51% of all website traffic comes from organic searches. That puts a lot of pressure on you to get your SEO research right.
Otherwise, you risk losing out on a pretty hefty chunk of potential traffic.
And no matter the market or industry you’re in, it’s probably getting crowded, noisy, or both. Competitors offer similar products. Startups use identical website templates. Brand scrap over the same couple of buzzwords and color schemes that are trendy.
An SEO strategy can cut through that. And a great strategy isn’t just a guiding light to follow — it’s a lantern that draws other people to you as well.
SEO For Your Sales Funnel
SEO can really be stripped down into four consecutive steps: keyword research, content clusters, pillar pages, results analysis. The process is repeatable, and it establishes a cycle that can grow (or shrink) to match a specific team’s capabilities.
The adaptability of these steps means you can also riff on them in unique ways. That means tailoring how you use each piece to as specific an audience as possible — the more catered the experience, the better the engagement.
If you know your SEO, then you most likely know how you’ve segmented your audience using the sales funnel. Finding a way to target each piece of that funnel is a challenge many marketers struggle with.
And that really ties directly into the first tip for implementing your SEO strategy across every segment of your target audience. Because if you spend your time wisely, you’ll set things up for a smooth buyer’s journey (and get consistent results).
Tip #1: Get To Know Each Funnel Segment
Many sales experts break a traditional funnel into three groups: visitors in the awareness stage, leads in the evaluation stage, and about-to-become-customers in the conversion stage. Each collection of users needs different things from you. They have different questions, want different answers, and often expect to be addressed or targeted differently.
That means they each deserve a dedicated SEO strategy, something built to address those needs and stick by their side until they move deeper into your sales funnel.
And so the first key step to take is simple: Get familiar with each corner of your sales funnel. You need to understand the target audience before you can start to create content for them.
Be smart with how you spend your time here. Once you know which sort of content will attract people to your brand (and get that all-too-important first click), you’ll have a better idea of which types of keywords should become a focal point for your top-of-funnel SEO strategy.
Tip #2: Capture (And Keep) Their Attention
You need a dedicated SEO strategy for people at the top of the sales funnel, and the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. With the right set of tips, you’ll be able to build — and implement — an agile strategy that lets you target every segment of your audience.
People at the top of the funnel are typically aware of a problem and are looking at potential solutions. A person might click on an ad to learn more, or read a blog about a topic they’re interested in, or engage with a social post that helped them.
Or they might move on and never connect with your content again.
So you need to target them and meet them where they are. They’re browsing a library of results for answers. And the only way to make sure you are a worthwhile candidate is to provide content that catches their eye, holds their attention, and comprehensively answers their questions.
That should be your goal throughout the buyer’s journey, so your SEO keywords will need to evolve too. Matching their expectations and keeping up with their needs will help your content stay relevant, and that will keep you in the running as a potential solution to the problem they’re trying to solve.
Tip #3: Nurture Long-term Relationships
A powerful outcome of sales funnel-centric SEO is established trust. And once you earn a visitor’s trust, they will naturally move through the funnel and eventually become a customer as well as an advocate. (And that’s the best kind of marketing you can have: organic shares from happy customers.)
This word-of-mouth marketing carries a lot of weight. In fact, 74% of consumers consider it to be a driving factor in their purchasing decisions. And 82% of people actually seek out referrals from family members, friends, and colleagues before they commit to a new product or service.
The average person wants to hear about your product from a reliable source. And the only way to provide that is to nurture long-term relationships with your customers. That means continuing to provide bottom of funnel content, valuable resources that can attract leads but also continues to educate and support people who have already made a purchase decision.
Chasing sales is the bread and butter of advertising. But the worst thing you can do is ignore this part of the funnel and/or forget about current customers. Keeping those two groups happy and connected can be a big advantage over the competition because it keeps them engaged with your brand.
Tip #4: Review And Refresh KPIs
An SEO strategy is only as useful as the data it generates. And if you aren’t bird-dogging every single data point, you won’t know what to change over time.
That kind of analysis can take a lot of different forms. But it’s all too common for entire industries to recycle similar KPIs, which certainly won’t reflect the specific goals (and the unique audience) of your business.
Remember to keep your goals actionable, then measure them against the results generated by your funnel-centric content. The biggest strength of an SEO strategy is the data it provides, and that can — and should — shape the way that you build content.
Getting to know your funnel segments matters, as does finding the right keywords. But the most important tip to implementing a consistent SEO strategy is to weaponize every piece of data you can collect. That will inform not just your upcoming content, but also how you think about your business and measure future success.
At the end of the day, moving that target further ahead is the true mark of a successful content strategy. SEO research and a defined sales funnel are just two tools to help you get there.
Drew Gula is a copywriter at Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that supplies creators with video production resources, like shot list templates.