SEO For Professional Services Firms
Client Name: Ezra
State: South Dakota
Main Product / Service: Professional Service Firms
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About Ezra’s Professional Service Firm
Ezra’s professional service firm is a highly respected provider of professional services and consulting solutions. The firm provides strategy, management and operational advice to companies across all industries. Ezra’s team is comprised of experienced professionals who are committed to delivering superior results for their clients. They have an international network of associates who help bring global expertise to the table.
This business was referred to us by an existing client. They were looking for a digital marketing agency to help with search engine optimization.
We increased their business revenue dramatically by performing excellent website design, SEO which stands for search engine optimization, and CRO which stands for conversion rate optimization.
They enjoyed a dramatic increase in domain authority, keyword rankings, backlinks, organic website traffic from Google and other search engines. Most importantly, they gained many new customers and increased revenue.
My team and I spent hundreds of hours of diligent work over the course of many months to achieve this business growth. The client is extremely happy with us, and has recommended us to their friends, some of whom have become our clients. Most of our new clients come from referrals and we really appreciate that.
They contacted us to book an SEO consultation, and they told us about their goals and budget.
We started by researching their website in great detail to figure out what we could do within the given budget and timeline. Every search engine optimization project is different because the goal, budget and timeline really dictate the plan-of-action, so be careful of anyone who tries to sell you a one-size-fits all approach.
We looked at over 200 search engine ranking factors that would be addressed based on Google’s up-to-date algorithm and requirements for online businesses. Because each business and website goal is different, sometimes we’ll look at fewer factors, sometimes more.
It all starts with a presentation from one of our expert SEO consultants. You’ll receive a comprehensive and interesting video presentation about your website including your current domain authority, backlinks, keyword rankings, organic search engine traffic, bounce rate, average session duration (meaning how long someone stays on your website before leaving) conversion rate, revenue potential, competitor research, and much more.
We’ll tell you exactly what you need to do in order to reach your goal. You can do it yourself, hire someone to do it, or hire us to do it for you. After you’ve watched our presentation and read through any spreadsheets and PDF files we’ve sent, we’ll talk by phone or video-call to answer your questions and work out the details.
Some of the SEO consultations we do lead to the client doing the work on their own. This is because they have the time and skill level to perform the tasks or they are part of a larger company that has the human resources readily available. You can also pay us a monthly fee and we’ll continue to guide you while you do the work.
Some of the SEO consultations we do lead to the client hiring us to do all of the work for them.
Depending on your monthly budget, we’ll design the most appropriate SEO strategy. Usually we start by designing or fixing your website. Then SEO to improve your keyword rankings and organic search engine traffic. After that, we move onto conversion rate optimization to convert more of those website visitors into paying customers. Then if you want, we can scale up using pay per click through Google Ads to reach your entire audience across all major online platforms in the most profitable manner possible.
Some clients get to the Pay Per Click stage, which is the last stage. They decide not to do PPC ads because they are already getting too much business from our SEO work.
Almost all of our clients end up cancelling their other advertising because they simply don’t need it after we’ve finished with their digital marketing project. This means they are getting enough search engine traffic to grow their business without spending additional money on other advertising and marketing.
Anyway, a few days later we spoke on the phone, and the company decided to hire us. They understood that good SEO would take time, money and mutual cooperation.
Let me take a moment to explain why the above 3 factors are significant.
Achieving Successful SEO Results Take Time
When you plant an apple seed, you see almost nothing for a long time, then you see sprout, and a plant, and a tree, and finally it produces apples. When it starts producing apples for you, it produces a lot of apples for a very long time. One seed, many apples, but it takes a long time to actually start seeing apples. Good SEO results take time but it’s well worth it because it continues to pay off for a long time. The return on investment is unbeatable.
An Effective SEO Plan Requires Money
SEO is pay-to-play. Look that up if you don’t know what it means. You’re paying SEO experts for their time and experience. Think of how many pages and blog posts your website has or will have in order to rank, the market you want to dominate, the number of competitors you have to outrank, do you think it will be cheap? Our team consists of SEO experts, we own other websites that generate passive income and we are shareholders in other online businesses that generate income, if you want our help, you have to show up with a reasonable budget that is in line with your business goals.
A Profitable SEO Campaign Requires Your Cooperation
For example it’s really discouraging when we email our clients and they take a long time to get back to us, because it holds up the project and progress. It’s hard on our team when the client makes multiple change requests on their website, outside of the scope we originally agreed upon. If we spend all of our time adjusting your color scheme, when will we have time left over to actually drive traffic and revenue?
So once they gave us the go ahead we got to work on their website.
When you hire us, every month you’ll receive several useful progress reports, several from our team and several from Google. Those reports cover the KPIs (key performance indicators) that you care about. You’ll continue to move up and forward towards your goal each month in search engines, and once you’ve reached your goal we’ll switch to maintenance mode so that your competitors don’t overtake you in SERPS (search engine result pages).
Website Design For Professional Service Firms
Google updates their ranking algorithm several times each year, which slightly changes the way the search engine works, so just like a car requires regular maintenance to function properly, so does your website!
Most website owners design their websites to suit themselves only.
Smarter website owners design their websites to suit themselves and their potential customers.
The smartest website owners design their websites to suite themselves, their potential customers, and Google. Google has a comprehensive list of requirements and the list seems to get longer each year. It’s hard for business owners to keep up, and this is why it’s important to have someone like Overflow Cafe working for you.
During our initial SEO consultation we’ll show you what needs to be fixed, including proof.
Every week we hear stories from people who paid a cheap, unskilled website designer to fix their website, and that website designer destroyed their business. They then have to pay exponentially more to get their website fixed properly, plus to remove any Google penalty. Be smart, pay an expert to get it done right the first time, so you can avoid wasted time and money, not to mention stress. You don’t want stress do you?
Our team is incredibly good at digital marketing including SEO and SEM. SEM means search engine marketing. We’ve been featured in over 100 respected trade shows, TV and podcast interviews. We turn down interview requests on a weekly basis because we’re too busy.
We’ve been nominated and have won awards including Entrepreneur of the Year, best Digital Marketing Agency in Ontario, best Advertising Agency in Toronto, and Top SEO Agency in Canada.
We have many wonderful clients all over the world who sell all kinds of products and services. We know what we’re doing, we won’t even take on your project if we can’t help you. And when we do take on your project, we work on it with 100% passion and dedication. We want you to succeed so badly. Whether it’s just a paid SEO consultation or an entire project start to finish, we do great work for you.
Local SEO For Professional Services Firms
Once the client gives us access to their website, the first thing we do is log in and take a thorough look around. What kind of setup do they have? What’s working, what’s going wrong?
I like to take a look at any current stats they have including error logs, even server logs depending on how big their website setup is.
Whether their platform is WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, or anything else, I like to look at each of the settings they have active. Sometimes just a few days of fine tuning website settings and options, results in exponential growth just on its own.
Media folders, pages, posts. How many pages are there? Have they been optimized? What are the average content scores?
What top keywords do people use to find your website? How many impressions do you have in search engines each month? What’s your click through rate? Average position in search?
What country are your visitors from? What time of day are they most likely to take action, purchase or contact you? What day of the week? What pages do users visit the most vs least? What pages do they spend the most time on? What pages do they exit your website from and why?
How often do your visitors come back? How many times do they visit before making a purchase or contacting you? What technology do they use for example Windows, Mac, Linux? Are they visiting your site on a desktop, mobile, or tablet? Yes all of this information matters! We would like to know what your customers’ genders, age groups, interests, and anything else we can find out about them.
What about code? I like to remove unused or unnecessary plugins, I like to add plugins that will be useful to helping the client achieve their goals. I like to remove things that are not being used whether that’s media files, plugins and depending on the clients budget even cleaning up the code on the back end. Sites like Wix and Shopify often have way too many apps or plugins that slow down the loading time. Removing unused or unnecessary apps alone can result in faster business growth.
It’s not unusual for me to remove several hundred lines of unnecessary code to make a website work better overall.
Then I’ll take steps to improve site security to make it less vulnerable to malware, viruses and hacking attempts.
I’ll look at the overall setup including permalink structure, redirects, and more. I’m extremely pragmatic and methodical so the work is just about as perfect as it can get.
Depending on the size of the website I’ll spend time going through everything several times, because sometimes when you update a setting, it negatively affects other settings so you want to make sure everything works in cooperation with each other. One plugin may conflict with another. Certain fonts don’t play well with certain background colors.
If the client already has traffic, usually their conversion rate goes up immediately after I’ve fixed their website properly.
This leaves the client with an excellent functioning website that does not have any errors or real problems. It also has a solid foundation to move forward regarding authority, backlinks, keyword rankings, website traffic, and most importantly increased revenue!
SEO Tools We Used For This Project
Here are some of the free and paid SEO tools we used to complete this project:
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- Answer The Public
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Google Business Profile
Plus more! Different digital marketing projects require different tools depending on the end goal, but the above tools are always my first go-to, and I’ll use some more than others depending on the project’s timeline, budget, and goal.
For example it’s not unusual for me to spend many hours sifting through data from Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMrush for a client’s website. The end result may be that I increase their sales by over 10X in less than a year. Like I said, it varies by project. If the client doesn’t have a budget for this then we realistically have to skip some steps. Either way we ensure that we do great work so that search engines discover and rank our clients’ web pages for all the best keywords that drive revenue.
Search Engine Optimization For Professional Service Firms
SEO is when we rank your website higher in Google so people searching for your products or services will find you first and find you more often. Your rankings will start moving up a few spots each month for different keywords until you are ranking very well. When your website ranks well in search results you’ll get more visitors, and those visitors will be people who are already searching for what you offer. Therefore, they are ready to do business with you.
And of course the client receives monthly reports from our team, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Business Profile, SEMrush, and sometimes more depending on their budget. These monthly SEO reports show a wide range of metrics including detailed traffic and keyword ranking reports.
Okay let’s get back to this project.
Check that your website has quality content that is all up to date. Does the Contact Page have all of the information it should have such as your business name, full address, email, phone number, business hours, and a map to your location? Does the About Us page have a full historical timeline for your company, does it show photos and video of the founders or key team members? Do you have a Frequently Asked Questions page answering the most relevant questions about your business, products and services? This is the kind of relevant content that will increase your sales.
Setup and configure Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, yes other search engines matter too! I love the feedback that GSC gives and it helps speed up progress when you know how Google sees your website.
Setup and configure Google Analytics including conversion tracking. How much traffic do you get, where is it coming from, what are users doing on your website?
Setup and configure an SEO plugin.
Setup and configure a sitemap and include it in your GSC. Most of the clients we deal with don’t even have a proper sitemap when they come to us.
Ensure your robots.txt file is valid and does not block Google from rendering your site.
Check Google Search Console for manual actions. I love the feedback loop we get from GSC. The regular emails and alerts help us move a client website forward much faster.
Perform a full indexing check.
Keyword Research For Professional Service Firms
There are so many helpful keyword research tools out there but effective keyword research takes a lot of time. The bigger the goals, the longer it takes. You don’t just want a list of keywords, you want relevant keywords that will actually drive an increase in revenue.
Identify your main competitors and research them. Yes you have competitors.
Conduct a keyword gap analysis. What keywords do your competitors rank for that you don’t? What opportunities are there?
Find the main money keywords. These are words and phrases that drive quality leads, conversion actions and sales revenue.
Find long tail keywords variations. These typically have lower search volume but are easier to rank for, especially if your city name is included in them.
Find question keywords and start answering those questions on your website.
Research what search queries your competitors are ranking for. Some of your competitors may be ranking for 1,000 keywords that don’t matter at all. That is fine, let them waste their time on those phrases while you focus on ranking for keywords that actually matter.
Analyze the search intent of pages that rank. Search intent is the reason behind a user’s search. For example some searchers are students looking for information to complete a school project. Other searches are potential customers in the research phrase trying to figure out exactly what product or service they want. Some searches are transactional. A potential customer who has made a decision about the exact product or service they want and they are ready to buy and looking for a seller – hopefully they find your website at this stage! Either way, make sure your content matches the search intent of the keyword so you see higher rankings and traffic.
Create a keyword map. Once we’ve decided on the right keywords, we create a “map” where we assign the keywords to specific pages on your website. Some pages will rank for several keywords, while other pages will rank for dozens of keywords. The map is a necessity because we don’t want your pages competing with each other for the same keywords.
Prioritize the keyword map by search volume and keyword difficulty so we can start earning some quick wins for the client. Usually we’ll handle the easiest keyword difficulty content first and move up as time goes on. It’s not unusual to create a page of content targeting 1 phrase only to see it gain rankings for 10-15 relevant phrases. Multiply this by dozens or even hundreds of pages and posts, and you end up with an authority website with a lot of revenue.
Setup tracking and reporting for your most important keywords so that you know exactly where you rank. This step is straight forward and we provide our clients with rankings for all of their keywords plus the specific keywords they want to rank for.
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Plus so many more! There are often hundreds of keyword ideas but the above is to give you a small taste of the massive amount of work we did for this client!
Your site architecture matters more than you think. You wouldn’t want to live in a house or building that didn’t have proper engineering right?
Run an advanced website audit and fix errors.
Inspect your URLs in GSC and fix problems.
Ensure your website is mobile friendly across various devices and browsers.
Run a LightHouse test and fix problems, speed up your website. Obtain excellent scores for Google core web vitals.
Ensure HTTPS is working properly across all pages.
Fix any crawl errors.
Ensure page depth is okay. Users shouldn’t have to struggle to find what they’re looking for on your website!
Remove duplicate content.
Fix broken internal links.
Ensure an SEO friendly URL structure.
Fix orphaned pages.
Check canonical tags and code.
Add structured data.
On Page SEO
On page optimization is another key step that can take many months depending on the current or projected size of your website. Each page needs many hours to improve so e-commerce heavy sites are usually more expensive to build and maintain than simple service based websites. Of course during this entire process we’ve taken a look at competitors and other pages that rank to see what they’re doing right and wrong and where we can outrank them.
Fix duplicate, missing and truncated title tags. If you do all of the steps in order, this will all make sense. For example, you can’t fix your title tags until after you’ve created a keyword map and you can’t create a keyword map until you’ve first done keyword research.
Find and fix duplicate or missing meta description.
Find and fix multiple H1 tags. Create H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 tags where required.
Improve slugs, meta tags including title tags, and description tags.
Run a comprehensive content audit and prune irrelevant content. Sometimes getting rid of useless content helps even more than building content for our clients.
Optimize images for SEO. Your images should be named properly. For example “12345.jpg” is a poor image name while “what-you-offer-city-name.jpg” is an excellent image name.
Organize topic clusters.
Find and fix keyword cannibalization.
Update outdated content, create content and more importantly, high quality content including both web pages and blog posts. We spend a lot of time creating content and content marketing.
Improve readability so that your potential customers and search engines understand your content. Search engines love high quality content. This is one of the main SEO fundamentals and how search engines work. So don’t keyword stuff, make your content the highest quality in your industry and you’ll see an increase in quality website traffic from Google and other major search engines.
Backlinks aka Link Building aka Off Page SEO
This stage is usually called off page SEO because much of the work is done off the clients website. Here are some of the steps.
Analyze your competitors backlink profile to see their strengths and weaknesses, there might me some quick wins.
Conduct a backlink intersect analysis.
Target your competitors broken backlinks.
Guest posting outreach. This is probably one of the steps I dislike the most!
Build the most powerful internal linking structure, this alone will help to push your content to the first page if your content is good.
Build the best external links structure, a time consuming, and expensive step that pays off for many years.
By the way building proper internal and external links shouldn’t be done too early in the process, don’t try to build backlinks until closer to the end of your digital marketing project, there are so many moving parts to this that if you do link building too early you’ll fail. Think carefully, why would anyone want to link to your website right now?
Leverage digital pr.
Turn unlinked mentions into links.
Set up and optimize GBP.
Plus much more, we can’t list everything here nor do we want to, I know my competitors read each of my case studies. Digital marketing, website design, SEO, CRO, it takes hundreds and sometimes thousands of hours. Google updates their algorithm several times per year and so SEO is an ongoing process if you want to grow or maintain your search rankings.
And by the way I’m glad my competitors visit the Overflow Cafe website, they often hire us to collaborate on projects that are too large for any one digital marketing agency and I respect and appreciate that a lot.
The client’s keyword rankings and traffic were moving up rapidly each month by this stage.
Conversion Rate Optimization
At this stage we will optimize your website so that a larger percentage of your visitors turn into paying and repeat customers instead of just leaving your website and going to your competitor. This is called conversion rate optimization or CRO. There is a definite difference between a website that converts 1% of visitors into customers and a website that converts 20%. The higher your conversion rate, the less traffic you need, which lowers your overall marketing and advertising costs. This is an ongoing process involving many steps.
Focus groups. We hire a group of people who fit your target demographic and they spend time on your website and then give positive and negative feedback. We then work to fix the perceived problems and try again. Eventually you have a website that people have no issue with.
Color science. Your product and service will dictate your color scheme and you want to be consistent.
Graphic design. Your logo, font, photos and video should all be consistent and represent your brand. Don’t use a luxury gold font if you sell discount products, for example.
Create a positive user experience.
Establishing trust, authority, and credibility on your website. This may mean obtaining interviews or articles about your company in popular places.
A/B testing for multiple revenue critical pages.
Press releases and mentions.
Social media content creation.
Social media marketing.
Content marketing. It’s a massive to-do list that never ends!
A much larger percentage of website visitors were now becoming paying customers instead of just leaving the website and going somewhere else, these are some of the most relevant results when it comes to growing your business. At this stage our SEO efforts have paid off exponentially.
Pay Per Click And Digital Ads
Once your website has good design, SEO and CRO, we will scale up your revenue much further by using pay per click and other digital marketing methods across Google, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and many other websites your potential customers spend time on. Most site owners make the mistake of doing PPC first when they have not optimized their website for SEO and CRO, and then they fail. When your website is fully optimized, PPC will be completely predictable and profitable with a big return on investment. PPC is complex. It involves a lot of skill and work. The client was extremely happy with the progress obtained thus far and wanted to skip this step entirely.
What I enjoyed about this project
The client left great reviews for us everywhere online and we really appreciate it because we worked so hard!
What I did not enjoy about this project
The client saw incredible progress and got greedy, doubling up on their revenue goals each time we hit a milestone and never once increasing their budget.
The client is still with us, and we are primarily focused on maintaining their gains. This project took my team and I hundreds of hours. We did a lot of work to achieve these results and I don’t have time to explain every single step.
Some clients reach their goals fast and some slow. We have some clients who achieve their revenue goal within 6 or 9 months, others within 1 or 2 years. It depends on many factors like the type of business you’re in, how many competitors you have and of course your budget and your level of cooperation with us.
The main thing is you’ll move forward little by little each and every month until you accomplish your goal.
Well that’s all for today. Reach out to Overflow Cafe if you’re looking for better search engine rankings, more traffic, and more revenue.
Every day we help clients all over the world dominate search engine results pages. We have so much SEO knowledge that we’ll help you reach your goal faster and less expensive than if you were to do it on your own.
Other interesting facts about the client
Favorite movie genre: Animated
Favorite music genre: Soul music
Favorite sport: Soccer
Favorite pastime: Dancing