May 23, 2020 20:51
How can SEO help freelancers gaining more deals?
How independent consultants can benefit from SEO?
You’ve heard many times that to be found on the web, you need to optimize your SEO.
But what is SEO and how does it work?
When does SEO apply?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization encompasses all the methods and techniques that aim to position the web pages of your website in the first natural results of search engines (including Google, but also Bing, Yahoo, and others).
Few people are really aware of this, but in reality user profiles on social networks are also based on SEO. That's why when you use the filters on LinkedIn some profiles always stand out while others are relegated to the last pages of your search.
The necessity of SEO is based on the fact there are more than 1 billion websites on the Internet, and Google has already indexed some 30,000 billion pages. When an Internet user launches a search on the Web, the only way to make a page visible to them is to optimize it by applying the rules of the search engine. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but without the SEO of your website, it has every chance of remaining invisible. You can put your best photo on your LinkedIn profile, without the appropriate strategy, recruiters can’t find you to discuss potential consulting missions.
People working in SEO use to say that the second page of results in Google is the best place to hide a dead body since only 11% of people are going to visit it. On the contrary, the first website on the first webpage capture 42% of the entire trafficking.
Today, SEO is an essential part of any effective marketing strategy. To fully illustrate its importance, let’s go over a few of the reasons freelancers should be working on it.
SEO helps you build your consulting brand
When they start their activity, independent consultants are becoming their own brand. So they have an overwhelming need to learn, practice, and manage the way they are easily found on both social media and search engines. This strategy is what is called a Pull Marketing Strategy or Inbound Marketing since your potential customers are making all the efforts to reach you and reduce the space that separates you from them.
Building your consulting brand requires considering both what you provide in terms of consulting services but also what other people say about the way you manage your freelance activity. If you keep this relationship in mind as you develop your SEO strategy, you can select keywords and create content that is in line with the image you want your brand to confer and the feelings it will trigger to your target audience.
When you create informative, valuable content, you have the opportunity to build trust and credibility with potential customers early in the research phase.
Here’s a general overview of how this works.
First, a user finds your consulting website, LinkedIn profile page, Facebook wall, by searching for information related to your industry and seeing one of your resources in the search results.
Then, they read that resource. If they like it, they might share it with their friends, make a comment, and subscribe to your email list.
This is where the process slows down a bit.
That user might return to your site several times and read your email content regularly over the next few months without taking action. With each piece of content they read, you’re establishing your brand as a credible and authoritative source of information.
Then, when they’re finally ready to make a purchase and speak directly with you over the phone, they’ll know exactly which consultant to turn to and be extremely comfortable doing so after all of the helpful information you’ve already provided for free.
An optimized consulting website earns more traffic
On the surface, the goal of SEO optimization is to improve your site’s rankings in search results. But beyond that, the purpose of achieving high rankings is to attract more traffic and ideally, to convert that traffic into leads, then customers. The traffic of your website can be found on Google Analytics measuring the number of new visitors to a specific page. It’s exactly the same with your LinkedIn profile and the “Who viewed your profile”, “Article views” and “Search appearances”. All these figures are key Performance Indicators of traffic.
But focusing on traffic only doesn’t give you a clue. You can check Google analytics every day and see how many visitors are willing to come again to read your content, but the real Key Performance Indicator to follow is Conversion Rate.
The process of changing the status of a total stranger into a potential buyer is called Conversion Rate. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the visitor of your website is now a customer, but rather he accomplished the desired action: filling a landing page with his coordinates, subscribing to your newsletter…
In absolute terms, there is no such thing as a perfect conversion rate. The conversion rate is highly dependent on the industry you are in. But in the B2B industry and in employment services, the average conversion rate is between 2,57% and 3,98%, so it seems the average for consulting business. For the business consulting industry, if a page has a conversion rate of 21,7%, they are beating 90% of their competitors.
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