Everything you need to know about SEO, delivered every Thursday.
No-Hype SEO: A Realistic Formula For Making SEO Work For Your Business, Part 2
In part 2 of his two-part series on simplifying your SEO efforts to achieve results, columnist Daniel Faggella shows how you can turn visitors into leads -- and leads into sales.
In part 1 of this series, we talked about the origins of good marketing, how SEO fits into modern marketing, why it’s the most dependable and consistent form of quality lead generation, and (most importantly) how to start your SEO machine.
Today, we’re diving into the last two levels that will take you from just generating leads to collecting a return on your leads (revenue).
Here are the four levels:
- High Level (search terms, PPC terms).
- Top of Funnel (indirect content).
- Blog Level (relevant blog topics and lead generation tools).
- Back End (marketing automation and database marketing).
Most marketers think of their marketing as having two distinct phases: attracting and converting.
The problem with this approach is that it leaves much to be desired on the third (and arguably most important) part of your marketing: trust building.
Based on my own experience, the most effective three-step process for a profitable marketing and lead generation system is attraction (collect the lead), trust building (earn their trust) and conversion (make the sale). Here is where this SEO formula starts to pay off.
Trust Building, Built Right In
Ideally, your prospects are searching you out. They scour the internet looking for solutions to their problems. By now, you have put together a list of the common phrases for which they’re searching (homework from part 1), and you’ve got a list of topics that attract interested prospects to your site (also homework from part 1).
Now, they read your articles, attend your webinars or otherwise consume your content and attribute the learning to you. You are the person who has helped them solve their problem (at least partially), and that generates an extraordinary amount of trust.
Contrast this with paid traffic, where the goal is to monetize as quickly as possible. I’m all for monetization, but one of the problems with it is that the leads you generate do not know you and do not trust you, which makes it hard to convert them into customers.
Never forget, your customers and clients are real people, not dollar bills; they have real problems, struggles and questions. Smart marketers offer help in trade for their prospects’ trust and attention, and only then do they offer the opportunity for the sale.
Next, let’s dive into level 3: Blog level.
Turn Visitors Into Leads
Armed with your list of PPC terms and your list of related interest terms, you can now go about creating your blog topics and “opt-in” assets.
We’ve talked about the decision patterns of your prospects, and at this level they are likely looking for buying information. Picking up the example from part 1 of this post, assume you are a digital marketing consultant from Boston.
We identified your PPC terms as follows:
- Email marketing consultant Boston
- Digital Marketing Agency
- Experienced Infusionsoft Consultant
- Landing page optimization expert
Your top-of-funnel terms include:
- How To Make Better Email Newsletters
- How To Create Profitable AutoResponder Series
- Compare Infusionsoft to Hubspot
- Case Study of Email Marketing for eCommerce Business
You’ll want to grab a pen (or open a spreadsheet) and begin crafting “opt-in” assets that can take an interested visitor and turn them into a lead. They’ve read your blog post titled, “How to Make Better Email Newsletters,” and now they want more information. This is where SEO begins to pay off.
In this case, you could have a white paper titled, “White Paper: How To Double Your Profits Using This Proven Newsletter Template.” The catch: this piece of content is “gated,” meaning the visitor must trade their contact information to download the white paper.
This is most likely not a problem, because they’ve likely searched for you on Google (using your PPC terms, such as “Email Marketing Consultant Boston”), found your site and read your articles (including “How to Make Better Email Newsletters”), and now they have trust in the fact that you are indeed the expert and are interested in helping them. They’re primed to download this white paper and become a lead.
See how this works?
Next up, you need a regimen that will maximize marketing outreach until they become a sale. That’s called “database marketing” or “back-end marketing,” and it’s Level 4 of our SEO system.
The Final Level: Turning Leads Into Money
When a lead comes into your universe, it’s important that they are segmented appropriately from the beginning. In other words, if a lead comes through the system outlined above, they are (obviously) interested in creating newsletters that create sales for their business.
Of course, you don’t want to start hitting them over the head with sales messages on unrelated topics, as they are likely to opt out. However, if someone becomes a lead off of a white paper titled, “Infusionsoft Vs. Hubspot: Pros and Cons Revealed,” then you can certainly pitch Infusionsoft, as they have shown direct interest. Segmentation is very important in making sure your SEO creates actual profits.
Autoresponder sequences can now be geared up to offer more information, more training, and sales messages specifically tailored to the type of offer the lead wants to buy. For each top-of-funnel term, you are going to need an “opt-in” offer and an autoresponder sequence specifically written for that term.
So here’s our sequence:
PPC Term > Top-Of-Funnel Content > Opt-In Asset > Custom Autoresponder
And here’s how that would look with the examples given thus far:
Email marketing consultant Boston (PPC Term) > “How to Make Better Email Newsletters” (Top of Funnel Content) > White Paper: How To Double Your Profits Using This Proven Newsletter Template (Opt-In Asset) > 12 emails directing to content and training and offers for email newsletter services
This is a powerful marketing tool for any e-commerce business. When you use your autoresponder sequences to push people back to related blog posts and content, it not only can generate more profit, but it also has the potential to further boost your SEO rankings. Think of it as a cyclical system that can be adapted to fit almost any industry.
If you have any questions related to your specific industry, please ask me on Twitter.
Check out Part 1 for more information on making SEO work and generating more traffic for your business:
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.