Ta kontakt med oss

SEO

How To Do A Complete Local SEO Audit: 10-Point Checklist

Publicerad

How To Do A Complete Local SEO Audit: 10-Point Checklist

At its core, SEO is a multi-faceted keyword, content, and competitive analysis exercise.

Local SEO, by extension, includes several specific tasks geared to establishing the relevance and authority of a business within a targeted geographic area.

Even before you can convince a local consumer your search result is the best answer, you must it prove to the search engines and earn a high enough ranking to get in the running.

Search engines like Google reference many different data points to determine who gets top billing in organic search engine results, featured snippets, maps, local packs, image, video, or other SERP features.

How can you identify and prioritize optimizations with the greatest potential to deliver converting traffic to your website and your door?

In this column, we’ll walk through an evaluation of each key facet of your local search presence and uncover your best opportunities to improve search rankings.

What does a comprehensive local SEO audit checklist entail?

  1. Keywords/SERPs.
  2. Website.
  3. Google Business Profile.
  4. Review management.
  5. Local business listings and citations.
  6. Local content.
  7. Google Search Console.
  8. Analytics.
  9. Backlinks.
  10. Competitor analysis.

These tasks are listed in typical order of completion during a full audit, but some can be accomplished concurrently.

1. Keyword/SERP Audit

The natural place to start a local SEO audit is in SERPs for the keywords and phrases you are hoping your business will be found for, in order to identify where you stand relative to your competitors and other websites/content.

This research can help you quickly identify where you have established some level of authority/momentum to build on, as well as keywords upon which you should not waste your time and effort.

SEO is a long-term strategy so no keyword should be summarily dismissed. Even so, it’s generally best to focus on those keywords you realistically have a chance to rank and drive traffic for.

You may determine some keywords are better pursued in the short term via a paid Google Ads strategy until you are able to build up your local organic authority.

There are several excellent SEO and keyword research tools available to automate the process of gathering search results for specific or topical groups of keywords and assigning value to keywords based on metrics such as search volume or keyword difficulty.

Ideally, you’ll choose a tool that will break down the different types of search features, so you can understand whether you or a competitor has secured any of this search real estate and then devise strategies or tactics to proceed accordingly.

Alternatively, you can conduct your own searches manually. In that case, do so in an Incognito Window in Google Chrome or Private Window in Safari to remove potential bias/personalization tied to your Google login, location, or personal search history.

Most automation tools have processes in place to do the same.

For those businesses also running PPC campaigns, close attention should be paid to the keywords and search terms working there.

It’s likely that top-performing PPC keywords will also be top performers from an SEO perspective.

SEO and PPC should complement each other for optimal results.

Different people search in different ways and it’s important to not limit your research to single keywords, but rather account for the various ways and phrases your audience may use to try to find you or your offerings.

Your keyword analysis and the resulting content you create should address the intent of searchers, which will vary depending on where they are in the buying cycle.

Some are just beginning their search for a product or service and are simply looking for information e.g. “Where can I find x?”, while others are ready to buy now e.g. “Order x near me.”

A broader keyword view will provide a better picture of the overall strength of your presence and where to best focus your attention.

2. Website Audit

With your focused keyword data in hand, you can now conduct a full keyword and technical website audit to ensure your site is optimized for maximum crawlability, indexability, and visibility.

A typical audit is designed to analyze the underlying structure, content, and overall site experience.

Here again, there are many site auditing tools that will crawl a  website and then identify issues and prioritize actions to be taken based on SEO best practices.

A website audit and optimization can be broken down into several buckets.

Page Optimization

Web page optimization is all about ensuring pages are well structured, focused around topical keywords and provide a positive user experience.

As a search engine crawls a web page it looks for signals to determine what the page is about and what questions it can answer.

These crawlers analyze the entire page to determine its focus but specifically focus on Page Titles and Headings as primary descriptors.

Ideally, pages are keyword-focused and unique.

As such, keyword variations should be used consistently in Titles, URLs, Headings, and meta descriptions.

Google, and the other search engines, appreciate well-structured pages and will grab or create the components they need to construct a search engine result similar to the one below for “breakfast in Barrie.”

Note how the keyword “breakfast” is highlighted in the meta description.

Screenshot from search for [breakfast in Barrie], Google, February 2022

 Specifically, an audit will highlight issues related to:

  • Missing Title tags, or those that are too long (60 characters max) or duplicated.
  • Headings (particularly H1s) that are missing or duplicated.
  • Meta descriptions that are missing, too long (160 characters max), or duplicated.

Another important potential tag issue raised in an audit, depending on the nature of your local business, is image alt text.

As a best practice, all images should include relevant descriptive filenames and alt text, which may include pertinent keywords.

This becomes particularly important when images (e.g. product or service photos) are central to your business, as image carousels can and will show up in Web search results.

In every case, attention should be paid to the images appearing on your primary ranking pages.

Internal Link Audit

Over time, the various links within a website can become stale or outdated as content is moved or deleted.

A link audit will help you quickly identify any potential misdirected or broken links, which can create a less than optimal experience for your site visitors.

Links are likewise signals the search engines use to determine the flow of a website and its ability to direct searchers to appropriate, authoritative answers to their questions.

Part of this audit should include the identification of opportunities to crosslink prominent pages.

For example, if a page within your site has keywords that reference content on another page a link may be created.

This can have the effect of boosting both pages, provided the link logically guides users to more relevant content or an appropriate conversion point.

External links should also be considered, especially when there is an opportunity to link to an authoritative source of information.

From a local business perspective, this may include linking to relevant local organizations or events.

Pro tip: These links should ideally be opened in new browser windows, so your site visitors are able to continue on your site after they have explored any external links.

Schema Review

Featured snippets are increasingly superseding traditional organic search results in Google, as the search engine aims to provide the answers to questions directly within its SERPs.

Local businesses have an opportunity to have their content highlighted as featured snippets if they:

  • Publish highly authoritative and relevant content.
  • Use structured schema markup to tag content such as their local business details, products, events, FAQs.

An effective local SEO audit should include the identification of content within a website to which schema can be applied.

Mobile Audit

As more consumers begin searching via their mobile devices – especially for local services – it naturally becomes important for local businesses to provide a positive mobile web experience.

It will, in turn, affect how they are viewed and ranked by the search engines.

In short, websites need to load quickly, be easily navigated, and enable seamless user interaction.

Google offers a range of free mobile testing and three mobile-specific monitoring tools (Page Experience, Core Web Vitals, Mobile Usability) in Google Search Console.

More on this toolset below.

More in-depth user experience and SEO analysis can be done via Google Lighthouse, though a local business owner will likely want to enlist the help of a web developer to action any of the recommendations this tool provides.

Duplicate Content

High-quality, authoritative content is, by definition, original content.

As such, it’s important to let Google know if your website contains any content/pages which you did not create, by adding a canonical tag to the HTML header of the page.

Not doing so can have a detrimental effect on your authority and, by extension, your ability to rank.

Most site auditing tools will flag content that requires or has malformed canonical tags.

3. Google Business Profile Audit

A Google Business Profile (GBP) effectively represents a secondary website and highly visible point of presence for most local businesses.

An accurate, comprehensive GBP is critical to establishing visibility in Google Maps and organic search results.

A Google Business Profile audit should focus on the accuracy and completeness of the various components within the profile including:

  • Business information and location details.
  • Correct primary business category.
  • Hours of operation.
  • Correct pin location in Google Maps.
  • Proper categorization as a physical location or service area business.
  • Products.
  • Services.
  • Photos.
  • Offers.
  • Updates.
  • Events.
  • Appointment link(s).
  • Informational content.

The more complete the profile is, the more likely it will be viewed as a reliable local resource and be given appropriate billing in the search results.

Assuming you have claimed and are authorized to manage your GBP, you can access and edit your info directly within the search results.

Google Business ProfileScreenshot from Google Business Profile, February 2022

4. Review Management

Another very important aspect of a GBP is reviews.

Local business customers have an opportunity and are increasingly willing to write reviews, which appear on the GBP for other customers to view and play a significant role in determining visibility in the local map pack.

Google will notify business owners as soon as reviews are submitted and they should be responded to ASAP. This goes for negative reviews just as much as positive ones.

However, we all get busy and so a complete audit should include an analysis of your reviews to ensure none have fallen through the cracks. This will also help determine whether there are recurring customer service and satisfaction issues or themes that need to be addressed.

Of course, there are also several other places for consumers to submit reviews including Facebook, local review sites like Yelp, and industry-specific sites such as TripAdvisor and Houzz.

A full audit should take inventory of reviews left on any of these services as they can show up in search results.

The search engines and savvy modern consumers will most certainly find them.

A quick way to discover what reviews you may have on lesser-known properties is to simply search “‘your business name’ reviews.”

Alternatively, here too there are several good software platforms designed to help business owners ask for and manage their reviews on GBP and other review sites.

Pro tip: Request positive reviews from all customers and politely suggest they reference the product or service they are reviewing, as this can have a positive effect from a keyword ranking perspective.

5. Local Business Listing/Citation Audit

Local business listings and citations provide search engines with a way of confirming a business are both local and reputable within a specific geographic region.

It is important to have a presence in reputable local directories, review sites, business directories (e.g. Chamber of Commerce), or local partner sites.

Depending on the size and scope of your local business an audit of your listings and citations can be done in an automated or manual fashion.

Business listings and citation management tools can be used to find, monitor and update all primary citations with your proper Name, Address, Phone Number (aka NAP), and other pertinent business details found in broader listings (e.g. website address, business description.)

If you manage a limited number of locations and have the time, one quick method of identifying where your current listings can be found is to simply conduct a search on your business name.

The first 3-4 pages of search results should reveal the same.

If the goal is to understand where you are missing listing and citation opportunities, you can conduct a search on the list of keywords you have researched and want to be found for.

The most valuable directories and listing sites will be those which appear in the search results for these keywords.

It’s also important that you find and resolve any duplicate listings to prevent confusing customers and search engines alike with outdated, inaccurate information.

6. Local Content Audit

As noted, people search differently and require different types of information depending on where they are in their buying journey.

A well-structured local web presence will include content tailored and distributed for consumption during each stage of this journey, to bolster visibility and awareness.

You want to be found throughout your customer’s search experience.

A content audit can be used to make sure you have content for each of the journey buckets your audience members may find themselves in.

Informational content may be distributed via social or other external channels or published on your website to help educate your consumers on the products, services, and differentiators you offer at the beginning of their path to purchase.

This content ideally answers your prospects’ why, how, and what type questions.

Transactional content is designed to address those consumers who already know what they want, but are in the process of deciding where or who to purchase from.

This type of content may include reviews, testimonials, or competitive comparisons.

Navigational content ensures when people click through from Google after having searched your brand name or a variation thereof, they land on a page or information validating your position as a leader in your space.

This page should also include a clear call to action with the assumption they have arrived with a specific goal in mind.

Commercial content addresses those consumers who have signaled a strong intent to buy.

Effective local business sites and social pages must include offers, coupons, discounts, and clear paths to purchase.

Quality content is content your audience wants to consume, like, and share. In 2022, for many businesses, this means considering and experimenting with content beyond text and images.

Video content shared via platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and others is easier to consume and generally more engaging.

YouTube videos, in particular, can be optimized and do appear within organic search results.

Keep in mind, each social network includes a search function and any content distributed here should incorporate targeted keywords and hashtags to enhance visibility.

Pro tip: Make it easy for your readers to like and share your content by including visible share buttons; a simple best practice missed by far too many website owners.

While social signals are not a search ranking factor, shared content has a higher chance of being linked to, which in turn can positively affect authority and organic visibility.

7. Google Search Console Review

Google Search Console is an invaluable free resource for data related to keyword and content performance, indexing, schema/rich results validation, mobile/desktop experience monitoring, and security/manual actions.

A complete local SEO audit must include a review and analysis of this data to identify and react to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats outlined in each section.

Website owners and managers will want to pay particular attention to any issues related to pages not being crawled/indexed or manual actions having been taken based on questionable practices, as both can have a detrimental effect on search engine visibility.

Google Search Console does send notifications for these types of issues as well as regular performance updates, but an audit will ensure nothing has been overlooked.

Google Search Console OverviewScreenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

8. Analytics Review

Whether you are using Google Analytics or another site/visitor tracking solution, the data available here is useful during an audit to validate top and lesser-performing content, traffic sources, audience profiles, and paths to purchase.

Findings in analytics will be key to your content audit.

As you review your site analytics you may ask the following questions:

  • Are my top-visited pages also my top ranking pages in search engines?
  • Which are my top entry pages from organic search?
  • Which pages/content are not receiving the level of traffic or engagement desired?
  • What is the typical path to purchase on my site and can it be condensed or otherwise optimized?
  • Which domains are my top referrers and are there opportunities to further leverage these sites for backlinks? (see Backlink Audit below).

Use Google Analytics (or another tool of your choice) to find the answers to these questions so you can focus and prioritize your content and keyword optimization efforts.

9. Backlink Audit

Backlinks or inbound links are similar to citations but are effectively any links to your website pages from other third-party websites.

Links remain an important factor in determining the authority of a website as they lend validity if they come from relevant, reputable sources.

However, links from non-relevant or non-reputable sites can do more harm than good from an SEO perspective, and sometimes these links can be created without your knowledge.

It is therefore wise to conduct a backlink audit every six to twelve months depending on the size and scope of your website.

As with other components of an audit, there are several good free and paid backlink tools available, including a link monitoring service in Google Search Console, which is a great place to start.

Google Search Console LinksScreenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

In terms of auditing linking domains, you should quickly determine if there are any you don’t recognize or those which appear non-reputable or irrelevant to your local business.

Depending on the source, nature of the link, and the content it links to, it may be necessary to inquire about having the link removed.

An effective backlink audit has the dual purpose of identifying and building links via potentially valuable backlink sources, which can positively affect your ranking and visibility.

For local businesses, reputable local sources of links are naturally beneficial in validating location.

Potential backlink sources can be researched in a variety of locations:

  • Free and paid backlink research tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, or Majestic. Identify any domains where your primary competition has acquired backlinks, but you have not.
  • Any non-competitive sites appearing in the organic search results for your primary keywords are, by definition, good potential backlink sources. Look for directories you can be listed in, blogs or articles you can comment on or publications you can submit articles to.
  • Referral sources in Google Analytics may reveal domains where you already have links and may be able to acquire more.

10. Competitor Analysis

A comprehensive local SEO audit would not be complete without identifying and reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.

You may already have a good sense of who your competition is, but to begin it’s always a good idea to confirm who specifically shows up in the search results when you enter your target keywords.

These businesses/domains are your true competitors and the sites you can learn the most from.

A recent Google algorithm update appears to signal more emphasis is being placed on results tied to the immediate proximity of a business, which means the most attention should be paid to your closest high-ranking competitors.

If any of these competitors’ sites and/or pages are ranking ahead of yours, you’ll want to review what they may be doing to gain this advantage.

You can follow the same checklist of steps you would conduct for your own audit to identify how they may be optimizing their keywords, content, Google Business Profile, reviews, local business listings, or backlinks.

In general, the best way to outperform your competition is to provide a better overall experience online and off, which includes generating more relevant, high-quality content to address the questions your mutual customers have.

Prioritizing Your Action Items

A complete local SEO audit is going to produce a fairly significant list of action items.

Many of the aforementioned keyword, site, content, and backlink auditing tools do a good job of prioritizing tasks; however, the list can still be daunting.

One of the best places to start with an audit action plan is around the keywords and content you have already established some but not enough authority for.

These are your keywords, webpages, and content assets sitting on the cusp of prominence in the local organic search results and Map Packs.

Determine how to best address deficiencies or opportunities to optimize this content first before moving onto more competitive keywords or those you have less or no visibility for, as we all know, SEO is a long-term game.

These audit items and should be reviewed every 6-12 months, depending on the size and scale of your web presence, for the best chance at being found by your local target audience.

Fler resurser:


Featured Image: Ribkhan/Shutterstock




Källlänk

Klicka för att kommentera

Lämna ett svar

Din e-postadress kommer inte publiceras. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *

SEO

Allt du behöver veta

Publicerad

Everything You Need To Know

Now more than ever, marketing and sales leaders are taking a critical look at where to allocate their resources and how to staff their teams.

Attribution modeling is one of the best tools for providing clear guidance on what’s working, and what isn’t.

What Is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is the approach to understanding how various marketing and sales touchpoints influence the prospects’ move from visitor, to lead, to customer.

By implementing attribution in your organization, you’ll have a better idea of:

  • Which channels are most influential during different phases of the sales cycle.
  • Which content formats are more or less impactful in your marketing or sales enablement efforts.
  • Which campaigns drove the most revenue and return on investment (ROI).
  • The most common sequence of online or offline events that prospects interact with before becoming a customer.

Why Is Attribution Important In Marketing?

Analyzing attribution data provides you with an understanding of which marketing, sales, and customer success efforts are contributing most effectively and efficiently toward revenue generation.

Attribution modeling helps you identify opportunities for growth and improvement, while also informing budget allocation decisions.

With accurate attribution models, marketers are able to make more informed decisions about their campaigns, which has allowed them to increase ROI and reduce wasted budgets on ineffective strategies.

What Are The Challenges Of Marketing Attribution?

Developing a perfect attribution model that guides all of your decisions is a pipedream for most marketers.

Here are five challenges that result in inconclusive data models or total project abandonment:

Cross-Channel Management

This is a common challenge for enterprise marketers who have web assets across multiple websites, channels, and teams.

Without proper analytics tagging and system settings configuration, your web activities may not be tracked accurately as a visitor goes from one campaign micro-site to the main domain.

Or, the prospect may not be tracked as they go from your website to get directions to then go to your physical storefront to transact.

Making Decisions Based On Small Sample Sizes

For smaller trafficked websites, marketers using attribution data may not have statistically significant data sets to draw accurate correlations for future campaigns.

This results in faulty assumptions and the inability to repeat prior success.

Lack Of Tracking Compliance

If your attribution models rely on offline activities, then you may require manual imports of data or proper logging of sales activities.

From my experience in overseeing hundreds of CRM implementations, there is always some level of non-compliance in logging activities (like calls, meetings, or emails). This leads to skewed attribution models.

Mo‘ models, mo’ problems: Each analytics platform has a set of five or more attribution models you can use to optimize your campaigns around.

Without a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each model, the person building the attribution reporting may not be structuring or configuring them to align with your organizational goals.

Data Privacy

Since GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy laws were enacted, analytics data continues to get murkier each year.

For organizations that rely on web visitors to opt-in to tracking, attribution modeling suffers due to the inability to pull in tracking for every touchpoint.

How Do You Measure Marketing Attribution?

Measuring attribution is all about giving credit where it is due. There are dozens of attribution tools out there to assign credit to the digital or offline touchpoint.

Attribution measurement starts with choosing the data model that aligns with your business goals.

Certain attribution models favor interactions earlier on in the customer journey whereas others give the most credit towards interactions closer to a transaction.

Here is a scenario of how to measure marketing attribution in a first-touch attribution model (we’ll get to the different models next):

A prospect comes to the website through a paid search ad and reads the blog.

Two days later, she comes back to the site and views a couple of product pages.

Three days later, she comes back through an organic listing from Google and then converts on the site by signing up for a discount coupon.

With a first-touch attribution model, the paid search ad will get 100% of the credit for that conversion.

As you can see, choosing the “right” model can be a contentious issue, as each model gives a percentage of credit to a specific interaction or placement along the path toward becoming a customer.

If your business relies on paid search, SEO, offline, and other channels, then likely one of the individuals working on one of those channels is going to look like the superhero, whereas the other marketers will look like they aren’t pulling their weight.

Ideally, when you are choosing an attribution tool, you’ll be able to build reports that allow you to compare various attribution models, so you have a better understanding of which channels and interactions are most influential during certain time periods leading up to conversion or purchase.

What Are Different Marketing Attribution Models?

Marketers can use various marketing attribution models to examine the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Each attribution tool has will have a handful of models you can optimize campaigns and build reports around. Here is a description of each model:

First-Click Attribution

This model gives credit to the first channel that the customer interacted with.

This model is popular to use when optimizing for brand awareness and top-of-funnel conversions/engagement.

Last-Click Attribution

This model gives all of the credit to the last channel that the customer interacts with.

This model is useful when looking to understand which channels/interactions were most influential immediately before converting/purchasing.

Last-click attribution is the default attribution model for Google Analytics.

Multi-Touch/Channel Attribution

This model gives credit to all of the channels or touchpoints that the customer interacted with throughout their journey.

This model is used when you are looking to give weight evenly or to specific interactions.

There are variations of the multi-touch model including time-decay, linear, U-shaped, W-shaped, and J-shaped.

Customized

This model allows you to manually set the weight for individual channels or placements within the customer journey.

This model is best for organizations that have experience in using attribution modeling, and have clear goals for what touchpoints are most impactful in the buyers’ journey.

Marketing Attribution Tools

There are several different tools available to help marketers measure and analyze marketing attribution. Some attribution tools are features within marketing automation platforms or CRM systems like Active Campaign or HubSpot.

Others are stand-alone attribution tools that rely on API or integrations to pull in and analyze data, like Triple Whale eller Dreamdata.

As you are evaluating tools, consider how much offline or sales data needs to be included within your attribution models.

For systems like HubSpot, you can include sales activities (like phone calls and 1:1 sales emails) and offline list import data (from tradeshows).

Other tools, like Google Analytics, are not natively built to pull in that kind of data and would require advanced development work to include these activities as part of your model.

(Full disclosure: I work with HubSpot’s highest-rated partner agency, SmartBug Media.)

Additionally, if you need to be able to see the very specific touchpoints (like a specific email sent or an ad clicked), then you need a full-funnel attribution system that shows this level of granularity.

Attribution modeling is a powerful tool that marketers can use to measure the success of their campaigns, optimize online/offline channels, and improve customer interactions.

It is important, though, to understand attribution’s limitations, the pros and cons of each model, and the challenges with extracting conclusive data before investing large budgets towards attribution technology.

Fler resurser: 


Featured Image: Yuriy K/Shutterstock



Källlänk

Fortsätt läsa

SEO

Lead Generation: How To Get Started

Publicerad

Lead Generation: How To Get Started

Today’s consumers have an almost limitless amount of information at their fingertips. Podcasts, videos, blog posts, and social media – are just a few of the sources that can drive them toward one brand over another.

If it’s your job to attract these potential customers, you know the struggles of generating high-quality leads.

In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at lead generation, discussing the different types of leads you could attract and providing some strategies and examples for lead gen that you can put to use right away.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is a marketing process of capturing potential consumers who show interest in your product or service.

The goal is to connect with people early in the buying process, earn their trust and build a relationship so that, when they’re ready to make a purchase, they buy from you.

But lead generation also serves secondary objectives, including building brand awareness, collecting customer data, and fostering brand loyalty.

With this in mind, it’s important to remember that not everyone who visits your store or website is a lead.

That’s why successful lead gen goes after specific targets, using a variety of platforms and strategies including:

  • Landing pages – Using a tracking pixel, landing pages collect information about visitors you can later use to target them for sales.
  • Email – Email is a great lead generation tool because the recipients will have opted in, which means they’re already familiar with your brand.
  • Social media – With unmatched opportunities for engagement, your social media accounts are a great way to encourage your targets to take action.
  • Blogs – A great way to establish authority and provide value, blogs are also a great place to promote specific offers.
  • Live events – When it comes to qualifying leads, live events are a great way to meet your target audience and quickly identify the ones more likely to make a purchase.
  • Coupons and other promotions – Offering a discount or free item is a great way to encourage targets to provide their contact information.

What will ultimately work best for you will depend on your niche and your audience.

As you experiment with different lead generation strategies, you may find one more successful than the others. This means you should probably make that channel your priority, whereas others may not be of any use at all.

But we’ll get to all that later.

First, let’s talk about leads.

The Different Types Of Leads

Sales is the engine that drives any business. Without sales, there’s no revenue. Without revenue, there’s no business. So, it’s kind of important.

But it’s a massive field. The approach a medical monitoring sensor salesperson takes is going to be very different from a used car salesman.

But both of them – and every other sales professional for that matter – have one thing in common: they need to spend most of their time pursuing the people who are most likely to buy.

In general, leads fall into seven categories:

  • Hot Leads – These leads are ready to convert. They are qualified and interested in your offering, and are the most likely to convert to a sale. For example, this might be the purchasing director who has had several conversations with you and received a product demo. They have purchasing authority and a timeline.
  • Cold Leads – These are potential customers who may be unfamiliar with your brand or offering. As of yet, they have shown no interest in what you’re selling. Generally speaking, these are the hardest leads to convert to sales.
  • Warm Leads – A middle ground between the two previous types of leads, these are people who are familiar with who you are and what you offer. They’re the type who watch your videos or read your blogs, but haven’t contacted you directly. Your goal is to warm them up into hot leads.
  • Information Qualified Leads (IQLs) – This is the kind of lead who has already shown some interest in your company and has followed a call to action. Maybe they signed up for your email newsletter or filled out a lead generation form. They are often looking for more information and will react positively to a nurturing campaign.
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) – MQLs are one step further down the pipeline from IQLs. They are actively searching for a solution that fits their needs, and are trying to discover if yours is the right fit. These are the types of leads who will download your whitepapers, watch your videos, and attend your corporate seminars.
  • Sales Ready Leads (SRLs) – Sometimes called “accepted leads,” these are the bottom-of-the-funnel leads who are almost ready to pull the trigger on a purchase. It’s important to understand their budgets, purchasing authority, needs, and timeframe.
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) – These leads are ready to buy and should be in communication with your sales team. They are considered very hot, however, you should be aware that they are likely still considering some of your competitors.

The Lead Generation Process

As you have probably gathered by this point, lead generation is a multiple-step process.

Yours will vary, depending on whether you’re focusing on inbound or outbound generation – but both should follow a similar pathway.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you start trying to collect leads, you need to gather as much information as possible about your target audience. You want to know not just who they are, but where they live, what’s important to them, and most importantly, what their pain points are, particularly those that are the most pressing.

It’s often a good idea to create customer personas, in which you define the demographics, budget, and needs of typical customers. You may want to consider social habits, professional experience, and even psychological traits.

Once you know who you’re going after, it’s time to identify where they are. Are they active on Facebook, or more likely to respond to an email? Again, this will vary depending on your specific circumstances.

This is also the stage where you should check out the competition. What are they doing? What differentiates your offering from theirs? And most importantly, why is it better?

Step 2: Create Great Content

By now, you should know what needs your offering fills for your potential customers. Use this information to create content that solves it.

Your choice of medium will affect your content format. For example, videos work great on social media, but you can’t embed them in an email.

Likewise, if you’re going after your target audience on Twitter, your lengthy blogs are going to need to be linked to, or at the very least truncated.

Never forget your focus is on adding value. Each piece of content you create should serve a specific purpose, whether that’s educating your audience about your offering, building brand awareness or promoting a sale.

Step 3: Develop A Lead Generation Database

You can have the hottest leads on the planet, but they won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t handle them the right way.

You should create and use a lead database where you can record, study, filter, and segment your potential customers.

Ideally, you’ll want to get an automated CRM system to dramatically reduce the labor involved with this.

Most of these will allow you to tag leads based on the type and how hot they are. This allows your sales team to work through their lists in a more efficient manner, dedicating the most attention to those with the biggest chance of converting.

Step 4: Qualify And Score Leads

Not all leads are going to be in the same place in the sales funnel. Some will be ready to buy today, while others may just be getting an idea of what’s out there.

You need to adjust your approach based on this.

Most companies use a lead scoring system of 1-100, which indicates approximately where the lead is in the customer journey. They are assigned points based on their actions, with more serious actions resulting in more points.

For example, following your Facebook page could be worth 10 points, filling out a “Request a demo” form might be worth 20, and opening and reading an email could be 5. If a lead does all three of these, their lead score would be 35.

These numbers will give you a general idea of where they are from the following stages:

  • New leads, who have just made initial contact.
  • Working leads, with whom you have had contact and initiated a conversation.
  • Nurturing leads, who are not interested in buying right now, but might in the future.
  • Unqualified leads, who are not interested in your offering. These are sometimes called “dead leads.”
  • Qualified leads, or those who want to do business with you.

Obviously, you should focus more time and energy on the leads that have a higher probability of converting.

Lead Generation Strategies And Examples

The ways you can generate leads are practically endless, but in this section, we’ll discuss some of the more common strategies you can employ, plus give you examples of them at work.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the practice of creating engaging and informative content that provides value for leads and customers, thereby generating interest in a business.

This can span both traditional and digital marketing, and is an important part of any successful marketing strategy. It can include things like newsletters, podcasts, videos, and social media.

You can use content marketing for any stage of the sales funnel, from growing brand awareness with timely blogs, creating demand or demonstrating thought leadership with white papers, driving organic traffic via SEO, building trust, and earning customer loyalty.

To make the most of yours, offer many opt-in opportunities and make them more enticing by adding discounts, guides, or something of value in exchange.

Email Marketing

Email remains a popular choice for lead generation for a good reason: it works.

A study by Mailchimp found 22.71% of marketing emails were opened, with some industries seeing even higher rates.

Whether you’re sending out a monthly newsletter or a cold outreach email to a potential prospect, email remains one of your best bets for generating new leads.

One of the more cost-effective means of generating leads, email marketing also allows you to segment your targets with customized content that promotes maximum engagement.

Another reason email marketing is a favorite for so many organizations is that it provides incredible opportunities for tracking. A quality CRM will give you a lot of useful data, including open rate, engagement time, and subscriber retention, allowing you to fine-tune your campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

Almost everyone is on social media these days, which makes it the ideal place to hunt down leads.

Social media platforms not only allow you to directly interact with your followers, but they also let you create advertising targeted at highly specific audiences.

Interaction is simplified thanks to multiple user-friendly CTAs like Instagram Stories’ skip option and truncated URLs on Twitter.

Screenshot from Facebook, January 2023

Social media is also a great place to run contests or share gated content.

You can use paid ads like the one above to target new leads,  share content that will generate them organically, or ideally, a mix of both.

Coupons, Discounts, And Free Trials

If you’re like many people, you may be reluctant to provide your email address to businesses in case they start spamming your inbox.

As a business, however, this can be a problem.

The way to overcome this trepidation is to offer people something of value in return for their contact information.

A risk-free trial or discount code is a powerful tool for overcoming sales barriers. And once a target has tried your offering, you can retarget them with additional offers to encourage a sale.

Give them a free gift, offer a coupon, or allow them to take your product for a test drive, and you’ll find many more people willing to give you their info.

Free pizza couponScreenshot from author, January 2023

Online Ads

Display advertisements are videos and images that pop up as you’re browsing websites, apps, and social media.

They, along with paid search and PPC, are a great way to reach your intended customers where they are.

Display ads are particularly useful for targeting leads across the buyers’ journey, as well as promoting awareness and sales, promotions, or new products.

google search ads result for chairsScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Remarketing ads are a great way to reengage leads who have stopped short of a purchase, while non-intrusive native ads are perfect for extending your content marketing efforts.

Referral Marketing

A great way to find new leads is to let your existing customers find them for you. Encourage them to write reviews or recommend friends in return for a discount or something else of value.

AAA insurance referral adImage from AAA Insurance, January 2023

This is an excellent way to fill your funnel of leads – and make more sales. Referrals and online reviews give you an authenticity and trust level that no in-house marketing campaign can ever duplicate.

Did you know that when shopping online, more than 99.9% of people read reviews? Or that 94% of consumers acknowledged positive reviews made them more likely to support a business? And that’s not even including the power of personal recommendations from friends and family.

Referral marketing is a great tool for lead generation because it presents your brand in a positive light to more people.

Best Practices For Lead Generation

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your lead generation efforts, keep these tips in mind:

Use Your Data

You likely have a lot of information about leads and the types of strategies that work for them already at your fingertips.

Gather yours by looking at previous pieces that have worked well, whether it’s blogs that get a lot of reads, emails that have a high open-rate, or display ads that bring in a lot of traffic.

Look for general themes or things you did differently on high-performers. This will give you insight into the kind of things that resonate with your audience.

Be Consistent With Messaging

Make sure it’s very obvious to any web visitor or email recipient what action they should take next. Offer them a reason to click your links and keep your messaging clear and consistent.

You should maintain the same tone of voice across channels as you move prospects through the sales funnel. Remember, you’re not just interested in capturing data – you’re trying to create a customer.

A/B Testing

Every marketer knows the importance of testing different versions of collateral. This is because, no matter how well something is performing, it could always do better.

You should experiment with different headlines, images, body copy, etc.

Just remember to only test one aspect at once, lest you miss which change made a difference.

And again, don’t forget the opt-ins.

Use The Power Of CRM Technology

To ensure your sales and marketing teams are operating as efficiently as possible, but a lead generation platform to work for you.

The right tool can help you gather information about your targets, monitor their behavior on your website and identify what’s driving them to you.

Armed with this data, you can then optimize your pages and campaigns to better target your audience.

Create Enticing Offers At Every Stage

People at different stages of the purchasing journey want different things.

Someone who is just curious about seeing what’s out there isn’t likely to respond to a free demo offer, but someone who is further along the funnel might.

Make sure you’re offering something for every buying stage and that you have clear CTAs throughout your materials.

Integrate Social Media

Social media is the ideal platform for initiating conversations and interactions with leads at all stages.

While many marketers typically think of it as primarily for top-of-funnel targeting, by strategically using proven offers and other things of value, you can also go after those leads who are closer to making a purchase.

Clean Up Your Landing Pages

Users want information presented to them in a clean, easy-to-understand manner. No one is trying to read “War and Peace” to find a new vending machine supplier.

Put your important information at the top, and make it clear where visitors can input their information to contact you or get content.

Use Your Partners

Co-marketing is a great way to generate new leads because it allows you to piggyback on the efforts of partner companies.

Create mutually beneficial offers and you’ll spend the word about your brand to a larger audience, which will attract new leads.

Bring Your Sales Team In

Marketers prime the pump, but sales drives the action. Make sure to loop your sales team into the lead generation process early and often.

They will likely have personal insight into what works best to move targets along the purchasing path.

This will also ensure you remain on the same page as far as what terms mean.

Remarket, Remarket, Remarket

Almost no one makes a purchase on first contact, particularly in B2B sales. That makes remarketing an important arrow for your quiver.

It helps turn bouncers into leads and abandoners into customers – and it amplifies all your other marketing activities.

Make Lead Generation A Priority

No one ever said it was easy to find, score, and qualify leads, but it’s an important part of ensuring the growth and financial health of your business.

Nurturing customers and potential customers is hard work. But without it, you’ll struggle to make new sales.

This piece only covered lead generation from a high level, but hopefully, it has equipped you with some strategies you can employ to attract new leads and nurture existing ones.

If you only take a single thing away from this make it this: Put most of your efforts into higher-quality leads, because they’re the ones who are most likely to make a purchase.

And remember – lead generation is an ongoing process. You’re not going to see results overnight, but if you put in the work, you’ll start to generate the results you want.

Happy hunting.

Fler resurser:


Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock



Källlänk

Fortsätt läsa

SEO

Response to ChatGPT $20 Plan: Take My Money!

Publicerad

Response to ChatGPT $20 Plan: Take My Money!

OpenAI announced a new subscription service to ChatGPT called ChatGPT Plus that offers several benefits over the free version. Fans of OpenAI were wildly enthusiastic about the prospect for a more reliable service.

Many users around the world were pleased to know that the free version will continue to be offered.

OpenAI ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a useful AI tool for writing-related tasks, as well as for obtaining general information.

The free version is used by millions of users. Although it is hosted on Microsoft data centers the service falters during periods of peak usage and becomes unavailable.

OpenAI benefits from the usage because the feedback is useful for training the machine to become better.

The new subscription model is intended to subsidize the free users.

OpenAI Subscription Model

The new subscription version, called ChatGPT Plus, will cost $20/month.

Initially, ChatGPT will be available to users in the United States and will expand to other countries and regions “soon.”

There is no estimate or indication of how soon the service will be available outside of the United States.

But the fact that there’s a waitlist for United States users to subscribe might be an indication.

The Public Is Enthusiastic

To say that potential customers are enthusiastic about ChatGPT Plus is an understatement.

The response on Twitter could be boiled down to one phrase: Shut up and take my money.

 

One person applauded OpenAI for keeping a free version available:

Multiple people asked about plans for non-profits and for students.

This tweet is representative of the requests for student plans:

Future of ChatGPT

ChatGPT will be launching a ChatGPT API waitlist soon, which will open up the service to new ways of interacting with it.

OpenAI also plans to learn more about user needs and how to best serve users during the course of the new subscription service.

Once they have more experience with it, OpenAI plans to offer additional plans, including lower cost versions.

They shared:

“…we are actively exploring options for lower-cost plans, business plans, and data packs for more availability.”

This could have been Google’s win.But OpenAI and Microsoft beat them with a useful product and have captured the fascination and admiration of users worldwide.

2023 is going to be an exciting year of AI driven innovation.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Max kegfire



Källlänk

Fortsätt läsa

Trendigt

sv_SESvenska