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.
Here's a great video from Surfer SEO explaining this strategy in more detail and getting stuck into it:
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.
An important aspect to keep in mind when creating this new content is Google promotes web pages that perform well in three areas, Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness (E-A-T):
How well does your content reflect specialist knowledge or experience? Can you demonstrate that you are an authority on the topic?
Do you have any external links from reputable websites? This is crucial as it shows that other experts deem your website as a credible source of information to the extent that they are willing to recommend it to their user base/website traffic.
Is your website/content free from any spammy techniques? Are visitors likely to trust your website based on your design, branding and user experience? Is your content well written and free from errors?
If you can ensure that your content is of high quality in all of these areas, you'll be on the right track to earning better rankings in Google.
In the digital landscape, establishing trust and ensuring privacy are paramount. This isn't just essential for building customer relationships—it's also an integral part of a successful SEO strategy. Google, for instance, values sites that appear trustworthy and secure, which can have a direct impact on your search engine rankings.
Security starts with the basics. Ensuring that your website is HTTPS, rather than HTTP, is a crucial step. HTTPS signals to both Google and your users that your site is secure and that any information shared on your site is encrypted and safe. Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal since 2014, so if your site is not yet secure, it's time to make that transition.
At Soone Agency, we take privacy and trust very seriously. We adhere to the highest standards of data protection and ethical SEO practices. We also ensure that all our clients' websites are secure and have transparent privacy policies. This commitment to security and privacy isn't just about SEO rankings—it's about respecting and protecting our clients and their customers.
Remember, trust and privacy are not one-time efforts; they are ongoing commitments. As part of our SEO strategy, we continually monitor and update our practices to stay current with evolving data protection regulations and industry best practices. In this way, we ensure that our clients' SEO efforts are secure and that they maintain the trust of their customers—and of Google.
SEO isn't a one-and-done effort; it's a dynamic, ongoing process that requires staying current with evolving trends in the industry. As search algorithms continuously change, so too must our SEO strategies to ensure sustained visibility and rankings.
Google, for instance, regularly updates its algorithms, refining the ways in which it assesses and ranks websites. These changes can range from adjustments to how backlinks are evaluated to increased emphasis on mobile-first indexing or page load speed. All these changes directly impact SEO practices, and therefore it is crucial to adapt and align our tactics with these updates.
At Soone Agency, we pride ourselves on our proactive approach to these changes. Our team is always on top of the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates. We regularly attend industry conferences, participate in webinars, and engage with thought leaders in the SEO field. This active involvement helps us stay ahead of the curve and adapt our strategies accordingly to ensure our clients’ websites maintain high visibility and ranking.
One trend we've noticed recently is the increasing importance of Core Web Vitals in Google's ranking algorithm. As a response, we have put more emphasis on enhancing page load speed, interactivity, and visual stability. This is just one example of how we adapt our strategies to current industry trends.
Moreover, we understand that SEO isn't just about search engines—it's also about users. User behaviour and preferences are constantly changing, and these changes often influence SEO trends. For instance, the surge in mobile use has led to a greater emphasis on mobile-friendly websites in SEO. As part of our commitment to staying current, we continuously monitor these changes in user behaviour and preferences and incorporate them into our SEO strategies.
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.
Disclosure: Some of the links provided in this blog are affiliate links. We will be paid a commission if you use this link to make a purchase (we only use these for the software we use personally, so rest assured it's really good tech, we promise!).