In this week’s blog post, Marketing Teacher and Business Mentor Lisa Barber at Roots and Wings, will help you get to the top of Google.
How to get to the top of Google
I get emails from people most days offering support to get me ‘to the top of Google’. And each time it pains me to think how many business owners are falling for their fear-based approach. If you have a website for your therapy business, you don’t have to pay for ‘SEO support’. There are many things you can do yourself – and for free – to be found by the people who need you.
Let’s start by clarifying some of the terminology and jargon.
Search engines (Google is a great example) want their users to have a good experience. In a nutshell, they want the people using them for searches to find what they are searching for. They want the results people get to be a good match. So this is how Google chooses to reward (and penalize) website owners. If your website, pages, blog posts, products and services are an accurate reflection of what you actually do for people, Google is happy. And Google will reward you by improving your rankings (i.e. where you appear on the list of search results).
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the name given to the activity designed to improve where and how you appear in online searches. You can pay people money to ‘do your SEO.’
Here’s my simple view.
With all your other overheads, I wouldn’t class spending money on Search Engine Optimization as a priority. Especially as there are things you can do to improve your rankings for free. I don’t pretend to be a SEO expert. But I have figured out what works in my own business. And I’ve supported therapists to get the same results. My blood boils when I hear about the large amounts some therapists have felt compelled to spend on ‘doing SEO’. To my mind, the results you’re aiming for can be much simpler, cheaper, more genuine and gratifying to achieve.
If you love the idea of getting to the top of Google for the service you offer your clients, ask yourself this: “Do I really want to be at the top of Google or do I want to turn strangers into paying clients?” The two are quite different.
Let’s look at an example.
I don’t want to be at the top of Google for ‘marketing help’. Why not? Well, although that’s what I offer, it would give Google’s users a negative experience. Here’s why. There’s a niche I’m a perfect fit for. And many many more people my approach is not a fit for. If I appear at the top of Google and I’m not what the user is searching for … then back down the list of results I go. Remember, Google wants the people doing the searching to be presented with exactly what they are searching for. So, I don’t want to get to the top of Google for ‘marketing help’. But I would like to keep attracting an ongoing flow of people I’m a fit for. (Just notice – the two things are completely different). And I won’t do that by ‘getting to the top of Google’ or paying for ‘SEO support’.
Four no-cost techniques to try instead.
- Do your research.
Find out what your ideal clients are searching for. What problems do they have? What words do they use to describe those problems? What would they actually type into Google for help alleviating the symptoms? For example, might a potential new client be searching for ‘complementary therapist’ or ‘relief from lower back pain’?
- Start a blog.
If your blog answers the questions that are keeping your niche awake at night, people will find you when searching for solutions online. Use their actual words and phrases. For example, does someone really want to ‘be their most authentic self’ or do they just want to ‘stop bursting into tears’? What do they wish for when they blow out the candles on the birthday cake? You have your most compelling blog post title, right there.
- Mobile friendly.
Your website needs to be mobile-friendly or Google will penalize you accordingly. It’s a way of making sure that Google’s users are having a positive searching experience across all devices.
You can take a quick, free Mobile-Friendly Test by clicking here. https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly)
Follow the instructions and you’ll know whether your site passes or fails. If you fail, it will tell you why and what to do about it.
- Don’t search for clients.
Stop wearing yourself out searching for clients. Instead, position yourself to be found by the people who want and need what you sell. As opposed to thinking about how to ‘get to the top of Google’, ask yourself where your ideal people are already spending their time, their money or their attention. Then show up there with a blog, a point of view, a talk or a tweet.
“SEO is not something you do anymore; it’s what happens when you do everything else right.” SEO guru, Chad Pollitt
About Lisa Barber
Lisa Barber is the creator of ‘How To Market Your Holistic Practice’ www.rootsandwings.biz/fht
Which helps sales-phobic therapists to attract clients who’ll pay their prices. If you’re feeling in the dark about how to promote your business without being salesy, visit Lisa’s website for no-cost strategies that work.