The TOFU/MOFU/BOFU model isn’t just useful for sales funnels—you can also use these tiers to organize different levels of content to help create authority in your site’s niche.
Creating tiered content this way can streamline the implementation of a hierarchical, content silo structure.
Basically, you’re establishing your website as an authority to Google, while simultaneously showcasing your brand’s authority to your visitors and guiding them through the visitor-to-customer pipeline.
Generally, higher level silo content will match up with the needs of visitors who are higher in the sales funnel (TOFU stage), and vice versa. And as they continue their journey to becoming customers, they’re also going to be looking for more specific, detailed information (MOFU). Once they’re ready for lower level silo content, they should be moving to the bottom of your sales funnel (BOFU).
The TOFU/MOFU/BOFU funnel model may not always line up on a perfect 1:1 track with the content silo model, but there’ll almost always be a significant overlap.
In case you’re not already familiar with TOFU/MOFU/BOFU, here’s the run-down on these three levels of the sales conversion funnel:
- The “Top Of the Funnel”
- Your visitors and potential customers are just looking around for information, or possibly shopping around. Their interest in your content is already there, but they’re not necessarily interested in a specific product. This is the beginning of the visitor’s journey to becoming a customer.
- Main Goals: Get their attention by providing value. Become visible to them—make them aware of your brand. Start to establish trust and showcase authority in your industry. You don’t try to pressure them into buying anything at this point.
- What to include at this stage of the funnel: Broad industry knowledge
- The “Middle Of the Funnel”
- Your visitors and potential customers at this stage have a more developed, clear interest in what your content is about. Topics and information are more specialized here than in the TOFU stage.
- Main Goals: Cultivate a relationship with the visitor by providing them with more detailed, high-quality content and an easy, straightforward user experience on your website. Prove your authority to them. Streamline the journey to becoming a customer—remove barriers without giving visitors a hard sell. (Depending on your business, you may capture leads at this stage in order to direct them to BOFU content.)
- What to include at this stage of the funnel: Detailed industry knowledge, an introduction to your brand
- The “Bottom Of the Funnel”
- Visitors at this stage of the content funnel are nearly paying customers. They’ve already done their research by this point. The funnel has narrowed down visitors from TOFU and MOFU and people who make it to BOFU content can be considered highly-interested customers.
- Main Goals: Turn visitors/leads into customers. They’re already interested—so focus on making their path to buying as clear, quick, and error-free as possible.
- What to include at this stage of the funnel: Specific industry knowledge, a clear Call To Action
So… what does this look like when you’re organizing content to create niche authority?
TOFU: “Why is Content Important for SEO?” — A broad, industry-wide article with general information.
MOFU: “Best Content Strategies And How We Use Them” — An article with more specific information, that includes a formal introduction to your brand.
BOFU: “How Content Funnels Lead to Greater Conversion”
BOFU: “Internal Linking That Converts”
BOFU: “Making Effective Calls to Action”
These three bottom articles all contain links to service landing pages/calls to action—(i.e. Buy Now, Hire Us Now, Contact Us Now, Request a Quote, Schedule Now, etc.)
What do the search engines see?
Siloing your content is a powerful way to build authority on niche topics—and ultimately rank.
By hybridizing the content funnel/content silo models, in many cases, you can help Google and other search engines understand your site’s structure and recognize how valuable your site’s content is, and guide your visitors into becoming paying customers at the same time. I’m not saying it’s optimal for every single website in every single niche, but most of the time it’s a good way to do things.
You can visualize it as a funnel, a silo, a pyramid, an inverse pyramid, a flywheel if you’re HubSpot—at the end of the day, we’re talking about the exact same thing: Organizing content so that there are a couple tiers of supporting pages, all leading to your BOFU content, and with BOFU pages linked back to the TOFU pages.
It doesn’t have to be complicated—if you’re starting a new site, just establish clean funnels/silos at the beginning and stick with them.
Hey, if you’re planning your content funnels at this stage at all, and not just throwing up content randomly on the fly, you’re already ahead of most sites out there.
That probably won’t be enough to dominate the competition, but it should be a little encouraging.
If, on the other hand, like many businesses out there, you have an existing site that was built without content funnels/silos in mind… reorganizing and restructuring probably sounds…
Yes, it’s a ton of work—yes, it requires time, planning, and know-how.
But the fruits of the labor are worth it—Building up your site’s authority with content funnels and high-quality, engaging, useful content is how you rank—organically—without spending a ton of money running ads.