According to Google Trends, global searches for the keyword “Career Counseling Near Me” have risen 120% over the past 12 months. During the same period, the following keywords have also increased in search volume.
- Career Counselling – Up 130%
- Career Coach near me – Up 80%
These stats mean a couple of things for private career practitioners. First, people are looking for your services. Second, if you don’t have an online presence, you’re likely losing business.
Career counselling near me
It’s no surprise recruiters look up potential candidates before they decide to reach out, but what about potential customers?
According to a study by GE Capital Bank, 81% of people research online before making a purchase. In other words, eight out of 10 of you reading this post will search for options online before deciding to buy. Admit it. You know you do.
Why does this matter? Google
Over the years, Google has gotten very good at providing us with relevant content based on our search queries. Google knows, for example, that when we search for something on its platform, we usually have a specific reason for doing so. Google refers to this as search intent.
It’s beyond the scope of this post to dive into the details of search intent, but when you type a query into Google’s search box, you usually have a specific outcome in mind. You’re either looking for general information, trying to reach a particular website, looking to buy stuff or you are conducting research.
Your online presence matters
In an earlier post on this site, I noted a study by the Harris Interactive Group, where nearly six out of 10 people conducting searches online stated that what they found solidified their decision to do business with a person or company.
So, when searching, if a suggested client’s intent is to find someone who can provide career counselling or coaching, the results Google delivers are likely to influence their decision-making process.
To ensure you are not missing opportunities, you need to have an online presence that not only captures someone’s attention but resonates with them as well.
The best way to achieve both online is to have a website.
However, for your website to resonate with potential customers, it needs to answer the following user questions:
1. Am I in the right place?
2. What do you do?
3. How do you help?
4. How do I engage with you?
Am I in the right place?
When someone first comes to your site, they try to determine if they are in the right place. The messaging on your site should quickly and clearly deliver the answer.
Many career coaches I speak with tell me they can help anybody. While this may be true, if you try to use your website to appeal to everybody, there’s a good chance you’re losing business.
The reason for this is simple: You can’t speak to millennials about careers the same way you talk to baby boomers. Not only are they in different places in their careers, but they have completely different viewpoints on what a career should look like. If you doubt this, try talking to a millennial about the importance to their career of working exclusively in their company’s head office. Alternatively, try to convince a baby boomer they can get promoted by working remotely.
By understanding and speaking in the language of your potential customers, you will give people who visit your website a clear understanding of your expertise.
What do you do?
You’d be surprised at how many career practitioners’ and coaches’ websites I visit where I have to spend too much time trying to figure out what they do.
Don’t assume that because you know what you do, others will as well. Career coaching means a lot of different things to different people.
For example, do you help people with resume updates? LinkedIn updates? Career assessments? Job searches? Interviewing techniques? Or finding their ideal career?
Being specific about what you do can make a big difference in the opportunities that come your way.
How do you help?
When someone visits your website, they do not initially care about you. They care about themselves and their problems. When they read your front page, they are looking for words that resonate.
Unfortunately, too many career coaches and practitioners tend to talk too much about themselves on their website and not enough about their customers, and specifically their customer’s problems.
I get it. As an expert in your field, you want to talk about your qualifications, awards, news appearances, etc. I’m not saying you shouldn’t – you should, but in context and not exclusively.
While you should be proud of your accomplishments, too many websites I visit discuss the career history of the coach or counsellor right on the front page. It’s then repeated on the about page, the contact page and various other pages.
Instead, use the homepage of your website to explain how your can help clients overcome the problems they are facing. Once you stop talking about the issues that affect them, they will stop listening.
How do I engage with you?
When people visit your website, if you have addressed the previous questions correctly, they will want to know how to connect with you. Some may use your contact page and others will want to take action now, which is where the Call to Action (CTA) comes into play.
Every website needs a CTA. The CTA is the action you want your website visitors to take above all others. Many career coaches have so many CTAs on their site potential clients do not know what they should do.
For many coaches, consultants, recruiters and counsellors, I recommend making your CTA “schedule a meeting” or “schedule a call.” Give potential clients access to your calendar and let them choose a time to chat that works best for them.
Capture them while you have their attention and start building the trust they’ll need to engage with you further.
People are searching for solutions to their problems every day, which includes career-related challenges.
What comes up in the search results will affect their decision, and what they find on your website will either solidify their decision or give them pause. If they decide to pause, you may lose an opportunity to help someone find their ideal career/job.
Answer the questions in this post and you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that come your way.