We regularly receive inbound enquiries about SEO services. In fact just today I spent an hour on the phone discussing SEO, something that we don’t offer as a service. You might think that was a waste of time but it actually turned into a very productive phone call and we are meeting again next week.
The problem with SEO is that it is seen as an end in itself, I mean it is seen as something that will generate sales. There are lots of SEO companies out there who will promise to deliver those sales but they rarely materialise and if they do they are short lived.
Let me just take a step back for a second and explain that between 2008 and 2010 I ran SEO campaigns for some ecommerce clients and achieved huge results. We developed a number 2 bedding site in the UK and a number 3 electronics store in the US among others. It was a great way of generating business. Things have changed however, I have changed and search engines have changed. I no longer believe that SEO on its own will increase sales in the long run.
So here is how my conversation went today:
Client: “We want to do SEO. Can you do that for us?”
Me: “OK, tell me why you want to do SEO”
Client: “We are number one in the UK but we are on page 30 in the US and we need more leads”
Me: “How much traffic are you generating and how many leads do you convert monthly?”
So this is where the conversation got interesting. When we looked at the analytics this company was generating a reasonable amount of UK traffic but hardly any leads. Generating even more traffic wasn’t the answer instead they needed more leads from the current traffic. “Now that I can help with!” I said to the client.
SEO will be a tiny part of the lead generation strategy for this company and it will not be a traditional SEO service. Instead we will put the effort into inbound marketing to generate niche specific traffic and turn that into niche specific leads.
Here is the process:
- Put the SEO conversation aside for a while
Don’t make assumptions. You could end up wasting a lot of time and money on something that will not generate new sales.
- Look at the analytics
What are the current traffic levels and what does the trend look like? Is there seasonality?
- Determine the lead conversion rate
Monthly leads generated divided by monthly traffic will give the lead conversion rate. Typically we’re typically seeing 0-1% for most B2B websites with no lead conversion optimisation.
- Identify the bottleneck
Do you need a better lead conversion rate, higher traffic or both.
- Remove the bottleneck 1st
Fix the conversion rate which nearly always needs work. Then as you increase the traffic you will generate more leads.
- Measure the results
Measure everything, best lead generation assets, best offers etc.
- Content for traffic
Once the funnel is working well and the lead conversion rate is closer to 5% then begin driving traffic. This is done with niche specific problem solving content creation and distribution.
So SEO has a place but only as part of an overall lead generation strategy and it is not a stand-alone solution. Think about the big picture, if you need more sales you need more leads not an SEO service.
If you would like to see how Ingenuity could be of benefit to your company click below to contact one of our consultants.