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Searched, Found, Invested: The Mini Masterclass

A mini masterclass on all things SEO for service based businesses.

In April, Zoe was fortunate to deliver a live mini masterclass to the local business owners of Hastings & St Leonards. In this mini-masterclass she covered the basics of what exactly SEO is, the importance of Local SEO for businesses that rely on physical customers, the most effective ways to get your business on to page one of Google and what makes those customers go on to make a purchase online.

 

This written version of that mini masterclass, gives 5 star services, local trades, clinics and consultants the SEO & CRO fundamentals to getting found, trusted and invested in by ideal clients, starting with search engines.

SEO Mini Masterclass title slide
Information about Zoe Collins, founder of ZODIGITAL.

Would you like a more in-depth video SEO masterclass?

Right here is a SEO and CRO Masterclass for local service-based businesses that teaches you, the 5 star service provider everything you need to know about getting found and invested in online.

Watch the on-demand video masterclass now.

What is SEO and what does it mean, exactly?

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SEO is an acronym. It stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

 

Search Engine = the tools people use to search for a query, look for a product or a solution. The most common Search Engine people tend to think of is Google, but social media is actually also a search engine as people use these channels to search and your profiles and posts appear based on the relevancy to that search.

 

Optimisation = the action of making the best of, and enhancing what you have so it performs at its best. In the context of SEO, optimisation refers to enhancing your content so that it gets you found on search engines.

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SEO is label that describes all the tasks that support and contribute to getting your website, social media and other online touchpoints in search engine result pages (SERPs).In this particular masterclass we are going to focus on two aspects that demonstrate that your content is both relevant to a search query and that you are a trusted authority / source.

Why do local service-based businesses need SEO?

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Search Engine Optimisation is an awareness marketing strategy. Businesses can be discovered by new people every day.

Some awareness marketing strategies include adverts that cost per click, flyering and some types of social media.

 

The benefit of SEO is that unlike these other awareness marketing strategies, is it is organic (it doesn't cost per click) and it takes root (it doesn't stop and disappear when you turn the cash tap off)

 

To summarise, SEO means ready-to-buy clients find your business while you show up in real life.

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How do we know the people who find your business via Search Engines are ready to buy?

We know that people who use Google to search for your business are ready-to-buy and want to become a customer. Google published statistics via Think with Google that tell us 76% of people who conduct a local search on their phone visit a physical place within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.

 

If your business is not appearing in these searches in a way that evokes trust then local competition will be soaking up all of this new business and your ideal clients will be going to them when you were really the right one for them.

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How do I get my business to appear in my ideal clients' search results?

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All of these things are indexed and appear in search results, and therefore can get your business in front of your ideal clients:

  1. Google Business Profile (Google Maps)

  2. Your Website

  3. Social media channels

  4. Social media posts

  5. Directories

  6. Other online maps like Apple maps

Can I get to page one on Google?

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One of the most commonly asked questions and goals for local businesses is "How do I get to page one on Google?" So during this mini-masterclass it made sense to focus on the criteria that Google uses to show your web page in a result page. That being said, these same elements can be applied across any online channel or content you produce.

How does Google work?

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This is how Google crawls and chooses to display your web page in its search results.

 

  1. You publish content - this can be some new content on an existing page or it can be a brand new page you have created and published.

  2. Google intermittently crawls your website with bots or "spiders".

  3. The bots crawl your webpages and index your pages.

  4. A person types a search query into Google (or uses voice) and if certain criteria has been met, Google decides to show your web page in its search results

  5. The more criteria met, the higher the position of your search result

What is Google's criteria when choosing what webpages to show?​

Google's algorithms have been kept top secret. But there are factors we know influence Google's likelihood to rank your content which all centre around the experience they perceive the person searching may have with your content.Two things that we know influence whether Google places your web page in its search results is whether the content is deemed to be relevant and if the content has come from a trusted authority.

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How do you show Google your content is relevant?

One of the clearest ways we can signal to Google that our content is relevant to the search result is with keywords. Keywords are phrases or words used in the search query. When our content features the same phrases that someone has searched, alongside useful information then Google will know your content is related to the search result and likely to give the person what they are looking for.

Your next client may search for your service by typing in exactly what you do in the location they want. They might also search variations of your services in areas you travel to or they are happy to travel to as it is nearby.

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Your next client may also search questions or other queries that signal that they want what you have to offer. This is why it is imperative to introduce a keyword strategy. A keyword strategy outlines what keywords you want to target underpinned by a reason. Content can then be created that speaks to these keywords and serves your audience with useful content.

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How do you show Google that your website is trustworthy?

 

Google builds up a perceived authority for your "domain" i.e. your web address over time. When new content has been indexed and it is believed to be relevant to the search, where your website appears in that results page depends on how trustworthy your domain is versus another relevant piece of content from another website.

 

 

One way you can show that your domain is trustworthy and you are a trusted authority is with backlinks. 

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Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. It is important these links are authentic and relevant. The more reputable the website linking to yours the better.

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Good SEO doesn't automatically mean money in the bank

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SEO is an awareness marketing strategy and is all about getting your content to the top of search engine result pages.

 

What happens once an ideal client clicks that link completely depends on how you are perceived and if your offer is linked to the solution this person is looking for.

 

How do you show a person you have what they need & you can be trusted? Some of the factors that build trust and a perception of high quality service include:

  • The experience you deliver

  • The story you tell and information architecture

  • Messaging that lands & connects to the right person

  • Clear solution Positioning

  • Reviews

  • Social proof

  • A seamless conversion journey

In summary: Why SEO is so important to local businesses and how to get your business to dominate local search results

Search engine optimisation is all about getting search engines to show your content in search results.

 

People who find your business from a search engine (using keywords with commercial intent) are in a ready to buy state.

 

When SEO is combined with online experiences that convert, ideal customers find and choose your business online while you show up irl.

Learn how to get found & chosen online by your ideal clients with the video SEO masterclass

This on-demand SEO masterclass is perfect for trades, service-based businesses, and the DIY marketer. Secure your ticket now.

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Google search engine on a mobile phone
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