Most marketers struggle to increase traffic to their websites, and there are a lot of ways to get from "point A to point B." Paid ads and traditional marketing can seem like the best quick fix, but they rarely equate to an investment in long-term results. So if you are trying to figure out how to generate organic leads without a monster budget, I've got a few ideas that will help you get the job done.
What are organic leads?
Organic leads are prospects who find your company by searching for a product, service or question in a search engine, rather than directly visiting your URL or clicking on PPC ad. These leads and prospects often don't know about your product or service before they do an online search.
Today, we use Google (and other search engines) as a way to answer all of our questions. Whether it's the name of an actor, how to change a setting on my phone or how to solve complex business problems, I know that Dr. Google will have the answer.
Because of this, leads that come from organic search are often much open and receptive to conversations about products and solutions and this why companies fight to reach the top of SERPs (search engine results pages). So HOW do you get to the top of these results? I've got a few ideas for you:
1. Do Keyword Research
Organic traffic relies on your ability to understand what search terms your customers and prospects are using to navigate the search engines. In other words, doing keyword research is essential so that your audience can find you online. To grasp organic traffic, you need to understand the relevant keywords for your business, along with the competition for these keywords across the internet. When you incorporate keywords in both your website and content you create, your site will become more easily searched.
A key factor to SEO success and increasing website traffic boils down to doing some homework to identify the highest volume of keyword searches and the lowest degree of difficulty. You can then deploy a strategic content creation strategy to elevate your organic rankings. In other words, start with the low hanging fruit: where your website is ranking the highest matched with the greatest number of monthly searches.
2. Publish Regular, Consistent, Helpful Content
Now that you have a sense of what keywords you want to rank for, it's important to deploy a consistent content marketing strategy. Both search engines and your readers value consistency. One of the more frequently asked questions I hear is, "how often should I be blogging?" My answer is always, "it depends!" Why? It all depends on how aggressive you want to be with the number of organic leads you generate. The more content (good content!) you create, the more leads you will generate.
A manufacturing client we have been working with, Palmer Retail Solutions, had zero organic ranking on any targeted keywords when we started working with them three years ago. We began publishing two blogs a week consistently, and over time, they began to rank organically for several of the keywords that mattered most to their business. This growth in organic traffic has led to a consistency of organic leads. Interesting, more traffic = more leads!
3. Understand Your Personas
Before you write one piece of content, or definitely before you re-design your new website, create your buyer personas so that you know whom your content is trying to reach. In essence, define the IDEAL customer. By creating quality content that resonates with your target audience, you will naturally impact your organic rankings. Writing keyword driven content without relevant information that your visitors care about will do little to drive website visitors. Some examples of questions you will want to be able to answer when creating your customer profile are:
Characteristics (demographics, psychographics, behavior, etc.)
Where do they "hang out" online and what kind of searches do they conduct?
What are their biggest problems they are trying to solve, pain points, what solutions are they trying to capture?
What are their buying behaviors? What are their information sources?
When you know WHO you are trying to reach, you can then begin to know how to create content that will resonate with your prospect. Download our easy persona template to get you started.
4. Create Lots of Compelling Conversion Points
Now that you know how to attract new traffic to your website, it's important that you have places to convert that traffic to leads. And that doesn't just mean a contact form.
Think about an experience where you've gone in to a physical store to browse for something. If a customer service person approaches you, you'll usually respond with "no thanks, I'm just browsing". That's how a lot of your website visitors feel when the only conversion point you have on your website is a contact form or request for a demo.
Now instead imagine that you are reading a really helpful blog post that's detailing how to create your marketing budget for next year and right inline with that post is a button that prompts you to download a free budget template. A much better user experience, this offer solves your immediate problems and helps you get what you needed.
Every searcher is going have different needs and be at a differnt place in their research process. It's important that your website offers a variety of opportunities for people "opt in" to what your company has to offer.
5. Add Video to Your Website and Blog
Video has been an important element to SEO since 2007 when Google announced "universal search," yet video is an underrated element of search marketing today. One study that boldly states that websites that incorporate video are 53x more likely to rank on the first pages of Google search results. There are many algorithmic reasons why this is so, but here are a few:
Google cares more about QUALITY content over keywords — because Google knows its users care about quality. Most videos are educational and informative content that succeeds in answering queries.
Search results with video have a 41% greater CTR than searches without.
Video makes visitors stay on your site longer, which means that your content is deemed more relevant and "authoritative."
Video builds more links. Having video rather than just text will triple the number of linking domains (one of the essential elements of SEO).
Need some video production inspiration? Here are some tips and tricks from our own seasoned TV producer to get you started.
6. Leverage Social Media
The more engaging content you create, the more places you can share it, the more visits you will drive to your website. Don't underestimate the power of social media. When you take the time to create engaging content, don't stop there... when you share it across social media channels, it increases the chance that those links are engaged and will bring interested readers back to your website. Think of each social media channel as it's own search engine. As important as keywords are for blog posts, they are just as important in the social media channels. Don't forget to optimize your social media posts with #hashtags to bring in more views, clicks, and retweets.
Remember that the purpose of search engines today is to deliver relevant, meaningful search results that answer the questions of your prospects and customers. Don't waste time creating content that serves your company. Increasing your website traffic and organic leads will not happen overnight, but if you use these tactics and stay persistent, you can really impact results.