The marketing funnel, known as the sales funnel or customer journey, represents the course that prospective customers follow, encompassing stages from their initial knowledge of a product or service to the purchase decision.
With a comprehensive grasp of the customer journey or marketing funnel for businesses, many SEO strategies, resources, and investments can be well-spent.
I’ve witnessed this scenario far too often and frequently emphasize the significance of having a well-defined and goal-oriented SEO strategy.
No matter the stage of development of your brand or organization, it’s a valuable practice to revisit this regularly. Customer behaviors evolve, competitors shift, and your organization may undergo alterations in goals and objectives that can influence your marketing funnel. Therefore, it’s essential to align your efforts accordingly.
Breakdown of the Marketing Funnel Stages
Before delving into SEO audience targeting within the funnel, let’s pause for a moment to review my delineation of the funnel’s stages:
Beginning of the Funnel
At the inception of the funnel, the primary objective is to generate awareness within your target audience.
Prospective customers first encounter your brand, product, or service through diverse channels, including advertising, social media, content marketing, and referrals through word-of-mouth.
It’s crucial to remember that this phase should be informative and educational, with a focus on meeting the informational needs of your audience rather than overtly promoting products.
Midpoint of the Funnel
Within the midpoint of the funnel, individuals have progressed to a stage where they are demonstrating a genuine interest in your product or service and actively seeking further information.
This interest may manifest through more meaningful interactions with your content, such as signing up for newsletters, following your social media accounts, or exploring product pages on your website.
End of the Funnel
In the ultimate phase of the funnel, users are in the process of evaluating their choices to make well-informed decisions regarding a potential purchase.
This may involve comparing your offerings with those of competitors by reading reviews and seeking the assurance needed to determine that your product or service is the best fit for their needs.
It is crucial to offer these individuals content that fosters trust and brand loyalty, ultimately guiding them toward conversion and leaving a lasting, positive impression.
Synchronizing Your SEO Strategies with the Funnel
When you synchronize your SEO strategy with the user’s search intent at every stage of the marketing funnel, you can effectively provide the appropriate content to the specific audience at precisely the right moment.
Comprehending Search Intent
The widely recognized search intents encompass informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional categories.
SEO is linked to grasping user intent and providing content that resonates with your audience’s requirements.
When we possess the appropriate content for the wrong context or vice versa, it results in a substantial expenditure of time and effort on less-than-optimal conversion opportunities.
Below, I’ll elucidate how search intent can fluctuate based on the stage of the marketing funnel:
At the commencement of the funnel, search intent predominantly leans towards being informational.
Users seek knowledge or solutions to their queries, seeking educational or enlightening content. Common search queries often encompass words like who, what, when, where, why, and how.
To effectively reach users at the top of the funnel, I recommend:
- Identifying pertinent keywords and phrases that your target audience will probably use when searching for information about your industry, products, or services. Prioritize using broader, informational keywords.
- Crafting top-quality, informative, and captivating content that addresses the fundamental components, questions, and interests of your target audience. This may encompass blog posts, infographics, videos, and social media content.
- Targeting keywords frequently triggering featured snippets in search results can enhance your visibility and establish your authority.
As your audience progresses into the consideration phase, their search intent transforms, leaning toward commercial and transactional objectives. They are actively contemplating the decision to acquire a product or service and are evaluating their options. To effectively connect with users in the middle of the funnel, consider these strategies:
- Shift your focus toward targeting more precise, long-tail keywords that reveal user intent to gather more information or make a purchasing decision. Such keywords often include terms like “best,” “reviews,” “comparison,” or “how to choose.”
- Develop in-depth guides, product reviews, and comparative articles that offer valuable insights and aid users in making well-informed decisions.
- If applicable, generate location-specific content by incorporating location-based keywords to attract potential customers to your physical location. Leveraging local SEO can prove advantageous in directing people to your establishment over nearby competitors.
Finally, we arrive at the conversion stage, where users exhibit navigational and transactional intent.
They are well aware of their desires and may even be actively searching for your particular brand or product.
At this juncture, it is essential to focus on navigational and transactional keywords, often encompassing brand names, product names, or explicit action-oriented phrases like “buy,” “order,” “sign up,” or “contact.”
To effectively engage with users at the bottom of the funnel, you should:
- Optimize your product pages and service descriptions to target keywords that indicate the user’s intent to make a purchase, such as “buy,” “order,” “discount,” or “pricing.”
- Implement schema markup to furnish detailed product information in search results, simplifying the comparison and decision-making process for users.
Bonus: Tracking Tools
1. Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a robust tracking tool that offers in-depth insights into website traffic, user behavior, and conversion metrics. It allows you to monitor user landing pages, content engagement, and the user journey leading to conversions. We recommend configuring goals and funnels to track specific events, such as form initiation and completions.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides invaluable data insights for tracking search queries and page performance. You can leverage it to analyze the keywords driving traffic to particular pages, using key performance indicators (KPIs) like clicks, impressions, and click-through rates. Additionally, Search Console’s reports offer insights into how Google crawls and indexes your website, helping you identify any Core Web Vitals issues.
3. Keyword Research Tools
For SEO-specific keyword discovery and tracking, consider using dedicated SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. These tools enable you to identify the intent of specific keywords, assess their estimated search volume, and evaluate the keyword’s ranking difficulty.
Understanding your marketing funnel and aligning your SEO strategy with user intent at each stage is paramount. SEO demands a significant investment of time and effort, and it may take some time before a tangible return on investment (ROI) is realized.
The more you comprehend how you attract prospects, guide them through the funnel, and continuously optimize your approach, the better equipped you are to reduce ineffective tactics that yield minimal results.
If you still find it challenging and perplexing, consider exploring our monthly SEO packages and entrust the experts to assist you.