researching providers, so you should provide content like buyer’s guides, product reviews, and testimonials from satisfied customers. 
  • Decision stage. They’re now ready to make a purchase, so you should hit them with your strongest product pages that have solid CTAs (calls to action). 

The best types of content for each buyer lifecycle stageThe buyer’s journey conveniently aligns with the stages of your sales funnel, which look something like this:

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU). This is the awareness stage when the customer knows they need a solution to their problem. Informative and educational blog posts outlining their problem and how your products help are perfect TOFU content. 
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU). Aligned with the consideration stage, the customer is now actively researching providers, so you need to convince them that you’re the best with stellar reviews and outstanding case studies. 
  • Bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Equivalent to the decision stage, your customer is about to pull the trigger with a provider, so you need to convince them to point the gun at you (metaphorically, of course). Detailed product and landing pages that value benefits over features are great forms of BOFU content. 

Mapping Your Way to SEO Success 

That’s all it takes to create a content map for your SEO strategy, and the benefits are well worth the time it takes to build one. 

Don’t just map things out in your mind, though, as you should contain your content map in a document like a spreadsheet. Include the stages of your buyer’s journey/sales funnel at the top, including your content ideas for each level. 

If you want to enjoy a winning SEO strategy without having to lift a finger, don’t wait to check out HOTH X, our renowned managed SEO service