In order to effectively perform SEO activities for a software house, you need a thoroughly prepared and consistently deployed strategy. But what should such a strategy comprise? Is there anything that software developers and IT companies ought to pay special attention to? Keep reading our today’s guide discussing doing SEO for software companies to learn the answers to the above-mentioned questions!
Although this text is primarily dedicated to software houses, it contains a lot of useful tips that can be successfully implemented by virtually any company which struggles to increase organic traffic, attract new potential customers or improve revenues. Taking proper care of online visibility enables expanding the business, no matter whether the software companies offer solutions for individual clients or provide SaaS (Software as a Service) delivery models to their partners as part of B2B cooperation.
A few words about software houses
In a nutshell, a software house is a company dealing with software development. Although the name is still relatively new and unknown, services provided by software companies are currently among the most desirable ones in the technology market. But what services are we talking about? Well, think about developing websites, mobile applications, e-shops or, as the name itself suggests, software. Obviously, software houses are also responsible for deploying and administering offered solutions which include observing, solving problems, or answering any questions concerning their applications or users.
However, before discussing the SEO process for software houses, let’s briefly mention all the factors that significantly affect the position of a given website in the search results.
The most important SEO ranking factors
Google takes advantage of an extremely complex algorithm which analyses more than 200 ranking factors. However, in 2016 it was officially announced that there are three main elements that impact SEO and website’s positions in the SERPs. The list includes links, quality of the content, and user experience. Moreover, this data is fully relevant also in 2020.
1. Link building
The most important part of link building concerns obtaining valuable external links. Links redirecting to a given website indicate that the page is reliable and trustworthy. Every link coming from a top-notch website can be compared to receiving a recommendation letter from a renowned person operating in the industry.
Obviously, you should also remember about outbound and internal links. If a website provides links to other valuable pages, then, Google treats it as a clear indication that this website offers reliable and recommendable content. Moreover, outbound links inform Google algorithms about the specifics of the industry in which a given company operates. On the other hand, internal links redirect to content that’s already in the Google rankings. They’re highly valuable for search engines users as thanks to them, website visitors can enter related entries with only one click. Internal links also affect the website’s position on Google.
To find out more about valuable linking techniques, go to our previous blog entry: Quality link building essential guide.
What can a software house do to improve its SEO rankings?Strive to obtain quality links from valuable IT sources such as software portals or appreciated blogs. If you operate in the international market, check out sites such as Medium.com, TechCrunch.com, TheNextWeb.com, Wired.com,or DigitalTrends.com.
[caption id="attachment_25885" align="aligncenter" width="750"] źródło: The Next Web[/caption]
2. Content quality
Content quality is the most prominent ranking factor when it comes to all search engines. Even the finest SEO strategy won’t bring the intended results if a website provides unreliable or duplicate content. Today’s SEO isn’t solely about optimizing keywords. Ensuring that your website meets users’ search intent is the most important aspect you should focus on. Thanks to the latest update, the BERT Google algorithm effectively determines whether given website content is likely to satisfy the expectations of the search engine users. On this basis, it chooses which pages are displayed in the search results for a given query.
What can a software house do to improve its SEO rankings?Ensure that its website provides unique, top quality content. A company blog is a great solution that gives an opportunity to regularly share knowledge and expertise with website visitors.
3. User experience
Google search engine strives to provide its users with adequate and reliable search results. In order to achieve this objective, Google algorithms are constantly developed. One of the greatest improvements of recent years is the Google RankBrain algorithm based on artificial intelligence and introduced in 2016. The search engine is more and more precise when it comes to assessing and identifying user experience in real-time. The algorithm takes into consideration aspects like:
bounce rate - meaning the percentage of visitors who leave the site after seeing only one subpage;
time spent on the site - indicates how long users stay on the website;
click-through rate (CTR) - the percentage of users who click on a search result in the SERPs and visit the site.
These three factors determine whether Google considers the website to be appropriate for a given search query and whether its content corresponds to the search intent.
What can a software house do to improve its SEO rankings?First and foremost - provide users with content they expect. The site should be transparent and comprehensible also for persons who don’t operate in the IT industry. Make your texts engaging and applicable.
Content still matters
All three elements described above focus on the quality and relevance of website content. Therefore, in the further part of this article we’ll focus on advising software houses how to successfully optimize their content.
A 6 step SEO strategy for a software house
An effective SEO strategy of every software house should comprise the following 6 elements. Each of them has a significant impact on the final position of your website in the SERPs.
Content planning and creation
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way. If you want to obtain the desirable SEO results, you need to provide quality content. SEO activities can only tweak the effectiveness of the content that has been already published. Even the finest strategy and optimization technique won’t help you achieve top positions if your content is of low quality.
Software companies are constantly developing to meet clients’ expectations. Consequently, they’re prepared to create creative and unique content that is full of substantive information. It’s worth taking advantage of this fact.
Consider running a company blog that will have a positive impact not only on your brand recognition but also on your positions in the search results. Moreover, this solution allows you to share your expertise with your current and potential clients. The software industry is a complex and specialized field, therefore, numerous terms are a closed book to an average layman. It’s worth meeting the expectations of interested users and resolving their doubts. It may also pay off in the long run ;). However, it’s also a good idea to differentiate content created for users with basic (or even zero) knowledge from texts created for those who want to broaden their expertise and learn more advanced things.
[caption id="attachment_25887" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Blog on a software house website, source: Codete.com[/caption]
Maybe you should also provide a FAQ section on your website. As it’s been already mentioned, the IT industry is full of puzzles and the frequently asked questions section is not only a good way to quickly and efficiently answer users' questions, but also to support your SEO.
A useful tip!
Remember that you create for your recipients. Although you should care about your keywords, don’t focus mainly on their density. Do your best to provide comprehensive content valuable for users. This way, you’ll be able to position yourself as an expert in the industry.
One of the main aspects of every SEO strategy involves the search for appropriate keywords. Although it’s been stated before that today’s Search Engine Optimization isn’t only about keyword optimization, it’s still worth remembering about this element. While choosing your key phrases, it’s extremely important to determine the target group. It might be helpful to define and create user personas meaning representatives of your target group and recipients.
Understanding the needs of your target group facilitates the process of selecting appropriate keywords. Choosing even the most popular key phrases won’t bring you any benefits unless these words are somehow related to the business profile of your company.
Long-tail SEO which puts emphasis on many detailed and elaborate phrases may turn out to be a real life-saver as this way, you reach potential customers or clients who have already made the decision and now are looking for very specific products or services. When it comes to software houses, long-tail phrases may look as follow:
mobile application development,
a prototype approach to information system design and development,
A useful tip!
Keywords are supposed to help you achieve your SEO objectives, not hinder the process. So, for example, if you aim at attracting new potential clients, your keywords should be informative so that they appeal to users looking for answers to bothering questions in search engines.
As written at the very beginning of the entry - backlinks are one of the three most important ranking factors. And again, if you want to obtain quality backlinks, you need to provide quality content. If your website is filled with top-notch and appealing information, sooner or later your efforts will pay off and the website will earn a lot of valuable backlinks.
A useful tip!
IT companies love posting various data on their websites. Numbers are the language of business. If you’re familiar with the latest trends, surveys, or client questionnaires, you should definitely take advantage of such information and not only publish it on your website but also share it with other sector media. This will undoubtedly allow you to earn more backlinks to your site.
Even the finest and most valuable content won’t bring SEO or any other benefits if no one knows about it. Actually, content promotion may be perceived even as more important than its creation.
Being active and present in social media isn’t a direct SEO ranking factor, however, it may affect the search results indirectly. More than 3 billion users visit social media platforms every day (source: statista.com). Therefore, promoting your content in social media will certainly maximize your chances of attracting new potential clients.
Social media is also a great place to carry out market research in order to gain a better understanding of the audience which consequently contributes to creating more valuable content. Moreover, social media platforms are a great means for advertising content among people who are already into the subject. Thanks to it, users will be entering your company website with a specific purpose which will contribute to reducing your bounce rate and increasing the time they spend on the site.
A useful tip!
Promote your content through all available channels and try to share links to your company website wherever possible. So, if you cooperate with influential people operating in the technology or software industry, ask them to provide backlinks to your website. It’s a great method of content promotion.
Creating unique, top-quality content for frequently visited websites is a great way not only to disseminate knowledge about the available solutions but also to gain new potential clients. Moreover, after entering a specific keyword into the search bar, a given company can be displayed in the search results only once. Therefore, if a given software house publishes entries on other websites of companies operating in the industry, then there’s a possibility that the content will be displayed a few times on the first page in the organic search results!
Even if your backlinks placed in guest blog entries get devalued by Google, sharing your observations with new recipients can inspire them to visit your website and share the link to it with others.
A key to successful guest blogging is finding the right website. Search for high-performance pages related to your industry. Moreover, it’s important to make sure that this page’s target group corresponds to yours. It’s also great if the page provides clear guidelines concerning the content published by guest bloggers. Just imagine a situation if an article discussing software development is followed by an entry about prams. This would probably bring only counterproductive results.
Keep an eye on all information concerning your company
The mere fact that a blogger or other company refers to the content of a given software house website doesn't mean that users are automatically redirected to this site. Very often authors of the entries forget to provide links to a specific software house website they quoted the information from or simply get data from a completely different page. Monitoring all entries and posts mentioning your company will allow you to quickly react and ask the authors to include links to your company website.
A useful tip!
It’s a good idea to add your company name and website domain to Google alerts. This way, you’ll receive a notification every time your company is mentioned somewhere. Obviously you can also take advantage of commercial solutions such as Brand24 or SentiOne which offer Internet monitoring services.
We hope that after reading our 6 step SEO strategy for software houses you don’t perceive these activities as a closed book anymore. If your company needs any help with the SEO process, we’ll be happy to assist you! Don’t wait - start improving your brand recognition and Google ranking positions today. We’re waiting for you!
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