Lead generation has always been a top priority for B2B marketers. But it’s also been a top organizational struggle.

A graph showing that lead generation is a top goal for B2B content marketing.

Today, many turn to search engine optimization (SEO) for help, since it is a proven strategy for reaching more potential customers.

SEO helps you develop high-quality content that users want to click on and that search engine crawlers can easily understand. On average, it is less expensive than PPC ad campaigns.

SEO for lead generation, however, is more than just a way to increase your brand’s visibility in search results. It is a means of drawing attention to your products, services, promotions, etc., by driving more search engine traffic to your website. If you’re struggling to figure out the best lead generation approach, here are 12 SEO strategies to consider implementing.

Incorporate more case studies into your content

Part of earning new clients, subscribers, or customers, is proving the effectiveness of your product or service. Case studies are a great way to offer educational content to visitors from organic search results. They allow you to demonstrate a skill while showcasing your own successes with it.

Take Amazon Web Services as an example. They have nearly 2,000 customer success stories available for website visitors to browse. Providing these case studies instills confidence within potential clients who are considering using AWS software for their own business.

A screenshot showing Amazon Web Services customer stories.

These case studies also demonstrate to potential leads how a product or service might solve their problem. They allow customers to see how AWS software has helped other businesses who are in the same industry or offer similar products as they do.

Add case studies to your web content to increase potential conversions by providing evidence of your solution’s value to other customers.

Create more SEO landing pages

Website content like blogs and articles are great for boosting rankings and building your authority with search engines over time. For generating leads, however, landing pages are more effective.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone page designed for a particular marketing campaign. It’s the page that a user sees (lands on) after clicking through a link in a marketing/advertising campaign (like a social media post, an email link, a search ad, LinkedIn ad, etc.) for a given product or service.

This landing page from Bare Performance Nutrition is from an email campaign for a marathon that they’re hosting:

A screenshot of a landing page from Bare Performance Nutrition, which advertises an upcoming marathon.

The page’s primary goal is to share details of the race with potential participants and drum up excitement for the event. If you scroll, you will see content highlighting event details:

An SEO landing page for lead generation, below the fold.

And an extensive FAQ section for anyone who’s considering whether or not to sign up:

A lead generation landing page below the fold.

These types of pages are so valuable for conversion because they target a very specific call-to-action (CTA). Their content is solely focused on generating conversions or leads.

Typical features of these pages include:

  • Images showcasing the practical uses of a product or service (don’t forget to add alt text)
  • Bulleted lists of the benefits
  • Descriptions of the product’s use(s)
  • Customer testimonials
  • Explanation of costs and service

Although landing pages are common, many aren’t optimized for search. That’s because they are often only used for the span of the campaign. Since SEO is geared toward long-term growth, it often doesn’t make sense for advertisers to optimize their landing pages for search if they’re simply driving paid traffic to their landing pages for a short period of time. There are, however, times when optimizing a landing page for search makes sense.

When to use an SEO landing page

For example, many brands publish seasonal landing pages. These pages are good candidates for SEO because, even though they only last a season, they are used every year. That means, instead of taking down and putting back up your seasonal landing page every year, you can benefit from things like backlinks, visits, click-throughs, and other Google ranking factors by keeping the page live.

That page can build authority over time, leading to a campaign that is more visible in search results year after year. If you know that you’ll run the same Black Friday promotion every year, for example, SEO will help its corresponding landing page rise in search rankings. This creates traffic increases year over year and more leads that you can use on an annual basis.

Having an internal link-building strategy that covers landing pages, adding schema markup, and including relevant keywords are just some of the ways to make these pages more appealing to search engines.

Once you demonstrate the content’s value and relevance, more people may see your landing pages on search engine results pages (SERPs). This widens your target market, making it easier for you to find and pursue new leads.

Map the buyer’s journey

In order to generate leads, you have to know what your visitors are looking for throughout their path to purchase. Someone doing product research is going to want different content than someone who is ready to buy a product.

The “buyer’s journey” or “sales funnel” provides insight into what types of content are appropriate for various users. For example, someone in the awareness stage of their journey will get more value from informational content than someone who is farther along.

Understanding the buyer’s journey goes hand-in-hand with understanding customer needs. Once you have this foundation, you can create more targeted content designed to generate qualified leads.

A diagram showing the marketing funnel and all its stages.

The type of content you create will depend on where your prospect is in the funnel. What’s appropriate for one stage might not work for another stage. You have to understand when it’s effective to ask users for their personal information. Here are some examples:

  • Awareness: Informative content is appropriate for this stage in the journey. It simply helps users understand their pain point on a deeper level. You may ask users to sign up for a newsletter or an email list at this point.
  • Interest: This is where you can start to give users ideas for possible solutions. It makes sense to offer tools and resources like templates or webinars.
  • Consideration: Users considering a product will find value in data-driven content. This includes things like case studies or testimonials from past clients.
  • Decision and purchase: By this point, users are ready to buy or sign up. Content like demos, trials, or consultations are appropriate. It’s also a good time to re-ask whether the customer wants to sign up for regular communications from your brand. You can collect more information like email, address, name, phone number, etc. for future use.

Targeting your content to each stage of the buyer’s journey makes it more relevant and more likely to convert.

Offer more gated content

Gated content refers to content that users need to exchange personal information in order to access. It is a means for marketers to collect users’ emails, phone numbers, or any other relevant contact/demographic information.

The best types of gated content are the ones that offer proprietary data or long-form content unique to your business or industry. Popular forms include:

  • Whitepapers
  • Industry reports
  • Research
  • Ebooks
  • Free consultations
  • Templates
  • Webinar

These types of content are often referred to as “lead magnets” because they are meant to turn prospects into leads. A good lead magnet:

  • Targets a specific buyer persona
  • Provides more value than typical product pages or blog posts
  • Explains the unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Has a simple, easy-to-digest format

Consider the following quiz from Stich Fix. It uses a quiz feature to get users thinking about clothing products and then requires them to submit their email to see their style results.

A screenshot of a quiz from Stitch Fix used to generate leads.

Providing high-quality gated content like this generates more leads by creating a unique experience. It offers more value than your typical blog post or product page, and as a result, users are generally willing to trade their personal information for it.

Change your keyword strategy

Popular short-tail terms like “home workouts” or “recipe ideas” are often flooded with websites competing for a limited number of spots in search results.

These types of terms also apply to a very wide audience, making it harder for brands to target a specific consumer. So even though they get more traffic, they have lower conversion rates.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are usually very specific. While this means they have a lower Google search volume, it also means that users looking for them have a better idea of what they want. Targeting long-tail keywords gives brands an opportunity to tap into specific market segments and perform really well for less-searched keywords.

A graph showing that long-tail keywords are less competitive than short-tail keywords, and have higher conversion rates.

People who search long-tail keywords are typically more likely to make a purchase. That’s because they have a better idea of what they’re looking for. Ranking for these terms may result in less traffic, but it can mean more growth overall.

Semrush’s Keyword Overview tool is a great keyword research tool for finding longer target keywords. Consider these search terms when creating new content that’s meant for lead generation. Make sure to include your keyword throughout your content (meta description, title tag, text, HTML markup, etc.) so that crawlers understand the main topic of the page.

Use more CTAs in your content

Great content contains a clear call-to-action (CTA). This eliminates any ambiguity and confusion that users might have when viewing your web pages. CTAs should:

  • Be direct and simple
  • Have persuasive language
  • Be easy to identify on the page (bright colors, bold font, use of white space, etc.)
  • Appeal to emotions like curiosity, anger, urgency, etc.

Adding CTAs to the end of your blog posts is an easy way to direct more traffic to your landing pages. Many business owners also include them at the top of the page as a powerful and effective way to draw attention to the campaign’s overarching goal.

Shorten your lead capture forms

If your goal is to generate a large number of leads, consider shortening your lead capture forms. The fewer fields that a user has to fill out, the more likely they are to submit a form. In other words, shortening your forms can increase your conversions.

A study by MarketingExperiments found that short forms result in higher conversions and lower costs per lead:

A marketing experiments study that shows short form are better for lead generation.

Long forms can generate high conversions, but this depends on the type of information you’re collecting from prospective customers. Just remember that removing fields from your forms can change the quality of the leads you collect.

Make sure you don’t remove any critical information that will prevent you from generating qualified leads. Depending on the type of email marketing campaigns you do in the future, you may not need to know certain demographic information. Ask yourself: Do you really need to know the prospect’s date of birth? Their number of employees? Remove anything you don’t absolutely need to qualify your lead.

Spend more time building partnerships

Expanding your target audience is an essential part of lead generation. But growing a subscriber or customer base can be difficult to do alone. Instead of relying on just your own outreach, spend time building partnerships with other brands.

This is a powerful digital marketing strategy for several reasons:

  • Cross-promotion can result in backlinks, which are one of Google’s most powerful ranking factors.
  • Associating and interacting with other brands in your niche shows Google that your content is trustworthy and valuable for users.
  • Partnerships can result in exposure to a new audience.

All of these benefits can improve your performance with search engine algorithms, leading to higher SERP positions and more organic traffic. At the same time, it exposes your content and products to a whole new set of potential customers.

Make your content easy to consume

In order to generate leads, you need searchers to stay on your web pages. You can’t do this without organized content. Make content easy to consume with elements like…

  • Intuitive web design (standard design practices like making links obvious, putting contact info in your footer, etc.)
  • Headers, jumplinks, and navigation menus
  • Chapters or clear section breaks
  • Large buttons for mobile devices
  • Small paragraphs
  • Multimedia components to break up text

Your website has to make it easy for people to find what they want. If you create a poor user experience and customers can’t navigate the page, they will return to the search results. This creates a high bounce rate, which can negatively impact your SEO campaign performance.

Try using exit popups

Exit popups, also known as “site overlays,” are notifications that show up on a web page when a user is about to leave the site. They typically prompt users to enter a name and email in order to get a discount on products.

Exit popups are proven to boost conversions, so they are used across all industries. Here is a case study of a website that increased its conversions by 500% with an exit popup:

An exit popup that asks for name and email.

Add exit popups to your site for an easy source of new leads that you can later convert into actual sales or long-term subscribers. This is overall an excellent tactic for bloggers, local businesses, and ecommerce sites alike.

Improve page speed

Another factor that heavily influences your SEO metrics is page speed. This is one of Google’s top ranking factors because of the impact that it has on user experience. Here are some things you can do to speed up your site:

  • Minify your code.
  • Resize and compress images (use a plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer).
  • Fix broken links and reduce redirects.
  • Don’t use pop-ups.
  • Use responsive design for mobile and tablet devices (WordPress and other content management systems usually have this as a built-in option).
  • Cache background data and excess files.

When users click on a link and the web page takes too long to load, they usually return to the SERPs. This increases the page’s bounce rate and makes it less likely to earn a top spot in search results. It also directly impacts conversions. If people don’t stay long enough to see the CTA, they won’t click it.

Once you implement these changes, use PageSpeed Insights to check your site speed. It will tell you where you can make additional improvements. After, regularly view your Page Timings report on Google Analytics to ensure your pages don’t slow over time.

Build a free tool

People are always looking for automation to make their workflow easier. They are often willing to trade personal details to use these tools. If you can build a simple but effective resource, it is an easy way to generate new leads.

This is a common practice among SEO agencies who understand the value of a free tool to users. An example of this is HubSpot’s blog topic generator. The free version gives you five free ideas, but to access 250 ideas you have to provide personal information.

HubSpot blog topic generator.

When you click on “Unlock 250 more blog ideas,” this is what pops up:

This is effective for generating leads because many bloggers would be willing to share this information in exchange for a whole year of blog topics.

If you do create a tool for users, make sure to advertise it simply. A case study by GrowthRock revealed that eliminating excess details and focusing on the benefits, not the “cost” of a site’s free trial actually increased conversions by 73%. You want to direct users’ focus to the tool’s practical applications, not the fact that they have to give you their information in order to use it.

Get a complimentary SEO audit

Although the majority of businesses identify lead generation as their most important content marketing goal, they often have a difficult time creating an approach that works. Implementing these 12 SEO strategies can help you increase your website traffic and generate more leads as a result.

Want to see how you’re doing with SEO? Get an instant SEO audit below. Or, schedule a free consultation to see how intent SEO can boost search traffic revenue by 700%.