If your PPC campaign is getting plenty of clicks but that’s not translating to completed check outs, it could be time to assess the customer journey. Identifying where you’re losing customers in the process of navigating your site helps you to optimise each step and cut that number.

The great news is that by operating an online store you have access to a plethora of data. Right at your fingertips, you have the information to recognise where the problem lies and optimise each step to improve your chances of converting each customer. The customer journey is often depicted as a funnel, with gradually less people entering each stage for various reasons. It’s an accurate metaphor for many digital businesses but if you’re suddenly losing a large portion at one step, it signals that something is wrong.

It could be that your delivery charges aren’t clear until customers come to purchase or that you require potential leads to sign up before filling their basket. Whatever your issue, getting to grips with how your customers move through and interact with your store, particularly when they chose to leave, is critical.

There are three core metrics to look at when you’re mapping out the customer journey to understand their path (or detour) to purchase.

Entry & Exit Pages

By looking at where customers enter your site and leave it, you’ll get an idea of the start and end of the journey. You can fill in the gaps using Google Analytics and its customer flow report, which charts paths through your site. Use this data to understand how customers get from the start line to the finish line. Another essential metric in terms of URL is the time spent on each page. Pages with higher higher times clearly indicate that the page is resonating with the audience and they’re spending the time reading your content rather than simply navigating elsewhere

Bounce Rates

Where people are leaving your site is a key indicator when it comes to optimising the customer journey. Hone in on the exit page and determine what it is that’s causing the exodus. To get a complete picture of what you should be doing you need to assess a range of areas, from load times to the written content on the page. If more people are leaving a particular page than your average statistic, this should be a red flag

Internal Search

Analysing your search and navigation function should be considered a critical step too. Consumers will quickly become put off if they can’t find what they’re looking for, whether it’s a specific product or more information on your delivery options. Analysing internal search data can help you identify what should feature more prominently on your site. Heat maps (which display the most intensively clicked areas of a page) can add a further level of context here