What is lead generation, exactly? It’s the process of acquiring interested prospects for your company, product, or service. In marketing we talk about two kinds of lead generation strategies: inbound and outbound. The difference between these is simple – inbound leads refers to people who have approached your company. Perhaps they saw an advert or came across your site in Google, decided that they were interested in what you are providing, and got in touch. Outbound leads are customers that you have actively sought out through telemarketing or at events, for example. They have also expressed an interest, but perhaps you don’t know how qualified that interest is.
The Beauty of Inbound Leads
Inbound leads are, generally, much easier to convert than outbound leads. To demonstrate this, let’s take an example. You’re thinking about buying a new car so you head onto the web to do some research on which brand and model is best for you. Eventually you begin to look for local dealers and when you’ve drawn up a list of potential sellers, you contact the three best ones to see if they can help you. By this point, you’re pretty certain that you’re going to buy a new car from one of these three dealers.
In scenario two you already have a car, or perhaps you don’t have one and don’t want one. You receive a call from a telemarketer offering you deals on local cars and you express some interest. Perhaps the telemarketer managed to convince you that you need a new car, or perhaps you felt pressured into expressing interest. Now maybe you will follow up on the conversation, but perhaps after giving it some thought, you decide that you don’t need a new car or you can’t afford one. Maybe you go online and find bad reviews regarding the company that contacted you, or perhaps you never had any intention of following up on the conversation. The difference is that in scenario one (the inbound lead) you are further along the buying process because you have already made the conscious decision to buy a new car and to contact that specific company.
Where Organic Search Leads Come In
One of the best ways to approach inbound lead generation is through an organic SEO strategy. This involves optimising your website to ensure that it ranks highly in Google so that when users search for a keyword phrase, your website is one of the first they find. It’s absolutely imperative that you are competing in the search results pages on your chosen keywords in order to generate as much traffic (and therefore leads) as possible. Let’s take a look at a few statistics:
70% of links clicked by Internet users at the search results are organic, natural listings (not paid for)
75% of users never look past the first page of search results
70-80% of users ignore paid ads
This demonstrates that, while paid ads can certainly help to generate interest in your site, organic traffic is by far the most prominent source of traffic. Therefore, organic leads should be at the top of your priorities when it comes to choosing lead generation strategies. Identify your target keywords, do a competitor analysis , and make sure that you’re ranking on those keywords and generating traffic.
Once you’re ranking on your target keywords, you need to convince the user to contact you. Identify your USP, demonstrate the value of your product or service with industry knowledge, event videos, and customer testimonials, and make it as easy as possible for the user to find your contact details. If a user has to make eight clicks before arriving at your contact page, then you’re going to lose some of those leads along the way. For more help with your organic search strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Tom McSherry is the founder and chief strategist of Premium SEO NZ. Tom has been in the digital marketing industry for 8 years providing digital copywriting and optimisation services to businesses in New Zealand and around the world. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
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