written by
Ilias Ism

How to Rank for Bottom of the Funnel Keywords

Search Engine Optimization 6 min read

Want to increase your conversion rates dramatically? Then it's time to target bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keywords.

BOFU keywords are search terms used by people who are ready to buy. They've done their research and are about to make a purchase.

In this article, you'll learn:

By the end, you'll be equipped to attract qualified leads primed to convert. Let's dive in.

What are Bottom of the Funnel Keywords?

storychief bottom of the funnel keywords

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) keywords are search queries that indicate a searcher has high purchase intent and is close to making a buying decision. They are the most valuable keywords to target for SEO because they drive the highest conversion rates.

Examples of bottom of the funnel keywords include:

  • [Product category] + "software", "tools", "platform", "solution"
    (e.g. "SEO software", "project management tools")
  • [Product category] + "for [industry/role/business type]"
    (e.g. "CRM for small business", "accounting software for freelancers")
  • [Your brand] vs [Competitor]
    (e.g. "Salesforce vs Pipedrive")
  • [Competitor] + "alternatives" or "competitors"
    (e.g. "Mailchimp alternatives")

In contrast, top-of-the-funnel keywords are more informational searches that don't directly indicate purchase intent, such as "what is [topic]" or "how to [broad task]".

Middle-of-the-funnel keywords show some commercial intent, but the user may still be comparing options, such as "[product category] features" or "best [product category]."

Why Focus on Bottom of the Funnel Keywords?

Image created by author, June 2023

Multiple studies and experiments have shown that bottom-of-the-funnel keywords convert at significantly higher rates than top or middle-of-the-funnel keywords:

  • One agency found that across dozens of clients, bottom-of-the-funnel content converted leads at 25X the rate of top-of-the-funnel content (4.78% vs 0.19%)
  • 20 BOFU content pieces generated 3X as many total conversions as 40 top-of-funnel pieces for the same client (1348 vs 397 conversions)
  • Even after accounting for top-of-funnel content getting more traffic, the conversion rates are still drastically higher for bottom-of-the-funnel content

The reason is that the user journey from an informational top-of-funnel search to becoming a paying customer requires many steps, each with a small conversion rate:

  1. User searches the informational keyword
  2. Small percentage click through to your site
  3. Small percentage of those sign up for an email list or return to your site later
  4. Small percentage open drip marketing emails
  5. Finally a small percentage end up becoming customers

So the overall conversion rate ends up being miniscule for top-of-funnel keywords.

In contrast, bottom-of-funnel searchers are already solution-aware and intend to buy, so getting them to convert requires far fewer steps.

That's why focusing your SEO efforts on bottom-of-the-funnel keywords is the most efficient way to drive revenue growth, even if the search volumes are lower than top-of-funnel keywords.

How to Find Bottom of the Funnel Keywords

Here is a process to uncover the bottom-of-the-funnel keywords in your industry:

  1. Brainstorm keywords in these categories:
    All the ways people might search your product/service category
    [Competitor] vs [Your Brand]
    [Competitor] alternatives
    Phrases indicating the problem you solve (see next section)
  2. Combine those seed keywords with bottom of the funnel modifiers:
    software, tools, solution, platform
    cheap, affordable, pricing, cost
    [industry], [role], [business type] (e.g. for lawyers, for enterprise)
  3. Analyze the search results for your brainstormed keywords to find related keywords and understand searcher's intent
  4. Use keyword research tools to get estimated search volumes and generate more related keyword ideas
  5. Look at the keywords converting customers are searching for on your site before signing up
  6. Prioritize the keywords with the highest business value based on relevance, intent, search volume, and competitiveness

Jobs to Be Done Keywords

Another valuable category of bottom-of-the-funnel keywords are those that indicate the user has a problem or "job to be done" that your product solves, even if they aren't aware of your product yet.


  • how to organize design files
  • how to do a poll in Slack
  • how to get video testimonials from customers
  • how to rank for bottom-of-the-funnel keywords (Hey! Try StoryChief)

Although these users may not be aware of your brand or competitors yet, they still have high potential to buy because they have a need that you address.

Creating content that ranks for these keywords and positions your product as the ideal solution can convert extremely well.

To find jobs to be done keywords, interview your customers to understand their key use cases, challenges, and goals they had in mind when seeking a solution like yours.

Also, analyze your customer support queries and talk to your sales team. Then brainstorm how your customers might search for those use cases and challenges.

Optimizing for Bottom of the Funnel Keywords

Once you've identified high-converting bottom-of-the-funnel keywords to target, create dedicated pages optimized for those terms.

The page content should:

  • Demonstrate your unique value proposition and differentiation from competitors
  • Address the specific pain points and use cases the searcher likely has
  • Include customer proof points like testimonials, case studies, and logos
  • Have prominent calls to actions to sign up for a free trial or demo
  • Be linked prominently from the homepage and product pages

Types of pages that work well for bottom-of-the-funnel keywords include:

  • Product category and competitor alternative pages
  • Industry-specific solution pages
  • Customer case studies
  • Product comparisons and buyer's guides
  • Demo and free trial landing pages

When creating these pages, look at the search results for your target keyword to understand the type and format of content searchers expect.

In some cases a simple landing page is sufficient, while other keywords may require a more in-depth blog post or guide.

Use descriptive, keyword-rich meta titles and descriptions to entice searchers to click on your result. Optimize your title tag, headers, og:image, and body content to include variations of the keyword.

Build internal links from relevant high-authority pages to your new bottom-of-the-funnel page.

Improving Bottom of Funnel Conversions

Ranking for bottom-of-the-funnel keywords is just the first step - you also need to optimize your website experience to drive conversions from that traffic.

Some best practices:

  • Have clear call-to-action buttons in prominent locations
  • Reduce form fields to the minimum required
  • Add live chat to answer buyer questions in real-time
  • A/B test your messaging, offers, and page designs
  • Implement retargeting to bring bounced visitors back
  • Personalize the post-signup experience based on the keyword they converted from

By making your website conversion experience as frictionless and compelling as possible for bottom of the funnel visitors, you'll maximize the revenue generated from your SEO investments.


Focusing your SEO strategy on bottom-of-the-funnel keywords is the most effective way to drive leads and sales from organic search.

By targeting keywords with high commercial intent, creating content that ranks for those terms, and optimizing your website to convert that traffic, you can achieve dramatic improvements in marketing ROI.

While top-of-the-funnel keywords may be tempting due to their high search volumes, they require many more touches to convert and have drastically lower conversion rates and revenue impact.

Don't neglect top of the funnel entirely, but make bottom of the funnel keywords the priority to generate tangible business results from SEO.

Now is the time to shift towards a customer-first, content marketing mindset - before your competitors do. Want to learn more about content marketing?

To discuss how content marketing can transform your marketing performance, request a demo or start your free StoryChief trial (a content marketer’s secret weapon!). Our team would be happy to give you a walkthrough.

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