Putting interesting new Content online is essential to attracting new website visitors and persuading Google to rank you higher in its search results. But how do you maximise your visibility?
Tactic 3 – Love Inbound Links
Inbound links are links on other websites that point to a page on your website. They are also known as inbound links, backlinks, and links to your site.
Inbound links are crucial to Google’s PageRank system – the more relevant websites with good reputation refer to your site, the higher your website appears in its rankings. However great your content, your website power and traction is provided by trustworthy, authoritative sources linking to you.
Whilst link-building takes time to implement and reap results, Backlinko https://backlinko.com/link-building analysed 1 million Google search results in 2016 and found that links impacted rankings more than any other factor.
Quality links are more important than the quantity, although this varies by industry. Links in the middle of the main body of text are most valuable. A diverse and natural-looking anchor text (the clickable text section of a link) distribution improves your site’s rankings.
Inbound links are different to Internal Links – links that point from one webpage of your site to another page of your site, also known as website navigation. Internal links can assist your SEO by pointing to your best resources and improving visitor experience and time spent on site, which can improve your page’s search rankings.
Short-Term Actions To Win New Inbound Links:
1. Check Who is Already Linked To You
Use Google Search Console https://search.google.com/search-console/about to learn about sites that are referring to you. Be aware it shows all websites ever linked to you, including ones that have been removed, and you can’t check what anchor texts are being used.
We know putting fabulous fresh Content online is the secret to attracting new website visitors and helping Google rank you higher in its search results. But what do you need to know to maximise your visibility?
TACTIC 1 – BE AUDIENCE AWARE
Build 4 audience personas which accurately represent your target customers. Work out their demographic information such as gender, age, income, employment, location and education using social media profiles, customer service surveys and FAQs.
Add depth such as their interests, families, homes, pets, cars, holidays, clothes, sports, music, tech, food, news and entertainment sources.
Look for trends, such as mostly men in their 30s or women in their 50s, specific cities or job roles, and other common factors such as marital statuses, career histories and interests.
Identify their motivator – money, recognition, achievement, comfort, independence, relationships, development or something else. What goal does your service help your personas achieve?
Discover their pain point – is it getting employees to follow safety procedures consistently or high staff turnover? What barriers to success does your service help your personas overcome?
A good persona is a picture of who your customers are and who they want to be. It allows you to build deeper relationships by delivering personalised content where your target customers want it.
Examples of Audience Personas and Content Solutions For A Health & Safety Training Provider
Emily – age 36, Human Resources Manager, graduate, career-focused, married with young children, runner
Pain Point – wants to use a professional, credible training company
Content Solution- website verifies credibility by displaying IOTB, NEBOSH & CITB accreditation, Mission statement, Client List plus an up-to-date Linkedin profile
Jack – age 24, Construction Worker, 5 GCSEs, money-focused, single, grime music
Pain Point – perceives training as boring and trusts peers not companies
Content Solution – website introduces mascot, interesting training methods, peer reviews plus amusing Facebook and Twitter posts
Mark – age 45, Supervisor, 20 years industry experience, results-focused, has a partner and grown-up kids, rugby fan
Pain point – has to manage site safety and employees’ time off-site
Content Solution – website promotes different options including e-learning and weekend courses, emphasises experience and Trustpilot reviews, plus Facebook gives 5 star recommendations and safety fail videos
Geoff – age 57, Director, 40 years experience, company-growth focused, married with kids and grandkids, golf and travel fan
Pain Point – directors responsibilities including financial restraint and safety legislation
Content Solution – the website reassures with accreditation, blogs, a pass promise, payment plans, discount deals and informative industry newsletters
Examples of Audience Personas and Content Solutions For A Home Cleaning Company
Kirsty – age 46, doctor, married with teenage children, relationship-focused (parents, teenager’s friends, PTA, health club, dinner parties)
Pain Point – no time to keep a clean house and needs reliable service
Content Solution – website displaying customer testimonials, reassuring cleaning will always be delivered and all staff referenced, plus helpful Time Saving tips on Facebook
Jo – age 34, Finance Executive, environment-focused, single, gym bunny and charity work
Pain Point – wants a clean but green, ethical home
Content Solution – website introduces green credentials such as products used and recycling targets, and focuses on staff welfare, plus self-development blogs and Twitter posts
Mark – age 51, Company Director, divorced with grown-up kids, reputation-focused, racing and tech gadget fan
Pain point – workaholic so wants to enjoy precious free time in nice environment
Content Solution – website succinctly covers FAQs and has a postcode checker to quickly allow access to the local contact, plus Linkedin gives 5 star recommendations and home gadget articles
Ben – age 26, web designer, money-focused, living with partner, real ale, folk music, surfer
Pain Point- building own business any time not in the day job – no time to keep house as well
Content Solution – website reassures with minimum hours service, peer reviews, loyalty scheme and inspirational Instagram posts
The great thing about named audience personas is that when writing Content to promote your online visibility, you can check back whether it would be interesting and attractive to your Emily, Jack, Mark or Geoff. If not, change it.
If you are a training company looking to stand up and be found, Content Marketing is the way to win more business.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is the creation of entertaining and educational material that solves problems for your potential customers, generating interest in your business by offering solutions in a non-salesy way.
It includes blog posts, articles, podcasts, newsletters, e-books, webinars, quizzes and videos, and sets you apart from your competitors.
Consistent Great Content builds trust and loyalty with your target audience, and interprets your offering to search engines – through keywords and text (SEO) – to allow more buyers to find you online when researching answers.
Informative Content Marketing is a long-term strategy that continues reaching quality buyers by ongoing sharing of your valuable insights through blogs, forums, social media, paid and influencer channels.
Accurate and relevant Content Marketing brings people to you rather than you approaching them, bringing you website traffic, leads, customers and advocates. How Do I Plan Content Marketing?
People are looking for information online, so answering your target clients’ questions with valuable knowledge via blog posts, e-books, and videos will push you up search results and highlight you as an authority in the training industry.
Use timely ideas (such as holidays, industry events, seasons, awards) plus evergreen topics that stay fresh (such as ‘How To Motivate Difficult Staff’).
Choose your goal – new customer sales, increased existing customer sales, improved brand awareness, industry expert status, education of Influencers, building a long-term audience, a larger social media following, more website visitors, increased conversions to sales – and tailor content accordingly.
Choose a content marketing mission to keep you focused, such as “We provide SMEs [our audience] with staff development information [our type of content] to help them increase profitability through reduced sickness and improved safety [their business goals]”.
What Content Should I Publish To Win New Training Business?
Blogs are the main starting point for Content Marketing. Provide, for example:
Useful How-To Guides – Establishing A Safety Culture In The Workplace In 2019
Educational Tutorials – How To Perform A Risk Assessment
Industry news and Insights – Mental Health At Work – Your Obligations
Checklists – Comprehensive Accident Reporting, Fire Test Procedures
Inspirational Case studies – How Company X saved £50,000 per year on staff sickness and recruitment after Company Y Delivered the Mental Health First Aider course
Expert Advice – 10 Most Common Health & Safety Myths
Blogs Should Be:
Relevant and Recent – How Shell Could Have Avoided a £60,000 Health & Safety fine
Long-Form – Complete Guide To Care Home Workplace Safety
Targeted to a Specific Persona – How To Manage Working At Heights In The Commercial Cleaning Sector
Lead magnets can be ebooks, webinars, resource lists, reports, free trials, quizzes, mini-courses that generate leads by solving a real problem for your customers, such as ‘How To Manage The Health & Safety Of Mobile-Workers’.
They should provide valuable insights with easy-to-implement solutions that show off your expertise.
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to improve SEO, raise your brand awareness, attract inbound links, build trust, and get new online visitors.
Identify appropriate and authoritative sites that your ideal customers visit, such as business agencies, enterprise news, trade journals, management, health and finance platforms.
Pitch and write a great topic such as ‘ How To Protect Yourself From Personal Liability In Workplace Health & Safety Claims’.
Respond to comments and shares to engage individuals and build new relationships.
Promote content using social media and measure results.
Gated Content means hiding some content to entice visitors to subscribe, using a powerful Call To Action (CTA) in your landing page.
You can gate blog posts, news articles, white papers and research, webinars and videos, checklists and cheat sheets, downloadable resources and tools, lead magnets.
Whilst gated content can annoy visitors, and reduce the number of people you connect to, it can help you understand who your true audience is, what matters to them, build deeper relationships and create more targeted marketing. Videos
Video is one of the most popular content formats around, and is proven to generate leads and make sales.
You can create explainer videos, showcase your services, deliver tutorials and lots more simply using a mobile and YouTube, so it’s easy to get started.
We have so many opportunities and responsibilities these days – everybody else seems to be having such a great life on social media. So how do we avoid FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and become pro-active in living a meaningful and happy life?
Here’s a round-up of expert advice for you to choose from:
Know Your Self
Spend time working out what fills you with joy, and what success means to you. It could be spending time with family, travelling the world, improving the lives of the underprivileged or putting an end to palm oil use.
Knowing who you are enables you to decide who you are going to be and why you’re here. What’s important is to find your own definition of meaning and path to fulfilment.
Your purpose is a deep belief that leads to passion and inspiration. In childhood we have many grand ideas for ourself, before life squashes them out.
To find your purpose ask “If I could do anything with my life, and I knew I couldn’t fail at it, what would I be doing?”
Connect your purpose to your activities to achieve lasting fulfilment, as opposed to temporary happiness or success. Happiness comes from what we do. Fulfilment comes from why we do it.
Making the decision to do what you are passionate about takes courage, and is actually a rite of passage to reach mental, emotional, and spiritual maturity that not many adults experience.
Work out what you want and imagine yourself getting it. Many people ignore this to avoid disappointment if things don’t work out, but it is a crucial step to achievement.
Remain open to change and new ideas. Don’t give in to doubts about your abilities. Make contingency plans and strengthen yourself emotionally to be ready for new experiences.
Society tells us we are not good enough and happiness comes from external objects. But whatever we acquire, our purchases soon lose their appeal.
Fulfilment comes from ongoing self-improvement and acknowledging your growth.
Reflecting on challenges tackled and celebrating achievements gives a sense of meaning and purpose, along with the motivation to continue striving.
You are responsible for the way you perceive situations and your own fulfilment.
Stop blaming others or the world, and you’ll discover the power to control your own life. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Live In the Present
Let go of your never-ending self-talk. Take a break from social media distractions. Pause, and just be present.
Lower anxiety and improve focus by connecting to the stillness of the here-and-now. Immerse yourself in the present moment and your productivity and happiness will increase.
Stop expecting and start appreciating. Stop thinking about what “should be” and start being grateful for “what is.”
Enjoy the simple pleasures such as silly jokes, a child’s hug, a dog’s welcome, sunny days, a good meal, a winter’s frosty walk.
Contributing to the well-being of humanity and being part of something greater than yourself tends to make us feel better about life.
Find a cause you truly care about and give your time, money or ideally both. The act of contribution reminds us how successful and fortunate we are, and how small our problems really are.
You can be rich and successful by living your purpose, but you will be fulfilled everyday by what you give to ensure the happiness of others. Find Out More:
The most common response I’ve heard to advice on how to grow a business is:
“That sounds great, but how do I find the time to implement your suggestions?”
The harsh truth is that you somehow have to fit in regular sessions of working ON your business – as opposed to just IN your business – if you want to grow in a sustainable and profitable way.
To help you carve out that essential time in your hectic week, try out these 5 expert approaches:
1. Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
What To Do:
– List your common daily activities
– Draw a box with 4 quarters inside it and label them: Q1 – Urgent & Important, Q2 – Non Urgent & Important, Q3 -Urgent & Not Important, Q4 – Not Urgent & Not Important
– Put each activity in one quadrant of the matrix
– Reduce time spent on Q1, Q3 & Q4 tasks, increase time on Q2 activities
A demanding but low-profit customer may be taking up a disproportionate amount of time against their value to your business, and belongs in Q3 – Urgent & Unimportant.
A valuable customer may be left feeling ‘unloved’ and needs more attention’, and belongs in Q2 – Non-Urgent & Important.
” Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them” – David Allen, founder
What To Do:
– Capture everything that gets your attention – write down all ‘to-dos’, big and small
– Clarify what action needs to be taken – bin, file, action now, add to an action list
– Organise actions into lists, such as e-mails, phone calls, reports.
– Reflect on and update all lists regularly to clear your mind.
– Engage your systems to take actions confidently
Create a process to precisely deal with every type of e-mail you receive, reducing anxiety around what to do with them and when. Regularly review and clean action lists. This allows your brain time for creativity and renewal.
“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen Covey
What To Do:
– Work out your short-term and longer-term priorities using your values, principles and goals
– Consider these the ‘big rocks’ you put in the jar first before the ‘sand’ of other tasks fills it
– Don’t be afraid to say no to requests that don’t fit with your mission and that drain energy
Prioritise essentials that bring future value over short-term reactions to ‘trends’. If you aim to be the number one Cleaning Company in your area, focus resources on Staff Training, Planning, Relationship-Building, Quality Products and Outstanding Service, rather than chasing low-value jobs, cost-cutting projects and ‘fashionable’ contracts.
“The brain’s dependence on automatic routines can be dangerous. Habits are often as much a curse as a benefit” — Charles Duhigg
What To Do:
– Change one ‘Keystone’ habit for far-reaching effects
– Select a physical, emotional and person cue to practise the new habit
– Design some carrots and sticks for the new habit
– Practice your new habit cycle every day for 30 days
– Set the cue of one hour closed-door/uninterrupted planning time after lunch every Tuesday
– Work out the Emotional trigger, such as excitement for developing the business, and Who will trigger it, such as a mentor/friend by calling you
– Design some carrots and sticks for the new habit, such as treats, celebrations, tracking progress streaks and reporting to close associates
– Practise for 30 days to establish cues that create new habits, and build belief in change
” each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post. Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information”
” Educating is far more powerful, more trustworthy and more relevant to website visitors than pure selling or even traditional marketing content. Education means that you have thought about their situation and can anticipate the questions they may have. It also means that you understand who they are”
” they give an opportunity to inform people about your latest news and business happenings. The consumer is being given information straight from the horse’s mouth. Blogging gives your business the chance to create a personality online and gives people the opportunity to learn about your company”
However, if you have calculated the number of client sessions needed per month to cover outgoings, and the number of enquiries needed to convert to client sessions, you can work out what activities are needed to generate this work pipeline and be pro-active.
2. Define Your Niche
Being pro-active also has the great advantage that you can define a specific niche you are passionate about working in, and work to attract these types of clients to you.
There is information overload everywhere, so it is crucial you are known for something specific, for example, PTSD in children, OCD in professional women, post-natal depression, pain management in retirement, anxiety in male teenagers.
This is both for your ideal clients to find you and for your referral network to introduce you with confidence as the expert.
Once you value what and how you individually offer support, confidence you can make a significant improvement to clients’ lives follows.
4. Charge the Right Fees
Many Counsellors under-charge. Lynn Grodzki explains ” it’s very common for therapists to have negative belief systems about money. Profit means financial gain, and service means being of assistance. When you are in private practice, you’re doing both. You have to have a way to reconcile this inside yourself and in your practice.”
”Remember your hourly rate encompasses business costs including your phone, computer, materials, utilities, rent, professional costs and time spent outside therapy working on a client’s case”.
”Charging a healthy rate for your services can actually promote good therapy as it encourages both therapist and client to focus and work harder”, Dave Verhaagen, managing partner at Southeast Psych, adds.
Another idea is to offer a set number of ‘pro-bono’ sessions per month to satisfy your social values – offsetting usual fees against those for economically-challenged clients.
5. Market Yourself
“You need to get over the idea that your clinical competence alone will sell your practice,” says Paterson. “Ultimately it will, but not at the start”. Think about marketing as necessary to ensure your business stays around to continue assisting people with your skills.
Once you have identified your ideal client, work out where to interact with them – such as giving talks to dedicated support groups, joining relevant online forums to contribute your expertise, and writing regular blogs to demonstrate your niche expertise and credibility (and improve your SEO).
These activities – along with a social media presence – make potential clients aware of you and provide a chance to assess if they could work with you.
A photo is crucial, as is at least a basic website, giving details of your qualifications and experience. A variety of professional directory listings (especially Google My Business) with a stand-out tag line will also help people find you online.
6. Build An Introducer Network
Meet and build relationships with people who could refer clients to you, such as physicians, allied health professionals, educators, community organisers.
Counselling is about trust. If clients trust the introducer, and the introducer trusts you, this helps build trust in the counselling relationship.
Zur Institute recommends approaching potential referrers as a professional-helper who has valuable information and services to offer, such as:
assisting with burnout among police staff
supporting teachers in coping with disruptive children
relieving overwhelmed doctors in taking chronically depressed people out of their waiting rooms
helping local newspaper editors fill their newspaper with intelligent commentary on local/world events
the creative opportunities are endless once you are confident of your value and your chosen niche.