The Keyword Funnel: Stages, Marketing Strategies

Keyword Funnel

Understanding the intent behind a user’s inquiry as well as the terms that your potential clients use in search engines is vital. Effective keyword research and critical thinking awareness of the consumer journey are essential elements of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The phases of attraction, awareness, deliberation, and conversion are all included in the buyer’s journey. This kind of keyword categorisation demands a funnel approach because you are moving from general topics to more focused ideas.

What is a Keyword Funnel?

A keyword funnel, also called a purchase funnel, is a method of classifying user-generated keyword searches according to the possible stages of a user’s buying experience. As part of a keyword research strategy, these funnels assist in classifying keywords based on commonly used search terms.

In order to engage visitors who are looking for specific information, keyword funneling helps to discover the requirement for certain search phrases that people enter into search engines. They can be thoughtfully incorporated into your writing to improve its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) or SERP features such as “Featured Snippets,” “People Also Ask,” and “Google Popular Products.”

For example, the term “shoes” is broad and inclusive. The search term “men’s white shoes” can be refined even more to “men’s size 10 white Air Jordans.” These kinds of queries aim to ascertain the purpose of the user’s inquiry. These three searches indicate that the user is at a distinct point in the purchasing process.

What are the Stages Of The Keyword Funnel?

The majority of consumers go through several steps and procedures before deciding to buy a good or service. The process of conducting several searches up until the moment of conversion is part of the keyword funnel. Depending on where a customer is in the purchasing decision-making process, their search query changes. The process begins with a need or wants, is followed by information gathering and research, is followed by weighing the available options in the market, and ends with the decision to buy the good or service.

The buyer’s purchasing process can be divided into three stages by classifying the keywords.

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion
Keyword Funnel


Increasing brand and product awareness is the main goal of this phase. Customers start the path from discovering your brand to becoming customers at this point. They are in the early stages of “awareness” or “research,” based on the first broad search term they used.

When seeking for general knowledge, people in the awareness stage frequently employ “issue or opportunity” words and informational queries. At the awareness stage, customers are starting to look for information and conduct research before committing to a service or product.


While they aren’t really acting to buy the goods or services, people are actively looking for solutions to their problems during the deliberation stage. After conducting research, the buyer considers and weighs their options for potential solutions.

At this phase, customers browse your website, assess alternatives, or analyze independent reviews from a variety of sources for the goods or services they’re looking for. Clients who have reached this point are important to your company because they might be prepared to buy what you sell.


Giving potential customers a cause to purchase your goods, subscribe to your service, or take any other action you want is the goal of the last phase. Your prospects typically discover the answer and are prepared to buy a product when they proceed through the consideration stage.

These kinds of long-tail keywords or query search results demonstrate that the user is certain of what they want and is very eager on making a purchase. Getting the connection to a mutually satisfying closed transaction is the aim at this point.

Search Intelligence to Empower Your Keyword Funnel Strategy

Getting the customer to go through the many stages of the funnel is one of the hardest things to do in marketing. A consumer must consider all of their options before making a decision. Prior to doing so, they must be aware of their needs and wants, as well as the wide range of goods and services available to meet those needs.

Companies must establish a setting that helps and directs customers through these funnel stages. Throughout the funnel stages, you must make use of potent online marketing intelligence solutions that can offer detailed information and insight into your keywords, rivals, advertisers, prices, sponsored and organic listings, SERP characteristics, etc. This kind of deep strategic understanding will assist you in identifying your strengths and potential weak points. As a result, you will be able to decide on the best course of action and tactics to enhance your performance at every point of the funnel, which will enhance your impressions, clicks, and conversion rates across the digital shelf.

We gathered detailed information on 302 search terms from the “Apparel and Accessories” category using the Search Intelligence program. To conduct a comparison analysis, we divided them into three phases of the buyer’s purchase process: awareness, consideration, and conversion. These are some examples of insights that our tool can provide.

1. Competitive Dynamic by Funnel Stage

After analyzing the 4K unique advertisers, we discovered that 57% of them were vying for keywords in the awareness funnel stage, 75% for keywords in the consideration stage, and 16% for keywords in the conversion stage.

Our goal was to identify the most notable sponsors at each funnel level. “Shien” was among the top five marketers for each of the three funnel stages, as seen in the graph below. Although it wasn’t one of the conversion stage keywords, “Old Navy” was in the top 5 of the first two stages.

Given that they now have strong impressions on the awareness and consideration stage keywords, they might significantly increase their sales and conversion by optimizing for the conversion stage keywords.

2. Regional Competition Analysis by Funnel Stages

Based on keyword impressions per funnel stage, competitors at each stage, and the content of the product advertising per funnel stage, the search intelligence tool lets you compare your performance against your rivals at a regional level.

With the exception of California, where they are only marginally present (1%), the graph below demonstrates that ROMWE is well-represented (7%–8%) in three regions during the conversion period. They have a fantastic potential in California because of this.

Businesses can use this kind of regional intelligence knowledge to determine which region to concentrate on when targeting particular funnel stages with keywords.

3. Funnel Stage Visibility by Devices

You can determine which stage keywords want development by having visibility on each funnel stage keyword by device. The following graph indicates that mobile devices accounted for the bulk of impressions for the keywords “apparel” and “accessories” across all three stages. This highlights how crucial it is to make your listings and content mobile-friendly in this particular area.

Strategies For Each Keyword Funnel Stage

To move customers from the top of the funnel to the mid-funnel and finally to the bottom of the funnel, it is critical to become visible at every step of the funnel. For prospects to go from one step of the funnel to the next, specific tactics are needed at each one. The following is a description of the several tactics that should be used to advance the buyer to the next funnel step.

Top of the Funnel

Since there are little to no conversions during the top of the funnel stage, you should work to attract new leads and boost traffic.

Top funnel keywords specifically refer to broad terms or keywords that people seek for when they need any kind of information. These keywords are aimed at a wider readership and have a high search volume.

1. Build SEO strategies

At this point, your SEO may be the best way to target consumers’ low- or broad-intent keywords in an effort to increase awareness. To attract adequate organic search traffic, you must optimize for awareness keywords and target those keywords in your blog material. Informational questions should be used in the creation of high-ranking content to entice potential customers to learn more about your offering.

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2. Paid Advertising

Paid advertisements are a useful tool for increasing brand recognition for low-intent phrases that cause Google search ads to appear. Advertising campaigns that are pertinent to your target demographic can be conducted on social media and in podcasts. You can raise the likelihood that your brand will appear at the top of the search results page at the beginning of the customer journey by focusing your Google AdWords campaign on low-intent keywords. Use strategies like remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) to target consumers rather than compete for expensive keywords in order to maximize return on advertising spend.

3. Use Social Media Platforms

Social media sites are quite effective at raising awareness. One such strategy is to create a post on well-known social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that emphasizes your USP. Digital awareness campaigns that target large audiences and present opportunities to become new clients can be organized on a regular basis. Employ aesthetically captivating materials, such blog entries, social media updates, and videos, to present your business and highlight your brand’s narrative.

Middle of the Funnel

At this point, your main goals should be to increase user interaction and capture their interest. Customers are comparing alternatives at this point, so you need to get your items in front of them and give them a reason to purchase from you.

When looking to buy any goods or services, middle funnel consumers are doing their homework and weighing their options. These keywords have modest search volumes and are descriptive phrases.

1. Target High-Intent Keywords

Use navigational searches to target users who express a certain intent to buy. Based on user behaviors on your websites, such as the ads they clicked, the landing page they visited, etc., you may segment your audience and develop highly targeted campaigns to target particular user interests. Additionally, you can design landing pages tailored to particular clientele groups.

2. Nurture Leads

To nurture leads into paying clients, you may provide them with incentives like free trials, rival comparison guides, demo videos, and product samples. Email marketing methods can also be used to connect with current leads and move them through the stages. You can send email material, such as product descriptions or even blog entries that target relevant search queries, customer testimonials, and advice that offers consumers valuable content, to prospects if you have their contact information.

3. Boost Engagement

You can publish an article or white paper, produce case studies and video tutorials, respond to inquiries from new clients, and solve problems. You can pique curiosity by providing product samples, offering a free trial program, sharing case studies and product guides, or asking visitors to take part in a poll to discover more about your brand. A Google display ad campaign is another option; these are typically more successful in the middle of the funnel.

Bottom of the Funnel

To boost conversions during this step of the funnel, you must concentrate on precise or highly-intent keywords and targeted objectives. Here, converting leads, lowering conversion obstacles, and moving thought into action are the main objectives. The terms or inquiries that represent the user’s intention to buy and preparedness to do so are known as the bottom funnel keywords.

1. Paid Search Campaigns

The goal of a paid search strategy is to increase the quality of your landing pages, ad quality score, conversion rates, and remarketing campaigns through the use of paid advertisements. To generate leads, you can set up Google AdWords advertisements that include the product or brand names of your rivals as keywords. Additionally, focus on terms that convey an urgent desire to buy, indicating that the user is prepared to make a decision.

To locate and bid on long-tail keywords that can bring more qualified visitors to your website, use resources such as the Google Keyword Planner and your own reviews. At this point, you can bid more aggressively in an effort to attract more clicks and rank higher on the search result page for more targeted search phrases with strong purchase intent. We have the highest chance of making a sale because it is a branded search for a particular brand, which can result in an exceptionally high conversion rate.

2. Organic Campaigns

By producing organic content that clarifies any doubts potential customers may have and addresses common inquiries, you can concentrate on attracting fresh leads and users who are prepared to convert. To allow potential customers to experience your product or service, you can offer free trials, manuals, demo videos, and product samples. Incorporating user testimonials and sharing reviews of your product can help you rank naturally for those who are ready to convert.

It is possible to generate downloadable PDFs, include a Call to Action (CTA) in pertinent materials, and send emails that have a call to action. Make sure that the features and pricing are easily accessible and comprehensible.

Benefits of Using Keyword Funnels in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Top-of-the-funnel keywords can be used to create leads and introduce the business to a big audience.
  • There are prospects for link development with top funnel keywords. Because it covers a wider range of themes, it is the ideal option for linking and obtaining backlinks. This makes it easier to naturally link the content to a wide range of additional pages.
  • Mid-funnel keywords facilitate comparison shopping and educate the buyer on how to evaluate items and make the best decision.
  • Bottom-of-the-funnel keywords are designed to generate conversions, which turn visitors into qualified prospects or customers and open up opportunities for organic links, which are regarded as a crucial component of SEO.


Knowing your clients is essential to creating a successful funnel. It’s critical for retailers and businesses to comprehend the purchasing process of potential clients and to target them at each level. Prospects are assisted in navigating each phase of the customer journey by use of keyword funnels.

A keyword funnel strategy can be strengthened with granular-level ad data from a search intelligence provider. This tool gives a competitive landscape of strategic keywords that may be combined to undertake a comparative study by funnel step. It gathers paid and organic listing content from different locations in near real-time.

Retailers and other organizations can better connect their keyword strategies with the decision-making process of potential customers by using search intelligence’s actionable insights and metrics. It facilitates the development of a stronger funnel by enabling the optimization of campaign techniques to raise conversion rates.


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