All businesses work on tight budgets, but the smaller you are the more you are constrained. The more you are constrained, the smarter you have to be in seeking out affordable small business lead generation methods.
You don’t have to spend millions in advertising to kickstart your lead generation. Instead you can work slowly and surely to first create a trickle of new customers, then, further down the line, turn this into a stream. We’ll tell you a few ways you can do this.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO might not immediately seem like it belongs on a list of affordable small business lead generation methods. It’s serious business and brands battle it out to reach the top spots in search engine results pages (SERPs) – it can cost big bucks, unless you’ve got a very small niche cornered. (Did you know that the first position in search results generally gets around 30% of all clicks?)
But there are so many things you can do yourself, or have your developer do for you, that you really have no excuse not to do.
- Create your page content and titles as if you were writing for search results. What key phrases are people going to use to find your pages? Make sure those phrases are prominent in your text.
- Set your meta descriptions and SEO titles (page titles as they’ll appear in SERPs) and refine them. If you’re using WordPress, we’d recommend Yoast to help with this process.
- Provide unique and interesting content to visitors on your website. Your website will rise through the rankings if it offers something worth finding.
- Register your business in every relevant business directory and create a profile on every social network. Not only could this drive traffic, it offers clues to a search engine about how important or interesting your website might be. Avoid spamming and irrelevant or unreputable sources of links, they’ll do more harm than good.
As mentioned in the previous section, content must be unique and filled with expressions that people search for. But importantly it must actually be useful and interesting to potential readers. Google know what they’re doing. Short, junky pages are going to get you ignored at best, penalized at worst.
Content marketing goes well beyond just adding the relevant content your business needs on its website to explain what you do. It involves regularly creating new related content… like blog posts, videos or guides. Sell fishing products? Perhaps add a blog to your site where you review these products. Offer coaching? Post articles on self improvement. Always be creating. Fresh content makes your website look relevant and current to search engines and gives you the opportunity to create content with variations of search terms you wouldn’t normally be able to.
Not only do social media profiles themselves indicate to search engines that your business exists, they also provide an additional avenue for it to be found and for people to click through to your website. But it doesn’t end there. Social networks absolutely dominate users’ time online, particularly on mobile devices, and so these profiles should form part of your content marketing strategy. Regular posting provides regular opportunities to be found. Tools from Facebook and Instagram in particular allow users to complete calls-to-action relevant to your business type. This might mean adding buttons to call you, to book a consultation or to register for something. Integrations also allow you to sell products directly on these platforms.
List Building and Email Marketing
If you already have an audience or list of contacts then you’re very well positioned to generate new business. A list of people who are already interested in your business that you’re able to email is worth its weight in gold, as email marketing is still one of the very best and cheapest lead generation and lead conversion methods. People who’ve actively subscribed to hear from you are proven prospects who’ve shown interest in what you do (but perhaps don’t yet have a need but might do soon) as well as past customers are known to be one of the very best sources of new revenue.
Integrating list building into a website strategy is something you should definately consider.
Generate leads for your business by successfully initiating a digital strategy that focuses on all of the above and you’ll have laid the foundation for growing your business without throwing money at expensive advertising.