As a brand guardian and/or Chief Marketing Officer, you may think that it ‘takes too long’ to generate leads via SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Yes, it does take longer to see leads from SEO efforts compared to, say, from pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. But, if you’re targeting the right keywords and your site is technically healthy, the results aren’t that long in coming and they’re certainly worth waiting for.
SEO is one of the few content marketing strategies that becomes more effective over time. It isn’t like paid (PPC) ads, where you set a budget and the leads come trickling in at a rate that (ideally) directly reflects your spend.
Instead, with SEO, the time and effort you put in adds up cumulatively over time. That ensures a great return on your investment IF you’re willing to think longer-term. And, to be honest, if you aren’t, your brand will suffer.
SEO is also one of the strategies out there that any business or brand can use, no matter what your budget. It’s all about organic traffic… but to get that organic traffic, you have to have a website with quality content that ranks!
How do you actually generate leads with SEO? It’s actually a very simple formula:
- Produce regular, high-quality, search engine optimised content – that could be blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, core website pages, video content, infographics… and so much more. For it to be ‘search engine optimised’? You need a strategy in place that is grounded in keyword research, organic competitor analysis and your own analytics.
- Build backlinks based on a strategic approach (no directory listing spam!)
- Ensure your website is technically optimised so it runs fast, is built with a mobile-first approach, and is seen as a safe and trustworthy site by GoogleThat may sound like a lot of work – and it is. But there’s an upside to putting all this time into optimising your site and creating quality content. It will give you a significant competitive advantage over the other companies who are attempting to rank for your keywords.
That means a higher spot on Google. And that, in turn, translates to more traffic, which generates more LEADS from SEO.
Start by doing some extensive keyword research. You want to focus on phrases that you have a chance of ranking for. These may not be the highest volume phrases, but they should be highly qualified. Qualified keyword phrases are those that have words added to a core need/problem that the searcher uses to get ‘better’ results – meaning results that are more in line with their search intent. The benefit here is that searchers using qualified phrases are further down the buying journey and, therefore, more likely to convert once they’re on your site.
For example, consider what someone may be searching for if they search:
Unqualified keyword phrase: software design
This could be someone searching for a course in software design or looking for an offshore freelance software designer. Or perhaps seeking out a template to create their own software. As you can see, there are so many options and it’s impossible to satisfy all of these search intents.
In contrast, consider the search intent behind this keyword phrase:
Qualified keyword phrase: software design agency Sydney
As you can see, the qualifiers of ‘agency’ and ‘Sydney’ mean we can easily satisfy the search intent by writing content about all the software design agencies in Sydney. If the phrase was further qualified by ‘best’ at the start, we can get even more niche with our content to satisfy that search intent.
Once you’ve researched your keyword phrases and decided what you want to create content about, then you need to weave these phrases into your online content based on best-practice.
Remember to always write for humans first and Google second. Google has become far better these days at understanding context, so the keyword phrases you use don’t always have to be exact matches.
Make sure your site looks great on all devices, that it’s fast, and that it’s technically perfect. Most websites are now indexed by Google as their mobile-optimised versions because over 50% of all searches now on mobile. The upshot? If your site doesn’t work well on mobile, you’re missing out on traffic and lead conversions.
Run a technical health analysis over your site with a trusted partner or your web developer. Look at things such as (but definitely not limited to):
- Is your web host a local and reliable one?
- Are your images and scripts optimised?
- Are there any unnecessary plugins, scripts, comments and broken links that are clogging up your site?
- How fast is your site?
- Are your headings tagged correctly?
- Does your site lend itself to structured data markup?
This strategy works well if you rely on local business or you have a physical location. If you’re a virtual service provider, this can be less relevant but still good to review.
If you do have a physical location though, you need to:
- Claim your business on Google My Business and fill out your profile
- Post consistently to your Google My Business listing
- Ask for 5 star reviews from happy customers
- Use local keyword phrase qualifiers in your content to get local traffic.
The aim is to show up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) when someone searches Google for your location and service. That means using all the other SEO strategies I talk about in this article as well to ensure Google sees your site as competitive.
Regularly creating and publishing content provides fresh content for your website visitors as well as keyword optimisation, image search, social media sharing and engagement and back linking opportunities – so you definitely want to be taking advantage!
Think about consistency, readability, linking and keyword optimising as you write your content. If you build a strong content strategy around your keywords, this part will be really simple.
Although SEO is all about getting organic website traffic from Google, you still need to promote your content through other distribution channels. Social media and email are both great platforms you can use to promote your content and get people linking to it, which will accelerate your SEO ranking.
As will a considered SEO . This means mapping out websites you’d like to link to yours and reaching out to them to ask. The more fantastic content you have, particularly content that is relevant to each of the sites you want a link from, the better. One of the simplest ways to do this is to write a blog post about the business’s site you want the link from and then ask them to link to that post from their site.
You can also seek out strategic link partnerships and press coverage to generate backlinks. The trick is to align your keyword phrases from your research to the anchor text (live linking text) from the other site.
Steady increase in impressions and click-through-rate thanks to ongoing SEO content support
Now no one can argue with this… impressions increase since new search engine optimised site went live. And we’re about to catapult those results with a roll-out of optimised blog posts too.
Huge increase in rankings distribution (so the number and position of keyword phrases this client ranks for) after the roll out of our SEO website content.
Far too many so-called experts out there promise they can get you to ‘THE #1 SPOT ON GOOGLE”. Avoid them like the plague. There IS no way an SEO consultant can get someone to the top of Google’s rankings. That’s Google’s decision, and Google’s decision alone.
Additionally, the practices these agencies undertake to get you fast results is often dodgy, which can result in Google actively penalising your website! Some of the problematic tactics they use include:
- Link buying – this means the ‘experts’ are buying links on other sites that direct to your content. These sites usually exist solely to contain links, so they don’t provide any actual value to anyone, which means no one will visit them. In other words, they’re a complete waste of money!
- Duplicate content – Please make sure that all of the content on your site is unique. Duplicating your blog posts, or copying content from another website verbatim, definitely doesn’t work.
- Invisible text – some ‘experts’ stuff your content with repeated keywords that are written in the same colour as your background, or create hundreds of hidden pages. The idea is that they’re invisible to the human eye while being visible to search engines. Google’s smarter than that, though: it will see this as pure spam. So please, just don’t.
Those are the five biggest ‘do’s (and the three biggest ‘don’t’s) to creating a strong SEO strategy that will generate more and more leads over time.
And how do we know they actually work?
We’ve put these strategies into practice again and again for our clients to deliver more leads.
As you can see…
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch today for a free SEO audit.