Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or web page from the search engines. All too often, SEO is viewed as a single and isolated digital marketing effort when in fact, SEO is vital for every part of your marketing endeavors, from content creation and social media to lead generation. When it comes to B2B lead generation, SEO needs to be considered as part of the process, and is one of the most effective ways to drive potential clients to your business and capture them as leads. However, most B2B marketers do not view these two processes as united, and these teams only collaborate when new content needs to be developed - if at all.
The problem is that most people only view SEO as a way to help a website - not a business in its entirety. However, websites can generate important sales leads and while lead generation may be different from SEO, lead generation needs SEO in order to thrive.
As the digital age progresses and changes, marketers and salespeople have had to find new ways to reach their audience, and because of this, lead generation has also had to evolve.
From email campaigns, social media ads and lead forms, lead generation has had to take a new face in order to meet new expectations. But there is one element that many marketers overlook at their detriment - and that is the benefit of Search Engine Optimisation alongside lead generation.
SEO and User Intent for B2B
Before we take a look at how SEO and lead generation can work together, it is important to understand what SEO actually is. We all know about SEO keywords and content creation - but all of these practices come down to one thing: understanding User Intent.
“User Intent” is the name of the game when it comes to SEO and there are two types of user intent that marketers need to understand if they want their SEO efforts to work:
- Inform: SEO content is created to inform an audience about a topic they are looking to learn about. For example: SEO content will be created around topics your desired target audience will be researching online.
- Purchase: SEO is also created for when a user is actively seeking your services or to make a purchase.
SEO is about understanding what words your audience uses when they are searching for your business offerings. This is an important part of SEO and will help direct users who are either looking to learn about your business or skill set, as well as users who are looking to purchase your services.
By understanding what users with the intent to purchase are searching for, and by understanding what users in the research phase are searching for online, you can steer them to content that meets their needs through SEO practices.
Lead Generation and User Intent for B2B
Before the age of instant information, buyers were not as informed as they are now, in fact, they are now able to self educate and drive themselves further into the sales funnel. They no longer require a strategically crafted buyer journey that you have put together as they can now enter the buyer funnel whenever they choose and they are able to move through it at their own speed and in their own time.
Obviously marketing experts have had to acknowledge this and adapt to it, especially when it comes to lead generation. Today, lead generation experts are focusing their efforts on developing helpful, intent based content to drive a user to take action or engage with the business. This is a great step, however, they need to concentrate on reaching buyers with the right content, at the right time.
Of course, creating content and sharing it across platforms is important but lead generation experts also need to understand that most buyers turn to search engines such as Google when they want to research a service or offering, or make a purchase. This is especially true when it comes to B2B sales. With this in mind, content needs to be created for every stage of the buyer journey and this content will then have to be optimised to suit the unique buyer intent. And SEO, as we know, is all about understanding buyer intent and crafting content around a variety of intents through the buying funnel.
Therefore, in order to generate leads and guide them to the relevant web pages - lead generation specialists will require the help of SEO specialists.
Search Engine Optimisation for Lead Generation
SEO drives users to your website, which in turn gives you the opportunity to convert prospective clients into leads through lead generation tactics. These two tactics need to work alongside each other to ensure business growth and below, we outline a few ways to leverage your lead generation efforts off of your SEO strategy.
Rising up the Search Engine Ranks
In the past, SEO used to be about stuffing content with as many keywords as possible. This made the users online experience frustrating as they would be led to pages that didn’t actually answer their questions or provide the content they were looking for. Businesses simply used industry related keywords to drive traffic to their website in the hopes that a few of the visitors would convert into customers - and let’s not forget, they completely disregarded where the user was in the buying cycle.
Today, Google is smarter than ever before, and so is the user. Google ranks pages based on the quality of their content and how much the content relates to a users query. Of course, keywords are still relevant however, they should never be used for the sake of keyword stuffing. They should be woven into relevant, high quality content that informs user intent.
SEO specialists and lead generation experts need to find keywords and key phrases relevant to every part of the buyer's journey and create content that speaks to every stage in the journey. SEO specialists will use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, or Google Trends to ensure you find the right keywords for your industry and users. Learn more about how you can own the search engine results, here.
Capturing Lead Data
It is vital that you create quality content designed to reach every stage of the buyer's journey, from informative helpful blogs that provide insight into the benefits of your offering (perfect for the research phase), to downloadable e-books and e-guides, to sales related content and product and services pages.
With strong, optimised content, your webpages will rise up the Google ranks. This means that quality prospects will click on your webpages and you need to take advantage of the window of opportunity when you are at the top of a prospects mind. This is the perfect opportunity to create website lead forms, e-book downloads or newsletter sign ups.
By adding this kind of Call to Action on your web pages, you are able to capture relevant lead data which allows your lead generation team and marketing team to nurture relationships with these leads through email marketing campaigns and remarketing campaigns.
In order to pull this off seamlessly, you should consider investing in automated email workflows as this tactic ensures you don’t miss any opportunity for nurturing or engaging with a prospect. For example, HubSpot offers a Workflow app that creates personlised and automated emails that are triggered in a variety of ways ie: when a contact is added to a list, clicks a link in an email, submits a form to your site, views a specific page on your website or is marked as a qualified lead.
SEO meets Lead Generation
The digital landscape is constantly changing and marketers need to grow alongside these changes in order to keep up with the target audience. SEO and lead generation work alongside and help businesses attract and acquire only the highest quality leads - the priority of all businesses and marketers.
Does your B2B business need quality Search Engine Optimisation services and a regular flow of qualified sales leads?
Nexa has been generating highly qualified sales leads for businesses of all types for almost a decade. We have both the experience and track record to help businesses in all industries generate highly qualified sales leads.
Contact Nexa for all your social media lead generation needs.