Understanding search intent is crucial for marketers in the field of SEO. It means paying close attention to what people are searching for and tailoring content accordingly. While many SEO experts talk about search intent, they often fail to explain how brands should prioritize keywords effectively.
Search queries can be divided into three main types: informational (people seeking knowledge), comparative (people comparing solutions), and transactional (people looking to make a purchase).
As digital marketing and SEO continue to evolve, it’s essential for brands to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. One aspect that is often overlooked is the significance of bottom-of-funnel keywords.
To better grasp this concept, think of it as a marketing funnel that represents the different stages potential customers go through before making a purchase.
Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) Keywords
Bottom-of -(BOFU) keywords are important words that a brand should focus on when optimizing their website for search engines. These keywords show that a person searching online is ready to buy something. BOFU keywords are usually longer and very specific, like “women’s running shoes size 9.”
Using BOFU keywords can help a brand increase the number of people who buy their products or services, and it can give them a better return on investment for their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Because BOFU keywords are so specific, they have a higher chance of turning searchers into buyers. Also, because these keywords are often longer, they can be cheaper to use in online advertising compared to more general keywords.
However, it’s important not to only focus on BOFU keywords and ignore other types of keywords. Brands should still consider using top of funnel (TOFU) and middle of funnel (MOFU) keywords. These types of keywords are also important for bringing in website visitors and converting them into customers.
Benefits of Focusing on Keywords for People Ready to Buy
1. Higher Conversion Rates
- Using the right keywords helps bring more people to your website who are ready to buy.
- Keywords indicating a strong desire to purchase, like “buy,” “best,” or “discount,” attract customers in the final stages of buying.
- By targeting these keywords, your website appears prominently in search results when customers are ready to make a decision, increasing the chance they’ll convert.
2. Increased ROI (Return on Investment)
- Prioritizing keywords for buyers ready to make a purchase can give you a better return on your marketing investment.
- There is usually less competition for these specific keywords compared to more general terms.
- Targeting these keywords allows you to attract highly interested visitors who are more likely to convert into customers.
3. Improved Customer Experience
- Focusing on these keywords benefits both your business and the customer.
- Optimizing your website for these keywords provides relevant and specific information to potential customers.
- By addressing their concerns and providing solutions, you build trust and credibility, enhancing the overall customer experience.
SEO Resources Are Limited: You Can’t Target Every Keyword Effectively
The common advice of “having content for all stages of the funnel” (meaning different types of search queries) would work if companies had unlimited SEO resources. This means having an endless number of writers to create content, SEO experts to select keywords and analyze search engine results, and an unlimited budget for building links.
However, no brand possesses such unlimited resources.
Even with the assistance of AI in writing, which can produce a large amount of content quickly, it doesn’t change the fact that not all of that content will rank well or be impressive enough to engage potential customers and drive conversions.
If multiple websites produce similar AI-generated content targeting the same keywords, Google will need to distinguish between them to decide which ones to rank. Two factors that are likely to influence this decision are the quality of the content and the number of backlinks.
In terms of content quality, it’s highly probable that the best pieces for a specific keyword will be the ones that are the most original and demonstrate specialized expertise. Google has explicitly stated a preference for such traits, which require human input.
Backlinks have long been recognized as a ranking factor in SEO. In a situation where many sites produce similar AI-generated content for the same keywords, it’s safe to assume that backlinks will be equally, if not more, important.
Therefore, regardless of how content is generated, SEO resources are finite for everyone. There’s a limited number of employee hours, a restricted writing budget (whether AI is used or not), and a finite budget for link building.
Highly Effective Conversion Rates from Bottom-of-Funnel Keywords
Keywords at the bottom of the funnel are much more effective in generating desired actions than other types of keywords.
To understand this, you need to measure and track the conversions that result from search engine optimization (SEO). Unfortunately, many SEO and content teams don’t do this. They focus solely on increasing website traffic without considering whether that traffic is actually leading to desired outcomes.
You can measure conversions from SEO in various ways using analytics tools. The process generally involves these steps:
- Define what constitutes a conversion. For example, it could be when a lead fills out a form or starts a trial for software-as-a-service (SaaS) or sales-based businesses, or when a transaction is made for e-commerce businesses.
- Set up a goal in your analytics platform to track and measure these conversion events.
- Generate reports that show which landing pages on your website are generating conversions. This can be done using different attribution models, such as first or last click, depending on the analytics platform.
When you go through this process, you’ll likely discover what we have found over more than five years, working with numerous brands and creating hundreds of pieces of SEO content.
Specifically, the pages on your website that rank for bottom of funnel keywords (i.e., keywords that indicate the user is close to making a purchase decision) have a conversion rate in the range of 1% to 5%. On the other hand, pages that rank for top of funnel, informational keywords (i.e., keywords that are more general and don’t indicate immediate purchase intent) typically have a conversion rate of less than 0.01% to 0.5%.
In simpler terms, the difference in conversion rates between bottom and top of funnel keywords is not just a small percentage, like 10% or 20%. It’s significantly higher, several times over.
Benefits of Prioritizing Bottom-of-Funnel Keywords in SEO
There are a few important reasons why brands should focus on using specific keywords in SEO that indicate potential customers are ready to make a purchase.
- First, using these keywords increases the chances of converting website visitors into customers. When people search for these specific keywords, it means they are more likely to be ready to buy something, so they are more likely to become customers.
- Second, these keywords are less popular among other websites, which means there is less competition for ranking high in search engine results. This makes it easier for your website to stand out and be seen by potential customers.
- Lastly, by keeping track of the keywords that lead to conversions, you can learn which ones are the most effective. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy and focus on the keywords that bring the best results for your business.
To summarize, it is important for brands to give priority to bottom-of-funnel keywords in SEO due to several reasons. These keywords have a higher conversion potential, face less competition, and facilitate result tracking. By implementing the aforementioned suggestions, you can focus on bottom-of-funnel keywords in SEO and enhance your ability to convert users into customers.