4 Ways To Boost Ecommerce Lead Generation Using Content

Lead generation, nurturing, conversion and retention are key to business survival and growth. Hence, how to get more leads is a leading concern facing 63% of marketers today.

This is understandable as no business can survive without customers and sales. Therefore, learning how to generate more qualified leads should be one of your biggest priorities.

Savvy eCommerce marketers who can spot buy signals ten miles away know whether and when to make the move, and how to move prospects into (repeat) paying customers.

In this article we break this process down into 4 actionable tips you can apply right away to grow your eCommerce lead generation in 2018 using content. But before that,

WHAT IS LEAD GENERATION?

Lead generation refers to all the marketing/sales activities that help to generate leads or collect relevant customer information.

THE 2C’s OF LEAD GENERATION

Source: hireme2writeit

First there has to be a connection (with your business or offer) before collection can occur.

The more information you’re able to collect the more you’re able to connect and customize your products, services or solutions to prospect’s needs,

WHAT IS A LEAD?

According to Lindsay Kolowich, essentially a sale lead is generated through information collection.

When eCommerce website visitors for instance sign up or supply their email addresses or other contact details, they become leads because they have shown interest. These leads sign up or subscribe for various reasons, some to buy, some to spy or window shop.

TYPES OF SALES LEADS

Depending on interest and intent, there are three main types of leads viz:

  1. Hot: Budget, Authority, Need and Timing are all on point
  2. Warm: One or two of Budget, Authority, Need and Timing do not align
  3. Cold: Two or more of Budget, Authority, Need and Timing are out of sync.

The most qualified leads are those who have the means, might and mind to pay.

Once leads are identified and properly qualified, they’re either dropped, kept in view or further placed into sales pipeline.

LEAD GENERATORS

Depending on your ecommerce business model, there are many ways to generate leads some of which include:

  • Advertisement
  • Subscriptions
  • Email Marketing
  • Direct Mailing
  • Trade Shows
  • Word of Mouth
  • Networking
  • Product reviews
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine
  • Competitors
  • Opt-in forms
  • Surveys, Polls, Questionnaires
  • 3rd Party Vendors, etc.

Now we take a look at how to become better lead generators.

4 WAYS TO BOOST ECOMMERCE LEAD GENERATION USING CONTENT

1. CONTENT MARKETING

Most ecommerce businesses are yet to tap into content marketing as a lead generation strategy.

The 5 W’s of Content Marketing below will help you improve your content marketing efforts via blogging.

Source: hireme2writeit

Before creating any piece of content answer the following questions:

WHO: is your ideal lead?

WHY: are you blogging, for lead generation or nurturing?

WHEN: will you be posting, daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly?

WHERE: and where will you be promoting your articles?

WHAT: results are your lead generation, nurturing efforts via
blogging bringing in?

According to Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B companies use content marketing. Similarly, in 2016, 85% of B2B marketers said lead generation was their main content marketing goal while 79% of B2B c-suite finds their content through blogs.

A good content mix should contain text, infographics, video, GIFs.

LEAD GENERATION POTENTIAL:

Marketers who blog consistently will receive 126% more leads.

2. SEARCH ENGINE

One of the biggest SEO benefits of consistent blogging is showing up in SERP like Google’s.

PinPoint Market Research and Anderson Jones found that 93% of B2B buying processes begin with an internet search. Similarly, number of daily Google searches stands at 3.5billion or 40, 000 per second. Without consistent blogging you’ll be missing out on organic lead generation for your e-business.

Interestingly, serpIQ.com found that average number of words for content in Google’s number 1 spot was 2, 416 as seen below:

Source: Alecan Marketing

Longform content ranks higher in search results from 1st to 10th positions.

Consistent, relevant, helpful, well promoted blog posts/content increase your chances of showing up on SERPs.

LEAD GENERATION POTENTIAL:

70% of US B2B Marketers use organic search as lead generation strategy.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA

Reports indicate there are currently 2.46 billion social media users worldwide, projected to hit 3.02 billion by 2021.

Source: Statista

This is a goldmine for savvy marketers even as more and more users are beginning to buy into social commerce in a bid to up their social commerce marketing game.

Relevant content is one major way to engage social media users. Amazingly serpIQ.com also found that longform content is beginning to click with users.

Below is a chart showing number of shares vs article length on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Alecan Marketing

From search to social there is no doubt that content is key to lead generation.

In fact 64% of B2B marketers reportedly generated leads via LinkedIn, 49% via Facebook and 36% via Twitter.

LEAD GENERATION POTENTIAL (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter):

149% viz LinkedIn 64%, Facebook 49%, Twitter 36%.

4. EMAIL

Email as a marketing tool and lead generator has held its own year on year. In 2015, 38% of UK respondents admitted to checking emails several times a day.

59% of B2B Marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue with ROI as high as $44 per dollar spent.

As expected, US e-mail marketing spending is expected to reach over three billion by 2019 according to Statista with 48% of US companies set to increase email marketing spending, 48% maintaining status quo and only 2% set to decrease e-mail marketing spend in 2017.

Source: MarketingCharts.com

As with blogging, search and social, email is content driven; can drive engagement, lead nurturing and conversion.

Email personalization is a great way to connect with prospects and leads alike, they reward the extra effort put into personalization.

LEAD GENERATION POTENTIAL:

73% of US B2B marketers across different industries say email is their most preferred means of lead generation as seen in chart above.

CONCLUSION

Strategically implementing each or any of these methods can help grow lead gen for your eCommerce or even other businesses.

Zhou Youguang Google doodle honors Chinese linguist known as the ‘Father of Pinyin’


Today’s Google doodle pays homage to the Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang on what would have been his 112th birthday.

Youguang helped create the Chinese phonetic alphabet called Pinyin. He spent three years developing the system of ‘spelled sounds’ that led to the international standard for Romanized Chinese — earning Youguang the title, “Father of Pinyin.”

“The new system transformed China’s literacy rate, providing more natural passage into the written language, which requires mastering thousands of characters,” writes Google on the Google Doodle blog, “It bridged multiple Chinese dialects with its shared designations of sound. Today, schoolchildren learn Pinyin before characters, and it is often used to input characters on smartphones and computers.”

Google says without Youguang’s efforts, phonetic translations of the Chinese language would have never have existed, “The world would still be referring to Beijing as Peking, and to Chongqing as Chungking.”

The animated doodle highlights Youguang’s work by flipping the Os within Google’s name from Pinyin (Gǔgē) to Chinese characters (谷歌) and leads to a search for “Zhou Youguang.”

Google shared the following early drafts of the Zhou Youguang doodle designed by doodler Cynthia Yuan Cheng:

In addition to the three years Youguang spent standardizing Chinese dialects, he authored more than 40 books and translated the Encyclopedia Britannica into Chinese.

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Search Engine Land’s Community Corner: Holiday retail results, Search Engine Land Awards and more

I hope you’ve had a great week as the new year truly kicked into gear.

Calling all incredible search marketers (psst, that’s you)! Entries for this year’s Search Engine Land Awards are now open! Our fourth annual awards event will be held at SMX Advanced in Seattle this June. With more than 25 categories across the various disciplines of SEO and SEM, the entire industry is invited to participate. Stay tuned, as we will be showcasing past winners and sharing what makes a great Search Engine Land Awards entry.

Thank you to all who contributed to our Holiday Retail Survey. If you haven’t had a chance to participate, there is still time. Take the survey here. We will be sharing the results during our Holiday Retail Search Strategies webinar on Thursday, January 18. Register to learn from Aaron Levy, Brad Geddes and Elizabeth Marsten in a look at overall results of the shopping season.

Have some industry or community news you want to share? Drop us a note at community@searchengineland.com!

Our own Barry Schwartz continues his “Honor an SEO/SEM” series at his blog, and this (and last) week’s honored nominees included:

Casie Gillette Casie has amazing SEO and content marketing know-how, she is extremely talented at her job, and she is able to share that talent with her colleagues through so many different forms of media. Learn more about Casie.

Marty Weintraub Founder of AimClear, Marty is a spitfire known for his contagious energy and willingness to share his wealth of knowledge. Melissa Fach nominated Marty saying, “What Marty has done for this industry is known, but the best part of Marty is his heart.” Get to know Marty.

Gabriella Sannino Gabriella, owner of San Francisco-based Level343, is a sailor, which means she is my kind of people. Gabriella is a prolific sharer of knowledge on international SEO and marketing topics. Learn more about Gabriella.

Matt Umbro Matt is best known to the paid search community as the founder of the weekly Twitter chat, PPCChat, which has become the go-to hashtag for PPC marketers. Kirk Williams and Mark Kennedy nominated Matt, citing his foundational contributions to the community. Find out what Matt loves about the SEM community.

JP Sherman Manager of search and findability at RedHat, JP was nominated by Andrew Optimisey, in part for his insatiable curiosity and incredible generosity, whether it be with other SEOs or the developer community. Learn more about JP.

Elisabeth Osmeloski and I have been coworkers and friends for the better part of a decade. Working together to grow the Third Door Media brands with such a talented colleague has been incredible. Read about why Carrie Hill nominated Elisabeth and agrees, “You’re the best.”

Wil Reynolds Founder of Seer Interactive (2002), Wil has spent the past 15 years steadily growing a large, successful SEO agency. With over 100 employees to lead, he also finds time to support and volunteer in local Philly charities. Learn more about Wil.

Pamela Lund is one of those industry veterans who keeps a pretty low profile and is content to focus on the brands she helps grow vs. promoting her own. Her focus on business and helping others in business is what makes her one of our industry’s most valuable players. I heartily concur with Akvile DeFazio, who nominated Pam and notes, “We’re fortunate to have her and her expertise in our industry.” Get familiar with this hidden gem here.

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SearchCap: Videos on Google My Business, SEO reports & search pics

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:

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Google My Business video uploads now available to business owners

Allyson Wright from the Google My Business team announced today that the video upload feature we saw being tested is now available for business owners in the Google My Business dashboard.

Business owners can “view videos added by customers and upload videos about their business for customers to view,” she said. The video maximum length is 30 seconds, and after a video is uploaded, it can take up to 24 hours for it to be visible on the business listing in Google Maps or the local web search results.

Merchants should soon have the ability to flag inappropriate videos through their dashboard, and Google also promises mobile support in the future.

To add video to your business, go to the Google My Business dashboard and click on the “photos,” then select the “video” link at the top. After it loads, select the option to “Post Videos.”

Drag and drop the video to the box.

The video will begin uploading.

After the video is uploaded, it can take some time for the video to process and show up in your view.

Allyson from Google added these details:

  • Videos will appear in the overview tab of the Google My Business Dashboard.
  • Customer uploaded videos can be found in the “customer” tab.
  • Merchant uploaded videos can be found in the “by owner” tab.
  • All videos can be viewed together in the “videos” tab.
  • After upload, it could take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear. Once live, they will display where local photos do.

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4 reports you can pull from Ahrefs that you didn’t know existed

Author’s note: Besides being a customer of Ahrefs, I have no affiliation with the tool, and this is not a paid article.

Ahrefs is a robust SEO toolset that is popular among search professionals — yet many are not using it to its fullest potential. There are so many nooks and crannies in Ahrefs that it can take a while to learn everything it has to offer.

The following lesser-known Ahrefs reports can provide useful data which can help you with your link building and content strategy.

URL Rating distribution report

Hidden in the bottom right corner of the Overview page, this report provides an at-a-glance view into a website’s backlink profile.

Each link pointing to your site has a URL Rating from 1 to 100 — the higher the number, the higher the link quality. In this report, Ahrefs groups a domain’s backlinks by URL Rating (in 10-point increments), providing insight into the quality of its inbound links.

url distribution ahrefs

This report is helpful for evaluating competitors’ sites or even potential link-building providers you might be partnering with. Major brands will likely have a large number of low-quality links due to link spam, which is not usually their fault. However, if it’s a small to medium-sized site that doesn’t have many high-quality links, that may be an indicator of their overall link quality.

Whether you are using this information to evaluate a competitor or to work on a client, the URL Rating distribution report gives you a good overview of a site’s backlink profile quality.

Best pages by links’ growth

Found in the left-hand side navigation, this report can help you find content that may be growing in popularity. This is important because you can focus on these pages for link building, as Google already sees natural link growth and considers it as one of the many factors that go into SERP position. Focusing on the pages that are getting traction with backlinks is simply keeping the snowball rolling down the hill.

backlink growth report

This report can help you with your content strategy, too. By knowing which pages are getting the most backlinks, you can create more high-quality pages centered on topics your audience is linking to. This idea of working with your audience, rather than trying to make content work that just isn’t resonating with them, makes your content creation process a lot easier.

Lost Backlinks report

A lot of link builders go after competitor or industry-related broken links on external websites, but they fail to monitor their own lost opportunities. The lost links report (which has a calendar view followed by a list) allows you to find sites that were linking to you that may have removed the links.

In the calendar view, the green counts gained links and red counts lost ones.

lost links calendar view

As you view the list under the calendar, you can see where your lost links were coming from, which may give you insight into why they disappeared. Some lost links are understandable, like an awards or sponsors page that got updated to the current year. But some may have been lost due to an error, potentially making it worth your while to inquire about why your link was removed.

For instance, if you see that a guest post lost its link (which was agreed upon when you submitted the post they published), it might be worth asking the site owners or editors what happened. This can help you gain back some of your own lost backlinks that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Backlink Anchors report

This report on anchor text for backlinks shows you what text other sites are using when linking to your domain.

link anchor text

The Backlink Anchors report for outdoor recreation retailer, Cabela’s

By knowing how others are referring to your site, you can better target external pages for link building and also optimize existing pages to include the anchor text terms (where applicable).

This data can also give you content ideas. Let’s say there are a few websites linking to a product page on your site, but instead of calling the product by its official name, they are using a different term. If your audience is referring to products by alternative names, then adding content in product descriptions or in blog posts with those alternative words may help your audience find you.

For instance, in the screen shot above, you can see that the retailer has 48 backlinks with the anchor text of “turkey call” which is an all-encompassing term, as there are different types of turkey call devices. Instead of only having product pages for specific devices, their main product page is optimized for “turkey call,” since that is what most customers call it, no matter what its actual specific type may be.

What’s your favorite report?

No matter what insight you are hoping to glean from Ahrefs, these reports are just a sampling of the useful data available to help inform link building, SEO and content strategy. The most successful SEOs know that knowledge is power, and by utilizing all the data available to us, we can make more informed decisions for our clients and ourselves.

All screen shots taken January 2018.

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5 New Productivity Apps to Manage Your To-Do List and Get Things Done

Productiity Apps

The best productivity app will always be whatever works for you. So if you haven’t found your ideal version yet, keep checking out new ones like these five new apps. One of these might just make you more productive than ever before. Apps are all about productivity methods, from simple task lists to time-tracking techniques. It can also help to walk on the wild side and go for a weird app that somehow works for you. This list has a bit of each to hopefully make you get things done. 1. Juleap (Web): Simple Mix of Calendar and To-Do List…

Read the full article: 5 New Productivity Apps to Manage Your To-Do List and Get Things Done

The Most Exciting Pet Gadgets Of CES 2018

In addition to being the year of the smart home, 2018 is the year of connected gadgets for your pet. After all, who says wearables and other connected devices are reserved for humans? A dog or cat is just like a member of the family. It only makes sense that tech companies would target our love for them with connected pet toys. If there’s something you regularly use for your dog or cat, there’s probably a smart version at CES. Actijoy Pet Tracking System Just like people, dogs can be overweight. If you leave food out all day, your dog will…

Read the full article: The Most Exciting Pet Gadgets Of CES 2018