Wouldn’t it be great if leads flowed into your site like salmon spawning in the spring? A business can only make it with a steady flow of sales leads, but it often seems impossible to generate qualified leads. Thankfully, there’s a tried and true solution: SEO lead generation.
53% of US consumers research products using a search engine before deciding when to buy. This is a big reason why 49% of marketers report that SEO has the best ROI of any marketing channel.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lead generation is optimizing your website to appear in organic search results when potential customers search for your products or services on search engines like Google.
When done right, SEO creates a steady stream of prospective leads who are interested in what you offer visiting your website.
Let’s dive into how to use SEO for business growth with a focus on lead generation. We’ll cover:
Looking for a lead generation SEO company? Learn about Augurian’s SEO services.
How Does Search Engine Optimization Generate Leads?
SEO generates leads by meeting potential customers in a position of need or interest. When someone performs a Google search, they have a specific search intent in mind; there’s something they want to know, find, or purchase.
If you optimize your web pages to answer the questions that users are asking with their searches, your site will appear in search engine results pages and put you in a position to capture leads that have already demonstrated interest in your product or service by what they searched for.
Defining Your Target Audience to Capture High-Quality Leads
The starting point for an effective SEO lead generation strategy requires knowing what kind of sales leads you want to capture. If you’ve done lead generation of any kind, you probably know what kind of leads you’re looking for, or your sales team has outlined the qualities they’re looking for in a prospect.
It’s helpful to outline your ideal lead in as much detail as possible, as this will guide your SEO strategy. For example, you may know that your best prospects work at large corporations and are interested in learning more about database management. That knowledge can help you tailor your website to address your audience’s needs and interests and attract them to your products and services.
It helps if you also map out the customer journey stages of your potential leads to determine the different stages of the buying process where you’ll need to reach them. Then, once you know who your audience is and where to meet them, you’re ready to dive into the nitty gritty of your SEO lead generation strategy.
How to Generate SEO Leads With 9 Tactics
SEO takes both art and science. As a result, a wide variety of tactics can go into an SEO strategy. However, you will need to consider how they should be executed and when to perform them, how they fit into your overall marketing strategy, and the impact they will have on business activities like lead generation.
A few key elements should form the foundation of your SEO building. Once you’ve chosen SEO as a lead generation technique and defined your audience, the following nine tactics can be a powerful way to start generating SEO leads:
- Keyword Research
- Create SEO Content
- Update Old Content
- On-page Optimization
- Identify and Fix Technical Issues
- Improve Site Speed and Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
- Acquire Backlinks
- Be Active on Social Media
- Optimize for Local SEO Lead Generation (if you’re a local business)
Effective keyword research is the basis of any successful SEO campaign. It’s the logical next step after defining your audience: discovering what they’re searching for.
There are over 8.5 billion Google searches per day. It’s estimated that 15% of all Google searches have never been searched before. With that in mind, zeroing in on precisely what your potential client base is searching for can seem daunting. But by harnessing your knowledge of your business and using the following keyword research tips, you’ll be able to sift through the noise of search engines and discover what your prospects are searching for.
Target Relevant Keywords
One key element of keyword research is making sure you are targeting relevant keywords. This is where your business knowledge comes in: make sure any keywords you gather are hyper-relevant to the products or services you offer. If a keyword is very broad, or you need clarification on whether it’s relevant, give it a search. A quick glance at the Google search results can give you an idea of the relevancy: if you see sites like yours ranking, it’s likely to be relevant.
Identify Search Intent
Every search conducted on a search engine has a search intent. For example, the searcher may want to learn about gardening, compare the pros and cons of various snowblowers, or check the score of a baseball game. No matter who your prospective customers are, they will have a specific intent when searching for your service.
Typically, when conducting keyword research to increase lead-generating organic traffic, you’ll want to focus on transactional keywords. These transactional-intent searches are where users intend to take action soon.
We often think of transactional keywords as searches where users want to purchase an item from an ecommerce business, for example, “hoodies for men.” However, transactional keywords can also be highly valuable for sales lead generation; for example, “google cloud managed services.”
Identifying these keywords for your products or services will allow you to tailor your content to target potential customers who are ready to fill out a form or call you.
Competitor Keyword Research
Another great way to identify the right keywords for your business is to examine what keywords your competitors are targeting. Competitor keyword research helps you identify keywords and gives you insights on who you’ll compete against to rank for those keywords.
Here are a few of the helpful keyword research tools for identifying competitors and finding keywords:
- Google Search Console
- Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer
- Google Trends
Create SEO Content
Creating SEO-optimized content is critical to a successful SEO campaign. If you regularly post high-quality blogs, you will:
- Connect with your audience throughout the sales funnel by satisfying searcher intent
- Establish trust and topical authority
- Support your other important pages through internal linking
Create Content that Satisfies Searcher’s Intent
As you conduct keyword research, note keywords that may have informational intent rather than transactional intent. These may be keywords where users ask a question like ‘what is database consulting?’ It may be more nuanced, for example, ‘roof rake.’
Users may intend to buy a roof rake, but they may also be wondering what it is or how to use it, offering an opportunity to create content to answer their questions. Targeting these informational keywords with blog posts will help you answer your potential clients’ questions as they learn about your product or service.
Build Trust by Creating Content Regularly
Regularly creating content will build trust with both search engines and users. Search engines like Google like to see fresh content being produced, and the more you create content, the more opportunities you have to generate backlinks and increase your site’s domain authority.
Fresh, helpful content will also remind potential customers of your expertise, enshrining you as an authority and keeping you top of their minds at the crucial moment when they make a decision on a service they need.
Create an Internal Linking Strategy for Your Content
Content marketing is more than just an awareness tactic. It can also boost the authority of your money pages. When your blogs earn backlinks from external domains, they build up link equity. This equity can be transferred to other pages on your site through internal linking.
Let’s say you wrote a blog about how using a roof rake can help prevent ice dams, and it blows up in the search engine results pages and generates tons of high-quality links from other sites pointing to you as a trusted resource. If you link from that blog to your roof repair service page in the right ways, you can boost its authority competitively to reach more searchers.
Want to dive deeper into content marketing? Learn how to create killer SEO content.
Update Old Content
You may question whether you have the time and resources to continually pump out new content. But, whether or not you do, refreshing old content on your site is also a great way to get SEO leads.
Content refreshing can offer many of the same benefits as creating new content, except you already have a head start! You may have pages on your site that contain outdated information, could do a better job targeting high-value keywords, or could be fleshed out to answer users’ questions more thoroughly. Here are a few methods to refresh old content:
- Refresh content focused on a yearly view (‘Best Ice Cream Flavors of 2022’) with updated information and dates
- Add content to pages that don’t thoroughly answer the target query or are thin compared to the competition
- Add in helpful images or infographics that help the user understand the content better
- Insert keywords or paragraphs to better target relevant keywords
On-page optimization is a crucial tactic in employing SEO for lead generation. Optimizing on-page elements with keywords helps search engines understand what the page is about, improving search rankings, increasing website traffic, and getting you in front of potential clients.
After narrowing down your target keywords, you can incorporate these terms into on-page elements on your business website. Here are some key factors to optimize:
Fix Technical Issues
Technical issues can hold back your site from ranking and converting. Search engines need to crawl your site and add it to their index to appear in search results and reach prospective customers.
It’s important to regularly audit and fix crawling issues, indexing issues, duplicate content, broken links, and more. Diligently resolving technical issues can give you a leg up on competitors who don’t have the knowledge or motivation to do the same.
Improve Site Speed
Making your site faster will improve user experience and your rankings in search engines. Google considers site speed an important ranking factor and has continually emphasized user experience in updates to its algorithm. Here are a few ways you can improve site speed:
- Use an image optimizer plug-in to resize images
- Remove unnecessary code from your site
- Use a reliable hosting provider
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Ensure your site speed and user experience improvements aren’t limited to your desktop site. Confirm your site is responsive and readable on mobile and that conversion points are clear – on all versions of the site.
It’s also best practice for your site’s desktop and mobile versions to have the same content, mainly because Google uses mobile searches first for indexing and ranking.
Another critical aspect of lead gen SEO is link building, the acquisition of backlinks from other sites. There are a variety of tactics to acquire links, from cold outreach to fixing broken links on your site that previously earned backlinks. Quality SEO content can also drive links, particularly if the content you create answers a question many users ask and other authors want to reference in their content.
Here’s an example of a blog post from the Augurian Content Team that earned a large number of backlinks.
Be Active on Social Media
While social media is not a search engine ranking factor, an active online presence can pair nicely with SEO to generate more leads. Social media marketing can connect to SEO directly in several ways, for example, by posting a link to your most recent blog post on Facebook. It can also indirectly support SEO by generating web traffic with social media posts that increase brand awareness or spark interest in topics that provoke more organic searches for topics you’re ranking well for.
Social media also helps you engage with your audience and understand who you’re trying to reach with your organic lead-generation efforts.
Optimize for Local SEO (if you’re a local business)
Local SEO is essential to lead generation SEO if you have a brick-and-mortar business. Optimizing for local search will allow you to appear in search results in the geographical area where your business operates.
Claim and Update Citations
Citations are online references to your business; they include the business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Claiming and ensuring the accuracy of these business listings sends search engines signals that your business is real and credible, making citations an important local ranking factor.
Properly optimized citations can also help you appear in local search results, like the map pack on the Google SERP or within platforms like Google Maps or Apple Maps, where users search for a business near them.
Having accurate information across the web can also help you appear in front of more prospects and generate more leads. There are many citations, but here are some of the most important to claim and update:
- Google Business
- Bing Maps
- Apple Maps
Optimize Local Landing Pages
Local landing pages are a core element of SEO for lead generation because they are where users land when searching for hyper-relevant local keywords. Optimizing these local landing pages can help you appear for more important keywords in your area, boost your relevant search traffic, and increase your conversion rate once users land.
If you’re a local, physical business, landing pages that clarify what area you serve and what your services are will help establish you as a local authority and increase local leads from local SEO.
How to Convert Leads
The tactics above help attract quality SEO leads, but what about converting them? While ranking for the right keywords can get more website visitors to your page who are interested in your services, it’s not a guarantee they will fill out a contact form. That’s where CRO comes in.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is making tweaks to your site or a select landing page to increase conversions. As users move through the customer journey stages, your site should provide the information they need to make a decision and convert. Running A/B tests can give you the information you need to improve visitors’ fact-finding experience and increase your conversion rate.
CRO tests can be low lift and high reward, pairing perfectly with your SEO lead generation strategy. For example, the Augurian Organic Search team ran a simple CRO test that generated a 50% increase in conversions and a $500,000 increase in revenue.
Generate SEO Leads with Augurian
Generating leads with SEO takes a carefully planned strategy and expertise. To truly connect with your audience as they’re searching for your services, partnering with an experienced SEO agency is the best decision you can make. We can help you have confidence that your digital marketing channels are working together to reel in high-quality leads.
Ready to talk? Get in touch.
Or, explore more of our SEO lead gen success stories:
- Schema & Content Refresh Led to Market Share Domination
- Landing Page Facelift Boosts KPI by 250%
- CRO Test Results in 766.67% YOY Increase in Conversions
- What is SEO Lead Generation? How to Generate Leads with Search - February 7, 2023