Top of the funnel keywords – driving organic traffic

Top of the funnel keywords are 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 prompted to buy.

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 top of the funnel keywords.

There’s over 88,000 search queries about petrol.

Last spring I accidently 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 search 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 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 company I was well aware of.

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 how to solve 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 by person to person and product to product. 

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