ver the last year or so I've been trying to be regular and consistent with my blog writing and posting on social media. It's sometimes hard, as any small business owner will know, but I've started to see results. Here's how...
OK first things first, if you look at the image above you’ll see my Google Ad, but what I’m discussing in the article is the organic result, (the one below the Xero website and the AccountingWeb website)
If I had to distil Prosper's positioning statement down to three words it would be ‘Branding for accountants’. I remember when I started Prosper I would Google that exact phrase to see where I showed up (hint it wasn't page one…) and I’d be impressed with the design and communications of other, much larger companies who also operate in this space. Over time I saw my position creep up for the search term ‘Branding for accountants’ and I came to realise that through being fairly consistent with a range of activities I was improving my SEO.
This was brought home to me recently when I had an enquiry from an accountant in South Africa and then a conversation with an Accountant in Canada who has just appointed Prosper to undertake their branding and web development. In an almost identical conversation to the one I had when I met with Zyla Accountants in London I asked the Canadian firm how they came across Prosper and their response was “we were Googling and you were there on page one”. Their words, not mine. I knew then I was on the right track.
The page on my website that people see when searching for that particular term is my blog page, but this is exactly what I want. The blog is the helpful page, the useful and hopefully interesting page for prospects who are at the early stages of their buyer journey. Of course, there are many more hurdles to get through before a client comes on board but my point is, it’s a good page for any business to have show up in a search engine.
Here are some things I have done over the last 18 months or so that I believe have helped my search engine rankings, and they are, for the most part, fairly straight forward actionable tasks that any business can do.
1) I specialised (or niched) my business.
2) I recognised the fact that when a company looks for a service (let's call it branding) often they will suffix their search query with their own industry sector. For example ‘branding for accountants’ rather than just ‘branding’. Why? Because people want results delivered in context.
3) I wrote a lot of blogs, which means my blog page has regularly updated content which Google likes.
The blog is the helpful page, the useful and hopefully interesting page for prospects who are at the early stages of their buyer journey.
4) I optimised each of my website pages (page titles, names, descriptions) and crossed linked my website pages and blog articles to other pages on my website (encouraging viewers to explore the site more).
5) I made sure my website was secure (https) and mobile-friendly.
6) I registered with Google My Business and sought reviews from my clients.
7) I set up social media channels and posted fairly regularly on them and on Google My Business.
I would say that point one (specialising) will give me an advantage in ranking results (especially when I want to rank for a very specific term) but I’d always advise any business to specialise or vertically position themselves, (which of course is an entire blog topic in itself!).