Internet Lead Generation

Lead Generation Best Practices

Internet lead generation is driven, to a large extent, by the use of keywords that enable both paid and organic search. Keywords are important because they are often how potential customers discover your company's website. Identifying keywords is an important part of optimizing your website for search (search engine optimization—SEO), making the most of paid opportunities and utilizing social media.

Not using SEO for internet lead generation leaves huge gaps in your marketing strategy. When evaluating website SEO, consider the following criteria:

  • Content – Content includes everything from blogs and whitepapers to videos and webinars. Keyword-rich content is important because it gives search engines a better idea of what's happening on your company's website.
  • Code – It's important to use the appropriate code so that search engines can easily read your website. The more easily they can read your website, the more pages will be indexed. This means your site will move up in rankings. Higher rankings in search will help increase website traffic which can, in turn, increase leads.
  • Credibility (for SEO) – Each site that links to your site tells the search engine that your site must be useful and important. This helps to build credibility.

Paid search is another internet lead generation strategy that provides a way for marketers to target potential customers. Using appropriate keywords provides higher relevance for your ads. Landing pages must be relevant and include keywords.

Social media drives traffic to a company website and is a growing part of internet lead generation. These are some thoughts about the most popular platforms:

  • Facebook – Provides opportunities to build prospect lists by sharing content people can see only after becoming a fan of your brand on Facebook. This practice is also known as "fan-gating."
  • Twitter – Provides a way to track what's being said about your brand and interact with potential customers.
  • LinkedIn – Provides opportunities to develop thought leadership and foster collaboration.
  • YouTube – A cost-effective and informative way to engage customers and drive awareness.
  • Google+ – The fastest-growing search engine with the potential to impact search.

Driving people to your site begins the next step: once there, you need to be able to convert them. That's where marketing automation often plays a vital role.

Marketing automation contributes to internet lead generation by providing marketers with an automated way to drive conversions, enabling more precision and higher volume. It helps align marketing and sales by giving sales specific intelligence as to why marketing considers a certain person a good lead. Automation also makes marketing overall less complex and more effective, with less effort.

Here are five tips for using marketing automation to enhance internet lead generation and ultimately increase revenue:

  1. Develop Content
    Make sure that your content is relevant to customers by always keeping the end in mind. The content you create should be able to solve specific issues faced by your customers and prospects.
  2. Keep Score
    Keeping score is about understanding how you're meeting the needs of your customers. Profile-based or behavior-based lead scoring is one strategy to help achieve this step.
  3. Manage Cadence and Progression
    When it comes to lead nurturing, it's important to understand the timing—when, how much, and how often. Marketing automation provides a variety of tools (including landing pages, email, and gated information), but it's important to make a plan for how to use these tools and track the conversions—how effective were your actions?
  4. Align Sales and Marketing
    Working together as a sales and marketing team to decide and define "what is a lead" and to decide on goals will help increase the return on everyone's investment. Deciding how to move from a marketing-qualified lead to a sales-qualified lead, and setting the appropriate triggers for sales to follow up based on marketing's efforts, will help ensure quality leads for sales.
  5. Track, Measure, Refine, and Repeat
    After you've started using marketing automation to aid in lead generation, it's important to evaluate what's working and what's not and refine your process accordingly. Marketing automation gives you the tools to convert, track, and measure those results.
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