This will age me, but I remember the old days of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In the 2000s and even the early part of the 2010s, an organized group of people with a grudge could work together to redefine a word or a name and “teach” Google to point traffic searching that term to go somewhere they chose. Don’t believe me? Ask Rick Santorum.
Times have changed; with AI and more advanced algorithms, Google is no longer so easily tricked. Indeed, it has gotten pretty difficult to to rank for desirable terms (though at Spring Insight we somehow did manage to capture the one (or two depending on the day) spot for “our Google Overlords.”) That leads to the question, does SEO even matter anymore for professional services companies?
This would be a short blog if the answer was no. Good news, the answer is yes. Let’s discuss.
Content = SEO
One way to think about SEO is that it is a manifestation of content. When you create content, particularly content about the work you do, you are basically throwing keywords that identify your expertise into the universe. If you are already creating content, you might as well understand, plan, and measure the SEO implementations of the work you are doing.
Detailed search terms
The thing about SEO is to aim at the right target. Are you realistically going to rank #1 for “Recruiting Firm” if you have very little budget and are just getting started? No. But “Government Contractor Recruiting Firm,” might be doable with some time and sustained effort. And you know what, if you are a recruiting firm that specializes in backfilling government contracts, you care a lot more about people searching the second term than you do about the first.
Locational search terms
Similar to detailed search terms, locational search terms break what is likely an overly large segment into more bitesize chunks. “Bookkeeping service” is just too big to justify worrying about. But bookkeeping firm in Bethesda, Maryland or Washington, DC? That is doable.
Types of content
Think about all of the different kinds of content that provide detail about what you do, who you service, and where you target… How to blogs, best practice blogs, long descriptive blogs about services you provide, top five blogs, etc. The list is endless. For the purposes of this post, I am limiting discussion to blogs. But this certainly applies to website pages as well. (It also includes videos and podcasts as long as you post and tag them properly for search.)
Want to know a secret? This article is doing just what I am talking about. This is a piece of content that is created both to inform you about this topic (are you feeling informed?) and also to establish our credibility in discussing SEO. It identifies recruiting firms, bookkeeping services, and professional service firms as target audiences and establishes our location as the DC area and more specifically Bethesda, Maryland.
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