Most companies want more leads… I’ve been running a digital marketing agency for many years and I’ve never come across a company that doesn’t want more, qualified leads.  Whether you are a small, start-up company or a large company, you still need a source of leads.  Larger companies tend to hire sales people for outbound marketing to generate new leads that could turn into customers.  While this is fine, it  can be quite expensive and there are other ways of generating leads using the Internet.

The big trend right now is companies figuring out how to use SEO to generate more leads online.  Google is a great source for qualified leads… just think about it.  If you are an insurance broker and want more leads there is probably not a better place to start then getting a presence on Google. Every day there are people typing in “{city name} car insurance” or any other type of insurance looking for a quote.  And this doesn’t just apply to insurance, most of your customers will be using Google no matter what industry you are in.

The reason Google and any other search engine is so powerful for generating leads is because people can search for exactly what they want and if you offer that exact product or service they are searching for then they will most likely contact you.  It is very targeted.  Other than a referral, getting a lead from Google might be the next best thing.

So how do you get leads from Google?  That is where search engine optimization comes into play or commonly referred to as SEO.  SEO is the art and science of getting your website ranked on Google.  Of course, you can always just buy an ad on Google but getting your website ranked on Google to generate organic traffic is far better than just buying an ad.

The problem is that SEO can be so daunting and hard to understand.  Not to mention, there are so many companies in the world that claim they know SEO and bombard your email inbox every day claiming things like, “We can get you top rankings on Google”.  What I’m going to attempt in this blog post is to help you understand the basics of SEO so that you can either do it yourself or be more informed to hire a good company to help you.

Alright, let’s begin…

Why does Google rank a certain webpage above another?  The main reasons are:

  • The page is relevant and optimized
  • The content is useful and well written
  •  The page has other good websites linking to it from the Internet

It is really that simple.  But before you get too frustrated thinking you are doing this and still not getting results let me just caution you on one thing… you cannot try to rank for broad phrases like “car insurance”.  Something to broad is way too competitive and your webpage will never get enough trust and authority to rank for it.  So doing proper keyword research is vital in order to get results.

So if it all starts with keyword research let’s quickly talk about that.  You can use Google’s keyword planner tool (just sign up for Adwords).  If you are an insurance broker then you already know an idea of what topics or phrases people might be searching in your city such as:

{city name} car insurance
{city name} car insurance quotes
{city name} car insurance brokers
{city name} auto insurance

Just start with some common sense keyword phrases that you think people would be searching for and copy and paste them into Google’s keyword planner tool and see what you get.  You will get a lot of great insight into what search phrases people are using.  Then after you get these ideas group them into “topics”.  So one topic might be “car insurance” and you will want to build a page on your website dedicated to {city name} car insurance.  This makes the page extremely relevant to the user and allows you to show Google that you care about a good user experience.  After all if someone searches for “Calgary car insurance” they probably want to land on a page that talks about this and has what they are looking for instead of having to search for it.

Building out these topical pages on your website around keyword phrases is commonly referred to as landing pages.  You want to have as many landing pages as your services or products.  This is very important.  And your landing page URL structure should have the main keyword in the URL such as{city name}-car-insurance – this helps optimize that page even further.

After you understand the concept of landing pages that are targeting a specific group of keyword phrases then you will need to know how to properly optimize that landing page.  What you need to know is the following:

  • The title tag is very, very important.  Your title tag should have your main keyword phrase in it and not be stuffed.  You want it optimized for Google but also written in a way that will get someone to click on it.  So something like: “Los Angeles Car Insurance – Get a Free Quote | Broker Name”.  If you don’t know what a title tag is just Google it 🙂
  • Your H1 Header is also important.  You need to start off your content with a strong, optimized headline that is your H1 header.  So something like: “Looking For A Quick & Easy Car Insurance Quote In Los Angeles?”
  • Your content should be informative and valuable.  Don’t just write content for the sake of writing content.  Actually write something that is valuable… maybe show the user some stats they would like to know.

That’s it!  That is all you really need to know about optimizing your landing pages.  Just keep in mind you want to make sure your website is mobile friendly and loads fast.  But other than that you are set to start ranking for keywords.

But don’t expect to go onto the first page of Google just doing this alone.  You need to build up the trust and authority of the landing pages you have created.  The best way to do this is to get other websites to link to your new pages you created.  Do you have a network of partners that would be willing to link to a specific landing page you just created?  Also, try to get a listing in all your local online directories such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.  The more relevant the directory to your industry the better.  You can also get some social media links as well.

Getting another website to link to a specific landing page you built can be hard to do.  That is why a lot of companies hire SEO specialists… but the problem is that Google doesn’t like cheap links or unnatural links to your site so it can also be dangerous.  To help, you can also start a blog and write about the same topic as your landing page and link to it from your blog post… this is called “internal linking” and Google likes this.

The bottom line is that they more high quality links you get to your landing page the more trust and authority your webpage will have and the higher it will rank (assuming you did all the on-page stuff correctly as I’ve outlined above).

Let’s say you nail it and your webpage starts to rank… how do you get leads?   That has to do with the design of your landing page.  You want to have a strong call of action and an easy way for the person to get in touch with you.  You can put a form on your website that captures their info such as name, email, phone and comments.  You can even integrate this form with ClickHook so that your leads go directly into ClickHook after they enter their information.

I’m amazed at how many companies miss this point… they don’t make it easy for the person to contact them right from the webpage they are on.  And a lot of companies don’t have a good lead management tool like ClickHook that integrates with their web forms.

Using SEO to generate leads can be very powerful if you are dedicated to it and do it right.  I hope this blog post serves as a very basic blueprint for how you can start generating leads using SEO.