You can leverage SEO to capture leads and scale your consulting business. “70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC,” according to Databox.
Consulting business sounds amazing at first until you realize how difficult getting clients can be. Everyone is a consultant these days, even your kid is aspiring to be one.
To succeed in this ever-competitive business model, you need to stand out and learn how to attract the right clients online.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you.
It helped JP Griffin Group, an Employee Benefits consulting firm to rank for 1,591 keywords and multiplied sales in 12 months back in 2017. In 2020, it currently ranks for roughly 9,000 keywords and traffic has tripled.
Optimizing your web pages and content will provide additional exposure for your consulting business. If your consulting business doesn’t catch up with the new marketing channel (the Internet), it’s bound to fail.
Here are the 7 highly-effective ways to grow your consulting business through SEO:
1. Target the right keywords
Every consultant has primarily keywords they ‘wish’ to rank for. This set of keywords might be competitive — which means that they will be difficult if not impossible to rank for.
So, if you’re a digital marketing consultant, for example, the obvious keyword you want to rank for is “digital marketing consultant.” But don’t do that because you’ll never rank.
Instead, enter that keyword into the search bar, scroll down to the bottom to find “Searches related to…”
The easiest way to start getting organic traffic and rankings early on is to find long-tail keywords (like the ones highlighted above in red) related to your seed topic.
Start creating valuable content around these keywords, and depending on the level of competition, you may not even need to build backlinks to these pages to rank well.
2. Create a variety of informational content
Content is the vehicle that carries your keywords and optimizes them for both prospects and clients. It can help you make more money as a consultant.
It works for consulting businesses, eCommerce stores, software companies, etc.
When your content is valuable, clients will trust you as the go-to consultant in your industry. They will be more than excited to work with you.
Regardless of the type of content you create, the goal is to answer questions that are relevant to your audience.
Ask yourself, “if a person is looking for a consultant, what will they type into the search engine (Google)?”
Your answers should form the foundation of your keyword research and content creation. Make sure your content is actionable.
As long as they can easily implement and get results with your informational content, they will be motivated to invest in your premium consulting packages.
3. Use social signals to boost your organic reach
Social media is addictive.
Search engines regard activities on social media platforms seriously. Some of the KPIs to look out for are shares, comments, likes, etc.
Even though social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor (according to Google), we’ve seen fairly-new websites ranking for competitive search terms because social shares are counted as a user engagement metric.
Here’s another reason to get serious with social media: consumers are turning to these platforms to buy products and find consultants, freelancers, and coaches.
You have a huge opportunity to reach potential clients on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, especially when you post at the right time. Social media also helps you to build lasting relationships with users.
4. Target mobile search users locally
What do most consulting businesses have in common? Local clients.
The majority of these people use mobile phones when searching for consultants near them.
According to research, 73% of mobile searches drive additional actions & conversions.
Yes, it makes sense to optimize your pages for these “near me” keywords. That way, you’ll not only rank in the Google map packs — but will also drive local prospects and clients to your business and boost sales.
Local searches are growing as a result of voice-enabled devices like Alexa, Amazon Echo, etc.
About 70% of people will likely visit your consulting business after conducting a local search. So your landing pages and offers must be tailored to appeal to local consumers and clients who need your consulting advice.
5. Clean up your online reputation
Reputation management is the act of controlling what prospects and clients see when they look for your business online. You’re deliberately creating the best online learning resource by listening to your customers.
Sadly, a few clients might have left negative reviews about their experiences with you on Yelp. It may not be intended; maybe it’s just a misunderstanding during a phone call.
When a new client that wants to consult with you sees these negative reviews, they will quickly decide whether to work with you or move on to your competitors.
Don’t run a passive consulting business. How do I mean? Always respond to negative reviews quickly, professionally, and calmly. Encourage positive reviews and testimonials from happy clients.
Even though Infinite Recovery – a drug rehab center based in Austin, Texas isn’t a pure consulting business, they are doing a great job with showcasing countless positive reviews of their happy customers. Feel free to adapt their approach for cleaning up your online reputation.
6. Improve on-page SEO
There are 3 aspects of SEO, namely:
- On-Page SEO (what happens within your domain name)
- Off-Page SEO (external factors that affect your site, mostly backlinks)
- Technical SEO (site structure, robots.txt file, sitemaps, etc.)
When you’re running a consulting business, always interlink your pages.
Interlinking is a segment of on-page SEO — you link your new posts with your older posts, and vice versa.
The purpose is to create a web-like navigational structure throughout your pages — and to pass/distribute link juice (value) from your activities outside your website to your main pages.
You also need to optimize your pages for speed, craft original and descriptive title tags, optimize headings with keywords and relevant questions, using short URLs, and so on.
7. Design a content marketing strategy
To get consistent results through SEO, you must embrace it fully. SEO is tough, so give it all that it takes.
Therefore, you need to design a content marketing strategy that integrates all the components we’ve covered here today, including updating old posts with new information and images to boost organic traffic by as much as 106%.
Image source: MIG
You may need to outsource some aspects of your SEO practices, such as content creation, link building, and social media management (to keep your followers engaged).
Create a long-term strategy that will incorporate every aspect of your business. If you have a marketing budget (you should), you may start building a team to help take your consulting business to the next level.
All in all, SEO is the key to unlock the growth-potentials of your consulting business.
Not only does SEO improve your online visibility in the search engines, but also because it can increase your sales by driving more qualified clients to your consulting website.
This gives you ample opportunities to convert leads to consulting clients.
Remember to pay attention to local businesses and marketers who are searching on Google for what you’re offering. These people might be closer to you than you think.