What is a Keyword Funnel?
A keyword funnel is a marketing strategy that involves using specific keywords or phrases to guide potential customers through different stages of the buying process.
At the top of the funnel, customers may be searching for more general keywords that are related to their problem or need, while at the bottom of the funnel, they may be using more specific keywords related to particular products or brands.
The idea behind a keyword funnel is to create content or advertising that targets each stage of the funnel with appropriate keywords, with the ultimate goal of converting potential customers into actual customers.
Why is this concept important?
The keyword funnel is a critical concept in digital marketing, as it helps businesses understand how customers search for products and services online.
By breaking down user search behaviour into three stages (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU), the keyword funnel provides a roadmap for creating content and targeting keywords that are most likely to attract and convert potential customers.
Here are some of the key benefits of using the keyword funnel in your digital marketing strategy:
By understanding the specific keywords that users are using at different stages of the buying process, businesses can target their content and messaging more effectively.
By creating content that speaks directly to the user's needs and interests at different stages of the funnel, businesses can increase the likelihood that the user will take the desired action (such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form).
Stages of keyword funnel
The basic funnel stages include:
Top of the funnel (TOFU)
Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
While the specific stages of a keyword funnel typically include:
This is the top of the funnel (TOFU) where potential customers are searching for information about a particular problem or need.
They may be using general keywords or phrases to find information and solutions to their problem.
At this stage, the user is still in the research phase and is looking for general information about a topic. The keywords used at this stage are usually broad and non-specific.
"Best restaurants in Los Angeles"
"How to lose weight"
This stage corresponds to the middle of the funnel (MOFU). At this stage, potential customers have identified their problems or needs and are actively searching for possible solutions.
They may be using more specific keywords or phrases to research different options and compare products or services.
At this stage, the user has moved beyond the research phase and is now looking for more specific information. The keywords used at this stage are more focused and specific.
"Italian restaurants in Los Angeles"
"Weight loss tips for women over 40"
"Content marketing best practices"
At the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), potential customers have decided on a solution and are ready to make a purchase.
They may be using branded or specific product keywords to find the best deals or make a purchase.
At this stage, the user is ready to make a purchase or take some other action. The keywords used at this stage are usually very specific and often include words like "buy," "purchase," or "subscribe."
"Buy Italian food online"
"Purchase a gym membership"
"Subscribe to a digital marketing newsletter"
Is bottom-of-the-funnel the only important stage?
By focusing on bottom-of-the-funnel keywords and phrases, businesses can identify the words that buyers are most likely to use when they're ready to make a purchase.
This can help businesses create targeted content and advertising campaigns that appeal to buyers at this critical stage, which can lead to more conversions and sales.
However, it's important to remember that the entire buyer's journey is important, not just the bottom-of-the-funnel stage.
By conducting full-funnel keyword research and publishing content that's aimed at buyers at each stage of the journey, businesses can support their sales team and increase their chances of success.
By continuously increasing the number of prospects at each stage of the funnel, businesses can move closer and closer to conversion, which ultimately supports the company's bottom line.
How to use the keyword funnel to your advantage?
Here are some ways to use the keyword funnel to your advantage:
Conduct keyword research
Start by identifying the keywords and phrases that potential customers are using at each stage of the funnel.
This will help you create targeted content and advertising campaigns that appeal to customers at each stage.
Create content for each stage of the funnel
Once you have identified the keywords and phrases for each stage of the funnel, create content that's aimed at customers at each stage.
This can include blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and other types of content that provide value and help move customers closer to conversion.
Optimize for search engines
Use paid advertising
Consider using paid advertising to target customers at specific stages of the funnel. For example, use search ads to target customers at the bottom of the funnel who are ready to make a purchase.
Track and measure results
Use analytics tools to track and measure the effectiveness of your keyword funnel. This will help you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your funnel.
How to find keywords by funnel stage?
To find keywords by funnel stage, follow these steps:
Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) keyword research
When conducting top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) keyword research, it's important to understand that users at this stage are often looking for information and solutions to a problem, but may not yet be aware of specific products or brands.
Therefore, businesses should focus on identifying relevant and broad keywords that capture the user's intent and interests.
To conduct TOFU keyword research, businesses can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify relevant keywords and phrases that users are searching for.
These tools can help businesses identify popular search queries related to their industry or product.
Another useful method for TOFU keyword research is social listening. This involves monitoring conversations and trends related to your industry or product on social media platforms, forums, and other online communities.
By listening to what users are saying and asking about, businesses can identify relevant topics and keywords that users are searching for.
If a business sells eco-friendly cleaning products, they might research keywords like "green cleaning products," "natural cleaning supplies," or "environmentally-friendly cleaners."
They might also identify related keywords and topics like "sustainable living," "eco-friendly household products," or "reducing carbon footprint."
Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) keyword research
When conducting middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) keyword research, it's important to understand that users at this stage are actively researching and comparing different options related to their problem or need.
Therefore, businesses should focus on identifying keywords that are more specific and product-focused.
To conduct MOFU keyword research, businesses can use tools like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, or Answer the Public to identify the most common questions and topics related to their product or service.
These tools can help businesses identify popular search queries related to their industry or product, as well as related keywords and topics that users are searching for.
Another useful method for MOFU keyword research is analyzing the search behaviour of competitors.
By identifying which keywords and topics your competitors are targeting, you can gain insights into the most important and relevant keywords for your industry or product.
If a business sells accounting software, they might research keywords like "accounting software comparison," "best accounting software for small businesses," or "cloud-based accounting software."
They might also identify related keywords and topics like "bookkeeping software," "financial management software," or "inventory management software."
Bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keyword research
When conducting bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keyword research, it's important to understand that users at this stage are ready to make a purchase or take action.
Therefore, businesses should focus on identifying keywords that are highly specific and geared towards product or service names and transactional keywords.
To conduct BOFU keyword research, businesses can again use tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to analyze the search behaviour of users who have already converted on their websites.
These tools can help businesses identify the specific search queries that led to conversions, as well as related keywords and topics that users are searching for when they are ready to take action.
Another useful method for BOFU keyword research is targeting transactional keywords and specific product or service names.
By targeting these highly specific keywords, businesses can increase the likelihood that users who are ready to make a purchase will find their website and take action.
If a business sells QuickBooks accounting software, they might target keywords like "buy QuickBooks online," "QuickBooks pricing," or "QuickBooks discounts."
They might also identify related keywords and topics like "QuickBooks free trial," "QuickBooks setup," or "QuickBooks customer support."
The keyword funnel is an important concept in digital marketing that can help businesses optimize their keyword research and content creation efforts for each stage of the customer journey.
By understanding the different stages of the funnel and the types of keywords that users are searching for at each stage, businesses can create targeted and effective content that engages users and drives conversions.