We all know how important a website is to a business's online strategy and it is no surprise that almost every business needs an online presence to reach buyers in the internet age. While advances in technology and the worlds’ increased accessibility to the internet means that practically anyone can create their own website, it’s surely easy … right? Well I hate to break it to you, but even a great looking website isn’t so great if no one actually visits it. So whether you’re looking to build a website, or if your current site just isn't getting the leads you were hoping for, you might be wondering what it really takes to build the ‘lead-generating machine’ we marketers bang on about. Well, I am so glad you asked because I have just the solution.
If you haven’t already met, I’d like to introduce you to my friend SEO, or as they are more formally known; Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an absolute must-have to any website strategy, and is the foundation of what makes a great website … great! As a member of the digital age, who do you turn to when you have a problem? Mum or Dad? Your Friends? Pft! What is this, the Stone Age? In 2020, we turn to trusty ol’ Google and begin a search. Knowing this, instead of just impatiently crossing your fingers hoping that online search leads them to your website, by implementing SEO, you’re actively doing something that WILL lead them to your website.
But, that’s only half the battle, sure - SEO helps you get people to your website, but to survive online, you have to create the right content to turn these people into leads.
How, you ask? Well it takes hard work and consistency, but these tips will help you get on your way.
- Start with keyword research
First things first, do some keyword research. I know content creation is the fun side of marketing but don’t even think about creating a content strategy without knowing what it is that your consumers are searching for. Always consider a searcher’s intent and the context of their search query - in other words, what do they want to know? A good place to start is to look at your company’s value proposition and your buyer personas main pain points and think about what describes your offering best, what are the key terms you actually want to be found for, and what are the terms your buyers personas are looking for when they are reaching a problem.
It’s so important to take a step back and into the minds of your customers to ensure the keywords you think are important actually align with the ones your consumers are using.
- ...and create Content about them
Once you’ve established keywords that align with what your consumers are searching for, you can start creating content around them. Using related keywords in content such as articles, can get more SEO traffic and should be used often to help google better understand the content. To build up the SEO value of your website and ensure your pages can be found, it’s essential that all your pages are optimised for different keywords.
However, while we’ve all fallen victim to the ‘eyes too big for your stomach'-style face stuffing at an-all-you-can-eat buffet, keyword stuffing is something you really must avoid (as tempting as it may be). While once upon a time keyword stuffing was a good thing, Google put an end to it with algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin. Google now put great emphasis on the quality of your content when determining your rankings. The SEO keywords you use will definitely help you get to the top of the rankings but they are only effective if you are producing quality content.
- Pay Attention to the Length of Your Title
It’s annoying when you’re in the middle of telling a story and yo-- Want to know the rest of the sentence? Well too bad! Google cut it off for being too long and if you aren’t careful, it could happen to your title. Annoying right? Simply put, if your title is too long Google will cut it off, meaning consumers won’t be able to view the entire thing in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). This could be especially annoying for your business as sometimes the most important information is at the end of the sentence, and could mean potential clients are ignoring your content as a result. So to avoid disappointment from both ends, keep the length of your titles short and to the point and a good rule of thumb is to keep your titles between 50-60 characters.
- Utilise engaging META descriptions
Heard of a thing called META descriptions? Well if you haven't heard of them, you’ve definitely seen them before. A meta description is the little summary you see on a google search results page that describes the content of a webpage. Despite the fact that it is obviously important to have a description of your page to inform users, it is an especially important element that needs to be perfectly optimised and user-friendly. You’ve done all the work to find keywords that your consumers are searching, you may as well put them to use and a meta description is the perfect opportunity to do so. The goal for an optimised meta description is to maintain keywords but also to inspire a user to click on your content in the first place. It’s also important that it is concise, engaging and no longer than 160 characters.
Consider Link-Building Techniques to Improve Your Website Domain Authority
I mentioned earlier how keyword stuffing is no longer a thing thanks to Google's algorithm updates, and instead has been replaced with a little...mmm okay big thing, called domain authority. There’s a reason I also told you to optimise your keywords, build content around them AND create high quality content. Domain authority is quite simple in that the higher your domain authority, the higher you’re likely to rank in the SERPs. One of the key elements to building domain authority is to attract inbound links from high-authority sites, and the way to do this is through the process of link building. Practicing link building techniques will increase the quantity and quality of inbound links to your website to gain referral traffic, boost domain authority and increase search engine rankings.
While I’m sorry to say it is a bit of a tedious process, when done correctly in combination with the steps listed before, it will do wonders for your search engine results and improve your SEO lead generation.
Some steps to get you started with link building strategies include:
- Maintain a steady blog with great content
- Link to other blogs on your blog
- Write guest blog posts
- Curate and publish helpful resource list
- Do expert roundups to build relationships
- Use Alt Tags for Your Images
Google isn’t quite human just yet, so it doesn’t have the ability to see the images posted on our pages. It can only read, and how can we expect google to read what the image is if it hasn't been tagged correctly? Adding a descriptive text to every one of your images (yes, all of them) using an ALT tag or text. Doing so will increase the chances of your images appearing on a Google images search.
- Mobile optimisation
Ever tried to read a webpage off of your mobile phone that clearly wasn’t designed to be mobile friendly? C’mon it’s 2020! The trend of mobile usage continues to grow, and it is hardly a surprise. I just don't want you to have done all this hard work for it to go down the drain all because you aren't mobile friendly. Ensuring your website is mobile optimised, not only makes it easy for users (and Google) to read - it eases navigation without any irritation.
- Constantly Monitor Your Results
You’ve come this far to improve your SEO and lead generation, so don’t forget to monitor the results of your efforts. They (unfortunately) don’t just improve overnight. Track your metrics such as traffic, time on page, bounce rate, and conversations to see how you’re doing. You can even use a free tool (bonus) like Google Analytics to do so. It’s important to be patient and consistent to start to see results, but if after some tracking you aren’t getting the results you had hoped, it might be worth reviewing your efforts and perhaps changing some keywords.
- Add Powerful CTAs Throughout Your Content to Get More SEO Leads
Finally, the final piece of the puzzle is to implement powerful CTAs throughout your content to turn traffic into leads.
Effective CTA’s include:
- "Try for free"
- "Learn more"
- "Let’s start"
- "What we do"
Whatever your Call-to-Action is, you need to get creative, change your wording and use visual cues to differentiate your call to action from competitors. CTA’s encourage website visitors to engage with your content further, and if they’re attractive enough you’ll generate leads on the spot.
So there you have it! Nine of the best ways you can super-charge your website to get the leads rolling in. But just because this blog is coming to an end, doesn’t mean the work is over. Building a lead-magnet is an ever-connected, never-ending process and one that requires consistency and patience; so if you can channel the patience of Leo waiting for an Oscar, and the consistency of homemade sourdough, we’ll see you at the top!