Aligning Keyword Strategies With Different Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

When doing keyword research, most people only look at the search volume and the keyword difficulty. This is a good starting point as it helps rank and drive traffic to your site. But it doesn’t affect where it matters most: conversion.

If your goal is to make sales, you should focus on keywords that have a buying intent. However, for the best results, you should align your keyword research with the different stages of the buying process. This will ensure that your SEO strategy is working for your brand. In this article, we will show you how to do that.

Benefits of Matching Keywords With Search Intent

Different keywords are suitable for the different stages of the buying process. Some keywords have a higher buying intent as compared to others. For instance, “best mobile phone under $200” indicates a higher search intent than “how to choose a mobile phone.”

Therefore, you must understand which keyword to use in different buying funnel stages for the best results. We can optimize your search results to meet the search intent.

Types of Search Intent

Tracking search intent can increase site relevance. You should align your keyword and content with four different search intents. These are:


Most people use informational keywords when they want to learn about something. Most of these keywords start with “how to” or “what to.” These keywords are often considered in the lowest part of the sales funnel as the user has no intention to buy something.

However, these keywords can also be a good choice to help drive traffic to your site. Therefore, question-based keywords are important, and you should optimize for them too.

Transactional Keywords

People often use transactional queries when they want to do something online. This could be to sign up for a newsletter. Some of the terms they use for transactional keywords are:

  • Best
  • Top
  • Review
  • Latest
  • Versus
  • Affordable

People using these keywords are often close to converting but have not yet made the buying decision. Therefore, you have an option to turn them into buyers. These keywords are often used by sites that do keyword research for Amazon products.

People using this search intent already know what they want but need help getting to a particular website. For instance, they want to visit the Amazon site. Instead of entering the whole url, they search for the term Amazon on Google. Since search engines already identify the search intent, they display the Amazon site to the user.


This search intent is in the last stage of the sales funnel, making the keywords in this stage the best for conversion. The people using this search intent already know what they are looking for and are ready to buy.

Importance of Search Intent Optimization

Optimizing for the search intent involves providing the right answers at the right time in a manner that aligns with the target user’s needs. Basically, what you are doing is to understand your audience and meet their needs.

A data-driven keyword research can help you attract the right audience to your site. This also helps reduce the bounce rate for your site

By responding to your Google search queries, you can:

  • Show your authority in the niche
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Meet the needs of your target audience.
  • Grt leads to your site
  • Retain customers on your site for a long time

Keyword Research For Different Sales Funnel Stages

As we noted earlier, people use different stages of the sales funnel to show which buying stages they are in. Those in the awareness stage use terms that can answer their search queries. Before you even begin your keyword research, you will want to consider which stage of the sales funnel you are targeting. You should then track search intent to increase website relevance.

Different search terms are in different stages of the sales funnel

 For instance, when you discover that you need keywords in the awareness stage, you will want to start searching for terms that begin with the words “what if” or “how to.” Once you find such, you can drill down the results depending on the search volume and keyword difficulty.

Top of the Sales Funnel

This is where keyword research for blogs is necessary. To do keyword research for this stage, you should look at the pain points your customers experience. Follow these with the benefits of your products. You can then take the potential topics to start building categories for your blog.

At the top of the sales funnel, keywords search general information

When doing keyword research for this stage, you can align them to your keyword strategies by incorporating terms like:

  • Fix
  • Problem
  • Upgrade
  • Troubleshoot

When you input these keywords in your top keyword research tool, you can get new terms and phrases, such as fixing or troubleshooting mobile phones. These keywords can help bring traffic to your site. You can also use them to interlink to your pages.

Middle of the Sales Funnel

This is the stage where people are in the consideration stage. They are now searching for the solution to the pain points described earlier. They have come out of the awareness stage and are now seeking more specific answers.

You will also need to change your objective when doing keyword research. You now need more than just eyeballs for your site. When researching for these keywords, you will need to use variations  such as:

  • Supplier
  • Provider
  • Vendor
  • Features
  • Comparison

Since people in this stage are comparing different products, avoid telling them about the features of your products. You want to show them what the product can do for them literally. You transition their interest.

Ensure your content meets those expectations. Otherwise, they will hit the back button, affecting your ranking. You can use free keyword research tools to determine what people are searching for at this stage.

Bottom of the Sales Funnel

In this stage, the user has identified a few products they are considering buying. Therefore, they are now searching for details such as price comparisons for the actual product.

The searcher in this stage uses terms such as:

  • Reviews
  • Versus
  • Under
  • Pricing
  • Ratings

At this stage, someone is trying to decide whether they should buy your products or not. You want the searchers to buy from you and not from your competitor. Therefore, your goal with these keywords is not to bring much traffic but to convert. You can have a landing page targeting these kinds of keywords. The page should have a compelling sales copy and a leading-generating contact form.

At the bottom of the sales funnel are money keywords


You can use keywords targeting each part of the sales funnel by understanding the different stages and what a typical buyer’s journey looks like. When you know what people are searching for, you can position your keywords to each sales funnel stage to appeal to the searcher’s intention. With time, you will see a higher conversion on your keywords.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.
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