User Journey Mapping: Your Guide

Every website has a flow. Visitors land on a site and navigate their way through it to find what they’re looking for.

Sometimes it can be as fast and simple as someone landing on a page and converting immediately. Other times, your site will have to do some work to convince someone to convert.

This is why user journey mapping can be a hugely beneficial activity to undertake as part of your CRO efforts.

What is a user journey?

As you might have suspected, given its name, a user journey is the steps a visitor to your site takes to achieve what they arrived onsite for.

They could be on an information-gathering mission, so they visit multiple resource pages. Alternatively, they could be looking for help right away, so they land on one of your main service pages and convert then are there.

User journeys are all different, but when they’re taken together, they can provide insights into how your website serves users. This can allow you to make informed decisions around design and content.

What is user journey mapping?

A user journey map is a visual representation that sets out the flow that users experience on your site. It can be a fully designed piece, a diagram or just some sticky notes on a whiteboard – as long as you can see the steps where decisions are made by users and actions are taken.

It looks at the points at which your site visitors need the service you offer, when they encounter you and how they move through your website. For a PI firm, it could look something like this:

  • Potential client has an accident
  • They chat to someone who has had a similar experience and made a claim
  • Potential client realises they could have a claim
  • They go online on their phone to research making a claim
  • They find your website and click on the result
  • They read the page they land on
  • They want some more information
  • They click on another page
  • They decide to get in touch so they fill out a form on the page
  • Form comes through to your firm
  • You call the potential client
  • They decide to proceed with a claim after speaking to you

As with most law firm sites, yours will probably attract visitors with different motivations. Some are looking for information, while others want to take action. Separate your maps out by your users and what their intent is. You’ll end up with multiple maps, but this will help you identify the best journey for each specific user.

You can also create a future state map. This is what your ideal user journey will look like, so it can help you identify any steps you’d like to cut out for a more streamlined experience.

User journey mapping can also help you identify drop-off points, where you’re losing potential clients. Are they exiting on specific pages? Look at these pages and analyse what has put visitors off. Were they too overwhelming? Were they not clear enough? Were your contact details not present?

The thing to remember with user journey mapping is that although it can help you identify where potential snags in a visitor’s experience lie, it is still up to you to investigate exactly what these are and why they exist.

What you need for user journey mapping

Certain pieces will come together to form the basis for your user journey map. These are:

  • User personas

Look at what your users want when visiting your site. What is their emotional state, their expectation of your site and their main need?

  • Touchpoints

This is where your users interact with your firm. What are they doing and what are you doing in return?

  • Channels

Where are these users interacting with you? Are they online on their work desktop, have they given you a call or have they taken the step to come into your office for help?

User journey mapping tools

User journey mapping will be made easier with certain tools. There are certain pieces of software that will help to visualise the journey, while others will provide the data to inform those maps. Some of the most useful user journey mapping tools include:

If you’re going to present your map in a more visual way, Canva can provide a solid canvas for free. Storyboards aren’t simply for video preparation – they can also be used to bring a user journey to life. But if you’re looking for something more basic, you could consider Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.

You need to know which pages visitors are landing on and which ones they’re leaving on, as well as which ones get the most conversions. Your Analytics will give you this data, which you can then start to analyse for real insights during the mapping process.

To look at your visitors’ actions in more detail, think about a tool like Hotjar. It offers heat maps to show how far down the page users scroll, where they click and which pages they move to next. It lets you see your site as users see it, which can then provide you with more insight into their behaviour.

If you’re working with multiple individuals or teams on your map, Trello can be a useful way of visualising the steps in a journey using their boards. Other people can leave comments or attach files to cards, making collaboration straightforward.


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