How To Find Qualified SEO Leads and Guarantee the Success of your Business

All SEO strategies are aimed at one goal: for a brand to be organically found by more people when they are searching for what it has to offer.Instead of reaching out to potential customers, you lay the path for them to discover you.But a lot of companies, even doing a good job at getting that visibility on search result pages (SERPs), have trouble converting users into SEO leads.

How can you turn Search Engine Optimization into a converting machine?

In this post, we will show you what you need to do to make this opportunity count.

  • What are SEO Leads?
  • How does SEO Help with Lead Generation?
  • How do You Get SEO Leads?
  • How to Convert SEO Leads into Clients?
  •  

What are SEO Leads?

SEO is a set of tools, actions, strategies, and content a business puts into action to get top spots on SERPs. It is a mix of building a structure that is seen as valuable by search engine crawlers and creating the content that uses this structure to convey relevant and engaging information to your audience.So, SEO leads are the potential buyers that discover and consider your brand by this organic channel of attraction. They are actively searching for a solution to their problems and, even if not ready for conversion now, are starting to associate alternatives and brands with possible solutions.The shorter version is to say that SEO leads are the ones that land on your pages after discovering you via search results. But it is a little more than that. They are people looking for guidance regarding a determined wish or want, who choose your content as useful for them. A lead more open and engaged than you could get from most other Digital Marketing strategies.

How does SEO Help with Lead Generation?

To understand the importance of SEO for lead generation, we have to take a look at how this process of discovery happens from the lead’s perspective. That is, what do we usually do when we want to buy something?The most common habit today is to go straight to Google and search for a product, category, or subject. Then, we go through some of the results, get better informed about options, specs, particularities, and start considering if/why/when/which to buy.This thinking process is exactly what SEO tackles. It predicts how the customer follows that path from discovery to final decision and tries its best to help them along the way — tying authority and usefulness to your brand.But how does it differ from other lead-generating tactics? The key is exactly in the word we just used: habit. SEO takes advantage of our natural buying journey. Instead of reaching out actively, you become available for the audience to find you anytime they need.It means SEO leads are more prone to conversion when well guided because they already start this path with their guard down. When looking for useful information about a product or service, they are more eager to share information, engage, interact. Those are what we call qualified leads, the ones worth investing in. 

 How do You Get SEO Leads?

An important thing to understand about SEO is that achieving good positions on SERPs doesn’t necessarily mean you will get good leads. The success of that strategy is a combination of opportunity and meaningfulness.Your content has to find the right person at the right time.So how do you guarantee that SEO is getting leads for your company? It is a process requiring a lot of planning and groundwork. Let’s take a look at some imperatives steps needed to attract those potential buyers:

1. Knowing your customer

SEO is all about context. The content you produce, the keywords you choose, the material you boost and share, all of that needs to be made with your buyer persona in mind. That means the more you know about them, the easier it is to turn interactions into interest.Your first step is to go deeper into your ideal buyer’s life — not only age and profession, but how they search and consume information, what they do when they are unsure about buying something, and what drives them to make a decision.Finding those answers will help you with all the remaining steps listed here, creating content that caters specifically to that person.

2. Laying the path

Now that you know what kind of content you need, it is time to put it into practice. To get leads from SEO, you have to do the basics and start climbing towards those top spots in search results. Take a look a look at some of these strategies.

Invest in Content Marketing

To achieve a better ranking, you need to produce more content. There is no way around it. With SEO leads as a goal, try to find the kind of posts, interactive pieces, and pages that speak directly to your buyer persona’s needs on different steps of their journey. They will be the foundation of your lead-generating machine.

Invest in on-page SEO

It doesn’t matter if your content is incredible — if it isn’t well-structured, it will probably be snubbed by Google crawlers. On-page SEO is a set of techniques that make your website and content better suited for ranking on SERPs. The ideal SEO is a combination of good content and good framework.

Use social media to boost reach

After content is published, it may take time for it to start being recommended as a useful link on Google. But you can speed up this process and start getting leads right away if you use the power of social media.Sharing it on your established profiles helps improve visibility and engagement. Direct traffic and human curation will count for Google to put that link higher on search results.

Build content aimed at a goal

If we are talking about laying a path, it is because the buyer’s journey looks exactly like that. When building your content, think about what the lead would want to do after interacting with it. What is the next step, the next doubt, the next consideration. Then use CTAs and other tools to guide them where you want them to go.

3. Breaking barriers

After you put your Content Marketing strategy into action and keep working on it, you will see with time that your brand is gaining relevance and becoming an authority in your area. That is the spot you want to be in.But receiving more organic traffic is not enough. To be really successful, a CMO has to create the shortest path possible between interest and conversion.So start investigating friction points in your journey — where your leads tend to give up the most. Usually, these will point to problems with user experience, poorly designed pages, and dissonant content. The more you identify those barriers and solve them, the easier it is to convert from SEO.

4. Being there for them

For sure, most of SEO’s success is determined before the strategy has even started — planning, creating, scheduling. But even after laying out good content, your persona can still try to reach you at any given point in their journey.So, be there to grab and retain those leads. Be active on social media, vary your contact channels, be vigilant as to what they are saying about your brand. If SEO brings organic leads, being proactive can optimize those numbers. Never just sit and wait.

How to Convert SEO Leads into Clients?

If you have an SEO strategy in action that puts your buyer persona’s needs at the center of the kind of content you produce, you will probably start getting more organic leads with time. But how do you make them go all the way to conversion? Let’s finish this article with some tips on how you can go about it:

Qualifying your leads

The main thing you need when dealing with visitors and potential buyers is knowing how to deal with them at each stage of a customer-brand relationship. There are 3 main lead types:

Cold leads

Familiar with your brand and your content, but not yet searching for something in particular.

Warm leads

They know your brand and starting to consider options, although not yet committed to purchasing something.

Hot leads

Interested in what you have to offer and ready to purchase. Just need a final push for a final decision.So how you deal with leads depends on how close they are to the conversion. The best way to approach this is by guiding hot and warm leads and then making it as easy as possible for the hot ones to choose you. The next two tips expand on that.

Automating your contact with them

For cold and warm leads, automation has become a great ally, especially email marketing. When you are in constant contact with these prospects, you not only keep your brand in their minds but also gather more data about them.The more you know your lead, the more arguments you have to convince them. Qualifying cold leads make them warmer. You can use interactions via e-mail and social media to follow up their experiences with content discovered by SEO, bringing them even closer to a purchasing decision.

Improving the finish line

For hot leads, all they need is a little push. But that is the most challenging part of attracting buyers, as losing them at this point hurts a lot — you’re not only losing a lead but one ready to become a customer.So our tip at the finish line is to invest the most you can in user experience. Make the process of buying fun and engaging and don’t ask for more than necessary to seal the deal.In B2B, that usually involves direct contact too, being available for a conversation any time the lead needs. A satisfying buying process not only helps you convert more leads into clients, but it is also the start of the next step: brand loyalty.

Managing your results

Taking all we have spoken about into consideration will be enough to make your SEO strategy generate leads, and then generate clients. Now, you just have to keep this approach constant and focused, measuring results and using them to become better and better with time.At the end of the day, getting more SEO leads is a great goal for CMOs: it means getting more organic traffic with a purpose, laying a path for your audience to discover, consider and choose your brand.

Keyword research is the foundation of a solid search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, and knowing how to do it effectively is critical to your website’s search visibility. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of site creation or are building an SEO strategy to boost organic traffic, you need to know the keywords your customers are using so they can find your content when they need it.

This guide will cover how to do keyword research for your business. You’ll learn how to find keywords for SEO, analyze their potential, and choose the most effective ones to use in your SEO content strategy.

 

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the task of finding and evaluating the words and phrases potential customers use in search, so your content ranks higher on search engine result pages for relevant terms. It’s one of the fundamental practices of SEO. The goal of SEO keyword research is to:
  • Find the search terms your customers are using
  • Prioritize the ones you want to optimize for based on search volume, competition, and your business goals.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

While you may already have some keywords in mind that you think describe your offerings, SEO keyword research helps fine-tune your keyword list and provides a reality check for your assumptions. SEO is less about forcing the terms you think are relevant into your content and more about determining what your target customers are actually searching for.

Your research might reveal that searchers don’t use the terms you think they might. You may also discover a variety of keywords you hadn’t considered, providing more opportunities for a targeted content strategy that will help you reach a wider audience.

 

How Keyword Research Boosts Your SEO Efforts

Keyword research ensures the language you use on your web pages matches user queries, so your pages rise in search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google won’t rank your pages for relevant queries unless they contain the keywords searchers use to find information users are looking for.

If you’re hoping to rank for a certain search phrase, you need it on your website. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million more times, but Google’s algorithms are content-based, and there is no skirting around the fact that if you want to show up for something, you need to be using that specific keyword or a variation of it in your content.

Once you’ve researched relevant keywords, you can integrate the phrases into helpful and informative SEO content. Unique and useful content is what’s going to keep a user on your website longer, building familiarity and trust. If you can produce the best content for a given search term, you’ll likely reap the benefit of increased organic traffic while building topical authority for your website.

How to Search for Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing SEO keyword research, from generating keyword ideas to determining which ones best suit your business goals.

1. Decide What Matters to Your Business

The most important step in building a keyword-driven search engine optimization strategy is determining where you’ll focus your efforts. If you engage in keyword research that covers every page on your site, not only will the research phase be overwhelming, it won’t be easy to implement such a far-flung plan. I recommend that the first thing you decide is which pages on your site can move the needle on your business goals with the benefit of added organic traffic. Focus your SEO efforts on those pages.

An important caveat: Your target audience might not be looking for the pages that are important to you.

It’s entirely possible that your keyword research will reveal that there’s no search demand for the pages you think are strategically important to your business. 

It’s essential that you take your cues from search data rather than trying to shoehorn existing content into your SEO strategy if it doesn’t fit. Search engines will tell you what you should be focusing on, and this information can be invaluable to your business goals. In this case, your business will benefit from focusing your efforts where they can yield the greatest results rather than wasting resources on the Sisyphean task of trying to rank content that prospective customers aren’t looking for. 

2. Brainstorm Topics

Start your keyword planner with a list of potential search terms based on your target pages. At this stage, the idea is to cast the net wide. Later, you’ll analyze the value of those keywords to prioritize which ones to implement.

Come Up With Keywords Internally

Get together with your marketing team and develop a list of keywords your target customers might use. Make a keyword planner list to refer to during the rest of the research process.

Begin with at least five or six general topics or content buckets. These seed keywords will “sprout” other keyword ideas.

I’m going to use the example of a fictional ecommerce cosmetics and beauty retailer called BeautyTrend to illustrate the keyword research process.

BeautyTrend starts their initial keyword list with the products they offer on their website. They want to attract potential customers who search for these terms with the intent to purchase:

  • Skincare
  • Makeup
  • Eyelash extensions
  • Nail designs
  • Eyebrow shaping

The list also includes related information their customers might be searching for, such as:

  • Makeup tutorials
  • Beauty news and trends

These broad keywords are difficult to rank for because they’re so general. But once you identify higher-level topics, you can come up with more specific keywords to fill the buckets.

The skincare category, for example, could include phrases such as “moisturizer for dry skin” or “hydrating skin mask.” Informational terms might consist of basic search terms combined with words like “how-to,” “guide,” or “step-by-step.”

 

Check Out the Competition

Your competition is a critical source of keyword information. Begin by identifying key competitors and find the keywords they rank for in SERPs.

Consider companies that are selling to the same audience as you. If you rely on local customers, pick competing businesses in your area. A corporation with an international presence has an entirely different set of competitors.

Find competing businesses by plugging the keywords and phrases you’ve brainstormed into Google and look at the companies at the top of organic search results.

To get a sense of how your competitors perform in search, run their URLs through a keyword research tool such as the Ubersuggest Chrome extension or SimilarWeb. You’ll want to note how many organic keywords the sites are ranking for, monthly traffic, backlink profiles, and domain scores. You can analyze the content itself later.

Find Your Competitor’s Keywords

SEO tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer let you examine a domain’s top-ranking pages. You can see your competitors’ most popular pages and the best keywords that generate the most organic traffic for them. When you find a search term that also applies to your business, add it to your keyword planner.

This type of review can turn up SEO keywords or niche questions you’re missing. You’ll use what you learn to develop valuable, authoritative content that will increase your ranking in SERPs and help you attract more organic traffic.

Get to Know Your Customers

Another way to generate keyword ideas is to study your customers to see what they’re interested in. Browse social media, forums, discussion groups, and Q&A sites such as Reddit to see what questions your target audience is asking online. This can help you uncover other keywords and craft content that addresses their needs.

For example, a BeautyTrend marketer might notice that online discussions about wrinkles include questions about anti-aging skincare routines and products with natural ingredients. Add relevant topics like these to your keyword planner.

3. Analyze Specific Keywords

After using SEO tools and competitor research to fill your topic buckets, it’s time to drill down and figure out the keywords that will work best for your site. 

Many factors come into play when analyzing the value of a keyword.

I want to pause right here and issue the following caveat about how one keyword research tool will differ from another: Every tool you might use to conduct keyword research, whether free or subscription-based, will have its own way of calculating the values for the keyword data I discuss below. Prioritize your keywords according to your business goals and cross-reference your research findings between different keyword research tools. Keyword research is as much an art as a science.

Search Volume

Monthly search volume, or MSV, is a metric that shows how many people search for a particular keyword or term. The MSV gives you an idea of how many people might see your search snippet when it lands on the first page of SERPs. Keywords with low monthly search volume aren’t as frequently searched as other keywords, meaning the sites that rank for them are pulling traffic from a smaller group of potential searchers. Low MSV isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A low search volume keyword that converts a large percentage of a small set of searchers might still be strategically valuable for your business. This is what I would call “low hanging fruit” and it should never be overlooked just because the number isn’t as big and shiny as others!

Clicks

The number of clicks is a measure of how many people click a search snippet link after searching for a specific term. You can use the Ahrefs Keyword Tool to see how often a site ranking for a keyword gets clicked each month and compare this data to the number of times the term is searched monthly to estimate the click-through rate. As explained by Moz, some searchers may have a low click-through rate because questions are answered directly on SERPs by the Google featured snippet or knowledge panel.

Traffic Potential

How much traffic are you likely to get from a keyword? You can estimate traffic potential using monthly search volume and click-through rate data. A keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer also shows how much traffic top-ranking pages are attracting for a specific keyword.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty (KD) estimates how hard it is to rank in the top ten organic search results for a keyword. Different keyword research tools will arrive at this value in different ways. In Ahrefs, KD is a straightforward average of the number of websites that link back to the content ranking in the top ten positions for that term.

4. Narrow and Group Keywords Within Your List

Once you complete your preliminary brainstorming, you’ll likely have more potential keywords than you could possibly use. Now it’s time to narrow down which keywords to focus your SEO strategies on.

There are four main types of keyword data to consider when finding new keywords. Each one is important for different reasons, so you’ll need to weigh the factors against each other.

  • Relevance. Keywords should be important to your customer and naturally fit into your content.
  • Authority. Compare the authority of your website to currently ranking sites for that keyword. Determine the time and resources it may take for your site to land higher in SERPs.
  • Search Volume. Decide if high search volume keywords are worth pursuing or if you’ll stick to medium and low search volume terms that are easier to rank for.
  • Difficulty: Consider a mix of low, medium, and high difficulty keywords for each topic category so you can see progress over time — results from more accessible search terms first and harder search terms later.

Organize Your New Keywords

Sorting your keywords into manageable batches makes it easier to spot opportunities for how and where you’ll use them. When you group related keywords together, you might see how to combine broad and long-tail keywords into themes that will work together on a page to help it rank in search results.