I’m excited that Amanda has given me the opportunity to share a few things with you today that can truly revolutionize your health and wellness business.
If you look at some of the top motivators for starting your own business, you’ll find things like freedom, wanting to change the world, and the desire to do some good in the world. Strangely, you won’t find many people who go into the health and wellness business so they can learn SEO and online marketing.
I’ve found that many people’s eyes glaze over when you start talking things like “SEO” – because it seems complicated, and frankly they don’t really care to learn it.
If that’s you – I have some good news:
Today, I’m going to share a couple of simple, common sense techniques that will help your business perform well in the search engines without knowing any technical mumbo-jumbo.
The key is to outranking big brands like Men’s Health, Shape Magazine, and others is to find the specific questions your audience is asking in Google and address those questions specifically and thoroughly on your website.
It may sound crazy, but I’ve done I’ve seen this strategy work time and time again.
Here’s how it works:
What Is SEO, Anyway?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”
To put it in more practical terms, it’s a way of putting your best foot forward on your website so Google understands that your site is high quality, and you have relevant content to share with people who are searching things in your industry.
There is no “magic pill” for SEO.
You don’t click a button and “SEO your website.” It’s really about authority, quality, and relevance – things that are built over a period of time.
Rather than wasting money by paying some “guru” who promises to make you #1 in Google for the term “lose weight” – you’d be better off saving your money and creating content that your audience really wants to consume.
Intro to Keywords
“Keywords” in the context of search engines are simply words and phrases people search for in Google.
Believe it or not, about 500 million times per day somebody does a Google search that has never been done before. So there are virtually and infinite amount of keywords.
Let’s do a quick example.
I’ll be honest to say that I’m not in the kind of shape that I used to be. (perhaps someone here will take me on as a client?)
Life happens, as they say.
Suppose I was ready to get back to a healthy lifestyle, and I needed some advice.
Who do I ask for advice?
Google, of course.
So I go to Google and search for “How to get in shape.”
This is a keyword – because I just searched it.
This exact phrase is searched thousands of times per month, and as you might imagine is littered with big brands in the top 10 results of Google – all dialed in with high quality resources and pages on this EXACT topic.
This is a very competitive keyword.
On the other hand, let’s suppose I didn’t quite find what I needed in that search.
So I go back to Google and this time I search “how to get in shape without working out.”
Though it’s a little more unique, this is also a keyword.
More accurately, this is what we refer to as a “long tail” keyword – meaning that it is longer and more specific in nature.
The crazy thing is, about 70% of all searches are long tail keywords. Take a look at this graphic:
The mistake many health and wellness entrepreneurs make is thinking the way to better results online is to rank well for popular keywords like “eat healthy” or “get in shape.”
For most of you, that’s never going to happen.
It’s very difficult to overtake a big brand with tons of resources for one of these more generic, highly competitive keywords.
The good news is, 70% of the searches being done are things much more specific – things you can absolutely rank well for!
But how do you know what these long tail keywords are?
1. Listen To Your Customers
This is the best way to start.
Marcus Sheridan calls this idea “they ask, you answer.” (Here is his Youtube video explaining the concept.)
The idea is simple – if your customer asks you a question in person or over the phone, answer it (in a more general way) on your website or blog.
If you are a fitness coach, you probably hear all kinds of questions!
What a HUGE asset this is for your online marketing.
The odds are that if your client has that question, there are many others who have the same question.
The difference is, if you aren’t their coach, they aren’t going to ask you.
They are going to ask Google.
So if your client asks “I know I need to eat more vegetables, but I really hate how they taste. What should I do?”
Jot that question down for later – because it should become a blog post.
You might call it “How To Eat More Vegetables [Even if You Hate How Vegetables Taste]”
Then, curate a list of your favorite recipes from around the web or give a cheat sheet that would help a person in this situation.
Start Making a List
If you really think about it, you could probably think back to questions you’ve already heard (involve other staff members as well) and come up with dozens or hundreds ideas for your blog.
Remember – no question is out of bounds.
Answer anything your clients ask – even if it has a “negative” tone to it.
For instance, somebody may have asked “Can’t I lose weight without a personal trainer?”
If you are a personal trainer, it may feel like an awkward question to answer on your website.
You don’t want to tell people that they don’t need your services to lose weight, right?
As you may have guessed, I’m not a personal trainer but I’d imagine that the honest answer to that question goes something like this:
“Yes, people lose weight all the time without the help of a personal trainer. If you’re planning to take this step, check out these resources to help you on the journey: X, Y, and Z.
If you’re in it for the long haul, data does suggest that those with a personal trainer are X% more likely to stay motivated and keep the weight off. Our program helps by…”
As you can see – you’ve answered the question honestly, but you also take time to explain why losing weight with a personal trainer is faster, easier, or whatever your primary benefit is to a customer.
By addressing the negative questions as well, you have the opportunity to own the conversation and possibly gain a client.
On the other hand, if you act like these questions don’t exist and you never address them on your website – I can assure you that they’ll find their answer (and perhaps personal trainer) somewhere else.
2. Get Some Suggestions
As you’ve seen, knowing your customers and their questions and concerns is a fantastic starting point for your online marketing efforts.
By answering the questions you hear on your blog, you’ll naturally start to pull in more search engine traffic from others who are looking for those same answers.
However, there are a number of topics and questions that people search online that you may never hear in your day to day business.
This is where doing some keyword research comes into play.
Keyword research is simply finding out how often people search for various keywords, and what the competitive landscape looks like for those keywords.
In other words, do I have any legit chance to rank on page 1 of Google for that keyword?
Here are a couple quick ways to discover these keyword ideas:
1. Long Tail Pro.
Long Tail Pro is our keyword research software which takes this entire process and throws it into turbo mode.
Basically, you drop in a few “seed keywords” which are simply idea starters. From there, the software will generate up to 800 keyword ideas per seed keyword – giving you a bunch of ideas to sort through and analyze.
As an example, I started with 4 seed keywords: Detox, Detox Tips, Home Workouts, Personal Trainer Workouts.
This produced 2,782 keyword ideas for me.
In those results, I was able to find some long tail keywords with low competition like “At home workouts for men without weights.”
In the image above, you see the current top 10 results in Google along with our proprietary “keyword competitiveness” score that helps me decide if I should write a blog post or make a page targeting this term.
If I were in this space, I’d absolutely create something like “17 Simple At Home Workouts For Men – Without Weights.”
I might not rank well for “workouts for men” or “at home workouts” – but by targeting the ultra-specific “at home workouts for men without weights” I have a much better chance of being found.
This particular term is only searched 90 times per month on average.
That’s not a huge number.
However, when you follow this “long tail” strategy, you’ll find that there are a ton of different keywords just like this getting searched 10, 50, 300, or maybe 2,000 times per month.
It all adds up to an effective way to pull in free search engine traffic without spending a ton of money.
2. Google Suggestions
You know how when you are typing something into Google, they try to guess what you might be looking for based on popular searches?
It looks like this:
There can be some really valuable keyword ideas in those suggestions, but the key is being able to find them quickly.
Enter a free tool called Ubersuggest.
Ubersuggest lets you enter a search term and then they provide hundreds of suggested searches based on your keyword.
For example, I went to Ubersuggest and typed in “Detox with” and had over 500 suggestions immediately, such as:
In my case, I again use our Long Tail Platinum software to quickly copy/paste these 500+ keyword ideas and analyze them. I want to know:
1. How often it is searched
2. Can I realistically rank for it based on the competition.
I quickly find a few detox related keywords that I would have a strong chance of ranking for if I create high quality, targeted content.
In the screenshot above, the number in the middle is the monthly search volume and the number on the right is our Keyword Competitiveness score. We consider anything below 30 to be low competition. All 4 of these keywords are in the low-mid 20’s, meaning they fit our ideal criteria.
Again, if detox was a part of my business, I’d add these keywords to the list of things I should create content for on my website.
As you can see, having your site perform well in the search engines isn’t all that difficult or mysterious.
However – it isn’t some push-button magic either.
There is work involved.
You simply need to know what people are actually searching for and create content that is laser focused on those topics.
For help with understanding how to make sure your page is “laser focused” on the topic, check out this post about on-page SEO and use it as a guide.
From there, start by making a list of questions you hear from clients today. Again, if you have other staff members who deal with customers directly, enlist their help in this project.
Remember – they ask, you answer.
Next, use tools like Long Tail Pro and Ubersuggest to discover even more ideas – and more importantly, to analyze the competition. This gives you confidence that before you spend time creating content, there is a strong chance that people are actually going to find it!
Above all, remember that this is a long term strategy. Keep plugging away and stay consistent – even when it’s not fun. Your efforts will pay off.
(That sounds like something a fitness coach would say…)
This article is a guest post by Jake Cain of Long Tail Pro.
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