As a startup or a growing business, making your first sale feels amazing.
You know that feeling.
It’s as if someone in the world, someone other than you, now believes in the solution you are offering. That means they believe in your business. There can be no stronger validation than that.
And that sale is not a one-off. Purchase orders come flooding in. Customers flock to your business to get a taste of what you have to offer. It’s just so difficult to keep up with the demand. It just takes one sale and you are now a successful business owner.
Or are you?
No matter how much we want to believe that once we set up shop, customers will find us, that doesn’t happen in the digital world.
Like you would with a real shop, you have to promote your business, market it and make sure your target market knows you and your products.
It’s only then that you will be able to convert those leads into sales, but until you have those leads your business isn’t going to flourish.
What is Lead Generation and how do you do It with SEO?
With a properly optimized website and content; aka making your website SEO optimized, you can get your website listed on top of Google organic search results when people are making relevant searches.
Someone who finds your website on the top of result page might be interested in buying your products or services, either immediately, or he/she may want to save it for later.
For such visitors, it would be nice to collect their contact information like phone number and email address. Having their contact information gives you the power to reach out to them until you make a sale.
Contact information can be collected by offering your visitors some free resources or offers through pop-ups or any other signup forms. This process is referred to as lead generation.
Thus, if you’re not opting to making your website SEO friendly, you might be losing potential sales.
That’s also because 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine.
With a proper SEO strategy, your website can rank for content related to keywords in your niche. Every time potential customers input one of those keywords in the search engine, the chances of their finding your content and your website is increased.
That’s what SEO does. With SEO, your shop is not lost in the dark corners of narrow alleyways.
Instead, you are setting up shop in ‘Civil Mall’ or ‘Chaya Center’ where there is a large volume of customers and foot traffic. Your shop is visible to them. That increases the chance of people walking through your door to buy your product or service. That’s what leads are.
If the traffic you get in your shop—which is on your website, in this case—is interested in your products, your sales will increase. But they need to find your content first.
You might, however, be preventing organic traffic from walking into your shop by making some errors.
Common SEO Mistakes and How They Are Hurting You
SEO is simply a funnel that brings leads to your website. If you think paid ads are enough to generate leads, you could not be more wrong.
Because SEO is a crucial part of inbound marketing, it is used in conjunction with other marketing techniques, ads for example. Creating and optimizing relevant content suited to your target audience is how you get people in the funnel, and then gradually filtered through, these leads are converted into sales.
Here are some of the mistakes you are making in Lead Generation
- You think you don’t need SEO
- You reply completely on paid Ads
- You Think you’ll quickly get results
- You stop once you achieve rankings
Mistake #1. You Think you Don’t Need SEO
According to recent stats, it has been found that 89 percent of potential buyers find information about products to buy via search engines—Google and Bing, among others. If you don’t improve the web presence for your business, you are missing out on customers who are actively looking for the kind of product you are offering.
Now brace yourself for a joke that you have probably heard a million times already.
“The best place to hide a body is Page 2 of Google Search Results.”
This couldn’t be truer. Turns out 75 percent of users don’t even go to the second page of search results. So, if you are not on the first page, you might as well not exist.
A proper content marketing strategy for SEO is crucial to get leads. That way you can reach people who input search terms related to your industry, which means you reach the right target market.
Mistake #2. You Rely Completely on Paid Ads
Of course, creating ads is one way of attracting leads for your website, but only when used together with SEO as part of larger inbound marketing efforts.
Let’s do a quick exercise.
Step 1 – Enter ‘online shopping’ or ‘digital marketing’ in the Google search bar.
Step 2 – Click on one of the results.
Step 3 – Now analyze which one of the results you clicked on.
Did you click on the ad or did you just scroll past it?
If you are like 70 percent of the internet users, most likely you didn’t even look at the ad twice and jumped straight to an article that you think will answer your question.
In other words, 70 percent of the links visitors click on are organic. That’s why relying completely on ads is a colossal mistake, and it will cost you leads.
Apart from that, according to the Pagefair’s 2017 Adblock report, adblock is used on 615 million devices, and in 2016, there was a 30 percent growth in Adblock usage globally.
Now you know why you should be using SEO to generate organic traffic.
But wait, that’s not all.
Mistake #3. You Think You’ll Quickly Get Results
Getting to the first page of Google might feel like a race, but it is advisable that you don’t treat it as one. It will take some time, and you have to be patient if you want to see results that last longer and genuinely produce sales.
But, of course, not everyone listens to it when SEO consultants and companies say, “Don’t use black hat SEO” repeatedly.
Cheap SEO consultants who promise guaranteed results within a few days might make you feel good in the moment.
But like a heavy dinner or a drunk text, you are only going to regret it later. Want to know why?
If you are doing black-hat SEO, every time Google changes its algorithm, which it often does, you are going to get confused and lost. Don’t go down this route or you’ll get owned by Google! Not literally, of course.
Poor link building practices can decrease visibility by about 25 percent, as experienced by Expedia following their building links using link schemes. There are many sites that have reported using low-quality links and poor link farms completely ruining their search engine ranking.
Not to mention, Google penalizes you for such practices and might even ban you. Spam comments, duplicate content, paid links, keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, keyword rich anchor texts, and cloaking, all of these are on the list of things that will take you on Google’s radar for questionable SEO practices.
And what that does is ruin your website’s long-term performance. So, instead pick SEO techniques that will stay faithful to you through thick and thin, in sickness and in health to prevent that from happening.
Get experienced, genuine SEO companies to do your SEO for you rather than going to shady SEO consultants just to save a few bucks.
Mistake #4. You Stop Once you Achieve Rankings
Found a legit SEO company, done the SEO and the search engine ranking for your website couldn’t be better. Now you can move on to doing something else like spend the next couple of months binge-watching The Simpsons, right? Wrong…!
Binge-watch whatever who want to binge-watch, go on a super long vacation, take a break from civilization and go live in the woods, but don’t forget that in the meantime someone might be getting better search engine ranking than you.
There are numerous changes happening constantly in the SEO world, so you need to stay informed—or your SEO service provider does—and keep updating your strategies.
Because Google values fresh content, you need to constantly write fresh content so that your ratings improve even further. Not doing so might mean that you’ll fall behind other websites who pay attention to updating their blog and their content.
That’s because Googlebot visits your site often if you update content on your blog frequently. Kapost.comsuggests that you create 15 blog posts per month to get 1200 new leads. If you are a business/company, posting blog content gets you 97 percent more inbound links too.
What is the Solution?
You need to find a company that offers legit SEO services. If you are unsure if a company is bona fide, look for references, go through their portfolio, get a list of past clients, and ask for an SEO plan.
Once you find a proper service provider, discuss your SEO goals with them and make it clear what your target audience is. Together you can come up with an SEO strategy that works for you and communicate with the SEO consultant constantly to see what’s happening.
SEO, when done right, is magic and when done badly is like a tough stain that doesn’t come off and your website can’t ever get a fully clean slate to start anew.
So, do it right yourself. Or get someone who can do it for you.
If you have lost leads in the past owing to these errors, or plenty of others, you know the pain. Share what happened and what plan you implemented to deal with lead-loss. Help others learn from your mistakes. Do let us know in the comments below.