SEO For Lead Generation
Search engine optimization (SEO) and lead generation go hand-in-hand with creating an effective internet marketing plan to grow your business. Effective SEO will help bring prospects searching for your product or service to your company's website. Get them to contact you, download a white paper, or opt-in to an e-newsletter, and you've got lead generation working for you. You need those leads for your business to gain new customers and thrive.
The primary goal of many websites is to generate fresh leads. And a well-designed SEO strategy will accomplish this goal with ease. A few minor tweaks to your business’ site and your visitor count will skyrocket, increasing your lead generation in the process.
What Are Leads?
When people show interest in your products or services, they become potential customers, which is what a lead is. These leads will transform into loyal customers if you handle the lead effectively. BANG! can help you generate more leads by implementing expert SEO strategies. We are a full-service digital marketing agency that uses SEO and lead generation that can help grow your business.
Search Engine Optimization Steps
Keywords Are Where It Starts
Keyword intent research isn't a buzzword anymore but a fundamental tool for modern SEO efforts. Not so long ago, most marketers were content with searching keywords, analyzing their top rankings, and generating content. Modern SEO strategies, however, involve a deeper, more strategic focus on user intent.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information.
Where are these people in their buyer's journey?
What are their goals?
What are they looking for?
What problems are they trying to solve?
By understanding what these people want and how they want to obtain it, you can create content that satisfies their needs, drives traffic, and converts viewers into leads. Think about what stage of the sales funnel your prospects are in.
While doing keyword research, the keyword phrases used by your potential customers may vary. Make sure you address those multiple phrases based on their current location in the sales funnel.
In the digital marketing world, we talk a lot about ''user intent'' – what consumers want to achieve when they search for something on a search engine. However, simple ''user intent'' isn't enough for many sites. For digital marketers, harnessing what Google knows about a user and using it to your advantage is what it's all about.
Keep in mind that optimizing for user intent means that, instead of blindly following a set of rules to ''get to the top of the pile,'' sites should focus instead on understanding their users' needs.
Keyword Research and Selection Can Make or Break Your Site
Selecting which keywords to target for your lead generation campaign is one of the most crucial aspects of SEO. As the phrase "search engine optimization" suggests, choosing the right keywords is, arguably, the most important part of optimizing your website.
Keyword research involves identifying how your ideal customer would search for your product or service. Which then determines what keywords you want your website to rank for. Based on your keyword research, select search terms that align with your target audience’s questions or challenges. These keyword phrases will become your lead generation SEO title and the page titles of your blog posts, articles, and web pages.
You want to choose search phrases, actually being used by your target customer. For example, if your website promotes a service, the target search phrase might be "Phoenix SEO Company." After conducting keyword research, you might discover that the phrase "Phoenix SEO Agency" is also relevant.
You might be tempted to use that particular keyword simply because you personally like it better, but your SEO strategy will produce better results if you choose the specific keyword "Phoenix SEO Company" because Google's keyword planner reveals that Company is searched 210 times per month, where Agency is only searched for 70 times per month, or 1/3 as often. SEO for Lead Generation is going to be the most effective when you target and get ranked for the relevant keyword phrases that are searched for the most often.
That being said, when first starting SEO on your website, you'll find it easier to rank for less competitive keyword phrases until your website's domain authority or authority score has risen to be close to your competitors.
These aren't issues you need to worry about if you let BANG! find your keywords and target phrases. That is our specialty.
Site Structure Based on Keyword Research
Know that you know what important keywords to include in your site, and make sure the website's structure also supports those keywords. We call this SEO 1st Website Design.
Having silos of information, or topic clusters, i.e., a top-level navigation menu for a topic with additional content underneath it, is a good plan. For example, on our website design and development website, we have Web Design, Portfolio, and SEO as top-level navigation choices of topics for our site visitors. Below each of those, we have helpful, related information with content subtopics. Think of this as a topic cluster that explains our services in great detail to educate and inform our prospective clients.
The very top-level link in our navigation serves as a cluster map. Clicking on that top item leads to a page where we summarize and link to each additional page in the topic cluster.
Content Strategies and Types of Content for Lead Generation Purposes
People go to Google to find answers to a question. It may be "Where's the closest coffee shop?" or it might be "How do I use SEO for B2B Lead Generation?". Each of these examples needs different forms of content to best help the searcher.
For "closest coffee shop" a list of shops and a map are probably the best solution... i.e., Google or Apple Maps. This would be the completely wrong type of content for our 2nd query though.
For a how-to article, the best content will likely be a long-form piece of content with many steps, bullet points, and frequently asked questions answered. Lots of headings to break each component of the process down into easily digestible pieces.
What Kind of Content Works Best
Keep in mind that digital content comes in many flavors. Sometimes text is the best approach, but be sure to include lots of photos and graphics to add visual interest. Again, for a "how to" piece, photos showing how it's done, screenshots of the steps, etc.
Video content is another approach, especially if you target a younger generation that is accustomed to watching TV vs. reading. Podcasts are another option as well and have great appeal for people on the go.
Providing the type of content people want to engage with will dramatically increase your lead generation results and get you their contact information.
Original Content Only!
Remember, whatever your company’s content, make sure to create content yourself or hire someone to develop it for you. Your content needs to be made up of informative pages, be unique, memorable, and not plagiarized from another source. Major search engines like Google have nearly the whole Internet indexed. If you copy and paste, stealing content from someone else, Google will know and not rank you for it.
Upgrading existing content already on your website is another great approach. Take existing entry-level content and expand it to enhance your business visibility online. We've seen Google trends change, and longer, more thorough content seems to rank better. Google says the length of content or the number of words isn't a ranking factor. However, in our experience, longer content ranks better. Rewriting, providing a more thorough discussion of a topic, and lengthening older pages and blog posts are easy ways to increase your search rankings and capture new site visitors with your lead generation strategy.
Lead Magnets for Content
One very effective approach is to provide downloadable, helpful content, often as a .pdf file, after filling out a contact form on your company website. Often called a lead magnet, i.e. I'll give you something useful for free if you provide me with your contact information. The free item could also be a promotional product with your company brand on it, such as a pen or smartphone stand. Remember, though, it has to have enough value that your prospect will share information about themselves to get it.
Remember, our whole goal here is lead generation, so we want to get the visitors’ info by having them fill out a contact form with the readers' contact information in exchange for your informative content assets. We recommend only collecting basic information in your form. The more questions you ask, the less likely it will be filled out.
Ideas For Lead Magnets...
Definitions of key lingo in your industry. Does your industry use a lot of acronyms... SEO is an example. Providing a handy reference to all the terminology can be a great way to connect when people search.
Buying guides that compare competitors' products or services to yours. Software companies often use this approach to compare features. We've used this comparison chart for our SEO Packages page.
Ten questions to ask before purchasing "X." For example, we have a blog post about "Questions to ask when hiring a web designer."
These are all good examples of valuable lead magnets that provides added value to your readers and should be part of your lead generation strategies.
Lead Capture Software For Your Website
Depending on the platform your website is on, WordPress, Drupal, SquareSpace, etc., you may need additional software or a plugin to do lead capture.
Our CMS (Content Management System) has a built-in function that allows any page to be a landing page for lead capture and also facilitates having a .pdf file either for direct download or, better yet, sending an email to the prospect with a link, thereby ensuring a valid email has been supplied for lead generation purposes.
How Long Does SEO Take?
When will your content start ranking and show up in the search results? How long SEO takes to work depends on how frequently Google crawls your site, how many inbound links go directly to that new content, and how good the content is.
If you produce high volumes of content and Google crawls frequently, you'll typically see it getting indexed in a couple of weeks and ranking in a month for a specific search term. Maybe not ranking well out of the gate, but done properly, top 100 in the organic search engine results. This assumes you have a properly optimized website without site performance errors.
SEO tactics can generate traffic to your site and leads for your sales team by providing visitors with information that fulfills their desired needs or answers their questions about your products or services.
Organic SEO Traffic is the Goal
Organic traffic is achieved when keyword searches relevant to your products and or services start ranking on the 1st page of Google's search results. So that's the first goal of SEO for lead generation - rank in the search engines for the keywords that relate to your product, service, or industry.
Then, using SEO analytics tools like semrush, you can monitor where you are ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for keywords relevant to your business.
Or, instead of trying to learn SEO strategies in a short amount of time or paying huge amounts of money for analytic software and programs, have BANG! handle your SEO to generate leads for your business, which would be a more cost-effective and better use of your time.
Websites that perform well in organic rankings get the most traffic. They're ranked highly in search engines because Google's algorithm has decided they are the best sources of information about the topic people searched for.
The people that click on your websites, blogs, and landing pages will turn into your leads. Whether they're subscribing to your newsletter or filling in a contact form, they're interested in your content and your products or services.
SEO can help you generate leads by organically driving traffic to your website. An optimized blog, for example, can help attract new visitors to your website.
Here are a few ways you can improve your SEO for lead generation:
Increase Your Backlinks - One of your first steps is to build links that point back to your website. The more links you have from other relevant sites, the higher you'll rank in the search engines.
Backlinks are crucial to getting traffic to your website or blog. The more people that click on, or share those links, the more authority it gives your site. That will make a search engine believe your website is an authority on whatever products or services you sell.
Unfortunately, it isn't easy to generate sufficient backlinks to get high traffic. What needs to be done, instead of focusing on only acquiring backlinks, is to focus on creating high-quality, informative content that others will link to. You need content site visitors will actually want to read, but balancing SEO optimization within that content. Always keep it sounding natural. There's nothing more off-putting than an oddly placed word or phrase in otherwise great content.
Create A Great Content Offering - Rather than simply focusing on increasing traffic, try developing content that will provide value to them. For example, review the keyword research you've done to see what questions your target audience is looking to answer. Or what tools are they looking for to make their jobs easier? This thinking will lead you to topics your customers are interested in. Create it and implement an SEO campaign to make it easier for them to find it.
Aim For Rich Snippets On Blog Posts - When you create blog posts, you should try to include content that Google may use for rich snippets. These microdata "tags" describe essential elements of a particular blog post and make it easier for search engines to understand what the blog post is about. If you succeed here, your listings in the search results will stand out from the competition.
How Do You Know Your SEO Campaign And Lead Generation Strategy Is Working?
Early on, it's tough to tell if your lead generation and SEO strategies are working, but here are three ways to tell.
Using an SEO platform like semrush you can monitor where you rank. If your SEO is working, your rankings will improve over time. You'll need to get to page one of the SERPs before the qualified lead generation opportunities present themselves though.
Review your Google Analytics information, or for BANG! Client's, your website traffic reports. As your search rankings improve, you'll get more traffic. Again, you'll see this before the lead-generation activities kick in.
Your lead generation strategies are working when you are getting a steady stream of new prospects converting and filling out their information. It takes time, but your patience and persistence with your SEO campaign will be rewarded.
Alternatively, Hire A SEO & Lead Generation Company
SEO is a foreign concept to most businesses, and that's okay. That doesn't mean you don't deserve to have a successful business. Any shrewd business person knows that if you require talent you don't have, you hire someone for the role.
Word of caution: Make sure you hire someone that understands how SEO and lead generation work today. The old-school way to SEO was cramming keywords into the site's content. Search engines have evolved, and keyword stuffing no longer works as a ranking tactic.
Old-school SEO tactics also included creating link farms and getting a huge quantity of unrelated links to a website. That tactic also doesn't work today.
At BANG! we understand the intricate nuances of SEO optimization (spelled search engine optimisation by some) to increase traffic and lead capture strategies. You won't need any additional lead capture software, as that's built into our website design platform.
With us handling your existing content or creating new content and starting an SEO campaign, you'll get better quality traffic and increase the number of leads for your sales team, even if that team is just you.
About the Author
Brian Rideout, Chief Pixel Pusher of BANG! Web Site Design is an industry veteran (sounds better than old guy right?) who started building websites in 1996 when dial-up, modems, Netscape, and 640 x 480 resolution monitors with 256 colors were state of the art.
We stumbled into SEO by "accident" when we got a client ranked #2 on Yahoo (remember, this was the 90's) for an extremely competitive keyword phrase, and they sold out of all the products they had. With a little reverse engineering, we learned what Yahoo was looking for and applied our SEO experience to other clients and then to Google when they became the dominant search engine.
We continued to build websites for small business's in the Phoenix market as well as companies across the country. Our approach of "SEO 1st Website Design" has resulted in many businesses, particularly in the building trades such as contractors and plumbers, as well as law firms, to rank at the top of Google's results which keeps our clients supplied with a constant stream of new customers.
We continue to provide website design, website development, hosting, SEO services, and digital marketing for Phoenix companies. More information about the company can be found on our About Us page. Click the following link for examples of our award-winning website design work.