The two most important tactics you can use when it comes to creating a successful marketing plan are lead generation and SEO like featured snippets. This applies to all businesses, from cloud computing companies to online fashion retailers.
Lead generation is the process of attracting and building a list of potential leads (customers or clients) into the top of the sales funnel. Having a steady stream of leads is crucial for a business to survive. One way to boost organic traffic is to publish quality content on your site on a regular basis. Another involves using SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of refining web pages to ensure they rank highly on SERPs (search engine results pages). Google, for example, sends links to your website when someone enters a relevant query.
The higher your site ranks, the higher the likelihood of users clicking your pages, thereby increasing organic traffic to your website and enhancing your online visibility.
What is organic traffic?
Organic traffic refers to visitors that land on your site as a result of unpaid – or organic – results. It’s the opposite of paid traffic, which is visits generated by paid ads.
Organic traffic means visitors who find your membership site, for example, by using a search engine rather than being referred from another website.
SEO boosts lead generation efforts
SEO and lead generation are not the same thing. SEO focuses on increasing web traffic, while lead generation is involved with increasing the number of potential customers for your business.
SEO can boost your lead generation efforts by increasing awareness of your products or services via organic traffic to your site.
Let’s look at some ways to use SEO effectively to help your lead gen efforts. These will include:
- Carrying out a website audit
- Performing keyword research
- Updating your existing web content
- Checking competitors’ performance and benchmarking it
- Creating an ongoing content strategy
- Developing a backlink strategy
1. Website audit
It’s a good idea to carry out a website audit to establish which web pages are performing and which need improving. There are quite a few tools to help you do this. Oncrawl.com uses a high-speed crawler to provide you with valuable info about your website’s health to boost sales. It’s free to try it out.
Image source: oncrawl.com
It’s also important to know how quickly your web pages are loading. Slow loading pages can negatively impact your site’s ranking and contribute to high bounce rates. Google’s Page Speed test is a useful tool that can not only assess your site’s speed but give you suggestions on how to improve.
2. Carry out keyword research
A central purpose of SEO is to have your content surface for relevant keywords, which is why keyword research is so important. This will steer your SEO strategy and give you a better understanding of what your target audience finds important.
Firstly, identify the main keywords for your business, and build out a list of related queries and terms from them. They will be the building blocks of your SEO strategy. Again, there are plenty of free tools that can help you with this.
3. Update your existing content
SEO helps to drive users to your site. However, only if they subsequently find relevant high-quality content there will they engage and stay. Assess your current content. Is the language clear and concise? Is it valuable to readers?
Take some time to ensure your content is well organized with headers and subheaders, and that it’s easy to scan by including bullet points, numbered lists, etc. Include images with alt descriptions to help search engines understand your content as they’re scrolling.
Just as call center analytics software gives managers an overview of their center’s performance, an analytics tool – e.g. Google Analytics and Google AMP– can give you a view of how well your content is performing. It can help you identify pages with high bounce rates (over 60%) and prioritize these for improvement going forward.
4. Benchmark your competitors’ performance
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. All you need to do is keep a record of your competitors’ positions in searches for the same or similar queries to yours, and analyze how their pages are performing.
If a competitor is doing better than you, think about why this is. Look at the structure of their content and backlinks to assess this.
Understanding how their content is performing will help you with your strategies and alert you to aspects that are or aren’t working.
5. Develop an ongoing content strategy
A steady stream of new content will be valuable to your target audience, and it’s also key to generating leads. Once users realize you can provide them with useful insights, they will be more likely to sign up for your newsletters or fill out lead-generating gated content.
Create a content calendar so you stay on top of your publishing schedule.
Write articles around themes discovered in your keyword research so it’s relevant to your target audience.
6. Create a backlink strategy
Backlinks are created when websites link to each other. These links are essential elements in terms of improving your ranking. They give you a badge of credibility for your content on search engines.
However, your inbound links need to make sense, rather than linking to random, irrelevant content.
Establishing backlinks from trustworthy sites with a high domain authority should be your aim. Google is suspicious of artificial linking activities, so buying links is not recommended and is more likely to damage your ranking than boost it.
To have a positive impact on your ranking, a backlink needs a ‘rel=follow’ tag which signals to site crawlers that they should follow the link to the corresponding website.
There are various components when it comes to generating leads organically. And it may take time. But the effort will reward you tenfold and ensure your business stands out in a crowded online market.