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How to Use Content and Search Engines to Get Qualified Leads Online

This week, McKinley asked Ronan Keane to be our guest blogger.  Here’s what he had to say:

Google loves published content. Text on blogs, videos on YouTube.com, pictures on Flickr.com, and audio on Odeo.com.  Google loves it all. They are in the business of indexing all the published content on the World Wide Web because companies and individuals are looking for information and content every minute of every day.

That’s why your company’s content (and lots of it) needs to be in the search results when your prospective customers look for information on the Web about a product or service you provide.  For example, your prospects may be in different phases of their purchasing decision.  They may be doing preliminary research or fact finding, but whatever information they’re looking for, you can be certain they’re using Google and Yahoo to find it.

In this two-part blog post I’m going to explain how you can use Google and Yahoo to drive qualified prospects to your website and fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads.

Here are 5 steps you can use to save money and beat the competition.

In 100 words or less, write down what you’re selling and why someone should buy from you. This is called your USP or unique selling proposition.  It can also be used as your elevator pitch.

I’ll use my own USP as an example:

I provide Search Engine Marketing (SEM) services to Fortune 1000 companies.  SEM is a combination of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click advertising (PPC).  I’ve had 100% success using SEO to get my clients on page one of Google and Yahoo in organic results and increased my clients’ marketing ROI using PPC advertising.

You’ll use your USP for all the content you develop.  It is part of the positioning formula you should use as you develop and publish new content.

Identify your top three prospects and briefly describe why they need your product or service and how you’ll help them.  I’ll use my top three prospects as an example:

  1. Marketing Managers
  2. Vice President of Sales
  3. Small Business Owners

What they need and how I help them:

Marketing Managers

  • Marketing Managers need brand recognition and an increased sales lead pipeline.
  • I will place their brand name with their product and services consistently on page one of Google and Yahoo.

Vice President of Sales

  • VPs of Sales need more qualified prospects to close sales more quickly.
  • I will drive qualified visitors to their website via specific keywords used on search engines thereby qualifying their prospects.

Small Business Owners

  • Small business owners need more customers.
  • I will get their website on page one of Google and Yahoo for their product or services name along with geographic coordinates and other Local Search techniques thereby driving more visitors to their website.

Each of your prospects move through what is called a “buy cycle”.  That’s a fancy name for how your prospects decide who to buy from and what product or solution they need.  For example, if you’re a company that sells point-of-sale software to national grocery stores you’ll know that often it’s a purchasing manager’s responsibility to identify software vendors.  Before making a buying decision, the purchasing manager will search for information and find different content in various formats.

The purchasing manager’s “buy cycle” would look like this:

  1. Where do I get information?
    What point-of-sale software is on the market?Action:
    for information about point-of-sale software using Google and Yahoo.
  2. What information is available?
    Where on the Web can I find the best information about point-of-sale software?Action:
    information on experts’ blogs, in free e-books, and reports using Google and/or Yahoo.
  3. Who has the best information?
    Which point-of-sale software vendor has the best content to make the purchase easy for me?Action:
    Identify top point-of-sale software companies, read their content and contact the best one.

I italicized the action step within each part of the “buy cycle.”  As you can see, search engines play a significant role in the “buy cycle” as illustrated in steps 1 and 2. The purchasing manager relies on search engines to help them do their job more effectively.  Research shows that the purchasing manager will regard the results on page one to be the best results because they trust Google and Yahoo.  Research also shows that people don’t click to page two if they don’t see what they’re looking for, but instead change their search query.

On Friday, in part two of my post, I’ll take you through the final two most important steps to getting more qualified leads on the Web.

About the author: Ronan Keane is president and founder of UpClick Marketing (www.upclickmarketing.com), a search engine marketing and social media company dedicated to its clients’ success on the Web.

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by McKinley Marketing Partners