4 Ways to Crush It at Lead Generation

A website should consistently be generating more leads than the quarter before. If it's not, here's how to better the odds and put some new life into those stagnant results.


Getting leads is hard work. No doubt.


Optimizing and redesigning a website is a popular choice in fixing the problem. Bolstering onsite calls-to-action (CTAs) and content offers is another. Fixing headlines and clarifying the value proposition is a good one, and some even go so far as to conduct user-testing.


Sometimes these options workout. Sometimes they don't. Either way, it's a daily struggle. Often times, the significant improvements just aren't there.


Worse, the market is getting more competitive every day. It doesn't really matter which market it is, they're all getting tougher. There are two scenarios. One, the website has been online for years and new competitors are popping up, stealing chunks of the market share. Two, the website is one of the new up-and-comers and it's struggling against the might of the incumbents.


So, how does a website get on top and stay on top? How does growth continue in the face of all these obstacles?


The traffic funnel must widen. Easier said than done, but not impossible. So what's the trick? Inbound Marketing, and the first step starts with meat and potatoes of it all - content marketing.



Step one: content marketing


Generating new and valuable content on a regular basis is the first step to getting more leads.


Eighty percent of decision makers prefer to learn about a solution through articles instead of ads. When consistent, content marketing can generate three times the number of leads compared to paid search.

Before setting off writing the first of many articles, some clear goals need to be set. Most content marketing initiatives fail because a defined goal isn't set.


"Define why you're creating content, who you're creating it for, and what you want to achieve," says Melanie Dizon.


Once the goals have been identified, content has been crafted to meet those goals, it's time for promotion.



Step two: digital advertising


In 2016, US digital ad spend reached $72.09 billion, representing 36.8 percent of U.S. total media ad spend. Those are staggering numbers.


Most businesses have either dabbled in or are currently active in paid digital advertising. However, many businesses fail to take advantage of the benefits PPC offers inbound marketing.


Inbound marketers have found success running PPC ads that feature their latest articles. This strategy helps them gain backlinks at a quicker pace than organic search.


"Imagine someone searching for your focus keyword and seeing both PPC results and SEO results," says Cynthia Meyer.


There's no quicker way to get new content in front of motivated buyers.



Step three: social marketing


Seems like a no-brainer, but utilizing and employing a social media marketing strategy is shockingly overlooked by too many businesses today.


Neglecting social media makes it likely a good portion of the entire potential market will be missed. According to a new IAB report, 26 percent of desktop users and 15 percent of mobile consumers use ad blockers. To top it off, search engine use is declining while the use of social networks is increasing.


Gary Vaynerchuk sums it up well. "When you start to really understand what social media is today [...] in 2017, you start realizing that social media is just the slang term for the current state of the Internet."

There are scores of books, videos and articles about different social media marketing strategies. Finding one that works with inbound marketing and employing that strategy is imperative.



Step four: link building


Social and paid are essential to success, but as great as they are, organic search can still hold the lion share of potential leads. Over one-third of organic clicks go to the top three positions inside Google search results.


Google has over 200 ranking factors it uses to rank a website. A website's backlink profile is one of the most important ranking factors Google considers.


To get into a valuable position in the SERPs, it is necessary to develop and deploy a long-term link building strategy. There are hundreds of different methods for building a backlink profile. It can be helpful experimenting with different methods to find the one that works best.


Tip: .EDU links are incredibly valuable and can boost a website's page-rank. Reaching out to an alma mater is a potentially easy win. Most universities and institutions will feature their alumni success stories. 



It's a process, not a menu


Odds are, most have tried one or two of the above steps, tested them and inevitably given up. They're given up due to poor results, results that were poor because each step is normally tried and done separately.


An effective inbound marketing strategy necessitates all parts working together as a whole.

When the digital advertising is in sync with social, and the social strategy is being fueled by the content marketing, and all three have a link building strategy in mind... well... that's an inbound marketing system primed to deliver all the leads any business can handle.