Many businesses need leads to stay competitive in their business niche, but leads are hard to find and cold calling isn’t working. SEO services are a way to bring traffic to your site and more qualified leads. It’s a vital part of your business and digital marketing strategy.
Not all leads are the same, but you can take a weak lead and nurture it through the buyer’s journey until it becomes a conversion. SEO can help not only bring in more leads but help you throughout the buyer’s journey from beginning research to finally converting.
We’ll examine how SEO helps your business get leads and how it changes and improves the quality of your leads.
What is Inbound Marketing?
When your business uses digital marketing tactics like SEO, it’s called inbound marketing. Traditional marketing efforts focused on throwing out a wide net and hoping customers get caught and come to your business.
It relied on the effectiveness of marketing such as newspaper ads and the reactions of your customers. This can be very ineffective because while you reach a large number of people, only a small fraction of them are interested in your business or service. This is the basis of outbound marketing where you create marketing and then hope it reaches the right people.
Inbound marketing is a more targeted approach. The goal is to not just bring people to your site, but make sure it’s someone interested in your product or service. It’s about making your business a prime location that people want to see.
SEO makes your website valuable to search engines, so when people look up information about your product or service, you’re on the first page and likely clicked on by the consumer.
How SEO Brings in Qualified Leads
Search engine optimization is any method a website uses to improve its rank on search engines like Google and Bing. Google gets the most use and has the most complex algorithm. Most SEO efforts focus on ranking well for it.
When a person wants information about a product or service, then the first place they go is the Internet. They type in a search query and Google’s spiders crawl the index looking for websites that best fit the needs of the searcher.
Google is a business. They want to provide the best product for their customers. If the websites that show up on the main search page have little to do with the search query, then the customer uses a different search engine.
SEO optimizes your website for search engines and search queries, so the crawlers see your site and believe it has high expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. As a highly respected site, the spiders place your site at the top of the search engines or in one of the rich snippets including frequently asked questions and knowledge panels.
This is highly sought after digital real estate because the higher on the search page you are, the more likely the customer clicks your link for more information.
SEO brings in more leads because they are already searching for information your business provides and use tactics to make sure it’s seen by the consumers for specific search queries. Since the potential customers searched for the information, they are more qualified leads because the interest is there from the start.
National SEO Services
There are three distinct types of SEO: national, local, and technical. If you’re a website that sells products to anyone in the United States or internationally, then you focus on national SEO. The Google algorithm has more than 100 aspects it checks to determine ranking including an artificial intelligence program called RankBrain.
While SEO marketing agencies don’t know what all these aspects are, we do know some of the biggest. Keywords are the search queries people enter into the search engines. You can determine what are the best keywords for your business by looking at the search volume and search competition.
Search volume is how many people search for that specific keyword in a month. The higher the volume, the more people see your link on the search page. You want higher volume keywords but they are difficult to rank for because of the competition.
Search competition is how many of your competitors and informational sites use that keyword for their own SEO strategy. You need to develop a keyword list that has good volume, but lower competition. They bring in leads and begin the buyer’s journey.
Your content is a major factor in Google placing your link on the first page of the search engine. Content is everything on your site from product descriptions to blog posts. Google wants searchers to see authoritative sites that answer their search queries. Your content shows Google your expertise in a given subject.
Use your strong content and keywords together to create a powerhouse website that ranks well for many different keywords.
Backlinks are links from other websites that link back to your website. Google believes that if you have backlinks from other authoritative sites in your niche, then your information must be good and therefore more authoritative.
If your business services a specific area or city and you only want leads from that area, then focus on local SEO. It’s like national, but instead of using general keywords, you also use localization keywords to show Google the areas you service.
You use the localization keywords throughout the content on your site such as city or county names. Your address and phone number also need prominence on the site, ideally using Google maps, to show Google exactly your location.
Google My Business is a listing and review site where you can put information about your business. Google uses this information to not only help rank you the search engine but also place you in the local packs that showcase businesses within a specific area.
Other business listing and review sites such as Yelp also have localized information about your business. While these are not on your site, they do rank well and persuade leads to visit your website.
It’s important to claim local listings and review sites. The base information is limited and many times incorrect. Filling out the information completely lets you create a good listing with pictures and other information and make sure everything is correct.
When it comes to reviews, it’s important to keep track of them and respond. People trust online reviews, so if you have several negative reviews that aren’t responded to, then they might go to a competitor. Thank positive reviews and respond kindly to negative ones.
Apologize for the problems and ask them to direct message you to fix the situation. It shows you care about your customers and want them to have the best experience. This could bring in numerous leads and steal them from competitors.
The last aspect of SEO is everything done on the backend of the site to make it more appealing to Google and your leads.
Most people use cell phone to search for information, so Google put a priority on user experience and security of websites. User experience is how easy your site is to navigate and for leads to get the information they need. It includes having responsive designs that fit any screen size and fonts that are easy to read on a small screen.
Site speed is how fast your pages load. Mobile phone users can be impatient and uncompressed files or large video files slow your page loads. People stop and leave your site if the pages don’t load fast enough.
Google wants all websites to have secure SSL. Originally, most websites were HTTP, but now they are HTTPS, a more secure version. It used to be only the shopping cart needed to be secure, but now all website pages, pictures, and other files require HTTPS or it can hurt your rankings as well as show up as not secure on the Chrome browser.
Keep in mind that even if the page itself is HTTPS, if there is a photo that isn’t, then it counts the page as not secure.
Schema markup may not play a part in your rankings, but it improves the crawler’s ability to understand what’s on your site and provide context. Google also uses schema with rick snippets and expanded search listings, which look better to leads.
Qualified Vs. Unqualified Leads
We’ve used the words “qualified leads” several times, but what exactly does that mean and how can SEO help with it. A qualified lead is one that has some interest in your product or service when visiting your site. An unqualified lead is someone that gets to your site by mistake or by accident.
For example, if you rank for a keyword that may not involve your primary business niche, it may show up in search listings and people click on the link thinking it answers their questions, but it doesn’t. Therefore, keyword targeting is important.
Valuable leads come in at all areas of the buyer’s journey. It’s not the same as it was only a few years ago and people can take hours, days, or weeks to finally use your service or buy your product. The more qualified the lead, the more likely it is to convert.
Much of the leads that come to your site from search engines could be unqualified unless you have an SEO strategy. Even then, they could be early in the buyer’s journey and you need to nurture them until the conversion.
Using SEO to Nurture Your Leads
There needs to be a diversity of content on your site that helps people naturally move from one aspect of the buyer’s journey to another.
Content for people researching generalities about your business or niche helps them understand what your business is and what it does. It piques their interest and encourages them to go deeper into the site for more information.
They may visit your site several times to gain more information, so have lots of content for them to read.
For those looking for more specific or technical information, you can have eBooks, brochures, and other information available that is more involved than the beginner articles. This is for people that are further along on the buyer’s journey and looking to choose a product.
This information should encourage them to contact your sales team or sign up for your email newsletter. SEO and your content rank well for various keywords, which brings qualified leads to the site. Once there, it’s up to you to keep moving them forward to conversion.
Will My Leads Change if I Use SEO Services?
SEO often gets a bad rap because the results don’t happen fast enough. SEO isn’t a destination, but a journey. It takes time to make the changes, Google to notice and index the changes, and improve your ranking.
It can take several months before you notice any major changes, but your traffic and leads should steadily increase. Not all traffic is created equal and you want traffic that converts. SEO provides targeting for people looking specifically for your product or service.
It improves not only the number but the quality. Yes, your leads will change if you use SEO services. They are more in number and they are more likely to convert. You can’t ask for anything better than that.
SEO mixed with other digital marketing services such as PPC advertising and social media management completes your overall digital marketing strategy.
Consider SEO Services for More Conversions
SEO isn’t easy and requires significant research and tracking to be successful, but once you see more leads coming to your site and more conversions, you’ll be hooked. Many businesses don’t have the time to manage an SEO campaign, so they hire a digital marketing agency.
We have the tools and expertise to create high-quality content and track rank changes. If you’re interested in SEO services and want more leads or would like to know more about it, then please contact us today.