Search Engine Optimisation – SEO what? A must-read guide for professional services firms

Although 93% of B2B companies rely on content marketing to win new customers, only 37% have a valid strategy. And that’s a problem if your professional services firm is duking it out with competitors in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). 

Here’s the thing. Content and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are inextricably linked. To quote the late great Frank Sinatra, you can’t have one without the other – which means mastering both if you want to blast through the noise and get your customers’ attention.

In this must-read guide we’ll:

  • Explain what SEO means and how it works
  • Why it should be part of your content plan
  • How it’s changing and why that matters
  • The next steps to  take

What is SEO?

What is SEO and why does your business need it?

SEO is often mistaken for a technique. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s a set of tools and strategies you can deploy to improve brand visibility – making it easier for prospects to find you.

Do you want to nail your SEO marketing? Then you need to understand – and focus on – the following three areas.

1. Technical SEO

A website can be a powerful digital asset, provided it’s optimised for search engine crawlers: dedicated lines of code which ensure your site is fit for purpose. 

Think about it this way. Before Google sends traffic to your website, it wants to know the end experience will be nothing less than optimal for its customers.

Three technical SEO techniques you can put into play right away include:

  • Adding and verifying your website with Google Search Console
  • Creating a user-friendly site structure and design layout 
  • Ensuring your site loads fast – on desktop and mobile

2. On-page SEO

Just now we talked about the role of metacrawlers. These so-called ‘robots’ meticulously assess every page on your website  – which is why your content should be nothing less than immaculate.

Are your page titles optimised? These headings will be visible to users and must be intriguing enough to capture their attention. Meanwhile, including a topical keyword will help bots understand the focus of your page.

In short, combine deep keyword research with creative and compelling headlines. That way, your content will reach the right people and have the best possible impact when it does.

3. Content SEO

As part of your content strategy, you probably publish blogs. Here’s the thing: even if your content is well researched, typo-free, and cutting edge it’ll sink like a stone without solid keyword research.

Before starting the writing process use a keyword research tool to identify the words and phrases users are typing in to find firms like yours and incorporate them into your content.

Don’t forget to weave these keywords and phrases into your page titles too – so that metacrawlers can understand the context of your content and promote it to the right audience.

In a nutshell…

In short, no matter how stunning your website is, or how well your content is written, your efforts will be wasted unless you master the three areas outlined above.

To complicate matters, the SEO landscape is changing. If you want to maintain a competitive edge over your rivals, adaptation will be key.

Three important SEO trends in 2022 your business can’t afford to miss

It’s impossible to keep up with, understand, and master each and every emerging SEO trend (there are only so many hours in the day – and you have a business to run). 

So which ones should you focus on? If you want to future proof your business we’d recommend keeping the following three on your radar.

1. Ditch stock imagery to reap better results in the SERPS

That’s right, populating your website with unique images will help you leapfrog over competitors who still rely on uninspiring run-of-the-mill stock imagery. This trend has been gathering momentum since 2021 – when Google decided to start including image assets in the SERPS.

That’s because Google:

  • Wants to create authentic experiences that move its users. Images that look staged will be looked upon less favourably and affect the website’s rankings adversely.
  • Is keen to make search engine results more visually driven and accessible – which means users will make decisions based on images as much as written content.

Implementing this strategy won’t cut deep into your budget, requires only minimal expertise, and will pay dividends in the longer term.

SEO trends 2022

2. Voice Search Engine Optimisation (VSEO) is on the rise

Not only that, it’s worth billions and gathering momentum. The meteoric rise of smartphones and intelligent assistant devices – like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana – have changed how consumers search for products and services forever.

Master voice search and:

  • Your website will skyrocket up the SERPS. That’s because voice-search results usually rank in the top three positions of any given search engine.
  • Revenue will rise in direct proportion to traffic levels – because you’ll be converting a higher volume of prospects

Thorough keyword research must form the foundation of your voice search strategy – and you must take care to write conversationally while using a question-based structure to reap optimal results.

3. The growing importance of mobile and user experience 

It’s impossible to ignore the importance of smartphones. Over 6 billion people – that’s 87.2% of the global population – use these nifty pocket-sized devices. In short, if your site isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re missing out on a sizable chunk of the worldwide market.

That’s why User Experience (UX) is so important. Images, content, and navigation should seamlessly combine – resulting in a fluid and stress-free process that solves your prospects’ issues.

To create an optimal user experience:

  • Keep your design clean and uncluttered – so that users don’t feel overwhelmed
  • Use content sparsely and use words that even an eight-year-old could understand 
  • Space is your friend, so leave gaps between text and images to simplify interactions
  • Ensure that each step flows logically to the next, resulting in a fluid and logical journey

The next step in your firm’s SEO strategy

If you take away nothing else from this guide, remember that your content strategy starts with SEO. It isn’t something you can apply retrospectively. Take time to perfect your approach and the results will automatically follow.

As you now know, the SEO landscape is vast, restless, and still evolving. So it’s also important to choose the right tools for your industry – rather than trying to implement every item outlined in this guide.

Finally, achieving SEO success takes time and, even if you achieve top rankings in the SERPs, it won’t be long before a competitor topples you from the podium – meaning you have to fight your way back up the ladder.

Why not leave the hard work to us instead…

At Boss Digital we’re results-driven and have a strong track record of helping professional services firms like yours to achieve SEO success. 

Contact us to learn more or, to learn more check out our case studies to find out how we’ve helped big brand names achieve great results.