Being able to generate leads online is an important part of digital marketing, regardless of the industry that you are in. This makes it an incredibly important element of your business to focus on at any scale – but that does not make it easy to manage.

Knowing how to generate leads online takes a combination of luck and skill, as well as some very in-depth planning and forethought. If you want your lead generation process to produce high-actuality leads, then you need to develop a digital marketing strategy that can support your lead generation efforts.

Working leads often requires a detailed understanding of how the entire lead process works, including the kind of leads you are looking for and where you will be able to find them within your own target audiences. Getting leads online takes more than just basic marketing.

There are a lot of internet lead generation tactics out there to choose from, and finding a good combination of lead options can overhaul your entire digital marketing structure.

When you need new leads, it is important to find the strategies that work best for your business.

What are Leads?

A lead is any potential customer with an interest in something you offer. They could have been brought in by your online marketing or social media presence or just be a random website visitor. Either way, they have a chance of entering your buying process and becoming a customer.

This does not mean that all leads are a guaranteed sale. Gathering potential leads online also requires you to target them with digital marketing and promotional methods so that they will actually engage with your sales funnel.

When you generate leads through online marketing, you still need to secure them as sales. There is always a chance that a lead could leave for a competitor or end up turning away from your business due to a fault in your website.

A lead is simply somebody with an interest in what you offer, and you need to capitalize on that interest.

Common Lead Generation Strategies

There are a lot of ways to approach internet lead generation, especially if you are still trying to build your own lead generation strategy from scratch. This means that the same basic strategies are often the best starting point, providing consistent lead generation benefits as a safety net.

Business leads are different across all industries, as well as the companies within them and their target audiences. No two businesses are going to follow the same internet lead generation strategies, and that means that you need to find a solution for your business specifically.

Remember that even “traditional” lead generation options are not always the best ones to use. Sometimes internet lead generation requires outside-the-box thinking to get your own leads, especially if your best potential prospects are in an incredibly specific niche.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) provides a very effective and free tool for trying to approach lead generation.

SEO allows you to improve your placement in search engine results, offering far more flexibility than other kinds of online advertising.

Using SEO, you can gather new leads while also improving your own website and overall online presence. This makes it much easier to find leads online without paying hundreds of dollars to get them into your marketing funnel.

SEO is all about getting your business in front of the right people at the right time, using a range of simple keyword systems and complex services to provide completely free marketing.

What is SEO?

When you do a Google search, your site is positioned in search results based on various ranking factors. By optimizing their website for specific keywords and search terms, a business owner can add significant value and traffic to their website.

Through SEO, you can make sure that your site comes up higher in the Google search results, giving you high-quality leads and more qualified clients overall. You also have a lot more control over which terms you are ranking for, meaning that you can capture prospective buyers in a range of niche markets.

Keywords

Keyword research is the core of SEO, showing you which keywords your site ranks for, which ones it does not, and which keywords your target audience uses most often. This gives you an easy way to gather more website visitors from your business niche.

The best way to approach SEO, especially as a new business, is by using keyword research to pick out popular terms that are related to your business. Then, you can use them to attract leads within your target audiences.

Choosing the right keywords will push you higher in search engine results and improve your internet lead generation, all without costing your digital marketing budget all that much.

Backlinks

If a prominent site links to your own, then you get some of that site’s “authority” – a measurement of overall ranking power. This boosts your own SEO overall, especially if the link has relevant anchor text and is embedded in related content.

This means that building links between sites can improve your SEO, earn more free leads for your business, and build brand awareness incredibly fast.

Metadata

Metadata dictates how your website appears in search result listings, meaning that you can generate more leads with only a few tweaks. Good titles and meta descriptions distinguish yourself early on and push customers towards your sales funnel.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is all about creating content for the purpose of trying to generate leads. This is a very powerful form of digital marketing that allows you to earn new leads simply by having good content on your website, such as important resources or useful blog posts.

There are a huge amount of ways to create worthwhile content, from videos to simple blog snippets. Industry research, educational content, visually-appealing product breakdowns, or even pages for networking events – all of them can draw attention.

The more traffic you have coming in, the more opportunities you have to secure new customers as an online lead. You can also gain access to marketing data through a lead form, like a sign-up sheet or a newsletter registration form.

Blog Posts

Blogs are especially useful for getting eyes on your website, allowing you to take customers away from other businesses while breaking out into your own niche. A good blog post can draw in a lot of attention quite quickly if you make it valuable to your audience.

Creating informative blogs will draw in people who have an interest in that kind of blog content, meaning that many will become active leads the moment that they arrive.

Another option is a regular blog post schedule over a long period of time. This could be regular updates about the company, additional context for social media posts, or even casual blog posts from an employee.

Not only that, many of these will appear on search engine result pages since each post will generally be its own page. This means that you can earn more free leads simply by varying up your blog posts or writing content that answers common questions about your field.

Site Content

Website content may not always draw in more leads, but it can help you secure qualified leads by offering them something when they visit your site. Creating something unique and new is easy, but making it worth reading is tough at first.

Some industries are full of new blogs, while others only have a few niche blogs. Either way, supplementing your blogs with additional website content as a whole is a great idea since it can get more free leads while also providing better capture and conversion rates for your existing leads.

Inserting Keywords

If you want more leads for a certain niche, insert more keywords into existing pages and content. Keywords can help you rank higher for specific search terms and draw in more attention from related audiences, giving you a lot more control over who you target.

Doing this lets you generate extra leads from the same content you have always been using, as well as newer content that you originally planned to post without any defined keywords.

Calls-To-Action

A good call-to-action can be a useful element in all kinds of lead generation scenarios and strategies. Adding it to any kind of content is going to give you some major benefits, especially if the content is already getting a lot of traffic.

Site Improvements

SEO often thrives when your website is fully updated. This means giving off a good first impression, keeping your website fully functional, and making sure that there are no mistakes in how your site is designed.

A bad site only hampers your ability to get leads since new leads may simply turn to another site if they do not feel that they can trust your website. This damages your SEO, your online perception, and even the overall strength of your site as a whole.

If a visitor likes your site enough to trust it, then they have a higher chance of converting into a customer.

Performance

Loading times and site slowdown can be a serious problem when you want to gather high-quality lead options on a constant basis.

Most audiences only wait 2-3 seconds for a site to process a request or load a page before changing to a different platform. This can lose you a sales-qualified online lead that was already in the sales funnel.

The worse your site performs, the harder it becomes to nurture and qualify leads. The average visitor will not become a customer if they can’t even use your site well, especially if it is no fault of their own and they are simply having trouble using any features.

Mobile Functionality

Potential customers often come from a range of platforms, and that means that any given paying customer may be using a mobile device. If your site can’t support that kind of device, that is a lot of free leads that you will simply never be able to claim.

Some companies make an entirely separate mobile site, while others use responsive designs that can scale to work on any kind of device. Either way, you need some solution for a mobile-unfriendly website because that cuts out a lot of your potential business options.

Either way, not having a mobile-friendly website is terrible for lead generation. Mobile users make up a huge percentage of the market, and without them backing up your business, it can become increasingly difficult to get more lead generation opportunities.

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be a massive part of your lead generation process, but small businesses might struggle to find the budget for a lot of ads. If you can find the right ad structure, then they become one of the best ways to market yourself to any audience.

Paid advertising requires a whole digital marketing tool setup and a deep understanding of how you should approach your target market. If done correctly, you can get far greater benefits than traditional print advertising and a much stronger online presence.

Advertising

Paid advertising is possible on almost any online platform. Advertising yourself effectively can build brand awareness, earn your site more traffic, promote important products, and contribute heavily to your online lead generation results.

Using ads to direct users to your site and sales funnel is the core of digital marketing with paid ads.

While it can take some time to build up a good strategy, you can tailor your ads to target interested parties and generate more leads related to your business, placing ads across a range of platforms to drum up new business.

Social Media

Social media is an invaluable way of generating leads and one of the best platforms to promote yourself on as a business. Not only can you find potential leads just by posting on the platform, but most social media platforms have extra ways to promote yourself through paid social media marketing systems.

Social media also allows for easier communication with your customers, either through replies or direct messages. This means that customers can ask you questions, talk to your sales team directly, or even make a purchase thanks to social media channels – and you can approach them yourself if you want to cold-call anybody with an interest in your business.

Social media platform followers can be a great source of quality leads, and social platforms are a great free tool for boosting your own lead generation efforts. They also cost effectively nothing to maintain and do not necessarily need to be run by a dedicated social media specialist within smaller companies.

A lot of social media platform sites offer ways to promote your own posts as if they were ads. This is a great way to put your business in front of new audiences and markets without having to rely on search engines, often at a cheaper overall price.

You can usually use similar customization options to search ads, meaning that you get to use keyword and demographics systems to point out the audiences you want to target. This makes promoted posts a major part of your marketing efforts and a step above the free tools most social platforms provide.

Natural Leads

Social media channels will also be good for gathering more attention as a whole since everything you post there is public and spreads based on hashtags and keywords. Having a social account is always better than not having one at all.

Remember that social media channels often appear as separate results in Google searches. This means that, under the right circumstances, you could fill all three top spots with sites and pages related to your business.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is tricky, but it can be deceptively powerful. If you want to generate leads directly, then cold-calling somebody with an email marketing funnel can often secure interest among audiences that would not ever have come back to your business.

This usually means that you will end up targeting people who have already given you their information, such as site visitors who signed up for your newsletter and forgot. If you are aiming for conversion rate optimization, then this can be a great way to catch users who slipped away the first time you tried to market to them.

Email Targeting

Emails can be personalized according to a list of customer details, which provides you with a lot of ways to appease the audience you are aiming for. This kind of targeting can make it a much more effective marketing option than many people realize.

There are a lot of ways to gather data like this, from an opt-in form to a newsletter registration system. Having some system on your site that allows you to gather visitor information (with their consent) can make your email marketing list even longer.

The more data you have, the more opportunities you can capture. It is always good to learn as much as you can about your audience, email information included.

Review Management

Managing your reviews is important. Reviews reflect how paying customers feel about your business, but it also influences the decisions of potential customers when they are first exposed to your business.

Most customers judge how good a business is based on reviews before anything else, and bad reviews will mean that they never even become potential sales leads. You always need to keep track of those reviews and make sure that you do not earn too many negative ones too quickly.

Positive Reviews

Positive reviews serve as a more powerful form of word-of-mouth advertising, but they can become one of the first things that a new customer will see when they look up your business. They also provide SEO benefits and a range of other useful advantages, depending on the search platforms you are ranking high on.

Real, honest reviews can be one of the best options you have for expanding your business’ reach and brand awareness, boosting your online image while securing you more possible sales leads based on your good reputation.

Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can become a serious problem if left unchecked. The more you get – especially in a short span of time – the worse of an impact they have. This can often snowball into even worse problems later down the line as more people read online reviews of your company.

Bad reviews can harm your lead generation efforts and damage your own attempts at building brand awareness, making it even harder to market yourself regardless of what methods you use.

You usually want to minimize the number of negative reviews you have while trying to earn more positive ones. The best way to do that is to try and deal with any bad reviews you get as quickly as possible – but you can’t delete them yourself unless they are spam.

The easiest way is to contact the person who left a review to offer something as compensation in return for taking the review down or changing the rating – for example, offering to replace a broken product or issuing a partial or full refund.

Clearing out negative reviews is a constant struggle, but it can make your lead generation work much easier and provide a lot more options for marketing yourself to your customers.

Other Tips for Generating Leads

Lead generation covers a huge amount of different subjects and strategies, and no two businesses will use the exact same system for drawing in prospective customers. You need to find out what works best for your own business goals.

Whether you are relying on your sales teams cold calling customers or using a range of advertising options, there are always more ways to diversify your marketing and secure extra leads.

Use Marketing Experience to Generate Leads

Use existing marketing options and experience whenever possible. Lead generation is a form of market marketing at its heart, and that means that all normal marketing tricks and techniques can still be useful – especially if you are just starting to focus on it.

Remember that lead generation can easily be based on your own existing marketing strategies, just with a slight change of focus and goal. The marketing you have already done will contribute to the kind of leads you can generate the easiest, if you are not willing to try new strategies yet.

Some marketing tricks, such as making a unique landing page for each target audience or getting your site on online directories, can be surprisingly powerful regardless of the context. Complex marketing tactics, like using a customer referrals system to get more leads than you normally would, can be harder to implement but very lucrative if used well.

It is also important to have landing pages worth sending them to. The landing page is one of the most notable marketing tactics used online, and it is no less common for lead generation either: countless companies design special landing pages specifically to draw in their newest leads.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is a great way to avoid accidental mistakes or mix-ups. No two lead generation strategies are created equal, but even understanding the basics of your market and your industry’s general customer habits can make a massive difference to your marketing.

If you want to succeed, then you need to plan out as much as possible without becoming too rigid. Good planning is the most important part of lead generation, especially if you are trying to generate leads across multiple platforms at the same time – and you have to be prepared to break that plan if it starts to fall apart, too.

Sometimes plans change, but you can still adapt. Having a plan as a general guideline makes a huge difference to your own marketing.

Talk with Customers

Customer relationship management can be a major part of your marketing and something you will usually forget about at first. Communicating with your customers, even through something like a Facebook page, makes a noticeable difference in how your business is perceived online.

Even talking to a user about product features can be enough to earn you some extra attention and leads. Some of the best lead generation options are the simplest ones, and open discussions with customers can result in a lot of leads with very little effort required.

Beyond that, handling issues in private allows for more discretion and lets you avoid negative reviews. Many customers would rather complain directly than leave a review, so talking with them in direct messages can help you sidestep that issue.

How to Generate Leads Online

Knowing how to grow your business is not something you can do overnight. Lead generation is complex but vague, meaning that there is not really a single way to tackle the problem to begin with.

Even with that in mind, you might simply not know what to do next. Following other people’s guides and tips can help, but you still need to eventually commit to a certain plan or strategy, and that is not going to be easy if you are unprepared.

Take some time to plan things out and think about your own business. You will want to choose a strategy that suits your own company’s goals and long-term success options.

Be Careful

Lead generation is an extremely important part of running your business, but it is not the only thing you need to consider. It is easy to get focused on gathering more leads while ignoring the rest of your business.

Third-Party Lead Generation

One of the best ways to avoid this is by hiring a third-party lead generation company and getting them to do the work instead. They can take on a lot of extra work and duties that would otherwise need to come from your own business.

This frees you and your staff up to focus on other responsibilities, something that can be important for a new company with a limited pool of employees.

Do Not Wait Around

Whatever you decide to do, there are a lot of ways to handle the problem at your own pace. Just do not wait too long – many leads are time-sensitive, and you want to get them right the first time around so that you do not miss your chance for some significant marketing boosts.

Useful Guides

Please see some useful guides related to generating more business leads.

Kasra Dash
Kasra Dash