Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring March 2016 - Page 59

SEO: The Science

of Being Seen

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard the virtues of a powerful online presence extolled so often that it’s become so much white noise. Don’t tune it out! Using the Internet to its fullest potential can help you grow your business, and a powerful Search Engine Optimization program is a key part of that.

Search engines have utterly destroyed the yellow pages, and it’s easy to see why.

● Organic searches are the #1 driver of traffic to content sites.

● 48% of mobile research starts on search engines.

● In one survey, 89% of participants admitted they searched for a business on their smartphone once a week or more, and 58% searched once a day.

Clearly, a strong understanding of how SEO works is key for business growth. No matter how beautiful your website is, it’s a destination - and getting potential clients to that destination is just as important as the destination itself.

How Do Clients Search?

This may seem like a simple question, but it’s key to your personal SEO strategy.

One common way to search for a small business is to use a location-based search. For example, “Coach Chicago IL” matches the common search string format of ‘occupation’ and ‘city, state.’ As you might guess, unless you’re the only coach in your city with a website, you’ll find your page fighting for a place in these search results amongst all your competitors.

Patients also sometimes use general searches, e.g. “Work/Life Balance Chicago IL.” If your website isn’t well-optimized with high quality content for general keywords, you can also expect to fall to the back of the pack. And 75% of search users never bother to scroll and click past the first page of results, so if you aren’t on page one, you’re only getting a quarter of the traffic you could be. Thankfully, robust Search Engine Optimization gives you the strength to compete.

A potential client might also search for you by name if they know you by reputation. Thus, they might try “Mary Smith Coach Chicago.” At this point it’s likely they’re already interested in you. A search for your name won’t solely display your website, however. It will also reveal numerous other websites where your name is listed, sites like Yelp and Google+, where former clients can leave reviews about you. Unless you’re keeping close tabs on your online reputation, a potential client could discover damaging negative testimonials that will hurt their interest in you. A successful Web presence means making sure your directories are updated and accurate, and that you nurture good reviews (or respond courteously to negative ones).

Above all else, be sure to have a plan for your search engine optimization. The algorithms used in search engines are constantly evolving, and what works today may not work tomorrow. Without constant vigilance, an SEO campaign can falter. When your online presence is carefully monitored, however, and SEO is used properly, it can bring a slew of new clients to your doorstep.

Take Action

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