Consumer Buying Funnel And PPC Advertising

For most of us (we the internet marketers) PPC advertising is no more than click and conversion game. Getting your ad displayed for a search term, get it clicked by searcher and get him on your landing page to convert is all about PPC advertising. But have you ever thought (the other way…), would a customer have enough knowledge and faith in you, your product, and more… to make purchase when you are getting him on your website using your best PPC Ads. Most of the time answer is NO. And if it is “no” for your case too, you are wasting money on bidding high valued keyword PPC Ads, because they are not getting customers rather getting just visitors.

Are we missing something or is there any gap in our advertising campaign. Of course yes! Most of us not aligning our PPC advertising campaign with Consumer Buying Funnel. Oh God, what is this, Google never told about it in PPC best practice.

No, it’s not the Google who is supposed to tell about it, rather as marketer we need to follow marketing best practice for PPC advertising. For those who already know about the buying funnel, just align your PPC campaign with it, and  for others please read the post, know about it, and start practicing it for performing PPC campaigns.


Consumer Buying Funnel

As shown in the above image, consumer buying funnel has following five stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Learn
  4. Shop
  5. Buy

Before explaining the stages in the buying funnel, I would like to share a formal definition of it to help learning in a formal and clear way:

A buying funnel is a term to describe the entire buying process for a consumer. It is a description that involves all the steps in the purchasing process.The buying funnel is an important concept because it helps online businesses understand the way visitor think, so that they can tailor marketing campaign and have a better conversions.

Now let’s look at the step in buying funnel and its importance for PPC advertising.


It is the stage when consumer has its first encounter with the service or product your company is involved in. At this stage consumer want to know general information about the product to get aware about it.

A consumer will not buy from you until he knows about your product, and as a marketer it is your duty to give such information and educate him. This is the stage where consumers are more interested in knowledge acquisition rather buy. But you should not ignore this stage, because it is the moment when you can showcase your product and make lasting impressing by providing meaningful information the consumer is looking for.

At this stage keywords are broad and does not represent specific product features or benefits. These keywords are usually of high volume, have low competition and relatively very low conversion rate. Keywords such as computer, laptop, tablets, smart phone etc falls under this category.

You should not ignore the importance of this stage just because of low competition or low conversion, rather you should take this stage as opportunity to build brand awareness with low-cost advertising.


At this stage consumer knows about your product. Now it is the time when you need to showcase benefits of your product to generate interest in consumer’s mind. Here you needs to focus and highlight features of your product, its benefits and how it can make consumer’s life better. It is the stage where a consumer starts to develop psychological need for a product, and you should grab this opportunity to put best of your product in front of consumer to boost this psychological want.

In nut shell this is the stage of buying funnel where your advertising campaign should focus on highlighting product benefits for consumers so they want the product to make their life better.


It is the stage where consumer knows about your product and has interest in it. Now consumer want to know more about your product and its features.

At this stage consumer tends to compare products and use your industry jargon as keywords. Consumer at this stage is keen to know details of the product features in a bit deeper level.

Keywords at this stage includes brand names, product features, product part names and specifications. Your advertising campaign at this stage should focus on providing detailed and enough information about the product to help consumer make informed buying decision.


This is the stage where consumer understands enough about the product. Consumer at this stage made his mind to buy the product and starts to compare similar products to make better buying decision.

Search keywords at this stage are very specific to product and it’s features which represents a certain level of knowledge the consumer have about the product. Here as a marketer you should help consumer to help compare similar products and at the same time showcasing the best of your product features to keep the consumer with you.


Now at this stage consumer finally made his mind to buy the product. Only thing remaining now is about, from where and how to buy the product.

While make this buying decision consumers generally looks for things like price, warranties, shipping, support and service etc. You should help consumer at this stage by providing simple buying work flows, clear terms &conditions and ease of access.

Keywords at this stage includes brand names, product numbers, product part names etc.


PPC campaigns are not just click and capture game. You need to understand consumer behavior and need to align PPC campaigns to it. Getting consumer from the top of the buying funnel to the end of it requires targeted campaign for each of the buying funnel stages.

Please share your thought about the relationship of PPC campaigns and buying funnel. And how advertising should reap benefits from this knowledge.

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About Abhay

I am computer science graduate and software engineer. Loves to research and share my acquired knowledge with like minded people.