Are you getting a lot of website traffic but not enough from the right kind of visitors? Do you have good keyword rankings but not enough engagement and conversions? It’s a common situation to be in. SEO can boost thought leadership and bring good leads. However an SEO strategy requires a lot of careful planning and integration with all other sales and marketing activities.
Follow the steps below to prepare your website and an SEO strategy to bring good leads for your business.
1. Think of your prospects and their buying journey.
Hopefully, you will have done this before you started building your website. If your website attracts users who are looking exactly for your services or products, then your SEO is delivering the right traffic for you.
Try to see things from your prospects’ point of view. Who are they? What are their pain points? What are barriers do they find along their buying journey? How is your website going to bring value to them?
2. Build a technically perfect website with valuable contents targeted to your audiences.
When you have answered all these questions, build a website which search engines will like: make it easy to visit and index and this will go a long way towards ranking it high.
When you plan your web contents, keep your prospects and their buying journey in mind; your goal is to get your visitors to buy from you, to give you a call or leave their e-mail with you so you can turn them into prospects to nurture. Create and publish material which raises awareness of your organisation as thought leaders in your field, but it is mainly about your prospects: answers their pain points and removes barrier to purchasing; research shows that B2B buyers are increasingly using web search to get information before they engage with vendors. Surround your prospects with information that is useful to them.
At the same time, try to find out as much as you can about your website visitors; for example, a simple stratagem like having diagnostic questionnaires on your landing pages is always a good way to show your visitors you are interested in them and give them a chance to talk about their business needs while giving you precious information.
Consider your visitors’ intent and match your website to it: search algorithms nowadays are really sophisticated and can understand the intent behind a search. If someone’s search intent -for instance- is to buy some types of products or services, your website should contain material and systems which facilitates this intent; otherwise search engines will not rank your website and your prospects won’t even have a chance to land on your pages. You can also read this article about optimising for user intent.
3. Create excellent landing pages.
A landing page is the first impression a visitor gets of your website so take some time to build your landing pages well.
- Write good SEO titles and meta descriptions for your pages and use rich snippets when you can; this will make people want to click on the link and land on your pages.
- Make sure the contents of your landing pages are relevant to what people can read in your Search Result Snippet and once they land on your page, make it immediately clear that it is what they were looking for, or you will lose your visitors.
- Make your landing pages informative but not too word-heavy
- Have lead magnets on your landing pages: give away valuable resources for free (guides, case studies, tools….) but ask visitors to give you their e-mail address. If they think you are giving them value, they will be happy to do this.
- Give your visitors a reason to convert, once they are on one of your converting pages. Depending on what a conversion is for you, this means having a purchasing trolley and payment system, a “contact us ” form, a resource to download, a video to watch. All these should be clearly visible and easy to use but you must also explain to your visitors why they should buy, give you their e-mail or do any other action you consider a conversion. As we said before, you you give them value, they’ll be happy to convert.
4. Give your visitors reasons to read more pages of your website.
Where do you want to take your visitors after they land on your website? Create paths inside your website which turn visitors into leads with only a few easy passages.
Here are a few possibilities.
- Create a dedicated section. For example if Topic 1 is very popular, it probably deserves a section for itself. A dedicated section would give these pages more visibility for human visitors and search engines would consider it more useful; this would keep engaged visitors on the website and improve ranking.
- Related contents on your website.Think about other pages that people interested in a certain piece of content will want to see, and link to them throughout the content and at the end either in a “if you liked this, you’ll love this” or “related posts” kind of way.
- Allow comments. This will increase engagement and returning visits.
- If you have a blog with more than one author, have links to author pages at the bottom of each article instead of just the author name and e-mail
- Look at ways you could provide more in-depth information in popular articles (e.g. videos or podcasts). All this will keep visitors on the page long enough to notice that there is more to your website without just immediately leaving.
5. Concentrate on tracking the right metrics:
What exactly do you want to track? What metrics will tell you if your SEO efforts are delivering the desired results?
Lead Generation Metrics tell you how many people are engaging with your contents through organic ranking and moving through the stages of your sales funnel. Among others, they will be:
- Newsletter subscribers
- Blog/social media followers
- Social interactions and visits from pages on your website (likes, shares)
Conversion Metrics tell you how many prospects have converted after visiting your website.
However, Conversion Rate can easily be misunderstood if not examined in their proper context. For example, a higher conversion rate means your commercial strategy is sound and efficient, your web content is engaging, your e-mails are well crafted and so on, but if both your traffic and your sales are decreasing, conversion rate might increase because your traffic decreases more rapidly than your sales. In this case an increase in conversion rate would not be the sign of something good: after all, you would prefer to have 10,000 visitors a day with a 3% conversion rate than 1000 visitors per day with a 4% conversion rate.
So, very often in analytics, the problem is not only achieving high metrics but high metrics which are a real indicator of quality.
- Calls from website
- Contact form submissions
- Request a callback form submissions
6. Optimise for mobile first.
“Mobile First” means that Google will now consider the mobile version of your website as your primary version. Until now Google crawled your desktop version first and considered your mobile website as an alternate version; as a consequence, mobile versions of websites did not receive the same attention as desktop versions, in terms of backlinks, User Experience, speed…
“Mobile First” will reverse this. Your mobile website will become the starting point for what Google includes in the index and how they determine rankings; in addition, the cached versions of pages will usually be the mobile version. There is a rationale for this: Google reckons that by 2020 85% of searches will be from mobile. Read our article on how to optimise your website for mobile searches.
7. Track and measure.
Downloads, blog followers, newsletter subscribers and social interactions from your website can be tracked with on-page tools which will register these types of interactions while conversion metrics like contact form submissions and website calls can be tracked by tagging your website with “event tracking” and “call tracking” codes; this can be tricky to implement, so make sure you backup your website before you do it and ask your web development team to do it. Set up goals in Google analytics this will help you track your customer journey and build an attribution model.
Once you have got all this in place, you are ready to track all the most important lead generation events on your website, understand which tactics are working and which ones aren’t and tailor your SEO efforts according to your data.