SEO can boost lead generation for your business. Learn how our experts use it every day to increase conversions by over 23%, plus tips from our team on how to build a successful SEO strategy.

Here, you’ll find:

When you operate a B2B business, targeted leads are the name of the game.

You want customers who are ready to buy your products and services right away. You also want to fill your sales funnel with leads you can nurture until the time is right.

One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to do this? Through SEO.

In this article, we’ll explain how SEO and lead generation work together, and what to do to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPS).

We’ll also look at SEO lead-generation strategies to boost your conversion rates.

What is SEO lead generation?

An SEO lead generation strategy uses search engine optimization (SEO) to drive high-quality leads to your website through organic search.

Imagine you’re a SaaS business selling project management software for SMEs. You can use lead generation to capture potential customers’ attention while they’re using search engines like Google and Bing.

You can do this by:

  • Carrying out keyword research to identify the words and phrases prospective leads use
  • Creating SEO-optimized articles, case studies, testimonials, and other types of content marketing that grab attention and encourage conversions
  • Developing landing pages that collect leads
  • Using off-page SEO — getting backlinks, creating guest posts, and building directory citations to show your website is trustworthy and credible

The great thing about SEO lead generation is you can use it no matter what industry you’re in.

“The key with SEO lead generation is to position your company as an industry thought leader and generate stellar content that educates and informs,” says Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “Do this, and you’ll bring in highly targeted traffic that’s ready to convert.”

How to increase the quality of leads from SEO

Good SEO lead generation strategies aren’t just about the number of leads you receive — they’re about the quality of leads you receive.

You want targeted, qualified leads who are the right match for your business. Otherwise, you’ll waste time selling to the wrong people.

Here are three ways to ensure you generate SEO leads that are a good fit.

  1. Understand your target audience
  2. Focus on solid keyword research
  3. Optimize your landing pages and web pages

Understand your target audience

Before implementing your SEO marketing strategy, you must understand your target audience.

From here, you’ll know which keywords to use, what pain points to address, and how to create a unique value proposition to attract them.

Kateryna Reshetilo, Head of Marketing at Greenice, has a cautionary tale about understanding your target audience. “We spent time creating articles comparing technologies and programming languages. While they were popular, we found the content wasn’t attracting leads as expected.

They discovered that the readers of the articles were programmers, and their search intent was informational — with no plans of buying our services.

“We learned that we needed to create SEO content for our target audience, not our peers,” continues Reshetilo. “So we started creating articles like “How To Create A Real Estate Website Like Zillow & Trulia” and “How to Build a Website Like Upwork and Become The Leader of the Gig Economy. These articles generated far more leads, despite driving less organic traffic.”

Consider your target audience’s demographics, interests, purchase history, and the marketing channels they like to use. Creating a customer persona visualizes your ideal customer and determines the type of optimized content to create to draw them in.

Example of a customer persona

Focus on solid keyword research

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any good SEO strategy and it’s especially important for SEO lead generation. Understanding the search terms your prospective leads use means you can attract better-quality web traffic.

Keep these in mind when generating target keywords for SEO lead generation:

  • Analyze where prospective leads are in the search funnel and their search intent. For example, transactional keywords like “buy,” “download,” and “sign up” appeal to customers who are at the bottom of the sales funnel and are looking to buy.
  • Consider location-based keywords if you operate in a specific area.
  • Use keyword research tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Ubersuggest to find relevant keywords your competitors aren’t using — this makes it easier to rank higher.
  • Regularly carry out keyword research to identify new search engine ranking opportunities.

Keyword ideas for the keyword “project management tool” in Ubersuggest

Optimize your landing pages and web pages

The keywords you use on your website act as a filter by weeding out anyone who isn’t a prospective customer.

A well-optimized page with a good user experience doesn’t just lead to more potential leads. It also increases the chances of your page ranking well in the search engines, providing a flywheel effect.

Here’s how to optimize your website content for high-quality leads:

  • Review your meta description and page title. These show in the search engine rankings, giving potential leads a reason to visit your web page.
  • Craft well-written persuasive content that resonates with the pain points your target audience experiences.
  • Use images, videos, and graphics that are relevant to your target customer. For example, if your ideal customer works in a specific industry, provide video testimonials from clients who are also in that industry.
  • Develop a clear call to action (CTA) that appeals to potential customers.
  • Carry out A/B testing to see which type of content leads to the most conversions.
  • If you have forms on your page, use them to qualify your customers. For example, if you want to work with small businesses rather than large ones, you can ask how many employees a company has.

Example of a landing page form

How much does SEO cost?

You can expect to invest between $3K and $10K per month for ongoing services (e.g., new content, blog post refreshes, tech SEO). And if you only need one-off SEO services, it’ll cost between $5K and $30K, depending on the project size. Then, if you’re a brick-and-mortar company or offer local services, you may spend $500 to $1K monthly for local SEO services.

SEO lead generation tips: how to supercharge your strategy

What else can you do to increase search traffic to your website through SEO lead generation?

We asked our organic search experts, and other digital marketing specialists, how businesses can increase the quality and quantity of leads they receive.

Consider Local SEO

Local SEO isn’t an option for all organizations. However, if you’re a local business operating in a specific area, it’s something you should consider to drive leads.

Doing so will require optimizing your website to boost visibility in the local search results. For example, if you’re a plumber operating in Tampa, you’ll want to rank as high as possible for terms like “Emergency plumber near me” or “Blocked sink Tampa”

Search engine result for the search “Plumbers in Tampa”

Aleksandar Cvijanovic, Co-Founder of Tunel Studio, used local SEO to help his client, Euro Cut, gain fresh new leads.

“To stand out in a crowded marketplace, we had to go beyond traditional SEO tactics,” explains Cvijanovic. “We implemented a local SEO strategy that targeted specific regions and communities, optimizing for local search queries.

A specific tactic that drove unexpected results was creating a Google Business Profile. After a couple of positive reviews, the Euro Cut Google Business Profile rose to the top spot in Google’s map pack. This drove a significant number of leads, not just through the website, but also direct calls.”

Review your technical SEO

Technical SEO is the unsung hero of your SEO lead generation strategy. By making your website faster, more responsive, and improving the structure, you can increase website traffic and increase leads.

What is technical SEO? It’s when you optimize the foundational elements of your website to improve its visibility in the search engines. This makes it easier for search engine crawlers to understand the structure and context of your site, meaning they can rank your pages for the right search terms.

Technical SEO covers:

  • Page load speed
  • Mobile-responsiveness
  • Broken links and redirects
  • Duplicate page content and canonicalization
  • Structured data (for example, Schema)

A site audit is a great start if you want to improve your technical SEO. Tools like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console can identify issues with your website, giving you the opportunity to fix them.

Google Analytics is also valuable for identifying high bounce rates on certain pages — this is an indicator that there may be a technical SEO problem.

Screaming Frog SEO Crawler

Monitor, track, and measure

SEO lead generation isn’t a “one-and-done” thing. It’s essential to monitor metrics, optimize pages, and keep on top of the latest trends and developments in digital marketing.

Proper tracking will allow you to identify which pages generate conversions and provide the best ROI for your business.

At HawkSEM, we have our own bespoke tool for monitoring lead generation SEO efforts.

“We use ConversionIQ (CIQ) to granularly track every single step of the buyer journey so we can understand what aspects of a lead generation campaign are working and where we should trim the fat,” shares Yadegar. “This allows us to optimize towards a higher ROI.”

He adds that tracking with CIQ provides more insight into a target audience. His team can take that data and use it on another marketing channel — such as paid search or social media — to further scale while maintaining profitability.

Combine SEO with other marketing channels

While SEO is fantastic for lead generation, it has disadvantages.

So how long does SEO take? SEO experts advise that it can take three to six months for SEO to start working optimally.

So combining SEO with other marketing channels can bring a steady flow of leads for your business.

PPC works well with SEO if your goal is lead generation. As an example, you can use Google Search Ads to promote your lead generation campaign while you wait for your SEO efforts to kick in.

Alternatively, you can set up retargeting ads to entice prospective customers to return to your website and convert.

Think outside of the box

Finally, thinking creatively can boost your SEO lead-generation prospects. Try things your competitors haven’t done or are unseen in your industry.

A great example is to partner up with a business that operates adjacent to yours. Let’s circle back to our project management platform. The company could guest post on the website that offers team chat functionality, or run a webinar with an accounting and budgeting tool.

Cassandra Gucwa, CEO and Founder at Menerva Digital, thought creatively to boost organic traffic and leads for one of her brands.

“We had a client that changed their brand name three times over five years and as a result, people were still searching for their old brand names,” says Gucwa.

They created landing pages for the client’s old brand names so that they could rank in organic search.

“Since the people searching for the old brand name were at the bottom of the sales funnel and ready to purchase,” Gucwa adds, “conversions on these pages were 82% higher than the site average.”

The benefits of using SEO for lead generation

So, why use SEO for lead generation over other marketing channels, like email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or social media?

Here are the advantages of using SEO for generating leads:

Most internet visits start in the search engines

Over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine. If you want to target prospective customers, it pays to establish a strong presence in Google, Bing, and other search engines that prospective leads use.

Your aim should be to appear on the first page of the search engine results, ideally in the top three. According to First Page Sage, the top three organic results (i.e. not PPC) in Google get nearly 70% of all the clicks. So if you’re looking for leads, it pays to get your SEO right.

You can target people at any stage of the sales funnel

Your searchers will be at different stages of the buying journey. While some will be ready to make a purchase right away, others will want to do additional research before they commit to your business.

In fact, according to Adobe and Marketo, half of all leads aren’t ready to buy.

The beauty of SEO is that it’s flexible. You can create content that targets your customer’s specific needs and interests, wherever they are in the sales funnel. If prospective customers aren’t ready to buy, you can get their attention and carefully nurture them until they’re good to go.

Let’s go back to our SaaS company selling project management software. How can we use SEO and lead generation to create content that targets people at the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel?

SEO lead generation strategy Example of content Example keywords
Top of funnel (TOFU) Create informational content that identifies pain points and shows there’s software that solves your customers’ problems. Blogs, white papers, and informational guides. “Project management tips for small businesses,” “How to streamline project communication”
Middle of funnel (MOFU) Create solution-oriented content that shows how you can solve customers’ problems and what you can offer that your competitors can’t. Case studies, product comparisons, and webinars. “Project management software for SMEs,” “Awesome Project Management vs. Competing Project Management”
Bottom of funnel (BOFU) Create transactional content that targets customers who are ready to buy from you. Landing pages and product pages. “Awesome Project Management pricing,” “Awesome Project Management reviews”

SEO is low-cost and has long-lasting effects

Another benefit of SEO is that it’s cost-effective. It’s particularly great for small businesses without a large marketing budget because keyword research, on-page SEO, and content creation can be done in-house easily.

It’s also a long-term investment. Unlike paid advertising, which stops working when you stop paying, SEO lead generation focuses on building organic visibility over time.

There are lots of free and low-cost digital marketing tools to optimize your website for SEO. Google Search Console is free to access — all you need to do is verify your site. The platform will provide your website rank for specific keywords, and point out technical SEO issues affecting your site’s performance.

According to HubSpot, SEO has the joint highest return on investment (ROI) of all marketing channels, even more than email marketing.

Bar chart showing which marketing channels have the highest ROI

The takeaway

Now you know how to use SEO lead generation to target potential customers on Google and Bing, wherever they are in the sales funnel.

Our final piece of advice — lead generation for SEO is a balancing act. You need to reconcile the need for quick lead generation with the long-term goal of building sustainable organic traffic. This means it’s vital to ensure a steady flow of potential leads through various SEO techniques.

If you’re still unsure how to harness the power of SEO lead generation or don’t have the time, a lead generation SEO company can help. At HawkSEM, we have years of experience generating high-quality organic leads for clients across a wide range of industries through search engine optimization techniques.

We helped Moneta Group gain organic visibility and attract qualified leads through a comprehensive local SEO campaign. As a result, we increased conversions by over 23% and grew organic keywords in the top three of Google by 164%.

Want to see how we can do the same for you? Get in touch today and take the first step towards transforming how you carry out SEO lead generation.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation