To generate sales, first, you need to find people who are highly interested in the product or service that you offer a.k.a. leads. Leads are your potential customers. In this article, we will talk about how you can use SEO in your lead generation efforts.
Why Use SEO in Lead Generation?
Before we get into the why, let us dive first into the basics of search engine optimization, or SEO for short – I am pretty sure you’ve heard of this three-letter word many times!
Search engines, Google, for example, have been the go-to place for people to find answers to their queries online. When we Google something, it returns numerous relevant results – how?
Google has these three processes: crawling, indexing and ranking
- Crawling is when Google sends bots to look for new and updated content on the internet, this could be a web page, a blog, an image, or a video to name a few.
- If Google thinks that the content it found is helpful to users, it will be indexed or stored in a database along with other contents.
- After being indexed, when users search for something and the content falls in that category, Google will pull it from the database and display the content in the search engine results page (SERP). Its position a.k.a. rank on the search results is determined by two factors: relevance to the search query and the backlink quality.
Now you know how SEO works, let us go back to the question – why? Why use SEO in lead generation?
First – SEO is a practice that makes it easier for people to find your business on Google. In other words, it helps your contents rank higher in search results so that customers find you first over your competition.
Second – SEO will propel your lead generation campaign long-term as this strategy drives organic a.k.a. free traffic to your site. Lead generation is a continuous process. Your business always needs to attract potential customers and with SEO, you are doing that at no cost at all unlike running ads. Organic lead generation will save you money in the long run.
Third – SEO goes hand-in-hand with inbound marketing which is centered around content creation. Creating content is an effective approach to achieving the visibility you need to earn people’s trust, demonstrate your knowledge to solve the problems your leads have and establish your business as an authority in your industry.
Fourth – lead generation is the first step of customer acquisition and SEO can lessen the customer acquisition cost by 87.41% on average compared to paid media according to Terakeet.
To help you with your lead generation efforts, here are SEO tips on how to generate leads:
1. Leverage Podcasting
With the growing number of podcast listeners and Google’s mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – in 2019, Google started indexing podcasts. Prior to that Google only indexed the metadata of podcasts, such as their title and description.
With the announcement, Google’s algorithm started indexing the podcast’s audio content itself. In other words, if what is being mentioned in the podcast is relevant to the search query, Google will pull the podcast from its database and display it in the results page.
This update made it easier for people to find podcasts and listen to it directly in Google which is why podcasting became helpful in organic lead generation.
2. Create YouTube Videos
Google “SEO for beginner” – notice that videos appear on the first page of Google?
On average 71% of the web traffic is captured by the first page of Google. Traffic significantly decreases to 6% when it comes to page two and three of the search results.
Publishing videos increase your chance to be on the first page of Google and keep in mind, that it should be YouTube videos to be specific so that it will be optimized for SEO lead generation.
The Wall Street Journal wrote a report in 2020 that “Google executives in recent years made decisions to prioritize YouTube on the first page of search results, in part to drive traffic to YouTube rather than to competitors…”
That is why, if you want your video content to be visible in Google search results for your organic lead generation efforts, upload it on YouTube and not on DailyMotion, Vimeo, Facebook, or other video hosting platforms.
Also, adding YouTube videos to your website hits two birds with one:
First – when you add video content to your web page or blog post, it will be ranked higher compared to the ones with none. Google’s algorithm will detect that the page or post has a combination of text, image, and video content which will be seen as in-depth material and Google always aims to serve users quality resources.
Second – adding video increases dwell time a.k.a. the time users spend on your website. Dwell time is one of the factors Google accounts for ranking a website because the more time a user spends in a website, it means that the website is providing something valuable to users.
3. Ask for Reviews
Online reviews are essential for any business online. It helps establish credibility and it serves as a social proof that helps build trust.
More than that, ratings and reviews are important factors in website ranking and come in handy for SEO lead generation.
Reviews are being indexed and tracked by Google. Websites with numerous positive reviews rank higher than those with little to no reviews. In fact, 11% of local SEO factors are influenced by reviews according to BrightLocal. Search Engine Journal listed twenty-five signals that is accounted for local SEO ranking and five of which are centered around reviews:
- “Listings on review sites,
- Number of positive reviews,
- Reviews with keywords and locations,
- Reviews with responses, and
- Percentage of negative reviews is not responded to”
4. Practice Guest Posting
Guest posting or writing a blog post on someone else’s website and linking it to your website is an effective method to boost your ranking in the results page and generate qualified leads.
It hits two, I mean three birds with one stone:
First – your business will be introduced to a wider audience. Being able to tap into an audience that is relevant to your niche will increase your exposure to potential customers.
Second – you will earn backlinks. Think of backlinks as an endorsement, if other websites are linking to yours, it tells Google that your website is credible. This helps your site climb higher in the search results.
Third – backlinks result in referral traffic. Increased traffic is a factor that Google accounts for ranking.
When writing guest blog posts, keep these two things in mind:
First, publish your articles on reputable websites a.k.a. websites with established domain authority. You want to attract quality leads that overlap with your industry.
Second, always aim to provide value. Make sure that the blog post you wrote is engaging and packed with valuable and actionable insights so you can demonstrate your expertise. This will earn your business a good impression.
5. Write A Comparison Blog Post
Blog posts are a proven content marketing strategy that attracts business sales and increases search ranking positions.
Writing a blog post that compares your business to a competitor is an effective method to capture hot leads a.k.a. potential customers that are ready to buy.
This type of blog post is specifically helpful to businesses that sell products as it is easy to compare certain attributes, unlike service-based businesses.
If a lead clicks “X vs Y” in Google, it means that:
First – they are aware of what their problem is and the fitting solution to that problem.
Second – they have trimmed down the list of the possible solutions.
Third – they have a budget and are ready to make a purchase.
This kind of blog post may not attract as many leads compared to cold and warm leads but the leads you will generally have a higher chance of a conversion.
SEO revolves around keywords. The five tips shared above to generate business sales leads through SEO all share the same building block – keywords, which is why keyword research is a skill you need to learn first.
SEO is not an exact science that is why you need to pay attention and evaluate how your website is performing from time to time to see if there are improvements.
Keep in mind that you do not publish one podcast, video, or blog post and expect your website to appear on the first page of Google and instantly generate sales leads.
Consistent work is required in SEO – you will have to do the heavy lifting at first for months. But it is only after some time that once the work compounds, you will see a jump in search rankings, enjoy organic traffic and attract leads. In short, SEO takes time before it pays off.
Lastly, keep in mind that all your SEO efforts will be useless if you don’t capture your leads. This is where lead magnets come into the picture. In your podcast, video, and blog, always leave a guide, a report, an email course, a newsletter or any content that is perceived to be of high value that leads will be happy to give you their email in order to gain access to that free resource.