Digital lead generation is crucial for service-led businesses that use their website to communicate their offering to potential consumers. Typical companies that require lead generation services are broad and could include healthcare, trade, finance, legal and education, although not exhaustive.
There are numerous methods to drive more leads from your website into your sales funnel, and with a bit of planning, they can be straightforward to implement. The key to driving online sales or leads is to use multiple methods and ensure a robust strategy behind each approach.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO as its commonly known, is first on the list and arguably most important. We have a separate page that goes into detail here. Still, crucially, an SEO strategy done in-house or through an agency will ensure that your website ranks for the appropriate keywords. This supports the visibility of your website to users who are searching for your services (in-market audiences).
Ensuring visibility of your web pages through sites like Google and Bing means you can drive traffic to your site. Unfortunately, many small businesses overlook the value of SEO, sometimes relying entirely on PPC or other techniques to drive sales. We see this as an expensive mistake. An SEO campaign that outlines the keywords you want to rank for and a content strategy that will drive engagement for those topics will be crucial.
This sets in motion a slow but valuable process that will incrementally improve traffic to your site month by month. This point is vital as nothing in SEO is immediate. To drive leads to your site through SEO, you must know that the process takes time and planning. This includes technical onsite SEO optimisation to content building and relationship building with publishers. If you are unsure where to begin in SEO, numerous tools can support you with content topics related to lead generation in your business vertical. We can recommend SEMRush, MOZ and Diib Search. You can also seek out the countless free resources across Google, YouTube and even seek professional support from a digital agency.
The key takeaway here for SEO-led lead generation is to build out meaningful content on your website. Content drives traffic through search engines, and traffic drives leads. Set yourself a goal to write each day; aim for pages with no fewer than 1000 words: more pages, better ranking, more traffic.
PPC advertising comes in an easy second, it’s the first paid advertising approach to lead generation on the list, and it’s important because it works. But it comes with a catch; Google is successful for a reason…. PPC advertising requires a healthy cash flow, but the value it drives almost always repays the marketing investment. This is known as a positive return on ad spend or positive ROAS marketing.
PPC marketing works alongside SEO, but it is instant. If you need to be seen at the top of a search engine, for a particular search query like ‘Best Cosmetic Dentist in Derby’, or perhaps ‘Best Boarding School in East Anglia’, then PPC can make it happen in a few days, rather than months or years.
PPC is typically the cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy; it is highly effective in driving website traffic which turns into leads. Brands can use PPC to create ads with messages they find valuable; they can also drive traffic to the parts of the site they want audiences to see.
We tend to see returns of more than 200% across PPC advertising. That means for every £1 spent, brands receive £2 back in the value of goods sold or leads converted. We also find that website traffic from PPC, when set up correctly, can be more likely to turn into a sale or lead than traffic from SEO. This is because advertisers have a lot more control over what goes onto the search engine. With organic search, Google has the final say; with PPC, you have complete control over the keywords, the ads, and the pages users travel to from your ads.
PPC for driving leads typically requires a monthly investment of over £1,000, so businesses need to have an established marketing budget. The cost per lead can vary dramatically, but we see leads come in at an average price of £50 each across our medical clients—excellent news for the doctors and dentists that work with us.
If you’re looking to go solo, there are many resources out there to get you going. Google even offer a training programme free of charge. A small word of caution is that PPC must be set up effectively to reap a positive ROAS. If you’re going to do it yourself, make sure you take the time to properly set it up and keep it well optimised each day. Check out the Google Skillshop.
The key takeaway is that once a business has an established marketing budget, it should explore implementing a PPC strategy. PPC is one of the most effective methods of advertising except for TV. TV isn’t an option for many small brands to drive leads; however, PPC remains entirely accessible.
E-books are a fantastic tool for driving leads if you’re a B2B business. However, for consumer businesses looking for ideas, perhaps skip to the next recommendation.
EBooks often get overlooked; they drive leads in two ways. First, they position your business as a thought-leader and second, play on human curiosity, but there is a catch. EBooks are hard work!
Driving leads through eBooks requires you to have a good amount of fresh content. There is no good in repurposing something that is already out there. The goal is to take something trending and distil it into an engaging but easily digestible read. As a B2B business, you are undoubtedly an expert in what you do; think about the problem you’re trying to solve and what questions your prospects need answering. The answer to this is where you should focus your content.
Another thing to address is your target audience; who are they? Are they young and new in their careers, are they mid-level, are they senior? Is this a highbrow audience or another demographic? Thinking carefully about who makes the purchase decision for your services will provide key guidance. Language, depth of detail, imagery, design all need strong consideration. This blog certainly isn’t the how-to-do for eBooks, but as a marketing agency, we can highly rate them as a technique. We can also share free resources. If you’re looking for some further guidance, get in touch.
The key takeaway here is that eBooks drive leads through thought leadership positioning and content consumption. We don’t believe in selling an eBook; keep it concise but insightful. Offer it free on your website in exchange for the contact details of those who download it. Then when the time is right, reach out to them to see how they got on with the content you provided.
ORM is misunderstood and overlooked, but you may be doing some parts of it without realising. Online relationship management includes reviews, social media posts, business listings, maps and discussion sites like Reddit and Quora. They are a direct source of leads and a direct source of anti-leads, i.e. poor digital perception.
Without exception, any scaling business that decides to go big with digital media, particularly across social media or mobile apps, will likely get a point of view written about them on a site like Reddit. You perhaps have seen yourself the discussions that kick off in the comment section on Instagram. Keeping an eye on the comment sentiment across your ads and content is vital as they play into your online reputation.
If you are selling a service, particularly an expensive service, then expect your prospects to research you. The greater the cost of the service, the further users will go to research your business online. Prospects look for trust signals when offering themselves as a lead; if you have a favourable profile digitally, this is far easier to accomplish. It takes a lot more to build a positive image than it does to dispel a negative image. This means keeping on top of relationships, reviews and perceptions.
Set the tone, ensure your business is listed across as many digital directories as possible to drive your SEO and generate backlinks. Ensure ‘Google My Business’ is active so you can take control of reviews and boost your organic listing on the search page. Set up alerts on Google for your business Alerts find content that talks explicitly about your brand, enabling you to respond quickly. Always be positive to clients, even the difficult ones; a bad review will damage your digital reputation and harm the lead generation process. Lastly, survey your clients; get an honest understanding of how well you’re doing. Sometimes if you’ve done something for so long, often on autopilot, you can easily forget that one size doesn’t fit all.
The key takeaway here is to have control of your online reputation. Google your business. What comes up? Register in directories. Survey your clients and get them to review you. Keep on top of chat across social media or discussion boards. Finally always – always remain positive and professional online.
Last but certainly not least on our list of top recommendations for lead generation is video content. Video isn’t primed to all businesses; it works particularly well for physical work that targets consumers. Healthcare is an excellent example, particularly cosmetic healthcare. Also, we see this is effective across trades like builders and architects. Think Netflix’ Tiny House Nation’.
Investing in good videography and scripting is a great way to build up a following organically across platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Not much needs to be said here; if your business offers something visually appealing – make sure it’s visually accessible and professionally put together.
That’s it for our top 5 recommendations for small business lead generation. If you want to learn more about how Faze Digital can support your business and sales funnel, then get in touch. We’d be more than happy to discuss further with you.