Is a search engine optimization program just for lead generation?
On the face of it, you might think that high Google ranking = more site visitors, end of story.
But perhaps you’re stuck at the #3 position, or the #7, or can’t even break into the first page. Or you see a lot of visitors coming into your site, but they don’t raise their hand.
In that case, you might need to upgrade from SEO Program A to SEO Program B.
SEO Program A: Onpage keyword optimization, Links from irrelevant sites.
SEO Program B: Onpage keyword optimization, Better website content, Links from relevant sites
The Difference Between Two Inbound Links
Let’s imagine two realty firms in San Antonio, who have the same website content.
Rae Lynn’s site has inbound links from 100 sites, including a Las Vegas ultrasound clinic, a Phoenix hair extension shop, an acupuncturist in Maryland, and so on. (This from a real-life example, by the way.)
Billy Bob’s firm has links from 100 sites, including the San Antonio newspaper, the local Chamber of Commerce, the local hospital foundation, and so on.
The site with the more relevant links will ALWAYS rank higher (all other things being equal), and thus get more site traffic.
Now, I cannot gainsay a SEO program of type A that gets you high rankings. Some links are better than none, and you may also be in a noncompetitive keyword space. You certainly will pay less for it, since SEO firms usually have a financial relationship with the ultrasound clinic and the acupuncturist. (Those websites are termed “link farms”.) And obtaining valuable links takes time and money.
But the “high road” positions you better for long-term online marketing success, not least because the value of an irrelevant link usually goes down.
Then there is the matter of visitor conversion… which, after all, is the goal of a website.
Give the People What They Want
The middle item in SEO Program B, “Better website content” is the key since it helps you two ways. It simultaneously leads to 1) greater conversion of visitors into leads; and 2) links from better-respected sites.
Prospects are more likely to “raise their hands” on your site if you begin to help them fix their problem. How can you? By educating them about the problem and the solutions, by establishing your credibility, and by answering their most common questions.
People who run other websites are more likely to link to you if your site provides value for their readers.
Content achieves those things. Basic examples of content are case studies, engaging videos, and commentary and/or curation of relevant news.
So in a fantasy world, you would have all this great customer-friendly content on your site and be #1 on Google.
The tradeoff, of course, is that it takes money and time to create that content (and also to ask people for links).
Is it worth it?
Well, we now arrive at the consultant’s “It Depends” moment.
Factors affecting your decision to create compelling content include:
- Your “authority opportunity” – can you credibly establish that you’re an authority on something?
- What are your competitors doing?
- Are you patient enough to wait months for results, and understand that SEO has uncertain results?
- Do you have existing and noncompetitive relationships with other authorities in your industry?
- Are your current search engine rankings good enough?
- Are search engines going to become a more or less important customer acquisition channel?
- Can you reuse content in other marketing programs?
- Can customers create that content for you?
As complex as online marketing has become, it still boils down to giving prospects what they need to move to the next stage of the buying process. Content is central to that, and it can help your SEO too.