Did you know that 70% of businesses consider SEO a more effective marketing strategy than paid advertising? As they say, the proof is in the pudding, which you can discover for yourself by following this useful guide.
Before you begin your SEO marketing strategy, consider exploring these ten effective Google Chrome SEO extensions. Otherwise, keep reading to learn more.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization.’ It is a long-term marketing strategy that helps websites rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), thereby increasing traffic volume. Every website has an SEO score, determined by several ranking factors outlined by Google.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Page speed
- Keyword relevancy
- Content value
The above factors are known as on-page SEO factors, meaning SEO considerations are made internally on the website. Contrastingly, off-page SEO factors are methods employed externally. These include, but are not limited to:
- Link building
- Domain authority
- Competitor authority
Understanding on and off-page SEO is a vital component of a robust SEO campaign. Check out a more detailed comparison of these two essential SEO elements in our guide to on-page vs off-page SEO.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO helps websites improve a website’s SERP ranking by optimizing content, improving link popularity, and improving keyword usage. Search engines use algorithms to rank websites. These algorithms are based on various factors, including how often the website is updated, the quality of its content, and the number of links to it from other websites.
How Does SEO Generate Leads?
Lead generation is the process of creating and cultivating interest in a product or service with the intent of developing sales. SEO can be used to generate leads in several ways. For example, by optimizing your website for relevant keywords, your site can rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This visibility can help attract more visitors to your site, where they may then take action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, requesting more information, or making a purchase. Additionally, you can also use SEO to generate leads through social media and other online channels through engaging, keyword-focused content.
If your goal is to generate leads using search engine optimization, check out the Idea Maker SEO marketing service page. We offer advice, free guides on our blog, and affordable marketing campaigns.
What’s the Difference Between SEM and SEO?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of marketing a website through paid search engine results, while SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in organic search engine results. Paid SEM results are typically displayed as ads, while organic SEO results are not.
While both SEM and SEO are important for driving traffic to your website, they have different purposes. SEM is focused on driving immediate, short-term results, while SEO is more long-term and sustainable.
What Are the Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses?
Before learning how to improve lead generation using search engine optimization techniques, let’s look at how SEO can benefit small businesses. Here are just a few advantages.
Gain Online Exposure
The first and most obvious benefit of SEO is that it can help you gain online exposure for your business. After all, the whole point of ranking higher in search engine results pages is to get more people to see your website and, hopefully, visit your store or contact you to learn more about your products or services.
In addition to increasing online exposure, SEO can also help you generate leads and sales for your business. This is because if your website ranks higher on Google search engine results pages, it’s more likely that people will click on your listing and visit your website. Once they’re on your website, you have the opportunity to convert them into a lead or a customer.
Improved Conversion Rate
As mentioned above, employing best SEO practices can also improve custom conversion rates. This is thanks to the way search engines rank content. If your content has keywords that match user search queries, your website is more likely to attract genuinely interested visitors.
Finally, SEO can help you build brand awareness and trust for your business. People are more likely to trust a website that appears higher on search engine results pages. And, if they trust your website, they’re more likely to engage with your content and purchase your services.
What Can Businesses Do to Optimize Their Websites?
There are several ways a business can position its website for search engine optimization. Here are a few of the primary factors that contribute to website optimization.
Over 50% of Google search queries come from mobile devices, meaning creating an excellent mobile experience is vital. What’s more, Google ranks websites partly based on mobile optimization, making it even more critical. There are many ways you can optimize your website for mobile-friendliness.
For example, when developing your website, you should ensure that you use a mobile-friendly template or theme with minimal animations and a smooth UI. Of course, without technical knowledge, this is easier said than done. Thankfully, here at Idea Maker, we have an extensive guide on developing excellent WordPress themes to guide you through the process.
Regularly Update Content
Frequently posting and updating new web content helps SEO rankings in two ways. Firstly, it creates fresh and engaging content for users to enjoy, thus creating a reason for them to return. Secondly, especially in the case of blog posts, it gives Google’s crawl bots new pages to crawl.
By giving content for Google crawl bots to index, you ensure the most up-to-date version of your website is available to Google directories. This means that after optimizing your website with keywords and mobile-friendliness etc., Google will have a clear idea of where to rank your site. If you’ve conducted search engine optimization correctly, your search engine rankings will increase.
Relevant Keyword Usage
Keyword usage goes hand in hand with SEO and is one of the most important factors. Including relevant keywords in your website’s content allows search engines to match user search queries with appropriate content. For example, when a user searches ‘SEO services’, Google will show them the most relevant results based on factors listed at the beginning of this article.
Conducting your own keyword research may seem like a daunting task. However, there are many tools available to help. At Idea Maker, we use SurferSEO and Ahrefs, as they provide a wealth of useful keyword features.
Social Media Promotion
Using social media channels to promote your website may not seem like an obvious SEO technique, but it is constructive for optimization. You can use social media to generate backlinks to your website and create keyword-rich captions and posts. Similar to website keyword usage, keyword usage on social media has the same effect.
For example, you could create a Facebook post linking to an article on your website with a descriptive caption. This would make a new backlink to your site and direct Facebook users looking for similar services to your post due to relevant keyword usage. If you’d like to learn more about the ins and outs of Facebook from a technical standpoint, check out our guide to Facebook development.
Advanced Techniques for SEO Lead Generation
In addition to the above methods of search engine optimization methods, there are several advanced techniques you can employ. However, these may require a deeper understanding of SEO. If you lack such knowledge, your best option is to hire an expert digital marketing agency.
Local Search Optimization
Local SEO is the process of making your website appear on search engines through regional search queries. For example, correctly optimized local practices appear when a user searches ‘dentists near me’. This enables businesses to direct relevant traffic, i.e. people more likely to purchase services, to their websites.
As a result, local search optimization is an effective method of SEO lead generation. It’s achieved through relevant keyword usage, such as that most commonly queried in your local area, and the use of Google My Business (GMB). You can learn more about using GMB for local search on our sister site, The Dental SEO Experts.
Another option is to create promotional videos and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo. These videos should include keyword-rich descriptive titles and video descriptions, as well as relevant tags. The effect of this is similar to that of using social media promotions but more impactful.
Over 55% of Google search results are populated by videos, 82% of which are from YouTube. As a result, if you’ve correctly optimized your video’s metadata, there’s a good chance it will appear in search results and increase your online exposure. You should include links to your website, services, and products to improve lead generation.
YouTube is a complex beast. Understanding how it functions is an integral part of creating a robust SEO and lead generation strategy. So, check out the Idea Maker guide to developing a website like YouTube for an under the hood look.
Generate High-Quality Backlinks
Generating backlinks is an excellent off-page SEO strategy that can significantly improve your website’s domain authority and direct external traffic to your website. However, generating high-quality backlinks can be a challenging task. You will need to identify the site’s authority from which you wish to link from and how to contact its owner.
There are several tools available to help with this. For example, Ahrefs offers a free online tool to check domain authority, and NinjaOutreach Lite is a free Chrome extension that lets you grab emails from any website. Together, these tools enable you to ascertain the required information to generate high-quality backlinks.
How to Track the Success of Your SEO Efforts
You can track the success of your SEO efforts by using Google Analytics. This free tool provides information about how many people visit your website, where they are coming from, and what pages they view. This information can help you adjust your SEO strategy and ensure that you get the most out of your efforts.
Expert SEO Marketing and Lead Generation from Idea Maker
Without the proper knowledge, creating a long-term marketing plan is a daunting task, best left to the professionals. At Idea Maker, we have a team of dedicated experts ready to create a tailor-made marketing plan to increase your website’s online exposure and generate leads. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.