SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is often conducted in a silo, but this is a critical mistake, especially if you are striving to drive B2B leads through SEO. Your marketing will be more effective and will generate more leads if you strategically integrate SEO with your other marketing efforts.
SEO can play an important, leading role in your B2B lead generation framework, yet to maximize your lead gen results through SEO you need more than the SEO basics. To that end, we recommend these 10 steps as added fuel for your lead generation engine:
1. Build an SEO Ecosystem
With SEO, there are no silver bullets or shortcuts. It takes research, strategic thinking, rich content, links from highly credible sites, excellent engagement metrics, and a holistic approach to drive results.
You cannot just focus on technical SEO. You cannot just generate content.
Target specific topics and then build an ecosystem of content, links, and value aligned with searcher intent. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that two or three blog posts about a certain topic is sufficient for strong rankings in Google. Instead, build a content calendar (both onsite content and content for third-parties) aligned with an amplification and PR plan, and demonstrate true authority and engagement on your target topics (speaking at industry events, etc.). Think complementary components that compound your relevancy. And if you truly want leads from your SEO, spend as much time on the post-click, onsite experience as the pre-click ranking. Instead of focusing on SEO tactics, build a powerful ecosystem, and you’ll see more traffic from SEO as well as more leads from those efforts.
2. Analyze the Heck Out of Google Page One
What’s it going to take to rank higher in the SERPs? Conduct an analysis of each of the Page One listings for your highest priority keywords. This will give you a much more granular view and realistic sense of what’s required to compete.
3. Target Topics & Keywords throughout the Journey
Too many times, brands are looking for SEO success at only one level of the funnel. To achieve a higher ROI from your SEO efforts, look to cut through the noise and attract attention at the top of the funnel through broad, generic topics. Nurture your audience throughout their journey with relevant content that answers their questions and continually adds new value. Close with branded and comparative terms.
4. Improve Your SERP CTR
If you want leads, forget about rankings. It’s about generating click-throughs on your organic listings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If you rank on certain terms yet generate little traffic from the listings, you can immediately generate a higher ROI simply by increasing your CTR (click-through rate). According to Larry Kim, every three-percent increase in CTR for a listing above the expected rate improves your organic ranking by one position. You can achieve higher click throughs by testing different title tag text and meta description text and treating your listing like an advertisement.
5. Use Behavioral Analytics
Attracting traffic through SEO is only half of the battle. The other half is what happens once they land on your website. To understand the onsite experience, use behavioral analytics to assess what they are looking at on the page, how far down they are scrolling, where they are hovering, and what they are clicking on. Use this data to adjust the web pages themselves in driving greater engagement and action. Good options for behavioral analytics software includes Mouseflow, Hotjar, and Fullstory.
6. Use IP Detection Software
Driving traffic to your site from SEO is one thing. Knowing precisely which companies are on your site is altogether a different story. Implement IP detection software on your website, so that you’ll be able to follow up with new visitors, understanding the precise keywords that brought them to the site and the precise content with which they interacted. This level of understanding of their intent and engagement will help you to turn more of your SEO traffic into real leads.
7. Transform Old Content into New Leads
This strategy is missed by many SEOs, who tend to focus exclusively on new content. Instead, in this strategy, evaluate the content that is already bringing in the most site traffic regardless of the age of the post. Then, transform the page into a leads driver. What CTAs (Calls-To-Action) can you offer at the top of the page? Inline in the post itself? At the bottom of the post as a next step? Could you offer multiple CTAs and test to see which is of most interest? This is a strategy that reaps lead generation results for you immediately, given that the page is already generating traffic for you.
8. Solve Customer Problems
If you want your SEO efforts to truly drive leads, and not just traffic, strive to solve your target audience’s main challenges through your content. Empower them, and you’ll earn their trust. You can do this through checklists, whitepapers, ebooks, tools, resources, or simply writing amazingly useful posts. To uncover customer problems, you can reference macro data through keyword research tools and new question analysis tools such as the BuzzSumo Question Analyzer, or micro data through customer surveys, onsite polls, onsite chat, executive calls with customers, or conversational bots.
9. Add Content CTAs
Add CTAs to your pages to subscribe to your blog or newsletter. In addition, add CTAs to deeper, richer content on similar topics (e.g., offering a detailed checklist or whitepaper for the topic covered in a blog post, etc.). Once you have them engaged with your content, ensure that you have the opportunity to continually provide them with your valuable insights, guidance, recommendations, and offers.
10. Add a CTA for Your Services
Adding CTAs to subscribe to a blog or newsletter is common. Go beyond subscriptions, though, and use CTAs to drive more interest in your services. This is an often overlooked opportunity. By all means, you want to avoid being “sales-y” but that doesn’t mean that you cannot add a few CTAs offering a solution to your reader’s main challenges.
If lead generation and SEO are topics of interest, check out the following recent posts and articles: