The main difference between SEO (and SEO lead gen) and many other digital marketing strategies is that SEO hinges on organic results.
With paid search and social strategies, you pay to play. You need to pay more to win more.
That’s not to suggest that SEO doesn’t require an investment (it does) but the results are scalable over time, and the pursuit of a cohesive strategy should be followed by compounding gains.
The idea is simple, even if the execution is complex. You optimize your website and your online presence. Search engines index your web pages and rank your website more favorably for competitive search terms.
More of your target audience finds your products and services by performing organic searches. They become paying customers, your eCommerce website increases organic conversion rates.
But let’s take a closer look at the interplay between SEO for increasing organic conversions and SEO for lead gen.
Even customers that don’t convert the first time around are not lost if you capture and capitalize on the leads.
SEO and Increasing Organic Conversions
You perform keyword research and general market research to define your target audience.
You optimize your website, trading for links and building a cohesive link structure. You develop a content strategy and update your site speed, structure, code, and security. User experience improves.
Slowly, your domain authority increases and you notice an uptick in organic traffic which is followed by a slow, but steady increase in organic conversions.
Some of these new organic visitors become paying customers. Some become dedicated, repeat customers. Many do not – but they are still potential customers and are not lost. Your job as a business owner is to prevent them from falling through the cracks, engaging them, and encouraging them along the sales funnel.
Just because they have not converted today does not mean they will not convert next time.
Half of the battle has already been won. If they have visited your site, or have been served an impression through the search engine results pages, the battle has only just begun. It may yet be won.
Some of these customers are just at the top of the sales funnel.
But Wait, What about Leads? Lead Gen SEO and Lead Capturing
The trick here is to develop a lead generation strategy that captures these leads and ushers them along the sales funnel. SEO and lead generation, fortunately, go hand in hand.
Your SEO strategy can be used to attract both visitors that will convert relatively quickly as well as leads that can be coaxed towards conversion when they are more likely to exhibit interest in your products or services.
However, some leads that would convert may remain lost to you if you don’t capture them as a part of your lead gen SEO strategy.
So How Can You Capture Leads Using Lead Gen SEO?
Using SEO for lead gen, and doing so effectively, is partially generating leads using conventional SEO strategies and partially capturing those leads so you can move them along the sales funnel.
Let’s take a closer look at 4 proven SEO lead gen tactics and how they can be used to encourage leads to become customers, increasing organic conversions.
1. Blog, Blog Blog: Balancing SEO and Content Marketing
Blogging is central to an SEO strategy, but it can also be used for dual functionality. By balancing, even uniting, your content marketing and SEO efforts, you can not only attract new users organically but retain users that will later convert.
Only part of eCommerce SEO is attracting new users. The other half is in retaining them long enough to coax them into converting.
Blogging is an opportunity to supply your website with a steady stream of optimized content, but it is also a way to engage leads that otherwise might not have found your website.
It might sound counterintuitive, but write a blog that doesn’t follow your optimized content strategy.
Create a list of FAQS, write a blog post on unique uses for your products, or advertise an upcoming sale or promotion. Little things like these – and changes from the norm – can engage customers, pique their interest, and potentially extract conversions.
Content is king, but it has to speak to your customers, and sometimes you need to get crafty with creating content and how you attract and engage your customers.
2. Develop Lead Capturing Forms for Remarketing
One aspect of using lead gen for SEO has to do with capturing important customer data so it can be used for remarketing later on.
Let’s say a customer finds you in the organic search results, clicks on your links, goes through a few pages, maybe reads a bit of content or watches some videos, and then bounces.
Days, weeks, or months later, the customer performs the same organic search, and instead clicks on your competitor’s listing, and converts there. That’s an opportunity lost for your business – but it didn’t need to be.
What you could have done was capture important data about that user before he or she bounced.
Now, we know you’ve probably read time and time again that pop-ups are a no-go. We’ve even published that in our blog – but there is a caveat here.
They’re only a no-go if you don’t offer something in exchange. Don’t take that the wrong way. Some users will exit a pop-up window reflexively no matter what it offers, even if it’s free money. But others are more lenient.
Extend a discount, a limited-time offer, or a free promotional gift, and ask for something in return. Get an email address, a phone number, or encourage your users to connect with you via a social media channel.
Some users will exit without offering you a chance, but others will trade their contact information in exchange for deals or other exclusive incentives. This is extremely valuable information you can use for the purposes of remarketing, especially through email marketing and social media engagement.
Compile a database or use a plugin that captures data for you and then use that captured data in your seasonal and remarketing campaigns. You’ll be capturing leads and capitalizing on them.
3. Build Social Proof (Lead Gen SEO + SMM)
Another aspect of lead gen SEO, lead capturing, and conversion is the use of an organic social media marketing strategy to engage with members of your audience that know about your brand but have not yet converted or require special prerequisite conditions before converting, such as seasonal shopping trends.
Many online shoppers shop directly through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and even those that don’t consume content there. It may be their first introduction to a product, too.
But there is more value to outreach strategies via social media. For one, if you connect with your customers (and potential customers) on social media where you can interact with them, you’ll be preserving the recency effect in their minds. At the very least, your brand will be visible.
You can also use social media platforms for marketing strategies to attract attention from these previously captured leads at different times of the year. Everyone exhibits purchasing patterns during the holidays, for example, but you never know when a lead’s birthday is coming up – which means that constant or near-constant visibility is a bonus.
Finally, engaging with your potential customers on social media, either through paid or organic methods, lends credibility to your brand and presents additional opportunities for leads to consume content that may positively influence their perceptions of your brand, stimulating interest and increasing organic conversions.
4. Target Local Keywords to Drive Local Foot Traffic
Finally, if your business is engaged in a local SEO campaign and is invested in optimizing local listings like Google My Business, an effective, actionable SEO lead gen tactic is to target local keywords simply for the purposes of convincing potential customers to visit your brick and mortar shops.
In the modern era, all businesses need some kind of online presence, even if it is just a local listing. Many businesses simply cannot sell or operate online in any practical capacity due to the nature of the business.
There are no “online” dog groomers or landscapers, for example – but customers still look for these services online.
However, if you only operate one single venue – say, for example, a barbershop in Philadelphia – then simply ranking for the term “barbershop” may not help you.
For all you know, there’s low competitive density for that search term in Atlanta. A whole load of potential customers in Georgia won’t help your shop in Philly.
All the same, with a quick tweak of your keyword strategy, you can generate better-targeted organic foot traffic to your physical storefronts, simply by optimizing your strategy according to the locality.
Get Started with SEO for Lead Gen
Armed with these expert tips to start implementing SEO for lead gen purposes, you should be ready to start capturing and converting new leads – especially if you’re currently running an effective eCommerce SEO campaign.
Don’t be shy about reaching out to the experts to ask for help, though. We’ve been executing SEO campaigns for clients around the world for years and are experienced in lead generation techniques as well.
Give us a call at 888-982-8269 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also start with a FREE eCommerce SEO audit!
- Michael Esposito
- November 5, 2021