10/01/22 // Written by AmbaWilkes

9 Ways to Generate Leads in Professional Services Industries

When it comes to driving results for professional services industries such as legal, finance and insurance, a slightly different approach is needed. Within professional services businesses the type of service being sold is often triggered by a life event or planning.  

The ‘product’ on offer isn’t something you can simply create demand for and it’s rarely about launching the latest exciting item to market. Instead, these purchases are considered and well thought out. However, that doesn’t mean to say there are indications that an individual is getting ready to convert which can make prospecting difficult.

In this blog, we share insight into how you can generate leads within these industries. 

The value of a lead

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the value of a lead to your business. What is a lead worth to you? What type of leads do you want? For example, this could include a quote, newsletter sign-ups, brochure downloads or a contact form fill. These types of leads can imply differing levels of interest that it’s worth being aware of.

It’s also crucial to understand how long the sales cycle typically lasts for your business including the time it takes to nurture a lead from awareness through to conversion.

9 ways to support lead generation

1) Know your market

To create a successful digital strategy, you need to have a firm understanding of who your competitors are. Knowing who you’re truly competing with is key to achieving a competitive edge, driving results and increasing your bottom line.

As an experienced agency, we know that competitor intelligence is critical to form the building blocks of an effective strategy. Using our in-house developed competitor analysis tool, we can identify your real competition to help you reach digital success. By conducting a competitor analysis, you can understand where your business sits in the market compared to others. This allows you to gain insight on what needs to be done to get ahead of your rivals.

Interested to know more? Find out who your digital competitors are with a free competitor analysis.

2) Be visible in search engines

With more businesses than ever before moving online, you need to rank highly in search results if you want to be found. These statistics show why:

  • 95 percent of all searchers click on one of the links in the first page of the search engine
  • 60 percent of users click one of the top three organic search results
  • The average CTR for position one in Google is over 28 percent while second sits at 16 percent and third position at 11 percent
  • The top three spots on the SERPs account for over 55 percent of all clicks
  • 27 percent of website traffic is generated from paid search
  • The Google Display Network (where your PPC ads are displayed) reaches over 90 percent of internet users
  • Out of people who click paid search ads, 75 percent say the ads make it easier to find what they’re looking for

Using a strategic combination of PPC and SEO, you can work towards ranking higher in the search results. However, there are differences to note when it comes to these two tactics. For starters, paid ads appear at the top of the SERPs above organic SEO listings. Secondly, organic traffic generated from SEO is technically free as there is no direct charge for each click, but there is investment of time, money and expertise needed before results can be seen. On the other hand, you are paying for traffic generated by each click with PPC.

When used effectively, PPC can strengthen your results in areas where SEO is yet to build. To find out more about how these two digital tactics can work together and which may be more suited to your needs, read our blog: Which Is Better: SEO or PPC?

3) Considered targeting of keywords

A considered keyword strategy will drive relevant organic traffic to your website helping to generate more leads and subsequently more revenue. However, targeting keywords with no strategy or direction won’t get you far.

When it comes to keyword research, it’s important to consider keyword relevance in order to reach the right audience. Understanding the research journey the users are likely to take to reach your website is crucial to this. Long-tail keywords and questions are effective during this stage as they act as cues that a user is looking for a solution that you could provide.

When working with new clients, keyword research is one of the first tasks on our to-do list to understand what keywords should be targeted in the short and long term. There are a few areas to consider throughout this process that will help you create the most effective strategy possible:

  1. Create a list of focus areas you want to target to define the most relevant target landing pages and provide focus for your SEO campaigns.
  2. Consider what keywords you want to target on these pages through keyword research.
  3. Build your keyword list using tools such as SEMrush, Keyword Planner and Moz to help you keep track of your keywords. These tools will also suggest similar keywords which can be incorporated into your strategy where relevant.
  4. The size of your keyword list will depend on your business and what it offers. Remember, it’s not about targeting as many keywords as possible. A concise yet well-researched list can be just as effective at delivering your objectives.

A keyword strategy will allow you to benchmark current performance, make informed decisions, monitor progress and gain insight into competitor rankings.

4) Establish your business as an authority

One of the main factors Google takes into account when determining rankings is the authority of your website. But the authority of your business is something your users will look for too.

It’s important to demonstrate your credibility within your field. This can be done in a number of ways including your brand positioning, remaining consistent with communications, producing quality content and maintaining high rankings.

When it comes to demonstrating authority in the eyes of Google, high quality content goes a long way. As part of EAT (expertise, authority, trust) guidelines, this type of content can also help to form the foundation for other powerful marketing tactics including outreach and digital PR.

5) Place your experts at the forefront

Ensuring your experts are visible to your audience is a significant factor but one that can be easily overlooked. Not only does placing your experts at the forefront of your communications help to demonstrate your authority to Google, but it also builds trust with the user.

There are a variety of ways you can make your experts more accessible to your audience including:

  • Clearly displaying authors on content
  • Include quotes from your experts within your content
  • Place a photo and small bio with your author tags to outline their expertise, qualifications and accreditations

6) Share your knowledge

The creation of high-quality content and lead generation fits hand in hand. Giving away first-hand knowledge is a great way to encourage engagement with your business and insightful, in-depth, relevant content designed to solve problems is key. This type of content shows you understand your audiences’ needs and how to meet them as well as demonstrating your expertise which is a key component of meeting Google’s EAT guidelines.

Through rich and impactful content such as how to articles, guides, FAQs and even interactive tools such as a mortgage calculator, you provide your audience with invaluable support that will guide them through their research journey. Your content should make your audience want to speak to you, or at least contribute to this process. If you can provide value through your content alone, you already begin to form a relationship with the reader.

Alongside this, when it comes to lead generation, how you use and distribute your content can hold immense value. Through resource creation, you can gate content to encourage downloads, capture audience data and build up your first-party data – highly important in light of Google going cookie-less next year.

7) Make things easy for your users

Don’t make the user journey more complex than it needs to be. From your website layout to clear sign posting, related content links to call to actions, there are many things you can do to make life that bit easier for your website users.

Even if you have the best digital strategy in place to drive traffic and the highest quality content, if your site is not easy to use or navigate, your users will find it hard to locate the information they want and may not convert with you.

Give due time and attention to improvements that will support your users’ experience. Something as simple as changing a background colour or moving the position of a button can make a big difference to your conversion rate.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) practices and a UX audit are effective methods of unearthing where improvements are needed and testing the impact of them. Through detailed analysis, you will be able to discover the barriers your users face. Whether it’s issues with a certain device or a specific page underperforming, these activities will help you implement changes that will create a better user experience.

8) Stay front of mind with your audience

If a user has already visited your website, you can be confident that something about your business or offering has grabbed their attention. In professional services industries, the sales cycle will often span a significant research period and involve multiple people within the business before a decision is made. However, the overall value of a customer to your business is likely much higher.

That’s why remarketing to those lost visitors is all the more important. Remarketing helps turn lost visitors into leads. When a user visits your website and completes an action, a tag places a cookie in their browser allowing you to remarket relevant ads based on their interactions after leaving your site. By directing your budget to those who are more likely to convert, you can maximise the return on your investment from  the traffic you’re generating.

9) Nurture your contacts

Armed with a growing database of users who have expressed interest in what you do, nurturing those contacts is key and email marketing is an effective way of doing this.

A drip campaign is a triggered sequence of automated emails consisting of marketing messages created in a pre-defined order. The ‘drip’ refers to sending them in a slow and steady series that enables you to keep in touch with your audience in a personalised and targeted way.

Drip campaigns could include automated workflows that guide recipients through a journey to leveraging dynamic content capabilities to ensure highly relevant email content. Analytics can help you see who is engaging with these emails and what people are clicking to ensure your business is introducing direct sales at the most appropriate time to encourage conversion.

If you want to find out more about how you can nurture your contacts through email marketing, our connected agency, Wired Plus, wrote a blog on the topic: Your Fast Track Guide To Drip Campaigns.

How can we help you?

We’ve worked with many businesses in professional services industries. Our strategies have incorporated a tailored combination of SEO, paid media, outreach, digital PR and content marketing to drive impressive results:

  • 62 percent increase in organic sessions for one of the UK’s leading medical negligence and personal injury law firms, Boyes Turner.
  • 117 percent increase in organic traffic for international legal advisors, Withers Worldwide.
  • 340 percent increase in site visibility for one of the world’s largest insurance brokerages,  Gallagher.
  • Reaching page one on Google for ‘loan’ and ‘loans’ for renowned personal loan and credit card company, 118 118 Money.
  • 25 percent increase in keywords ranking in positions one to three on the SERPs for legal negligence experts, Been Let Down.

If you want to find out more about the way we work and how we can produce results like these for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of digital marketing experts