In business today, the real question should not be “how do we get new prospective customers?” but that of “how do we take these prospects and turn them in to real leads?” One key answer to that question is a concept called Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the idea of peppering your website and its articles with certain keywords that will make it appear more often in search engines, such as Google or Bing, which drive the majority of traffic on the web. These words or phrases will make your website (or blog, or page or article on your website) appear higher or more often in the search engine, getting more views on your website. But this is only part of SEO. SEO is also about making your website user friendly, easy to navigate, and generally easy to use. One element to good SEO that is often overlooked is proving your pages with clear, descriptive URL names, which can catch the eye of prospective users who are browsing the web.
Why is this important? It is estimated that the top rated result in a particular Google search will receive as high as 18% of the total traffic for that search. This may not seem like much, but when there are literally millions of results returned, 18% can be huge. Web searching is trending upwards, growing by nearly 20% each year, and are a measurable factor in driving both online and offline economic activity.
SEO is a good first step, but how do you take those new views (often called prospects) and convert them to real leads, beginning the pipeline leading to (ideally) closing a sale? The key is to align your CRM system with your SEO efforts. Getting the people who surf to your website, either through the random happenstance of internet browsing, or more ideally through your SEO efforts, in to your sales pipeline requires gathering their contact info, so you can reach out and begin building in a relationship.
How do you achieve that? The best way is to put a “call to action” on your website, ideally on every page that is likely to be found easily in a search engine (which, if you’re doing it correctly should be all your pages). A call to action can be as simple as a link reading “Sign up here for more information”. This information is gold to your lead management process. It should be noted that there must be something “in it” for the customer, as people are increasingly leery about providing their information to companies and websites, so you must provide some incentive for them to hand out their contact information.
So how can you judge just how well your website is doing the job of converting prospects to leads?
This is where integrating your SEO and website to your CRM system comes in to play. There are several metrics can be used in conjunction with your CRM systems to measure effectiveness.
- What percentage of website traffic is utilizing your call to action?
- How many who do end up becoming customers?
Your CRM system not only can organize your potential clients, but also grade them in likelihood, giving you a better understanding of which prospects to focus on, but also what type of prospects are being drawn by your website. If your SEO efforts are attracting prospects that ultimately don’t pan out, you can re-evaluate what the focus of your SEO is, and adjust accordingly. Most CRM systems have several dashboards that can present you with a wide variety of data about who your website is reaching, and how they are being moved from prospect to lead.
Creating a pipeline of prospective customers is vital to the growth of any business. By utilizing Search Engine Optimization you can get a leg up on the competition. Aligning that SEO with your existing CRM systems allows you to make the most of your time, money, and effort, increasing the efficiency of your marketing, and ultimately reaping rewards in increased sales.
Discover if the dollars make sense for your business by using the calculation tools and information in this guide.