Are you a local business looking to get more traffic or leads to your establishment? Do you still rely on old outbound marketing techniques such as cold calling to get new clients? Let me introduce you to SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of making your business famous online so that you can get more traffic/leads to your local business or website from search engines like Google.
Did you know more than 80% of consumers search on Google before buying from a new business?
By making your business famous and possibly getting it ranked at the top of Google search results pages (SERP) for common user queries, SEO will help you get new leads and traffic from search engines.
Now, let me tell you why traditional marketing techniques such as cold calling are no longer feasible today.
Marketing techniques like cold calling requires a person or team to constantly call prospects in the hope of enrolling them as customers. As one can imagine, it’s a full-time job.
When running a business, most of your time should be spent on growing the business, and not on trying to get customers, which is why you should rather focus on marketing strategies that could help you generate leads passively, without requiring a lot of your time. SEO is one such technique.
Here are 10 ways how you can use SEO to get national and local customers:
1. Long-tail Keywords
Now, if you are just starting out in the online space, it may take your business a while to become a BRAND and beat out the competition. So, it’s generally wise to start out with smaller targets.
In other words, instead of targeting highly competitive keywords (search queries) for ranking, you should consider keywords and phrases with less competition and high-demand. In the SEO world, we call it long-tail keywords targeting.
In most cases, it’s easier to rank for long-tail keywords and become an authority in a micro-niche. For example, if you run a cleaning business and want to get more visibility or better rankings in search engines, targeting micro-niche keywords or specific services such as ‘coronavirus cleaning’ and ‘healthcare cleaning experts’ can help get results faster. And once you’ve mastered one niche, you can move on to more and eventually become an expert in your niche.
2. Content Marketing
Traditional marketing methods such as cold outreach can only give temporary results and do not help you build long-term branding. If you are looking to build loyal customers who keep coming back for your products/services, you need to become a brand, which will not just ensure you get consistent leads but also help your business stand out the competition, close more deals and generate positive reviews.
Content Marketing is one of the proven SEO techniques to make your business a brand. Here’s how.
YouTube Content Marketing
Today, users prefer content in video form, which is why video hosting websites like YouTube are so popular these days. The second largest search engine also offers a great marketing opportunity to businesses that are looking to generate leads through curated content.
By creating and posting videos around user intent and adding the social networking touch, you can establish a strong brand presence on YouTube. The trick is to create content around relevant, niche keywords that are high in demand but have low competition.
Blogging has always been a great way for businesses to connect with and help customers with issues, queries, product guides, tips, etc., which eventually established you as a brand in your niche, encouraging customers/prospects to buy more from your company. You can start by creating a dedicated business blog and regularly publish posts related to business updates, new launches, offers, user guides, help, and more.
The idea is to help the end-user, while encouraging them to use your products/services. Research and find common search queries/keywords related to your business and write answers to common user questions on your blog. Also, try to read and answer user comments on your blog posts to drive further engagement.
Calls to Action
Call to Action can be a line or just a word that is designed to make the reader take immediate action. Make sure to include some good, natural call to actions in your content, encouraging readers to try out a free service, subscribe to mail or become a client. For instance, if you’re writing tips to find a good SEO agency, you can add a call to action like this one:
There are various other approaches of content marketing that can help you get more clients, convert leads into sales as well as make money in different ways. These include affiliate marketing, creating & selling courses online, providing coaching, etc.
It is generally easier and wise to try & convert people who have already purchased or at least shown an interest in your products/services, as the chances of turning them into sales are relatively good. Remarketing is the process of connecting with and marketing your product or service to people who previously visited your website or shown interest in your product/service in any other manner.
The aim is to help them with their queries, understand their reluctance and offer them a deal/offer to try your services such that they simply cannot refuse. The first step to achieve that is to establish proper remarketing pixels across all your sales channels, including sales funnels.
4. Running Ads on Social Media
If you prefer to get cold traffic and want cold leads to convert, we have found that there is no better way than socialization, even better if you could use paid ads to promote a tailored deal/offer directly to specific prospects.
The path to convert cold leads into traffic, however, starts with engagement, which is why we prefer social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for this purpose. Once you’ve identified your targeted customers, made them join/like your page and started engaging with them through curated content, you can now start targeting them by running ads with direct offers for them.
5. Use Referrals
Referral is just another term used for ‘Word of Mouth’, which is a marketing technique that involves getting more customers out of the existing customers. When a customer likes your product or service, he/she is likely to tell others about it, who may eventually start buying with you.
While referrals may not sound like a very effective marketing technique, it can prove to be very useful, especially for new businesses. Start by offering your existing customers a commission (referral fee) for bringing new customers to your business.
6. Local SEO
Local SEO is an ideal way to generate more leads and sales to your local business in any niche. It involves creating a solid presence for your business on the internet, Google and social media so that users/customers can easily find you online, read about your business/products/services and connect with you when needed.
Some of the best local SEO techniques include getting your local business listed on Google My Business and other online directories, gathering & optimizing reviews, adding up-to-date & consistent contact information across all channels, etc.
7. Advertise on Craigslist
Craigslist continues to remain one of the leading sources for small businesses and professionals to find new clients. Even though the leads you get through this platform are not sophisticated and generally short-term, it’s still a good way to get business when you’re just starting out.
When writing your Craigslist ad, make sure to describe it properly and use lots of keywords in it.
8. Build A Network
One of the things that most businesses have to struggle with when starting out online is to find people who are willing to trust a new company or product/service. Most consumers prefer to buy from a business they trust or have previously used or that has strong referrals.
So, when you’re looking to get new customers, start by building a network of loyal clients. This can also be a great way to strengthen your Brand image online. Here are a few things you can do.
Get tailored business cards, logos and other marketing material for your business. Start a website for your business and add the URL to your business card so that people can go to your website when they need more information about your business, products or services.
To build strong networks in your niche, host and/or participate in industry events and use them to meet and connect with prospects. Remember, the main purpose of networking is not to sell your product/service but to build relationships that you can realize later on.
9. Get Leads from Facebook Groups and Forums
A niche forum or community is another great way to meet and network with people in the same industry as yours. You can find and join relevant groups on Facebook, search for and join niche forums on Google, etc. Once you are a member, use these groups to find and connect with people who you’d like to do business with.
In addition, you can also use your contact to find leads, i.e. new customers, on these groups. And once you’ve built a good authority as a prominent member in your niche, you can start promoting your services/products in a natural way.
Eventually, you can consider creating your own Facebook Group or forum website to promote your services while helping customers/users in your industry.
To sum up, SEO can be a great way to bring traffic & leads to your business, no matter which niche you’re from. If you’re already using some traditional marketing techniques such as cold calling, consider adding the SEO pinch to your marketing strategy to get better leads with less effort.
If you need help or want to know more about how SEO can help you get more leads or sales, call us today! Proven Digital is an Australia-based digital marketing agency that helps startups & small businesses grow online with bespoke digital marketing solutions & strategies.