Generating high-quality leads is perhaps the most difficult challenge in the digital marketing world. In fact, the 2017 State of Inbound report from HubSpot revealed that generating enough traffic and leads is the top marketing challenge facing the 63% of organizations they examined. To address this challenge, HubSpot suggested that digital marketers should create and distribute more high-quality content for their target audience.
Indeed, contents such as blogs are an effective lead generation tool that can really help marketers to create awareness about their brand, and therefore attract prospective customers that might be ready to learn more about their product and services. However, there is another equally powerful tool in the digital marketing arsenal that you can easily take advantage to drive your inbound lead generation campaign: Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
59% of consumers look for a local business each month using Google, making SEO a very powerful tool for generating high quality targeted leads that have a 14.6% chance of closing a deal (compared to the dismal 1.7% close rate for mail or print advertising).
While SEO is not a lead generation strategy by itself, it is an extremely important traffic channel in any online lead generation plan. Therefore, you can optimize your SEO strategy in compliance with your lead generation goals and objectives and implement it to improve the number of potential customers that visit your website.
Here are the actionable ways to use SEO for better lead generation results:
1. Start By Understanding User Intent
In order to use SEO for your lead generation efforts, you must first understand the concept referred to as “user intent”.
Especially in Google, where the Hummingbird update has basically transformed the search engine into a semantic one, understanding the real meaning behind the keywords (user intent) that the user type in a search engine text box can help you optimize your web pages to fit their intent.
There is basically five types of user intent:
- Know – Understand a certain topic, product, or service.
- Do – Execute a certain activity online.
- Buy – Purchase a product or service.
- Web – Visit a webpage or website.
- Local – Visit a local establishment.
For instance, a visitor who may want to learn more about the specifications of a smartphone is most likely to have a Know intent, while a person who is ready to purchase that smartphone is most likely to have a Buy intent.
By taking into consideration the nuances of user intent in your keyword research efforts, you will be able to identify the keywords that ready-to-avail people will use to search for your product and service. And by that, you will be able to optimize the most important pages and content of your website for those type of users more efficiently.
2. Aim for Long-Tail Keywords
Gone were the days when users only use one or two search terms; nowadays, 70% of all web searches are conducted using long-tail keywords. With semantic search becoming more popular and pervasive, targeting long-tail keywords on your SEO campaigns is crucial to converting high-quality website traffic to high-quality leads.
One company that targets long-tail keywords and generating actual results from it is Amazon, wherein 57% of their sales are because of long-tail keywords.
With proper keyword research, you can find long-tail keywords that ready-to-purchase people use to search for your products and services. While you may find these terms as unappealing due to their little to no search volume, they can attract highly targeted traffic that actually converts.
3. Optimize for Mobile Users
Way before Google announced in early 2018 that it would start to roll-out it’s mobile-first indexing to more and more sites, a lot of SEO professionals have already done some heavy work in their websites to make sure they are mobile-friendly, and for a good reason.
For the past recent years, the field of SEO is rapidly steering away from desktop search to mobile search. People are not only using their mobile phones to find information about products and services, but they are actually conducting more mobile searches with an intent to buy.
In fact, reports from Google state that 50% of mobile visitors have actually visited a local store within one day and that 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases, proving that having a mobile-optimized website can actually increase your business bottom line.
If your website is not mobile-friendly yet, using tools such as Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) can help make your website load faster and be more readable for your mobile users.
With a mobile-friendly website, your chances of attracting high-quality traffic are much higher, since you are providing them with a good online experience which is one of the most important deciding factors in the purchase decision process.
4. Write a Killer Meta Description
Although content in meta description does not directly influence a web page’s ranking, it does have a substantial effect on its click-through rate (CTR), which is one of the ranking signals that search engines such as Google look at.
CTR is one of the lead generation metrics which describes how many targeted audiences clicked on the links on your lead generation channel. One of the most effective tactics to improve your CTR is by improving the meta description of your most important web pages – specifically its length.
In a recent experiment conducted by Semrush, it was revealed that meta descriptions that take up the entire pixel limit set by Google (1840px) have a CTR that is 36% higher than the meta description that was formatted using the old pixel limit.
Aside from the length, other factors to consider in writing a compelling meta description include its actual context, CTA, and keywords. Ensuring all these factors are considered carefully can increase the likelihood of your lead generation web page to perform better in SERPs.
5. SEO Your Landing Pages
You may only know a landing page as a standalone web page primarily used for digital advertising campaigns, but you can actually optimize them for organic search as well.
Recent statistics show that 44% of B2B website visits direct to the homepage and not to a landing page. While your site’s homepage is important, they are not the best channel to generate leads through SEO.
Having landing pages optimized for search, however, is more advantageous as they are designed specifically cater to that very specific segment of visitors who are ready to purchase your offering.
Lead generation is the backbone of your digital marketing efforts – without high-quality leads, your business will cease to grow, and your operations will collapse. By leveraging the power of SEO, you can significantly improve your chance of getting more high-quality leads for your business not only in the short-term but in the long-term as well.
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