Inevitably, as a marketing specialist, you’ll be asked to guide your client’s journey from initial contact to becoming a paying customer. But, beyond simply matching offers to potential customers, you have the opportunity to propel your clients further down this funnel, and ultimately, land a sale.
This is where online marketing for professional services comes in. I’ll walk you through the steps to take to achieve mastery of this channel, including:
Understand the anatomy of a professional services website
You’ll begin by understanding the anatomy of a professional services website. This is the structure of the pages which make up the website, and the flow from one to the other. It is very common for marketers to get distracted by shiny new objects, and forget about the basics. There are certain tried-and-tested approaches which work well, and these form the foundation of your strategy.
How to develop content strategies for online marketing.
Having a clear idea of how you want your website to look and behave is only the beginning. Now you need to work out how you’re going to get people to come back for more. One of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your site is with content marketing. Developing and curating high quality content which is relevant, interesting, and contains value can be quite a challenge. But, the benefits of doing this are many.
First off, you’re attracting an audience who are already interested in your area of expertise. Secondly, you’re showing the world you’re a thought leader who is respected in your industry. Thirdly, you’re establishing yourself as a reliable and authoritative source in your industry. And finally, you’re convincing potential customers that your products or services are worth purchasing, because you’ve given them a reason to believe in you. All of this is possible through content marketing.
Attracting, engaging, and delighting audiences.
The process of attracting, engaging and delighting audiences starts with developing content that is both useful and enjoyable. That is because, ultimately, you want your audience to give you a positive experience when they click on your content. Ideally, you’re creating something that makes them feel excited, inspired, or motivated to learn more about your field of expertise. This doesn’t mean that you need to write best-selling books or create an interactive quiz to attract and retain the attention of your audience. But it does mean you should consider the type of content you’re creating, and whether or not it is enjoyable. For example, you might choose to write a case study on your client’s journey, including their first contact with the company, and the steps they took to become a customer. This might seem dry and unappetizing to someone who is unfamiliar with the topic, but for an individual or company who is currently in the midst of customer service, it could prove to be extremely useful and enlightening. Engagement is about keeping your audience interested and coming back for more. To achieve this, you can use a variety of tools which allow you to listen to and reply to your audience. You can also use tools to generate interesting blog content from various sources, and engage with your audience through social media. The range of possibilities is endless, and you can find the right tool for the job you have in mind. Sometimes it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a digital marketing agency to generate content for your site. A content marketer will have the skills you need to build a successful blog, and have the resources to draw upon, to generate and curate content for your site. They can provide you with engaging, authoritative content which will encourage prospective customers to take action and convert them into paying customers. Simply put, a blog is an excellent way to get in touch with your audience and keep them interested in what you have to say. In today’s world, it is extremely important to stand out from the crowd, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. A blog is a perfectly viable option for doing this. Moreover, it’s a fairly low-cost and low-risk way of establishing yourself as a leader in your industry, when compared to, for example, hiring a public relations firm to get you coverage in leading publications.
Developing a marketing plan.
You don’t need to become a full-fledged marketer to create a marketing plan for your business. A marketing plan is simply a clear document which defines your objectives and the strategies you plan to use to achieve them. It is usually developed in collaboration with a business partner or consultant, and can serve as a roadmap for driving marketing activity over the coming months and years. Working with a reputable marketing agency is a great option, as they can help you develop a comprehensive plan, and provide you with a clear idea of what to expect over the next few months. This way, you can plan your marketing budget and strategy, and ensure you’re making the right investments for the future.
An important note on SEO.
Before you begin your journey to mastering SEO for professional services, you need to understand what it means, and what you should be looking for. First and foremost, SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is something which helps your website to show up when a person searches for a product or service similar to yours. It is a process of improving the “search engine rankings” of a website or landing page. In layman’s terms, this means making our website look as good as new, when a search engine like Google, or Bing searches for our product or service, and our website comes up as a result. To optimize our website for SEO, we’ll need to take the following steps:
- Make sure our website has a good domain name
- Make sure our header, footer, and sidebar are relevant to our industry
- Make sure our page content has value
- Use keywords in the right context
- Maintain a healthy page backlink profile
- Submit our website to the relevant directories and forums
- Monitor our progress through regular audits
- And last but not least, make sure we’re not doing anything unethical
Depending on your industry, you’ll want to make sure that your header, footer, and sidebar contain the right information. A good place to start is with your website’s hosting provider, and ask them for help with adding a professional touch to your new website. Don’t worry, they’ll have no idea what you’re doing, other than making your site look great.
How to use the right keywords.
Keywords are phrases or words which are used to search for products or services on search engines like Google or Bing. When somebody types in a search query, they expect to see a list of results which are relevant to what they’re looking for. So, if we want to rank well on Google for a particular product or service, we need to make sure we include the right keywords in the right place. This is where the headache often begins, because someone has to go through and enter these keywords all by hand, into a search engine like Google. A major part of SEO is figuring out what keywords people are using, and including them in your content wherever possible. The tricky part is knowing when to stop, because adding too many keywords can hurt your site’s search engine ranking. Some reputable SEO experts recommend using Google AdWords, to find out what keywords your customers are using to find your product or service. You can also ask your customers to reach out to you via email, and use the information they provide to find the right keywords.
Creating landing pages.
When somebody types in a search query, they’re typically presented with a list of results. However, sometimes people aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for, and don’t know where to find it. This is why you should create a landing page for each of your keywords, so that when somebody types in a search query, they’re directed to your specific page and offered the information you have on offer. An effective way to get started is by using a tool like Google Keyword Planner. Here you can enter your keywords, and the tool will give you a list of suggested topics to expand upon. Choose one, and you can start creating content for your landing page. While you’re at it, you can use the suggested topics to find more keywords, and add them to your list. Don’t worry about including too many keywords or making your content too wordy. Simply develop content which is entertaining or informative, and try to avoid anything too sales-y. Just keep adding more and more content until you begin to see a rise in organic traffic.