‘Are SEO services worth it?’
This is one of the most common questions businesses ask (or are hesitant to ask) digital marketing service providers.
While we (the experts) understand how staying on top of Google search is the best way to gain valid leads, businesses don’t realize that unless we show them data that it does. Business owners want results. And for those with budgets going thinner, they want to see it happen fast.
Unfortunately for SEO experts, there’s no telling when we can actually see results. SEO is more of like a long term investment wherein you invest time and resources to build a website that both caters to your customers’ needs and something they feel good using (UX). And after building the site come the promotion part – ads, social media, press releases and other write ups, etc.
It’s also not a one-off process. There are hundreds of websites launched online daily. A new brand is born every week. The competition is getting stiffer. You have to continuously exert effort if you want to stay on top.
Why Is SEO Important to Businesses?
The answer is simple: consumer buying behavior has changed.
The way we find and buy products or services has changed as we rely further on the internet for what we need. The Internet also made it rather convenient for consumers to acquire information about products and the brand they’re eying to purchase.
Buyers are a lot smarter now. They go on research mode, check for online reviews, and learn about the product/services offered before finally deciding if it’s a good buy or not. Most resources they go to are online reviews, social media, Google My Business listings, video streaming platforms, blogs, and even forums.
You can’t just claim you’re the best in town and expect people to buy anymore.
With SEO, you can monitor the information that goes out about your business on Google. And if you’re a new business and you’ve just launched your website, SEO helps you get found by your customers.
Social media does wonders in getting your brand name out there. However, Google is where you find serious buyers. People use social media to connect with friends and family or get entertained. Although there are some who are able to make business through social, the primary user intent when using this platform is to communicate.
User intent on Google is a different ball game. People go to search engines if they want to find information or finding services and products. More often than not, these are serious buyers and already decided to make a purchase. This is why there’s higher conversion coming in from organic traffic as compared to other channels.
How to Convert Organic Traffic to Qualified Leads
So let’s say you’re already getting a lot of traffic and the team you’ve hired is doing a wonderful job boosting your organic campaign, how can you convert those site visits to actual and valid leads?
Here are some things you can do to boost your organic conversions as discussed in Anna Crowe in Search Engine Journal.
Match Content to User Intent
Although this is fundamental in SEO, it’s often not executed accordingly. Most SEOs focus on building content around high volume keywords without realizing the user intent behind it. It’s like writing content to Google not for the people. This is where your campaign goes to waste.
Before conducting keyword research, learn about your target audience first. Understand their interests and online behavior, the reasons why they’ll be looking for products and services like yours (pain points), and what language (tone) they respond to.
What can you do:
Conduct an audit to your pages’ current content and see if it these were made to address user intent. There’s so much potential quick win by improving existing pages.
Next, check out queries that you are ranking for that contain transactional terms like “buy”, “pricing”, “review”, or “testimonials”. See if the pages that rank for those terms serve up the content that influences your audience to take action.
Don’t forget to test your CTA buttons. Just so we eliminate technical errors from the reasons why you’re not converting. 😉
Optimize for Branded Search Terms
Found that there are searches for your brand name? You may think that your website caters to your customer’s every need. But data may state otherwise. Look into what type of branded queries you rank for and see if you have the corresponding page for it.
Targeting branded search terms help grab leads that are lower in the funnel. Those who are searching for your brand are a high-value lead that you want to satisfy.
Promote Content Upgrades (Content Relaunch)
Content upgrades are one of the biggest breakthroughs that marketers all across the industry are raving about. According to OptinMonster, a content upgrade is a lead magnet (or opt-in bribe) created specifically for a particular blog post or page.
There are several ways to ‘upgrade’ your content. If your audience finds your content truly valuable, they want to read it over some time in the future. Offer a downloadable .pdf version of your article or a video link they can bookmark and save.
According to Sleeknote, they saw an increase in conversions by 177.78% on one of their blog posts by taking a few measures:
- Made the blog introduction more enticing.
- Moved lead forms higher on the page.
- Added images and pithy copy to content call-out-boxes.
By giving your audience something valuable, it’s a good enough reason to stay on your site and engage.
Not everyone who visits your site is ready to buy. Most of them are researching and evaluating offers from you and your competitors.
So what can you do to help your brand stay on top of your customers’ head? Nurture them.
Email is the primary, and most effective, channel for lead nurturing. By effectively segmenting your email list, you will be able to personalize the message you send out. Personalization is the key. With inboxes flooded with content these days, tailoring your message helps you break through the noise.
However, don’t dive into sales mode just yet. These leads are not yet ready to seal the deal yet. So don’t push it with closing a sale. Instead, send over content that provides them value like a guide. If you have an upcoming sale, send incentives like vouchers and exclusive discounts.
In a Nutshell
Yes, investing in SEO is worth every penny. But the thing is it casts a wide net. While it can attract actual buyers, it can also attract onlookers. To be able to make the most out of the traffic you’re getting, optimize your content with user intent in mind.