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Awareness, Research, Education, Transaction

Understanding the different stages of your customer journey & buying cycle is imperative to facilitating and more importantly nurturing your customers through their journey.

To begin with, you need to understand what your customer purchasing journey actually looks like and then most importantly how your business can engage and build relationships with potential customers, as they reach each different milestone within their journey. Historic data from Google Analytics will allow you to identify your typical customer journey.

At Colewood we like to think we know what needs to be done; the approach we take combines keyword matched dedicated landing pages which play host to rich content which may include funky infographics, professionally produced videos, stunning imagery and compelling content designed for users, but optimised for search engines.

Colewood have analysed 1000’s upon 1000’s of customer journeys and online behaviour and created a roadmap of what a standard user journey for our clients typically resembles.

We have mapped a journey out into 4 different steps.

  1. Awareness
  2. Research
  3. Education
  4. Transaction


Awareness is undoubtedly the first step in a customer’s journey. It is at this point when many search engine users will use ‘informational searches’ to look for new products and services which will they either just want or need to solve a problem. They carry out these ‘awareness level stages’ searches through the use of generic keywords & queries.

See below examples:

  • What is [Keyword?]
  • Definition of [Keyword]
  • Head Terms (Simple terms around Keyword)

These search engine users are seeking engaging content, which explains and explores fully, the topic which they are interested in. Pages which are designed to answer these queries should contain information rich articles, infographics and videos around your products or service subject matter. This page should be such a strong resource, that the search engine user doesn’t need to go to your competitors websites for any further information around the subject.


As search engine users transition from the awareness stages into the research stage of their purchasing journey, they move away from the broader search terms of the awareness stage. They begin to include phases such as:

  • What is the difference between [Competitor] and [Your business]
  • What is the best [keyword]?
  • [Competitor Brand] VS [Your Business]

The purpose of this search is to determine why the consumer should choose your product or service. Typically, search engine users are looking to firstly recognise the leading brands within the industry and then determine who out of their options, they should choose.

This stage presents a brilliant opportunity to publish buying guides, using the keyword planner to identify and answer relevant search queries around your product or service within them. These buying guides should also link through to your shop pages, it may be that people are already ready to place an order/ get in touch.


After the research stage, search engine users enter the educational stage. At this stage they are looking to close the gaps in their knowledge before committing to a final decision to purchase. Search engine users want to read content that guides them through their choices, whilst understanding why your product/service is set apart from the competition. It is important to include your USPs whilst considering cool features such as unboxing, demonstrations and tests.

Typical search terms include:

  • [Keyword] Demo
  • [Keyword] Video
  • Reviews of [Keyword]

Third party reviews are great to include at this point, also consider trustpilot integration.

If your PR machine is working well, it may be that the searcher finds bloggers & journalists who have already reviewed your product, cutting out this step. Search engine users again need be able to navigate from the education phase to the conversion stage incredibly easily.


Having travelled through the above steps, search engine users now know exactly what they want. They also know how to find it, and they find it through the below search terms:

  • Product Code
  • Product Name
  • Buy [Keyword]

Search engine users are now looking for a page devoid of distractions, which allow them to painlessly make a purchase. How to make such purchase should be incredibly clear, usually in the form a buy now or add to cart button.

Product images, information and FAQ’s should also be included with trust signals like reviews being placed on the page to help cement the decision to purchase.

Want to learn more? We have a team waiting to talk to you.

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