A Simple (But Complete) Pay Per Lead SEO Guide in 7 Steps

pay per lead seo

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Pay Per Lead is a high-yielding business model. It’s robust, data-based, and capable of generating impressive returns for your efforts.

Now, most marketers are quick to jump on Pay Per Lead Advertising. And very few pay attention to Pay Per Lead SEO – which is quite a missed opportunity.

By using SEO for pay per lead generation, you can benefit from already high-ranking pages. The work is already done; all you need to do is reap the fruits using a magic tool.

In this guide, we’ll share how Pay Per Lead SEO works along with the magic tool that you need to win the game⚡

Trust us; this is the key to naturally driving potential leads deeper into the funnel. And we promise you’ll love the ease of its use.

Most companies using this tool don’t even want other businesses to know – because it’s a major steal!!

So obviously, there’s a reason we’ve decided to put out our pot of gold in the open for you. You’ll find out in a couple of minutes. 😉

Let’s get started!

What is Pay Per Lead SEO?

Before we dive into the details, let’s quickly understand what actually makes up Pay Per Lead SEO.

We’re combining two things:

  • Pay Per Lead
  • SEO

Pay Per Lead marketing is a business model in which businesses pay for information about potential customers who have expressed interest in a business’s products or services.

For example, a doctor who needs more clients for his clinic can contact a lead generation agency that offers PPL services. The agency will find potential clients (called leads) using their lead-gen methods (such as the magic tool that we’ll disclose in a bit).

Next, the lead generation agency will sell these leads to the doctor. They will charge a certain amount for each lead. (E.g. Average rate for a healthcare lead is $162).

On the contrary, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a means of organic online growth. You don’t pay anyone to list you in the top results for a specific keyword (like PPC). Instead, you create quality content that’s optimized for search engines and your target audience.

So, once you publish it, you land in the top results for targeted keywords without paying. And you can retain the rank as long as your content piece brings the best possible value to the target audience.

Note that we’re talking about all types of content here. It can include blog posts, articles, lists, guides, reviews, landing pages, product pages, videos, social media content, and everything else that the search engine indexes.

The idea of Pay Per Lead SEO is to combine the two. Using this approach, you will be creating optimized content that maximises your discoverability in search engines and wins you leads.

How so? More on that below!

The Benefits: Why SEO for PPL?

We’ve just evaluated SEO.

We know it brings long-lasting results and it’s cost-efficient. But we also know it is very demanding in terms of time and effort.

So, why are we integrating SEO with PPL in the first place? Why don’t we merge PPC with PPL instead?

To understand this, first, visualize the process of both SEO and PPC.


  1. Search relevant keywords
  2. Create and publish high-quality content for these keywords
  3. Building high-quality backlinks for trust and credibility
  4. Improving technical SEO (indexing, crawling, etc.)


  1. Search relevant keywords
  2. Determine your budget for a click
  3. Create an ad relevant to the keyword
  4. Set up your target audience and publish the ad

Notice that two steps are common in both SEO and PPC:

  • Keyword Research
  • Content Creation

Both of these are also the heart of Pay Per Lead Marketing. In almost every PPL model, you have to find words that people are searching for, create content around these keywords, and publish in a relevant space.

In the case of Pay Per Lead SEO, you will:

  • Search keywords
  • Create pages which satisfy the user intent for that keyword
  • Incorporate a lead capture form within this page
  • Publish on your website

The information you collect via the lead form generates a lead. If you’re a lead generation agency adopting this model, you will sell this lead to companies.

What SEO has over PPC;

  • SEO does not involve any payments.
  • There’s room for free-of-cost trial and error in SEO. If it doesn’t get you any positive balance, it won’t get you any negative balance either.
  • It brings relevant and targeted traffic. If you aim for long-tail keywords, visitors landing on your pages will definitely be somewhere in the middle of the buying funnel. Drive them further!
  • It brings permanent authority and credibility to your website over time. Unlike PPC, you don’t disappear from search results once you stop paying.
  • Approximately 71% of people prefer clicking on organic search results. Only 15% click on ads that show on top. This means your PPC efforts are typically ignored by the majority of your target audience.

The entwining of SEO and PPL seems so promising that experts predict Pay Per Lead SEO is the future of the online marketing. It may even combine with AI further down the lane to maximize specificity, filter leads, or refine marketing funnels.

When to use SEO for PPL?

If you’re a business with a decent budget but time constraints, pay per lead advertising might be a good idea. It will give you a head start.

You’ll get immediate traffic, half of which you might be able to convert.

But if you’re a business that ticks one or all of the below, SEO has big potential for PPL: 

1. You have a strong website in your industry.

Strong websites have a greater chance of success at Pay Per Lead SEO.

Why so? Because technically, a website is the main component that any business requires to thrive in the virtual world.

It’s safe to say you already have the car if your website is strong. Now, fuel is all that you need to move forward.

But what’s fuel for you? Your target audience’s attention!

And how can you get it? Pay Per Lead SEO!

With that said, let’s check out what features truly make a website strong:

  • A clear purpose
  • Original, value-rich content
  • Quality backlinks
  • Aesthetic and convenient user interface
  • Rich user experience
  • Quick loading speed
  • Multi-device optimization
  • A safe and secure browsing experience

All of these factors help Google and other search engines recognize your website as authentic, resourceful, and reliable. Once you get on their good list, the algorithms will push you to the top.

The strongest indicator amongst these is backlinks. Visually, a backlink looks like this:


In terms of functionality, it links one page on the internet with another. Thus, it acts as a referral or vote.

When other domains refer to your blog posts or web pages in their content, they are endorsing you. Google counts this as a vote and elevates your website in terms of authority.

Hence, you should aim for high-quality backlinks, i.e., links from a website with high domain authority. Plus, the link should be extremely relevant to the content, placed somewhere in between, and the anchor text should be specific. It’s best to use keywords as anchor text.

Experts suggest that a good website should have at least:

  • 40 – 50 backlinks to the homepage
  • 0 – 100 backlinks to each individual web page

But if you have high-quality backlinks in a niche where competitors have none, you can rank on top and gain authority with only a few backlinks.

2. You plan to do this for a long time.

We’ve said this before; we’ll say it again: SEO takes time.

Pay Per Lead SEO is the right approach for you if you’ve got the benefit of time. If you can wait for business to come to you – and come to you for good – invest in PPL SEO.

SEO experts say it takes at least four months for a page to rank. But it can also take a few days, a year, or even four… Your ranking time depends on:

  • Intent-specific & keyword-rich content
  • Media-rich content
  • Catchy headlines
  • Well-spaced and well-structured post formats (bullet lists, infographics, videos, short paragraphs, etc.)
  • Interactive elements like quizzes, polls, maps, calculators, etc.
  • SEO-health of your site

If you have all of these in the right place, keep working on good content and you shall win Pay Per Lead SEO in no time. Almost every other visitor that lands on your website might be a lead for you.

3. You have a high chance of ranking.

You have good chances of ranking if:

  • You have a strong website for the keywords you need to rank for.
  • You don’t have a strong website, but your competitors suck at SEO or just don’t care.

But you have a high chance of ranking if you have a strategic approach to SEO.

What’s that supposed to mean?

Simply put, don’t do SEO blindly.

➡️ Do not create quality blog posts on random, unrelated topics.

➡️ Even if all of them are relevant to your business but not closely connected with one another, you’ll have a hard time gaining any authority or visibility in the industry.

Plus, there’s no point in creating any quality content at all if your audience is not interested in learning about it. So, you need to know:

  • What interests your audience?
  • What are they searching for?
  • What are the different angles of a single topic and how can you educate your audience in all aspects of that particular topic?

For example, at the LeadsHook blog, we teach you all about capturing leads. From doing market research to selling leads for the best profits – we guide it all.

Our core point is: capturing and generating leads.

All other topics on our blog are linked to this one central idea. Check out our current progress on the LeadsHook blog to get an idea.

We can extend our blogs to other aspects of digital growth and marketing – and perhaps, we will. But not right now; we have a strategy in place!

Learn more about how to build an SEO strategy from scratch. Note that it’s easier to say than to do.

SEO is a learned skill, and someone with experience can do much better than someone with theoretical knowledge. So, if it’s your first time competing for first-page ranks, it’s best you hire an SEO expert.

4. You have a low-budget and good stamina.

Here’s the final and strongest indicator that Pay Per Lead SEO is your way to go: you have a low budget.

Look now; SEO doesn’t demand a penny on the surface. If you educate yourself enough on the topic, practice your SEO skills, experiment, and draft some solid SEO strategies – you can do it all alone. For free.

It will cost you time. But in the long run, you’re likely to get an ROI.

Alternatively, you can hire an SEO expert for some time or pay for consultancy/advice. Even so, it will cost you much less than PPC campaigns.

Here’s a glimpse:

  • Average charges for SEO consultancy: $100/hr
  • Average PPC campaign cost per month: $15,000 – $20,000

How to use SEO for Pay Per Lead?

Time for action!

Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to use SEO for Pay Per Lead marketing. Take notes as you read…

1. Research Keywords

A keyword is where the magic begins.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that your potential customer uses to find a service or product like yours.

For example, if you’re selling solar panels, your target audience might be searching for you by entering the following terms in the Google search bar:

  • Best solar panels near me
  • Cheapest solar panels
  • Best solar panel deals

Now, we know there are different types of buyers. And each type of buyer is at a different stage of the sales funnel.

Those who are wanting to purchase a solar panel are your potential customers. They’re highly convertible. And deep into the sales funnel.

But those who are only learning about solar panels are also your potential customers. They are just further up in the sales funnel. They are a few steps away from making a purchase and you will have to do some convincing to convert them.

Owing to these different stages of the customer journey, there are different types of keywords. Broadly, we categorize them as follows:

Informational Keywords: Users are seeking general information related to your industry.

💡Example: What are solar panels?

Navigational Keywords: Users are seeking a specific site or page. Their search might be location specific. Note that the users know there’s a solution to their problem, but they may not know what the solution is.

💡Example: Solar Panel Companies in Los Angeles

Commercial Keywords: Users are seeking the best brands or specific brands.

💡Example: SunPower Solar Panel Review

Transactional Keywords: Users are aiming to take an action to acquire their solution.

💡Example: Buy Solar Panels Online

To begin with Pay Per Lead SEO, you need to pick the type of keywords you’re going to work on. You’ve to select the type that aligns best with your business goals and priorities (more on that in a bit).

But note that finding the right keywords is the entire essence of Pay Per Lead SEO. When finding the keywords, you need to be very specific and accurate. So, you can find someone who’s seeking exactly what you’re selling.

If you fail to do so, you might end up investing loads of effort in missed targets. You’ll only be discoverable by an audience that’ll scroll past your website.

How to find the right keywords?

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for finding the right keywords.

Here’s what the general process looks like:

  1. Come up with keyword ideas.
  2. Shortlist the most beneficial keyword ideas.
  3. Analyze their potential by assessing a few metrics.
  4. Analyze how your audience wants to be answered for each keyword idea.
  5. Analyze how Google perceives each of your shortlisted keyword ideas.
  6. Create content that satisfies the audience, Google, and delivers unique value. The uniqueness offered can be a different perspective or an entirely new approach.

Here’s how you can go about each step:

How to come up with keyword ideas?
  • Brainstorm seed keywords.
  • Use a keyword research tool to find the keywords competitors are targeting and ranking for.
  • Study competitors manually and brainstorm a bit to find keywords competitors are missing out on.
  • Spend time on platforms relevant to your audience. Find out what they’re talking about.
  • For PPL SEO, it is advisable to pick long-tail keywords since they’ve got a highly specific intent & often have low comp.
How to shortlist the most promising keywords?
  • Use a keyword tool to assess the following metrics: Search Volume, CPC, Traffic Potential, and Keyword Difficulty.
  • Remember, search volume is a more reliable metric compared to CPC. It’s relatively stable from month to month, while there are drastic ups & downs in CPC depending on advertisers’ moves.
  • Every keyword research tool measures metrics differently. Educate yourself before using a tool and do not entirely depend on its results. Use your knowledge and intuition to make decisions.
How to analyze what the target audience seeks for a specific keyword?
  • Search the keyword on Google and determine the type of pages in the top results. Are they landing pages, product pages, blog posts, or a different type of page?
  • Analyze the format of these pages. Are they guides, listicles, reviews, news, comparison, or some other format?
  • Opt for the most prominent type of page and post format in the top results.
How to analyze Google’s perception of a specific keyword?
  • If many keyword ideas are resembling, run a different Google search query for each. Group the keywords that give more or less the same results when you search them. These keywords can be used within one post.
  • But if you see drastic differences on result pages for two similar keywords, create a different page for each. They count as two different ranking opportunities.
  • We recommend taking inspiration for page type and post format from the top 10 results.

Once done, you’ve to create content that captures leads. Read on to figure out how you can do that.

2. Create content that matches the intent

We’ve talked about search intent above. It’s quite literally the whole point.

Once you’ve settled for a keyword, you’ve settled for a specific search intent to satisfy.

Begin the process by structuring your page.

  1. Evaluate the headings within each post in the top ten results. List down the aspects they are covering. Your goal is to provide more than this. Quality-wise.
  2. The structure should also take the reader from one heading to the next naturally. It should be a logical, step-by-step, and engaging sequence.

Here’s what a good blog post structure should look like:


Remember, user intent is a complex subject.

Deciding on a keyword can bring you great clarity. But even after that, there are a lot of possibilities.

The user’s boat sails in whichever direction you make the wind blow.

It is possible to change their intent over the course of the blog post. But we recommend addressing the user’s direct intent first. And then bringing your point into focus.

For example, if you sell solar panels and the user searches for types of solar panels. Educate the reader about the types of solar panels and then pitch your product.

Since this is a distant topic, pitching solar panels might not be a natural move. Or even if you do mention buy solar panels somewhere in the content and pitch yourself, you might not sound convincing enough.

At this stage, it’s best to put all your efforts into directing them toward an action. Getting their info is wiser than forcing your sales pitch.

Hop onto the last section of this Pay Per Lead SEO guide to learn how to make a natural call to action.

3. Hook searchers with a good title.

Finish your masterpiece with a title that makes your reader go WOW or perhaps WAIT, WHAT?!

How to do that?

  • Keep the length of the title between 40 – 60 characters.
  • Keep it very clear and comprehensive.
  • Use super emotive & promising words. Here’s a good list of power words.
  • Position keywords towards the start.
  • Make it descriptive with a relatable (and popular) name, thing, or scenario.
  • Make it appealing with a very surprising fact or number.

Explore more on how to craft catchy blog post titles.

4. Make the website enjoyable.

To make a website enjoyable, you should either make it skimmable or interactive.

Here’s what you can do to make a website skimmable:

  • Divide content into shorter paragraphs.
  • Make content easy to consume.
  1. Say if you’re selling laptops, focus on simplifying the content. Write as if you’re explaining to an 8th grader.
  1. But if you’re selling biomedical equipment, focus on making your point quickly. The engineer probably doesn’t have the time to read a 1000-word long description.
  • Enrich the page with tables, images, videos, and GIFs that explain or support your text.
  • Ensure the images are not too difficult to understand and are aesthetic. 
  • Balance the white space. Don’t leave too much of it and don’t pack the page either. 
  • Use the right combination of font, colors, and media. Sync it with your brand persona and keep it consistent.
  • Use clear and compelling headings

And here’s what you can do to make the website interactive:

  • Incorporate clickable and engaging quizzes. Make sure these are relevant to the text and solve a problem for the reader. 
  • Incorporate a poll, game, calculator, or image slider

Apart from these, page speed is very important. According to data, an average user leaves the site if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Similarly, 60% of all web traffic comes from mobiles. So, if you do not have a mobile-friendly website, you’ll lose a lot of visitors. Optimize your web for mobile to deliver a good experience to users.

5. Direct them to take action

This step is where SEO and PPL truly integrate. So far, we’ve optimized the blog post from an SEO perspective. At this point, we bring in the PPL aspect.

We ask the reader to take an action, which in turn, gives us useful information about this visitor and helps us get our hands on a potential lead.

Getting it?

It is also known as the call to action.

Ideally, an optimized blog post that aims to win a lead should have multiple CTAs. These CTAs should be well-spaced and well-integrated within the content.

Here’s a glimpse from one of our posts:

How to sell leads

The button that you see is a call to action. Once the user clicks on it, they are directed to an action, which helps us collect useful information about them.

You see, the goal with SEO Pay Per Lead is not to rank keywords, but to capture leads from all possible visitors searching for that keyword!

Now, it’s not necessary to use a button as a CTA. You can even use an embedded form as your CTA.

But it’s 2023, and most people do not fall for the form stuff anymore, so we recommend using the magic tool: interactive and intent-specific quizzes. There’s more on how to do that in the last section.

Also – if you’re not sure what to do with the collected information or where to take the reader once they take an action, browse our list of customer engagement models to find out. It’ll give you a clear idea of what your next step should be.

6. Add internal links to the page

An internal link is a hyperlink that takes the user to another page on your website.

For example, if you click on some of the links on this very page they will take you to our other posts which will provide more context about the topic.

See what we’ve done here?

  • We incorporated a keyword within the content.
  • We used this keyword as an anchor text and hyperlinked our other page to it.

In this way, when a reader clicks on the anchor text, they are directed to a page within our very own website.

So, what’s the point of internal linking?

  • It enhances user experience by delivering more quality and answers they seek.
  • It helps Google understand your website better and improves crawl efficiency.
  • It improves engagement metrics.
  • It eventually wins the trust of readers and brings you credibility.
  • It contributes to conversion!

7. Get quality backlinks

Above, we’ve talked in-depth about the importance of backlinks for SEO.

But how do you acquire quality backlinks? What does the process look like?

The most original and authentic approach is to wait patiently. If your content is strong and unique, perhaps industry peers will recognize you and refer to your content.

But that’ll be a matter of luck. It’s better to take matters into your hands and consciously strive towards acquiring quality backlinks.

You can do that by:

  • Guest blogging
  • Influencer marketing
  • Ask for your due credit if someone quotes you
  • Post extremely detailed or original step-by-step guide
  • PR SEO
  • Paying for links (Shh, don’t tell Google!😏)

A quick way to get quality backlinks is to launch a small but free tool. For example, if your company offers solar panels, you can introduce a solar panel calculator which helps people find the perfect size and type for their home.

Give it to the industry for free. And if it’s good, you will soon see the tool mentioned on top-ranking websites. This wins you high-quality backlinks. Use it to your website’s advantage!

If you’re focused on organic growth completely, building a solid backlink profile might take some time. But it’s going to be worth it! You’re going to get some very quality leads via backlinks.

How to craft a lead-capturing CTA?

We can help you create super fun quizzes that hook your audience so they can’t scroll past. This quiz is the lead-capturing CTA that we help you create & incorporate in blog posts such that it maximizes the success rate of your Pay Per Lead SEO strategy.

The questions within these quizzes convey the feeling: you’re being helped. Check out this quiz on buying homes:

The visitor continues to answer the questions one after another. And in doing so, they leave you plentiful information about themselves, which can serve as an asset for you!

Use this information to pursue them further with emails, offers, and other marketing material created especially for them. Convert them!

But why bother with quizzes when you can embed forms?

It’s because forms are boring and static! They don’t appeal to web visitors anymore. And they only collect a bunch of generic details about the visitor.

On the contrary, a quiz is interactive. It collects details that are highly relevant to your business.

In fact, on average, a quiz delivers a completion rate of 90 percent, while a form delivers a completion rate of only 10 percent!

This is why you urgently need a quiz in your Pay Per Lead SEO strategy. It literally converts.

Don’t take our word for it.

Test it out yourself during your 14-day FREE trial!

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Article By

Romaisa Abbas

I’m a technical writer specializing in B2B SaaS. Other than tea, I’m mostly driven by my passion for innovation — if I’m not writing or studying, you’d most likely find me researching different industry subjects or on LinkedIn.

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