There’s hardly any successful coach or consultant who doesn’t want to rank high on search results.
Think of the best coaches in the world, you will most likely see them on the first page of Google, not the second or third page.
Although some of these coaches may not be the best at what they do, appearing on the first page of google gives them instant authority over their competitors. who unfortunately did not rank so high.
So what is it that makes gets them to the first page of Google? One obvious explanation is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
But what exactly is SEO? HubSpot defines it as “nothing else but expanding a company’s visibility in the organic search results.” Simply put, it’s all about ranking high in the search results.
But why does it matter being on Google’s “Page 1”?
The short answer: more visitors, more conversions, more sales.
Indeed, SEO has the same bottom line as with paid advertising – except you don’t have to buy leads and visitors. More importantly, it has other benefits that paid advertising doesn’t have.
Below are just a few reasons why SEO plays a critical role in your overall marketing strategy.
(DISCLAIMER: This is not to say that SEO is a superior method to other forms of lead acquisition. As you’ll discover below, both organic marketing and paid advertising should work in tandem to maximize leads and conversions.)
SEO establishes online presence and credibility
This is perhaps the most obvious, most important reason why any coaching or consulting business should have a solid SEO strategy.
On the surface level, people want results – quick. So they prefer to click on the first things that appear on their screen.
But there’s a deeper level to being on the first page.
Consider doing this simple experiment:
If you search for any answer on Google – some of the biggest companies, sites and organizations will likely appear on the first page. Is Wikipedia there? How about a news publication? Another big player in the industry?
Now compare those Page 1 results to Page 10. Instinctively, are you likely to trust those Page 10 sources more?
If not, why is that?
That’s because being “first” also means your services and content are highly sought for. You’re subconsciously associated with the “Big Kids of Page 1”.
SEO targets customers who are actively looking for help.
People go to Google for a solution to a problem. Something is currently bothering them (or at least making them curious).
That means, they’re a warmer audience than paid traffic.
And better yet:
They don’t come from a demand that you have to create yourself (although high-ranking free content helps with that too).
They don’t just come from an existing demand that’s standing by.
They’re looking for you.
All you have to do is “place the right bait on the hook” by finding the right keywords that will grab their attention quicker than your competition.
Organic Marketing Is Less Salesy
Feeling bad that you have to persuade cold audiences to get your offer? Look no further!
Because they’re actively looking for a solution like yours (see above), you don’t have to write sales copy that’s overly persuasive – let alone hop on a phone only to get rejected 95% of the time.
This is confirmed by a survey, which found that 60% did not want to engage with salespeople for information, but 68% prefer to do their own research.
We wouldn’t limit the finding to the phone, either. We would include anything that clearly shows we’re selling something.
Consider this thought experiment:
When people see the word “Sponsored” in a social media post, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are, they think you’re making a buck out of them.
Not that selling and advertising are wrong – far from it. The point we’re simply trying to make here is that the label somehow puts up their defenses. (Arguably due to bad salesmanship and advertising in the past.)
On the other hand, if you organically rank first, it gives them the perception that people flock to you as the “go-to” person for the job. (This ties back to point #1, above.) It reduces their defenses.
Moreover, if you have educational content that ranks high on Google or YouTube, it solidifies your position as an expert or celebrity in your field.
In any case, choosing between organic and paid marketing is like sitting on a chair with one leg. That’s because…
SEO pairs very well with paid ads
With paid ads, you spend money to appear in front of your audience. Whether they’ll respond to your ad will depend on how well-written your copy is and how good your photo/video is.
However let’s suppose you’ve launched a great ad. I find it compelling and entertaining.
But there’s one problem: I didn’t know you prior to the ad.
So what’s the most sensible thing I can do as a prospect? More often than not, I’ll head to Google.
After all, as HubSpot notes, 77% of people research a brand before engaging with it.
That means, ranking determines whether the brand is trustworthy or just some other scammer from the far corner of the Internet.
So is your website on Page 1? Do you have educational content that also ranks high? If so, then prospects are more likely to take action.
Now let’s say I saw you on Google first.
Upon clicking your web page from Page 1, I checked your offer, but I am not convinced.
Is that the end of me as a prospect? Not just yet…
What you can do is use paid ads to target recent visitors. With those ads, you can justify your offer from a different angle.
In other words, SEO and paid marketing work in tandem. You use SEO to show people that you’re an established expert ready for business. And you use paid ads to retarget website visitors.
This “balanced approach” maximizes the flow of traffic into your marketing funnel.
The bottom line?
If coaching and consulting businesses have an underdeveloped approach to SEO, marketing will be an uphill battle, given the density and competitiveness of the industry. By remaining hidden or quiet in the world of search engines, they would be seen as less legitimate. Or less preferable to other alternatives and competitors.
On the other hand, if they have a solid SEO strategy, they better establish themselves in the digital sphere. After all, prospects easily see them and subconsciously view them as the “go-to” place for their problems. As a result, SEO increases website traffic – even more so if they have a well laid-out paid advertising campaign.
To learn how exactly SEO and social media can further establish your coaching business, consider booking a call with one of our experts and explore how we can address your unique needs on digital marketing.