Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation April 16, 2019 RICCentre There is a wealth of information on the web. Most buyers now self-educate through online research before making a purchase and control most of the decision-making process leading up to a sale. How does this impact your digital marketing strategy? Today’s Selling Process By the time a buyer reaches a buying decision, they’ve already done their homework online. They will be 80% of the way through their decision-making process before even engaging with a sales professional (if at all)! The traditional outbound sales approach – outreach, qualifying, being the information resource on the solution, and closing – has been replaced with an information-based model that educates and engages the prospect along their buying process, in which they self-qualify. Which means your digital marketing strategy should aim to deliver relevant and varied content, on the appropriate channels, with prospect engagement tracked and measured. How do you accomplish that? Turn your marketing focus on three key areas to ensure positive ROI with your online lead generation efforts: Connect – Be visible to your target audience. Convince – Engage visitors with optimized web site content and calls to action. Convert – Nurture leads into customers with marketing automation. Be Visible to Your Target Audience To connect to your target audience you need to create pathways, from where your prospects are online, to your website. This is accomplished via search engines, other websites, blogs and social media. These require time and effort to be effective. Invest in some analysis to make sure your traffic-building efforts bring measurable results – what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get managed. Keywords It starts with identifying the language and phrases your target market uses to search online and the places they visit for information. It’s important that part of our website language is aligned with the word phrases that your target customer is using in search. As well, we want to satisfy the discovery and indexing tools of search engines like Google and Bing. After you submit your site for indexing, these search engines will scan your content and get how it is applied across web page elements to establish topic relevancy. These targeted phrases are called keywords. These drive actions both outside your site and on it as well. After you have completed keyword research (on your own using 3rd party tools or hiring an SEO expert), you should have a good idea of the “phrases that pay”, their search volumes and competition for that traffic. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) On-Page Keyword Optimization On-page optimization is how your selected keywords are used on your website pages, blog, downloadable content and social media. We have two audiences to satisfy: humans and search engines. We’ll want to ensure that not only do our web pages have great content for humans, but are organized to be search engine friendly as well. Download this checklist on best practices for on-page optimization. With our website now optimized, it’s time to turn to creating those pathways directing visitors to the website with… Off-Page Keyword Optimization Your keywords not only help structure your website content, they are the basis for helping your potential customers discover you. Therefore, when adding your website to business directories, having other websites connect to you (link building), in social media hashtags and within your blog posts – use your keywords to strengthen the association between other online properties and your web site. In Summary Information is widely available online. This has changed buyer behaviour and decision-making around purchases Your website and Internet properties have to accommodate this research-oriented process so that prospects engage with your content Keywords form the basis for discovery and connecting to your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) uses the keywords in two specific ways: On your web pages and blogs (On Page) to satisfy readability requirements of both search engines and humans On Internet sites external to your web site (Off Page) for additional discovery and linking to your web site If you can follow the suggestions in this post, you will definitely start off on the right foot when it comes to your website’s search engine optimization. SEO is simply another way to increase your site’s appearance in Web visitors’ search results, which means more traffic to your website, attracting more leads and ultimately, growing your business. Learn how to build your startup brand Join RIC Centre’s Expert Speaker Series on April 25 to learn how to start building a solid branding strategy for your business. Register Here About the AuthorBernie Schmidt Founder, Profitable Conversions An engineer by education, Schmidt started in petrochemical project management, then moved into B2B computer sales. He’s held executive positions with hi-tech companies in sales, marketing and product management. Schmidt then left corporate life to pursue song writing in Nashville. Self-promotion work included figuring out best practices for SEO and on-line lead generation. Small-business friends asked for help with their on-line marketing efforts and Profitable Conversions, a digital marketing agency was born. As a RIC Centre Advisor, Bernie provides insights on brand and product optimization that brings better online sales for our clients.