seo focus

SEO has changed a lot over the past years. Although frustrating at times, with search sites like Google changing their algorithm indiscriminately, the benefits to doing SEO correctly (and ethically) is a clear win in terms of longevity, consistency, and quality of leads over paid traffic. Of course, the best marketing plans utilize both organic and paid traffic, but there is a clear argument for incorporating and relying on SEO in your website marketing regimen.

The Principles of Marketing: Desire

As anyone could tell you after twenty minutes of watching Mad Men, marketing is based on desire: i.e., you want something – be it new shoes, whiter teeth, stronger arms – and a business comes along with a marketing promise to fulfill that desire. Marketing cannot create desire: it can only harness and capitalize on the wishes and dreams already in the public sphere, and focus them on a particular product.

Advertisers used to adhere to these principles by spending a lot of money to run a commercial on television, hoping that they had targeted the correct desires. If they misjudged the market, they were out of luck, and money. SEO takes this idea and reverses it. Instead of needing to go where your market is located, it brings leads directly to you.

SEO: Self-Regulating Lead Generator

Here is the formula expert Daniel Fagella put together to explain SEO:

(B1 + B2 = DP), DP = Your Organic Strategy = $$$
(Belief + Behavior = Decision Patterns), Decision Patterns = Your Organic Strategy = Sales

Belief and behavior are correlated, and together make up the “decision patterns” of your target market. When these decision patterns are congruent with your organic strategy, your SEO brings serious web traffic traction. There are four parts to your organic strategy:

1. High Level: search terms and PPC terms;
2. Top of Funnel: indirect content;
3. Blog Level: relevant blog topics and lead generation tools;
4. Back-end: marketing automation and database marketing.

1. High Level

This is the top level of your SEO plan: determining the specific terms for your particular market and offerings. These are the terms your leads feed into Google that bring them to your page. You can refer to them as PPC, or pay per click, terms.

You find these by using the belief and behavior you think your target market will have. For example, if you are an online marketing consultant in Los Angeles, your list might include terms along the lines of “landing page optimization expert” and “digital marketing agency Los Angeles”.

2. Top of Funnel

This is the area of indirect interest. Using the same scenario, these terms might include “how to increase newsletter open rate” and “compare MailChimp to Hubspot”. Top of funnel terms attract people to your specific offerings, and can be used to create the building blocks of your SEO strategy.

3. Blog Level

This is where you turn visitors into leads. At this level, your prospects are looking for buying information – so you need to craft opt-in assets that will take this to the next level. For example, maybe your visitor found you through a blog post on making better email newsletters; you could then offer a white paper titled, “How to Increase Profits with One Newsletter Template.”

Instead of giving it away for free, require them to trade their contact information in exchange for access to the paper. That is not likely to be a problem, as they have searched for you on Google, clicked through your site, and read your article. They trust you are the expert who wants to help them, and are thoroughly primed to download this paper and become a lead.

4. Back End

Finally, the following up of leads your SEO generates. When you receive a lead, it is important to approach them correctly from the get-go. If they came to you via the above article, wanting to create better newsletters, do not deluge their inbox with sales offers on unrelated topics.

Compartmentalize your leads into the topics they came to you through, and follow up with similar content. Autoresponder sequences can now be set up to offer more information, training, and sales messages specific to the type of offer a lead wants to buy. For each top funnel term, simply set up an “opt-in” offer and an autoresponder sequence written specifically for that term. This is a powerful marketing tool, and can not only generate more profit, but also boost your SEO rankings.

Making SEO work for your company is not the easiest thing in the marketing toolbox, but it will generate more good leads for you over time than any paid traffic. The lessons in this plan can be adapted to almost any industry. Put in the time and effort, and watch your rankings grow!