Let’s look at this sales funnel and how it relates to search queries. This is very helpful for SEO because you can learn something about where someone is in the sales funnel by the types of queries they make.
The sales funnel often consist of three phases called top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel. The purchase icon in the above image shows whatever goal you want to complete. If you are in E-commerce site or promoting business then purchases really means buying something at your site or buying something at your store.
Top of the funnel relates to people defining their challenge. So they have a problem or they have some kind of intent and they are just looking to define it. So imagine that you are going to a wedding and you trying to figure out what kind of clothing to wear based upon the weather. You know you are looking for ideas you doing question type queries.
Middle of funnel is where someone has transition into whether comparing different options. So if they define their problem. Now they are looking at their different options in refining those options based upon whatever criteria is relevant to them. It might be price, availability of different types of products.
Bottom of the funnel is where people are looking at different solutions specifically. So they have decided on what their decision criteria are and now they are looking at different brands or different options. Do I built it myself or do I have someone come and build it for me? Do I try to fix my car or do I hire someone to fix it? Those are bottom of funnel kinds of behaviors.
We might ask ourselves how this is relevant to SEO. The reason is because almost every one begins their purchases process using search query. That is they are Goggling or Binging stuff and trying to learn about the different solutions that they are seeking.
So the interesting thing is that we can tell based upon search behaviour kind of where people are within a sales funnel. So if we look in different queries that are we look in search engine result pages, we can actually see may be where people are.
People are often querying things in a question format in the top of funnel. It tends to be low competition at the top of funnel queries. You will not see a lot of ads because it is harder and target those people because it is such a broad type of queries.
The types of queries become more comparisons in the middle of funnel. So this option vs. that option or compares these two options. That’s very middle of funnel type of queries and if you search for something like that, you gonna see the middle of funnel kind of results. You start noticing that ads began showing up in the search engine result pages in the middle of funnel queries.
Bottom of funnel queries are tend to be much branded. It tends to be a lot of ads showing up and much higher competition purely because of so closed to the purchase. So when things are close to purchase, it tends to have more competition.
Let’s discuss an example. Here I’m going down the sales funnel for this if I need to build my driveway. In the top of funnel the question is very much like I don’t know what my problem is? What if my driveway crosses someone else’s land? Is that a problem? DO I need special permits for that?
I start using the technical language, I start using the correct terminology in the middle of funnel. We say these are either a right way for my neighbor or maybe we need to talk about getting an easement. You are not gonna see that kind of terminology in the top of funnel because it considered more technical language.
We decide either we build those driveways ourselves or hire someone to build those driveways in the bottom of funnel . In the case you can see the example of bottom “Sanderson’s gravel and driveway contact” that is the query that I’m running to find a particular type of business by their name and I’m looking to contact them. I am very close to actually making a purchase.
What we think about where SEO works. We were trying to do is a playing recent role in placing your brand higher up the funnel. So could say we are going to try to attract people to our website with these question based comparisons. These type queries may be give them compelling offer and then move them to the bottom of funnel, where they have brand awareness.
So SEO plays an important role in attracting and developing brand awareness higher up the funnel and then bringing them down into the bottom of funnel where ads become more competitive.