A marketing funnel is also known as a sales or conversion funnel where your visitors follow an imaginary path that will hopefully lead to their conversion to customers or subscribers.
Initially, the number of online visitors will increase but gradually there will be fewer and fewer people along the various stages of the path.
Those who become your customers will be considerably fewer in number compared to the original group, hence the funnel shape.
Why will the numbers decrease?
There are various reasons for this, including:
- Your landing page is not optimised for mobile users
- Your product images are blurry or low-quality
- The content is not persuasive enough
- Weak call-to-actions (CTAs)
- Lack of trust in your website
SEO can help you resolve these issues. It is imperative that you optimise your content to allow users to find your site and purchase your products and services.
The first step is to identify the three stages of the sales funnel and improve your conversion rate in each location.
At the top, wide end of the funnel, you need to make visitors aware of your products and how you will provide solutions to their problems.
Whilst they can make a purchase at this stage, they may not yet be sure of which product to buy or when. You could say they are just doing some online ‘window shopping’.
If you want to obtain leads at this point, you need to create and customise content so that it answers any queries. This will increase the search ranking of your pages and in turn attract more searchers to your site.
You can utilise broad content in the funnel’s initial stage to entice people looking for the type of products you sell. As search engines mainly cater for the preferences of users, your content must match people’s search habits.
Your first funnel optimisation task is to identify the various keywords used by your target audience. What words will users type into a search engine to find your products and services?
You should begin by creating a keyword list and for this task you can use Google tools such as:
- Auto Suggest
- Keyword Planner
When optimising your website, you shouldn’t just focus on popular keywords, especially as they will be highly competitive. You also need to look for long-tail keywords that consist of longer words or phrases. They may not have a high search volume but they are often used by searchers intent on buying.
You can use the following free tools to identify long-tail keywords:
- Answer the Public
- Google’s Infinite Suggest
You can also obtain keywords by using the question and answer sections of websites such as Reddit and Quora.
Do your research
The funnel’s mid-section is the SEO research phase. It is at this point that your potential customers are becoming serious about buying. However, they still may not know what product to buy or where. This is the online equivalent of going to a shopping mall with the intention of purchasing a shirt but not knowing which shop to buy it from.
Often, visitors will research other options before making a purchase. People who reach the middle funnel are valuable as they are now ready to buy a product. Your task is to make sure you push your products in front of them. For this to happen, your page or website must rank highly on the search engine results pages.
So, how can you grab a customer’s attention at this point?
Well, you can attract them by using high-quality content. Customers will begin the process by considering the various product options available. They will then base their final decision on several factors, including specifications and prices. You should optimise your content by using the EAT method:
You need to ensure the information you provide to visitors is useful. With this in mind, you should incorporate:
- Comprehensive product descriptions
- Blogs that answer users’ search queries
By presenting valuable content and ranking highly on the search engines, you will be able to persuade visitors to buy your products and services. For instance, if you sell laptops, you need to include as much relevant information as possible in the product description, such as:
- Operating system and version
- Hard disk and data storage
- Sound and video capabilities
- Screen size
- The most popular programs and games that can be installed
If you sell a wide range of brands and models, you can write a blog that compares them based on their specification and price.
When you write the description, you should include any information that will help convince users that your product is the one they should purchase. Don’t worry, search engines won’t penalise you for offering too much product information.
You should also be mindful of your keyword usage within your content, product descriptions and meta titles. This is when you will need on-page SEO, a critical element of your marketing funnel optimisation. Here, you will be optimising your web pages to improve their online ranking and traffic.
Besides your own site, you can also write guest posts for authoritative and popular websites. This will enable you to build your profile and position your brand in front of your target audience. Your blog content should not be self-promotional but rather educational and informative. The best strategy is to give all the relevant information to your readers to allow them to make the right decision.
Keywords are also essential to guest posts, especially if the publishing site has a high domain authority. This will make it easier to rank for keywords rather than relying solely on your website.
Push visitors to convert
Conversions take place at the narrow end of the funnel. This is when visitors will be ready to purchase your products. However, they may still need some convincing to press the ‘Buy’ button.
At this stage, you are less focused on keywords and more on saying the right things to push people to make a purchase. You presented the product descriptions and blogs in the previous stages, now it’s time to provide relevant details that will persuade them to commit.
You can optimise the final stages of the funnel by adding:
- Case studies
This approach can increase your sales and enhance your site’s authority and trustworthiness. Visitors will be more likely to buy if they see that your products have high ratings and favourable reviews. The amount of positive feedback can also influence your potential customers. For instance, a product with thousands of good reviews will be more attractive than one with only a few dozen.
Your marketing funnel may be confronted by a series of challenges so it is vital that you tweak it every now and again to maintain or even increase your conversion rate. Your customer base will also be constantly evolving. An individual’s needs today may be quite different tomorrow. This is why you need to identify your users’ expectations and see how your funnel can provide some solutions. With the help of SEO, you can lead searchers to your site and convert them into customers.