Companies talk about SEO as a marketing and lead generation function, but what about its benefits for salespeople? Sales reps who make a habit of a few SEO tricks close deals faster, and bring their customers to them. Every sales rep should care about his or her SEO value.
Traditional sales calls are generated primarily by outbound marketing (direct mail, print advertising, etc.) These methods have a close rate that hovers right around 1.7%. So, less than 2 people out a hundred will end up acting on your traditional marketing efforts. That’s 98+ nos for every yes. SEO leads, on the other hand, have a close rate of about 14.6%. That’s less than 6 nos for every yes. If that isn’t enough to make you reconsider having a strong web presence, online leads are 61% cheaper as well. Resource
So, how do you optimize the SEO of your personal brand? The first thing to do is create social profiles in all of the major social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). Without a social profile you don’t exist to B2B buyers. When your prospects’ google your name, what are they going to find? The sales dynamic has changed since the days of smoky conference rooms frequented by silver-tongued sales reps. B2B buyers conduct significant online research before calls, and initiate more sales calls than ever before.
Social profiles get your name out on the web. They expound on your experience and the value you bring to your industry. And, most importantly, they help your web page move up in the search engine returns. Most B2B buyers start their buying process by doing a Google search. You need to show up on the first page of that search if you expect to be in the running to win the sale. Why the first page? Most searches don’t ever get past the first return page.
To get to the top of a Google return you have to have a large amount of valuable information that isn’t available from other sources on the net while still managing to incorporate keywords throughout the text. Most sales reps don’t have a lot time to sit around linking buzzwords through their Twitter profiles. Thankfully, social media allows for easily automated social updates. Find an industry blog (perhaps your own, or your company’s) that you enjoy following and that’s rich with buzzwords that relate to what you’re selling. If you’re not sure which buzz words are best, scan a few of your sales emails. The terms that come up most often are most likely important trigger words for your prospects. Once you’ve found a blog or online publication, set up your Twitter handle and your LinkedIn profile to auto-update every new post. When you constantly post updates on topics that relate to the conversations you have with prospects, individuals searching for solutions or vetting your solution against the google search critique will see that you have authority and knowledge on their topics of interest. Plus, your social channels remain fresh even when you’re too busy to maintain them yourself.
By focusing your capital on creating inbound calls, you’ll spend more time closing sales and less time cold calling and relying on outbound marketing materials that simply don’t convert. Make the change now – go where the buyers are. Get your name out there on the web and help the buyers find you.