By targeting less competitive terms, you can generate tons of cheap traffic (as low as a penny a click) to fill the top of your funnel. Top of funnel tactics generally include channels like native advertising and paid social. And those are great, but you should at least experiment with paid search.
How to Fill the Top of Your Funnel With Paid Search Ads
First, you have to determine what keywords are worth targeting. Use a tool like Ahrefs to see what you’re ranking for currently, because these are the terms for which you’ll have the best quality score. So you should be able to get clicks for these terms cheaper than others.
Find Your Keywords
Next, use Google’s Keyword Planner to see which are the least competitive.
Put together as big a list as you can. You need to target a lot of keywords, because you’re going to set your bids very low. That means you won’t win a large percentage of clicks, so you need to be in as many auctions as possible.
Create Your Ads
Create your ads, and make sure you use manual bidding with Enhanced CPC turned off. Otherwise, Google might raise your bids without you knowing why. Ostensibly because they think you’re more likely to get a conversion, but this isn’t about conversions. This is about traffic. I’d use broad match modified keywords to generate as much traffic as possible. Also, considering opting into Google Search Partners and Display traffic to get the cheapest clicks possible.
Make sure you’re not using the standard negative keywords. Terms that are generally PPC no-nos can work great to fill the top of your funnel. I’m talking research-based terms, terms including the words “free” or “cheap,” and anything else that people would be searching for at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.
Choose Your Landing Pages
Then, use the pages most relevant for those terms as your landing pages. Use the pages that are listed as ranking for the terms in Ahrefs (probably blog posts).
Make sure you’ve included a lot of relevant internal links in the blog posts, and do anything else you can think of to reduce your bounce rate and make sure you keep the traffic as long as you can.
This will build your credibility and brand awareness. By the time they’re ready for Decision stage content, you’ll have convinced them that you’re a legitimate option.
Don’t Forget to Capture Those Leads!
Before setting your ads live, add links to lead magnets throughout the post. I use Beacon to make my lead magnets. They also include lead capture forms. I pepper my posts with those.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go live. Make sure you monitor your search terms report for new keywords to target (and keywords to exclude). If something pops up that you’ve haven’t written on specifically, consider writing a new blog post about it so that you have something to link to.
You can also use your search terms report to find keywords you can use to beef up the SEO for your current posts, adding them in as appropriate and including new information where necessary.