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WEB MARKETING FOR SERVICE PROFESSIONALS

Service professionals often struggle with how to market themselves online. In fact, marketing—whether it’s web marketing or traditional marketing—is often the Achilles’ heel of service professionals, whether they are doctors, accountants or sales trainers.

With almost fourteen years of running my own professional services company, I’ve learned a few techniques for marketing professional services on the web. Here’s a road map that might help you maximize your own results and build your business or practice.

SEO for Service Professionals

I don’t care how long you’ve been in business, there’s no point in trying to guess what your prospects are searching for. Take the time or spend the money on a keyword analysis and get critical insights on what your prospects search for at Google and how much competition you have for each phrase. This will help you in determining which services to promote most aggressively, as well as developing good supporting content on your blog for the “long tail” of search.

The Professional Services Web Site

Based on your experience and the market research your keyword analysis provided, list all of the services you’ll be promoting on your site. Depending on the number of services you offer, and how many distinct audiences you serve, you may end up giving each service its own page, or bundling certain services together.

I would strongly recommend giving any important service its own page; it will help increase the relevance of that page for appropriate searches.

Each services page should include the following:

  • Keyword-Rich Page Title: The page title is the most important variable for your search engine visibility, so don’t get cute. Since the page title is the Big Blue Link on the search engine results page, make it compelling so that prospects want to click on it. Put your best keywords up front, but don’t cram your title full of keywords. A good example for a dentist might be: Boston Cosmetic Dentistry: Whiter Teeth through Teeth Whitening. (I’d use the physical location here as dentists tend to be “geographically challenged.”)
  • Keyword-Rich Headers: Start the page with a header that rephrases your service and entices people to read more. Use subheaders throughout the page since most people don’t read, they scan. This way they can quickly find the information that’s relevant to their needs.
  • Keyword-Rich Body Copy: Plan on writing at least 300 words for these pages, and repeat your primary and secondary keyword phrase 3 or 4 times, making sure they appear in the first few sentences. Emphasize these critical phrases by bolding or italicizing them.
  • Strong Intrasite Linking: Since many of your services will complement each other, it’s only natural to link  these pages together. Google pays more attention to links within the body copy, so make sure that you link the best keyword phrases to the appropriate pages. If you mention business blog design on a page about email newsletter design, make sure you link those phrases to pages where visitors can learn more.
  • Strong Call-to-Action: Don’t do all this work without asking for the sale. At the bottom of every page on your website should be a clear call-to-action. My favorite is a simple text link that brings people to your contact form, something like “Book your appointment today,” or “Call now for a free consultation.”

Blogging FTW (For The Win)

It’s been my experience that a blog is the most important tool in your web marketing tool box. It benefits you by increasing your visibility on the search engines and within the “social web.” Here’s how to get the most out of your business blog:

  • Create a Category for Each Service: Blogs are organized by categories; make sure you have a category for each one of your service offerings. You can certainly blog outside these services, but if you’re trying to attract prospects and promote your services, you’ll need to cover these topics regularly.
  • Write Informational Blog Posts on Your Services: Don’t make these posts too salesy; by taking a more even-handed, educational approach you’ll do a better job establishing your credibility and expertise. However, you should take your best keywords and link them to appropriate pages on your web site where it’s more appropriate for you to be selling, and finish with a strong call-to-action.
  • Answer Your Prospects’ Questions: Once a week choose a frequently asked question you get and turn it into a “Dear Abby” type post, where the question is the post title. Reword it to make it more keyword-rich if necessary. Remember: for every time you’ve been asked that question it’s been asked a thousand other times at Google or Bing; by blogging the answer you can reach new qualified prospects.

In Conclusion

You can reach a wider audience and attract more qualified prospects just by rethinking how your web site and blog is organized.

  • Start by performing a keyword analysis.
  • Create search engine friendly pages that describe your services, link the pages to each other as appropriate, and close each with a powerful call-to-action.
  • Establish your expertise while increasing your search engine visibility by creating informational blog posts around your core service areas. Link these back to specific service pages on your web site for maximum effect.

If you need help improving your own web presence, please contact flyte new media today.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media

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