How to Generate Leads Using SEO

Marketing teams often generate leads through events: trade fairs, exhibitions, trade missions, workshops, conferences, and seminars.  Whether you’re running these events or participating in them, be ready to incur high costs starting from the pre-planning stage all the way till completion. This approach is limited by the number of personnel stationed at the events. Yet, event marketing is favoured by managers because they gain visibility through the face to face interactions, possible high event recall, and personalised engagement.

Here is a quick, cost-effective, and non-intrusive alternative to generating leads for your business: publishing quality content which incorporates search engine optimisation (SEO). This is also a form of inbound marketing: a process of attracting the attention of your prospects. You do this by creating content aimed at a targeted audience at various stages of the customers’ journey. You can also do this by geographically targeting the content: Wordstream found that in 2016, 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles! The prospective clients are not confined to event attendees. Instead, you grow it to people who have the mobile data plan.

8 ‘Rs’ behind Search Engine Optimisation

1. Research – Use the Correct Key Word

As any activity involving sales and marketing, SEO begins with research.

Run a keyword research which your target audience uses when they go online to understand the product or service you offer. Brainstorm with your digital marketing agency: what are the questions often asked by prospects? Are there recurring keywords or themes? Often they search these questions and keywords before they get in touch.

Think of your keywords as the building blocks to your on-going digital marketing campaign. These keywords also affect where your content stands in search engine rankings.

2. Relevance – Provide Good Content on your Website & Digital Assets

Search engines detect when you litter keywords for the sake of having keywords. While this technique worked in the early days of Google and search engines, algorithms have long changed. Often times search engines algorithm penalise these content and sending your page towards the back of the search engine results page (SERP) instead. Search engines are programmed this way to provide high-quality search results relevant to their clients. This is a strong reason why you need optimization SEO.

Yes, you want to incorporate the keywords into the page’s meta description. Search engines will still analyse the content of your page and compare it with these meta descriptions.

Search engines have the unique record of each user’s browsing and search history. Hence, it aims to connect your content based on these behaviors. While there may be a general behavior, for instance, first-time parents searching for good containers, it also records geographically where these parents are located. This is also another reason why search engine results vary according to devices and their owners.

Like your business, search engines need to remain relevant otherwise users will migrate to another service provider. This is why Facebook’s search functions are no longer limited to posts within its framework.

3. Replication – Be Active on Multiple Digital Platforms

With high-quality content, your sales and marketing team can re-use it in various formats: landing pages, email marketing, blog posts, website, or even social media posts. This way you are able to cast a wider net based on the targeted audience criteria.

According to HubSpot in 2016, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. A blog post can explain the intricacies of your product or service, its application, and its outcome. But on Instagram or Twitter, users and potential customers behave and expect different communication. Here is where you can show them the effects of your products and services. On Twitter, you are able to create threads within the character limit.

Being present at multiple social media platforms creates link building opportunities. Why is this important to you? Search engines treat links as votes for popularities and importance in the quagmire of web content. While algorithms changed its weight, it remains a vital part in your SEO marketing.

Remember that to replicate, you have to bear in mind these factors: the message, the right keywords, the end-game, and the audience.

4. Realness – Connect with Consumers

Advertising experts in Ogilvy are predicting that brands will start following their customers. Whether this is on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or blogs, the fusion of AI technology and human interaction is changing how we connect with one another.

Realness here does not mean leaving irrelevant bot-generated comments on your clients’ social media posts. That is sticks out like a sore thumb in the eyes of your clients and their friends or followers.

Social media is about being social or real. When consumers interact with brands, in their mind they are speaking to ‘AirAsia’, not ‘Tony Fernandes’. Likewise, when they tag Nando’s, Nike, Adidas, or Starbucks, they are engaging with the brand. This is awesome news for small businesses because your brand has a better opportunity to present its own personality.

These interactions go a long way in growing the number of potential customers. With positive experience and recommendations, this exercise also greatly improves your conversion rate.

Remember that because of the branding and positioning of the various platforms, users tend to approach it differently. You may have LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook accounts. A cat or baby video on Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram may spark your interest. Coming across these videos on LinkedIn, on the other hand, evokes negative responses. Be present where your target potential customers are and tailor the message accordingly.

5. Recordings – Let Video Show Your Value

In case you missed the algorithmic changes, social media and search engines incorporate videos into timelines and search results. Internet users – and your customers – are bombarded by content 24/7. They are spoilt for choice. While some users enjoy reading long posts, many prefer videos.

Videos are popular today because it provides some form of entertainment value. Videos – both sound and visual – can evoke emotions where text-based content may struggle. Playing videos do not require its viewers’ full attention. This frees them up to multitask. Reading, on the other hand, requires them to invest more focus and attention. Between videos and articles, you are more likely to see reactions, retweets, and shares of the former over the latter.

Just as any other content, search engines algorithms are catching up with this phenomenon. Again, while the meta description plays a role in the evaluation, how people share and comment on it matters as well. Indirectly this conversation prevents abuses of the search functions.

Once upon a time, ‘virality’ was an enigma and phenomenon advertisers and marketers want to get on. Now, it is easily replicable. It is worth repeating that keywords, audience, message, and your end-game are factors.

Publishing videos and recordings on multiple platforms also expose the work in those platforms. Social media search engines are catching up with Google. In the process, these digital service providers (DSPs) are also trying to grow their piece of the search engine pie. As recent as early 2017, users can still watch YouTube videos on Facebook. But today it appears only as a link.

6. Reasons – Give them a clear Call to Action

Up until now, you saw ‘end-game’ repeated. What does it mean in your SEO marketing campaign? What are you trying to really do? Generate leads to your websites and social media platforms? Enticing online shoppers to take advantage of that discount ending in 36 hours? Are you repositioning your brand so more people like your Page or follows your Twitter and Instagram?

The call to action is often overlooked by marketing teams. Yet this single line can affect the conversion rate that you want to deliver and report.

Just as any business function, SEO marketing needs to show deliverables. Only with a clear call to action can you derive a measurement that can be correlated to other business functions (e.g. leads, sales, app downloads).

7. Rivalry – Know Your Competition

SEO costs relatively less in a highly competitive market. Use a general keyword like ‘lose weight fast’. Then you will see yourself competing against big brands with a huge marketing budget, freelance personal trainers, nutritionists, pharmacies, gyms, and even that direct-sales distributor who attended class with you back in the day.

Deploy long-tail – or niche – keywords and you might find a low traffic volume. Again, defeating the objective of the SEO and digital marketing plan.

Striking a balance between general and niche keywords in a competitive environment take years of experience and understanding.

8. Retention – Technique and Talent take Time

Without a doubt, SEO marketing can be done internally. Be prepared to go through a steep learning curve. As one staff member learns the technicalities, concepts, strategies, and tactics, he will be preoccupied. This takes him away from other functions which you hired him for. Understand that when this personnel leaves, his replacement will have to go through the same process. Even when the outgoing staff teaches the new personnel, a lot of skills and tactics may be lost along the way.

Acquiring the skills alone is half the battle – the other is to keep up with the changes in search engine algorithms. Depending on which platforms you are using, this may require a lot of time just to ‘learn, unlearn, and relearn’.

What winning companies do is outsource the function to digital agencies. These digital agencies invest time, energy, and resources in refining their skills. They keep abreast with technological changes and digital marketing challenges which overwhelm many entrepreneurs and business owners.

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