Like everyone else, SEO agencies face many challenges in lead generation.
The average user is so accustomed to the digital world they pretty much can’t live without it, and so your prospects keep getting smarter and pickier. They dodge ads and spam with ease. They do their own research about the products and services they need. How can you convince them you are what they are looking for?
Here’s something to cheer you up: this part has been the same since the Stone Age. Successful marketers are the ones who can always remain one step ahead of their prospective customers.
For example, when a salesperson for an SEO agency is talking to someone, they should have already analyzed that person’s website or they should be doing it on the fly. You have the tools for running express site audits, right?
The average user is so accustomed to the digital world, they pretty much can’t live without it, and so your prospects keep getting smarter and pickier.
Admittedly, most other tactics take a bit more effort. But the Internet’s multifaceted nature is on your side. You have as many ways to turn prospects into customers as your imagination allows.
Here’s what else SEO-related businesses can do to get more leads. (Even if your line of work is different, you will find these useful.)
1. Drive Leads With Smart Email Marketing
(Image source: Clipart.Email)
At the top of our list is the number one most effective way to generate leads. It’s actually amazing how email has kept this title for two decades straight. It seems nothing beats being able to send your message directly to prospects.
Of course, it isn’t as simple as just sending your ad to thousands of people. The days of email blasting glory are long gone, squashed by users’ continually increasing levels of spam intolerance.
Today’s email marketing is all about creativity, personalization, and a variety of acceptable approaches to different groups of subscribers.
Here are the most effective ways email can generate your leads:
- Use email forms on your site. Whether it’s to start using your services or just to receive updates in the future, make it easy for your visitors with a carefully placed form.
- Design newsletters. Emails are much more engaging in this format than in plain text.
- Automate your email marketing with tools. When you have thousands of emails in your database, you won’t get anything done without an email marketing platform. What tools do you use?
- Segment your audience. You can’t appeal to all your prospects using the same approach for everyone. Split them into groups based on their needs and think about what will work best for each.
2. Attend Networking Events
(Image source: NoseGraze.com)
If prospects haven’t even heard about you, how are you going to turn them into leads?
Working in a social vacuum can only take you so far. If you want to enter the big league, step into the real world and start creating your own luck.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to befriend other marketers, so the only potential obstacle is a lack of social skills. And if that’s not a problem for you, then luck has already blessed you.
Do you prefer to be a visitor or a presenter?
Either is fine.
Just don’t be a silent observer, because that defeats the whole point of networking events.
You can go a long way if you meet the right people and show yourself in a good light.
3. Run Express SEO Audits & Offer Help
Here’s a trick that’s popular among SEO agencies.
You are having a real-time conversation with a potential customer. Your job is to convince them to try out your service. What would be convincing enough?
Why not show the customer what exactly your agency can do?
Run a quick SEO audit on their site and choose a good moment to show them the report. Explain what’s in the report and the issues you have found.
And once the customer realizes they can’t solve all those issues on their own? You have a new customer!
This works best when you are using SEO tools capable of running express audits.
4. Create Irresistible Special Offers
Fear of missing out is a powerful force. That, and human greed.
But not all greed is bad – and that’s the great thing about special offers. If you want something, it only makes sense to get it before it becomes more expensive, right?
Everything you can think of works: discounts, bonuses, freebies, as long as you can present it in an alluring form. Eye-catching design, text written to sell – these are the main ingredients of these offers.
Make it as obvious as possible that your leads have something awesome to gain, and you can expect them to say “yes”.
5. Empower Your Offers With Success Stories
(Image source: ProResource.com)
Showing off is great, as long as it’s done in moderation.
After all, your target audience deserves to know about your accomplishments. What better way is there to inspire trust in your brand?
Don’t let your success go unnoticed. Think long-term, even as you win!
Whenever you strike gold, keep a record of it – that’s the material you need for a case study. The format is up to you: an article on your site, a YouTube video, or even an email for your subscribers.
6. Design Landing Pages That Convert
It’s hard to find a site that made it big without deploying carefully designed landing pages.
The plan sounds simple enough:
- Create a page where you advertise your product or services.
- Create several such pages with different designs to determine which works best (A/B testing).
- Lead your prospects there by sharing the link on other resources and email.
- Seal the deal with a call-to-action.
Of course, “sounds” does not necessarily mean “is”. But this process does get easier as you gain experience.
It also helps a lot to make your landing pages visible in search through SEO and paid advertising.
7. Use SEO Wisdom to Generate Leads From Organic Traffic
Placing your website on Google’s first page is the best way to drive organic traffic. Since that is true, why not get your leads from the same place?
Really, it’s a sin not to.
Let’s show this process from your leads’ perspective by listing the things to do in reverse.
We’ll start with the easier step: search snippets. That’s the first thing your prospects are going to see when they find you in Google, even though ranking high is one of the last stages for you personally.
What makes a snippet good?
- URL, title, meta description. All three need to be short enough to fit within their respective character limits. At the same time, they will need to be descriptive enough to let the users know you have what they want.
- Schema markup. You can and should make your snippets even more effective by using structured data on the pages you are promoting. Images, review scores, your phone number and address – all of these additions (and many others) make search snippets stand out in a good way. You will only need to find what will work best for you.
- Position Zero. Competition for this space in Google is even harsher than for the #1 organic position, which shows how much more valuable it is. There’s pretty much no SEO without optimizing your site for featured snippets and the Knowledge Panel.
If a snippet successfully catches the prospects’ attention, it takes them to your content. Hopefully, you designed it to generate leads long ago, because it’s that much harder than a tiny little snippet!
The challenge is optimizing your site for search engines and for user search intent at the same time.
The former is technical for the most part.
- Using keywords with a high search volume, descriptive and reflecting user search intent.
- Link building from high-authority sites.
- Ensuring a stellar user experience on all types of devices.
Meanwhile, satisfying user search intent is tougher by a margin. It takes knowing your target audience inside-out, as well as being able to address all their wants, pains and questions.
Then you can begin to prepare content that will do all that, and do it better than all other websites. Last comes placing “bait” for your leads.
And if you seek leads from specific places (like your own city), you will need to optimize your content for local search too.
8. Create Lead Magnets
When you think about it, there’s no reason why only landing pages should be entrusted with generating leads.
You probably have many more pages on your site. Why not use them all?
That is easily accomplished by using lead magnets. They can be anything:
- Case studies
- SEO reports
- Premium memberships
The list goes on and on.
As long as you show your users a form to fill out, you can offer them any treat you want. Just be sure to make it clear how cool and valuable it is.
9. Embed a Widget for Free SEO Reports on Your Site
This trick is on the more advanced side, and not all SEO agencies are using it. Perhaps you will be next?
You can’t always be around to talk to your prospects. Sometimes they won’t talk to you first, either. So how can you turn them into leads when they come to your site?
Well, if it’s an SEO audit they need, they don’t have to ask you for it. Just place a button that will generate a report for them.
It can look like this:
This begs the obvious question: if it’s so handy, why doesn’t everyone do it?
That’s because not all SEO tools have a feature like this. If you want tools that do, sign up on WebCEO.
Then you can embed a lead generation button on your website to see how it works.
Being an advanced feature, this widget is available only to Corporate and Agency Unlimited users of WebCEO.
10. Contribute to Other Sites as a Guest
Why use a single platform to create leads when you can use many?
There are plenty of websites that accept contributions from external sources. If you have time and the skills to create content for other sites, that’s your chance to shine.
Find the biggest authority in your niche that will accept your piece and give them an update that will have value both for your audience and for theirs.
The hardest part will be the negotiations, but that boils down to whether or not you can prove it will be worth the other party’s time.
11. Use Video Content as an Incentive
Commercials: the most well-known example of how to generate leads with videos.
I doubt many of the commercials you’ve seen made you spend money, but that can be chalked down to your being outside of the target audience.
Video is the most powerful medium there is, and they do work on the people they are intended for.
And these strategies have proven to be the best:
- Put your videos behind “gates”. Ask your prospects to give you their information first, and then they can start watching.
- Put calls-to-action in your videos.
- Alternatively, make calls-to-action appear on the page when the video is almost over (or at other times you prefer).
- Create a video series. Or even better, a live video series.
12. Do Advertising on Social Media
Social media marketing offers some of the cheapest leads.
For instance, it’s $0.80 per lead on average on Facebook if you advertise (free if you just post). Compare it to Google, where the average is $2.50.
Sounds convincing, right?
But social media’s perks don’t stop at just low costs. Its true power lies in connecting with prospects.
Any opportunity to exchange words with your audience can be used to generate leads, and nothing is richer with such opportunity than social media.
Better yet, a well-designed ad can reach a user the moment they need services like yours.
Which social networks are the best for this purpose?
Facebook is pretty good at analyzing its users’ wants (to the point it’s scary), so that’s the number one place for you to start.
Another great choice is LinkedIn with its business-like approach. Depending on the kind of prospects you are looking for, it may be easier to do on LinkedIn than on Facebook.
Once you’ve decided where you want to find leads, what can you do there?
- Create a group or a business page.
- Set up a chatbot on your page.
- Launch targeted paid ads (LinkedIn requires a paid account for this).
- Link to gated content (which can be downloaded after filling out a form).
- Share content in real-time like live videos and webinars.
13. Set up a Referral Program
If you are fantastic at providing your services, you can expect your customers to spread the word about your greatness.
The key word here is “expect”. There’s no guarantee they will, no matter how grateful they are for all your good deeds.
But what if you were to give them some incentive?
One great way to motivate your audience to bring in more leads is to establish a referral program on your site.
(Image source: Limitlesslane.com)
If you can afford to invest in your business a little more, then you might as well try to make your customers do some of your work.
First, offer them bonuses for referring new customers to you. Then you can increase those bonuses depending on how many new people they introduce.
When done smartly, this system can make up for your investment several times over.
14. Find Affiliates to Promote You
Your customers aren’t the only people who can promote your brand. You can involve other brands in it, too.
Naturally, neither option is free. But both can do wonders when you know what you are doing.
Affiliate marketing is when a third party agrees to advertise your brand on their own site. In return, they receive a commission for each purchase users make after clicking on the advertised link, usually at the end of the month.
Simple enough, right?
But there’s a tricky part. You have to track those commissions, and that requires special software – or, more specifically, paying for this software.
You can leave tracking to an affiliate marketing network (somebody like Commission Junction). If you do, they will also find affiliates for you in exchange for a monthly fee.
Or you can opt to save money, in which case both obtaining the software and looking for affiliates will be nobody’s headache but your own.
15. Do Cross-Promotion With Your Indirect Competitors
This strategy is as old as time itself. Helping others is a virtue that goes a long way.
The world is full of things that aren’t of much use on their own and need to be used in tandem with others.
Shoes and socks, bookshelves and books, pizza and pineapple… You get the idea.
However, they aren’t always sold together in the same place. So what happens then? Customers shop at several places, of course.
And usually, those separate businesses will gladly refer their customers to where they can buy the rest of what they need.
That way, everybody wins:
- Business A who has just made a sale;
- Business B who has a new lead coming their way;
- And the lead who got everything they wanted and even received some help for free.
Are you in a niche which is designed to fulfill only a part of your customers’ needs? If that’s the case, cooperating with other businesses is for you. Today you scratch their back, tomorrow they will scratch yours.
16. Gather Positive Reviews & Testimonials
They are like a light version of success stories. Better yet, somebody else writes them for you. Despite the difference in scope, customer feedback is just as effective as case studies.
It’s obvious why: reviews and testimonials make for a much faster read than a 20-page long PDF. They are also easily gathered in one place, and new ones keep coming – that helps a lot, too.
Letting customers leave reviews is always a must, but if we are talking about using feedback to generate leads, you will need an extra step.
Create a separate page to put some of your best reviews on display. You can even use your homepage for that.
17. Use Chats to Create Leads on the Spot
Also known as customer support. Heaven for some, hell for others. Both subject and object of many a complaint.
Everybody has seen a popup chat window like that at least once. Sometimes people even use them when they happen to need help.
Of course, it doesn’t always result in a new lead (maybe they only need answers to some questions), but this means talking to your prospects in real-time – the best time to create leads.
Chats reward those who are knowledgeable about their brand and possess quick-thinking skills.
Consider using them everywhere your customers can get in touch with you: not just your website, but also your page in social media.
Live chats are obviously more preferable, but you should also use chatbots for when nobody is available to help a user in need.
18. Tell Leads They Will Be Making a Good Decision
Here’s a neat little trick to personalize your calls-to-action.
Instead of writing something boring like “Press here to sign up”, make leads feel they will be doing a smart thing by pressing that button.
A simple example: “Join the 250,000 experts who recommend this software”.
This does more than just say experts recommend your software; it encourages leads to join their ranks and puts them on the same level as those experts. Flattery, in other words.
Even Einstein agreed that feelings beat logic. Be like Einstein.
19. Use Exit-Intent Popups
The visitor is about to leave! Quickly, do something before you lose a lead!
If you need a last-ditch effort to convert a user, show them an exit-intent popup.
They work by monitoring the mouse cursor’s movement: if it gets dangerously close to another tab in the browser or the “Close” button, a script shows a popup with a call-to-action.
(Image source: Consulting.com)
Of course, it needs to have something really good to change the user’s mind and make them stay.
If you use this tactic, make all links on your site open in a new tab. Exit-intent scripts don’t activate when a link loads a new page in the same tab.
20. Launch Retargeting Campaigns
Do you believe in giving people second chances? Then you can’t pass up on retargeting.
If your brand is popular enough, your site’s visitor count may be in the thousands at the very least. Obviously, not all of them will become leads on their first visit.
But if they forget to come again, there’s a way to help them remember you exist. If you have a tracking pixel on your site, you can create retargeting campaigns in Google Ads and Facebook.
Segment your audiences and personalize your ads for each of them – it’s a necessary step when you are trying to appeal to such a wide and diverse group.
Have you discovered any new tactics for generating leads?
Perhaps you’ve found a way to improve on some of the ones already in your repertoire?
If so, then remember to show your customers how much you have grown. Stories of success with leads are lead magnets of their own.
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