Professional industries have to approach search engine optimization differently than other businesses. Creative industries and ecommerce businesses have the benefit of versatile freedom when it comes to marketing their products and services, while professional industries are expected to stay within the lines of, well, professionalism.
Of course, the basics of SEO are the same regardless of your industry. However, the marketing that accompanies those SEO strategies varies. Whether you’re a lawyer, cosmetic surgeon, or management consultant, you’re tasked with finding the best ways make your business searchable and generate revenue. Here are three effective SEO strategies for professional industries like your:
Create Linkable Content
Inbound traffic is powerful in the world of search engine optimization. Inbound marketing is the process of attracting other websites with valuable content, leading them to link back to your website. Think of this like creating a dialogue. It can be help you increase website traffic, sales, and brand awareness. The more links that point to your site, the more likely you are to position yourself higher in search engine results pages and reach new customers.
This is especially true for professional services. One dental hygienist wrote a blog post about the harsh chemicals in Crest toothpaste, and the reception was wide-reaching. It generated over 1,700 backlinks from publications like Cosmopolitan and the Washington Post.
Business owners in professional services often find it difficult to come up with ideas for compelling content, but there are ways to think outside of the box and tools designed to help you. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator tool allows business owners and marketing professionals to come up with interesting and engaging content for their audiences. They also published a thorough article on how to come up with a year’s worth of content ideas in just an hour.
Use Industry Specific Schema
Schema markup is a critical component of SEO, though it may be difficult for non-marketing professionals to fully understand. Schema markup is the set of structured data used by the most popular search engines to better understand your content and place it in search results. It allows these search engines to deliver content that’s universally understood. The markup itself “marks” elements of a webpage with specific code that tells those search engines what the page element consists of.
Dan Steiner, CEO of legal SEO firm Elite Marketing, says, “Different professional industries have schema markup standards that are designed to fit their content. Many people don’t realize this. For example, a law firm’s website content should have schema markup on several pieces of content, including phone numbers, emails, addresses, reviews, attorney names, and biographies.”
Schema.org is a comprehensive site that lists specific types of markup for various local businesses in professional services. Use it to help guide you, however, if you aren’t familiar with SEO or have the time to learn it, consider hiring a third-party agency in your niche.
Reach Out To Influencers In Your Industry
Websites that are considered high domain authority have the power funnel tons of traffic to your website. To capitalize on that, an influencer campaign may be in order. This is exactly what the Hawaii Tourism Authority did to encourage people around the world to visit Hawaii. They contacted people who had influence in the travel industry, like travel bloggers and sports enthusiasts who travel for work, and encouraged them to publish Hawaii-centric content. The resulting photos were posted on Instagram with a corresponding hashtag.
Many people are ill-informed about the types of businesses that can best benefit from this strategy. And believe it or not, ecommerce companies aren’t the only type of businesses that can take advantage of influencers. Service-based, professional industries can also benefit from incorporating influencer tactics into their overall SEO campaign.
Typically, professional business have to be a little more creative with their campaigns, opting for links in addition to seeking visual social media opportunities. For example, you might want to create a list of influencer bloggers in your industry, and begin reaching out for guest posting opportunities. Bloggers will almost always appreciate having a professional voice on their platform.
Social media influencers might be a little more difficult, but it’s doable. There are plenty of influential people out there who are interested in listening to what you have to say––you just have to find them.
These influencers don’t necessarily have to post photos of products to create a visual. For example, a financial planner might offer free financial advice to a popular Instagrammer, who might then take a photo of their vehicle or new home––a goal that was attainable as a result of those services.