If you’re reading this, you already understand the importance of both search engine optimization (SEO) and lead generation. What many people fail to grasp is how the two interact. They don’t twig that SEO is a key channel for lead generation. In fact, for a B2B company, SEO is one of only a few sustainable ways to generate leads.
SEO improves the visibility of your site and its content on search engine results pages (SERPs). Improved visibility leads to higher traffic to your site. That’s not a process separate from lead generation. It is lead generation. You’re generating leads from web searchers. These are people who are looking for something that your company might be able to provide.
How to Use SEO to Generate More Leads
SEO is not a simple or easy process. It’s something that you and your business have to continue working at over time. To perform SEO properly, you will need to invest money and – most notably – time. Results aren’t instant, but they are significant if you get things right.
The following are some tips and steps to follow. They should help you better utilize SEO to generate more leads for your business. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it will set you on a path toward a better SEO strategy. One that will deliver those invaluable leads. The areas covered by the tips comprise:
• Research and Auditing
• Outreach and Link Building
• User Experience and Technical SEO
• Evaluation and Adaptation
How to Undertake SEO Research and an SEO Audit
SEO isn’t something you can jump into and hope for the best. You need a clear roadmap and strategy for success. The way to get that is by first understanding where your site is situated from an SEO perspective.
You need to perform an SEO audit on your site to see your areas of strength and weakness. That way, you’ll know which areas you need to spend the most time on.
As well as knowing where you stand, you need to find out what your competitors are doing. Competitor analysis is key to building an SEO strategy that will beat your rivals. You’re best served to analyze the pages which fill the top positions on SERPs for the keywords you target.
What you’re looking for are the things those pages are doing that yours aren’t. You want to find keywords that they rank for and you don’t. You need to identify sites they’re getting links from and you’re not. In short, you’re looking to identify what you need to do to match and then better their SEO performance.
How to do Keyword Research
Keywords are king when it comes to using SEO to generate more leads for your business. Your pages and content need to rank for the right keywords. Those are the keywords that your prospective leads are searching for. The way you ensure that is by performing keyword research.
That starts with building a customer persona. A customer persona is an outline of the customer you’re looking to target. It will outline their characteristics, interests and needs. From that, you can define the subjects and topic areas they will be interested in. Your targeted keywords need to relate to those clusters of topics.
You should then create exhaustive, long-form content related to your target customer’s topics of interest. Such content will help you to rank for several related keywords. The content can also be tailored to target certain long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords are very specific terms. They’re what searchers actually type in to search engines. They have low competition when it comes to SERP rankings, but high conversion rates. That’s what makes them so handy for lead generation and your bottom line. Your competitor analysis can also prove a great source for long tail keywords when your own inspiration runs dry.
The Importance of Outreach and Link Building
SEO isn’t all about your site’s content and the keywords it targets. Your SERP rankings are also dependent on the links pointing to that content. What you’re looking for are high-quality, high-authority links from reputable sources. Such links convince Google of the reliability and utility of your own site.
Your competitor analysis can once again help you here. It will point you to sites and companies who link to your rivals. There should be no reason why they might not also link to you. Reaching out to those sites is generally a good idea. Offering to provide guest posts for their blog can be a great way to get a link. Just make sure the content you provide is useful to readers and any link is natural, not forced.
User Experience and Technical SEO
Google wants to provide the most relevant resources to people searching the web. One element of this is the user experience. That means that you must be equally devoted to ensuring that your site does just that. That might mean making your site mobile-friendly to suit visitors on those devices. It may also mean taking steps to ensure that your pages load as quickly as possible.
There are a number of technical aspects of SEO to also keep in mind. These are things related to your site architecture or coding. They can have a significant impact on your SERP rankings. Well implemented structured data is a good example. It can help you get search enhancements or rich snippets on a SERP. Structured data, like those rating stars you often see, will make your pages stand out on the SERP and improve the CTR.
Evaluation and Adaptation
The final thing to keep in mind as regards using SEO to generate more leads is that it’s not a static process. You can’t make SEO changes and then forget about the process and expect to see results. You need to keep analyzing and evaluating your site’s performance.
Keeping track of your site’s performance helps you judge the effectiveness of the steps you’ve taken. That then allows you to tweak and adapt your strategy accordingly. SEO is an ongoing process that needs continual attention.
Nick Brown is the co-founder of Accelerate Agency, a Google Analytics and SEO agency in Bristol. He has more than 10 years of experience helping clients generate more leads through online marketing.