SEO for Beginners: 5 Effective SEO Tactics for Lead Generation in 2016August 1, 2016 No Comments
Featured article by Selina Jenkins is a renowned and experienced IT expert
SEO can be daunting, especially if you’re just a business owner or a newcomer into the field. There’s a ton of information – work on your blog, optimize for mobile, claim your Google+ Local listing… the list never ends. To make things worse, Google changes its algorithms about five times a week with major rollouts every few months.
You may not know exactly where to start or how to translate the information you’re reading into an actionable plan. What is, for instance, a long-tail keyword or meta-data? The SEO learning curve for someone with little experience can be very steep, which is why many business owners simply give up altogether.
Even if you’re using Facebook advertising, PPC and other paid advertising, SEO still remains one of the best ways to generate leads, especially because it promises the highest ROI compared with any other digital marketing strategy. SEO has the potential to pay you for the longer term, unlike the former whose rewards stop the minute you stop investing in the ads. SEO is basically free – it’s about doing the things you’re already doing,just in the correct way for long-term success.
Why is SEO so important?
According to a recent Bright TALK study:
- SEO is the third most effective tool for lead generation, after company websites (2) and conferences and events (1).
- 61% of B2B marketers have limited resources, staff, and time, which hamperstheir effective lead generation strategy while 42% lack high-quality data on which to base campaigns.
- 59% of marketers have trouble generating high quality leads, and 61% have increasing lead quality as their top priority for the next year.
- Converting leads is the second biggest challenge for 42% of marketers, and 37% find it difficult to deliver efficacious lead-nurturing endeavors.
As you can see, you’re not the only one struggling with lead generation; the average marketer still has some problems generating leads. This article discusses five effective and timeless SEO techniques you can use to improve the quality and quantity of leads generated for your business in 2016 and beyond:
1. Start a Blog
If you don’t have a blog yet, open one now. It takes just a few minutes. Regular blogging not only provides a way for you to learn more about your business, it tells your audience and eventually search engines that you’re a go-to information resource within your niche, which will slowly drive up your rankings.
Blogging is great for developing engagement as well as for producing and publishing high quality content. Quality content will attract links, which in turn will improve your rankings and hence increase traffic and leads. If you can afford to, you may outsource your content creation to external parties, or use your in-house staff. You may also choose to do the work yourself.
Blogging doesn’t have to be in writing alone either – great news if you don’t have a penchant for writing. You can create videos, infographics, images and even podcasts and audios to spread your message. Whatever you to, just make sure you’re creating high quality content on a regular basis.
Case Study: Digital Photography School
While we know that blogs are powerful boosters for your business, many blogs start out from passionate individuals, eventually growing into a small business. Darren Rowse’s blog, The Digital Photography School, is one such example. Started in 2006, Darren posted everything himself and had over 1800 RSS Feed subscriptions in just under two months. He already had a following from previous photography-related writing in other sites, which helped.
He monetized the blog by selling e-books first before he was popular enough to attract affiliate links and advertising. By 2013, he had a full-fledged business which is operational to date, and includes contributions from a number of writers. Read the full story here.
2. Craigslist Advertising
Chase Reiner has written a helpful article about how he used Craigslist to get many of his customers, which earned him thousands of dollars. You can learn how to identify your market, choose categories, use keywords for advertising, post in different areas, and win referrals.
3. Social Media
Many people think Facebook is that start and end of social media. However, many business owners have leveraged other social media channels in their SEO efforts with amazing results. As a successful entrepreneur, you have little choice but to learn the basics of how the most popular social platforms work.
Different platforms offer different opportunities for you to market your business. In fact, there are people who solely rely on social platforms for their online marketing with effective results. For instance, e-commerce marketer Ezra used Pinterest to generate over $41,000 in revenue from 520 sales.
You can start with Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter, which are relatively easy to master. Also establish a business and a personal profile on LinkedIn. Finally, you can venture into Pinterest and Instagram if you think they’ll be good for your line of business – especially good for product-based businesses.
4. Get Reviews
This one starts in the middle, assuming that you’ve already claimed a business page on Google, Yahoo, Yelp or other major directory. If you own a local-based business (or not), make sure to claim your Google Plus Local business page, which will help Google direct geo-targeted traffic to your site and eventually your local business premises.
Once you have your Google listing, encourage (happy) customers to leave reviews. The more good reviews you accumulate, the more likely it is for your business to rank high for local search. The key is to carefully observe how clients interact with you and your staff and then ask for a review if you think it’s likely to be a good one. Of course, ensure you offer the highest quality products and services so that customers will be more ready to post reviews.
Another useful method is to follow up with your clients by calling or emailing them and asking how they enjoyed their experience. You can take the opportunity and ask them to leave a review on Google Plus, Yelp or Yahoo. Find out how they’re enjoying the product they got from you; this could go a long way in endearing a customer to you. However, Google frowns upon the practice of offering rewards in exchange for reviews, so ensure you stay clean.
5. Local Events and Contests
This one is a no-brainer: local events will help you network and increase business awareness. They provide a great way to build content, just like the Museum of Science and Historyin Chicago did with their Month at the Museum contest. You can take pictures to share on social media, post on your official blog, and post on your local directory listing, including Google.
It also builds audience engagement and gets the masses excited about your brand in addition to learning more about your business. It’s a win from all possible perspectives.
Author Bio: Selina Jenkins is a renowned and experienced IT expert in the field of using different social media platforms for marketing. She has been involved with SEO Services Chicago and is therefore better placed to advice on matters marketing on any online platform.