In the world of digital marketing, understanding search intent and targeting organic keywords is a well-established practice. However, the question of how brands should prioritize keywords often remains unanswered. This blog post aims to shed light on why businesses should focus more on bottom-of-funnel (BoF) keywords to maximize their return on investment (ROI) in SEO.
The Finite Nature of SEO Resources:
The common advice in SEO circles is to create a variety of content that covers the full spectrum of search intent. However, we believe that businesses should prioritize BoF content and gradually work their way up the funnel. Why? Because SEO resources are limited, and BoF content (i.e., search queries with transactional intent) yields significantly higher ROI than other types of content.
Even with the advent of AI-assisted writing, which can produce massive amounts of content, the fact remains that SEO resources are finite. There are only so many hours in a day, a limited budget for writing and link building, and only so many keywords you can effectively target. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize keywords that will generate the most leads and sales attributable to SEO. In our experience, these are typically BoF, transactional keywords.
The High Conversion Rate of BoF Keywords:
Our data shows that pages ranking for BoF keywords convert at multiple single-digit percentages (1% – 5%), while pages ranking for top-of-funnel (ToF), informational keywords typically convert at a fraction of a percent (0.01% – 0.5%). This significant difference in conversion rates underscores the value of focusing on BoF keywords.
The journey from a top-of-funnel query to a customer conversion involves several steps, each with a small conversion rate. As a result, the overall conversion rate for ToF traffic is minuscule. Even if ToF queries have higher search volumes, their low conversion rates do not justify the resources spent on them.
Expanding Your View of BoF Keywords:
If you’re convinced that targeting BoF keywords is a more efficient use of your SEO resources, the next question is: “Which keywords in my industry are BoF, high-converting, and how many of them are there?” We’ve found that many marketers have a limited view of which keywords are BoF. In our experience, there are three common types of BoF keywords:
Category Keywords: These are obvious transactional keywords like “SEO software” or “best SEO tools.” Most SEO and marketing teams are aware of these and target them with their homepage or a few landing pages.
Comparison Keywords: These are keywords that show the searcher is comparing multiple options, such as “salesforce vs pipedrive” or “adidas vs nike womens running shoes.” Our data shows that these keywords often convert just as high as category keywords.
Jobs To Be Done Keywords: These are queries where the user is not overtly looking for or comparing product options but is indicating that they have a problem that your product solves. For example, “how to do competitor keyword research” or “how to track which keywords a site ranks for.” Ranking for these keywords can generate conversions.
In conclusion, focusing on BoF keywords is a more efficient use of your finite SEO resources. By targeting category, comparison, and jobs to be done keywords, you can maximize your SEO ROI and attract more potential clients to your business. Remember, the goal is not just to increase traffic but to convert that traffic into leads and sales.
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