What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a process whereby a website’s content and architecture are optimized for search engine results so that the overall impact is an increase in both the number of site visitors and conversions from organic search traffic. B2B and B2C marketers and online business owners rely on SEO for organic traffic lead generation.
SEO can significantly increase the quality of leads that funnel through a website’s sales funnel. The reason why SEO generates high-quality leads is because of keyword targeting. Apart from architecture optimization, SEO also involves content optimization and keyword targeting. Now that we have a working idea of what SEO is and how it can help you generate high-quality leads for your business, let’s further explore how to generate leads with SEO.
Target Longtail Keywords Specifically for Buyer Intent
As a general SEO best practice, longtail keywords are seen as a secondary tier of keywords. This is because they are usually a part of nested keyword searches. A nested query in Layman’s is a long-winded search query. Long-tailed keywords tend to have a low search volume (less than a hundred a month). Targeting longtail keywords with a low search volume and high buy intent keywords can be a great approach to optimizing your pages for high-quality leads. An example to illustrate the above is a search query similar to this one: best Ethiopian restaurants in New York City, New York.
Create VIsitor-To-Hot Lead Landing Pages
Getting visitors to your website is the first step of the process. Once your optimized content gets visitors to your website, the next logical step is to convert those visitors. Instead of a hard sale, you want to offer them something of perceived value for free; this could be a trial offer or a discount on their first purchase. The purpose here is to get them to interact with your brand in a meaningful way and acquire the data to send them marketing material down the line.
Your Search Bar Is A Research Tool
It’s good practice to routinely use analytics to research keywords that your customers search for on your website; this could give you an idea of what they struggle to find. The information gleaned from this exercise can benefit you in two ways. Firstly, you will gain invaluable insight on what pages to optimize based on the search volume of specific keywords. Secondly, you will also get content ideas for new content found on the search queries your customers run on your website.
Update Your Website Content Regularly
Google Search Console is an excellent research tool for finding out what your potential customers are searching for online. Based on this information, you can optimize existing content or craft new content targeting new keywords related to your product/service. Another great benefit to doing the above exercise is an increase in backlinks. Your content will always be relevant when you use this tactic.
Optimize For Your Target Persona
A persona is essential and is the first thing you need to work on when formulating a content strategy for SEO purposes. Your persona is how you engage your potential customers and existing customers. A concise and consistent persona will not ensure a seamless transition from lead to customer for visitors landing on your website. Still, it also provides that you craft content that targets a specific audience consistently. Always engage with your customers and consistently offer them valuable resources such as free PDFs. The aim is to convince your visitors that your product or service will solve their problem(s).
Solve Problems With Your Content
To increase SEO lead generation, we recommend crafting content that answers a fundamental question or solves a challenge. The long-term goal is to build up a knowledge base that answers questions and solves problems typically experienced by your target audience.
Incorporate Visual Content into Your Overall Content Strategy
Written content is undoubtedly still crucial for your SERP rankings, but visual content continues to rise in popularity even in 2021, and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. We process visual information faster than text. It’s easier for people to remember information gleaned from an infographic than on a long-form written review. It is because of this reason why infographics and marketing videos are popular right now for driving traffic and lead conversion.
Optimize your Local SEO
It doesn’t make sense for a small business owner to use the same tactics a global company would use for SEO. Your primary concern as a small business is to get listed on Google My Business, making sure your profile is accurate and up to date. Secondly, you should work on getting listed on local online directories. This will increase your visibility for local search queries. Thirdly, you need to optimize your website content with local keywords. An example would have a CTA on an informative blog post that prompts the reader to contact your business which is conveniently located in their area.
Communicate In A language That Your Customer Understands
When crafting content for marketing purposes, you should always be purposeful and specific with your communication. Your aim is to use words that are specific to the language your audience speaks. By employing this tactic, you’re more likely to be discovered by potential leads from search engine results. Buyers looking for streetwear apparel are more likely to use streetwear in their search query, so optimizing your product pages with such a keyword can increase your chances of ranking for such a keyword.
Understand What Success Means For Your Ideal Customer
You must optimize your SEO content so that it communicates what success means for your ideal customer. For B2C sales, this could offer discounts and produce content that answers a question a buyer might have on a particular product that you happen to sell.
Create Content In Clusters
Content optimization isn’t just about optimizing your web pages with keywords. Search engines have evolved, and their metric systems look far beyond keywords when determining accurate search results. Search engines look for context and intent nowadays. What the above means is, you need to craft high-quality content in your area of expertise. To map out an effective content strategy, you need to look into creating content in clusters. This process involves thinking about the intent of your ideal customer and answering questions that they have related to your area of expertise or product.
Improve Your On-Page Optimization
We’ve covered page optimization in passing over the course of this article, but we haven’t delved deep into the topic. On-page optimization is an essential part of any SEO strategy; this is so because it helps search engines better understand your content which helps with SERP rankings. Search engine SERPs metrics weigh relevance and semantics with more bias than other ranking factors as of late. Optimizing your web pages with helpful content beyond text (images, videos, or audio) and optimizing your metadata (heading tags and structured data) will give you more control over your optimization endeavors instead of off-page optimization, which focuses more on backlinks.
Link building is a crucial part of your off-page optimization strategy. It can play a significant role in the growth of your website. Links benefit your website in three ways:
- They help to improve your website rank.
- They drive traffic to your website.
- They improve your brand exposure.
When building backlinks for your website, it’s essential to keep in mind that not all links hold equal value. A backlink from The Washington Post has more value than a backlink from a newly published website. We know that getting backlinks from marquee brands can be an impossible feat. As a rule of thumb, we advise you to try getting backlinks from websites with a higher domain authority than yours and work your way up to marquee brands.
Optimize Your Website For Mobile
Research conducted by CIODive shows that 70% of web traffic happens on mobile. Mobile usage is still on the rise, and as such, you must make sure that your website is optimized for mobile. A properly optimized website will keep you relevant for search engine SERPs, and this will ultimately lead to an increase in the number of potential leads that visit your website.
Update Old Content On Your Website
If your website already has a considerable amount of content, it makes more sense to update the content instead of adding new content. Search engines love fresh content, and updating your content means new content for search engines to crawl, which will lead to new leads for your sales pipeline. You can update your content by updating dated statistics and by updating information that is dated as well.
Audience Segmentation: A Deeper Look
Picture a theoretical scenario where your ideal customer is someone looking for a robust CRM system. How do you make it easier for your ideal customer to find you? Non-profits, B2C, and B2B organizations could all potentially be your client. How do you break down each segment? Is your CRM system explicitly designed for a specific industry? These are all questions that you should answer to understand your audience and fortify your audience segmentation strategy. The searches you optimize for and the content you share should target the audience you came up with after answering the questions we posed earlier.
Include FAQs On Your Content
People search for information using questions. FAQs are a great way to answer those questions. Your answers should include rich keywords that target your ideal customer. This strategy is a great way to include keywords that are used by hot leads with buy intent.
Use Social Media To Stay In The Loop With What Matters To Your Audience
Social media offers you a raw, unfiltered, and in-the-moment insight into what your audience is talking about presently. We recommend using social tools to monitor your brand, competitors, your audiences’ dilemmas, and rich keywords related to your product or service on social media.
Your customer mindsets and struggles are constantly changing; social media is a powerful tool for monitoring real-time changes experienced by your target audience.
Differentiate Your SERPs Listings
Getting one page from your website to rank on the first page of a search result is half the battle won; you still need to drive people to the other pages on your website. Schema markup is a tactic that you can employ to take up more real estate on a search result page. Google favors pages optimized with schema markup as it’s the type of experience that it wants to offer its users.
Title tags and Meta descriptions are another way that you can optimize pages for a higher SERP ranking. The former creates the first impression that a potential customer has of your website. Instead of writing a traditional meta description, use it as a way to ask a rhetorical question. Captivate your potential customer. Answer a burning question that they may have. Treat your SERPs listings as if they were ads to hook your lead right from the start.
Generate Demand By Using Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are long-form pieces of content that you offer potential customers in exchange for their contact information. Classic examples of lead magnets are white papers or ebooks. Content consumption is ever-evolving, and your lead magnets mustn’t be one-dimensional.
Here are some additional lead magnets that you can use to generate demand for your products or services:
- Online Courses
- Research reports
- Survey results
- Access to private VIP groups on Social Media
Use Behavioral Analytics
Heat mapping and behavioral analytics software help you identify where your website visitors spend most of their time on your website. Additionally, these software suites also help you see which elements your visitors spend most of their time on and which parts they click on when browsing the website. The insight gleaned from behavioral analytics software goes far beyond the information you would get from Google Analytics’ behavioral analytics like user path and exit rate. Behavioral analytics is a great way to identify friction points on your website and how you can strengthen your website’s architecture and content.
Share of Voice and Search Volumes
Share of voice is a combination of your SERP ranking and the projected search volume associated with that ranking. Companies and marketers alike usually assess their SEO success based on their SERPs rankings, but this ignores the importance of weighting among your targeted keywords. Bluntly put, specific keywords will significantly impact your share of voice compared to other keywords.
If a keyword has a high search volume, it will contribute more to your share of voice. Ranking as the fourth result for a keyword with 100 000 monthly Google Searches will translate into a higher share of voice than ranking first for a 1000 monthly keyword searches. Use search volume to guide you in your process of learning what matters most to your target audience.
SEO for lead generation is essential to any website marketing strategy. We’ve learned that the SEO journey does not stop at on-page and off-page optimization. We learned that SEO lead generation is an integrated marketing endeavor. The use of behavioral analytics and heat maps can help you identify friction points on your websites. We also learned that lead magnets could be a great way to generate product demand. Lastly, we also learned that social media is a great social listening tool and helps you stay current on your audience’s concerns.