SEO is far from dead. In fact, SEO lead generation can become one of the most impactful elements of your marketing campaign.
In fact, it’s one of the first steps on your lead nurturing journey. Don’t ignore it.
People still use Google every day to search for things they want. They’re looking for products, services, information, and entertainment.
If those people can’t find your content through search engines, you’ll have to rely on far less reliable sources, such as social media. Sure, Facebook and Twitter can help drive traffic to your site, but organic search traffic can attract and convert consumers more effectively.
So how do you use SEO lead generation? And what does a good strategy look like? I’m going to delve deep into these questions and several others, so stick around.
What Does SEO Mean?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s been around for 20 years or longer, but it’s evolved considerably over the last few years.
It refers to the process of making your website pages as appealing as possible to search engines. I’m going to use Google as a stand-in for most of this article, but you’ll also generate traffic from other engines, such as Yahoo! and Bing.
When you optimize your website for SEO, you pay attention to several key factors:
- Keywords: Optimize each page on your website for keywords related to your target audience’s searches. Use tools like Ubersuggest to find target and related keywords to sprinkle through your copy.
- Headlines: Use your primary keyword in your page’s title as well as at least one subheading.
- Organization: Structure each page with semantically correct subheadings using H tags.
- Images: Use alternative attributes, such as the alt text, to incorporate your keywords and describe the images on the page.
- Speed: Make sure your site loads as quickly as possible.
- Meta descriptions: Add keyword-rich meta descriptions that help users understand what each page is about.
- Sharing: Tell as many people about your content as possible to encourage them to link to your content.
These are the bare bones of a good SEO strategy, but they’ll help you improve lead generation.
What Is Organic Lead Generation? What Are SEO Leads? And Why Are They Important?
You might have heard the terms “organic lead generation,” “SEO leads,” and “organic traffic.” They’re all related to the same goals.
Organic traffic refers to website visitors who arrive at your website — no matter the page — via the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here, I’ve searched for Hello Bar. What you see below is the SERP that comes up.
Each of the arrows I added points to a search engine result in the SERP. Two are for web pages, including the Hello Bar homepage, and one is for image results.
You want your website’s pages to appear as high in the SERPs as possible. That’s how you generate organic traffic.
But what about organic leads — also called SEO leads?
The goal with this strategy is to attract search engine traffic, then convert visitors on your offer.
Let’s say that someone clicks on that first search result for Hello Bar. He or she sees the homepage:
There are two primary CTAs here. They both send the user to the same page. There’s a top bar and a primary CTA above the fold.
If a website visitor who arrived via search engine clicked on either CTA and signed up for a free account, he or she would become a lead — specifically, an organic lead.
We know that organic leads cost more to acquire than paid leads. Content marketing and lead generation will bring in prospects and customers, but you don’t have to pay for them beyond setting up your site, creating content, and investing in helpful tools.
With paid ads, you can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test paid ads. However, if you’re strapped for cash, I recommend organic leads as your best source of potential revenue.
How SEO Can Help Generate More Leads for Your Business
Think about how many Google searches you conduct every day. Every second, people around the world type 40,000 queries into the search engine. That’s huge.
If your website appears in the SERPs, you can take advantage of the visiting traffic for conversions. The process might look something like this:
That last step represents a conversion, and it all came about because of a simple Google search.
Sometimes, the process looks a little more convoluted. Before converting, the consumer might check out your social media profiles, look for product reviews, or read some of your blog posts. Still, a late conversion is better than no conversion. That’s part of conversion rate optimization — getting people into your sales funnel.
If you’re not optimizing SEO for lead generation, you’re missing out on lots of cash. Anyone who finds you via search could become a customer, but only if you make the effort to convince them to convert.
How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy for Your Website
First, I’m going to take you through the process of optimizing SEO lead generation. These 13 steps will help you optimize each page of your website and better understand how to reach your target audience.
I’ll then share with you six tips for converting your visitors once they arrive via search. Let’s dig into the best strategies for your website.
1. Find Your Audience: Who Are You Trying to Attract to Your Website?
Think about how you form relationships with people you meet in the offline world. You exchange names and pleasantries, and you try to find common ground.
That’s exactly how marketing works. If you don’t know what common ground you share with your audience, you’ll never connect. To get to that point, you need to know what makes your target customer tick.
What Is Your Audience’s Education, Age, Income, Hobbies, Etc?
Create a buyer persona that details as much as you know about a specific segment of your audience. What do they do for a living? What is their family situation? How much education do they have? What frustrations do they face on a daily basis?
You can use this information to inspire content for your website.
For instance, if you know that your target audience struggles with losing weight, you could create a series of articles about how weight loss works, what fads are ineffective, and so on.
Where Do They Look for Information?
You also need to know where your target customer spends time. If they use Google frequently, SEO lead generation should become a top priority.
What Are Your Audience’s Big Pain Points?
You can always draw a direct line between your audience’s pain points and the eventual conversion.
Take Hello Bar, for instance. Our customers often struggle with lead generation. They’re not collecting enough email addresses to build their businesses efficiently. And that brings email marketing campaigns to a halt.
See what I mean? If the consumer didn’t suffer from a lack of leads for his business, he wouldn’t seek out Hello Bar (or tools that provide what Hello Bar does). That person wouldn’t be a member of our target audience.
Ask yourself the following questions to figure out your audience’s primary pain points:
- What is my product’s or service’s key benefit to consumers or businesses?
- Why would someone invest in my product or service rather than someone else’s?
- What positive results come from my customers who use my product or service?
Think of this as reverse-engineering pain points. To know how to target your audience, you need to know what your product or service can do for them. What problems does it resolve? How does it make life easier, more enjoyable, or more manageable?
2. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
If you look at Hello Bar’s website on a smartphone, you’ll notice that it serves the device well.
It has the same basic component as the desktop or laptop homepage, but it’s optimized for mobile devices.
Your website should do the same. Responsive design and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) can help improve your SEO by allowing your website to load faster and by presenting readable, attractive pages to your audience.
Google has introduced a mobile-first index. This means that it’s rewarding websites that have mobile-friendly pages. You might see your site drop down in the SERPs if you don’t embrace this new way of creating sites.
3. Search for Relevant Keywords to Create Content About Them
Google and other search engines rely on keywords to understand each web page in context. You don’t want to stuff keywords throughout your content — that’ll get you penalized — but you do want to include keywords in your copy.
Let’s say, for instance, that you run an ecommerce store that sells tennis equipment. You’ve decided to write an article about tennis exercises beginners can do to improve their game.
You’ll want a primary keyword, which should be included about once every 100 to 150 words. Then you’ll have secondary keywords — also called semantic keywords — that further help Google understand what you’re writing about. Pick two or three.
You can also use tertiary keywords, which are typically branded. For our tennis example, your keyword structure might look like this:
4. Review Existing Content for SEO Mistakes to Get More SEO Leads
Competitive analysis is always helpful when it comes to SEO lead generation. If your competitors are doing a poor job, you can shoot above them in the SERPs.
After you’ve chosen a keyword, run a Google search and open the first 10 search results. Evaluate them for content as well as SEO. What could they have done better? What SEO attributes does the content lack?
5. Use Your Targeted Keyword in Your URL to Generate More Organic Leads
Your page’s URL is one of the first signals Google sees when evaluating content. If your URL contains your keyword, it’s more likely to rank.
If you visit the Hello Bar blog, you can click on any article to see its URL structure. I recently published an article with the focus keyword “social media strategy.” Check out the URL:
Google immediately knows what I was writing about and who might benefit from the content.
6. Use Your Targeted Keyword in the Title of Your Content Page for Better SEO Lead Generation
You should also incorporate your primary keyword in your content’s headline or title. We’ll use the same Hello Bar example from above:
You’ll notice that the keyword — social media strategy — was placed at the beginning of the title. That’s deliberate. You want your keyword to appear as early in the title as possible.
7. Pay Attention to the Length of Your Title
If your title is too long, people won’t be able to view the entire thing in the SERPs. It’ll get cut off thanks to the tweaks Google has made to its listings.
See the ellipses at the end of that search engine result headline? It means the title was too long to display.
It’s also unfortunate because the most important information is likely at the end of the headline.
8. Take Your Time to Create an Appealing Meta Description
If you don’t add a meta description, Google will do it for you — and you probably won’t like the results. As you can see from the SERP example above, the “Daily Mail” didn’t specific a meta description, so Google used a convoluted series of excerpts from the text.
Create an appealing meta description that will convince people to click. Google doesn’t take these descriptions into account as ranking signals, but they can influence whether consumers want to read your content.
9. Do Not Forget to Use Your Target Keyword in Your Content
If you read the article I referenced earlier, you’ll notice something important. The keyword — social media strategy — appears in the first paragraph of the copy.
This is important because it shows Google that your content is seriously devoted to the keyword in question.
10. Use Related Keywords in Your Article to Get More SEO Traffic
Remember those secondary and tertiary keywords we talked about earlier? Use them often in your article to help Google better understand the content.
You can find related keywords through Google Search Console and Ubersuggest. They’re search queries that are often related to the content in question.
Google’s SERPs can even help you out. Let’s say I search for “how to lose weight.” If I scroll past the first few organic results, I see a People Also Ask box:
These are related queries that you can work into your content as keywords or even as subheadings.
11. If Relevant, Include Questions and Answers in Your Content to Get More SEO Leads
People often search for information using questions:
- How do I train my dog to sit?
- What are the best pizza parlors in Seattle?
- Who will win the SuperBowl?
- How do I build a bed frame?
If you target those questions in your content and give thorough, keyword-rich answers, you’ll rank higher and improve SEO lead generation.
12. Consider Link-Building Techniques to Improve Your Website Domain Authority
Domain authority is a number that ranks you against other websites and a specific algorithm. The higher your domain authority, the higher you’re likely to rank in the SERPs.
One key element of building domain authority is attracting inbound links from high-authority sites. Practice link-building techniques to improve SEO lead generation.
13. Constantly Monitor Your Results
SEO and lead generation don’t improve overnight. This is a long game. That’s why you need to monitor the results of your efforts.
Use a free tool like Google Analytics. Track metrics like traffic, time on page, bounce rate, and conversions to see how you’re doing.
6 Great SEO Lead Generation Techniques to Effectively Generate Organic Leads
It should be clear by now that SEO lead generation is important. But how do you put it into action once you’ve attracted visitors?
Even if you’re not an SEO expert — many marketers and business owners aren’t — you can still master the simple steps and tweaks required to turn visitors into prospects. And, if you put into use these handy conversion strategies, you’ll be raking in leads before you know it.
1. Create and Offer an Awesome Lead Magnet to Your Website Visitors
A lead magnet does exactly what the name suggests. It attracts leads like a magnet by incentivizing them to sign up for your email list.
A lead magnet could be something as simple as a checklist or cheatsheet. My business partner uses a cheatsheet as a highly effective lead magnet over on NeilPatel.com.
Announce your lead magnet in an appealing way and advertise it to your prospects. A top bar or page takeover exit popup can work well.
Then A/B test different headlines and CTAs to see what influences conversions more.
2. Use Content Upgrades to Generate More SEO Leads
Content upgrades are similar to lead magnets. They allow website visitors to gain access to expanded content by providing their email addresses.
Brian Dean uses this strategy in his content. He recently published an introduction to a case study about increasing traffic. He gives just enough to whet the readers’ appetite, then offers this button:
That’s a content upgrade.
3. Use an Exit Intent Popup to Prevent Your Visitors from Leaving Your Website
I’ve talked a lot about exit popups here on the blog, and for good reason. Exit popups can stop visitors from leaving your page after they arrive from a search result, but only when done well.
The best exit popups capture the reader’s attention, offer something of immense value, and engage the senses.
Here, I’ve used an evocative image in black and white so I don’t detract from the yellow color scheme. I’ve also communicated clear value and told the user exactly what to do.
If the visitor wants my free checklist, he or she will engage with the popup.
4. Use Social Share Buttons in All Your Articles to Get More Organic Leads
Social share buttons encourage people to share your content with minimal effort.
They just click the button and add any content they want to their post. Simple, right? That can bring even more traffic and encourage your visitors to follow you on social.
Plugins like AddThis allow you to use social share buttons for free on your own site.
5. Add Powerful CTAs Throughout Your Content to Get More SEO Leads
CTAs encourage website visitors to engage with your content further. If they’re attractive enough, you’ll generate leads on the spot.
Think about the primary reason a visitor would be interested in your lead magnet. Lead with that in your headline.
I tweaked the exit popup I shared earlier to show another way of communicating value to your visitors.
Anyone who wants to feel less alone and get involved in a discussion will want to join. That’s a great way to use SEO lead generation because you’re taking advantage of all organic website visitors.
6. Add a Great Signup Form on Every Page of Your Website
Top bars are excellent for including signup forms on all website pages. You never have to worry if you missed one.
Using SEO lead generation might not seem like the best strategy, but it’s worked for me over and over. Content marketing brings in organic (free!) prospects who will convert based on the value with which you provide them.
In other words, if you understand your audience and what they’re looking for, you can provide the solution and generate a lead.
It’s that simple.
Follow the strategies outlined above to skyrocket organic leads and use SEO lead generation. You won’t be disappointed. In the process, you’ll also build credibility and begin amassing an audience of fans.
Do you use SEO lead generation?