SEO - Down the Funnel

SEO – Down the Funnel

This was originally published in my growth hacking newsletter. For more posts like this, please consider subscribing.

Marketers and SEOs are waking up to something I discovered 4 years ago while living in Minsk.

There was little for me to do, I had just launched a SaaS the month before while living in Kyiv, and I was looking at competing companies that were getting tons of users with SEO.

I found one that was focused entirely on a different kind of keyword.

I’m about to launch a program (videos and my templates) about these keywords—I call them compact keywords—but I want to share here the basics of what I discovered those four fateful years ago.

I was recently asked, “What would an example be for compact keywords vs. non-compact?”

My response:

“Compact: Collaboration Software with Intuitive Learning
Non-compact: Enterprise Collaboration Software
Another non-compact: What is Collaboration Software”

Here’s the difference between these:

“Collaboration Software with Intuitive Learning” – Purchase-intent. The searcher knows what they’re looking for, they just don’t know the brand that will give it to them. The conversion rate on these keywords is high as f*ck.

“Enterprise Collaboration Software” – Exploring a bit. Trying to learn about collaboration software for large companies.

“What is Collaboration Software” – Almost no conversions from this type of keyword. It’s completely exploratory.

Put a different way:

Bottom-of-funnel: Collaboration Software with Intuitive Learning
Middle-of-funnel: Enterprise Collaboration Software
Top-of-funnel: What is Collaboration Software

So why compact?

There’s a sort of magic to compact keywords.

This is why they are compact:

  • Very low competition
  • Low average words per page required to rank high, ~415
  • Low effort required; you can templatize and reuse sections across pages
  • Less domain authority and quality backlinks required to rank high
  • Lower search volumes

Because these keywords are so use/purchase-oriented, they tend to be very specific.

This high specificity gives them lower search volumes.

These lower search volumes give them lower competition.

And that’s the magic:

  • High converting
  • Less competitive
  • Requires less work

Waking up

Top-of-funnel, non-compact keywords, have higher search volumes and are recommended by most idiot/newbie SEOs for that reason.

These idiot SEOs think those keywords are sexy, when in reality they:

  • Require 2,000-3,000+ words to rank for
  • Don’t convert immediately
  • Are competitive

It gets worse…

ChatGTP, Gemini, and other generative AI chatbots are answering top/middle-of-funnel questions. Searchers are no longer going to blogs to get their answers.

Google’s recent update is prioritizing Reddit and Quora for top/middle-of-funnel content over blogs.

The thing that’s left is what digital marketers are calling “demand generation keywords.” I call them compact keywords. Bottom-of-funnel keywords. Purchase-intent keywords.

AND these keywords even work with AI chatbots.

If you ask ChatGPT for “collaboration software with intuitive learning” it will pattern match to the website that has a page for “collaboration software with intuitive learning.”

So it’s magic.

The last bastion of SEO. And one that’s not going to vanish any time soon.

The real trick to SEO isn’t head vs. long-tail keywords. It’s compact vs. non-compact. Purchase-intent vs. exploratory.

Target keywords that are down the funnel – compact keywords – and you will work less and make more.

BTW – if you need a complete basics of SEO article, this is the very first SEO resource I read. I recommend it highly to everybody who wants to learn the fundamentals.

Get Ed’s top-secret marketing hacks in your inbox every week 👇

Recent articles

Share this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Ed's top-secret marketing hacks in your inbox every week.

Edward Sturm's growth hacking newsletter