How to Use SEO to Maximize Lead Generation

Why is SEO ideal for lead generation?

No other medium is as in tune with how your target audience thinks as SEO. Every query, every annoyance, every quality they seek: it all comes out in organic search.

SEO and lead generation go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Consider the HR director whose company has recently implemented a work-from-home approach. She is unsure how to assist her colleagues in dealing with the resulting changes in project collaboration and meeting styles. So she searches for "virtual teams," "remote work," "work from home suggestions," and other terms.

Then she selects on one of the top results, which includes a video conferencing advice.

Key Points 

  • SEO, more than any other medium, coincides with how your audience thinks.
  • At any step in the purchasing funnel, search engine optimization allows you to target the right audience at the right moment.
  • SEO lead creation does not simply collect leads and forward them to the sales team. It also helps the buyer all the way through the purchasing process.

Her department does not yet have a standardised video conferencing solution in place. As a result, she clicks on a Zoom-related link mentioned in the article. She begins to look for additional Zoom-related content, eventually ending up on Zoom's website. While browsing, she decides to attend a webinar titled "5 Steps to Adapt Company Culture for Remote Work." It's just what she needs! She registers and joins Zoom's lead funnel, but she isn't yet a true lead.

As the HR director conducts additional investigation, she discovers articles, videos, and guidelines that mention Zoom and are produced by Zoom. Zoom's ability to acquire mentions and backlinks from reputable sources, in addition to their own on-site material, provides a one-two punch. It closes the transaction, converting the HR director's entire organisation into a new batch of active new customers.

That is how you generate leads for your company.

Does this sound familiar? It should, because the HR director's behaviour has been mirrored across millions of workers in recent months. As a result, Zoom's stock has skyrocketed by the hundreds of percent.

That is the strength of SEO lead creation.

When you use and optimise for these upstream insights, you can develop pages that are completely matched with the demands of your audience throughout the purchase funnel. You may utilise your content to attract and nurture leads as they progress through the sales cycle.

Best of all, SEO lead creation ensures that prospects find your content when they are actively looking for it. That's a recipe for leads who are receptive, engaged, and of high quality.

Furthermore, according to a Forrester Consulting commissioned study, SEO leads to enhanced brand loyalty and higher customer lifetime value (CLV). The whole study may be found below.

SEO lead generating strategies: target the right people

What exactly is the distinction between a lead and a qualified lead? Someone who enters your funnel is referred to as a lead. They may have registered for one of your seminars or downloaded a white paper. They may, however, be in the wrong industry, in the wrong location, or lack the necessary budget.

A qualified lead, on the other hand, is someone who ticks all of your ideal customer's criteria. Industry? Budget? Geography? What's your job title? Is there a pressing need? In the purchasing process, do you have the ability to make decisions? Check, check, and check again!

They are more than just a larger audience. They are the intended audience.

Prior to implementing your SEO lead generation strategy, identify the right people and chart their path by mapping the customer journey.

Segmentation of the audience

While no business's audience is homogeneous, this is especially true in the business-to-business environment. In general, you'll probably have different audience segments. However, you will have additional sub-segments based on all client touch points before making a final conclusion.

Assume you're in the business of selling CRM software. You may think of B2B companies, B2C companies, and nonprofits as three of your main customer segments. There are more portions within each of those. For example, perhaps you focus largely on financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing industries in your B2B market.

The searches you optimise for and the messages you post should be accurate in their targeting. Segment your audience so that you can create an SEO strategy suited to each group for increased SEO ROI.

Customer personas

Create buyer personas for each of your audience segments for a more granular look. For example, you may have previously identified healthcare organisations as one of your CRM software's B2B targets. However, you may need to consult with top-level decision-makers, CRM managers, the sales team, the marketing operations team, IT, and others involved in the software's implementation or use.

It's quite tough to engage with buyers if you don't grasp their search queries' pain concerns. The process of reverse-engineering search intent for each persona is heavily data-driven. However, a good dose of intuition and empathy can also assist you in matching your consumers with the best keywords.

In-depth consumer persona examples allow you to dig deeper than the "What" to discover the "Why." A client persona is a single "character" representation of a prospective customer. As an example:

  • Who exactly are they?
  • What are their objectives and motivations?
  • What do they hold dear?
  • What kinds of issues do they have?
  • What is it that keeps them awake at night?
  • What makes them eligible for a promotion?
  • Why will your proposal improve their lives?
  • What sources do people use for news and information?
  • To whom do they report?
  • Etc.

A completely developed persona will assist you in writing marketing messages and anticipating demands on a more personal level. This is a natural, simple, and actionable way to understand and engage with customers on a deeper level.

Mapping the customer journey through the conversion funnel

It is critical to understand SEO lead creation holistically, across the full client lifecycle. The persona has no effect on the persona's needs or the search queries that correspond to them. They also evolve as your target audience progresses through the conversion funnel. In other words, as customers travel through the sales funnel, the same persona will conduct different queries. To understand more, check read our post on Tofu Mofu Bofu.

Consider the conversion optimization software business Optimizely as an example. The brand expertly targets full-funnel search phrases, especially in its extensive resource collection. Look at how they give various content for different funnel phases within a single customer segment, Retailers:

  • Awareness: 5 Retail Personalization Strategies – This gated guide is intended for shops who want to learn about cutting-edge digital marketing concepts like customization. At this point, they aren't necessarily interested in A/B testing or A/B testing products, but this material will plant the seed and bring them down the funnel.
  • Consideration: Making Better Decisions Through Experimentation – The searcher is interested in A/B testing and considering their options at this point. This webinar deftly combines helpful, step-by-step material with a case study of one of Optimizely's clients, Atlassian.
  • Webinar on Product Vision – Decision The head of Optimizely's engineering team shares Optimizely product features and discusses what's coming up in the future during this webinar. People who are on the verge of making a buying decision may find this information useful in assuring them that they are making the right decision.

Pay special attention to the emotions that drive decisions as you document the customer journey. You'll need to make an empathy map for this. You will be able to move your audience to action more effectively if you empathise with them.

SEO lead generating strategies: find out what they're thinking

Keyword research for SEO

What is the relationship between the various funnel stages and search engine optimization? Everything. Because you need to know what your potential consumers are thinking in order to produce content that delights them. To comprehend that, you must first grasp what they are looking for. And, in order to reach anyone with that content in the first place, relevant keywords with high search volume must be chosen.

Keyword research will assist you in identifying the searches your personas may conduct as they progress through the funnel. Make a list of your audience's top pain points at each level of the funnel and find the keywords that go with them. Keyword research data can be used not just to find the most popular searches or the finest prospects, but also to uncover search intent and obtain a better knowledge of your target audience.

SEO is so effective because it enables you to learn how customers think and how deeply your marketing plan resonates with them throughout their trip.

Search volume and market share

The share of voice for your brand is a combination of your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords, as well as the projected search and organic traffic volumes (based on the CTR of each SERP listing) associated with those rankings.

Companies (and executives) frequently base their SEO performance only on rankings. That, however, misses the significance of keyword weighting. Doing better with certain keywords will have a considerably higher influence on your share of voice than other keywords.

The greater the search volume for a keyword, the greater its contribution to your share of voice for a specific SERP position. A position five ranking on a keyword with 50,000 monthly Google searches will be more beneficial to your share of voice than a position one ranking on a phrase with 500 searches. Learn more about the most important Google ranking elements.

In other words, share of voice assists you in ensuring that your marketing is aligned with what is most important to your audience.

Use search volume as a guide to help you determine what is most important to your audience, and share of voice as a metric to ensure you're communicating with them in meaningful ways throughout the journey.

Social networking sites

Another wonderful technique to learn about your audience's thoughts is through social media. Track mentions of your brand, competitors, product questions, audience pain issues, and other high-value keywords with a social monitoring tool. Customer mindsets are constantly changing, and social media provides you with a fresh, unedited view of what your audience requires now. Not last month or last year, but right now. This is an effective approach to keep informed.

Collect input from customers via the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

One of the advantages of B2B businesses is that they develop strong ties with their customers. It's difficult not to if they've persisted with you through the long sales cycle and now entrust you with a chunk of their budget!

In order to collect Voice of the Customer feedback, enlist the assistance of your account managers or other customer-facing staff members. Concentrate on interview questions such as:

  • How did you become aware of our product?
  • What product (or service) were you previously using? What didn't you like about it? Why did you decide to look for a different solution?
  • Why did you choose us above the others?
  • What was your initial reaction to our brand?
  • What kind of content do you like to see more of?
  • What is the one thing we could do for you that would make a major difference?
  • Etc.

Customer interviews are an excellent approach to learn about the real-life experiences of actual people interacting with your products or services. It's a wealth of information that's far more valuable than what you can learn from a social media post or a customer list.

Polls and surveys

Surveys and polls can also help you gain audience information, but the difference is that these tools can do it on a large scale. You can use them to collect both quantitative and qualitative data.

Polls and surveys are simple to implement and can be utilised successfully with current customers, leads, and at the industry level. If you utilise them on your website, make sure they are completely personalised to the page's content so that the questions are contextually relevant to the site visitor. As a result, attempt to have numerous surveys or polls running at the same time.

Online discussion

Most live chat systems now provide audience segmentation capabilities. You may customise your conversations to share the correct messages with the right people by using filtering criteria such as the web pages visited, the user's location, the channel or campaign that sent them, and the actions they've made on your site.

Segmenting your interactions might also assist you in delving further into the needs of various personas. Assume that for one of your segments, a chat offer is triggered when they view an informational page about their business. What are their following questions if they respond to the chat?

Conversations on sales and support

Finally, your sales and customer service personnel are on the front lines of consumer insight. Your sales team will understand which problems are the most frustrating and which solutions are the most vital to your target customer, as well as which offers and messaging encourage them to take the next step. Sales will also be aware of the most common concerns raised by potential clients, as well as the most effective techniques to address and eliminate those issues.

Your support team will be aware of the most often asked questions and issues by customers, allowing you to compose more focused replies.

SEO lead generation: how to fill the funnel

If you want to learn how to enhance your SEO, this section will walk you through some best practises for increasing traffic.

Align the content formats with the search purpose.

Now that you've spent time identifying the correct audience, learning how they think, and determining what matters most to them, it's time to leverage SEO lead generation to fill your sales funnel.

What type of content format is your audience looking for when they perform a specific keyword search? Is that a product page? A page of information? How-to manual? Template? Checklist? What's a white paper? A case study? Is there an online calculator?

If your content does not match search intent, you will have a stupidly high bounce rate. Fortunately, the top ten results for your term provide a direct conduit to material that meets the search intent. Examine the destination page for each result and take note of the type of page and format, where in the funnel it is, themes covered, word count, and other hints about what content performs well for the term. Then try to outperform it by aligning with the searcher's intent more directly and deeply than the others.

Create engaging content

How can you outperform the best of what's currently ranking for your target keyword? Simply put, create fantastic stuff. Make it practical, useful, entertaining, or emotional. Tell a good narrative. And make time for research, writing, editing, and design – good content is an investment.

Remember that, as previously stated, great content must satisfy the search intent. It will not help you if you create an informative blog post if what they are looking for is a free tool. Or if you release Hollywood-quality videos promoting your brand when what they really need is how-to instructions.

Put it through the "You" filter. What do they desire? Walk your audience through the process of searching for the keyword and map their journey. Determine the best experience you can provide for someone in their shoes. It has nothing to do with your products or services. Everything revolves around them.

Get your work published and featured on third-party websites.

Inbound links from relevant, high-authority sites are essential for increasing your SEO authority and generating new leads. Develop thought leadership by writing byline articles about your industry, securing interviews about your area of expertise, or appearing on third-party webinars and podcasts. Pay attention to the news and consider how you can add a unique perspective to the discussion of current events. Then, contact reporters and make your pitch.

Spend money on high-quality link building.

Ensure your SERP listings are differentiated

Ranking on the first page is half the battle, but you still need to convince people to click on your listing over the others. And this only becomes more true the further you move from position #1.

Schema markup is one way to help your listings take up more real estate on the page, stand out from the pack, and provide the type of experience Google wants to serve users. Your title tag and meta description is the other. These create the first impression the searcher has of your page, so don’t just write them for SEO – write them for clicks.

Add benefits, compelling adjectives, and a call to action. Use your meta description to ask a rhetorical question, captivate them, or call out a pain point specifically. Approach your SERP listings like advertisements in order to hook your lead from the very beginning.

Offer lead magnets for demand generation

Lead magnets are long-form resources that you offer to leads in exchange for their contact information. The classic example is the downloadable ebook or white paper, but it’s not the only option. Here are several more demand generation strategies to consider:

  • Webinars
  • Online courses
  • Survey results
  • Original research reports
  • Videos

  • Templates
  • Tools
  • Workbooks
  • Demos
  • Access to a private Facebook group, Slack group, etc.
  • Etc.

There are subtle differences between lead gen vs. demand gen. But, they both work together to amplify your brand and convert your audience into customers.

Use IP detection

IP detection software keeps track of which businesses are visiting and returning to your site. Unless your IP detection is connected with your CRM and the contact is already in your database, the software will keep the user’s identity anonymous, but that’s not a problem (as you’ll see).

When an individual visits your site, they may not become a “proper” lead right away; that is, they may not leave their contact information. But if you can see that the same business is repeatedly visiting your site, you can plan a strategy that targets that business and helps get them engaged in a conversation. IP detection software options include LeadFeeder, Lead Forensics, and Albacross.

Even if they visit only a few times, you’ll know that the company is seriously interested in your types of solutions, giving you an opportunity to reach out to the account at precisely the time you are top of mind. You can use DiscoverOrg or a combination of LinkedIn with email identification software to define a group of relevant contacts to target. Email identification software options include Hunter, RocketReach, Norbert, and FindThatLead.

Customize your outreach based on the specific content they are consuming on your site. This is one of the most effective ways to make your outreach produce a higher response rate.

Implement behavioural analytics

Behavioral analytics tools and heat-mapping software help you identify where your users are spending their time on your site, which elements they click on, where they stop scrolling or get bored, and much more. The insight takes you far beyond Google Analytics’ basic behavioural analytics like user path and exit rate.

Using behavioural analytics is a crucial way to identify friction points, learn how to improve the site experience, and strengthen the performance of your website and content. By doing this, you also increase your B2B lead generation in the process.

Build trust

If your visitor doesn’t trust you, they’re never going to offer their contact information or stick around to engage with your business. Signals of trust are essential to the success of your SEO lead generation strategy. These include:

  • Client logos
  • Partnerships
  • Success stories
  • Client testimonials
  • Relevant stats
  • Ratings reviews
  • Association logos
  • Industry dominance
  • Awards

Additionally, ensure that your website complies with essential trust signals such as HTTPS protocol and a clean, bug-free web design. HTTPS is very important for SEO, so much so that if you don't have it, you'll have a harder time ranking.

Conduct A/B testing on your lead generation landing pages.

If you want to create high-performing lead generating landing pages, you must test what works and what doesn't. Different messages and design choices are iteratively A/B tested against each other. Change one element at a time and compare it to the alternate version. If there is a clear winner, go with that choice and run another A/B test. As a result, A/B testing should be a continuous process rather than a one-time activity. By making A/B landing page testing a method, you'll be able to consistently raise conversion rates and generate more leads.

Try out your CTAs

CTAs are your site's precise point of conversion. As a result, they play a key part in the entire SEO lead creation process. A/B test your CTAs to discover which messaging and CTA formats inspire visitors to click.

Test multiple sizes, colours, and messaging to obtain a rough idea of what style of button or display works best, but also test the CTA wording.

Test several behavioural triggers for your CTAs, like as time on page, scroll rate, pages visited, and so on.

What happens when you combine a CTA with a specific benefit or offer? What effect does the CTA have on different types of content? What page position or stage of the user's journey yields the best results?

Make your forms more efficient.

What is one of the most direct ways to fill your SEO lead generation funnel? Use powerful form builders such as FormidableForms or FormStack to add sophisticated form features and test your forms at the point of conversion. This will assist you in developing forms that have a greater conversion rate or collect more information without raising form abandonment.

Whereas much of the SEO lead generation process is increasing website traffic or leading people through the funnel, your forms are a critical point at which they will decide whether or not to interact with your company. It's one of the most critical points in the journey, so give it your complete attention if you want to maximise your lead volume.

Care for your leads

How SEO affects lead nurturing

SEO does not only collect leads and then send them on to the sales team to nurture. It also helps the sales team along the lead's journey, from initial contact to purchase. As your lead's expertise expands and their needs get more particular, they will bring their inquiries not only to their sales contact, but also to Google.

Anticipating these queries allows you to capture these searches and meet the lead's ongoing demands, cementing your brand's reputation as an authoritative authority. You also keep them engaged with your brand rather than allowing them to land on a competitor's site as they progress down the funnel.

Automated marketing

When it comes to SEO lead creation, it's critical to have a scalable and efficient procedure. Use marketing automation throughout the process to that aim. When SEO brings the correct person into your funnel, make sure they receive automated yet targeted and relevant content in a logical order. This entails integrating SEO, content marketing, and email marketing.

Adobe Marketing Cloud, Pardot, ActiveCampaign, Act-On, and HubSpot are some marketing automation software solutions.

Use additional automation tools to keep your SEO lead creation efforts scalable. This comprises keyword research tools, competitive analysis tools, content optimization tools, backlink analysis tools, rank tracking tools, and SEO and website performance dashboards. SEMRush, Ahrefs, and SERPStat are other useful SEO tools to consider.

Turn qualified leads into sales

As leads move through the funnel, transform your content into a high-conversion playground that will drive them to the buy. Provide plenty of social evidence and offer calculators, comparative tables, or a proof of concept to demonstrate the ROI you can obtain. Address any last-minute issues. Take away the risk.

Explain the cost/benefit of purchasing the product in detail so that they might consider the purchase to be a net win rather than an expense.

Effective SEO lead creation begins with putting your company in front of the appropriate people at the right time and directing them to your website or other digital properties. From there, it integrates with your website and other marketing efforts. SEO leads customers through the funnel, answers their questions, opens their eyes to new options, informs and encourages them, alleviates their anxieties, and lastly, assists in the sale.