Putting the Cart Before the Horse: The SEO Mistake You’re Probably Making

Putting The Cart Before The Horse 800x570

When it comes to SEO, many companies are fishing without a hook. There’s a crucial element missing from their SEO strategy that agencies, always in a hurry to close their retainer contracts, “forget” to tell them.

Agencies often give a great deal of focus on technical elements such as site architecture, load speed, and mobile optimization, as well as content strategies like keyword targeting and quality content creation. While these are undeniably crucial for driving organic traffic to your website, they may not necessarily guarantee success when it comes to actually converting that traffic into tangible leads or customers.

In other words, these factors can bring lots of horses to water, but they can’t make any of them drink!

They spend a significant amount of time and resources on optimizing your website for search engines, only to have visitors leave without taking any action — no sign-up, no download, not even a query. You’ve done all the hard work of attracting them, but the opportunity for deeper engagement and potential business is lost, likely forever.

Enter: the lead magnet.

Ready to Build Your Strong SEO Foundation? Let’s Get Started!

What is a lead magnet? A lead magnet is a marketing tool used to capture potential customers’ contact information, usually in the form of an email address. The goal is to provide a compelling reason for visitors to opt into further communication with your business, thereby converting anonymous web traffic into identifiable leads. These leads can then be nurtured through a sales funnel, with the ultimate aim of converting them into paying customers.

An effective lead magnet acts like a magnet that not only attracts but also attaches the visitor to your brand. It provides something of immediate value in exchange for their contact information, giving you the license to foster a relationship, nurture them through a sales funnel, and ideally convert them into a paying customer. 

The power of the lead magnet lies in its ability to offer a concrete, immediate benefit, which is often the extra push a potential client needs to commit to a more involved relationship with your service. 

Here are some examples of effective lead magnets for professional services SMEs.

Lead Magnet #1: Secret Information

“Secret” details or proprietary information can be turned into a powerful lead magnet. It activates human curiosity and the desire for exclusive knowledge.

In the context of professional services SMEs, this could mean offering access to insider tips, strategies, or tools that you’ve developed over the years. For example, a law firm could offer a downloadable PDF outlining “5 Legal Loopholes Every Small Business Should Know,” or an accounting firm might provide a guide on “Secret Tax Strategies for SMEs.”

Offering proprietary insights positions your firm as a thought leader and an insider in the industry, making you a more attractive option to potential clients who want to work with the best.

Lead Magnet #2: Topical Webinars

Webinars offer more than just a platform for audiences to access valuable expertise in real-time. It allows for interaction between the hosts and attendees – an opportunity for your target audience to get to know the people in the business and build trust. Plus, highly topical webinars also showcase and can position the business / leader as a thought leader in the space.

For instance, a wealth management fund could host a webinar on the “Latest Trends in the Private Debt Market.” The advantage of a webinar like this is that it offers immediate value and allows for real-time Q&A, helping to establish trust and authority. Attendees are more likely to perceive your service as reliable and valuable, increasing the likelihood of them becoming clients.

Lead Magnet #3: Special Calculators

Calculators are interactive tools that can provide immediate value to your visitors. For example, a financial advisory service could offer a “Retirement Savings Calculator,” or a consulting firm might provide a “ROI Calculator for Business Process Improvements.” These calculators not only offer practical value but also allows you to capture data about the user’s specific challenges or needs. The interactive nature of a calculator makes it engaging and memorable, providing a compelling reason for users to give their contact details.

Lead Magnet #4: Questionnaire / Diagnostic Tool

A questionnaire or diagnostic tool can act as an interactive consultation, offering personalised insights based on the user’s responses. For example, an HR consultancy could offer a “Company Culture Assessment” questionnaire. Once completed, the user receives tailored advice or a comprehensive report that offers value while subtly demonstrating the consultant’s expertise. This is compelling because it delivers personalized value and tees up the user for the services that you offer, essentially serving as a soft sales pitch.

Lead Magnet #5: Free Tailored Advice

Offering free tailored advice as a lead magnet is essentially a mini-consultation, which can be incredibly effective for professional services. A management consultancy, for example, might offer a free 30-minute strategy session for C-suite executives facing specific challenges. One of our partner businesses runs a $100k Extraction Call – promising to help business owners earn an additional $100k in revenue OR be treated to a restaurant of their choice! These approaches work because it provides immediate value and gives potential clients a ‘taste’ of what it would be like to work with you, thereby reducing the perceived risk of engaging your services.

Lead Magnet #6: Discount Coupon

Discount coupons are a straightforward yet effective way to convert visitors into leads. This can be particularly useful for service subscriptions or package deals. For instance, a business coaching service could offer a 20% discount for the first consultation. Discounts create a sense of urgency and offer immediate value, making it compelling for potential clients to take the next step in engaging with your services.

Lead Magnet #7: Valuable Industry Report

Valuable industry reports offer in-depth insights that can help businesses make informed decisions. For example, an IT consultancy could compile a report on “Cybersecurity Threats and Trends for SMEs in 2023.” Providing a comprehensive industry report positions you as an authority in your field and offers tremendous value to your target audience. Because these reports often involve a lot of research and expertise, they are seen as highly valuable, making them a compelling lead magnet.

SEO: Stop Counting Traffic, Start Counting Leads!

SEO is going to deliver lots of clicks and visitors to your website. But no business owner should be satisfied with just clicks and visitors. What’s more meaningful to the business is leads.

By understanding your audience and offering a lead magnet that provides real value, you can effectively convert interested visitors into engaged leads, setting the stage for future interactions and potential business relationships.

Without a lead magnet, even the most sophisticated SEO campaign may fall flat, yielding high traffic but low conversion, which in the end, is a hollow victory.

Don’t celebrate the traffic, celebrate the lead!

Talk to us about SEO services today.

Scroll to Top