Friday, 22 June 2018

SEO Is Only The Start

start. Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

If you've read any of our blog posts in the past you'll be well acquainted with the importance of understanding your potential customers' problems, and researching what they search for, and creating useful content to attract them to your website. Unfortunately, that's not the end of it. How do you turn them into customers?

How to get more Website Visitors

You've created detailed buyer personas - tick

You've completed hours of keyword research - tick

You've optimised the pages on your site for your chosen keywords - tick

You've written new content to meet the needs of your ideal customers - tick

You're actively engaging on social media - tick

And... great news, your search rankings are improving and you're getting more website visitors. But visitors don't pay the bills. What you really need are customers!

Or, as HubSpot puts it, "If you rank #1 for a query that hardly has any search volume and ultimately doesn't generate leads or customers, then does the ranking still matter?"

Generating Leads

As HubSpot partners, we are great believers in the attract - engage - convert philosophy of Inbound Marketing.

attract-engage-convert

 

So, you've nailed the attract part. Your content is helping your site move higher up in the search engine rankings, and your social media activity is getting attention, bringing more visitors to your website. You now need to figure out, for each page they visit, what these visitors are trying to learn or achieve, and how you can nudge them towards the next step.

Having a next step implies that you have a clear path in mind - a trail of steps leading to a specific goal. In most cases that goal is either buying something, asking for a quote or getting in touch. What you need to figure out is the process that gets your visitors to that goal, and that's going to be different for every business and every buyer persona.

Engaging Visitors

To encourage people to engage with your content - i.e. do something more that just looking, such as click a link, watch a video, fill in a form, download a resource - you need to understand the purpose of the page they are on and whereabouts on the path they are. Are they still trying to educate themselves, are they looking for potential suppliers, or prices or do they want to talk to someone? 

If the page purpose is to educate, then provide a link to more detailed educational information. If it's a "how to" guide, a video or a consultation might be helpful. If the page provides pricing information, the obvious next step is to offer a quote. Every page should lead somewhere - don't leave anyone high and dry; take them by the hand and lead them towards the ultimate goal.

 

goal - Photo by Jannes Glas on Unsplash

No Hard Sell

Conversions. That's where it's all leading. You're putting steps in place that turn strangers into potential customers or leads. Once they've engaged with your website once or several times, you will be in a position to convert them. Depending on your business model, you might convert them directly into customers, or, in many cases, particularly in B2B marketing or high value consumer markets, convert them into leads for your sales team to follow up. This whole process makes life much easier for your sales team as you hand them pre-qualified, warm leads. People who know what you do, like what you do, trust you already and are ready to discuss a purchase.

There's plenty of research to show that by the time most potential customers get in touch, they know what they want already. So it's down to you to make them feel safe, answer any remaining questions and do the deal.

This is why, when we get enquiries about SEO, we ask questions that may not seem immediately relevant. We are very clear that good SEO on its own won't transform your business. But good SEO along with a strategy to convert visitors into leads just might.

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More in this category: SEO, inbound marketing, Lead Generation