How to Increase SEO and Generate Sales Leads

Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant, NAPL
SEO SuccessAs I’ve written about before, talking to a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant reminds me of talking to a voodoo witch doctor.  Each has their own unique way to position their strange juju to get your page ranking higher on the Google search list. Ironically when you start to research the subject you learn that it’s not as magical as some would make you believe.
What is SEO and why is it important? The goal of SEO is to get your company or product, higher on the Google search page page rankings when customers are researching products. The two main strategies to get higher on the list are paid search, which means you’re paying for listings much like buying ads, and organic search which means the search engines list you higher based on your content, backlinks and webpage design.
As the name would suggest, internal page design refers to the coding behind your webpage such as your metatags, keywords, internal linking, and formatting. Backlinking refers to links from other sites and the popularity of those other sites. The link from a  more popular page will carry more weight than the link from an obscure page. Content marketing includes writing blogs and pushing people to those blogs using Twitter and LinkedIn.
One way to increase effectiveness of content marketing is to push people to that content using sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.  Expanding upon the voodoo witch doctor theme, to take advantage of your own juju, you want to create the illusion that you are a thought leader. That perception is created by blogging and recommending articles from other thought leaders.
How much should you write and how much should you recommend? I shoot for ratio of 3 or 4 to 1. In other words, for every blog I create, I recommend 3 or 4 articles written by others. Some experts recommend writing 5 blogs a week, but that is a huge time commitment and I have not seen significantly better results from 3 blogs a week.  Other ways to increase interest is to include pictures or graphics, and some believe that video blogs are more interesting than the written blogs.
The goal here is to push people down a sales funnel. It might start with a mention and a link in Twitter or LinkedIn which pushes people to a blog, then an article and ultimately to a website where an offer is made. The whole time you’re engaging your audience by talking to them about a subject that interests them and increasing your SEO.
The bottom line is write about subjects that will help your customers in their business, push them to your blogs from other sources, encourage feedback and you will enhance your reputation as a thought leader, become easier to find on the web and create a lead generation tool to sell more products.
How are you going to increase your SEO and generate new sales leads?
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Howie Fenton is a consultant and business advisor at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.

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6 Comments

  1. Melissa Sienicki April 15, 2013 - Reply

    A wonderful article that pushes us to not only write great content, but to share great content as well – like the article itself! Thanks!

  2. Katherine April 15, 2013 - Reply

    I’ve been involved in SEO for a few years now, and your advice is spot on. I think more business owners would get SEO if they performed more of their own research along with talking to qualified consultants. SEO is an intricate process, but most of the really important concepts are pretty easy to understand.

    I’m wondering why you don’t see better results from posting 5 times per week? Obviously I think content should only be published if it’s quality copy, but I personally see higher traffic when I’m publishing on a daily basis.

  3. Eilidh MacRae April 16, 2013 - Reply

    Hi there! Brilliant article! Some great tips.

  4. Howie Fenton April 16, 2013 - Reply

    Wow, these are some great comments! Here’s another way to think about this. SEO, like so many other things, seems very difficult when you don’t work and focus on it. But I think about it the same way I think about putting together IKEA furniture.

    The first time you do it, you put it together backwards or upside down and then you learn what to look for and how to do it right. After that first time you know what to do and it becomes faster and easier. The same is true for SEO.

    Once you start paying attention to it, seeing the right way that things have to go together, you learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t work. You don’t have to start with the tougher concepts such as webpage design–you can simply start with blogging and back-links.

    The key is to create some metrics that measure your success. You can start simply with number of followers, friends, page views or even how far down the Google rankings you appear. If you’re trying to sell locally, pay attention to the keywords discussed in articles as well as in the local business section under Google ad words.

    It’s all about trial and error. Try something and then look at your success. Try to correlate your metrics to specific topics or blogs and you will be on your way to increasing your SEO.

  5. Susan .V April 17, 2013 - Reply

    Good post! I certainly agree that SEO can actually generate sales leads but it also depends on the industry. I believe it works better for some industry but so well in others. SEO has evolved over the years and it is now gravitating towards ‘Content’. After the link farm craziness we have seen since a couple of years, are we now starting to see ‘Content Farms’? Well the point i d like to put forward is that should only be part of a bigger marketing strategy. Marketers should not missed doing it but should also combine SEO with PPC, Social Media, off line ads and also direct email marketing (depending on cases).

    There are companies out there that actually provide ready-made, up to date and relevant prospect lists that could be used in email marketing or CRM systems, etc… (e.g: http://www.dnb.co.uk/solutions/sales-productivity )

    I believe that the combination of all the different aspects and marketing channels is the best way to go.

    Any views?

  6. Nathan April 30, 2013 - Reply

    Developing a strong social media strategy and utilizing good lead generating software can do great things for your business.

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