Every company wants their marketing teams to generate leads, so then, how do you generate leads using SEO
Most business owners I talk to have one thing in common. They want to generate a steady stream of qualified leads for their business. Sounds familiar?. Well, leads really are an outcome of several activities and most business’s till recently have been only focussed on push marketing efforts to generate leads. Push marketing essentially means that you are pushing something to a potential customer and interrupting him and asking him if he wants to do business with you. This could be through emails, phone calls etc. Most people know what they want OR let me say it this way. When they want something, they know how to search for it. Thanks to our friend, Google. So how do you generate leads using SEO
If your customers are searching on Google, then you do not want to miss out and you definitely want to be found in specific categories of search. Now here there are two ways, the organic search, which we classically call as SEO and the inorganic or paid search, which we call as Google Adwords. It is more difficult to land in organic searches and is time-consuming, while it can get expensive to continue featuring in Google Adwords based search.
Well, let’s face it, a lot of things are changing and people who are delivering great content through their website have some really good chances of improving their performance on SEO. There is a science to it and you can apply it to your business. It does take effort, but imagine, if you can get to the first page of a google search, you would have already started to generate leads using SEO . In fact, you would have created a steady stream of inbound leads for your business.
Here are some things that you should consider doing to ensure that you are able to generate leads using SEO (or take help from someone who can help you get these done). Here is a brief on our services Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Improve your website structure
If you were searching for a tie-pin and you did not know where to find it in your cupboard, you would end up spending a lot of time. Right? Depending on how badly you needed it, you might end up spending hours trying to search it. Well the Google bot is not so considerate, when it comes to your site. If it comes and does not find what it is looking for, then it just abandons the search. This means that your web pages remain un-crawled and do not feature in any search results. Your job is to make sure that there is a clear structure in which the content is presented to the google bot, so that it instantly knows what to find and where, so that crawling the site can be a lot easier. It is always advisable to have a Robots’txt file available at your site, which clearly defines all the redirects, if any. Interlinking of content on the site, which relate to similar topics also helps with the structure.
Get rid of the redirect and 303, 404 errors
You may have moved your website around, done a few modifications, changed a few pages. While you do all of that, your web developer may have messed things up, changing links to some pages, and completely eliminating some pages altogether. While you may feel that it is your website and you can do whatever you want with it, but the pages that you eliminated from your site, might be linked from other sites and now these point to 404 errors (Page does not exist). These errors reflect badly on the SEO. You can go into your Google Search Console and understand the pages where you are encountering crawl errors. You can download the file and then define redirects to correct and resolve the problems.
Broken links make for bad usability. Not only that, search engines consider a large number of broken links as a signal of an old, neglected site and this can impact your SEO ranking. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through every single page on your website and test the links manually. There are many tools and apps to help ensure that your site is free of broken links, such as:
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Google Webmaster Tool
- W3C Link Checker
Be useful to your customers, seriously, don’t fake it
Websites are no longer brochure-ware sites. They help the business a lot in building authority in the field that they operate in. SEO ranking improves when visitors stay on your site longer, view more pages, and repeat their visits. The more user-friendly your site is, the more resources you provide on your site, the more likely this is going to happen.
When you provide useful content and resources, visitors tend to stay longer on your website, visit multiple pages to consume the information.
Although word count doesn’t rule the SEO world – nobody will read your stuff if it’s not helpful to them – longer content does give you the opportunity to provide more value, include more keywords, incorporate more outbound links, and of course, get people to spend more time reading to increase dwell time. Another reason to create highly useful content is that when visitors bookmark your content on Chrome, it will improve SEO ranking of your website in Google.
Improve your Page load speed
Use the right tags
Use of the right tags right through your content helps readability a lot. Proper use of header tags can help break up your content into sections that are easier to read and utilize. Also while you include images in posts, pages, make sure that you are setting them up with the right alt tags title and description. It is really important to ensure that you are able to generate leads using SEO. The Google bot cannot read images nor can they understand what is in them, but it can certainly read the tags and if they are in line with they keywords that you are optimizing for that page, it is that much more simpler.
Do include some internal links in your posts and pages. If you are offering some great content, make sure that you redirect the user to some related content that they will find useful. This will make sure that they visit more pages on your site and they stay for a longer time on your site. All of this helps in increasing your SEO score. By the way, do check out our services in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To make your content more useful and relevant, you can link out to authority sites for more in-depth information your readers can use. Linking out to well-respected authority sites will not only increase the relevancy of your content and time readers spend on your site, but it is also believed to send trust signals to Google and improve SEO ranking. A word of caution though, more is not necessarily better. Too many outbound links can be distracting and will take users away from your site. This will also make the content hard to get through.
Making your content easy to read and understand helps make it useful to your readers. Some experts also believe that Google takes readability into account when ranking webpages. You can use a variety of tools to test your content’s readability, including:
- The Readability Test Tool
- Readability statistics in MS Word
Layout and formatting
Proper formatting and a user-friendly layout can help improve user experience and make your content easy to scan and digest, so your readers will stay on your site longer and consume your website’s information.
Formatting can help dramatically improve a webpage’s usability by making the content easy to read:
- Use font family, size and typography that is easy to read.
- Use bold type and colors – sparingly and strategically – to call out important information and make the content easy to scan. Do not over do this
- Use short and simple paragraphs and ample line spacing in between – nobody likes a wall of text.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists for clarity.
- Break up content into sections with subheadngs. Proper use of header tags that include keywords also helps improve SEO ranking.
As of April 2015, Google has started to penalize sites that are not mobile optimized by bumping down their search engine ranking. More and more users are consuming content on mobile devices, and sites that are not mobile optimized will offer a bad user experience and will affect conversion.
It is particularly important for B2B marketers. if they want to generate leads using SEO. Research has shown that 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business. Business executives use mobile devices to research products and services for their businesses.
If you are using a WordPress sites, it is best to opt for a mobile responsive theme. This really takes care of making sure that your site is mobile optimized. Doing all of that manually is old school.
Social profile linking
Can you believe that the number of Facebook shares, Tweets, Pinterest pins and other social media mentions can influence SEO rank. Installing social sharing buttons on your website not only makes it easy for users to share your content, and thereby improve user experience, it can also help you rank higher on searches. Social sharing also helps drive purchasing behavior: Nearly 4 in 10 Facebook users report they have gone from liking, sharing or commenting on an item to actually buying it.
We hope you find these tips useful to generate leads using SEO. If you need help in implementing some of these things, do check out our services in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing