Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s one thing that all for-profit businesses have in common. Their ultimate goal is to generate more leads, increase their profits and grow their organization.
A lead is a potential customer that you can convert into a sale, but what does that look like in the modern day? Is it someone who walks through your doors, someone who picks up the phone to call you or someone who shows interest when your sales team calls them?
In this day and age, many of your leads will be people who have clicked onto your website from a search engine. And this is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
SEO is all about optimizing your website so it appears at the top of relevant search results. With more than 1 billion people using Google services every month but less than 1 percent of users clicking past page one, it’s easy to see why SEO is so important to lead generation.
SEO leads are proven to convert too. Research by SEO software company BrightEdge shows that 40 percent of online revenue is captured by organic traffic.
So now that we know that SEO can generate leads and profits for your business, let’s find out how you should be using SEO to maximize your chances of success.
There are many ways to generate leads for your business. One of these methods is to have your sales team call potential prospects to sell your services. The problem with this approach is that in most cases, it’s not very well targeted. You don’t really know how interested the person on the other end of the phone is.
SEO, by its very nature, is targeted, and this all has to do with keywords.
When your potential customer goes to Google, they type in keywords to find the products, services, information, advice or answers they are looking for.
If your website is optimized with quality, relevant content that uses those keywords, it will show up towards the top of the search results. The user will find what they’re looking for and you will find a lead, and maybe even a sale.
To ensure your website shows up in relevant search results, you need to perform extensive keyword research. This involves finding a range of long key phrases, short key phrases and related terms that your customers use to find businesses like yours and embedding them into your website content.
One way you can find keywords is to type your service into Google and see the suggestions that come up. For more in-depth research, you’re going to want to use a keyword research tool.
For more information about keyword research and the various tools you can use, check out the Moz guide to SEO keyword research.
Simply having the right keywords isn’t enough to rank well in Google, let alone convert your lead into a sale. For that, you need high-quality content.
When it comes to lead generation and conversion, quality web content plays two roles. Firstly, you can’t just stuff low-quality content with keywords to rank well on Google. For SEO lead generation to be successful, you need to create content that has expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
Secondly, even if your low-quality content does rank, it’s not likely to be enough to convert visitors into paying customers. And if visitors quickly bounce off your page, this is a sign to Google to drop your ranking.
Generally speaking, there are two types of content you will create. There is top-level webpage content like your home, about, products, services and contact pages. Then there are blog posts, videos, buyer’s guides, case studies and other useful materials.
All the SEO content you write should contain relevant keywords and aim to solve the problems and anxieties of your target audience. It’s also a good idea to update your content with the latest information to maintain your ranking. For more information about SEO copywriting, check out this guide from Yoast.
So you’ve researched keywords and written great content, but let’s take a step back… When people search your keywords in Google, what’s going to make them click on your listing?
Just being at number one will get you a lot of clicks, but to draw attention at number two or three, you’re going to need great page titles and meta descriptions.
Page titles are the clickable links that appear below your URL and meta descriptions are the one or two sentences that appear under that.
When writing your page title, or title tag, follow these steps:
When writing your meta description, follow these steps:
If you want to generate and convert leads through SEO, a responsive, mobile-friendly website is a must. Research shows that over 60 percent of Google’s traffic comes from mobile devices, which means your website needs to be ready to display on a phone or tablet.
A responsive website design is one that grows and shrinks to match the size of the user’s screen without sacrificing functionality. This ensures your website will look great on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet or even a mobile phone. A responsive website will also load quicker on mobile devices and will be easy to navigate.
On the other hand, a difficult to navigate, unattractive and unresponsive website will scare away any potential leads who do visit your site, as well as sending your rankings down, making it harder for other prospects to find you.
If you’ve followed SEO best practices and your campaign still isn’t generating leads and revenue, an SEO audit might be right for you. There are plenty of SEO audits available online and free DIY SEO audit tools.
Tools like this will analyze your URL and give you insights into what’s working and what’s not with your SEO. From here, you can start taking steps to improve your organic traffic, keywords, website user experience and more.
If you’re a business on the internet, you can’t afford not to have SEO, and with the 5 steps above, you can be well on your way to generating new leads online. To find yourself on the first page of Google and find more customers for your business, get started with SEO today.