The customer journey or the buyers journey is the steps taken and decisions made by a prospect in the course of deciding to buy whatever it is that you sell.

The main purpose of understanding your customer journey is to guide your sales and marketing team in generating and nurturing leads.

What is customer journey?
Customer Journey or Buyers Journey

For both big and small businesses, the customer experience is important and starts when the customer is not yet a customer. Rather, when they’re learning about the product, service, and company.

This post is part of a series and here is the link to the main glossary page.

Start: Define your target audience

Quite simply, who are you selling to? Why will they buy, at all? Why will they buy, from you?

This exercise helps you know who you want to attract and the messages and content needed to get to their attention.

What problem do they need to solve? What messages catch their attention? What are they searching for online?

Step by Step

The next “step” is kind of a big deal as it’s you understanding and documenting the steps someone goes through in deciding to buy from you.

The best way to know this is to interview customers and ask them both why they bought whatever the product or service is, as well as why they bought from YOU.

Then map out their answers into a sequence of decisions.

You may need to interview 10 customers (or more) to get a good understanding of this. You’ll very likely find a common set of steps and decisions taken.

This is the ACTUAL “customer journey” your people took, not something you believe to be true, but never bothered to verify.

A generic set of steps

While the steps your prospects take may differ some from what is below, here is a commonly used set of steps people go through:


Do they even know you exist? If not, they’ll never buy from you. How will you help them be aware of your existence? Paid ads? Content marketing? Social media promotions? Other?


Here they’re thinking of two main things: 1) Will I buy it? 2) If so, from where?


They’ve decided not only to buy, but to buy from you.

Retention / Loyalty

Now that they’re a customer, a user, a subscriber, whatever, why do they stay? What do you need to do to keep people from leaving?


And of course the holy grail is when current customers bring you more customers.

Why does this matter?

Because their customer journey is your sales funnel, and if you publish content for purposes of content marketing, it also determines what content you need to publish in order to answers the questions your prospects have during every step of their customer journey (again, your sales funnel).

In the context of conversion, the decisions the prospects take are called micro-conversions, which are the individual decisions they take as they move from step to step, leading up to their decisions to buy, to stay, and to tell others.

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Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney

Kevin "fell into" SEO by accident, like many others. The SaaS platform to help writers boost their topical authority came years later after various SEOs said it was something they would like to see.

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