Backlinks vs Lead Valves

Sometimes we forget that marketing online isn’t about driving traffic to our website. It’s really about generating leads.

If you change your perception about “Offsite SEO” as being about just creating backlinks to your website and think about using them as stand alone lead valves that can generate a call or storefront visit by themselves by getting your compelling message seen in multiple places where prospects are looking for your products and services.

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Hey, this is Jack Mize with

You know, one of the most common misconceptions about local internet marketing is that it’s all about driving traffic to a website. And, in reality, when we’re talking about marketing, we’re really talking about getting our prospects to engage. Getting our prospects further along, closer to doing business with us or some kind of transaction.

And the reality of that is, it doesn’t have to happen based on a website. There are so many properties out there, internet properties out there that you can put a compelling message on. A lot of people think about those as backlinks. Let’s get backlinks, which is really just a link back to our website. What a lot of people refer to as the money page, because they think that’s where all of the transactions happen. That’s where all of the engagement happens.

And it’s just not true. There have been a lot of different studies from different groups that measure the behavior of local consumers and what’s been consistent over the last several years is that a local consumer that’s ready to buy, a purpose-driven consumer, a purchase-driven consumer, really, is after a few things before they are after a website.

One, they’re after a phone number. If they’re a purchase-driven consumer and they’re ready to engage and they know what they want, one of the first things they look for is a phone number. How can I contact you?

And number two is: where you’re located. What’s your address? Are you close? Where can I do business with you?

Number three is: what are your hours of operation? When can I do business with you?

And then, only after those three, is where the website generally falls onto these lists, when they’re compiling what local purchase-driven consumers are looking for.

So, think about the way that you behave when you are looking for a local product or service. A lot of times, it’s not a website. You may make contact with a business based on their Google+ listing. You may make contact with them based on a business listing that they may have within their MerchantCircle. It may be off of a Craigslist or a Backpage or an online classified ad that popped up in the search engines.

What I really want to have you think about is not to think about these properties as just backlinks. Don’t think of YouTube or any other web properties as just a backlink to your web page. But think about these as actual lead valves. Think about these as an opportunity to present your compelling message to generate a call or a store-front visit directly from that consumer, without them having to go to your website.

Oftentimes, I don’t want a website. A lot of local websites, frankly, are really bad. But a lot of businesses and even consultants feel that everything needs to direct them or get them to the web page. And it’s just not true. You can generate a lead, you can generate interest, you can get a consumer to engage, if you have your compelling message in other places.

And that’s one of the first things that I did when I started working with local businesses and working in local internet marketing, was let’s get your compelling message found in multiple places where local consumers are looking for your product and service.

So, if you’re doing anything like backlinking by using press releases or you’re working on doing online classified ads or your business listings, like MerchantCircle, Yelp, your Yellow Page listings, I want you to think about those beyond just being a backlink and think about those as being standalone marketing pieces.

Get your compelling message into that business listing, into that ad, and try to get the contact, try to get the engagement without even having to get them to your website. Because that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about generating the lead. It’s about generating the engagement.

I just want you to think about that. If you have any comments or ideas, please leave a comment. And if you like this tip, go ahead and share it out on the social networks. I certainly would appreciate it. I look forward to seeing your feedback.