Keeping up with SEO best practices for your business is hard enough.
But Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for IT and other tech industry companies can be especially tough. Why? It’s unique in that there is an entire (and rather sizable) segment of its audience that does not search and consume content like professionals from most other industries do.
Although there are plenty of "laypeople" who are part of this field and looking for content that's been simplified, those working in more technical positions often appreciate highly specialized, complex educational content that speaks their language. With these nuances in mind, how can you create a robust approach tailored to your audience’s needs?
To help you get started, here are some SEO tips you can use to give your technology marketing and website presence a boost!
As in any industry, it’s critical that you know who your target audience is and what they are searching for. Take the time to flesh out your buyer personas -- this will allow you to tailor your content to their specific pain points. Knowing that your audience is often looking for detailed, specific, highly technical information as opposed to a sales pitch, be sure to do your homework and identify those topics that are of interest.
Once you nail down those interest areas, create a list of keywords that your prospects may be using in search engines. This is vital to having your audience find your business via organic search.
Once you have your list, don’t stop there! For tech companies especially, where new terms and coined phrases/concepts evolve frequently, your keyword list is by no means a ‘set it and forget it’ step. Plan on doing a routine review of your keywords, using SEM Rush, Google AdWords or other keyword research tools to see what is being searched on the most – you may be surprised to see which terms are ranking high in the search engine results pages.
Keeping current tabs on these keywords will help you develop a more effective content marketing strategy, and will drive some of the future topics you write about.
In order to build a solid reputation for specific tech-related keywords and IT topics, you have to be consistent in your messaging and frequency of publishing new content.
Maintaining this consistency helps build credibility and helps search engines recognize your website as a trusted resource and go-to thought leader in the industry. It will also send signals to Google that your website isn't stale. Fresh content suggests relevancy (as long as it's high-quality and well-written, of course).
Worried about being able to produce new content on a consistent basis? Start with what your team can handle -- maybe just a couple of blog posts per month. You can also strategically refresh your existing blog content, which is especially important in the tech world where technical information can quickly be viewed as dated.
Just be sure your content is consistent with what your audience is looking for, and helps search engines establish a pattern of what your organization wants to be known for.
Nothing will drive visitors away faster than a slow website – particularly if you're marketing a technology product or service! Visitors in this day and age are expecting sites to load under two seconds; if not, they’ll move on to the next search result on the page. Plus, Google's algorithms are getting "smarter" all the time, and may penalize sluggish sites and high bounce rates.
You can use Google’s tool to analyze your own site and see where improvements can be made. Simple fixes, such as decreasing image sizes and optimizing their format for the web, can dramatically reduce page load times.
That means, businesses who take the time to create site pages specific to cities or regions, places in which your company has offices, or areas you commonly service will greatly improve your reach and visibility.
Even though IT and tech companies do much of their work remotely, people still generally favor working with local companies. Check out this article for a few other ways you can brush up on your local SEO.
Social media is a necessary tool to interact with your audience in a more casual, personalized way. In the competitive IT marketplace, social media can help you differentiate your business through humor, personal information, or “behind-the-scenes” posts that help humanize your business.
Social media is also a great way to promote the content you create. Blog posts, white papers, videos, or current news from an influential third-party industry resource can all serve as powerful ways to drive traffic back to your website.
To leverage the power of SEO through social media, try posting your original content using LinkedIn Publisher -- this is a great way to get your name and message in front of thousands who may not have heard of you otherwise. Just ensure you're being helpful and posting with a purpose; nobody on social media is going to want to hear a sales pitch on your IT service or solution.
While you’re focusing on creating content that contains those important keywords and topics (and variations of them), don’t forget to adhere to on-page SEO best practices as well. “Keyword stuffing" can be the biggest SEO blunder, so be sure to weave in keywords naturally into elements like meta description, page title, alt tags for images and URL titles.
Keep in mind, on-page SEO elements won’t do much good if your blog content is not valuable to begin with. Always stick to educational content that solves problems and resonates with your readers -- rather than promotional content that focuses solely on your technology solution.
These six techniques are just a few ways you can improve your SEO and be on your way to bringing more prospects in the door. The key to success is having a dedicated marketer (or perhaps an agency with solid experience in the technology and SaaS sectors) who can bridge the gap, pair superb writing skills with your subject matter experts' insights, and create content that addresses the needs of all technology company decision makers and influencers at various stages in the buyer's journey.
Tracey MacDonald has been Senior Account Manager at PMG since July of 2015. She’s a strategy, sales, technology and SaaS ninja, and loves to write about sales and marketing integration (as ninjas do). While she’s fighting off the evil forces of low SEO rankings and poor marketing strategy, she somehow finds the time to write blogs – and loves hearing from readers. So, if you want to know more, let her know!