The 4 Most Critical Moments for Users Online

Think about the process you go through when you search for something on Google. Using search engines has become so ingrained in our lives that it’s turned into muscle memory. You type, you search, you browse, and then you click (hopefully just once!).

When you search, you have an idea in mind but don’t know exactly what page it will lead you to. Maybe you want a specific recipe, a new kitchen table, or a product to help your business succeed. Have you seen something on the first page that looks promising, but when you click, the content or product doesn’t deliver? You leave, disappointed, and move on to the next link.

What if a user was looking for something that you offered, but your content didn’t deliver? This leads to high bounce rates, low time spent on page, and no conversions. On top of that, Google will notice that users didn’t like what they saw and your rankings will tank.

You may have read the article done by Crazy Egg about the 59 second rule. They determined that most users stay on a website for 59 seconds before clicking away. If you don’t catch their attention before a minute is up, the user will move on to another website.

Timing is crucial when it comes to keeping and converting users. This leads to the question – what are the most critical moments for users online?

Right before they click on your site

This is a pivotal moment for your website. In the two seconds before users click on your site they are looking through the SERP (search engine results page) and deciding what link will provide them with the information or product they are looking for.

When providing content in any form, remember to ask yourself – what do the users believe right before they land on your site? Does your site provide the solution?

If your site offers them something on the results page, then you better deliver. Make sure you earn their click. 

Right after they click on your site

This is when you deliver on your promise. Does what the user believe about your page match with the content they are seeing?

If they are searching for a way to turn their hobby into an income and your page is titled, “Learn How to Transform Your Hobby Into a Cash Cow for Your Family,” then that is what your content must provide. Avoid using paywalls or clickbait, just provide the user with valuable content. If the content isn’t there or they have to pay for it, you’ve lost a user to a competitor and may have caused the user to blacklist your site and not click on any other links they come across in future queries.

Content is arguably the most important aspect of your page, but in order to make a good lasting impression, the usability factor cannot be forgotten. If a potential customer cannot get to your content because of a clunky UI, it doesn’t matter how good your content is – they won’t stick around to find out.

Right after they arrive on your conversion page

This could also be the page they land on from the SERP. Once a user arrives to your conversion page, they are ready to buy a product from somewhere, so make sure it’s from you! Keep your conversion pages clean, available, and straight to the point. Don’t let them exit, keep them on the page with simple contact forms, and clickable phone numbers and social media widgets.

Provide the user with an offer immediately to help sweeten the deal. When they land on your conversion page will they receive a popup asking them for their email in exchange for 15% off their first purchase? Or, how about a free 30-minute consultation to put their trepidations at ease?

Give them one last promise as a way to push them over the edge and they’ll happily purchase what you’re selling.

Right after they convert

Often times, instead of customers feeling at peace with their purchase, they may feel a mild sense of dread. Did I spend too much? Was this worth it? Will this purchase bring value to my life or business in a significant way? In order to mitigate these feelings of post-purchase buyer’s remorse, think about what you can offer them to reassure that they have made the correct decision.

If, for example, you’re an eCommerce store that hopes to turn customers into repeat buyers, offer 10% off their next purchase within the next 30 days.

You might be a blogger or a video creator. Offer them a private benefit to subscribing like sneak peaks of unreleased videos, unique recipes, or insider secrets. Use whatever is relevant to your industry that will provide a sense of exclusivity.

You may be providing a service for a business. This can be one of the hardest conversions to make. A company has to trust you enough to handle the intricacies of their business and that can be tricky. Do you have chatbots or 24/7 user support? This is the time to let them know. If the customer can rely on speaking with your company at any time then they will feel reassured that if something goes wrong or they have any questions, matters will be quickly resolved.

From discussing the buyer’s remorse phenomenon, there are other ways that you may be able to provide support including progress emails to set expectations, words of affirmation (“Congrats on the purchase!”), and asking for ratings or reviews immediately post-purchase.

Why this matters

These four critical moments show that when it comes to attracting, keeping, and converting users, timing is everything. There is a very short window of time (literally seconds!) that users will use to decide if what you’re offering is something they want.

Provide the content the user is after while avoiding clickbait and paywalls, keep a clear and concise conversion page with offers, and reassure your customer immediately after they have made a purchase.

The key to landing these conversions and getting on the first page of Google is simple in theory.  Now it’s up to you to create the pages that will get users to stick.

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