Help Customers Decide with a Buying Guide

Try buying a lamp, a phone or a pair of hiking boots and you notice: there are way too many options out there. They all look interesting and the choice can be overwhelming.

In this early phase of the customer journey a buying guide can really help your customers. They are looking for a product, but they don’t know yet what is important to them. You can help them make smart decisions and establish your company as a reliable authority.

 

How to write a buying guide

Your target audience might see your product for the first time and know little about it. A buying guide gives those customers a clear, structured overview of basic facts and important decisions.

  1. Gather customer questions from your customer or sales conversations, forums or social media to see which choices people struggle with.
  2. List the most important answers and explain when to choose a certain product type or category.
  3. Review your guide to see if your information is objective and if you can support it with facts or numbers.
  4. Ask proofreaders to highlight words they don’t understand and if they feel confident choosing a product after reading the guide.
  5. Publish the guide on your website and optimize it for search engines.

 

How does a buying guide help my business?

Helping customers is a good goal in itself, but businesses also need sales to survive. A buying guide supports your sales indirectly:

  • Build trust and authority by sharing knowledge. Customers will be more likely to buy from you and not your competitors.
  • Give customers the confidence to choose instead of feeling overwhelmed and leaving your site.
  • Get fewer product returns by guiding customers to the right product.

A buying guide can also help your SEO: the questions you mention in your guide are perfect keywords to attract more customers via Google.

 

List important questions

A good structure is to list important questions about the product. You can then explain the different options available and explain when each option makes sense.

Example:

“Will you use your boots in warm or cool weather??”

Wear leather hiking boots in warm weather: they handle sweat better, reducing the chance of blisters. In colder areas consider synthetic boots, as they are better insulated and will keep your feet warm.”

Such basic facts help new customers understand what material to look for in their hiking boots. The information in your buying guide makes them more confident shoppers.

In a buying guide your customers discover which questions they should ask. That sets it apart from an FAQ Page, which lists questions customers already have.

 

Objective information builds trust

In the Consideration phase customers are not ready to buy yet: they want to understand what fits their needs. Clear objective facts will give people this understanding, instead of pushy marketing or sales-speak.

Use these facts to focus on finding the right product. It gives customers good reason to trust you. Objective facts and numbers also show you are an authority on this matter. That combination of trust and authority makes your company very attractive.

 

Keep things simple

Remember that you are writing this buying guide for people who have never bought this type of product before. Help them by explaining the meaning of any jargon you use. Not sure if your text is clear enough? Ask some friends to proofread it and let them highlight every word they don’t understand.

 

Help customers consider buying from you

Customers research products online before they buy. In this phase a buying guide can be very helpful. Potential customers might also use your pricing page to see if they can afford your products or your About page to check the story and values of your company.