The Difference Between Lead Gen and SEO: Why SEO is Crucial for Your Lead Gen Strategy

Lead generation and search engine optimization are often misconstrued as being the same thing and serving the same function. This would be a misjudgment considering the differing roles that the two play in the marketing industry. Before we expound upon how the two can complement each other, let’s first define the two.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  focuses on increasing your visibility on search engines, such as Google, with the hopes of increasing the web traffic to your site or the product page. Your goal for SEO is to get your site on the first search engine results page (SERP), or as close as possible. SEO may generate leads in its process, but lead generation is not the main focus when developing an SEO strategy.

Defining Lead Generation

Lead generation refers to the marketing process wherein you attempt to capture and maintain the interest of a potential customer in order to advance a sales pipeline. This may happen in response to SEO strategies. If your page performs better from an SEO standpoint, you’re likely going to be capturing more interest, therefore generating “leads.” Leads directly refer to potential customers that are engaging with your content, product, or service offer. It may be someone who has visited your page, or it may simply be someone or a group who has been reading up on content similar to yours. Lead generation focuses on more specifically targeted audiences. Leads do not necessarily equate to customers, but that is the eventual goal of this generation process.

Lead generation also has a bit of a wider scope, and it goes beyond the confines of a search engine. Lead generation usually includes much more than just search results. It usually includes the use of ads, email marketing, and other methods to collect information and turn that intel into quantifiable leads for your company.

How SEO Can Help Generate Leads  

SEO and lead gen can heavily play into each other and boost each other’s effectiveness. Often times, you can generate leads in the process of optimizing your search rankings. While lead generation is a process in itself, it is often a byproduct of your search engine optimization strategy. Search results are important, but if you’re not converting the right type of viewer, you are not going to be creating actual customers, no matter how heavy your traffic is. SEO often acts as a basis or jumping-off point for lead gen, so they are often seen side by side in many marketing plans. Utilizing a good search engine optimization strategy will allow you to generate more leads by putting your site at the top of the search results for when someone articulates a need or a desire.

The great thing about lead generation and search engine optimization is that you don’t have to choose one or the other, you can combine both to fully customize a strategy. While both are important aspects of a balanced marketing strategy, different variations of both can be better for different goals. You can achieve a higher return on investment if you use these two elements in harmony with one another. Certain combinations are better for long term vs. short term goals.

Turning Leads into Sales 

In order to generate useful leads, you must first consider the target audience. This is where SEO can be particularly helpful for generating leads. Keyword research and implementation are some of the main things you can take advantage of to target a specific demographic. Keyword tailoring is a huge part of any well-planned SEO strategy. It involves utilizing single words or short phrases to try to capture people with a specific goal and get them on your page. The longer the phrase, the more specific your audience will be. This audience will hopefully convert into leads. If you can find people or businesses looking for information pertaining to your service or product, you can cater to them and encourage engagement. This is what gets them in the door, on your site, and it gives you the intel that you need to push further.

Once you have information about potential customers, you can engage them in a variety of ways. Content is a useful place to start building effective relationships. You can create content that answers their questions and use various SEO strategies to turn leads into actual customers. Things like calls to action at the ends of blogs or links on social media can turn potential into tangible sales. If you can do this across multiple channels, there is a greater chance that you can engage customers throughout the entire length of the sales funnel and gain their business. Engaging customers towards the end of the sales funnel is particularly useful because that’s where many buying decisions happen.

Lead generation will get you a bit further than just SEO. Lead generation works to fuel your sales pipeline in order to convert more customers and gain more business. 

Developing the Right Strategy for Your Business

Your business is unique, as are your marketing needs. Finding the right combination of SEO and lead gen strategies can both benefit your brand and boost ROI. SEO My Business is an Atlanta-based digital marketing agency specializing in lead gen and account-based marketing. If you’re looking for help with your SEO or lead gen campaign, our experts are always around.