For years SEO has been all the rage in digital marketing, and it is still of vital importance if you expect your customers to find you online. But are your true ideal buyers finding you, or are you just getting a lot of clicks that don’t convert? SEO only pays off if it converts to sales. And just because you rank on page one of Google for some of your strongest keywords, you aren’t necessarily going to see an increase in revenue. This is where the best inbound marketing agencies shine; they take a great SEO strategy and lay out a custom inbound-driven marketing automation solution that will help leverage your SEO while attracting the right traffic with buyer persona focused content. Here are some pretty good telling signs that you are ready to launch an arranged marriage between Inbound and SEO.
Google Analytics Shows Gold But Your Cash Register Shows Pennies
If Google Analytics shows, month after month, an increase in organic traffic with longer session durations, an improved bounce rate, and an increase in new users yet your conversions are still stagnant, then you are an ideal candidate for Inbound. If your numbers have improved but your revenue isn’t supporting the data, then this indicates you are ranking for customers at the wrong stage of the buyer’s journey. After all, we know they are likely your buyers because they are investing time on your site exploring multiple pages; they just haven’t found the right content to convert them into paying customers. This is where the Inbound marketing methodology steps in, and turns things around by mapping out the buyer’s journey to align with your SEO-driven content.
How Creating Content Focused on Buyer Journey Stages Makes SEO Pay Off
Optimized content designed to rank for specific people in each stage of the buyer’s journey will convert to sales. The buyer’s journey consists of the Awareness Stage, Consideration Stage and the Decision Stage. In the awareness stage a buyer becomes cognizant of his problem. When he moves into the consideration stage he begins to research various options to resolve his problem. When he gets to the decision stage he has determined the solution type to pursue, and now he needs to find the best product to fulfill the need. Here is an example:
Awareness Stage – Jason’s son plays Little League baseball. His son spends most of his time as a benchwarmer because the other kids are better players. After doing some research Jason has determined that his son has great defence skills, but he always strikes out at the plate.
Consideration Stage – After much research, Jason has identified that the real problem is that his son has a fear of being hit by a pitch and problems seeing the ball. He has found various solutions ranging from things like specialty equipment like batting helmets with face guards to prevent injury from being hit by a high fastball, sports psychologists for kids, private lessons from hitting instructors, and instructional DVDs.
Decision Stage – Jason has done more research and decides that, because his son has two problems and one of them is psychological, a special batting helmet or an educational DVD won’t cut it; he needs a private instructor trained to work with kids who has experience in helping them improve their plate appearance while gaining confidence to overcome their fears. Now he must research various private hitting instructors to find one with the right background.
If Jason finds a baseball coaching website while in the awareness stage, and the content he lands on is an article about how to help kids face their fears in hitting curveballs, he may read because the content is relevant, but he is not ready to convert because he hasn’t yet decided that this is the answer to his problem nor has he even identified that his son needs to improve his swing and get over his fears. You can rank on page one of Google for the top keywords until you are blue in the face, but if the content isn’t designed to rank for the appropriate stage in the buyer’s journey, you might as well be ranking on page 50 because your chances of converting readers into sales are slim to none.
You Have Leads, But they Get Lost
If your organic SEO is generating leads, but you have problems organizing them or they get lost in thin air, then it is time to invest in Inbound. Not knowing where leads came from, having any engagement history on the prospect, or understanding what their pain point was that brought them to your form will completely waste your time and devalue the rest of your efforts. There are a few great marketing automation platforms that allow marketers to run effective Inbound strategies that collect data on leads and nurture them until they convert into delighted buyers. Multi-channel lead nurturing strategies include a combination of email marketing, paid retargeting, social media, dynamic web content and sales outreach all driven by an automated process defined around buyer personas and the right content.