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seo lead generation
SEO-based lead generation – The Cornerstone technique 1024 536 Dr. Peter Kadas

SEO-based lead generation – The Cornerstone technique

You have probably heard the saying that ‘content is king.’ It’s a saying for a reason: content marketing is effective and profitable, and if you do it right, you can generate massive organic traffic from search engines.

Let’s dive deep into SEO lead generation.

In B2B marketing, you have almost no choice but to create high-end content consistently. But it is time-consuming and you may not know the right strategy. Frankly, it can be too much of a hassle.

I’m going to show you a technique that’s so effective it looks like a miracle. It will help you create a massive SEO based lead generation funnel that will grow into a money making machine. 🤑

SEO lead generation in practice

Let me introduce the Cornerstone technique, which relies on the most profound long-form content in a given field based on SEO principles.

Let me explain in detail.

First of all, why do we need it? Because with a mediocre 300-word article you will get nothing, certainly not ranking for a competitive keyword in the search engines. That’s why you need well-optimized quality long-form content that has tremendous value.

FYI: The optimum article size is around 2350 words, according to MOZ research. If anybody knows, it’s them.

The Cornerstone is the best of the best. The king 👑 of content marketing. With 2000+ words, it’s more of a novel than an article, and the quality needs to be outstanding.

The Cornerstone technique in a nutshell:

SEO

• Make it keyword optimized
• Include LSI* keywords
• Build backlinks

Value

• Research in advance (e.g. Buzzsumo)
• Make it the best content in its topic
• Include concrete & practical examples

Engagement

• Use micro-engagement options
• Use social sharing buttons
• Make your post memorable

Backup

• Write other posts related to your cornerstone
• Link these posts to your cornerstone
• Anchor text** should be the cornerstone keyword

The ultimate question

For the cornerstone to hold weight, it needs to be insightful, and ideally unique. Should we really share the valuable knowledge that we gathered over years of hard work? What about competitors? Isn’t it a bad idea?

Not really. Let’s see some arguments:

  1. If you really know your space, you know that even if you share today’s ultimate knowledge, it will be obsolete tomorrow. And your competitors will always be 1 or 2 steps behind you. 🏃🏻
  2. The content can generate credibility without any sales effort from your side. So you are saving money in the long run.
  3. Without high-quality SEO optimized content, you will have no chance to rank properly in Google results. Consistent content is among the main ranking factors in Google.

The step-by-step guide

 

#Keyword research

Either use the keyword tool from Google Ads or Ubersuggest, you should look for relevant words or short phrases that have solid monthly search volume (at least a couple of hundred, if not thousands).

PRO tip: Use Buzzsumo to find the most-shared content in any topic accessible on the Internet. It shows you the TOP content with the best social numbers. Using your chosen keyword plus this info, you’ll have a clue what you should write about.

#Publish it as a page

And not as a blog post. This is because Google ranks posts and pages slightly differently and the structure in your sitemap (that Google bots are scraping) is important. Publish your cornerstone as a page and your additional posts in blog post format.

#Design

It’s not easy to make your content stand out against everyone else’s. A text-only article will have little chance to excel. Make sure your content is both compelling and well-designed. Squared content, background colors, buttons, quotation marks, flip boxes and other eye-catching elements can definitely make a difference.

#Backlinks

The most important factor in SEO lead generation. Backlinks from high-authority sites (sites that are trusted by Google) can make or break your position. In order to get this kind of link to your site, you have to be proactive and reach out to bloggers and journalists to bring their attention to your valuable content.

Note: It won’t be the easiest task, but with proper techniques and communication it can be achieved. Start with the Tier 3 players, then go for the bigger players. Believe us, that works better than the other way around.

#Internal links

Don’t forget to link your own page(s) inside your cornerstone. You need to find at least one related post to link to. Usually, 2-3 internal links are enough.

PRO tip: Yoast SEO plugin has an awesome feature that recommends posts that you can link from the cornerstone based on their text analysis. Pretty cool.

#Updates

Cornerstones can generate leads for years if they are updated regularly. An update every 1-2 months can definitely help your ranking. An answer to a comment, a downloadable PDF or rephrasing of a section can be equally good.

#LSI keywords

It’s very important to include the so-called ‘LSI’ (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords in your cornerstone. I don’t have to mention that it is one of the main ranking factors. We generally use Ubersuggest to check these keywords.

#Social shares

How much is your content worth if it doesn’t have social engagement? Not too much. You always have to put a social sharing bar under your content because you have to enable users to share your stuff and spread the word. Always customize your bar, because if you have Google+ and Tumblr as sharing options, you will seem weird in 2018. 😐

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Email is a great and relevant combination of channels. We use Easy Social Share Buttons and we love it.

#Distribute

After you finish your cornerstone content, don’t expect the miracle to happen without proper distribution. You’ll need to pay for the boost. Target a relevant audience and craft some Facebook and/or LinkedIn ads.

Your goal is to generate ongoing traffic. At first, with paid campaigns, but later with organic traffic, if you do it right. We usually spend a couple hundred dollars per cornerstone in the first weeks, and then from time to time promote it again.

But in order to rank high enough to get impressions and clicks from searchers, you have to follow these rules and get backlinks from trusted sites (not from link farms or directories 🤖).

Our experiences with cornerstones

We usually write 1 cornerstone every 2 months. We’ve been doing this since January 2017 and 2 of our cornerstones bring us the vast majority of our leads.  As you can see, the organic traffic started to rise at the beginning of this year because of our consistent content strategy. Now, SEO lead generation is working like a miracle. We get between 40-60 leads per month.

organic traffic riseYou should also know that it takes weeks, if not months, to write a cornerstone well. 2-3 weeks are the minimum, and sometimes we work on a cornerstone for 5-6 weeks with many iterations. And we know how to write effectively. My partner is an award-winning blogger 🏆 and I also have 3 years of concentrated experience in content marketing.

Should you start?

If you have a B2B company and there is a lack of valuable content in your industry, you should definitely start. It will bring you credibility, a competitive advantage, and massive organic traffic in the long run.

Even if your field is full of high-quality content, you can still think about your options. If you have enough money to start, do it. It will pay off.

If you want to read more about lead generation techniques, we have other posts for you. Otherwise, best of luck, and tell us what you think in the comment section below. 💬

lead generation techniques
Lead generation techniques with B2B automation software 1024 536 Zsolt Farkas

Lead generation techniques with B2B automation software

When 7 Digits attended this year’s GrowthHackers Conference in San Diego, we heard a presentation that stuck in our heads and instantly knew that this will be the future of B2B marketing. It was about B2B lead generation techniques with high-level B2B automation software.

B2B marketing strategies are often ‘spray-and-pray’ type strategies. Marketers do something which is not measurable and they pray for the results.

With these high-tech solutions, this is not the case. Let’s see these B2B tools one by one.

B2B lead gen software

#1 MADKUDU

Madkudu uses predictive analytics in order to qualify incoming leads. What is really cool is that it sees the upsell potential when a user starts to use the platform.

It has 2 main features.

The first is a contact form that finds more context about the user who fills out the form and tells you whether you need to handle the user immediately or whether it’s not that urgent. So it prioritizes among the prospects.

The other feature is its ability to analyze the behavior of your current users. It can flag users who may be ready to convert, who could be receptive to upselling, and who might be thinking about cancelling your service. With this information, your sales team can act properly.

7 Digits uses the same lead generation techniques, but we did it manually before finding this solution.

madkudu software

#2 INTELLIMIZE

Intellimize is able to make personalized content recommendations. Using machine learning, it helps you show the content that each user will be most likely to read.

It declares war against conventional A/B testing.

It can tell you more quickly which test was more successful. Furthermore, it changes the test variants based on the characteristics of the audience on your website.

Let’s see an example. In the image below, you can see a normal A/B test. The variants run in parallel until some point where the software (we use Google Optimize) tells you which performed better. Let’s say ‘B’ got better conversion rates, so we stop ‘A’ and run B further.

normal a/b test

Intellimize says that the variants should run in parallel for a shorter length of time. Using machine learning, the algorithm then figures out what variant should be shown to whom. The ‘A’ variant will be shown for those who are more likely to engage with ‘A,’ and ‘B’ for users that might be more receptive to ‘B.’

It is almost ABM (Account Based Marketing), where everybody sees the content that will generate the highest chance of conversion.

What do we win with this whole thing? The lined parts of the graph. Because we will burn many fewer users than under a normal A/B test.

predictive a/B test

#3 DRIFT

Drift is a real pioneer in b2b lead generation examples and solutions. The know-how that they share on their blog is really valuable.

Let’s see an example. You send a newsletter, a subscriber of yours opens it, clicks through and arrives at your website. Here’s where the Drift knowledge comes in. The software recognizes her, so it can send her a personalized message, and it can even schedule a call with your enthusiastic blog reader.

Or let’s take another case. Somebody subscribed to your list and he starts to get emails from your pre-built sequence (we use Active Campaign or Drip).

After a while, he starts a conversation with your chatbot or schedules an intro meeting. In this case, the system unenrolls the user from the email sequence so he won’t get anything that is not dedicated to his stage in the sales funnel.

Drift does ABM as well. The software warns you if a big shark (prospect) arrives at your website and you can send him a PM in a chat message. On top of that, within the dashboard, you can monitor your sharks’ browsing activities while they are on your site. What they read, what they communicate with your bot, when they left, literally everything.

drift software

#4 DATANYZE

This software may be the biggest help to your sales team. The first cool feature is the technology tracking, which sends you a notification when a potential client adds any kind of add-on or software to their website or app, and when they remove it.

If you sell, e.g., CRM solutions, and you get notified that your potential customer just removed the competitor’s software, there is no better time to jump on the prospect.

PRO tip: On top of this, it allows you to run deep searches with several filtering options. For example, if you want to search for CEOs who (1) work for Cali companies (2) and use ‘X’ technology, you will immediately get the names and email addresses.

The other smart function is the predictive analytics. You connect your CRM, giving Datanyze access to your clients’ information and their technological background. Then the platform starts to look for companies in its database with 35 million hits that are similar to your clients.

What is it if not a prospect generator machine?

#5 CLEARBIT (CONNECT)

Clearbit is also great for B2B lead gen. But it has an add-on that every marketer needs. It is called Clearbit Connect. You can implement it in your Gmail account, and with its help, you’ll be able to find email addresses and social profiles for many professionals based on their company name and their position within that company.

clearbit connect 1
clearbit connect 2

For up to 100 searches, the add-on is free. So if you want to reach out, but you can’t find the email address of the target person on LinkedIn, it can be a great tool to use.

I used it when I did my research on digital marketing trends last year, and I found almost 160 email addresses out of the 200 I looked for.

Summary

Although all of these products can give you an edge when generating sales leads in B2B, lead generation software is just one part of the bigger picture.

If you are really a pro, you’ll place them into a system in which they can help each other and work with other lead generation techniques in parallel.

To set up a system like this is not the easiest task. These tools should align with the company culture and sales strategy, and you will need software-specific training as well.

On top of that, these tools will work only for companies who’ve already implemented the basics of B2B lead gen. Content marketing, well-targeted paid campaigns, segmented email sequences. These are just a few of the techniques that should be implemented at any company that takes B2B lead gen seriously.

Why? Content helps you to build credibility, distribution via paid channels helps you to reach your target market, and email is a great tool for multi-step lead nurturing.

If the foundation for excellent B2B sales is not solid, you will have some expensive software to play with without meaningful results.

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