When it comes to developing a digital marketing strategy, you need it to be as comprehensive as possible. Many facets go into marketing, which can make it difficult to decide where to spend your dollars to ensure maximum exposure to potential customers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the aspect of your marketing that, if effective, will get more people to visit your website. Lead generation is another important part of your marketing. It can work hand-in-hand with SEO to gain valuable customer prospects that will be motivated to purchase your product or service.
At first glance, you might think they’re the same thing, but they are different. SEO is strictly geared towards getting your website to appear on the first page of search engine rankings pages (SERPs). Lead generation is aimed at earning interest in your brand once a visitor gets to your website, or interacts with your social media. It’s important to remember that even though they are different, SEO can help drive leads for you, which will hopefully become sales and revenue. Here’s how.
Focus On What Users Intend To Do
To get really great leads through SEO, you need to understand the intent of the users who are making the searches related to your industry or sector. This involves using keywords that reflect why and how people are making searches on the internet. Users are either looking for information, want to complete some sort of action, buy a product or service, or find a webpage. If you choose your keywords correctly, you will shoot up the rankings and find motivated users.
For visitors who are looking to get information on something, you may want to choose question-based keywords. For example, they might type a question into the search bar, such as “how to replace a drain from a bathroom sink.” They will visit your site looking for that information, which you can provide with good content. However, you can also then hopefully get them into purchasing something from your websites, such as a replacement drain, a tool, or some other related product.
By always focusing on what users are intending to do, you will be able to better develop your keyword strategy to bring in visitors who are more likely to convert. This also extends to how people are searching. Estimates show that up to 72% of internet users have used voice search at least once, and that number is expected to grow over time. When someone searches using their phone or a voice assistant, they use different phrasing than when they are typing. They tend to ask questions, instead of typing in a disjointed series of words. By using question-based and long-tail keywords, you can capture those voice-searchers and improve your rankings.
Create Great Content
There are a lot of technical aspects that go into good SEO. However, the real heavy lifting is done by good content. You can no longer just write anything and make sure to include some keywords. Your content has to go beyond that. Not only because search engine algorithms have gotten more sophisticated, but also because you want to appeal to motivated customers. You already saw the example involving replacing a sink drain. To capture the customer who is searching for that information, you need to solve their problem. Not only might you have a replacement drain to offer, but you should also have an explanation of how to do it.
The best content, though, can go beyond that. It will reach customers with every intent on the spectrum. You can have content that solves problems, but also content that leads customers to the information they need makes it easy to make a purchase and allows them to interact with your brand. That’s why long-form content has become so popular for digital marketers in recent years. It provides enough room to delve deep into topics and serve both the customers’ needs as well as SEO needs.
However, what you can also do is optimize a sales landing page. This means putting content on a landing page to pick up those searchers who are motivated to buy something. If they land on your homepage, or another page not related to sales, they may end up clicking away if they don’t see what they want right away. However, if you have optimized your landing page, they can go directly there, and make a quick purchase immediately while they are at their most motivated.
Moving a user from being a website visitor to a customer means building trust. They will not spend their hard-earned money with you if they don’t think that you are a reputable company, or if they don’t think you are one of the best at what you do. Building trust happens in a variety of ways. If you have great content that solves problems, then that will build trust. If your site is a go-to place for answers and information, then you will be seen as an authority.
This is also beneficial for SEO purposes. Search engine algorithms can detect when content is relevant and authoritative and will reward websites accordingly. To build trust for algorithms, make sure that you have a strong backlink profile. If you are unsure of what steps to take first when doing this, read through a few link-building case studies and apply what you learned. The bottom line is that by making yourself reputable in the eyes of search engines, you will also look more reputable in the eyes of website visitors, which will help with lead generation.
Audit Your Website
One of the things that users are looking for is a quality experience on the websites they visit. If your website offers a poor user experience, then you will lose a large portion of those visitors very quickly. If your user experience is substandard, then your SEO rankings will suffer, too.
Two of the biggest culprits for losing visitors are slow loading speeds and a website that isn’t optimized for mobile use. A whopping 90% of people in the world have used their mobile devices to access the internet. If your website is difficult to use or read on a mobile phone, then those users, potentially 90% of your audience, will click away quickly. Slow loading speeds will have similar consequences. Nobody wants to wait for a page to load in this age of instant gratification, and they will click away and do something else instead.
It’s important to audit your website for these issues. Most website hosting services can easily optimize sites for mobile use. View your website as a visitor to see how fast every page loads. Several online tools will test your website’s page speeds and offer suggestions as to how to make your pages load faster. Take advantage and improve the experience for all of our users so that they will convert to leads and hopefully to customers.
SEO is a big part of any marketing strategy, but never forget that the ultimate goal of SEO is to generate leads and in turn sales. Luckily, your SEO efforts and lead generation efforts can work hand in hand to provide a boost to both. Incorporate these strategies into your marketing plan so that you reach as many potential customers as possible and grow your business.
About the Author
Milo Forester works as a content editor at Sure Oak, a small USA-based digital marketing company lead by Tom Casano. Previously he worked with many different websites and companies with regards to their content and marketing strategies.