5 crucial SEO tips for service firms 
Here are some crucial SEO tips for service firms. Service firms have a lot to gain from SEO. As a matter of fact, SEO is a key growth driver in a lot of service firms today. But the question is how do you go about it? How can a service firm leverage SEO and drive business growth as a result? Here are some tips
- 1 Keyword research is critical to success
- 2 Understand your sales funnel
- 3 Get your content strategy right
- 4 Performance matters
- 5 Quality backlinks can be a great boost
- 6 Conclusion
Keyword research is critical to success
Let us take the analogy of an oil well and pretend you were in the oil business. How would you go about drilling an oil well? Would you drill in a completely random field? No. You would do a lot of research before you even grab a shovel. This is because, failure to research could lead to wastage of time and resources, in the event you do no strike oil.
SEO works the same way.
The secret sauce to SEO has always been keywords. FYI, keywords are just texts that people use to search on search engines like Google. With the right keywords, you are able to draw in relevant traffic, than can be converted to leads and eventually, paying customers.
But this is an open secret. Everyone knows that you need really good relevant keywords for SEO success. As a result, the competition is immense.
So how do you find really good keywords that are relevant for you and low competition.
What constitutes good keywords?
There are several characteristics that mark a good keyword. Let us discuss them
Relevant to your business
First and foremost, a good keyword is relevant to your core business. For example if you are in the beauty industry, you want to use keywords that accurately reflect what you do. Keywords like “eyeliners”, “make up kits” will work really well for you.
Avoid jumping into the temptation to use keywords simply for the hell of it. Always remember to stay in topic.
Has a high search volume
SEO often takes a lot of effort. It is fool hardy to optimize for keywords that very few people are searching for. While yes, you will get the rankings, but meaningful traffic will fail to materialize. Always pay attention to the average monthly search volumes for your keywords. Also it is a wise idea to keep a keen eye on the overall trend for the keyword. Has the search volume been increasing and is it still increasing.
Stay away from stagnant search volumes because the competition will eat you up. You need search volumes that are constantly increasing, so that in the event your competitors show an interest in them, there is enough traffic to go around.
A buddy of mine loves wrestling. He even competed in the Olympics. When it comes to wrestling, he is quite good actually. But he always tells me, when it comes to people near or around his weight, he is confident. But when facing much larger opponents, his chances of winning decrease proportionally to the increase in weight of his opponent.
There are some website out there that are simply heavy hitters. You will not be able to beat them. So you need high value keywords that are low competition. But understand me, low competition is quite relative. Don’t be shy about taking on near peer websites for keywords that are valuable to you.
Here is a diagram the summarizes what we have just discussed.
Understand your sales funnel
The sales funnel is one of the corner stones for SEO. It is one of the most important SEO tips for service firms. A sales funnel is simply the steps a person/company takes from being not aware of you to being your customer, and afterwards. Understanding your sales journey will help you craft your perfect SEO strategy.
We will not go deeply into the sales funnel, as we already have an in depth guide on sales funnel here. The focus will be on some key tid bits that you need to be aware of.
The are a couple of steps that go into the sales funnel. Sometimes they differ with industry and sales processes but in general, they tend to follow the steps below;
- Top of the funnel/ Awareness
- Middle of the funnel/ Value demonstration and Nurturing
- Bottom of the funnel/ Conversion
- Inverted funnel/ Customer success
Top of the funnel/Awareness step
The key goal in this step is to make the potential customer aware of you. You need to make them know that you exist. So the SEO strategy here is to focus on your customers problems, and the keywords that they would use. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would they need to search for in order to get the solutions to their problems? Essentially, you really need to meditate on what problems you are actually solving for your consumer.
For example, if someone is in the search for a lawn mower service, top of the funnel keywords could be;
- Landscaping for beginners
- DIY landscaping
These are generally open ended.
A great tactic too is to pair SEO with email marketing. As you get traffic, make sure that you are collecting emails via quality lead magnets. A lead magnet is essentially a valuable piece of content that isn’t available on your website. You give people access to this in exchange for an email. But it can also be anything really. For example, it could be a discount or a free consultation
After you get the email you follow up with a sort of drip feed campaign. You send the valuable data occasionally, so that you are always at the top of their minds. When they do decide they need your services, there is a good chance you are the one they will contact.
This is one of the best SEO tips for service firms.
Middle of the funnel/ Value demonstration
In this stage, as highlighted above, its all about value demonstration. In the service sector, this is the segment where you demonstrate your expertise. But how do you do that? The best and most affordable way to demonstrate expertise is to give people valuable information. You need to be their guide and help them achieve what they want to achieve.
Middle of the funnel keyword content ideas include;
- Pricings and quotes
A good SEO tip is to build a quote functionality in your website. This will help customers generate quotes directly from your website instantly.
Bottom of the funnel/Conversions
This is where they shift from becoming internet wonderers to bonafide customers. Hopefully, your bonafide customers.
In this step, is all about high intent keywords. For example;
- Landscapers near me
- Landscapers in dallas
Here is the kicker. For you to get high organic rankings for bottom of the funnel keywords, you need to rank for both top or the funnel and middle of the funnel keywords. Essentially, all your other keywords will boost your relevance for bottom of the funnel keywords. In that instance, Google and other search engines know that your website is an authority and will be comfortable in giving you traffic.
The inverted funnel: Bonus section
What happens when someone buys your service? Does the interaction end? Actually no. The next objective is to ensure that they solve their problem. This is so that they keep coming back to you. The SEO tip here is to publish information that will help them gain more value from your service. For example if you have a lawn care business, you could publish information on how to take care of a freshly manicured lawn.
This extra step is what a lot of service businesses miss. Most are focused on just getting the gig and getting paid. What comes after, they don’t care. But if you are able to master the inverted funnel, you will able to drum up repeat business. And you know the best part about repeat business? Its very profitable because you don’t have to spend on customer acquisition again.
Some service business actually build their entire business on repeat business. They have no need for getting additional customers because the ones they have keep them plenty busy.
Get your content strategy right
Content is king and it forms a corner stone for SEO tips for service firms. Google or any other search engine’s purpose is to organize the worlds information. They are simply advanced tools for people to get information. If your information is not in the system, your website will not surface when people are searching on Google or any other search engine.
You need to devise an actionable content strategy that continuously feeds the ravenous content machine. This paired with keyword optimization, will highly encourage, to show your website to its users.
There are a myriad of content types you can publish, they include;
Before and after testimonials
These are amazing if your service business includes a visual aspect. For example if you are a outdoors cleaning company, you could show before and after your cleaning services
If you are in a professional services industry like accounting or HR, you could publish industry data that your consumers are going to find valuable. This includes things like whitepapers and industry studies.
How to guides
These are a staple for SEO. What makes how to guides special is that they give direct value by showing a potential customer how to do something. Also, they are a demonstrator that you are competent in your industry. Often times, a customer will not require help doing simple things. But when it comes to more complicated aspects, they may invoke your help. This is because;
- They know you are an expert because you showed them how to do something prior
This is one of SEO tips for service firms that I recommend personally.
Google confirmed it. Website loading speed is an SEO ranking factor. Good website performance also makes for a good user experience. Everyone hates a slow loading website. In this day and age of instant gratification, immediate response is key. People want to click on your website and immediately see what they are looking for. As a result, most of the top ranked pages on Google load pretty darn fast. Here are some tips to boost your website loading speed
Use fast themes
If you are building your website on a platform like WordPress, try as much as possible to use speed optimized themes. Often times, developers, under pressure to build the next great design, sacrifice speed for aesthetics. This leads to very beautiful websites that are really slow. Having a beautiful website won’t matter if you can’t get traffic on it because its slow.
Images are a double edged sword
Images make your website really stand out. They also help in disseminating information. But having too many heavy images, increases the size of your website and thus makes it load pretty slowly. Always minimize and compress your images. There are plenty of platforms that allow you to do this without losing significant image quality.
Fast web hosting
You are not going to build the next great website on cheap hosting. Choosing the right website host is important because the right webhost forms the foundation of your online success. There are some great options available. This website for example is hosted on Dreamhost. There is also a really great premium WordPress host known as Kinsta
Although personally I don’t rely on backlinks, they can be a really great way of boosting your SEO. This is because, the number of websites that link back to your website and use your website as a reference is an indicator of authority. Backlinks indicate that you are a force to be reckoned with in your particular arena. But then come the question of how to get the said backlinks. Surprise, they are relatively easy to get, if you put a little bit of elbow grease into it.
Step one: Find website that complement yours
A coffee complements a bagel really well. No matter what your industry is, there is a complement to it. You need to find those websites that complement your business and reflect your values. Ideally it should be run with really ethical people too.
Step two: Reach out and ask for a guest post
Guest posting is a really great way of getting quality backlinks. It allows you to showcase your expertise on other people’s blogs and reach a completely new audience. In addition to that, it is a win for the website owner because, free content. The complement website owner gets free content that will rank and draw in traffic. You get to link your website from their website. Everyone wins.
Step three: Follow up
Hitting publish doesn’t mean the end of the journey. You need to rinse and repeat. Find as many quality blogs as possible and collaborate. If you want to walk fast, walk alone, if you want to walk far, walk with others.
Its also a great way to meet like minded people who can give you valuable advise and tips.
I hope you have found these SEO tips for service firms valuable and actionable. Again, they won’t work unless you put a lot of elbow grease and do the work. In the event that you do not have time to work on SEO for your website and business, there is always the option to hire an expert.
SEO has a long learning curve and it may take a while to achieve complete mastery. So instead of taking up useful hours of your day from your core business, you could hire someone to handle it for you. An SEO expert can help you with the following;
- Keyword research
- Content generation
- Website development
- On Page and technical SEO
This will free up your valuable time that you could use in other areas of your business. For example, in customer satisfaction and quality control. SEO experts will take the load off your back in implementing the SEO tips for service firms listed in this article