Top Funnel Keywords

Written by Fraser McCulloch. Last Updated 26th March 2022

Top of the funnel keywords is those in the first stage of the buying funnel that can drive huge volumes of organic search traffic to your website; if chosen correctly.

Keywords are chosen based on where the prospect is in the buying process

Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

At the top of the funnel, prospective customers are looking to solve a problem or find information about a product or service.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

In the middle of the funnel, prospects are looking to compare products or services, seek alternatives, reviews or recommendations.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

At the bottom of the funnel, your potential customers are thinking about buying, where to buy or need to be prompted to purchase.

How to find and rank for top of the funnel keywords

Using any keyword research tool, start with a seed keyword and look for keywords that include how, where, for, with, increase, remove, lower, fix, grow or issue in the query.

Here’s an example and case study to help you understand the benefits of targeting the top of the funnel keywords.

There are over 88,000 search queries about petrol.

Last spring I accidentally put petrol in my diesel car engine.

I can’t recall the exact search query I made, but it was something like “how to siphon petrol.”

And so began my quick journey from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel.

Quickly realising that I could not do this myself, I searched for information on local car garages and my car dealership.

Both were too busy to answer my phone call.

So I searched again.

Petrol in a diesel car.

This was still a top of the funnel query.

I would call this an informational search.

I knew a little about the product in question; petrol and diesel.

The search results are presented with the top results.

The BMW dealership called me back and told me it would cost £650 plus vat, and they could not give me a date when this could be fixed.

Looking at the top search results for “ petrol in a diesel car”, I noticed a well-known company.

So I clicked their page.

I didn’t like the answer.

Back to the search results, and I clicked on another company I knew about.

They gave me the answer I was looking for.

Don’t start the car; call us straight away.

They still provided general information about solving the problem underneath this telephone number but calling them better satisfied my intention.

So I called them.

They gave me a quote on the phone.

£250 I think was the cost.

And “we can be at your house in 1 hour and fix this,” they told me.

So now I am at the evaluation of alternatives stage.

BMW quoted me £650 plus vat; AA quoted me £250 inc vat.

In a microsecond, my brain compares these alternatives.

Since time was of the essence, there was no need to spend a day, week or month comparing these 2 alternatives.

This stage of comparing alternatives varies from person to person and product to product. 

I recall it took me months researching whether to buy a MacBookPro or a replacement PC laptop.

There’s no discounts or offers to help me decide whether or not to purchase; it’s straight out with the debit card to order.