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Why should you care about SEO for Lead Generation?
SEO and lead generation go hand-in-hand. Implementing a successful SEO campaign is becoming increasingly important as each day passes. When you are in need of a particular product or service, where is the first place that you go? That’s right, straight to Google search. Where do you think your potential new client is also going when they are conducting their research? You guessed it, they are also going straight to Google search results. So what can you do about this?
Luckily there are many different ways that you can optimize your website for SEO and lead generation in a way that makes search engines, such as Google, recommend your site over other sites.
Google has over 200 ranking factors (don’t let that scare you as they all carry different importance), but here are 20 important ones to give you a boost in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The goal here is to get you to the first page of the Google search engine results page, otherwise, you practically don’t exist.
1 - Ensure your website is technically sufficient
The structure and navigation of your website matters. It’s important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for many reasons. Users are more likely to stay on a website for longer and find what they’re looking for faster. The benefit of this is that search engines can understand and index your website more easily.
A common mistake that many webmasters make is while they’re optimizing their websites for conversions, they forget about navigation and site structure, accidentally damaging their SEO. A classic example of this that we see all the time is websites that have broken links, which is obviously not something that you want your potential clients to come across.
However, it is inevitable that somebody will reach your 404 page at some stage, so you should make sure to have a custom 404 page created for that moment when somebody inevitably clicks on one of the broken links on your business website. Take a look at the 404 page from the Lego website. It has humor as well as navigational aspects to get the user back on the correct path.
2 - Use the keywords that your clients search for
The easiest place to start finding the right keywords for SEO is to start by thinking about what people are typing into Google if they’re looking for products or services like yours. For example, if you sell office furniture and supplies, you’ll be working with words such as the following:
- Office chair
- Office furnishings
- Printer paper
- Ink cartridges
When narrowing down what target keywords to focus on, always remember that customers use many different terms on Google to search for the exact same thing. Try to use the truly relevant ones. Think about it, how many ways do you think they could mean chair? What about seat? Do they mean a sofa? Recliner? Or what about a bench?
Long-tail keywords are important to optimize for also. For example, somebody may do a search for ‘what is the best office chair for back pain?’ – Which has so many important and relevant keywords that you can optimize for.
Luckily, Google is becoming increasingly clever when it comes to automatically discovering (& correcting) spelling mistakes on a daily basis. Just look at the sheer volume of keywords that Google has on the variation of the search term for ‘Britney Spears‘ in their spelling database.
3 - Make sure that your website is mobile-optimized
A huge proportion of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, including phones and tablets. As of March 2021, Google will only rank websites that are mobile responsive, so you need to take it into consideration when you’re updating your site or creating any content for it.
Review your website content on mobile devices. Make sure you use a responsive design that will change for different screen sizes. Check that text is readable on small screens, and that any links are easily clickable. Check images or CTAs (Call-To-Actions) haven’t been shifted out of place. Can you easily navigate your website using only a mobile phone? Use Google’s Mobile Friendly-Test tool to see how they view your website.
If you have access to Google Search Console (if you don’t, why not? It is free!) then you’ll also be able to check if there are any issues with pages or elements of your website not working correctly on a smaller device by reviewing the Mobile Usability report.
4 - Build individual pages for each of your services
This is incredible for lead generation as if you have a dedicated landing page for all of your services, you’ll automatically bring in more qualified leads. An example would be if you’re a dentist, but you also provide emergency dental services. You have to remember that people search the exact thing they want, so if they search “emergency dentist”, and you have a page dedicated to that topic, you’re more likely to show up in the search results. This is SEO lead generation on steroids! We actually break down this exact example in the free SEO webinar that we conduct every week.
Create individual pages for every service that you offer. By doing this, you have a lot more space to be very informative, and really expand on what you do. With a whole page, you have more opportunity to naturally use your keyword or keyphrase and can rank for related terms too.
Get your keyword in the H1 title of the page, in the URL, in H2 subheadings, throughout the copy, and in the alt text for your images. You can do this without overdoing it if you have a service page. If you want to improve your WordPress SEO, the Yoast SEO plugin will help with this.
5 - Build your perfect client persona/avatar
Step one of lead generation should really be to know who you want to serve. Create client personas that cover key information about your target audience. You should know their age, location, gender, job title, how and when they’re using your site, and what tasks they’re trying to complete on your website when they get there. This is all very important data.
Personas help to hyper-target your content. Each person who lands on that content should be saying to themselves “Wow, it’s as if this content was created just for me!”. By targeting this way, you can be sure you’re reaching the right people with your SEO efforts.
If you’re wondering how to create your perfect client persona, take a look at this great blog post from CloudApp that should help you with it. The image below is from that same blog post, and as you can see, they’ve made it really easy to understand each of the elements to consider.
6 - Create content that relates to your ideal client
When you’ve created the client persona that your prospective customers fit into, you can create content that is highly targeted to those personas, whether video content or blog content. Sprinkle your important relevant keywords throughout this content, which will be searchable, shareable, and helpful to your audience. As an SEO agency, this is exactly what we do, for our own website, and our clients.
When creating content, remember to write for humans, not just Google. Overly-optimized content reads poorly, and Google can see this as a spammy tactic, which can result in a penalty, and that is the absolute last thing that you want to receive from Google regarding your website. You also need to remember that not every page on your website is a ‘sales page’. You should create informational/educational content as a blog post in order to attract more leads to your sales funnel.
From your keyword research, you should have a list of terms and topics that you know your ideal client is interested in and is looking for answers about. Use that keyword research for content inspiration, and create unique content that your target audience wants to read.
7 - Get backlinks from trustworthy websites
A backlink is a link to your website from other websites (separate domains). Backlinks from reputable sources help search engines understand that your content is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and helpful. You need to get links from trustworthy sources. Focus on quality over quantity for this section.
Create content that is helpful, and it’s naturally more shareable, and can help you with link-building organically, or arrange to guest post on high-quality, relevant websites. Providing quotes or information on relevant press stories can help too. For example, if you offer financial services, a backlink from the Financial Times is very valuable, but a link from a brand new website with no reputation is not, but that’s not to say it won’t be in the future.
The most common form of building links these days is via guest posts, essentially where you create useful content for another website, but you include a link to your website somewhere within the content. You could also offer to add further value to a relevant website’s existing content by adding some further statistics, an infographic, up-to-date data, and much more.
Want to know what your competitors are doing to earn new leads by link building? Luckily, ahrefs have a free backlink checker that allows you to see that sort of useful data. They also have a few other incredibly useful free SEO tools so make sure to check out the video below to learn more about what they can do.
8 - Offer an awesome lead magnet they can’t refuse
A lead magnet is an offer from you that persuades clients to give you their email addresses, therefore providing you further opportunity to convert them to a client with email marketing. If someone is willing to let you into their inbox, you know they’re already engaged with you so you can further nurture that lead, eventually converting them from a lead to a paying client. This is why utilizing the power of email marketing is important when following up with your SEO leads.
To see an increase in your lead generation numbers, offer something like a checklist, exclusive offers, eBooks, or other content that will capture their attention. Once you have their details, you can send them targeted emails to move them further down your funnel and convert them into loyal clients who see the value in what you offer.
In fact, this content that you’re reading now is actually one of our lead magnets, because you have the option to download the PDF version.
9 - Don’t make it difficult for people to become a client
What happens when people land on your website and decide they’re interested in what you’re offering? Is it easy to contact you via one of your web forms? If it isn’t, you’re losing out on new leads. This will differ depending on where they are in the process, and you can have different forms for each level of this.
There’s a lot of competition out there for lead generation, and if someone can’t find any contact information, or the link to book a call doesn’t work properly, they’ll just click off and go somewhere else. Make it easy, and you’ll drive down your bounce rate and hold onto those all-important leads instead of sending them to your competition, because at the end of the day if your website doesn’t function correctly, your competitor will win the client.
Important note: Every website owner thinks their website works perfectly, because they were shown how it works… Put your website in front of somebody who has never gone through it or even seen it before and that will be the true test of how user-friendly that your website really is. Sorry to be so blunt here, but we’ve seen this time and time again and it, unfortunately, costs those businesses several valuable future clients, in the form of bad lead generation on their website.
10 - Obtain positive reviews and testimonials
Social proof can be a great way to generate leads. If you know you’ve delivered a good service to a client, ask them to leave a review or a testimonial, as their word is going to seem much more trustworthy than you telling a potential customer how great you are (even if you are).
You can display testimonials on your website, or ask for reviews on social media, Google, or industry-relevant review websites. Customer feedback also gives you more keywords, so you’re boosting your SEO in that aspect too. Google trusts reviews, so make you’re getting them in order to rank higher and show you’re the best option for potential clients to work with. However, we would never recommend faking reviews.
Have a look at the testimonials for 3Dental that we have placed below. They have done a great job because you can filter to see testimonials relating to the exact treatment that you are interested in from them. They are also using videos, with clients who now have wonderful smiles.
11 - Utilize internal linking from relevant pages
Site users and search engines use internal links to find more relevant content on your websites. For example, if we write a blog article about inbound marketing, and a month later we write a post about optimizing your social media posts, we can include a link between the two posts.
Linking between relevant pages helps search engines to find more pages of your website, so they have more content to rank, and it also keeps people on your website for longer, as they stay to read more content. This is good for search engine optimization as it helps website visitors find their next logical step on your website. It’s really a win-win as it helps both SEO and lead generation.
12 - Create content for every level of your funnel
You should have relevant content for every level of your lead generation sales funnel. There’s no point in offering a newsletter sign-up form to someone who has only just found your website, for example. Why would someone who has never been to your website want to immediately sign up for that? This is actually hurting your lead generation, we always recommend that you trigger something like this when the user scrolls to about 80% of the page length, as they have already consumed your content, and are clearly interested in what you can do for them.
By creating content for every stage of your client’s journey, you can create optimized landing pages that have the right information to move someone on to the next stage of your sales funnel. Use keywords that will drive conversions and move people from ‘awareness’ to the onboarding stage. Deliver content that is relevant and helpful to the buyer, wherever their relationship currently is with you. Take a look at the example web pages below:
- What is Causing the Pain in My Back?
- Back Pain Home Remedies for Women
- Chiropractor in Boston
Can you see how as we progress to the next search the user is closer and closer to becoming a client as they are in need of your service? Luckily, you have now shown up in Google for all of these searches, and have built incredible brand recognition and authority with that person.
13 - Stand out in SERPs with magnetic meta data
Your metadata tells Google (and potential customers) what your page is about, and is what will appear to a user on the search results page, so it needs to be well written. If you truly want to achieve a better position in the search results and reap the rewards from your SEO lead generation campaign, then you need to realize how important this step is, as this is what your potential SEO leads will see before they even click on your website.
You need clear page titles that express exactly what each page is about, and a short meta description that adds more detail. Both should use your keywords, but in as natural a way as possible. Your meta description needs to be magnetic enough to draw interest from searchers, so they choose to click on your website instead of one of the competition’s websites. Bonus: If the keyword is in your metadata, it will appear in bold, which can really help your SEO campaign by driving increasing CTR (Click-Through-Rate).
14 - Use your target keyword throughout page elements
When you’ve done your keyword research and chosen the keyword that you’re trying to rank for, you can thread it through different elements of your page, as naturally as you can. Remember to use it in a way that reads well to humans, as well as Google. Your website is for humans first.
Use your keyword in your URL, in your page title, in sub-headings, as an image title, in image alt-text, in your metadata, and of course in the copy. Long-tail key phrases can be easier to do this with, and you can also work in related keywords in the same way. Avoid keyword stuffing.
If you really want to appear higher in search results in order to increase your lead generation, then make sure to not only apply this to new content going forward, but go back and apply this to all of your existing content, prioritizing your most important pages.
15 - Build out relevant FAQs and include Schema
Google has changed the way it ranks content to better match how people search (also referred to as search intent), especially as voice search becomes more common. People often search by asking questions, so Google looks for content that answers their questions.
Rank higher by creating relevant FAQs within your web content, and use proper website Schema markup (a small and not at all scary snippet of code) so that Google knows it is a set of FAQs. You can do this in the page structure, and it makes it more likely that you will get a featured snippet at the top of SERPs. These display in the form of ‘people also asked’ on page #1 of Google. These results are larger and more enticing to click.
By utilizing this method and implementing structured data markup correctly, you can actually appear above position #1 in Google for the search term. How’s that for an SEO top-tip?
16 - Reverse engineer your competitor’s success
SEO competitive analysis involves looking at the keywords (including search volume), content, and links that are working for your competition. You can see what’s working for others and reverse-engineer their organic (and paid) digital marketing tactics in order to improve upon your own SEO lead generation success.
Start doing this by searching your top keywords in Google and then looking at the websites that currently appear on page #1 of the organic search results. If you have access to any industry-standard SEO software, this step of obtaining all of this information on your competitors will be much easier.
17 - Use industry-relevant keywords on service pages
Service pages can be difficult to rank in Google (and other search engines), depending on the competition (amongst other factors). For most businesses, homepages and blog posts are what is most likely to rank. Driving more search traffic to your service pages to rank should be the main goal, as this is usually where you make your money.
With all your research, you know which keywords are relevant for your industry, so make careful use of these on your service pages. Optimize your service pages by writing quality content, with strong metadata, correct formatting, and keywords that have been proven to be searched on Google every single month. Make use of internal links and optimized images too to push your service page higher in search engine results.
If you have ever run any PPC ads in the past, you may already be familiar with Google’s Keyword Planner, which is just one of the fantastic free tools provided by Google that can help website owners discover new and important keywords that can drive organic traffic to their website and correctly target potential customers
18 - If you’re strictly local, optimize for your area
If you run a local business that is dedicated to a particular town or city, there’s no point in trying to rank nationally. Local SEO can be very effective to find customers in your local area. For example, instead of trying to rank for ‘bookshop’, aim for ‘bookshop in Chicago’. This will help obtain targeted site traffic.
A Google My Business listing can help with lead generation too, allowing you to show your location on Google maps. Optimize your GMB profile by putting in your key information like contact details, opening hours, and any offers, so that people local to you can easily find your business and check the information that they need, like what time you’re open in the morning. You can also display great reviews from past clients here that are visible even before these potential customers even click on your website link.
19 - Make sure your content is easy on the eyes
Make your content easy to read and nice to look at (in a way that lets you slip in more lead-generating SEO). Break up your content with quality images. Make sure they’re relevant and don’t look like cheesy stock photos. Remember, use alt-tags on your images to get in your keywords.
Break up the text with subheadings, bulleted lists, and FAQs, as these make it easier to read. Make sure to implement Schema markup to help Google to read your page and understand the content too. Using a structure like this is good for SEO purposes, and for the person reading it.
You don’t need to start from scratch if you already have some pages that are already generating leads from previous digital marketing methods, such as social media marketing. Refining web pages that you already have created within your CMS (Content Management System) can be a great way to improve your search rankings.
20 - Review positive acquisition data in Google Analytics
The biggest mistake that we see again & again by people putting any effort into digital marketing is not reviewing the data to see what worked to not only increase web traffic, but the efforts that worked in generating more leads. Google Analytics is completely free, easy to add to your website, and provides you with really crucial information to inform future decision-making.
You can even set up ‘goals’ in Google Analytics, such as monitoring how many people managed to see the ‘Thank You’ page on your website. If somebody saw that page, they more than likely completed an important action, such as filling out a contact form or booking a call with you. This is the best way to track how successful your website is at lead generation and what kind of conversion rates you are achieving.
Each of the tips mentioned in this article will give your SEO lead generation a nice boost, but using them together is pouring fuel on the fire to really see positive results from your SEO and lead generation.
If you (or a team member) can implement these tips within your SEO strategy in order to improve upon your lead generation, then focus those efforts on this in the near future. Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to implement all of these tips at once, proper SEO (that actually gets results) takes time to perform correctly.
Thanks for taking the time to read through these SEO lead generation tips. If you’d like to schedule a free SEO consultation with a member of our team, then we’d be more than happy to help.
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