A user journey is an important part of ensuring visitors find a website, and once they land on it, that they are able to convert. This is because it breaks down their activity in a series of steps so you can prepare for their arrival, understand how they got there, what their main pain points are and how you can encourage them to convert.
Accurate user journeys not only help marketers better understand user behavior, but they can also help better focus a specific campaign or particular business goal. For example, if you want to increase sales this quarter, you can plot a user journey for where you get sales traffic from and how you expect them to get to the CTA.
If you're falling short at any stage, it may mean that you need to do more research into your user behavior and what they need from you.
Before you start plotting any user journey, you need to have certain information about the key personas in your target audience. You may find that you have a handful of different journeys for your personas, depending on where users differ in their activity. Personas should help you arrive at the user goals, motivations, pain points, character points and what they want to achieve.
How many steps should there be?
The most important thing about a user journey, is that it follows a series of steps but the amount depends on your personas. Most are between four and 12 but it can vary a great deal. If you think about creating another step each time your persona does or thinks something new, it should help you get the right number.
What layout do I choose?
There are many ways to set out a user journey, from flow charts to spreadsheets and even more creative options. What matters is that it works for you and it's easy to change. As you gather information and your personas evolve, it's important that you can alter and adapt your user journey. You'll also need to be able to share your user journey easily so choosing a format that everyone is comfortable with is also a key factor.
What needs to be included?
The details that are needed for each persona will depend on what their pain points and motivations are. Information like how they land on your website is where most people start, but it's good to include details about the device they are browsing on, and any benefits to the user or business.
It can also help to have a picture to represent each persona and to keep text short and concise so the information is easy to process for anyone reading it.