Top Reasons to Focus on SEO for Lead Generation in 2020
Why do I need Search Engine Optimization for Online Lead Generation?
Fact: Over 80% of consumers go online to research a product or service before purchasing.
Question: Will they find you or your competitors?
Your website’s primary purpose may be to sell products or services, generate qualified leads, develop brand awareness or to serve as a marketing or recruiting tool for your organization.
But let’s face it, regardless of your site’s primary goal; if people can’t find it easily on Google, Yahoo or any other major search engine, you are not maximizing its potential or effectiveness for lead generation.
SEO has been around for 20+ years and now makes up a vast majority of targeted inbound traffic for successful websites. In fact, recent data shows organic search is the largest driver of website traffic for most business categories and is a crucial component of online leads and revenue generation. The strength of SEO in driving targeted organic traffic is undeniable. Organic search is outpacing growth in all other traffic channels. Organic dominated web traffic in 2019 (53%), with Paid traffic ranking a distant third (15%). Optimizing your website pages and employing proven SEO strategies is going to be even more important in 2020 as organic search continues to rise above other search traffic sources.
That’s why SEO needs to be a serious consideration for your brand in the coming year. In this post, we’ll look at the top reasons why SEO matters now more than ever to your business. Use this information to better understand SEO and how to best incorporate these strategies into the online marketing campaign for your organization.
- Fifty-three (53%) percent of traffic to websites comes from organic search. Organic search delivers the most traffic to websites by a wide margin and the quality of organic traffic is far superior to paid search.
- On average, 53 percent of the traffic from search engines comes from SEO, and only 15% percent from paid search.
- Even though organic search accounts for the majority of traffic, most companies continue to spend more money on paid search. Paid search only accounted for 15% of web traffic in 2019 vs. 53% for organic search.
- While SEO does require a long-term financial investment, search engine rankings, once earned, will provide exceptional long-term value for your brand.
- SEO (aka Organic) traffic has no direct media cost and can provide a substantial ROI – higher than most other channels. Search engines appreciate and reward content that is relevant to search queries and written for humans rather than for bots. Focus on optimizing your content for your target audience.
- Proper SEO helps organize your website and makes it easier for your visitors to navigate and engage with your site.
- Marketing works best when all channels are aligned on the same message – including organic search. Multiple channel alignment improves results in all channels.
- SEO success secures prominent positioning in the search engine results, and this is an integral component of your brand and creating trust and authority long-term.
- SEO traffic generally converts better than other channels due to the fact that these “natural” rankings often convey more trust to the search engine users. While paid search produces instant rankings, it lacks authenticity or long-term value and therefore should be paired with long-term SEO strategies to maximize success.
- Other marketing channels can generate demand for people to query search engines for products or services that you provide. However, if your website does not display at the top of the search results your chances for success are greatly diminished.
- Organic search is a critical part of the research process, especially for products or services with a long sales cycle. People use search engines to create a list of candidates for the product or service and use them again to collect opinions and reviews that help them make purchase decisions.
- SEO works in tandem with social media; some queries are more sensitive to “fresh results,” and social signals, which can impact and determine positioning in the search results. Social media helps shape your brand’s presence online and drive traffic back to your site.
- SEO research allows you to understand user interest and intent and build content that addresses and captures that intent.
- Focusing on SEO and legitimate link building leads you to develop relevant, useful content that people want to share and provides digital word of mouth for your brand.
- SEO can have regional, national or global reach and can even provide dynamic translation and localization that can bring in new and unexpected customers from all corners of the world.
SEO Statistics to Consider for 2020
- In 2019 Google accounted for just over 75% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34%, and Yahoo at 2.77%.
- Google has received nearly 2.3 trillion searches this year.
- Of the billions of searches that happen on a given day, 15% of daily searches are new to Google.
- On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks.
- Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites.
- High-quality ptimized content and ethical link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search.
- 57% of marketing executives say on-page content development was the most effective SEO tactic.
- The average content length of the top position Google article contains 2,416 words.
- The average word count of a voice search result page is 2,312 words.
- 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google, mostly due to the fact they don’t have backlinks.
- 55.24% of web pages don’t have a single backlink.
- The more backlinks a page has, the more search visibility it gets from Google.
- In 2019, 52% of all worldwide online traffic comes from mobile, 45% from desktop.
- 36% of SEO experts think the headline/title tag is the most important SEO element.
- Long-tail keyword searches have a click-through rate 3% to 5% higher than generic searches.
- 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC.
- 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
- “Where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years.
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a merchant within five miles.
- Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 106%.
- Images are returned for 22.6% of search queries on Google.
- 62% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers want visual search more than any other new technology.
- 40.7% of all voice search answers came from a featured snippet.
- “Best” + “right now” mobile queries have grown by over 125% in the last two years.
Key takeaways for your 2020 SEO strategy
- SEO is important – Just Do It! – Nearly every business today with an online presence must decide how much to spend on search engine optimization (SEO) – both on-page and off-page. SEO is no longer an option and a comprehensive online marketing strategy is imperative for survival in a web-driven world. The question every business professional must ask is, “How much will we spend on SEO?” Keep reading for all the information you’ll need to make that decision, plus some helpful tips on how SEO agencies work so you can be successful as you forge a crucial partnership with an online marketing firm. Local businesses and national brands are spending more time, effort and money on SEO, which means the competition for the top spots in search will continue to heat up. With only 10 organic positions available on the first page of Google, the time, effort and work needed to get your site to rank will continue to increase also.
- Focus on quality content – Content marketing is a marketing technique that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news articles, press releases, blog posts, videos, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, photos and more. Providing value to your customers and clients is still the best approach to ranking in search engines, so keep writing quality content and designing top-notch user experiences.
- Go mobile friendly – Responsive Web Design (mobile-friendly) is an approach whereby a web developer creates a web page or website that “responds to” or re-sizes itself depending on the type of device it is being viewed on. That could be an oversized desktop computer monitor, a laptop, a 10-inch tablet, a 7-inch tablet, or a 4-inch smartphone screen. In other words, with a responsive website design, you don’t have to have worry about having different websites for various devices or making sure that your site displays and functions properly on a mobile device.
- Local SEO – The importance of Local SEO has grown significantly over the last several years with the sharp rise of internet connected smartphone usage. Local SEO focuses on providing search results that are relevant to Internet users based on their specific geographic location. If you search for ‘best divorce lawyer’ on your desktop PC, tablet or smartphone right now, Google would provide you with “local map” results that the most relevant and are geographically close to where you are located. If you aren’t already doing it, consider adding a local SEO campaign (Google My Business optimization) to your marketing initiatives in 2020.
- Off page strategies – In general, the more quality backlinks a web page has, the more search traffic it gets from Google. In a study of 920 million web pages, Ahrefs found that as traffic increased, so did the number of referring domains. What’s the correlation? That solid content you wrote — you know, the one with 2,000+ words — not only will answer your customer’s question, but it will satisfy other industry leaders who are also looking for strong content. They’ll reward your effort with a link, and, in the process, increase your ranking along the way.
- Chase the Long Tail – Seasoned online marketing professionals know it’s extremely valuable to focus on keywords that target potential customers who are “late” in the buying cycle. So, how do you find out which keywords to target and why are they so important? In professional terms, what we are talking about here is the concept of targeting long tail keywords. A long tail keyword is a three and four keyword phrases which is very specific to whatever you are selling. Research shows that when a consumer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. In virtually every case, such very specific searches are far more likely to convert to sales than general generic searches that tend to be geared more toward the type of research that consumers typically do prior to making a buying decision.
- Consider Retargeting/Remarketing – Remarketing is a clever way to connect with visitors to your website who may not have made an immediate purchase or inquiry. It allows you to position targeted ads in front of a defined audience that had previously visited your website – as they browse elsewhere around the internet.
- Attract Prospective Clients with Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing refers to marketing strategies that bring visitors in, rather than you having to go out to get the attention of a prospective client, customer or lead. Inbound marketing earns the attention of consumers, makes your company stand out from the crowd, be easily found online and drives targeted traffic to your website by producing interesting, relevant content. This is in direct contrast to outbound marketing, where marketers attempt to go “out” and find customers. By aligning your online marketing strategy with your prospect’s interests, you’ll begin to organically attract laser targeted traffic that you can convert to a buyer, client, subscriber or lead.
- Use dedicated landing pages – A “landing page” is a stand-alone web page that is created for a specific purpose or marketing campaign. It’s the page where an inbound visitor “lands” when they click on a paid ad or organic search result. These pages are designed with very specific objectives that are conversion-focused with a definitive Call to Action (CTA). In a traditional website, inbound traffic arrives on a page or post and the visitor has the ability to navigate through a variety of content pages. Alternatively, with a landing page, traffic flows in a linear fashion from one point of entry through a sequence of carefully planned actions that lead to a specific goal. This sequence is oftentimes referred to as a “sales funnel” or “lead funnel”. While websites may offer a variety of information geared toward different audience segments, landing pages tend to be much more specific. Bottom line, a website is used to provide information and a landing page is used to present a very specific offer and convert visitors into leads. A website allows you to publish content that helps you generate organic traffic through ranking in search engines (SEO), while a landing page has traditionally been used to convert visitors from paid traffic sources – until now.
- Live Chat and Chat bot Integration – Another way to convert your inbound traffic is by implementing live chat and chat bot integration to your website. Today’s consumer is impatient and highly reactive. 51% of customers want businesses to be available 24/7. Live chat is also a great way to enhance your serviceability towards your customers.
- ADA compliance – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was developed in 1990 and is meant to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as anyone else. This means any businesses that serve the public must make sure their building accommodates people with disabilities of various kinds. And now that the internet is so widely used, ADA compliance also applies to websites and even mobile apps. Basically, this means that your website needs to be accessible to people who have disabilities that affect their hearing, vision or physical capacities. Recently, a ruling has been passed declaring the official standard of website accessibility for businesses. Title III of the ADA has mandated that all “places of public accommodation” are required by law to remove any “access barriers” that would inhibit a person with disabilities from accessing the business’ goods or services.
There’s so much to consider when developing an SEO strategy for lead generation, especially when so much is changing year to year. Be sure to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable SEO agency that can provide references and proof of ranking success in high volume, high competition markets.
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves search ranking, develops website authority and enhances your overall online presence so you can get found, engage prospects and acquire new customer leads. Effective SEO is the result of strategic integration of multiple on-page and off-page strategies to enhance visibility, drive targeted traffic, engage website visitors and increase revenue.
Many clients contact us to either design a website or help market their company online. Somehow, they feel that the two are mutually exclusive from one another. For example, they will consider building a new website, but, at the same time, they’re not at all thinking about how that new website will generate traffic and leads. What seems to consistently be misunderstood is the fact that you really can’t separate Web Design from Website Marketing and expect to be successful online. Each needs to be built with the other in mind and work in sync to achieve your marketing goals.
By first creating an impressive online image and then generating traffic and leads through proven marketing strategies, we not only help you increase revenues, but we also build substantial long term brand loyalty.
While many companies see online lead generation as their biggest challenge in 2020, with careful observation of their target market and development of effective long-term strategies to enhance online exposure, drive targeted traffic and generate qualified leads, you can certainly put your organization on the proper track to maximize success.
For most businesses today, SEO is the marketing expenditure that has the highest potential ROI. The benefits it can provide far exceed the value of other marketing approaches – direct mail, broadcast advertising, print advertising, online ads, etc.
No longer do businesses decide whether they need SEO services. Instead, they decide how much they’re going to spend. As long as they choose a quality SEO agency, their decision should result in more website traffic, increases in revenue, enhanced brand awareness, improved customer retention and lead generation.
You can decide how much that’s worth to you.