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Top of Funnel vs Bottom of Funnel PPC Campaigns

17 Oct 2016

When setting up a PPC campaign, the type of keyword you choose is dependent on your goal. If you are looking to create brand awareness and develop a strong remarketing list, then you will want to use top of funnel keywords. On the contrary, if your primary goal is conversions, then bottom of funnel keywords—or purchase intent keywords —are what your PPC campaign should target. In most instances, you should develop a separate PPC campaign for each one so that you can capture the entire audience no matter where they are in the buying process.

What is a Sales Funnel?

Before we get into specific examples for each type of keyword you need to target, let’s quickly explain what we mean by top of funnel keywords and bottom of funnel keywords. Essentially, the majority of buyers go through the same buying stages. This is illustrated by picturing each client entering a funnel. At the top of the funnel, they are gathering information, educating themselves about your brand, and starting to get intrigued by your product and/or service. As they move down the funnel, they are continuing the research process, comparing your offerings to your competitors, and getting closer to committing. At this point, they have entered the bottom of the funnel, and it’s time to convert them into a paying customer.

Top of Funnel Keywords

Getting consumers to enter your sales funnel is the first step to a sale, which is why top of funnel keywords are so important. When setting up a PPC campaign to bring awareness to your product/service, you will want to target keywords that signify someone is searching for information, or they are having a problem that your brand can solve. For example, if someone is beginning the hunt for a new pair of running shoes, the top of funnel keywords they might search include:

  • heel pain when running
  • shoes to get rid of foot pain
  • cushion running shoes

Top of Funnel Campaign Types

There are several different types of targeting you can integrate into your PPC campaign to effectively reach your desired audience:

  • Contextual Targeting – Google evaluates each site within their Display Network to determine its overall theme, and then it matches your top of funnel keywords to sites with the same topic. Contextual targeting can be combined with other filters, such as language, location, and browsing history, to target more precise audience.
  • Managed Placements – With managed placements, you have more control over where your ads are displayed. Instead of Google choosing where to show your ads based on keywords, you can name the specific sites, videos, and apps where you want your ad to appear. While it is more time consuming to setup, it is an excellent way to target websites that you know your ideal customer visits. With managed placements, you also get the option to designate unique bids for each website, meaning you can reserve higher bids for the sites with a proven ROI, but still shown ads on other sites for a lower rate.

Bottom of Funnel

By the time a consumer reaches the bottom of the sales funnel, they have moved on to keywords that signify they are almost ready to make a purchase. They are now comparing different brands and looking for the best prices. As such, bottom of funnel keywords often include the terms:

  • Discount
  • Coupon
  • Promo code
  • Best price
  • Where to buy
  • Geo terms (if they want to buy the product in person)

When setting up a PPC campaign, keeping the sales funnel in mind is the key to its success. If you are targeting the correct keywords for your desired audience, your click through rate and conversion rate is sure to improve. For help setting up a PPC campaign that maximizes the benefits of using both top of funnel keywords and bottom of funnel keywords, contact Zero Gravity Marketing today.