A significant part of digital marketing success is based on understanding the customer journey. A customer’s interest will be piqued by something like a social media post, and then they may begin their search for more information online. As a business owner, you need to be waiting with your hook fully baited so that you can capture a lead.
By “lead”, we mean someone who is seeking to initiate contact in some sort of way that makes them a prospective customer that you can interact with and sell to. A tried and true method for hooking a lead is having a clear ‘Call to Action’ which encourages them to take a desired action.
These are usually the stand out item on the page, and provide both temptation and convenience for the website visitor. Having one is essential as it provides one final push to the potential customer through a promise of help.
Still, that doesn’t answer how you get the lead in the first place. Simply listing a website won’t bring a great deal of traffic, there are around 200 million active websites after all, and a good deal of them engage in the same kind of tactics we are about to outline within this blog.
Here we go through some of the most popular methods by which people generate leads, starting with SEO.
What is SEO?
This is an abbreviation you’ve likely heard before if you’ve been looking for ways to increase interaction with your business. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”, and by search engine, we largely focus on Google and Bing, although there are other options. Google has a near-monopoly over the search engine market, and every little change it makes has the potential to throw a wrench into the strategies of every digital marketing wizard.
Here’s the gist of how searches work: when someone types into a scratch engine and submits their enquiry, the service “crawls” the web for websites and webpages relevant to whatever was typed, and indexes them. It looks at web titles and the HTML code embedded within them, as well as the content on your site. Then, the search engine such as Google takes all of what it finds and serves it to you in ranked order, from most relevant and authentic, to least relevant and authentic. These two things are key in SEO.
Before we even talk about what constitutes being either of those things, you first have to know what your customers are even looking for online.
If the call to action is the hook, then the keyword research is the lake the fish are swimming around in. Keywords that you find and jot down during this stage will be the foundation of all strategies in SEO.
To find out what your customers are looking for, you have to put yourselves in their shoes and go looking. You can get ideas from auto-suggestions in the google search bar, as well as the FAQ list that’ll likely appear somewhere on the search results page.
Note down the keywords you find the most viable, you’ll need it for one of the various keyword tools out there (think Semrush). Look closely at the stats the tool gives back, which should consist of how many people are searching for the term and when.
You might be tempted to immediately jump at the highest volume keywords, but remember, those are the ones with the highest competition. High volume, low competition keywords are some of the most valuable there are. If giant companies dominate the first page of Google on any search result, it’s best to abandon that word entirely.
One thing you absolutely should do, however, is target keywords relating to your locale. For example, if you’re a bakery in Fictionville, and you find a decent volume of searches for “bakeries Fictionville”, that’s your golden ticket.
Once you have your selected keywords, it’s time to optimise your website to be relevant to those keywords.
So you got the keywords. What do you do with them? You include them on your website in the form of content.
Remember how crawling works? It reads the content within your website whenever a relevant search is executed. Content that the crawler scans that have these keywords included will add a huge boost to your relevancy. Furthermore, keywords should be present in the HTML code of your website. These are called “meta-tags”, and act as a beacon for the Google Crawler. The content itself can come in the form of several things, the most valuable of which are undoubtedly service pages and blogs, which can organically have the keywords dotted throughout them.
So, we know what you might be thinking. Why, SEO Wizard, should I not create a website full of blogs repeating the phrase “Bakery fictionville” over and over? Won’t I be the top result every time? Well, no. The black hats amongst our kind have already exhausted Google’s patience with those types of methods, and now it seems Google favours what they see as original authentic content. That means absolutely no duplicate content. If Google crawls your site and finds pages and pages of copy-pasted paragraphs, they’ll assume something is up and they’ll de-rank you.
Authenticity is key. As a result, your content should be professionally written (although not necessarily professional in tone) and presented. Your website should also be modern in architecture too, being accessible on mobiles and generally having a nice design with good user interface and navigation.
Content has to be regular and engaging. Droughts of content will lead to Google considering your site somewhat abandoned, out of date, or low grade, and deranking you. Similarly, if Google finds that people are not sticking around on the website for very long at all, this can also have an impact on your search engine rankings.
Sounds like a lot, right? A ton of research, a ton of content, and a sleek, entrancing website that is built for both desktop and mobile. Hardly a late-night task to tick off. Digital Marketing consists of a group of jobs particularly to manage these sorts of things. And content isn’t even the end of your excursion into the world of lead generation.
Advertising is a key part of any successful well-rounded marketing strategy and through methods like PPC and Social ads, you can enjoy success when you get it right.
PPC refers to pay-per-click, and the most common type of PPC ads is through Google. If you search for a keyword related to a business, the likelihood is you’ll see adverts at the top of the page in the form of links. Someone took part in a bidding war to put that advert there, and if you click it, they pay a fee regardless of what you do on the site.
As a result, PPC can be a risky venture. That being said, a well-planned campaign following certain parameters will often result in good results. Most planned campaigns see a return on investment of about 200%. This is due to the absolutely enormous amount of traffic that flows through Google every day.
Social ads are another means of getting your brand out there. Traditional forms of ads on platforms like Facebook have been joined by others like TikTok and Instagram to provide businesses with multiple avenues to promote their business through online ads.
Display ads are another source of leads. Finding websites with decent traffic and offering them a sum of money to put up an advertisement, or using an ad network platform like Google Ads or Adroll, is a tried and true method that can generate some good exposure and results.
If you’ve got an audience already, there are ways to gain new ones simply by interacting with them. By having a good social presence and developing a community with customers and potential customers can help you expand your reach and help you develop greater brand loyalty.
One thing you’ve likely seen throughout your life is referral schemes. By incentivising your customers with discounts, you can essentially have them rope their inner circle into your services. These leads can then be made into real customers through this avenue. Since it is their trusted friends usually referring to them, you have a greater chance of retaining their patronage than you do the average web surfer.
Another method to speak of is backlinking. Google scans the content of every website they index, including the links within those websites. If Google finds that the link to your website is present in the content of other respected, authentic sites, then your ranking will almost certainly improve.
So, a good way of generating leads through backlinking is by networking with relevant businesses to your own that are not in direct competition to you. For example, if you sell cakes exclusively, and another store near you with an online presence sells bread.
The relationship alone is worth it as you can advertise to each other freely, but it also provides a unique opportunity for your digital presence. By writing a guest blog on the site of your new friend, a professional well-written one, and having a link that goes back to your site present, Google will notice and take this into account when deciding ranks.
All seem like too much?
If you’re having trouble generating leads and find little in the way of time to go about some of the methods listed throughout this article, then you’re in the right place. Pronto has a team on hand to deal with all your digital marketing needs whether you need help with PPC, Social ads, SEO or just need more leads in general.
If you need help setting up a campaign to boost your leads and evolve your business, please contact us. We’re here to help!