The key to generating leads for your business is to be present when customers are looking for information. And that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) lead generation comes in. Whether you’re selling to individual consumers or B2B decision makers, your business needs to be in front of customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
In this article, I’ll explain how SEO helps your site appear more prominently in search engine results when your audience is researching products and services. I’ll also explore strategies that can put your website to work, generating leads and bolstering the efforts of your sales team.
How Can SEO Impact Lead Generation?
Nearly 60% of shoppers use Google to research products they plan to buy. B2B buyers are following that trend — when making purchasing decisions, they spend about 27% of their time researching online and only 5% to 6% of their time meeting with any single vendor.
SEO is the process of modifying your website so it’s discoverable in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and reaches your target audience. The process of SEO lead generation looks something like this:
- Improving your site’s ranking in search results for keywords your audience uses
- Publishing informative content to bring traffic to your site
- Providing superior user experience to engage qualified leads and pull them into your marketing funnel
- Using strong calls to action (CTAs) such as free trials, demos, and newsletter subscriptions to capture contact information and support your sales efforts
8 Ways To Leverage SEO for Lead Generation
To generate SEO leads, you’ll need to improve your site’s technical performance, add content that’s relevant to your audience, and give the right signals to search engines so they can index and rank your web pages appropriately.
Below are eight SEO best practices to bring potential buyers to your site and build leads for your sales team.
1. Conduct a Website Audit
The first step in SEO for business growth is to get your website performing at its best. Begin with a comprehensive site audit that measures its overall SEO health. There are more than 200 Google ranking factors — the more you satisfy, the better the chance of your site climbing the SERPs.
Google’s exact mix of ranking factors remains a mystery since it’s proprietary information, so an SEO audit covers industry standard best practices related to your site’s technical health, user experience, content quality, on-page SEO such as page titles and descriptions, and off-page SEO such as backlinks.
While this may seem daunting, audits help you create a plan. You can prioritize the most important improvements, such as page speed and site errors. No matter how great your content is, you won’t gain visibility and convert leads if your site is slow, full of dead links, or unsecure.
2. Find Relevant Keywords With Keyword Research
SEO lead generation also requires you to zero in on the search terms your customers are entering into Google and the type of information they’re expecting to find.
Use in-depth buyer personas to understand their needs and pain points, and create an initial list of keywords they might use at different stages of the buyer’s journey. A keyword research tool can help you flesh out the list, bring up related keywords you might not have thought of, and look at important keywords your competitors are ranking for.
You can then decide which keywords to prioritize based on the following:
- Relevance: How important the keyword is to your audience and your business
- Search volume: The number of times users search for the keyword in a given timeframe
- Keyword difficulty: How challenging it is to rank on the first page of the SERPs for the keyword
Keywords and Search Intent
To get SEO leads, you’ll want to bring in buyers at all stages of their journey, including those who are:
- Beginning to research their problem (awareness stage).
- Determining which product will solve their problem (consideration stage).
- Choosing where to purchase (conversion stage).
Successful lead generation SEO involves understanding search intent and the reason why someone is using a keyword. You can then create appropriate content to answer their query.
The four main types of search intent are:
- Informational: The user wants to answer a question, such as, “When should my baby start solid food?”
- Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or page and enters the phrase into a search engine rather than typing the entire URL.
- Commercial: The user is exploring options to make a decision. Commercial keywords might include “best,” “compare,” “versus,” and “reviews.”
- Transactional: The user is ready to purchase and they’re deciding where to buy the product or service. The keywords might combine brand names, services, and products with words such as “trial,” “free consultation,” “near me,” “where to buy,” “affordable,” “promo code,” or “reserve.” These keywords vary depending on your niche.
If you’re prioritizing bottom-of-the-funnel customers that your sales team can follow up with, focus on high-intent keywords so your web page is visible when searchers are further along the buyer journey.
3. Publish Great Content on Your Blog
Once you pin down the keywords your target customers are using, develop useful and informative content to steer them to your website. There’s a lot of competition for clicks in the SERPs, so to generate leads, you’ll need to publish high-quality content that readers will find valuable.
The better your content aligns with your target audience, the more likely you’ll satisfy their needs. For each piece of content, consider who you’re trying to reach and match the content to their search intent. Someone using broad, informational search terms isn’t ready to read testimonials and case studies, for example. Create content briefs to ensure your writers execute on your plan.
Use effective CTAs matched to the stage of the buyer journey to gather information for your sales department. Free trials, complimentary consultations, ebooks, and white papers can help generate SEO leads.
It’s helpful to put a framework into place to ensure consistency and optimize your blog’s effectiveness.
- Plan your content in advance. Use an editorial calendar to manage topics, allow for seasonality, and publish regularly to keep your site fresh.
- Establish an SEO checklist. Follow best practices for headers, page titles, descriptions, keyword placement, and formatting to improve visibility and make content easy to consume.
- Link strategically. Consider what your reader wants to know next to guide them to other content on your website.
- Regularly refresh content. Update and optimize existing content routinely.
4. Use Local SEO
Businesses that want to generate leads within a specific geographic region need local SEO strategies to surface in Google. Customers look online to find nearby locations, confirm business hours, and compare reviews.
- Claim your Google Business Profile and ensure your name, address, and phone number are correct so you can appear in Maps and the Google three-pack.
- Optimize your Business Profile by publishing high-quality images, videos, FAQs, product descriptions, and updates to provide customers with as much information as possible directly on the search results page.
- Research geographic keywords to incorporate into website content, such as “marketing agency in Georgetown.” Don’t forget to add these to title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. These can also be used to create additional location specific pages.
- Deliver quality service and encourage customers to leave reviews. Respond to negative reviews promptly.
- List your company in online business directories to build local citations. Exchange links or guest posts with other small businesses that have a similar target audience. Consider sponsoring community events for additional online links.
5. Create a Link-Building Strategy
When it comes to SEO and lead generation, backlink building is a critical strategy since links from authoritative sites improve your search ranking.
Here’s how it works: Google considers links that you earn from other websites as signals that you’re publishing trustworthy content, which gives it more confidence to display your page higher in the SERPs. The more inbound links your site has, the better — as long as they’re from respected sources. Google also looks at the number of unique referring domains, so aim to secure quality backlinks from a variety of websites.
The link-building methods below can drive leads to your site and improve your SEO:
- Guest posts. Reach a wider audience by creating content for trusted websites with similar target audiences. You can usually place a link in your guest post to bring in leads.
- Broken link building. The internet is littered with broken links to pages that have been moved or deleted. Suggest a link to your website as a replacement. SEO agencies can often perform this at scale.
- Resource link building. Identify important online resource pages in your niche and ask the site owner to add your content as helpful information for their readers.
6. Optimize Your Website Speed
A sluggish site discourages visitors from exploring your offerings and reduces the likelihood of converting them into customers. In fact, research shows that as page load time increases from one second to three seconds, users are about one-third more likely to bounce.
Before you lose the valuable organic traffic produced through your SEO efforts, improve your page and site speed through:
- Image compression and optimization.
- Elimination of unnecessary page redirects.
- Reduction in the number of plugins.
- Use of content delivery networks.
- Deferred loading of images that users won’t see immediately, such as the ones below the fold that require scrolling.
Since site speed is a ranking factor, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to ensure your site meets performance benchmarks. This tool diagnoses issues that could be slowing down your site and recommends solutions.
7. Grow Your Social Media Presence
Another way to bolster your SEO efforts is to develop a social media strategy on platforms your target audience frequents. With a social campaign, you can:
- Market directly to followers and encourage clicks to your website from social networks.
- Appear in the SERPs with links to your social media profiles when customers perform branded searches.
- Help audiences discover your brand when they’re searching on social platforms with the use of hashtags.
- Send more leads to your website to bring them into your marketing funnel.
- Distribute content more widely and raise brand awareness when users like, share, or comment on your posts.
- Improve the potential for backlinks as users discover your content and refer to it in their own blog posts.
8. Measure Your Progress
Once you know how to generate SEO leads, drive growth by tracking your performance. Determine which tactics are producing wins and which require adjustments for better results. Choose metrics that are relevant to your goals before you implement your strategy so you have benchmarks to measure your progress.
Here are common metrics to monitor:
- Keyword rankings. Gauge improvements in your visibility by monitoring the keywords you’re ranking for and the position they hold in the SERPs. If you’re not seeing an upward trend, especially for important commercial and transactional keywords, review your strategy. You may need to address your site’s technical SEO, content quality, or backlinks.
- Click-through rate (CTR). What percentage of people click through to your site compared to those who see your pages in search results? This metric can tell you if your content, page title, and description are compelling enough to make your snippet stand out. Consider adding structured data with star ratings or images to draw attention to your listing if your CTR is low.
- User engagement. How long are visitors spending on your site? Are they engaging with your content? By tracking user engagement, you’ll get insight into whether you’re reaching the right audience and offering an exceptional user experience.
- Conversions. Conversions are actions such as newsletter signups, free trials, ebook downloads, consultations, bookings, and sales. Track relevant conversions to assess how well your content is persuading visitors to take action.
- Return on investment (ROI). When you track ROI, you’re comparing the revenue you generate from your SEO efforts to the total marketing dollars you’ve spent. This metric helps determine how effectively you’re spending your SEO budget.
Start Generating More Leads With SEO Today
Without a custom SEO strategy, you’re missing out on discovering new leads and generating more revenue for your business. An expert SEO agency can work with you to create a data-backed strategy that supports your goals. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to our team at Victorious for a free consultation.