Tips to help you SEO your website and its content
HR trainers building businesses in untouched niche markets can learn a lot from how product companies do SEO on their product pages. Producing online content that sells your service shares many similarities in the SEO strategies that will help your page rank and win you valuable leads and new clients.
In this article, you’ll learn why SEO is important to penetrate your targeted niche markets, and some strategies that product companies use to optimize their website SEO tactics and improve their sales.
Why SEO is important for HR trainers in untouched niche markets
Getting your SEO strategy right is essential. Increasingly, your potential clients are looking for the solutions to their problems online. If they cannot find your website, they won’t learn about your services. The principle is the same for ecommerce product companies – to sell its products ahead of its competition, they must be able to be found online.
Good SEO will help your HR training business gain visibility, boost traffic to your website, provide evidence of your expertise as an authority in your niche, and provide invaluable insight to your customers’ behaviors. To top it all off, SEO helps drive an incredible ROI via organic traffic.
Page ranking matters
SEO drives page ranking, by helping search engines find you. This, of course, is good for click-through results and website visitor numbers. Also, by ranking for different keywords for the same product or service when searchers enter different search terms, awareness of your brand increases.
SEO earns you credibility
It may not be a conscious decision, but searchers make a connection between page rankings and credibility. The higher you are ranked and the more consistently so, the more credible you appear, because Google says you are.
SEO drives traffic to your site
There is a reason retailers want to own a store in a prime location: footfall. The more people that pass a store, the more likely it is that they will come in and make a purchase. The same principle applies online. If your website is high up the search page rankings, people are more likely to click on your site. Of course, you’ll still have to work hard to sell when they arrive, but the first step to sales is securing footfall. (Great news here: SEO is cheaper than renting a store in a prime location on main street.)
SEO helps you to know your customers
Here is something that bricks-and-mortar stores can’t do very easily: understand what their customer wants when they are in store. Thanks to Google Analytics, your website can give you valuable insight into your customers. You’ll learn what your potential customers are looking at, where they live, when they are most active, and so on, and so on. Intelligent use of these metrics can help you improve your business, conversion rates and revenues.
What is it that product companies do well in SEO?
Some product companies dominate Google search rankings. While the world of SEO lives online, there is a lot that HR trainers can learn from bricks-and-mortar retail tactics to help their website perform better. Much of this is the technical side of SEO. Here are a few examples:
· Site architecture
Think about when you walk into a clothes store. Everything is laid out in a manner that helps you find your way around the store and locate the product that you are searching for. Men’s clothes are in one section. Jackets, shirts and pants are separated. Plain shirts are on a different rail to patterned shirts. T-shirts have their own shelves.
Similarly, the way that your website is organized affects the ability for visitors to navigate to what they are looking for – and it also affects the ability of search engines to find content. Hard-to-find content doesn’t get ranked well. Product companies work hard on site architecture, to ensure that their products are just two or three clicks away. HR trainers would be wise to make sure their websites are equally easy to ‘walk around’.
· Canonical URLs
Online, it’s usual for the same product to be found by several different paths; the same as you can move through a store by the stairs or elevator. On websites, this creates competition between duplicate URLs. The way to get around this problem is to specify a rel =”canonical” for each competing URL – this points each to a single version of the URL, increasing site speed and making it easier for search engines to find and rank product pages. (Most people need technical help to do this.)
· Site markup
Site markup tactics such as SEO semantic markup help search engines understand your content and match it to searches made by users. A website that includes schema markup (code and microdata that gives meaning to the content on your website) is more descriptive to Google bots, and puts it in the context of a related search. It’s a little like signposting in a bricks-and-mortar store.
What about content SEO?
Of course, getting the technical side of SEO right will count for nothing if your content doesn’t work for SEO purposes. Here, consultants, coaches and HR trainers should use the tactics that product companies are using to gain traction on search engines. The best ecommerce companies understand that Google now ranks on context and what content will be most useful for the user, and not simply on keywords.
Try this exercise on your connected device (laptop, mobile, etc.). On your web browser:
i. Key in “best laptops” on your search bar
Above the fold you may see a few sponsored (paid for) ads. Below the fold, you’ll find the remainder of the page is filled with links to articles and blogs that provide guidance and advice – information that will be useful to the person searching; information that helps the user compare products, shop around, and gain the insight of others via reviews. Not a single product page in sight.
ii. Search for “best restaurants in New York”
Do a search for the best restaurants in any area, and you won’t find a single restaurant website on the first page of Google’s search results. What you will find is review aggregators such a TripAdvisor and Zagat. It’s much more informative for people to read reviews about 20 or 30 restaurants in one place than a single restaurant.
iii. Key in “buy a cheap guitar”
The top three or four results are product pages – but all from big brands. HR trainers would need a huge wedge of marketing budget to compete. However, below these big brand product pages the results are all articles.
Here’s the takeaway from this exercise: you cannot expect your website to be ranked on page one. Google and other search engines are now intelligent. They show the content that is likely to be most useful to a user, and help them solve the problem they want help with. This knowledge should drive your content production as you:
- Write articles for your audience and not search engines, providing content that is useable and readable. If your content aligns with what people are searching for, then you have a better chance of ranking.
- Concentrate on benefits and include features, as you describe how what you do will benefit the customer. Focusing on benefits gives the article a more personal appeal.
- Work hard to target the right keywords. Think about the problems your audience has, and what search terms they will use to find solutions online. Longtail keywords are most useful –read our article “How to do keyword research for article marketing” for tips on this. When using keywords, don’t be tempted to stuff your article with the targeted keyword – you’ll be penalized for trying to game the system.
- Keep your content unique. Search engines don’t like near duplicate content, and this includes service descriptions on your website. If you find this difficult to do, hire a freelance copywriter to write your content for you.
In summary, the content you create and the way in which your website works should all undergo an SEO strategy. Prioritize helping visitors to find the interesting, educational and informative content they need to solve their problems by making your website easy to navigate and your content provocative rather than pushy.
Is your website failing to attract the number of visitors your hard work deserves? Let us know your biggest SEO challenge in the comments below.
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