Sales funnel is a way of visualizing the stages that prospects go through before they convert.Although in my humble opinion using the word funnel does not seem correct. A funnel servesthe purpose of collecting some material (say oil for example) and focuses it through a narrowopening or orifice. Sales funnel however is quite different in its portrayal.
It’s called a funnelbecause the inverted shape represents how prospects drop off along the way to converting.The most common representation of a sale funnel utilises 4 stages (the number of stages can,however, be differentiated in different formats). These 4 stages are:Awareness – At this stage, the prospect learns about your existing solution, product or service.He might also become aware of his requirements and the possible products as per his needs.This is when he visits your website for the first time, which he might have found out from anadvertisement, Google search, a post shared on social media or another traffic source.Interest – At the stage of interest, the prospect is actively looking for solutions to his problemsand ways to achieve his goals. He searches for solutions on Google.
This is when you canattract him with some great content. Now is the time when he expresses his interest in yourproduct or a service. He follows you on social media and subscribes to your list.Decision – At the stage of decision, the prospect is making the decision that he wants to takeadvantage of your solution.
He’s paying more attention to what you offer, including differentpackages and options, so he can make the final decision to purchase. This is when sales offersare made by using sales pages, webinars, calls, etc.,Action – At this stage, the prospect is becoming a customer by finalizing the deal with you.
He’ssigning the contract and clicking the purchase button. Then the money is transferred to yourbank account. It’s important to state that there might be additional stages of your sales funnel.Lets us begin with the very top of the funnel. The Awareness stage is regarded as top of thefunnel (TOFU).
So moving with the assumption that at this point, the customer (prospect) hasrealized they have a problem or requirement, and they are searching the web looking for asolution.They may go on to make a purchase; they’re just not quite sure what they want to buy, or when,yet. Think of it like the online version of window shopping. Customers are merely browsing tosee what can garner their attention. If you wish to capture these potential customers (and ofcourse why wouldn’t you?), you need to provide content that’s adjusted to the type of searchqueries that are asked at this early stage.
Most market strategists prefer to use the trusted keyword research tool Keyword Planner byGoogle. Google’s Keyword Planner is very useful no doubt about it, but it’s also verycommercial in its approach. Optimizing your site for customers at the awareness stage entailsuncovering longer-tailed phrases that lack the search volume needed to appear in KeywordPlanner. In addition to tools built specifically to assist with keyword research, sites that are builtaround users asking and answering questions can provide invaluable TOFU inspiration, too:think of sites like Quora, Reddit, and even Yahoo Answers.The stages of Interest and Decision can be regarded as the middle of the funnel (MOFU).Customers who move past the awareness stage and into the middle of the funnel (MOFU) arenow thinking about making a purchase; they just haven’t decided exactly what they’re going tobuy, or who they’re going to buy it from. If the “top of the funnel” is equivalent to windowshopping, then the “middle of the funnel” is equivalent to walking inside the store knowing youwant to buy a sharp pair of trousers – they just don’t know what kind of trousers, or where theyshall be buying the trousers from.
Customers at this stage can be considered very valuable.They’re keen to purchase a product or service that you offer. All you need to do is find a way tomake sure to get yourself in front of them.Adding quality content to your own website is an effective way to do that, although the keywordsyou target will differ, as might the format you use to present the content. Customers in themiddle of the funnel are researching their options. They want to buy a pair of trousers, but first,they want to see what different styles of trousers are available in the market, and how theirprices and value compare. This could be done by writing a blog post that targets relevant searchterms or optimizing existing landing pages to capture a wider variety of phrases. At these buyingstages of the funnel here, you might bring in the use of a mixture of long-tail keyword tools andKeyword Planner to help pinpoint the right words and phrases to include.
Just keep in mind topay attention to the keyword usage on the page and in also in your metadata.Also instead of waiting for customers to come to you, you go where your customers already are.A great method to achieve this is by writing guest articles for established websites andpublications.
This is an incredible way to build your profile and publicise your brand in front ofyour target audience. But the trick while doing so is to target the right audience without beingself-promotional. You want to educate and inform, to give people all the information they need tomake their own decision.Keywords like everywhere are important here, as well – even more so if the publications you’recontributing to having the domain authority to rank more easily for key terms than your own site.By now your website/online business has surmounted all the difficult hurdles, the last stage ofAction shall be comparatively easier. This stage can be regarded as the bottom of the funnel(BOFU), you have visitors that are quite seriously considering making a purchase from you –they just need a little persuading in order to help make a leap and bring them over the edge.
Continuing with the shopping-for- trousers analogy, the BOFU is equivalent to a fitting-roomassistant in the store telling you how great the trousers look on you.At this stage, keyword tools will become somewhat less integral. Prospects at the bottom of thefunnel are aware of your existence and may have visited even your website/online store multipletimes. Your task is to do that last little bit of convincing that shall persuade them to make thepurchase.At this point, your on-site search becomes a goldmine of data.
What questions are visitors toyour site trying to get answered? If you’ve already answered these questions, make theanswers easier to find. Create new content for questions which haven’t yet been answered.At the BOFU, you’re likely to be up against a few rival brands providing the same product andservices. If you want to ensure visitors wind up choosing you, you need first analyze yourcompetitors’ BOFU content and then go above and beyond with your unique content. If theyengage customers with text you can enable images, if they engage customers with pictures youcan include videos and so on and so forth.
Remember BOFU is where the competition really gets tough, but lucky for you, it is also thesimplest achieve – you just have to create unique content that’s better than every other brandyou are competing with.At the end of the day, the most important aspect while creating a specific plan for your SEO tohelp your sales funnel is to align with your customers. You should understand how they decide,how they buy or shop (their purchasing habit), what is important to them (their needs or wants)and write your offer that would capture your audience’s attention or craft a message thatconnects with them.