No One Buys the First Time They Visit Your Site – So When Do They?

Most business owners and marketing pros track new website visitors and conversions, and they work tirelessly to make those numbers go up each and every month.


If new website visitors and conversions are the holy grail of your internet marketing campaigns, what about the timing of conversions? How many times does a customer visit your website before they convert, and what can you do to make sure you don’t lose them in the process?


The Customer Journey: Why, How, and When


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Customer journey maps are nothing new, but they don’t get as much attention as the “eye candy” of the marketing world (we’re looking at you, social media.) Harvard Business Review began talking about the concept as early as 2010, but brands who embrace customer journey data have moved beyond simple concepts such as actions, motivations, questions, and barriers.


With advanced analytics tools and tracking, customer journeys have evolved into a sophisticated collection of data that considers timing, type of device, and the number of times a prospect connects with a brand before making a purchase or requesting a quote.


Once a digital marketing campaign is up and running, traffic and conversions will start to peak and level out. If there are flaws in the campaign, traffic will go up, but conversions won’t follow. In either case, tracking the customer journey is the next logical and critical step.


If you’re using Google Analytics, you can start tracking customer journeys right away. Their data analytics marketplace is full of options for gathering even more data from tools designed to work with the customer journey model.


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Overcome Customer Journey Challenges: Attribution Marketing


Attribution models attribute value to each click for website conversions. The attribution model is superior because it gives value to every click on the way to a conversion, not just the last click.


If you’re new to Google Analytics and aren’t using AdWords, begin by tracking conversions and setting up the Attribution Model. If you’re already tracking conversion data with Google Analytics and AdWords, set up data-driven attribution by using a 6th attribution model.


Impulse Journeys vs. Deeply Considered Journeys


Simplify attribution by analyzing impulse journeys and deeply considered journeys. Unless you’re running an eCommerce site, most of your conversions will come from deeply considered journeys, especially in the B2B space.


Deeply Considered Journeys


Your challenge lies in your ability to identify the pain points that cause a prospect to initiate a search, the topics of their research, their main objections to making a purchase or requesting a quote, and the follow-up channel most likely responsible for their conversion (email, social media site, remarketing ad, etc.). Use customer profiles to define your targets and create a digital marketing strategy that will help move customers along in deeply considered journeys.


Impulse Journeys


Impulse journeys are more likely to apply to B2C companies, but B2B businesses shouldn’t ignore them entirely. Impulse conversions can come from webinar sign-ups, event registrations, white paper downloads, etc. Once you’ve identified impulse journeys, capitalize on the data and make sure prospects see those particular pages, ads, or calls to action.


Multi-Device Journey




A Forrester Report shows that more than half of adults in the U.S. who begin tasks on their mobile phone continue them on their laptop, and these consumers are purchasing products, checking emails, and researching items.


Implementing cross-device reports and users flow data within Google Analytics will help your team identify devices that play a critical role in nurturing the customer, and align marketing strategies and goals on those channels.


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When Conversions Drop, Go Granular




While Google Analytics and AdWords provides reports to assist you in tracking customer journeys and in-depth conversion data, there are several paid options that will provide snapshots of granular customer journey data combined with visualization dashboards.


  • AdRoll A paid advertising tool, AdRoll combines the power of data and creative performance to capitalize on paid ads and device-specific marketing.
  • Analytics Toolkit A usability and conversion optimization reporting tool that integrates with Google Analytics. Automate Analytics tasks, make faster decisions, and reduce the risk of errors.
  • Domo A holistic predictive analytics tool for every department of your business. Domo offers more than simple data reporting; it gives marketers data-driven stories to encourage the right decisions at the right time.
  • FoxMetrics Easy-to-use analytics tool for funnel and ad campaign measurement. If you want to view and build customer life cycles quickly and easily, FoxMetrics is a simple data visualization tool.
  • Infusionsoft CRM with Analytics, automation, and more. Infusionsoft is designed for a small business owner who wants an integrative approach to sales, marketing, and financial data.
  • KissMetrics Behavioral analytics and engagement platform. KissMetrics tracks people and their interactions with your campaigns. Google Analytics tracks sessions and visitors, where as KissMetrics tracks a customer acquisition funnel with historical data.
  • Lattice Engines A predictive modeling tool that displays patterns and predicts future buyer behavior. Can integrate with Marketo and Salesforce or used as a stand alone product.
  • Marketing Evolution Creates ROI plans directly from the data. Provides marketing measurement and optimization solutions.
  • Mixpanel Dashboards to learn from data. Mixpanel is a tool that gathers insights from your website visitors, including acquisition, engagement, and retention. Data dashboards give visualizations with powerful customer insights.


[bctt tweet=”Use these analytics tools to track your #customerjourney” username=”fifthtribe”]


Manage Customer Data, Not Marketing Goals


The explosion of the digital marketplace has given customers the power to become an expert on their interests and priorities, and the ability to compare pricing and services on top brands in a matter of hours.


If your team is still creating marketing strategies and tasks without customer insight data because “this is the way we’ve always done it,” you are giving your competition an opportunity to take away your future customers before they connect with your brand.


Connecting Your Team to the Data


Once you’ve selected a tool to extract customer journey data, it’s important that everyone on the marketing team has access to related information and tasks. If you don’t use a tool to connect key members to the data, time will be wasted in strategy meetings and approval processes.


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Here are a few tools to connect all of your team members with the data. They take minutes to set up, we promise!


  • Automate.io Set-up cross-functional workflows in minutes and automate business processes across apps
  • CloudWork Share data between popular applications automatically
  • HipChat Similar to slack with “rooms” for each project, HipChat has an API for easy integration
  • Slack Create a data channel for each client and invite team members to collaborate
  • Zapier Turn data into action items by connecting apps and tools


If you’re looking for a partner to help you achieve your digital marketing goals based on customer journey data, we’re ready to help you begin!

Khuram Zaman

Khuram Zaman is the CEO of Fifth Tribe, a leading digital agency serving the Washington DC Metropolitan Area based out of the 1776 Startup Co-working Space. In his professional capacity, he has provided digital marketing services to clients as diverse as the Department of Defense, Kaiser Permanente, Oxfam America, Ernst and Young, and The Hult Prize. His writing has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and Business2Community. Khuram is the host of the Campfire: Impact and Innovation live podcast on Youtube. In his free-time, Khuram serves as a mentor to startups through the Peace Tech Accelerator, the Halycon Incubator, and is also a Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University