SEO (search engine optimisation) is an indispensable tool for businesses, especially when it comes to engaging and converting audiences at various stages of the marketing funnel. Understanding how to strategically implement SEO for audience targeting, from initial awareness to the final decision-making phase will help you capture more leads and convert them to customers.
But how exactly do you do it? Our detailed guide will give you all the information you need, so read on.
The Importance of Understanding Audience Intent across the Funnel
Customers have diverse needs and intents at different marketing funnel stages. They start with a need for information about a product. Next, they want to know if it is a good fit for their needs. Ultimately, they start comparing offers and choosing the best one.
Your business must be able to create content and use SEO for audience targeting at every step of this complex journey. Here is how to do it.
SEO Strategy for Each Funnel Stage
1. The Awareness Stage
At this phase, users are acknowledging an issue, need, or interest, but they might not be aware of specific solutions or products. To effectively reach and engage audiences at this critical stage, leveraging SEO strategies is essential.
Understanding User Intent
At the awareness stage, users are typically conducting broad searches to understand a problem or gather general information. They often use search queries that are more exploratory and informational in nature. Hence, content targeting this phase should cater to educating, informing, or entertaining the audience.
To capture attention during this phase, focus on broader, more generic keywords. Employ tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest or Ahrefs to identify relevant terms and phrases with higher search volume and relevance to your industry. Long-tail keywords might be particularly useful as they often align with user queries during the awareness stage.
Engaging and informative content is key. Blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and social media content play a pivotal role in drawing users in. Consider addressing common queries, providing introductory content about your industry or area of expertise, and offering valuable insights without directly promoting products or services.
2. The Consideration Stage
As audiences progress through the marketing funnel, they move into the consideration stage, where they’re actively evaluating and comparing different solutions or products that could address their needs or challenges. Leveraging SEO strategies tailored for this stage is crucial in providing valuable information to aid in their decision-making process.
Understanding User Intent
At this stage, users are more focused on specific queries and are looking for detailed information, comparisons, and deeper insights. They might be comparing various products or services, seeking reviews, or exploring how solutions align with their specific needs.
In this phase, keywords should reflect user intent for comparison and evaluation. Focus on more specific and targeted keywords, including product names, features, and comparative terms. Use keyword tools to identify phrases that indicate comparison or in-depth research.
You should write content that answers specific queries and provides in-depth information. Consider creating comparison guides, detailed articles, reviews, case studies, and expert analysis. These resources should address the unique selling points of your products or services, positioning them favourably against competitors.
3. The Decision Stage
At this point your audience has reached the critical decision stage. They are ready to make a purchase. At this phase, users are seeking specific information that will solidify their choice. Employing targeted SEO strategies tailored to the decision stage is essential for influencing their final decisions.
Understanding User Intent
In the decision stage, users are ready to make a choice. They are searching for specific details such as pricing, product features, trials, demos, or any additional information that can validate their decision.
Optimise for transactional keywords that signal a clear intent to purchase or commit. Use terms such as “buy,” “free trial,” “price,” or “discount” combined with specific product or service names.
Develop content that directly supports the user’s decision-making process. Create product demos, trials, detailed pricing breakdowns, customer testimonials, FAQs, and any other information that alleviates any final doubts or concerns.
Website Actions to Implement SEO for Audience Targeting
How do you implement the strategies discussed above on your website? Relying on SEO best practices, we recommend the following actions:
On-Page SEO Optimisation
Optimise meta titles, headers, meta descriptions and ALT text with targeted keywords specific to each funnel stage. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing – the rule of the thumb is to use 1 keyword per 100 words in your content.
Speaking of content, make sure that it is original, high-quality and relevant to your target audience. Your articles and blog posts should be easily readable, well-structured, and directly address user queries.
Finally, don’t forget to optimise images and videos using alt text, captions, and appropriate file names to enhance visibility.
Internal Linking and Site Structure
Strategic internal linking is crucial to guiding users through the funnel. Establish a logical content structure and use internal links to move users from informational to transactional content smoothly.
For example, if you have a blog post discussing benefits of using a product, add an internal link leading to the product page. Many readers will be curious to learn more about the product specifications and check the price after reading the blog post.
Featured Snippets and Rich Results
Create content that provides concise and clear answer to users’ questions. This type of content has a higher chance to appear as featured snippets or other rich results to increase visibility and attract more organic traffic to your website.
Given the increasing mobile usage, ensure your website is mobile-friendly to enhance user experience and improve search rankings. Together with SEO for audience targeting, a mobile-friendly site will help you find more clients and generate more online and in-store sales.
Local SEO Strategies
If you run a brick and mortar store, local SEO is vital. Research and use local keywords, prioritise managing your Google Business Profile listing and encourage happy customers to leave ratings and reviews.
Keep Monitoring and Adapting Your Marketing Strategies
Use various online tools to check your page rank, keyword performance and overall popularity of your content among readers. Whenever you notice significant metrics dropping, check to see why it happened and remedy the situation.
SEO is as the backbone of your digital marketing strategies, especially when targeting audiences throughout the marketing funnel. By understanding how consumers search for products and make a purchase decision, you can adapt SEO for audience targeting at each stage of the marketing funnel.