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Part 2 – How to Use Content and Search Engines to Get Qualified Leads Online

This week, McKinley asked Ronan Keane to be our guest blogger.  On Wednesday, we posted the first half of his two-part blog post.  Here’s the second half:

The following two steps outline the types of content to publish and how to increase the number of prospects that contact you from your website or blog.

For you to increase the number of qualified prospects visiting your website, or other Web outposts like your blog, you need to develop content in the form of valuable information that aligns with your prospective customers’ “buy cycle”.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Use WordPress to create a blog and post answers to questions your prospects are asking. Tell your customers about your blog and promote it on Technorati.com. Unlike a website, publishing content like articles and videos on a blog is quick and easy.
  2. Poll your blog visitors using an easy to install blog plug-in, then publish the results and write a press release.
  3. Become a thought leader by summarizing your industry’s news and giving your opinion on your blog.
  4. Interview a well-known person in your industry and put your interview on your blog.
  5. Write a short PDF e-book and give it away for free on your website and promote it on social media websites like Digg.com and Technorati.com.
  6. If you’re not camera-shy, post short, regular videos on your blog or website and upload them to YouTube.com and Vimeo.com.
  7. Write a short report about your industry and post it on your blog. Give it away for free and collect email addresses for marketing efforts.
  8. Write search engine optimized press releases pertaining to your business and put them on Digg.com.
  9. Take photos of your product or your place of business, or screenshots of your software and put them on Flickr.com.
  10. Repurpose all your content. Turn your report into a video using PowerPoint and Camtasia. Turn your e-book into a series of articles and distribute them on social media news websites.

Unless you’re creating new content frequently, the search engines won’t index you as much as you want them to. If you publish often, all your new content will get re-indexed on Google and Yahoo very quickly. But that’s not to say your content will be in the top results on Google or Yahoo. For that to happen, you’ll need to perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO). After you’ve performed SEO, your prospects will begin to see your website, your blog, report, or e-book in their search results.

Step 5
Performing SEO is critical for all websites that want new traffic. Without it, your website may as well be a small Tahitian island in the south Pacific to your prospects that are in the next town, county, city or your own industry. If they don’t ever see your website when they search on Google or Yahoo, then what’s the point?

SEO is the practice of identifying what search terms your prospects are using on Google and Yahoo to find products and services your company or business sells or offers. An SEO services company takes the most valuable keywords from the search terms and places them strategically on your website and in your content.

The last and most important part of step 5:

This step in many ways is the easiest because all you need to do is give your prospects an easy way to contact you. Put an 800 number in big type at the top of every web page. Put a short contact form at the bottom of every web page. Invite responses to your blog posts and tell people to bookmark your blog and website. Become more transparent in how you communicate online and engage your customers and prospects by inviting them to respond to your content.

Remember the old adage that content is king. It’s even more true on the Web. Think less about marketing and more about publishing when it comes to the Web and search engines. Publish relevant content often and you’re on your way to owning the top spot on Google and Yahoo, and your prospects’ clicks.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree or have something to add? If you’ve got a question or comment I’d love to hear from you.

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.

by McKinley Marketing Partners