This week a prospect asked me about my experience with SEO. A question I’m getting quite often these days as a HubSpot Consultant.
The thing is, I do actually have experience with SEO and even some very successful case studies. But I still choose not to offer this as a standalone service. Why? Because most people are inherently not patient and SEO takes time to show results. But also, based on my experience, it’s probably not the only thing their organization needs. And in the case of optimizing SEO, most users can actually do that themselves with some of the tips and tricks below.
One of my clients had about 30 monthly visitors to their website and about 1 lead a month when they first called me. Fast forward 3 years and they now are getting close to 2.000 monthly organic visitors and about 60 leads a month. Needless to say the company grew quite a bit since they first met me and they are very happy with my services.
But! It took about 1 year(!) to start seeing these results after we first began working on their SEO strategy. And although there has been steady growth since then, if I were providing this as a stand-alone service I’m pretty sure they would have fired me at least 4 times over from this project.
The solution? Combining SEO with other services that do yield near-instant results. You may be thinking “But Jasper, what other kinds of services should I consider?” Well, let’s take a look and see how you can get started with some of these things on your own.
How to do SEO
I should first start by saying, just because I’m not offering SEO as a stand-alone service doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t already be doing it, because it’s definitely a crucial component to business growth. If you haven’t started already,, I’ll give you some tried-and-true tips of how I got to these success stories.
How do people get to your website?
The first thing you need to know is how people will actually get to your website. Usually it’s one of three things:
- They type in your company name on Google (Not that helpful to reach new people)
- They search for one of the products or services you are offering (Helpful but very competitive)
- They are looking for answers related to your product (Now we’re getting somewhere)
If we take these 3 main concepts into consideration, what are you doing for your business, to ensure that each of these three criteria are at the top of their game?
While Google Ads may help to a certain extent, it’s important to note that the less relevant your website is to the keywords, the more you pay for these keywords. You’ll also find that by creating better quality content, it creates an opportunity to stand out as a trustworthy source for advice, information, and products/services.
Updated and UX friendly website
Is your website user friendly? Is information about your product or service easy to access and understand? Does it provide a “same if not better” experience than your competitors? These are just a few key points to consider when evaluating your place in the market. If users can’t quickly, and easily find out who you are, what you do, or locate the product they’re looking for, they’ll go somewhere else that does this better.
It’s also important to consider the descriptions of your products, and whether or not they’re able to be found within a google search. By ensuring you have the right information within each of your product descriptions, you’ll benefit from repeat customers and higher ranking. Let’s imagine it this way: a user visits your website because of a product they liked or a great piece of content they found useful. If they search again a few days later for the same product or an answer which was contained in the content you’d created, your website will rank higher for them since they’ve visited it before.
Focus on long tail SEO
This third point is something we call long tail SEO, since we are focusing on more specific keyword phrases instead of just the name of a product or service. The biggest advantage here is that there is not a lot of competition for these keywords, as the space you occupy in the market is more specific.
Let’s take a pool company as an example. They could try to rank for keywords like “Pool builder”, but they will have a hard time succeeding at this. Instead they could focus on more long tail keywords like “How big should a private pool be?” or “Does a pool require a lot of maintenance?”. These are things your target audience will likely be searching for and they are much easier to rank for.
It also goes without saying that the content you create and publish on your website should be high-quality content that provides value for the reader. Using incoming questions from prospects and customers to drive content creation is one way to make sure you’re providing value. Another way would be to consider the advice you’d give to your customers, and make content around your existing knowledge and expertise in the market. They may just find an answer to something they didn’t even know they were looking for.
Try to stick to one topic per page
A common misconception I hear a lot is that one keyword per page is what Google likes best. The thing is, Google doesn't really rank your website as a whole, it ranks the content within your different pages. So for each page of content, you have the chance to rank for a certain topic. You can definitely rank for multiple topics on one page, but let's say if you have a one-page website and you answer all kinds of pool building related questions at the bottom of your one-pager, this will definitely not rank as well.
It’s also worth stepping into the mindset of your customers. If they’re looking for the answer to a question, and this answer is buried all the way at the bottom of the page, this creates another kind of missed opportunity. People don't go all the way to the bottom of your page. People will arrive at the top of your page when they come to your website, so put the answers there!
Gauge the interest of your keywords
With the help of some great tools like Ahrefs, you can better understand how your keywords are performing. They make it easy to understand the volume of traffic and attention a certain keyword gets each month, in which countries it’s popular, and how competitive it is. To boost your ranking and visibility, it’s crucial to know how easy (or how hard) it is to actually rank for a given keyword.
I hope by now you can understand the reason I don’t offer stand-alone SEO services. While SEO plays a huge role in the overall success of your business, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Creating a holistic and comprehensive action plan with all types of data, insight, and cohesion is what brings success to your business, and SEO plays a part of that. My final word of advice is this: most good things take time and consistent work. Trust that if you are doing the right things, the results will come.