SEO for professional services doesn’t have to be daunting and can have huge benefits for your business in the long run, generating quality traffic and leads. In this blog we break down the steps to take to get your search engine optimisation off the ground and working well:
The first step to SEO for your professional services business is deciding on the key pages you are going to optimise on your website. For most businesses, these will be your homepage and service pages. Create a spreadsheet of your sitemap ranking pages in order of priority, this will help you allocate time and resources efficiently to the most important parts of your website. From here we can delve into the next step of keyword research.
Once you have your list of focus service pages it's time to start identifying focus keywords that will impact the content on each. This is one of the most important parts of your SEO strategy, these keywords will be used in the body content, meta descriptions, title tags and image alt tags.
To find out what keywords people are actually searching for relevant to your business, there are a few tools you can use: Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush and SE Ranking (our personal favourite!) to name a few. These tools all have very similar functionalities and no matter which platform you go with the aim here is to choose highly relevant keywords that have considerable search volume and low competition.
You can do this by analysing the overall search volume for keywords (generally per month volume amount based on country) and also look at their difficulty score (this is a metric determining how hard it is to rank on page one for that specific term).
Using the example of a financial planning business based in Perth (Western Australia), a viable keyword for the homepage (using SE Ranking) may be 'financial planner Perth which has a monthly search volume of 880 (relatively high) and a keyword difficulty of 20/100 (relatively easy to rank for).
We recommend adding a new column to your sitemap export spreadsheet and mapping a focus keyword based on your research to each of your top pages. This will form a reference sheet for content optimisation and you can re-evaluate the keywords selected over time.
Once you have your list of focus keywords, which should correspond to the content on each page. It's time to start writing some unique content around these terms to upgrade your existing pages while still obviously providing value to visitors.
Keyword density is important within the text of your service pages, ideally, you want to carry the focus keyword from the spreadsheet naturally within your content without making it sound like an obvious and SEO-focussed piece. A good way to check this is by using a software tool such as Yoast WordPress Plugin or Surfer SEO which shows you what percentage of focus keywords appear on each page and how to make them more natural sounding.
We recommend optimising each page for one highly relevant keyword and ensuring that they are not overused and disrupt the natural flow of the content (vocabulary and sentence structure should remain consistent throughout). When writing your body copy, we suggest you write for people first and search engines second. Include keywords where it doesn't sound awkward, is intuitive to the reader and fits with the flow of your copy.
Some key areas to include your focus keywords where relevant are in your:
- Page title (approx 65 characters)
- Meta description (approx 155 characters)
- Heading tags ( H2 & H3 - we recommend no more than 2 per page)
- Body paragraphs (approx 2-3 times per 1000 words of body copy)
- Image alt text
Another great tactic to round out your SEO strategy for your professional services business is to offer content upgrades within pages. These are usually opt-in resources that are high value, highly relevant to the article content and provide sufficient value for being an exclusive premium offer. This can be a great point of difference from competitors content and boost your page up the rankings whilst generating leads.
Examples of these include:
- Checklists (templates to follow)
- Spreadsheets (data or calculations)
- Long-form guides or eBooks (3000+ words)
To add these opt-in elements to your page you'll need to add a lead generation form. This tactic can be a great way to build out your database of prospects.
When it comes to writing content upgrades, we recommend staying away from promoting anything that doesn't directly relate to your service offering and giving something of real value to the reader that they couldn't get elsewhere - particularly true for professional services companies.
The next step to generate traffic to your website is to curate a strategic SEO content calendar of new articles to be created. By publishing new content regularly the content calendar is one of the most effective ways to make sure that your website is continually ranked highly in Google.
Make a list of desirable longtail keywords using your chosen SEO software, these will generally have lower competition/search volume than your service page focus keywords. Create a list of blog titles related to these keywords then work out how much time you need to build each piece of content and schedule it into your calendar for the next few months.
Be sure to make your content is useful to your target audience and explore the topic in-depth. If it's high quality, you're more likely to rank on the first page of Google and generate quality traffic. Try to include your longtail keyword several times within the body text of your content whilst internally linking to any other of your web pages/articles that may be relevant.
To wrap up, we hope you've enjoyed this blog and found it useful in finding your way around SEO for professional services. The key takeaways from this article are
- Conduct keyword research for your pages using an SEO tool
- Optimise each service page to one keyword, ensure keywords are not overused and disrupt the natural flow of the content
- Include keywords where relevant within your title, meta description, heading tags, body paragraphs and image alt text
- Offer content upgrades within pages to boost page rankings whilst generating leads
- Create new long-form relevant content on a regular basis for your SEO calendar
At Soone Agency, we specialise in SEO for professional services companies. If you'd like to find out more on how we can assist your business get in touch today.