What is Marketing and Sales Funnel – TOFU, MOFU BOFU? How SEO helps it?

A Marketing and Sales Funnel is a step-by-step approach to converting the potential leads into sales. Initially, there is a wide range of audiences, which eventually narrows down as the potential lead gets converted to a successful sales deal.   This process of conversion of lead is similar to an image of the FUNNEL (wider top and tapering downwards to a narrowed bottom) and hence MARKETING AND SALES FUNNEL.

This approach – a process of conversion from being a potential lead to deal locked, obviously is initiated with awareness because discovering the product or service by the searcher will initiate the eventual process of sales. The final step will be the purchase of the product or service. Though this step of final purchase does not necessarily conclude the sales. It can be further enhanced by retaining the client by providing post-purchase follow-ups, after-sales service, and also even referrals. If conducive, appending it further to Cross-Sell and Upsell.

What is TOFU MOFU and BOFU?

TOFU, MOFU and BOFU – the names may sound like Japanese recipes, but they are the acronyms for the Marketing and Sales Funnel. They are used by marketing and sales professionals – to segregate the various stages in process of converting the lead to a customer – to mark the various important phases in a buyer’s journey. This simplifies the procedure and also has been advantageous in improving the sales conversion rate.

Every customer always assesses various factors prior to finalizing the purchase. The decision to purchase is not instant. The process of guiding the customer to make a decision to lock the deal, from initial interest to final step is divided into three stages of Marketing and Sales Funnel. These three stages are TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU.

TOFU is TOP of the Funnel, MOFU is the Middle of the Funnel and BOFU is the Bottom of the Funnel. One can use the analogy of a perfect meal – appetizer, main course, and dessert. As a sumptuous meal lives a pleasant memory to come back and relish again, so as the smooth transition from TOFU to MOFU and to BOFU to seal the purchase, helps to build the confidence in buyer to return again for a new deal. This is the sole purpose of this Marketing and Sales funnel.

How does SEO impact TOFU MOFU and BOFU? What is a correlation between SEO and TOFU, MOFU, BOFU?

SEO has a major role to create an impact in TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU stages in every way possible. Using SEO strategically is very important and that can be achieved by appropriate keyword research, content for all three stages.

Searcher when visits your website and if gets the required information, shall remain engaged and move further down the conversion funnel. Thus, it is very much important to optimize every stage of the funnel. In case, if the lead is not satisfied or convinced due to the lack of apt solutions at that particular stage, then there is every chance that the lead may not proceed further and bounce to a competitor. Hence, by adopting the TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU funnel strategy with SEO you can improve the conversion and get also a substantial boost in your ROI.

We shall analyze these stages – TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU further in detail along with keyword research and content required for each stage to correlate these stages with SEO.

TOFUTOFU is the top of the funnel, the awareness stage.

The awareness phase implies that you need to present the content, which is informative, engaging.

There are umpteen reasons for the searcher to browse the internet. Maybe the searcher or user is looking for information related to a product or service. The user will surf, research to get as much information as possible. You should be able to bring forth your products or services as a likely option on the internet search engine. 

In the TOFU stage, the audience though showing interest may not be inclined to purchase immediately and the conversion will be minimal in this stage.

Your aim is to create awareness – to make them aware of the product or service. You can also communicate through email (by asking them to register on the website) and initiating correspondence and gradually helping them with the solutions for their queries. In Tofu (top-of-funnel), the focus should be on getting maximum leads without coercing them.

About keywords research in TOFU – Using Answer the Public is a superb option for TOFU as you get the exact questions most searchers might use as this particular tool gives optimum questions with words like “How”, “Why”, What”, “When”, and “Where”. For beginners, this video will give an idea about using the Answer the Public website.

Another good option for selecting keywords will be to include words like “how to”, “tips”, and “guide”. 

Content in TOFU: The content should be accurate, relevant, and fresh, interspersed with keywords. Apart from the product or service information, posting videos will also help to stimulate the interest further.

TOFU content creates awareness, informs, and educates and these can be successfully achieved through

  • Blog Posts
  • Informative Videos
  • eBooks
  • FAQs
  • Guides
  • Webinars 

MOFU – Middle of the Funnel – In this second stage you are able to filter the actual prospects, thus the number of potential leads gets narrowed – the marketing and sales funnel is narrowed to a new stage – MOFU. At this stage, the searchers are now aware of the solutions for their inquiries and evaluate your brand as an option. They have sufficient information about your product relevant to their inquiry. In MOFU the searchers evaluate and assess your brand as an option and compare your products with other similar brands.

Try to gauge and know more about their thinking – what features, qualities they are looking for? Update them with the latest trends pertaining to their inquiry.

In the MOFU stage, you should build trust by providing as much information to the audience. However, be cautious enough not to oversell. Providing as much information is the best way to gain the confidence of the visitor. The searcher having done their research on the internet may have google queries. They may have a question related to a specific brand. Answering all the questions will help to build confidence and trust. In this stage of MOFU, if the customer has the correct information, he will be able to make the appropriate decision to move onto the next stage and that is BOFU. 

About Keywords research in MOFU – The MOFU keywords will be the answer to the solutions in TOFU.  The answers or solutions to their queries should be indicative of assessment, evaluation, comparison, and these keywords can be coupled along with words such as “best”, “ideal”, “advantageous”, “useful”, “benefits”. For example: Best models in iPhone or Benefits of using software for accounts.

Content in MOFU: Share your brand’s expertise and competence by providing the distinguishing features in comparison with its competitors. A company chart or webinar will be helpful to take a step further by the visitor in consolidating the deal. Further, if required substantiate the details with authentic numbers as figures help to develop trust. Statista provides graphs and charts to validate data.

The MOFU content should be an answer to the searcher’s queries that will help them arrive at a decision and this can be successfully achieved by

  • Product tutorials featuring salient features, qualities
  • Video showing details of the products or services
  • Webinars
  • Comparison charts are a big plus – comparison showing the excellent virtues of your products as against the competitors.
  • Highlighting Salient features

BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel – We now come to the Bottom of the Funnel – the stage is called BOFU. The prospective buyers at this stage are confident and have gained sufficient knowledge and are ready to purchase. The lead having done sufficient research and having distinctly identified their solutions – about their requirements – and they are now aware of the source to get those solutions. The client is aware of your product and its features and also knows adequately about the competition involved. At this crucial stage, you can offer a free evaluation, trial, or show a demo video in order to further seal the deal.

As you have been nurturing the client through the earlier two stages of the funnel, they now feel committed to your brand. It is always viable to have a consultative approach and guide them further to make a favorable decision.  You can further help them with settling the issue of purchase by offering top-class customer support and a warranty period. BOFU is the phase where you have to set apart your brand as the best option in the market so that there is a conversion of a qualified lead.

About Keywords research in BOFU:

The keywords are not of significance in BOFU as the customer is aware of your existence. The focus should be on knowing how the customer has searched your website and then using those keywords by blending them with a conversion page that will convince them to seal the deal.

Content in BOFU:

BOFU is the ultimate stage. The content provided can include trials, demos, case studies, etc.

Written testimonials and if possible, Video testimonials will be highly beneficial. BOFU is the stage where the competition is intense. However, creating appropriate content that is ahead of your competition will help you to make that conversion successful.

  • Free trials, Demos
  • A case study featuring the salient points such as cost-cutting on purchase of your products, by a significant percentage, as compared to the competition can be a decisive factor.
  • Warranty Period and excellent customer support.

In the BOFU stage there always stands a good chance of being compared against a couple of competitors and hence you should create your BOFU content that is cut above the rest of the competition. 

Finally, Website Architecture:

How much is website architecture influential in the optimization of the funnel? What if a searcher moves from a blog post to the home page? How to get him into the funnel?

It is necessary to have a seamless flow from one page to another page. Internal linking of web pages should be able to provide a clear path for visitors to pass through each funnel. Thus, website architecture becomes a significant aspect, that has a huge impact on optimizing the funnel. 

Tip for linking webpages- One can use google analytics to check from which page the customers leave the site. Using this information to make necessary changes in the pages to help increase visitors and move those visitors smoothly through the funnel towards conversion.

What is your thinking on this topic? I will be glad to receive your thoughts, feedback in the comments section below.