There are 5 phases of a typical buying cycle. When you’re writing content for a website, you need to understand the purpose of each page. What do you intend it to do? Provide generic information? Product details? Or is the page designed to get people to buy? Each phase of the “buying cycle,” or conversion cycle, requires a different style of writing and different keywords.

There are a great variety of ways to describe the 5 phases – here’s how I do it:

  1. Awareness
  2. Research
  3. Comparison
  4. Decision
  5. Purchase

Let’s say you sell purple house hippos. Your future customers will go through these 5 phases, so you want to make sure your site’s pages bring them in at the right phrase. How do you do that? First, you have to get inside their heads to understand how they think. Ask yourself, “what would I type into the Google search box to find purple house hippos?”

google search box

That’d be a good start – but only for people who have already decided to buy the purple house hippo. What if they’re not sure what they want yet? Maybe this would be a more accurate search:

google search

These are two very different keyword phrases – each is equally important to your prospects. So when you’re setting out to do your keyword research, remember to search according to the 5 phases of the buying cycle and then build your pages around those themes. For example:

  1. Awareness = small exotic house pets
  2. Research = purple house hippos
  3. Comparison = best prices on house hippos
  4. Decision = YourBrand house hippos
  5. Purchase = buy YourBrand house hippos online

Of course, there are many other factors at play when it comes to choosing keywords and building out content themes. But we’ll talk about those in another post.

~ Aimee