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Accelerate Online Sales—3 Steps To Generating New Business

by Rosemary Brisco

Many companies believe that the process of optimizing your website by adding keywords to the content, title, and meta tags is the silver bullet to generating sales leads.

By itself, it isn't.

Driving prospects to a website is only the first step in a successful SEO program. Unfortunately, 90% of businesses only focus on this first step, while a successful online campaign actually has 3 critical components:

* Drive prospects to your website.
* Keep them there by creating a compelling benefit-based message.
* Generate sales leads, ensuring the site turns visitors into customers.

To assure that your site successfully addresses all 3 of these components, potentially increasing your sales leads by 25 to 50% in just a few months, follow the site optimization and Web usability best practices outlined below.

Assess Your Audience And Identify What Actions Lead To Sales

1. Success lies in understanding your customers. Who are you trying to attract? What content would attract each of these key audiences? How can you encourage Website visitors to interact with your company?

2. Talk to sales. Identify the best type of lead for the sales team. Take into account how the salespeople describe your products and services to prospects, and the objections they receive.

3. Evaluate customer buyer cycles and potential "call-to-action" items that could be incorporated onto the site to engage prospects. Do you have relevant content for prospects who are in the early research stages? Do you also have relevant content for those who are ready to engage with your sales team?

Assess Your Site

4. Evaluate the content on your website based on the needs of your audience. Do you have content for all audiences? What type of content will keep prospects on your website?

5. Research the competition. Review the websites of your top competitors and assess how well they rank in the search engines for your top search phrases. Identify competitors that you may not even know about by using the "similar sites" feature in Google. Search engines can find what sites are similar based on the site's content and the links pointing to a site.

6. Assess your website's traffic activity. Where is the traffic coming from? How many visitors leave after viewing the home page? How long do visitors stay on your site? What are the top search phrases used to find you? What is the most visited content?

Identify The Right Keyword Phrases

7. Identify the most valuable keywords for your company based on relevance and popularity. Having your site found for unpopular search phrases is of little value.

8. Think like your prospects. Understand how they would conduct searches for your products and services. There are several ways to identify the right keyword phrases:

* Brainstorm with existing customers.
* Analyze Website statistical data.
* Review site search results.
* Research keywords with special tools and search engines.
* Explore competitors' Websites.
* Test with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign.
* Research the popularity of your search terms and the competition for those same words. Good keyword selection tools are Wordtracker and Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

Optimize Your Site

* Create keyword-rich title and meta description tags.
* Optimize each Web page for two to three keywords, using your keyword phrases in a natural way. Dispense with marketing fluff and jargon.
* Include keywords in internal anchor text links.
* Include an extensive site map and link to it from the home page.

Track Performance And Re-evaluate

Your company will spend considerable resources creating its online lead-generation program. Tracking is the key to defining the effectiveness of this program.

There are multiple ways to evaluate effectiveness, including the:

* Number of unique or new visitors
* Increase in the rankings of your site for top keyword phrases
* Opt-in email sign-ups
* Information requests by phone or email inquiries
* Visitors taking online product tours or signing up for Webinars

Getting a prospect to click on your listing in a search engine is only the first step in an effective lead generation program. What happens after they arrive on your Website is just as important as how they get there.

Rosemary Brisco is president of ToTheWeb, LLC, which creates customer-oriented websites that achieve high visibility in the search engines. Clients include venture capital firms such as Mayfield Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Selby Ventures, as well as organizations such as Adobe, Kodak, Stanford University, and numerous Silicon Valley startups.

 

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Monday, 18 Dec 2017 05:30 AM

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