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Winning on the Web with Search, Content Marketing and a Sales Funnel
Posted on February 19th 2014
Clients generally love us, and our competitors generally hate us. Oddly enough, most feel the way they do for exactly the same reason...
We do an expert job of managing the 3 main components of lead generation websites.
One other thing they have in common, though, is that they often think it's because we rely on sophisticated tricks to get the results we do. Which is pretty much as far from the truth as you can be.
While there are some technical details that can help you in the world of online marketing, the reality is that 90% of attracting and converting prospects comes down to three basic components.
1. Write for People to Attract Search Engines
While search engines remain among the most consistent and important tools for attracting qualified visitors to your website, you'll want to forget about keywords, and start thinking about creating unique, interesting, and relevant page content or articles that resonate with your readers. When you have enough of that on your business website, search traffic is naturally going to follow.
Of course, one of the best places to put that engaging content just happens to be your blog, which brings us to our next item…
2. Utilize Your Blog to Give People a Reason to Visit: Your Fresh Content
Just as a search engine optimization plan shouldn’t only consist of keywords and linking activities, neither should your blog be a one-dimensional item for search visibility. Work to engage readers, give them a reason to read additional posts, and build your credibility with quality content and reciprocal engagement, too.
In the larger picture should be a sales and marketing funnel. Your blog sits at the top of your funnel, where visitors can consume no-strings type content. This is where the magic has to happen because it needs to interest your readers enough to pull them further into the funnel. Blogging isn't about keywords, it's about interest. It should show visitors that you have the information and expertise they need, so they'll be more responsive to your offers.
Place a call-to-action at the end of your articles. If your article earned you enough trust, or if the offer is related and has value, your visitors will follow the link.
3. Move Prospects Down the Sales Funnel with "Big" Offers
The "bigness" of your offer in this case doesn't necessarily refer to the size or length of the information you're willing to trade a for visitor's contact information. Instead, it has to do with the amount of value it provides. A great offer, even if it only takes a couple of minutes or pages, is so "big" that your prospect can't think about anything else – they just have to have it.
Once someone signs up for your offer, giving you their email address, they transform themselves from visitors into leads, otherwise known as opportunities.
When 1+1+1 Equals More Than Three
Even though prospects move through your funnel one step at a time, your search engine plan, marketing blog, and offers aren't really three separate and distinct pieces. Instead, they must work together smoothly to keep potential buyers moving closer and closer to your business.
Just as you may have multiple search terms and blog posts helping you to score highly or attract attention, you should have matching offers that address common needs. Over time, as you refine the different elements of your funnel, it will becomes more and more effective, to the degree that the total value of your campaign – and the return you get from it – are worth so much more than the individual parts.
You don't have to know top-secret methods to succeed in lead generation – you just have to understand the basic math of sales funnels, and know how to put the three parts together effectively. Top it all off with social engagement, and you have the not-so-secret secret sauce.
To help you put it all together, we've created the EMA toolkit for marketers – 3 fully editable spreadsheets for your use. I encourage you to download the kit now.