5 Proven SEO Strategies to Increase Traffic and Lead Conversions

SEO is a touchy subject. Like any aspect of the tech world, there are supporters, detractors, and those who say, "Bah, who needs it!" Here at Aspiration Marketing, we're firmly in the former camp in that we see SEO as a vital tool for any content marketing endeavor. Without a grounding in the fundamentals, there is simply no way your content will gain traction and bring you the organic traffic and conversions you're looking for.

Increase Traffic and Lead Conversions with SEO

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Hubspot recently released some new benchmarks for all things digital marketing; here are our key takeaways:

  • “Publish as much optimized content as possible." (emphasis ours) This comes from the intro to their study and sums up how we feel about content posting frequency. To move up the SERPs, post new, unique, relevant, and engaging content as often as your resources allow. And all of that content needs to be optimized.

  • 70-98% bounce rate for blog posts. That one surprised us, we'll be honest. It should tell you that bounce rate doesn't tell the whole story and that it may be time this metric moved down the scale of importance.

  • 1.5-5% CTR (click-through rate) for CTAs. Who are we to second-guess if an industry leader like Hubspot says a CTA click rate of under 5% is acceptable? When did you last click on a CTA in an email newsletter or blog post? Exactly. You likely still patronize those businesses, so don't let a lower-than-expected number here dissuade you from continuing with a campaign.

General Best Practices for Increasing Organic Traffic

Start with a solid baseline and research to get the basics right, on-page SEO and technical SEO, and establish a solid SEO foundation.

Perform an SEO audit for your website. Read your blog as if you were a first-time visitor. What stands out? Note what draws you in and what would send you away to look elsewhere. Then, do the same for your closest competitor's blogs. Take copious notes on what works, what doesn't, which posts seem too sales-y, and which air on the too-friendly-not-enough-information side.

Research, research, research

Then move on to keyword research. Brainstorm with your marketing team, sales team, and customer service team. Who knows your customers better than these groups, right? Prioritize the resulting list of keywords so you can narrow your focus for blog posts specifically. It can hurt your organic traffic if you overuse even the best and most appropriate keywords.

It's time to hit up your competitor's sites. Reread their blogs and landing pages; if you can sign up for a newsletter, read those too. Now, combine this with some keyword searches to see who's ranking higher. Note the keywords that seem to lean toward your competition.

You'll have to decide whether to target these keywords or specifically eliminate them from your target list. Both can be viable strategies, but it mainly depends on their resource budget vs. yours. If you think you can compete, go nose-to-nose. If not, targeting keywords they don't rank for will have more impact.

We've come to the point where you'll want to do more general SEO research. Use the SEO module in your CMS if it has one; otherwise, install a plug-in like Yoast SEO to analyze your site. Work your way through the resulting recommendations to ensure that your site is fully optimized. Work these practices into your blogging strategy going forward so all future pages will also be optimized. 

And now, it's time for the fun part, social media listening. This is a fancy marketing term for eavesdropping on your audience and competitors on social media. Using an account other than your corporate one, see what people are talking about. See what they're saying about you and the competition. And crucially, see what pain points they're talking about that you know your product/service can help with.

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Develop a Solid Content Strategy

This is a critical yet often overlooked piece of the organic traffic puzzle. As you work on the details of your fledgling strategy, some key aspects to be sure to include are:

Once you have an outline, it's time to lay out some SMART goals for your content (we already know growing organic reach and traffic, and lead generation, here we're talking specifics). We talk a lot about SMART goals here, and there's a simple reason for that: there is no better way to ensure your goals are, in fact, smart ones. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. If your goals adhere to this rubric, you know they're also actionable and will bring results.

Your strategy also needs to include a regular blogging schedule. We've already written at length on this subject, so for today, we will leave it with this summary: 2-4 posts per week, including some energy put into rehabbing older posts to increase their evergreen draw.

If your content marketing doesn't yet maximize SEO benefits with Social Media, it's not a complete content marketing strategy. There is simply no better way to publicize your content, engage followers, and interact with customers, both new and potential. 

Let's bounce back to keywords for a moment. Using readily available tools like Google Adwords, Trends, and Ad Console, combined with third-party offerings like MOZ, Spyfu, and Ahrefs, you can narrow the universe of possible keywords to those most likely to resonate with your audience. Use the results of your earlier keyword research, too. Then, whittle that list down to a top 10, then a top 5, and set about working them naturally into your posts. Title tags, subheaders, meta descriptions, image alt-text, and body copy are all available as locations to work your keywords and keyphrases into.

Existing Customers: A Powerful Ally in the Hunt for Traffic

And finally, in all this rush to bring in new traffic, readers, and customers, don't neglect your current customer base. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, especially considering it's technically free. Send your contact list valuable coupons, special offers, holiday greetings, etc. And be sure to include a "share with your friends" style message alongside those offers. People trust people, especially when they already know them. So, these efforts will be rewarded with increased read rates, site visits, and, best of all, new leads.

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Jesse hails from Seattle, WA. When he's not creating great content or staring at his laptop screen waiting for inspiration, he's probably walking in the trees somewhere in the foothills of the nearby Cascade Mountains.

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