SEO for Coaches: Build Your Audience and Get Clients

Struggling to get new clients for your coaching business? Search engine optimization can help you build an audience and get in front of people looking for your coaching services.

SEO can help your coaching website rank higher in search engines for keywords that your target market is using to find someone like you to work with. But before you invest time and money in SEO, you’ll want to make sure that it’s worth focusing on—and what it can do for your coaching business.

I’m here to dispel some myths about SEO, help you determine if SEO is right for your coaching business, and help you better understand what you’ll need to do to start ranking higher with content writing seo for coaches!

Does SEO Work for Coaches?

Most coaches don’t invest time or money into SEO because they believe it can’t work for them. But the truth is, SEO can work for coaches. It all comes down to how competitive your market is on search engines.

Coaching marketing plans often tend to focus on building a business through social media and Facebook ads. While this strategy does work for coaching businesses, Facebook can be expensive and require continual investment, even with a self-liquidating offer. When you’re advertising on Facebook, you’re competing for ad space with every other business targeting your ideal customers, not just other coaches!

On the other hand, search rankings are relative to your direct competitors and you only compete for placements with other websites with similar content. One advantage? If your coaching niche hasn’t invested much in SEO strategies, you’re in good shape to rank on top of search with very little effort!

Beyond helping reduce your costs to get new clients, SEO can benefit your coaching business in a few other ways:

  • Raise brand awareness - The more people your brand gets in front of, the more brand awareness you’ll build and the more visible your coaching business will be.
  • Build your credibility - Surveys show that search engines are the most trusted source of information about businesses. In my experience, people see top ranking sites as more credible and websites pages back in search results.
  • Build your authority - SEO tactics focus on building authority through brand mentions and links back to your site on other reputable websites as well as publishing content that shows off your expertise.

With all those benefits, it’s hard to pass up search engine optimization for your coaching business. But in truth, SEO isn’t the right fit for every coach.

Is SEO Right for My Coaching Business?

There are two factors that influence whether or not SEO is right for your coaching business: search volume and ranking difficulty.

Search volume is the number of people who are searching specific keywords and topics in search engines. This is where some coaches run into trouble with SEO. I’ve found over the years that some businesses just won’t benefit from SEO because there’s not enough people searching.

If your audience isn’t aware of their problem or isn’t trying to solve their issues, they may not be searching on Google for a solution. That means that even if you rank highly for searches related to your services, your ideal clients might not find your site because they’re not looking for you!

The other reason why SEO might not work for your coaching business to get more clients is there’s too much competition for your target keywords.

Many keywords for life coaching are very high difficulty and may be too hard for your website to rank for, like the keyword “life coach” which has a very high ranking difficulty.

High difficulty doesn’t mean that SEO won’t work for your business—it might just mean that you shouldn’t spend time targeting very difficult keywords but instead should focus on lower traffic, easier keywords, especially about specific issues or problems your target clients are experiencing.

Getting a free initial consultation can help you identify if there’s enough people searching for your services or topics related to your offers on Google and what it will take for your website to rank.

Content Writing SEO Strategy for Coaches

After you’ve identified if SEO can work for your coaching business, it’s time to make an SEO strategy that works for you.

One of my favorite strategies for SEO for life coaches is to identify the problems or issues that their clients are trying to solve and then create content around those topics. Not only does this help develop your authority as the go-to expert, it can help bring clients who are highly motivated to work through their problems to a solution.

Keep in mind that your audience might not be searching for you by using “[your niche] + coach” or “[your niche] + coaching” but they might be searching for more granular issues that you can help them with. You can also avoid impossible to rank for keywords using this method and still benefit from SEO!

In broad terms, the SEO strategy that works well for coaches is:

  1. Identify the common problems your audience wants to solve
  2. Develop a keyword list focused on how your audience talks about their problems
  3. Create great content focused on raising awareness about problems, identifying solutions, and taking first steps towards progress
  4. Use these articles to showcase your expertise to get brand mentions, interviews, and links back to your website

Don’t forget that your content doesn’t just have to be blog posts! You can create content that helps you get to the first page of Google and improve your search engine rankings without writing a word. Videos and podcasts work well for SEO too.

Finding the Best SEO Keywords for Coaching

Identifying the right search terms comes down to knowing how your audience talks about their problems and doing keyword research.

Your keyword research process should start with really understanding your target clients and how they think and talk about their problems. One of my favorite things to do when I work with a client to write SEO content is to conduct an audience survey with open ended questions that allow people to fill in the blanks. It’s a great way to get ideas for keywords.

I love using this process to identify the best keywords for coaches:

  1. Make a list of problems or issues new coaching clients are looking for help with
  2. Make a list of problems you see in coaching clients they may not have identified
  3. Make a list of problems you’d like to help people with

For example, if you’re trying to find life coach SEO keywords for your relationship coaching business, you’ll want to make a list of common problems your clients experience when they first start working with you, issues they didn’t know they had, and problems you’d like to help them solve that maybe none of your clients have come to you with yet.

Next, you’ll take these ideas and look for keywords that people are searching on search engines.

You can use a keyword tool to find the search volume and keyword difficulty to make a plan for what content you’ll create and how to prioritize your content creation processes. SEMRush is one of my favorite SEO tools to use in this process but can be a bit difficult to learn.

Once you’ve developed your keyword list and identified your content you’ll create, you’re ready to start working on your content writing SEO for your coaching business!

Building Authority with SEO for Your Coaching Business

SEO isn’t just about your content on your website, however, it’s about your business’ entire online presence and your business’ perceived position in the market by Google. If you look like an expert in your niche and an authority to Google, you’re more likely to rank high in search results.

Once you’ve built up a library of content, whether it’s blog posts, videos, or even a podcast, you’re ready to start marketing your authority and building your SEO through brand mentions and links to your site. That’s why I focus on creating great content _first_in my SEO strategy for coaches!

One of the most powerful ways you can increase your rankings is by getting quality links back to your site. It’s the top signal to Google that your website should rank highly and can have the biggest impact on your rankings.

When building your authority for SEO, I like to focus on four main areas:

  • Interviews, features and articles in industry publications, blogs and websites
  • Interviews, features and articles in publications, blogs and websites your target audience enjoys
  • Interviews on podcasts
  • Partnerships with influencers or resources your target audience trusts

These off-site SEO strategies tend to work very well for coaches. Because you’ve already built up a backlog of content that positions you as an expert, you can easily pitch yourself to places that can help your rankings and help you get in front of more potential coaching clients.

Make Your Coaching Website SEO-Friendly

The final thing you’ll need to focus on when it comes to ranking highly in search engines is your website’s technical SEO. Technical SEO involves improving the technical aspects of how your website works and how search engines interact with it.

Most people focus heavily on technical SEO, making sure that their website gets high marks on technical SEO audit tools. But here’s the thing: you only need to have as good of a technical SEO standard as is required for you to rank.

In other words, you don’t have to have a technically perfect website to succeed! It’s only in highly competitive markets that you’ll likely need a full technical SEO audit and fixes to get to the top of search results.

There’s a few things you need to check to make sure that your website isn’t going to hurt your SEO:

  • Mobile-friendly - Your website needs to work on mobile devices, especially since that’s the version of your site Google uses in rankings. You can check using Google’s mobile testing tool.
  • Loads quickly - Your website should load in under 3 seconds, at a minimum. I shoot for under a second for the coaching sites I build. You can use Pingdom’s Speed Test to see how long it takes your site to load.
  • Free of broken links - Your website shouldn’t leave people at a dead end with lots of 404 errors.
  • Sitemap - You need a sitemap file to let search engines know where all your content lives on your site that you want to be in search engines (and block things you don’t, like opt-in downloads!).
  • Canonical Links - You want to make sure Google knows which URL of your content is the one that should rank in search engines. Sometimes websites create more than one URL for a single page through how the website system works (like Wordpress). Duplicates can confuse Google.
  • Robots.txt file - You need to make sure your website can be crawled by search engines with a robots.txt file.
  • Security Certificate - You’ll want to install a security certificate on your site to show search engines and visitors your website is trustworthy and secure and have your site at https.

With these essentials covered, most websites are in good shape for top rankings with technical SEO. You don’t have to worry too much about getting everything right, just these top few items.

Start Building SEO for Your Coaching Business

Before you start working on new content for your coaching website, the next step is to see if SEO is the right tactic for your business and which SEO strategies will be the most effective for you to get more clients.

SEO can be a huge source of traffic and new clients, but _only_if it’s the right fit for your coaching business. Figuring out your own SEO strategy and if it’s worth investing in SEO for your business can be a tricky decision, especially if you’re not an SEO pro.

I’ve helped coaches decide if SEO was right for them and help them come up with an SEO strategy in my free initial consultations. You can apply for a consultation to learn more about SEO for your coaching business and what it will take to get to the top of search results.

Not ready for a consultation? That’s okay! You can grab my traffic building guide to help you get started. The guide walks you through parts of the strategy I’ve outlined above and helps guide you towards building your search traffic and getting more clients for your coaching business.

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