Here's why every services based business needs an SEO strategy

Why every services based business needs an SEO strategy | Squarespace SEO Series

Websites aren’t a “one size fits all” type of thing. Depending on what type of website you have, your needs and priorities are going to be totally different. Think about a lifestyle blog vs an e-commerce company vs a services based business… they all have websites but each one is going to look and feel unique.

Most of my clients are services-based business owners. I’d say about half of them run their businesses entirely online and rarely work with in-person clients, whereas the other half serve local clients and rely on their website to serve as their “online home”.

In both cases, these services-based business use their websites as a way to connect with their (potential, current and past) clients and customers, and promote their offerings online.

Services based businesses serve a whole variety of industries - we’re talking law firms, accountants, engineers, plumbers, florists, personal trainers, coaches, photographers, consultants, PR pros, social media managers, graphic designers, gardeners, dog walkers, psychics, bakeries, physiotherapists - you name it, the list goes on.

Some of these services must be performed in person (e.g., dog walkers, massage therapists, gardeners, etc.) but others can be done either in-person OR online/remotely (e.g., consultants, personal trainers, graphic designers, etc.).

Services based businesses can be one-off projects or ongoing, recurring services…. really, the sky’s the limit and there’s a huge amount of flexibility in services-based business models!

Almost all services based businesses, however, have a website. At this point, it’s pretty much a requirement because hardly anyone (except your granny) is going old school and looking up businesses in a physical phone book. Yes, we still rely on word of mouth and recommendations from our friends and family, but the trend is increasingly to connect with businesses online. More often than not, we check out a business’ website and then get in touch if we want to work with them.

But having a website doesn’t guarantee that potential clients and customers will find out about your business- far from it, in fact. All websites are not created equally!

That’s where SEO comes it - SEO can act as the perfect bridge between a website (think: business) and an online audience (think: future clients/customers).

I truly believe that every services based business needs an SEO strategy. Not only can SEO help grow your website, it also connects you to a much wider online audience who can potentially become paying clients and customers. Which, if you’re running a services based business, is the ultimate goal!

Today we’re going to cover the most important reasons why every services based business needs an SEO strategy, whether that website is on Squarespace or another platform.

Remember that SEO is an art, not a science. There’s so much to learn about Squarespace SEO which is why I have written about it a lot - it’s the most popular topic on my blog by far. Check out my Squarespace SEO page for more resources, blog posts & video tutorials and get your copy of my Squarespace SEO Checklist below for free!


SQUARESPACE SEO SERIES

This article is part of my series on Squarespace SEO. I have so many tips to share on the subject that it would have been crazy to put it all in one article! There are many misconceptions about Squarespace SEO which is why I've dedicate so many posts to this topic. Enjoy!

Click to view all posts in the Squarespace SEO Series

Visit my Squarespace SEO page for lots more resources.

 

 
Squarespace SEO Checklist

Without a doubt, every services based business will benefit from an SEO strategy. We’re talking more website traffic, better user experience for site visitors, content that speaks to and connects with prospective clients, better authority in their industry or niche, and a whole lot more.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

SEO is always evolving

I’m going to kick things off with one of the more obvious points - nothing is permanent, the only thing constant is change.

When it comes to your business or brand’s website, it’s not ok to simply hit publish and never touch it again. Websites need to be looked at, added to, and improved on a regular basis in order to keep doing their job.

The same thing goes for SEO. If you want your website to start or continue working well for your business online, you must stay on top of SEO. This means sticking with a long-term SEO strategy that you’re evaluating and adjusting throughout the year.

Think about it: Google and other search engines might change their algorithm which requires you to pivot or rethink your SEO efforts. If you are ignoring things for months/years on end, you could totally miss out and lag behind.

Also, think about what happened with Squarespace’s platform changes not long ago. They added the SEO title and description fields to their page settings and that had a massive impact on how pages and posts show up in search results.

if you website doesn’t have an SEO strategy that you’re regularly checkin in with, it’s very likely that you’ll get outpaced by your competition.

Local SEO gets great results

One of the reasons why I am such a fan of SEO strategies is that they work super well on a micro level, especially for any services based business that’s targeting local clients.

SEO leads to an increase in website traffic, more engagement and better conversions - all of which mean bigger business for the service provider. But major gains can be seen from Local SEO in particular!

When it comes to SEO, you can go after the entire internet and the world at large OR you can zoom in and focus on people (think: internet searchers) at a local level. This is key for many services based business who don’t need or want to reach everybody online, they just want to reach people near where they’re operating out of.

If this is the case, your SEO strategy is to ramp up your online presence for a specific local area, targeting people in your vicinity or region. This means people who are searching for your service specifically in your neighborhood, town, city, region, province, state, country, whatever. Again, the focus here is for your services based business to show up at the top of search results on a targeted local level.

This works super well because many of these services based businesses use SEO as a way to target local searchers who represent potential clients/customers because those people are more likely to book their services. Niching down to a local level can convert higher for many services based businesses, and this means that the time between searcher and site visitor to purchaser happens much faster. Cha-ching!! $$$

An SEO strategy for services based businesses that is geared towards local searches gets the best results when the website owner considers certain key things. First of all, you obviously want to make sure that the website is fully optimized: settings need to be properly set up and the content must be keyword rich. From here, the goal is to get local citations and build up a link strategy (earn backlinks) from local & relevant listings. Focus on websites and publications that target your particular location and the industry that your business belongs to. Read this post to learn about the benefits of backlinks for Squarespace SEO.

If you haven’t already, make sure that your business and website are linked up to Google My Business listing.

SEO is (relatively) inexpensive

When compared to other online marketing efforts and strategies, SEO is relatively cheap. SEO it essentially free or low-cost marketing, especially when you compare it to other tactics like paid advertising. This is especially true if you do it in-house or take the DIY route.

But SEO still offers major payoffs and a solid ROI!

Please don’t think of SEO as a one time marketing expense, because it’s not. Instead, SEO should be considered an ongoing business investment.

If your website has an SEO strategy, you can really tap into all the wonderful outcomes it provides without having to whip out your credit card every other day.

Many services based business go the DIY route for SEO and that’s totally fine, so long as you know what you’re doing. I do, however, recommend checking in with an SEO expert to make sure that you’re on the right track. Lucky for you, I offer Squarespace SEO Audit & Consulting sessions or you can enrol in my online course, Top Squarespace SEO. While both of these still require a modest investment, they are much less expensive than hiring out SEO services to a third party.

SEO impacts conversions and the buying cycle

This point is super juicy and it’s something that I think most website owners don’t consider when it comes to an SEO strategy.

Let’s think back to the original purpose of SEO: facilitating online searches to connect searchers (think: real people) which content on the internet.

It’s a bit of a question and answer scenario - people are looking for some kind of information online and Google’s job is to put forward the best answer at the top of the list (think: search results). That’s why it’s so important that your website shows up high in the search results for the keywords you’re targeting.

Google makes sure that the websites it delivers in search results are high quality and relevant to the searcher’s query. This makes sense because the person doing a search is looking for information and often wants to see several options, they’re looking to compare.

This is particularly important for services based businesses because SEO helps them relay their services and offerings to a wider online audience. SEO helps enhance a business’s visibility and it lets potential clients/customers (the people doing the search) find out about them through online searches. Remember, the person doing a search is looking for something and often the business can use their website to provide a solution, connect them with their services.

As such, if your website is SEO friendly, you are in a much better position to get your services in front of an online audience which in turn helps you convert those site visitors into paying clients/customers.

Reach a wider audience with SEO

The ultimate dream is that every single person who visited your website became a paid client or customer. Wouldn’t that be great? If that was the case, we would all be rolling in cash starting yesterday!

Sadly, that’s not the case and the fact is that not every website visitor will convert and book your services.

As such, we need to focus on and prioritize getting more qualified business leads (think: future clients/customers) through or websites. This means quality AND quantity!

This is especially true if your services can be offered remotely or online (e.g., therapist sessions via Skype meetings, graphic design projects from anywhere, etc.). If you’re focused on a local market and serve clients in person, you can dominate your niche without enormous struggle. This isn’t the case for online services based businesses because while they can reach an almost limitless audience, so too can all of their competitors.

SEO is all about online positioning & authority

One of the greatest benefits of an SEO strategy is that it develops and establishes your authority online - your audience, peers, and search engines like Google will all take notice.

SEO helps your business and website to solidify an online presence that stands out from the crowd and connects your services/offerings to your ideal audience. This is done through link building, guest posting, content creation, and more.

All of your SEO efforts will pay off by helping you grow your website and business. But they also make sure that you have a high profile and visible position online. Think about it : if your link building strategy means that you get quoted or profiled by industry publications, that sets you apart from your peers who haven’t had that kind of coverage or recognition online. This serves to raise your profile with your customers and help you stand out from your peers. It also means that Google will take note and reward you with higher rankings in search results because your website is being linked to from a high-authority domain in your niche.

Outrank your competition

Almost every business has a website nowadays so in order to stand out and be “seen” online, you have to do something different and put in a bit of effort.

An SEO strategy helps you to reach your ideal audience (who represent potential and future clients and customers) and make sure that your website & offerings make a splash online.

Think about it - your competitors are probably doing the mare minimum or maybe they even have an SEO strategy that they’re following to. In order to compete with them or better yet, outrank they, you must master SEO in order to show up in search results and get people to click over to your website. An SEO strategy will keep you where you are in search results (meaning you won’t get left behind) OR ideally it will help you to improve your position in rankings so that you can show up at the top of search results. That’s the ultimate goal after all, to rule the rankings and make Google your biggest fan.

Even if you are targeting the same keywords as your competitors, there are ways you can nudge past them and show up higher in search results. Read this post to learn about keywords and how they relate to Squarespace SEO.

Think about what your competition is doing, how they’re showing up online, and the go ahead and take it one step further so that you can do better than them. Someone’s gotta come up first in search results so why the heck not you?!

SEO is measurable

One of my favourite things about SEO is that it’s measurable and quantifiable.

If you’re putting in all this effort, isn’t it nice to know that you can track your efforts and see the payoffs? The numbers and data don’t lie, my friend!

While it’s true that paid search offers an ROI that is much easier to calculate, SEO isn’t far behind and it’s still totally trackable.

One thing I want to point out about any SEO strategy is that it’s multi-faceted. There are several parts that all work in tandem and often we can implement them at the same time. This means that it can be hard to attribute SEO progress and results to one particular thing because your website is experiencing lots of changes all at once and they all play a part in the growth you see.

For example, you might start off by updating all your Squarespace settings so that they are SEO friendly. Next you might move on to either link building or keyword rich content creation. When you do all these things at once, you will inevitably see results but you have to get creative and really look at the analytics to see what’s going on.

Log into your analytics tab and check out things like overall site traffic to see your growth over time. If you’ve been very focused on link building, check out your website’s referral traffic to see what other websites are sending traffic your way. You can see which guest posts, media features, quotes in online articles, etc. are paying off the most. Once you see what’s working, try to do more of that.

Related : How to use Squarespace Analytics to better understand your website’s audience

Another way you can use data to track your SEO strategy is by looking at how your new or updated website content is performing. If you’ve made an effort to include targeted keywords in your website copy, you’ll be able to see how many people are landing on your website through those terms. You can also look at blog posts to see which posts are driving lots of traffic and how the content built around those keywords is picking up speed online.

If you’re a services based business, you must make sure that you’re tracking your SEO efforts so that you see what’s paying off or where you’re lagging behind. Whether you’re checking out your website’s analytics in Squarespace’s Analytics tab or with Google Analytics, you’ll have a much better understanding of how your efforts are paying off. Analytics and data are your friend and they can be extremely telling so don’t shy away from them! You’ve got this.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you agree that every services based website needs an SEO - let’s consider it non-negotiable! :)

Spending time on SEO will only pay off, there are no downsides. Once you start learning about Squarespace SEO, you will see an increase in website traffic which will help you grow faster, more business opportunities, better positioning online, and a whole load of other benefits. Start small and build as you go!

Speaking from my own experience, I saw major gains growing my website and business once I began focusing on SEO. I created quality content that served my ideal audience, made sure that all my Squarespace settings were properly filled out, got all the tech right on the back end of my site, and started link building. These results didn’t happen over night but man, they have for sure paid off. The same thing can happen to you too!

Now it’s your turn to tell me, what kind of website do you have? Are you a services based business? Do you have an SEO strategy in place yet or is this something you’re still learning about? What first steps will you take? I’d love to know so leave me a note in the comments below!

No matter what type of Squarespace website you have, you can start working on an SEO strategy today. There are no downsides, only benefits. I encourage you to start where you are and work on improving your Squarespace website’s SEO a little bit at a time, you’ve got this!

If you want more SEO goodness, be sure to check out my Squarespace SEO page for all resources on the topic.

You can also sign up for my newsletter (right here or below), where I often share Squarespace SEO tips, tricks and high-quality exclusive content. I send out emails to my list every week and while I don’t talk about SEO every time, I can guarantee that you’ll still find the newsletter topics interesting, entertaining and worth your time.

Finally, shameless plug : hit me up with any specific questions you have about Squarespace SEO and your website because I’m your girl. You can reach out to me directly if you’re interested in working together on your website and we can talk about whether or not you would be a good fit for my Squarespace SEO Audit & Consulting sessions and ongoing services. I can’t take on every request to do SEO consulting but I do pick a few websites and businesses to work with every month and I’d love for you to be one of them. 

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