Get qualified business and sales leads from your website and Web outposts by using optimized content and a good search engine optimization and content strategy.Qualified Business Leads and the Buy CycleProspects go through a buy cycle. A buy cycle is the stages your business prospects pass through as they search for and retrieve information about products or services they want to purchase. It usually starts with searching for general industry information on Google and Yahoo about a product or service. It normally ends with qualified business prospect calling, or completing a web form on a company’s website. A lot also happens in between.Business Prospects Search for Information on Google and YahooYour business prospects perform research online and search for, and read reports, e-books and other material they can find. Prospects will read blogs from thought leaders and watch online videos on YouTube.com. At this state in the buy cycle your prospects are hungry for information because they want to be an educated and informed buyer. Research indicates that 80% of all Web activity starts with search. Your content and website need search engine optimization to appear on page one of Google and Yahoo in order for your business prospects to find you.Stop Marketing and Start Publishing OnlineIdentify your business prospects buy cycle and generate information in the form of optimized content for the Web. Write short reports and whitepapers that will position your business as a thought leader. Write about the success of your clients in case studies. Upload optimized customer testimonials in text and video formats to your website. Repurpose your content. Take your best report and turn it into a slide show and put it on a social media site. Create a blog and publish the main points of your reports. Write frequently about what’s going on in your industry. If you can’t write, find a local writer and request professional samples.Get Page One Results on Google and Yahoo* If you know your prospects conduct research and search for information on Google about products and/or services that your company provides, you should optimize your content and website pages so they appear on page one of Google and Yahoo.
* When your prospects are further along their buy cycle and want more specific product or service information, you should optimize case studies for the Web so they appear on page one of Google and Yahoo by using search engine optimization.
* When your prospects identify you as a possible solution and use Google and Yahoo to learn more about your company’s reputation, glowing customer testimonials and positive PR should appear on page one of the search results.Search Engine Optimization and Qualified Business LeadsNow that you have valuable information as content in different formats, it’s time to optimize your content by placing the keywords from the search queries your prospects are using to get information on Google. Identify the search terms that match the stages of your prospects’ buy cycles and optimize the content with keywords so that the content will appear on page one of Google when a prospect includes the keyword in their search query. Use Google’s external keyword tool to get ideas. Doing this kind of marketing will enable you to get qualified sales leads online.
Companies Large and SmallUsing the content and SEO strategy to get qualified leads is not just for big companies, it’s for small businesses too. Many small companies do not position themselves as thought leaders. The company that goes out of its way to help a prospect make an educated purchase decision will inevitably win the business.10 Step Prospect Buy Cycle Content and SEO Strategy for Getting Qualified Business leads:1. Your business prospects will move through their buy cycle
2. They want to make an educated purchase decision and feel good about it
3. They’ll use Google and Yahoo initially for industry research about a product or service (Your optimized content like online videos should appear on page one of Google and Yahoo)
4. Your business prospects will use search engines to find specific content further along their buy cycle They’ll find and download white papers, reports, articles and read thought leaders’ blogs (your blog and other optimized content should be in the search results)
5. Your business prospects will search for and create a shortlist of vendors’ products and services* They’ll find and read case studies on web outposts like blogs and on company websites (your optimized case studies and other content should be in the search results)6. Your prospects will visit your website again or for the first time
7. Your prospects will research your company on Google (glowing customer testimonials and positive PR should be in the search results)
8. They’ll contact you via phone, email or form on your website
9. They’re now qualified and close to making a purchase decision
10. You’ll continue publishing and optimizing your content for more qualified business leadsAbout the author: Ronan Keane is president and founder of UpClick Marketing (http://www.UpClickMarketing.com), an online marketing company that provides search engine marketing, social media marketing and other online services, and is dedicated to its clients’ success on the Web.
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