When most people think of lead nurturing, those who are enlightened to the shifting nuances of digital marketing will naturally cohere to a custom business growth stack compiling of tools and strategies aimed at helping organizations hit high-revenue goals.
But let’s get real. Not all companies are ready for a business growth stack. In some cases their sales cycle doesn’t make sense for the strategy, their organization is too small, or their industry’s buyers don’t typically consume and engage content in a way that any solid growth stack would build for.
The best digital marketing agencies always offer SEO as a piece to a business growth stack, and if it’s in the organization’s best interest, SEO can also be offered as a single service through a customized strategy.
If investing in a business growth stack is your future goal, devoting your efforts now to a search engine optimization strategy intended to nurture leads into buyers is an ideal way to increase revenue, get an upturn in clients, and expand your brand awareness.
Here’s one way to achieve this solely through organic traffic.
Put Buyers Before Keywords
Keywords are clearly important, but focusing on the buyer as opposed to the “old-school rank for keywords” tactic offers significantly more value to a winning lead nurturing SEO strategy.
RankBrain is still a prime ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Running on AI and machine learning, Google is able to examine search behavior and determine intention according to clicks, session durations, and other user activity.
This means the search query itself and the content that gets the best engagement signals is awarded better ranking.
That said, your content needs to have the right keywords but it’s focus should be on addressing buyer pains with educational messaging that offers an ideal solution.
The first thing you will need to do is create buyer personas. These are partially fictionalized representations of your actual buyers that cover a wide array of information pertinent to understanding how customers relate to your brand, consume your information, and make purchasing decisions.
Some common attributes include job role, job responsibilities, how they measure their success at their job, income level, education level, family status and even hobbies.
Buyer personas help SEOs stay dialed in to the customer by writing content that speaks to their specific needs. Buyer personas are also the foundation to ranking content for the right audiences that convert.
Content Strategy that Organically Ranks and Converts
Once you’ve nailed down the buyer persona you will want to create a content strategy. First, consider the buyer’s journey and create an agile strategy for each of these three stages that include:
• Awareness Stage (buyer knows they have a problem)
• Consideration Stage (buyer has defined the problem or opportunity)
• Decision Stage (buyer has decided on their solution strategy or approach)
Make a list of all the challenges the buyer faces in each stage of their journey and create specific, relevant content that educates readers and addresses the main problem by offering a solution.
Depending on the buyer’s journey stage, that solution could be a link to another article that helps the buyer understand their specific need, or it can take them to a checkout page to buy the product that will remedy their problem.
You can rank content all day long for certain keywords, but if the buyer isn’t at the right stage, they won’t convert.
When you start organically ranking content for the keywords and search phrases used by your buyer personas, you will want to nurture them accordingly.
Create a blog cluster that speaks to each stage of the buyer’s journey, and use CTAs that move them through the funnel. Make sure the topics touch on the right pain points, use the right context, and link each blog to a “pillar page” (primary product / service page or homepage).
This will help circulate the search juice, provide Google bots with structured content to crawl, and this effort in of itself will help increase your domain authority.
As for conversions, CTAs will lead your readers to the next phase in their journey thus nurturing them until they are ready to make an educated purchasing decision.
Social Media Converts and Improves SEO
Instagram and Facebook are two of the most popular social platforms for converting readers into buyers. Additionally, powerful social signals can generate from these platforms and go back to your website to help improve SEO.
There are two methods you can do to convert people into buyers while improving your SEO efforts using social media. The first method is to form a conversation strategy.
For this you will need to discover who your buyer personas are on Facebook and Instagram. Hashtags are an easy way to track people and see what social groups and communities they spent time in.
Platforms like Hootsuite also help marketers track social media conversations based on brands, products or keywords. Once you find the places your buyers congregate, deploy a conversation strategy that builds your recognition and trust.
Communicate in ways to dig up their exact buyer pains, needs, and questions. Then share your website’s appropriate content with people once you’ve determined their stage in the buyer’s journey.
When social media users click into your website they send social signals that help improve your organic ranking, and if the session duration is lengthy Google sees more of a reason to raise your domain authority (not to mention that lengthy sessions also leads to a higher conversion rate).
The second option blends a little paid media into the mix to help marketers uncover data that can generate social signals for SEO and convert people into buyers. You just need to make sure you work with a paid media specialist with SEO chops who can work a winning strategy.
If you don’t partner with an expert, you stand to lose a lot of time and money. According to an article in Small Business Trends, 62 percent of small businesses owners say Facebook ads missed their target audiences.
This doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t work, but rather it indicates that in their attempt to be frugal small businesses owners ran their own campaigns, and to no avail. Medium-sized businesses report success across the board with Facebook ads hitting their targets by more than 92 percent, and most of these larger organizations have a paid media team, hence their ability to profit with revenue returns.
So here’s the strategy: when running campaigns off a CRM like HubSpot, SEO experts can analyze paid social traffic, discover where they came from, which social groups their personas are active in, and use conversational strategies to re-engage people who failed to convert from the paid ad while communicating with those like them.
Paid ads on Facebook aren’t just about creating an alluring design with smart copy and an actionable CTA.
The data trail that non-converting clicks leave behind can re-direct marketers to pockets where they can engage potential buyers by touching on their pain points while suggesting the product at hand as the ultimate solution through carefully mapped conversations. And with this comes social signals that improve your ranking, and opportunities to increase sales.
New SEO is All About the Buyers
Understanding your customers from top to bottom at great depth will help map the right content strategy that will both improve your SEO and convert clicks into revenue. In today’s age launching an high-converting SEO strategy takes a lot of time, research and planning.
Gone are the days when SEO experts could rank content to the moon with a CTA that took people to a landing page to submit their information to have someone from a sales team phone them.
Today’s buyers are savvy, and this means your content needs to be written for them at the right moment in their buyer’s journey if you hope to rank web pages that will nurture and convert.