5 Tips to Boost Online Sales in the Buyer’s Decision Stage

This article shows how consumers search during the decision stage and how businesses should respond. After reading this article, you will learn 5 easy to implement strategies to boost online sales at this critical phase. Don’t miss it, you will find many real examples and practical tips.

Aligning the Decision Stage and the Transactional Search Queries

Consumers in the decision stage search for specific products, brands, and companies to complete a task or buy something. These kinds of queries are transactional queries.

Buyers are ready to make a transaction and businesses must make buyers aware that they are the only choice to buy from and smoothen their path to their buy.

A typical transactional query contains a transactional verb, such as “purchase,” or “buy”, and the object of the sentence, for example, brand names or model names:

Transactional verbs (Do Something): Buy, Order, Reserve, Purchase, Download, etc.

The object of the sentence: Brand (Apple), Specific product (Gaming Smartphone), Local searches (Taipei Hotels)

Here are some examples of transactional queries:

-Buy iPhone 12
-Purchase Lavazza coffee machine
-Buy Merida Electric Bike

With whom do businesses compete on Google in the Decision Stage?

I have analyzed the search results of three different transactional search queries to identify the main competitors on the first page of Google Search Results.

Buy cheap rugged laptops

example of transactional search query

Who is competing for these keywords?

Ecommerces: Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, Toughruggedlaptops.com, Ruggednotebooks.com

Media: Aowanders.com, Zdnet.com, PCmag.com, TechRadar.com

Influencers and Affiliate Marketing: Durabilitymatters.com

It is worth mentioning that some of the search results have the following Page title:
Best Rugged Laptops for/in 2021. On the other hand, I couldn’t find any rugged laptop brand among the search results.

Buy running shoes near me

example of transactional query

I have obtained the following results on the first page of Google Search.

Ecommerces: Brooksrunning.com, Runningwarehouse.com, Roadrunnersports.com, Runnersneed.com

Brand websites: Altrarunning.com, Customer-service.on-running.com, Runivore.com

Online Communities: Tw.forumosa.com, Tripadvisor.com

Because I included the keywords “near me”, some of the results show local online communities. Surprisingly, I didn’t find any Google Shopping results.

Buy screwdriver set online

example of transactional query

Google shows the following results:

Ecommerces: Amazon.in, Flipkart.com, Industrybuying.com, Shopclues.com, Moglix.com, Eleczo.com, Snapdeal.com, Shakedeal.com

Screwdrivers are commodities and all the results are Ecommerce platforms.

If we compare the search results of the three previous transactional queries we can identify the following competitors: Online stores or e-commerce platforms, brand websites, online media, affiliate marketers, and some online communities.

Once we know our competitors, it is time to define the best strategies to succeed in the decision stage.

5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Online Conversions during the Decision Stage

1. Optimize your content on targeting transactional search queries using Google Search Console

Since sales are your main goal, you need to understand and identify your user’s transactional search queries in your niche. Go to your Google Search Console account and use the data from your website.

Click on Performance/Search Results, and scroll down to review the queries provided by Google Analytics.

Google Search Console - Google Search

The Queries report lists the Google Search queries that generated impressions of your website URLs in Google organic search results.

Google Search Console - Search Results - Queries

You can also review the queries that generated impressions of specific web pages of your site. Select one of the pages of your website and study the queries related to this page.

Google Search Console - Search Results Queries of Pages

Understanding the correlation between how users search and the relevancy of your pages to those queries provides insight into how to optimize your content.

Another suggestion is to use the Google autocomplete feature. Type some words related to your business and write down the Google suggestions. It will broaden your view of search queries because Google uses popular search queries to provide these suggestions.

google autocomplete feature example

Finally, you can type transactional queries and study the Google search results. Write down the keywords that your competitors are using and go to Google Keyword Planner. Choose “Get Search Volume and Forecast”.

Google Keyword Planner Get search volume and forecast tool

Type your competitor’s keywords and choose those with low competition and high search volume to get the easiest queries to target.

Find Keyword tools of Google Ads

You can define your target market by choosing the country, the language, and the period of time.

How to use Google Keyword Planner

Target transactional queries with organic content close to the end of the buyer’s funnel. Here are some examples of the content you should create in this stage:

  • Optimized product pages
  • Sign-up pages
  • Live demos
  • Free consultations
  • Customer stories
  • Comparison sheets
  • Webinars
  • Free trials
  • Promo codes
  • Local SEO

2. Ads are your best ally in the decision making

Use Search Engine Marketing and Google Display (Pay per Click campaigns) to target the search terms that you have previously identified. The ROI of these advertising campaigns will be easy to quantify.

Did you know that users that make transactional search queries click ads twice as often as organic search results?

Sponsored ads get better visibility than organic results and they can include additional info such as product thumbnail, price, review ratings, etc.

Successful companies optimize thousands of combinations of offers, prices, creative content, and formats to ensure that potential clients see the most relevant opportunities.

Give your sales a kick with retargeting

During the decision stage, companies should leverage retargeting; because 95% of your web visitors won’t buy.

Retargeting works by tracking visitors to your website and serving them online ads as they visit other sites around the web. To re-engage people who left your website, you need a compelling offer, a well-crafted copy, and engaging visuals.

3. Win the in-store battle

Previously, you noticed that most of the Google Search results of transactional search queries are online stores and ecommerces.

Did you know that in the USA, people go straight to the ecommerce platform to search in the first instance, rather than using a search engine?

US Online Shoppers Put Amazon Above Search Engines for Inspiration and Product Searches
Image Source: Marketing Charts

I advise brands to look into partnering with popular or niche e-commerce platforms. Sell your products on these platforms and optimize your product listings with more detailed descriptions, product images, and videos showing your product in action.

Did you know that up to 40 percent of buyers change their minds because of something they see, learn, or do at this point?

Consumers will hold off their final purchase decision until they’re in the online store. Companies must incentivize positive reviews and leverage paid options such as sponsored ads and retargeting options to boost their ‘discoverability’. Use the urgency psychology trigger to overcome sales objections and drive sales and scarcity to make people perceive limited quantities as more precious and valuable.

4. List your products on Google Shopping for free to get more exposure

Google Shopping helps merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. It allows customers to search for, view, and compare products.

These products are displayed when a customer uses Google to search for a product. They can appear on the main search engine results page or under the shopping tab.

Google Shopping

You need to sign up for the Merchant Center and create your Google Shopping account. It will help you to show your products on Google Shopping every time a user enters the keywords you are ranking for.  

At the same time, you also need to create your My Business account. It will help you gain more visibility on Google Maps and Google Search. Local searches combined with specific categories, for example, Taipei Hotels, can drive conversions.

5. Collaborate with influencers and affiliate marketers

Influencers, affiliate marketers, and online media are also critical during the decision stage. Their job is to make sure that the product is the one their followers pick.

To achieve this goal, they normally give positive reviews or recommendations, compare the product to its competitors or give discount codes to their followers.

Influencers must be authentic and use and enjoy the product in their own lives to be effective. Here are some ideas about potential collaborations with influencers:

  • Buyer’s guides
  • Comparison Guides
  • Benchmarks
  • Product Reviews
  • In-feed posts
  • Video Testimonials
  • Experiential Video Collaborations between Brand and Influencer
  • Product Offers, exclusive discounts and Promotions

Conclusions

The end of the decision stage is the consumer making a purchase, hopefully from your business.

At this stage, you will compete with online stores or ecommerces platforms, brand websites, media, affiliate marketers, and some online communities.

To boost your online conversions, I recommend the following 5 strategies:

1. Optimize your content on targeting transactional search queries using Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner

2. Ads are your best ally at the Decision Stage

3. Win the in-store battle

4. List your products on Google Shopping for free to get more exposure 

5. Collaborate with influencers and affiliate marketers

Do you have other ideas? Please share them with us!

P.S. Before you go, you may also be interested in the following articles:

How to Rank your Product on the First Page of Google even if Nobody Knows it

5 Strategies to Win New Clients at the Consideration Stage

How to Identify the Right KPIs for your Customer’s Journey

POST WRITTEN BY

Jose Maria (Chema) Lopez

A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands reputation and visibility on a global level.

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