John Lincoln

Lead Generation Strategy: A Step-By-Step Method to Maximize Your Incoming Leads

Lead Generation Strategy: A Step-By-Step Method to Maximize Your Incoming LeadsIn this article, I’m taking you through my proven 10-part lead generation strategy.

As CEO of a top digital marketing agency, I’ve done my research on lead generation. After years of careful planning and experimentation, I’ve honed in on the process that’s most effective at securing top-notch leads.

Let’s get started.

10 Successful Lead Generation Strategies

  1. Choose the Top Keywords
  2. Set Up Exact Match Keyword Targeting for Major Search Engines
  3. Launch an Optimized Landing Page
  4. Use Matching Keyword Terms on Your Landing Page
  5. Perform the 7-Second Test
  6. Set Up a Pop Up on Your Page
  7. Set Up Retargeting Ads
  8. Deliver Gated Content
  9. Line Up a Drip Sequence With the Ad Sequence
  10. Use Your Profits Wisely

1. Select the Top Keywords Your Customers Search

Keywords have a say in many of your digital marketing ventures, including lead gen.

To find the top keywords your target audience is searching for, you first need to define your target audience. Be specific here for more accuracy.

Think of it this way: if you were searching for a business that provides the same products or services you do, what words would you type into the search bar?

Brainstorm and identify the keywords you want to use in your lead generation strategy. You’ll use these keywords across your media channels, including your PPC ads, landing pages, and even website popups (we’ll touch more on that later).

Businesses often use tools like:

  • Google Ads Keyword Planner (a free option that’s a great place to start)
  • Google Search Console (you can use the “opportunity keywords” section)
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer (paid but can be highly effective)
  • SEMRush Keyword Overview (also paid, also worthwhile if you use it right)
  • io (no shortage of suggestions here, try the freemium version)

Just remember that your keyword research will serve as the foundation of your lead generation strategy, so don’t skimp on this part.

2. Set Up Exact Match Keyword Targeting in Google and Bing

Exact match keyword targeting is a way for you to get your ads matched with specific terms (rather than broad terms).

While using exact match keywords means there are fewer people searching for your specific phrase, they often make it easier to get your ad to show up on the SERP and it can be more rewarding to link up with higher quality leads.

Successful Lead Generation Strategies: Exact Match Keywords from Google
Successful Lead Generation Strategies: Exact Match Keywords from Google

An exact match still allows for some wiggle room. For example, if you target the phrase “shoes for women,” you may also show up for “shoes women” or “women shoes” or “shoes for a woman” or…you get the point.

Within your Google and Microsoft Ads accounts, select exact phrase keyword matching for your campaigns. You are more likely to score leads this way.

3. Our Lead Generation Strategy Includes Launching a Landing Page That Speaks Exactly to Those Terms

Now, it’s time to really put those keywords to work.

Your lead generation campaigns are going to need a landing page to link back to. It only makes sense to optimize that page for the keywords you’re targeting, too.

There are lots of ways to optimize a landing page for leads, and keyword optimization is just one of them. You’ll also want to focus on the copy, design, calls-to-action, and other pieces. Your best bet is to focus on the whole picture. Use your keywords as a guiding force to ensure your landing page is organically effective.

Just remember that a landing page with thin content won’t do you much good. You’re better off building something robust that answers key questions from your user.

Feel free to watch this video on common templates for landing pages online, so you can learn more about the best way to set yours up:

4. Use Terms on the Page That Match Your Targeted Keywords

Directly pairing your exact match terms with a central piece of content like a landing page is a surefire way to introduce you to leads. A keyword-optimized landing page signals a defined purpose, and search engine algorithms will recognize that.

There are many places to include the keyword in your landing page:

  • In the body of the content itself
  • In the URL slug
  • In the meta description and SEO title
  • In the H2s
  • In the alt tag for images and videos
  • In the media file name
Landing Page Targeting "best SEO company"
Example of Landing Page Targeting “best SEO company”

5. Lead Generation Strategy Pro Tip: Perform the 7-Second Test On Your Landing Page

Once your landing page is up and running, run something called the 7-second test.

What is the 7-second test?

In seven seconds, a user should be able to identify 3 things about your brand:

  1. What do you do?
  2. What problem do you solve?
  3. What action is the user supposed to take?

This test might sound harsh, but it’s really important to answer these questions from the get-go. People don’t like to dwell on a landing page for too long if they’re not getting answers, so you don’t have much time to get your point across. A user will gladly bounce off your site if you’re not providing them with solutions right off the bat.

You can imagine that a simple design is one of the best ways to get your landing page to pass the 7-second test. Here’s an example of a minimalist design that does the trick:

Lead Generation Strategy: Landing Page Example from Nio
Lead Generation Strategy: Landing Page Example from Nio

Aside from the fact that Nio is a public company, their vehicle model landing pages set a good example for marketers. With just a few scrolls through their interactive page, users can tell that they sell luxury cars and provide innovation for the modern driver. Site visitors can click the “watch video” button as a next step.

This landing page example really checks all the boxes, but it’s not the only way to do it. You have to find a style that suits your product or service and serves your target audience.

6. Set Up a Pop Up On the Page That Mentions the Keyword

You don’t want a pop up to interfere with the user’s journey, but it is a good idea to use pop ups sparingly.

When you do, set up a pop up on the page that mentions the target keyword. Offer your phone number and ask the user to reach out with any questions.

You’ll be surprised at the leads this can generate!

To make sure your pop ups aren’t harming your SEO, follow these rules laid out by Search Engine Journal:

  • No intrusive interstitials that shift the page
  • Time the pop up so it shows up after the user has read crucial info
  • If you need to use a potentially intrusive pop up, disable it for mobile devices

7. Successful Lead Generation Strategies Include Using Retargeting Ads That Match the Keyword

For your lead generation strategy, you want to set up retargeting ads that match the keyword. You should set these up for a 90-day period on platforms like:

  • Google Display
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Microsoft
How to Get Leads Through Retargeting
How to Get Leads Through Retargeting

Retargeting practices will likely change over the next year because there are new limitations on third-party tracking data like pixels. The internet is shifting away from intrusive tracking and veering more toward first-party data. However, many retargeting options are viable in a privacy-focused world.

On Facebook, businesses can retarget users based on info like purchase events, add-to-cart events, business contacts, and so much more. It’s a super-effective lead gen method because you’re nurturing your leads.

8. Offer a Download In Exchange for an Email Address

Gated content is a well-known lead generation strategy. Keep it simple for the user by requiring just an email (and maybe one other bit of info if necessary). Anything more and you’ll turn people away.

Make sure your downloadable content is worth the squeeze. Really invest into the whitepaper, webinar, industry study or whatever piece of content you decide to publish.

Building an opted-in email list can give you a solid jumping-off point for qualifying leads.

Stats on Utilizing Email Marketing to Generate Leads
Stats on Utilizing Email Marketing to Generate Leads

Since the shift toward virtual socialization, more and more businesses are using virtual events as a way to gather emails from potential leads. Choose a topic, find experts, set an agenda and use the best technology to make your virtual event (free or paid) killer.

9. Put the User Into a Drip Sequence That Matches the Ad Sequence

Once you have a robust email list, you can start a drip sequence—a type of email campaign that sends automated emails on a set schedule to your subscribers.

Line up your drip sequence with your ad sequence. This allows you to tell a cohesive story to your target audience, helping to show them the bigger picture of your brand.

Now that’s how to generate leads.

10. Using Profits Wisely Is One of the Best Ways to Generate Leads

By now, you probably know that investing in marketing is all about getting some sort of return on your investment (business goals differ across operations, but the gist of it stays the same).

But what do you do with those returns?

Use your profits to expand your efforts, invest in upper-funnel marketing (i.e. bringing in new audiences), building your networks in all directions, and diversifying your portfolio of marketing channels.

That’s how you compound your leads and your successes.

Wrapping Up How to Generate Leads

There is no hard-and-fast equation for generating leads. But if done right, your lead generation strategy can do the heavy lifting for you.

By using the right tactics, you can attract qualified leads who are more likely to convert and deliver lifetime value. If that’s not a weight off your back, I don’t know what is.

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About the Author

John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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