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Is your SEO business generating enough SEO leads? You’re spending a fortune on marketing strategies, yet can’t generate a large enough lead list. It means a lot of money leaves your business and hardly any can come in.
You must create a long list of high-quality SEO leads to boost the chances of conversion. Most companies only focus on organic lead generation to do this – but what if you buy SEO leads?
This guide will explain the truth about buying SEO leads, so you can see if it’s the right choice for your agency.
Understanding SEO Leads
Before jumping into things, it’s time for a quick refresher on SEO leads.
So, what are they?
Simply put, SEO leads are the details of people looking to buy SEO services. The majority of the time, these leads will be businesses. A company looks for an SEO agency to help drive its website up the rankings and generate more leads of its own!
You’ll encounter a plethora of leads during your search – and there are seven lead categories in total:
- Cold Leads
- Warm Leads
- Hot Leads
- Information Qualified Leads (IQL)
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
- Sales Ready Leads (SRL)
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
As you move down the list, the lead type grows in importance. Cold leads are unlikely to be interested in your SEO services, but SQL leads will be ready to do business. For the best outcomes, it’s always a good idea to focus on leads that have a higher chance of converting. This includes anything from hot leads down!
Pros of Buying SEO Leads
Why might you buy SEO leads? You could already have a few ideas in your mind as to why this is beneficial, but this section will explain some of the biggest advantages of buying SEO leads:
Save a lot of time
Generating organic leads takes a lot of time, even for an SEO expert. You must figure out how to capture as many leads as possible before contacting them. If you purchase SEO leads, you immediately get access to a slew of contact details. From here, you can instantly get in touch with them and begin your sales pitch. In theory, if you bought leads now, you could be on the phone with a prospect within 10 minutes.
Save money & measure your ROI
Time is money – so when you save time, you end up saving money. Less has to be invested in your marketing strategy because you’re generating leads through a lead provider. At the same time, it’s easier to measure the ROI from buying SEO leads. You see how much you pay, you look at what you gain, and the calculation pretty much makes itself.
Easily identify quality SEO leads
When you buy SEO leads online, the provider typically offers a database full of prospects. The best ones don’t just show you the contact details – they also display information about the contact. This can include where they’re located, what company they work for, and sometimes even the software they use.
Take this information and use it to buy local SEO leads. You can contact people who you know will be interested in what you offer, which increases the likelihood of conversion.
Paid leads can be easier to convert
Think about it; you’ve paid for leads and have been given lots of contact details. This means the leads have already signed up for something related to SEO. Otherwise, how would the SEO lead provider have their details? Immediately, you’re dealing with warm leads at the very least.
Thus, they’re slightly easier to convert. You know there’s a low possibility of encountering cold leads, so sales calls or emails should result in more back-and-forth, leading to a better conversion rate.
Cons of Buying SEO Leads
All things come with pros and cons – and this is extremely true when we talk about buying SEO leads. The upsides look amazing, but don’t neglect the downsides:
You’re not getting exclusive SEO leads
Organic lead generation ensures you’re claiming exclusive leads. People have given you their contact details because they’ve directly interacted with your business. You’ll rarely buy exclusive SEO leads. Most leads are shared with countless other SEO companies. As such, your biggest rivals may already have access to them!
This can make it harder for you to find leads that work because they’ve already been tapped up by some of your fiercest competitors.
Incorrect information is common
How long has an SEO lead provider had their lead database? The contact information you see could be years out of date. Sure, the prospect may have the same details, but when you contact them you realize they no longer need to buy SEO services. They found an agency two years ago, but the SEO lead provider keeps them on their list.
No guarantee of additional leads
When you buy SEO leads online, you rely on lead providers. What if they can’t generate any more leads? Or, what if they go bankrupt and close down? There’s no guarantee that you can keep finding quality SEO leads in the future if you purchase them.
Ethical concerns when buying leads
We won’t go into too much detail as there’s a section later on that covers this. However, one of the main cons of buying SEO leads is that some prospects haven’t consented to having their details shared with businesses like yours. That’s why it’s paramount to assess and evaluate lead providers before picking which ones to use.
Evaluating Lead Providers
If you want to purchase SEO leads, you must undergo a strict vetting process to identify the best lead providers.
It will involve a lot of research and comparing different providers, but it’s worth it if you want the best leads for your SEO business. Here are the key things to look at during your evaluation:
Lead quality & replacements
First and foremost, check if the provider offers quality SEO leads. One way of doing this is by checking any reviews from current or previous customers. Another is to ask about their lead generation process.
Likewise, inquire about their lead replacement policy. Will they replace any cold leads or leads with incorrect contact details? Realistically, you should avoid providers that don’t replace their bad leads with updated ones.
Is the lead provider selling the same leads to more than one SEO agency? If so, you should think twice about buying them. As mentioned above, you should aim to buy exclusive SEO leads. Shared leads are more likely to be duds because other agencies and businesses have contacted them.
How much does the lead provider charge? You’ll encounter many places to buy SEO leads and a plethora of prices. Your task is to look at how much you’re paying and work out a rough ROI. If a lead converts, how much would you get from it? Figure out if a lead provider can genuinely provide a positive return on investment. If you calculate that you’d lose money even if 100% of the leads convert, then the provider has ridiculous pricing.
Reputation and legitimacy
Finally, research every lead provider before you do business with them. If you can’t find much information about them, that’s a terrible sign. There should be some online reviews or a Trustpilot score out there. The better the ratings, the more confident you can feel.
Try picking a provider with as close to five stars as possible. Don’t just look at the rating – check actual reviews and see how many reviews have been left. The more reviews, the more confident you can feel about using or not using a certain provider.
Strategies for Engaging Purchased Leads
Okay, you decided to buy SEO leads and have been given a database full of contacts – what next?
Don’t assume that you’ve automatically got access to hundreds or thousands of new customers. You still need to engage purchased leads, and here are the best strategies to try:
Make contact immediately
Contact your leads the moment you purchase them. Don’t waste time or this eliminates one of the advantages of buying SEO leads! Get in touch via one of the contact methods and introduce yourself – state who you are, and how you can help the lead. This puts you on their radar and gives them a chance to learn more about you.
Expressing how you can help the lead engages them more than if you talk about what you do. Be sure you focus on key selling points such as what your SEO services can bring them – e.g. gain more web traffic, convert more leads, establish a better brand presence, etc.
Keep it personal
You’ve got a list of SEO leads and contact information – so make sure you use it all. Be personal with your messages and emails, so it looks like you’re making direct contact with the lead. Never send out generic mass emails without personalization – it looks disingenuous and leads are less likely to engage with you and follow up.
Dangle some free bait
Leads are way more likely to warm up when you dangle some bait in front of them. Give them something for free – it helps build trust while showcasing some of your talents. Nobody can pass up a freebie – not least of which when the freebie provides something valuable.
One simple idea is to provide free keyword research for leads. Put this in the subject so they’re encouraged to click the email. Inform them that you’re willing to provide a free keyword research service for their business – they need only provide some key details. When you get emails back, run the keyword research and provide it to them.
This is an excellent tactic as it a) shows them that you’re good at what you do, and b) gives them something they can’t make sense of. To get the most out of their keywords, they’ll have to pay for your SEO services!
Offer discounted services
Another similar tactic is to offer discounts to your purchased leads. Contact them saying you’re offering 10 or 20% off SEO services at the moment. It piques their interest and can result in more conversions.
Follow up and adapt
If a lead doesn’t respond, give it a few days before sending a follow-up. Try different contact methods – but don’t be overly pushy.
When leads respond, but don’t seem overly keen in what you’re offering, analyze their responses. See why they’re not interested and adapt to make your offering more to their tastes. Sometimes, you have to admit when a lead has gone cold and focus on warmer ones – but try to adapt first as you can spark new life into things.
Measuring and Analyzing Lead Performance
You must analyze lead performance when you buy SEO leads. This tells you which leads are working and which ones are worth paying more attention to.
There are a few key performance indicators that’ll help you see how well your paid leads are doing:
- Conversion Rate – The higher the conversion rate, the better. You need to see how many of your paid leads are turning into paying customers.
- Cost per Lead – How much does each lead cost? Think about what you paid to obtain your SEO leads and then see how many were generated. If you paid $100 for $100 leads, you’ve paid $1 per lead.
- Paid SEO Lead Revenue – Look at how much revenue was generated by your paid SEO leads. While you’re at it, see what the average order value was to gauge if your paid leads are spending more money than organic ones.
- Retention Rate – How many of your SEO leads stuck around and make more purchases? A high retention rate shows they’re happy with your business.
- Return On Investment – Take the revenue generated by your SEO leads and look at the cost of obtaining them. This helps you work out how much money you gained or lost after spending money buying SEO leads.
- Quality of Leads – The last thing we’ll touch upon is lead quality. Quality SEO leads will engage with your business and be easy for you to convert. It’s handy to look at your paid leads and assess them based on quality. You’ll soon see how many of these leads were good or bad.
Measuring all of this data tells you a lot about your paid SEO leads. Primarily, you’ll see if buying SEO leads was worth it. Then, you also see which leads provide more value than others because they’re making large or repeat purchases. You can use this data to spot patterns as well – what if you notice that your best-value leads are all from businesses within specific industries or areas? You can prioritize future leads in the same demographic because you know they’ll be high-converting and high-value prospects.
Integrating Purchased Leads with Organic Lead Generation
Purchased leads should never be the only leads your SEO business focuses on. Rely too heavily on these and you’ll miss plenty of potential clients through organic lead generation.
Combining the two yields the best results. All leads should be in your CRM system so they’re easy to manage and sort. Segment them into two categories – paid and organic – to keep them separate.
As a result, you can develop different engagement strategies for each category based on where the leads came from. It means you’re not using the same ideas for paid leads as you are organic ones. This won’t work because organic leads find you while you find paid ones. As such, the whole dynamic changes in how you communicate with them.
Also, keeping the leads in two categories makes it easier to compare and contrast – you’ll have an excellent overview of which leads yield the best results.
Mitigating Risks and Maximizing Returns
To guarantee you maximize returns out of lead generation, always be sure to use at least one organic method alongside buying SEO leads.
MySiteAuditor is the perfect way to generate organic leads and boost returns. It helps you implement a free SEO audit tool on your website, which anyone can access if they provide an email address. You’ll capture loads of organic leads this way – and you can purchase leads alongside this.
Of course, when buying SEO leads, remember the evaluation steps from earlier. Take your time to pick the best provider, so you get the highest-quality leads.
Ethical Considerations in Buying SEO Leads
Before we sign off, let’s talk about the ethical implications of buying SEO leads. Consent is the primary player here. Have the leads you purchased consented to be shared with you? They provided their details to the lead provider – but did they give their consent to share these details with other companies?
Unfortunately, there’s no way of being 100% certain that consent was given. You can ask the lead provider for details on their lead generation tactics – this might give you an idea if they engaged in dodgy unethical practices. Or, searching for reviews may throw up comments from leads stating that they ended up on lists without their consent.
If you contact a lead and they ask how you received their information, be honest. If they state that they never consented to have their details shared, then you must respect their privacy.
In conclusion, you can buy SEO leads if you need a leads boost. You can purchase leads from various sources – but be careful before spending any money. Check the provider’s reputation and work out the ROI. If everything checks out, you’ll have instant access to plenty of SEO leads.
Remember to continue with organic lead generation too. Don’t rely on paid leads as there’s no quality guarantee, and you never know when they’ll dry up. It’s like organic and paid SEO – you’d recommend both of these to your clients for a better overall result, so do the same with SEO lead generation.