The Intersection Between SEO and Your Marketing Funnel

When SEO strategists overlook the journey of a buyer, they can miss out on opportunities to drive conversions for their clients. By understanding the intersection of SEO and your sales funnel, it’s possible to boost engagement at every level.

In this video, Shinhee Son, Director of SEO at Augurian, talks through some of the most valuable opportunities for organic search strategists when nurturing buyers through their customer journey. Watch to learn more about how Augurian can develop a search engine optimization plan that can support your marketing funnel and boost engagement at every level.


Shinhee Son: Hey, guys. I’m Shinhee Son. I’m the Director of SEO at Augurian. What I’m going to be talking to you guys about today is how to get more out of your SEO strategy using a marketing funnel. Before I go into the funnel, I really want to talk about the mistakes that I usually see SEOs make. First one is not learning enough about the users, figuring out what their pain points are, the problems that they have, the context of which they’re asking these types of questions.

The second one is the single touch point. We all know that people do a lot more research than just once they’ve landed on a page and convert. The reality is that they need to consume a lot more content before they make that decision. Third one is focusing too much on keywords and not enough about the user. A lot of times SEOs will say, “Here’s a keyword rankings reports. Here’s our share search,” but really the goal is that we need to reach that user. If we are ranking worse, but getting more conversions out of the other keywords, hey, that’s better.

Fourth one is limited strategy. A lot of times when we’re talking about SEO, we don’t really break that SEO language. What we need to do is talk more about marketing and how our initiatives are actually helping their bottom line. We’re going to get into this funnel here. This is the funnel stages that we use on the Augurian SEO team here. The most important thing is just pick one. You can use discovery, consideration, purchase, whatever it is, just pick one. The next thing here I’ve done is created the visual, drew the visual and the type of content that typically lives in each of these stages and how they meet the intent of each of these stages.

What I wanted to key in on is the tactics that an SEO person can think about when they’re looking at this customer journey or this funnel. First one here in the awareness stage is typically where you’re living in the viral world or you’re creating content that is complementary to your company or to your clients. Let’s just say that you created this massive post and you just didn’t get the links that you wanted or the shares that you wanted, then as the SEO, you’re thinking about outreach, how do we reach out to more of these people that have bigger audiences.

Then you’re looking at the problem aware stage and let’s just say you’re doing a bunch of SERP research, keyword research and seeing which types of domains are ranking. You are definitely seeing YouTube outrank the traditional results. As an SEO, you’re thinking, “How do I optimize my SEO? How do I optimize the YouTube videos to win there, to rank in the search results, but also rank on YouTube because it’s a massive search engine?” Then, we are all aware about how prevalent features snippets are. You’re probably looking at how tactics to get more featured snippets for all these types of queries, opt-in strategies.

Then you’re looking at solution aware. This is usually your service’s landing pages, product category pages. This is typically where we live on the SEO side, is looking at the keywords that drive pages that convert. We’re doing on-page optimization, looking at striking distance keywords. Also looking at CRO level efforts and maybe even outreach here. You might be in the scenario that you just haven’t been able to get to the top three because the top three have three links to that page and you have zero, so maybe that’s the goal.

The next stage, solution compare. I typically see the success with this is offsite, where you have directories really winning in the search results for terms like, could be like best guitars, best agencies, best marketing agencies. Usually, there’s the top four or top five is covered by these directory sites. Some companies will be very aggressive and create comparison pages. So if your brand is often searched with a competitor brand, you may want to take the strategy as the SEO to say, “Hey, there is a lot of intent here. A lot of people are stuck on who to pick between you and a competitor.”

I think we should create this page and really form that strategy and drive them down to this next step, which is the purchase phase. The purchase phase is, again, CRO-related activities. Maybe you have a product detail page, you’re on e-commerce site, and you need to get more reviews because you just have zero reviews, but there’s a lot of traffic, but they’re not converting at that same rate. That could be the SEO strategy, could be descriptions need to be reformatted. Maybe you don’t have a product category page because it’s a very unique product, but there’s a lot of keyword volume for it. Then you do your on-page optimization.

Finally, down to the loyalty. This is when you already have the customer and the goal is to create blog posts, guides, maybe it’s just YouTube instructional videos on how to use the product that you’re selling, or maybe it’s how to publish subject matter expert content, so you develop that trust and authority for the customers. Finally, we get to the benefits. When we get to the benefits we’re talking about, you have more buy-in from marketers because they can understand content and users more than they can understand keyword rankings, crawl rate and all those types of SEO metrics.

Second one is ideas. Do you get a lot more ideas from– Let’s just say the paid team will say and say, “Oh, you guys are seeing YouTube rank really well for the organic results?” We could start thinking about YouTube advertising and see if we can harvest some of that demand there. Third one is empathy. This is- what I think really allows you to become energized by your plan because you’re not just trying to get keyword rankings, you’re actually trying to help people.

Finally, you’re building that purchase intent. This is all the content you have to create, really to drive them down to that purchase level. Our goal as SEO is have the conversations that have better conversations so that it could increase the bottom line for your clients. That’s how you can use the marketing funnel to level up your SEO strategy.

I hope this was helpful for you guys. We really got a lot of engagement out of this approach. If you have more questions, just contact us. Thanks.

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