How to Strategically Integrate SEO Into Your Online Sales Funnel
When most people think about funnel marketing, they think about a paid search, paid social, or even an email strategy. Although these are key elements to building out your funnel, SEO often gets left in the dust. And although SEO is a long-term play, with time and relevant content for all stages of the funnel, it can prove to have a substantial ROI for your business.
By strategically incorporating an SEO strategy that caters to all stages of the funnel, you are maximizing on market share by capturing users in the various stages of the funnel rather than just one stage. From the blog to core landing pages, an on-page SEO strategy can establish your company as a thought leader online while also organically driving qualified traffic to your website.
Integrating SEO Into Your Funnel in 3 Steps
SEO takes patience and ongoing optimization. In order for SEO to provide a long-term ROI for your website, the crucial steps to building out your SEO Strategy into all areas of the funnel are:
- Understanding your user’s search intent
- Having a blog that further helps to answer the most frequently asked questions, problems, and topics to the specific industry
- Having relevant, evergreen content that pushes people throughout all stages of the customer journey housed on the main navigation of your website.
We typically find that businesses miss out on step #3. Creating content that plays a strategic role at each stage of the buyer’s journey is essential to pushing prospects from research to becoming loyal, paying customers. The best place to house this content? On conversion-oriented landing pages within the main navigation of your website. These pages help answer questions and drive your user’s decision making about using your service. This can instantly help improve the content on your site and assist in your user’s journey as they are browsing your landing pages.
When backed by an SEO and content strategy, this type of content will not only help drive traffic but will also cater to the people that are closer to making a purchase or decision – the middle and bottom of the funnel. Ultimately, the purpose for creating these strategic SEO landing pages on a website is to help increase qualified organic traffic likely to convert. By providing them with the answers they are looking to get answered, they are more likely to trust you as a credible source and eventually use you as the solution to their problem.
Why Evergreen SEO Landing Pages?
Main level navigation pages tend to hold more sales-oriented content. However, through a collaborative SEO and content strategy, we can create our own funnel on the website by auditing the existing content on the website and identifying which funnel stages we are content-rich, and which stages we are more content-poor.
Typically, the blog is catered to top-of-funnel traffic while product or service pages are more transactional and sales-oriented. However, we have identified an opportunity to create informational evergreen pages that will truly guide someone throughout the entire purchasing funnel and aims to answer common questions that the user might have.
The strategy behind this type of landing page is to have your company or website show up on page one of Google for relevant topics and keywords that prospective clients or customers are searching for before they’ve even heard about your company.
The first element of building a strong SEO and content strategy is understanding your user’s search intent. This step takes some research and understanding of various trends and topics in your industry and asking yourself some of the following questions: What are our users searching for? What are the common problems that our users have? What topics are our competitors discussing?
More often than not, a blog serves to answer these top of the funnel questions that users are searching for. These users know that they have a problem, but they don’t know that you can provide the solution, yet. However, when a potential client or customer is doing their research on Google and your blog is not showing up on the first page, then what’s the use of your information if it’s not generating traffic?
This could mean that your blog post is not relevant to a topic that your users are searching for, or that you don’t have an SEO strategy to reinforce your blog content in order for it to rank on page one of Google. However, if those top of the funnel questions, topics and trends are backed by a researched SEO strategy, it will help the pages rank organically from a search perspective and ultimately help drive qualified traffic. Examples of top of the funnel questions include: “what are the causes for insomnia” or “does stress cause insomnia” which might lead your user to land on a blog post: “Top 10 Causes of Insomnia”.
So, what about incorporating an SEO Strategy for the top and middle of your funnel. Do our users even know that there are solutions to these problems? What solutions can we provide our users? What are common questions people are asking about our service or offering? Most of the time, it appears that websites have a gap in their SEO Strategy in more of the middle of the funnel questions and topics that people are searching for.
This is where there is an opportunity to create strategic SEO evergreen landing pages on the main level navigation that explains HOW your product or service helps solve these problems or answers these questions. Examples of these middle of the funnel keywords are “natural insomnia remedies” or “benefits of insomnia remedies” which would lead a user to a category page with a natural remedy for insomnia. In most cases, for this page to rank organically for these middle of the funnel keywords, there needs to be content that lives at the top or bottom of the page that reinforces the user’s search intent and relevancy.
Having an SEO and content strategy behind these pages, from a keyword ranking standpoint, can help to explain the offering or services to someone that is already on your website, while also helping those pages show up on page one of Google for non-branded search terms. For example: User 1 searches “power digital marketing SEO” and the SEO category page for Power Digital Marketing shows up as the first result on Google. User 2 searches “SEO strategy for my website” and the same page shows up on the first result of Google. Both users 1 and 2 want to know more about SEO, however, User 1 had previous knowledge that Power Digital Marketing provides SEO services, while User 2 just discovered Power Digital Marketing can help them learn more about SEO.
By creating landing pages that explain your core offerings or products, you are showing your users why you are the solution to their problems. These landing pages allow you to not only sell yourself, and your company, but you can also strategically answer questions that people tend to have about the product or service offering or for the industry and topic in general.
We find that B2B websites typically lack an SEO Strategy that caters to all stages of the funnel. On most B2B websites, it takes some exploration on various pages of the site for a user to understand what the service offerings of the company are and why they provide the best solution. Creating landing pages that explain your service offerings through imagery and text will not only build out your long term SEO strategy, but it can also help drive that sale home by answering the most commonly researched questions. This simplifies the user’s experience and journey on your website, while also helping the user establish you as a credible source for their information.
In this case, strategic SEO landing pages for B2B websites would revolve around the different industries that their services can help. Creating industry-specific pages on your website can help improve not only the user experience on your site but also the SEO elements of your site that could ultimately help you drive leads and close the sale. This means going beyond the “general” explanation that might currently live on the home page and taking a deeper dive into industry-specific offerings and industry-specific questions.
Evergreen SEO Landing Pages: Use Case
Example: Trustifi is an email encryption software company that can provide easy, user-friendly email encryption that is catered to a company’s needs. They can provide this email service to all different types of industries.
We saw an area of opportunity to build out their pages for various industries that require higher levels of email encryption. For example, medical professionals have to worry about following HIPAA regulations when sending emails. Financial analysts have to worry about data breaches when they send emails with important bank account and financial information. Ultimately, these industries need to have the email encryption security that Trustifi can provide.
This is where creating SEO landing pages for the different security regulations can help drive traffic and can inform the different industries on the types of email encryption services they need. Not only does this help establish Trustifi as a thought leader of security breaches and email regulations, but it also helps solidify what Trustifi can offer to various industries based on their specific needs. This opens the door for Trustifi to offer their email encryption services to entire medical offices, law offices, financial offices and more.
When this strategy is backed with the SEO research of individual’s search intent, once the content has been living on the page for a few months and the keyword rankings for the pages start to improve and show up on page 1 of Google, that will help drive traffic that has strong search intent land on our website, thus driving traffic.
The reason intent and relevant content are important is because you want that user that lands on your site to find exactly what they intended to find when they put in a Google search. By making that content relevant, they are more likely to stay on the site for longer, understand your business and your offerings, and ultimately convert on your site, whether it be through a “Subscribe to Newsletter”, “Contact Us” or even “Download Now”.
Tying it All Together
The bottom line is that people are researching in every stage of decision making. However, with no SEO Strategy that caters to every stage of the funnel on your site, you are not maximizing on the market share and traffic that you could be attracting to your website. In order to establish yourself as a thought leader and to drive traffic to your site, it’s important that you stay up to date with industry trends, topics, and news. Not only does this add relevant content on your site, but it also helps answer questions that your user might have as they are browsing around your site to find out more information. However, none of this means anything unless you have a strategic SEO strategy to back up the content on your site.
The purpose of creating strategic SEO landing pages is to fill the gaps where content is lacking and increasing your users in all stages of the funnel rather than just the top or bottom. Once we’ve analyzed and discovered where content and keyword rankings are lacking, SEO and content can work together to decide whether to create evergreen SEO landing pages, blog posts or directly main category pages.
Strategically building out the funnel on your website using an SEO strategy and content strategy can help you drive traffic to your website for free ultimately, because unlike paid search, organic search does not cost any money. By building out an SEO strategy throughout the various stages of your funnel, you are increasing your market share of keywords in your industry, traffic to your site, conversions on your site all while simultaneously establishing your company as a thought leader in the space.