The world of Digital and Performance Marketing will introduce you to ‘characters’ as weird and wonderful as those Alice met down the rabbit hole. So, understanding this technological pseudo-reality and its vernacular is a vital skill for navigating the customer’s journey and attracting leads. In scaling and growing your business, lead generation is one of these digital marketing realities, and SEO is a significant role player and a vital part of this inbound marketing strategy.
If you are a newbie, the multilayered complexities of SEO (search engine optimization), its important role in the realm of content writing, and its bowing to the demands of Google (a rigorous taskmaster) are discussed here.
The journey involved in generating leads and getting more traffic to your website can be daunting; you are looking for potential customers to find you, like you, engage with you, follow you, commit to you and ultimately take action and buy from you.
The strategy is simple: without this traffic and these leads, your business is unlikely to grow. The secret weapon is SEO and content marketing – creating and sharing valuable, reliable and consistent content to attract your ideal target audience and convert them qualified leads and customers. When done right, lead generation will enable you to streamline your user’s customer journey and help them travel down your marketing funnel.
[A “lead” is a person who shows an interest in your product, service or brand].
‘Let’s talk about the funnel in the room’
There is a lot of hype around this visual representation of a customer’s online journey. A marketing funnel is also called a ‘customer purchase funnel’ or a ‘sales funnel,’ and there are numerous variations of this upside-down pyramid strategy.
The main idea is simple: like a funnel, marketers are trying to capture as many leads as possible and then slowly nurture these prospective customers through the funnel tiers to narrow them down to converting, purchasing and loyal customers. As mentioned earlier, SEO is one of your secret lead generation tools to getting leads to fall down the funnel and take action.
As customers enjoy a successful UX (user experience), this inbound marketing methodology will build momentum for your business as they will share your brand with others – resulting in new prospects. The goal is all about how to get more traffic to your website.
The funnel journey encompasses awareness (an introduction), to engagement (having a conversation) to a lead (who is taking an action).
By tailoring your content marketing – ads, messaging and campaigns – to the leads in the various funnel stages, you can move the prospecting lead all the way down to a buying customer. This means knowing your audience and your customer persona – getting inside their head and offering them what they need and want through every stage to get them to complete their online journey.
A Power couple
SEO and lead generation go hand in hand – they are digital marketing ‘partners in crime.’ This starts with your content marketing strategy, a powerful SEO tool. A creative and proficient content writing team is one of your best lead generation assets. Content can make you money and SEO helps you to get your content to rank on Google and generate leads.
The formula is simple: SEO + content lead generation = rank on google = scale your business.
Just having a website is not enough – you need potential customers to find you. You need exposure. SEO is one of the most effective ways of reaching your target audience, increasing your client base, driving traffic to your website, and allowing you to optimize your marketing content and your website so that you can show up in search engines, increase revenue and sustain the growth of your business.
Show up on Google!
One of the best lead generation strategies is your Google ranking. To scale your business you need to be on page 1. SEO is the best way to achieve this, through long-form content (blogs and white papers), videos, webinars, organic copy and paid ads. SEO content marketing will drive traffic and potential leads to your site through a simple Google search.
The logic is simple: By doing your SEO research and including the exact keyword you are trying to rank for in your URL, you will improve your rankings on Google.
Identify the main keywords for your business or brand and then build a list of related terms and queries. The more specific you can be in your target keyword research the better. The more precise longer tail keywords you use, the more successful you are likely to be in your ideal customer finding you, continuing with you and converting.
For example: if you are an Essential Oils e-commerce store trying to generate leads – broad keywords such as ‘essential oils’ or ‘organic essential’ oils are unlikely to get you much traffic, taking longer for your website to start ranking prominently.
The process of undertaking SEO due diligence and research in understanding your customer persona will result in specific long-tail keywords that address a user’s search query or solve a problem. Clever SEO content using keywords such as ‘Child-friendly essential oils for bedtime routines,’ or ‘Why are carrier oils necessary?’ or ‘How can organic essential oils relieve seasonal allergies? etc are way more likely to impress Google, drive traffic, and get your website to rank over that of your competition.
By adding the SEO keywords to the title of a blog post, in the meta description and as the alt text for any images that are part of your content, you are increasing the likelihood of your content or website being found on search engines and generating leads.
Rock up on Social Media
Integral to any inbound marketing strategy is building relevant messaging and fun, creative content and engaging copy around your targeted keywords. This is the only way to successfully communicate with your target audience and get their attention and drive them to your website. You need to have meaningful conversations with prospecting leads so that they can jump in and travel further down the funnel.
One of the easiest places for this to happen is on social media channels; they are a powerful lead generation tool if your SEO content is engaging and valuable.
Paid ads are an excellent content marketing strategy for social media leads, but organic content can be just as powerful in driving leads, engagement and conversions.
The approach is simple: your audiences are already there, scrolling – ready and waiting. You just have to show up in a way that stands out from all noise and competition and causes them to connect, pause and click.
(Tip: always make sure your content matches each channel’s culture and style).
Social media content marketing becomes a valuable stepping stone to attracting leads and moving them down your sales funnel by redirecting them to a landing page where they can take a specific action.
Land on Landing Pages
Landing pages are a marketing buzzword and they have the potential to be the pièce de résistance when it comes to generating quality leads and conversions. A high converting customised landing page will focus on one CTA (call to action) and one message.
The user experience is simple: Carefully curated SEO keywords drive traffic to either a blog post on your website or a social media post with a link to a landing page. The landing page has one goal: to convert a customer on one action – be that to get a free pdf download in exchange for their email address, or to take advantage of a limited offer or discount on a product, etc.
A customised landing page becomes a powerful online space for lead generation and conversion; there are no navigation bars or menus – just one CTA above the fold and throughout (register now / enrol now / download for free etc).
‘Lead Generating,’ ‘Click Through,’ ‘Explainer,’ and ‘Sales’ are 4 different types of landing pages created for different CTAs and conversions. The reason they convert is because the customer knows exactly why they are clicking through to the landing page – their intent is high.
(Each of these customised landing pages will be discussed in a future article)
On-page optimization – or on-page SEO – is optimizing individual web pages so that you can rank higher and drive more relevant traffic to your website from search engines. Your content marketing and SEO teams will know that on-page optimization should be a priority in a constantly evolving digital landscape. This will include publishing relevant and high-quality keyword-rich content on the pages of your website and optimizing headlines, HTML tags, meta descriptions, images etc.
The result is simple: your website’s visibility will improve in search results and rank higher. This, in turn, will help you get more traffic to your website, generating leads which can then be nurtured down the marketing funnel into converting customers.
On-page SEO helps search engines like Google understand the content on your website and decide whether it is relevant to a searcher’s query.
Google uses a framework that assesses webpages and websites and gives the highest rating to those containing quality content, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, and so these aspects must be a priority in your content marketing strategy if you want to rank highly and get more traffic and leads.
The simple summary
SEO and lead generation are a power couple in the world of performance marketing for B2B and B2C. This is a strategy conversation that every marketing team needs to be having to ensure the scaling and growth of any online business.
The flowchart is simple: Conversions are dependent on leads. Leads are dependent on traffic to your website or landing pages. Traffic is dependent on SEO guiding users to your site, and SEO is dependent on content. The success and optimization of these pathways will determine your ranking on Google.
The relationship between SEO and lead generation will always rely on quality, relevant and creative content to connect with buyers as they move down the marketing funnel, as well as a combination of inbound marketing activities and tools that will create awareness and interest and get potential customers to click through to your website and engage with your brand.