SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization,” is all about drawing visitors to your site through a passive increase in organic web traffic. There are several ways to generate leads, but the idea is to elevate your site in search results relating to popular keywords within your industry. If you’re in the restaurant industry, and someone from the city in which you’re based searches for “best restaurants in my area,” you’d ideally like your website to come up on the first page of their search results, and as close to the top as possible.
Traditional SEO used to only focus on keywords. At one point in time, the best thing you could do for your site was to optimize its written content. Recent innovations have created a number of other means to bolster your SEO, allowing you to take advantage of the vast assortment of new types of online content. These methods work to help convert visitors into customers, further your brand recognition, and improve upon your organic search results.
There are several ways in which you can turn these newer methods of SEO enhancement to your advantage to generate leads:
Give visitors something of value, in return for their information.
Good SEO draws people to your website. Ideally, you want them to spend their money right away. Many won’t… but that doesn’t mean that they’re a lost cause. If you provide them with something valuable for free, in exchange for signing up to an email list, you’ve now got their contact information. You can send them special offers, deals, discounts, and links to additional valuable information. Such individuals will be more likely to come to you in the future, should they require the services or the products which you provide; they may also spread knowledge of your brand through their social media accounts, resulting in additional traffic (and mailing list signups). One of the most common things to offer, in exchange for this signup, is an eBook, covering the basics of some commonly referenced aspect of your industry.
Go to where the talent is.
One of the big changes in acquisition marketing in recent years is the incorporation of inbound marketing. Once upon a midnight dreary, acquisition marketing was all about acquiring new customers (it’s still called “customer acquisition marketing” in many corners).
Now, though, it’s more about acquiring value: you want to bolster the sense of value that you provide to your customers, by improving all aspects of your online presence. Not only does this include acquiring customers, but it also includes the acquisition of more engaging content, more brand recognition, and the right talent to provide your customers with their desired experience. One of the best ways to do this is to look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who provide the type of service that you are looking to provide, as well as people whose organizations would benefit from those services. Use this information to help forge professional connections on either end of the chain, through searching profiles in your area – and looking up pertinent groups.
Generate leads through online affiliate marketing.
Since e-commerce began to appear in a big way in the mid-90s, following the advent of the internet search engine, businesses have looked for new and improved methods for generating SEO leads. One of these methods, around since the very beginning online – but long before then in traditional marketing – is the use of affiliate marketing. In simple terms, affiliate marketing involves a business sharing profits with a third party advertiser – an agency, or an individual – in exchange for direct sales. You, the business owner, set up a network whereby individuals who visit your site can sign up to become affiliates… then, you share a portion of the profits with them, on every sale made to a customer who follows their custom link to your website. Internet giant Amazon.com has a very successful affiliate network, Amazon Associates, which they have had since the early days of online affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing drives traffic with a high customer conversion rate, or CCR.
Market through local directories.
In present-day digital marketing, it’s common to remind people to take advantage of local business directories and directory listings. There are website directories pertinent to particular locations, and ones which are pertinent to particular industries, as well as networks and listings pages which include directories for locations across the United States or your respective country of origin. Some of these directories, such as DemandForce, take the form of networks which span large areas and cover multiple niches, while others are more specialized.
There are also services available which will list your business for you, across dozens of potentially viable directories for your local area. What you rarely hear about, however, is looking at these directories from the opposite end: as a way to forge professional relationships. You can find customers, talent, and new business ideas through investigating companies in related niches in your immediate area. These listings generally include some of the most up to date contact information available, so it’s easy to reach out and make the first move.
Each of the methods discussed involves ways to forge professional relationships, find talent, boost the engagement factor of your digital content, and bring additional customers to your front door. In so doing, they work to benefit your business in multiple ways, including the improvement of your SEO. They improve your brand awareness, they increase the number of people who are engaged by your online presence, and they boost search engines’ inherent “respect” for your website’s industry-specific authority. They will work through social media and other forms of online networking, as more people discuss your brand. These techniques are all a part of acquisition marketing. Acquisition marketing, in its turn, has merged to become a part of the inbound marketing philosophy – which might best be summarized by this famous line: “if you build it, they will come.”