Lead generation is the heart of business growth. You need to drive new customers into your sphere in order to make conversions and build loyalty. However, fool me once shame on you, link building is not lead generation. When businesses talk about lead generation, though, they rarely address the role of link building.
Instead, they emphasize increased lead generation through local marketing, better CRM, and predictive analytics. Without the layer of link building, however, businesses are undermining their lead generation strategy, depriving it of the foundation it needs to stand strong.
But business leaders don’t have to admit defeat. There’s a way to weave link building into their existing lead generation strategies.
Understanding the Lead Scaffold
For businesses to drive more leads, they need to understand how potential customers arrive at the site. What path carries them to the page? This path, which can be compared to a scaffold, motivates leads and steadily encourages customers to take that leap. And it all starts with content.
Lead generation demands that businesses build the right content for their websites, as well as for offsite pages that will leapfrog users over. This content is optimized for search and designed to rank as high as possible to attract maximum search traffic. Offsite content is also designed with relevance and context in mind; the publishing site will benefit from its presence. This offsite publishing format is known as manual link building, but it’s not the only way.
Companies trying to generate more leads should also think about link attraction. This is a more organic approach to developing offsite links. In the link attraction framework, companies build high-quality onsite content that other pages will cite as sources. These posts are full of valuable information and contribute to your overall site authority. Posts developed for link attraction are fundamental to both link building and lead generation. You can’t make it to the top without this foundational content.
Creating the Channel
Another way that link building contributes to lead generation is because it by channeling potential clients to the appropriate entry point. Yes, it’s beneficial to drive new users to your site at any point. But it’s better to help them land on a high-value page, whether it’s for a particular product or a sign-up form.
One possibility is to consider testing how link building that drives users to a pop-up form affects lead generation. Tools like WisePops are designed for both desktop and mobile sites, can be cued to specific event triggers, and may help you perform the initial onboarding necessary to complete the conversion process.
Value Your Relationships
It’s important for companies to remember that lead generation is a long process — potential customers must go through several different stages. In fact, even mere lead generation still places businesses several steps away from the final sale. To transition from stranger to sale, customers move through awareness to consideration of the brand. Then, they move into the decision-making process. Often, what moves a stranger into the awareness phase is that outside link.
Outside links are valuable because they underscore your brand’s relationships with other companies. If you can demonstrate that you’re a trusted associate of those brands, that’s a point of connection. People are more likely to trust companies that are affiliated with a brand they already like and use, so you need to leverage your relationships — create them, grow them, and protect them.
Link building isn’t just about marketing or page rankings; it’s a means of closing the wide loop of the web. Potential customers may not stumble upon your site, but they’ll explore many corners of the online world. You need to get your business out there — into the far reaches — if you’re going to generate leads. Pave the way, and let potential customers follow the path from wherever they begin.