SEO for the IT Industry – How To Make It Work?

SEO for the IT Industry – How To Make It Work?

The SEO process, with its complexity, varies from one industry to another. Each field has its specificities that require an individual approach from an SEO specialist. In today’s entry, you will discover differences in SEO for IT companies and learn how to do it from practitioners. Dive in!

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SEO varies from business to business

Search engine optimization is a complicated task, regardless of the website it’s carried on for. The whole process is like a giant mosaic made from different puzzles being individual parts of the SEO strategy. To perform an effective SEO, you need to choose the right way to conduct the link building process, take care of crucial technical changes on-site, and, at the same time, come up with a well-planned content strategy. All of these elements must be continuously reviewed and adjusted to changing trends and users’ tendencies.

Simultaneously, each website has a different structure that needs to be taken into consideration during the process. Then, there comes each industry specificity or individual companies’ goals. With that in mind, it becomes clear that the SEO strategy for e-commerce is one thing, and another is the one for the manufacturer company page. Yet, SEO for IT companies and their products will include other focus points due to its characteristics.

As a fair SEO process is based on personal knowledge and personal ideas to approach a given industry, there’s one field that often makes SEO specialists go grey – the technological industry! Let’s explore why.

SEO is NOT IT – specificity of doing SEO for IT companies

Not all IT professionals are familiar with SEO

A common misconception assumes that who knows technological matters will have their SEO all buttoned up. Many think that SEO is actually an IT matter! In reality, the IT knowledge that one has often can be a source of trouble when it comes to SEO.

While working with IT companies, I noticed that they focus on the technical aspects when creating their websites. However, they often neglect the SEO friendliness while designing it – they strive to get a minimalistic design with great UX, and there’s no place left for content that would contribute to better performance on search engines.

Gosia Tarnawska, Delante
Małgorzata Tarnawska
SEO Team Leader, Delante

On the other hand, there’s an assumption that the IT field is familiar with all the SEO tricks and mechanisms behind technical optimizations. In practice, it’s usually the opposite. Knowing that it’s crucial to explain how search engine optimization works at the very beginning of cooperation. Keep that in mind when creating an SEO strategy for an IT company– after all, it’s better to over-explain than to leave developers’ teams with the task they simply don’t understand.

“[When doing SEO for an IT company]Understand that SEO is not IT. Very often, SEO specialists assume that developers or other techies know or understand SEO. For example, most developers in IT firms know what ‘rel=canonical’ is, but not its effects on indexing and crawling.”

Fabrice Fosso, SafeDNS
Fabrice Fosso
Head of SEO and Content Marketing, SafeDNS

When working with an IT company, it’s also important to be clear about the priorities. Create an effective workflow with the team, as IT firms often are short in time when it comes to additional digging in the technical website background.

“The communication flow and the project managers’ tasks/authority need to be clarified to avoid delays for any fixes required by the SEO specialist. Sometimes with overloading, even fixing an issue like a missing H1 tag can take weeks, as it is not a priority.”

Fabrice Fosso, SafeDNS
Fabrice Fosso
Head of SEO and Content Marketing, SafeDNS

Many different keywords

Another aspect that makes SEO for the IT industry unique is the big competitiveness of keyword phrases. Many specialists mention that there’s a variety of keywords describing similar products or services, all with high search volume. Why? When searching for IT products, users tend to use different names, and the queries vary. This makes keyword analysis and choice extremely important when it comes to IT industry SEO.

Creating a brand

When doing SEO for an IT company, you need to remember that you mustn’t neglect the brand phrases in such a competitive market. It’s essential, especially considering the fact there are many start-up companies that, to get conversions, need to become visible online while competing with large, global brands.

“Doing SEO for an IT company, you should build a strong and recognizable online brand. After some years, this brand will work by itself.”

Maria Zmachinskaya, XB Software
Maria Zmachinskaya
SEO Specialist, XB Software

Concrete results

The IT industry is a specific field based on the firm, almost immediate results. That, too, can be a source of misunderstandings while cooperating with technological firms. As Fabrice Fosso mentions:

“SEO is an A/B testing approach, sometimes it might seem not objective for IT firms.  They are software-efficiency-based thinkers, whereas SEO specialists are the-big-picture-based thinkers.”

Addressing those issues will require a performance-based SEO process in which monthly reports will be carefully composed, rich in data, and include further performance predictions.

With that many characteristic elements for IT field SEO, it’s high time to explore how to create the best SEO strategy for those companies – here’s some advice.

SEO for IT – How to Make It Happen

The number of different aspects to consider when coming up with the most effective SEO process for IT companies may be overwhelming. But don’t worry! There are a couple of things that can contribute to your strategy being successful!

Advise 1 – Get to know the industry jargon

The IT industry may be challenging to work with as it operates with different names and the whole “techie” language. That’s why you should focus on understanding how people communicate within the IT society, what terminology they use, and the tone of messages companies send out to the world. Only then can you feel the characteristics of content within the site or how search engine queries are being made. Along with exploring how the IT industry communicates, you should…

“Determine your target audience and find the keywords that speak most to that audience. If you are selling IT products, one person might search hosting, another person might search managed service provider, another person might search servers, or it could be even as simple as an IT company.”

Karl Kleinschmidt, SR SEO Director, Searchmetrics

Advice 2 – Explore the target audience

Define your client’s ideal customers. At this point, you will be able to determine whether the website content is well suited to the target group or needs enhancement. When researching the audience, you should cover elements such as:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Sources of information they use
  • What they value in products/services
  • Shopping patterns and behavior
  • How they compose queries,

And more – simply, everything that would help you make the website more attractive and approachable for potential customers.

seo for it companies strategy

In the case of an IT sector SEO process, the task may be more challenging, but at the same time, crucial for coming up with an effective strategy. It’s because of the industry’s fast development and the vast offer that attracts many different customers. There’s a high chance that IT products suit the needs of multiple target group profiles. That’s why it’s crucial for the sake of good strategy that you make sure you and your client’s needs are on the same page, and the SEO process is aimed at the correct group of recipients.

Creating User Personas can be helpful at this point. You can learn more about it in this article: https://delante.co/user-personas-in-marketing-and-seo/

Advise 3 – Choose Your Keywords

Knowing who’s your target audience, you can focus on choosing the right keywords. As mentioned before, it’s tricky for the IT industry. Among the immensity of different phrases referring to various products, you need to pick those with the potential to get your website to the top of SERPs. For IT, it’s characteristic that keywords are both local (when a user searches for, e.g., local server) and simultaneously extremely global (in the case of global IT companies with enormous reach).

A large amount of competitiveness of the IT industry keywords can be handled with long tail keyword phrases. Going for the more specific keywords will make it easier for your website to reach the user looking for a solution. Of course, you can still aim at more general ones, but mind that it’ll be harder to become visible for that search.

“The competitiveness of each keyword is different, and unless you have many resources, it’s unlikely that you will rank for all of them. FAQs and related questions are also super important because if you own the definition, you own the keyword.”
Karl Kleinschmidt, SR SEO Director, Searchmetrics

long tail keywords example
An example of long tail keywords based on the general phrase “reservation software”. You can notice that they are less competitive.

Advise 4  – Content is Still a King

As mentioned above, IT companies tend to make their website as simple as possible. While the minimalistic approach is enjoyable for an eye, it’s not necessarily pleasant for the SEO process results. Such design limits the possibility to fill the website with valuable content.

Let’s face it – content is still king and a crucial element of any effective SEO strategy. It’s the articles, product descriptions, guides, and service presentations that do the job of placing the website high in search results for chosen keywords. Generally speaking, Google crawlers must have text, including relevant phrases, to crawl in order to evaluate your website. The less content it has, the less valuable it potentially is for visitors, hence it won’t be displayed in the top positions of search results.

“Remember to differentiate content types when writing for IT websites. Of course, present your services but don’t forget about blog articles or interesting case studies. They really can do the trick, because eg. software houses have different customer journey than e-commerce. Users are not always searching directly for your service. They don’t know they need it. Sometimes, they’re searching simply for a solution to their problems. If your article will provide the answer they need, it may convince the reader that “I should leave this to the specialists”  Also, remember about industry news and employer branding content!”

Asia Nicpon, Delante
Asia Nicpoń
SEO Specialist, Delante

When it comes to technological content, it’s also beneficial to work around the main subject of a company’s business. For example, it’s tough to get ranked for the general, highly competitive keyword “web development”, but publishing a lot of relevant and high-quality content covering both web development matters and related subjects is a way to make your way up to the top.

Advise 5 – One Subpage for One Service

Along with the minimalistic approach comes the tendency to include the whole offer on one page within the website. It, too, can harm the SEO process as all precious keywords for each service are combined all in the same place, and the potential is being wasted.

A better option is to expand the website with new subpages – each dedicated to a specific service. Fill each of them with relevant content and high-quality information. Remember to choose individual keywords with good potential to increase the site’s position in search results for each subpage. This way, you increase the number of times people will interact with your website, raising its credibility and online visibility. More relevant subpages also mean more possible ways to get to your site in general, so remember to optimize the content for better conversion as well!

SEO for the IT industry – Takeaways

While many still approach the SEO process with rigid, predetermined strategies, it’s evident that each website requires individual SEO activity as each website is different. Especially in terms of creating SEO for IT, it’s crucial to address all the characteristics, including the different perceptions of technical matters, vast target groups, and competitiveness.

Doing SEO for an IT company can be tricky. Still, with careful consideration of keywords, the users’ specific language, relevant content, and site architecture SEO process can really do wonders in boosting its performance.

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Author
Head of SEO & SEM - Matt Calik

Head of SEO & SEM

Technical SEO specialist experienced in creating scalable processes based on agile methodologies. Responsible for international SEO strategies. He has strongly analytical approach to online marketing supported by over 12 years of experience. Previously associated with IT, motorsport, tobacco and financial markets. He has been building Delante for 5 years where he is Head of SEO and SEM department.
Comments (1)
  1. Totally agree that choosing the right keywords for IT companies is crucial. It can give a headache but eventually when you well think it through it pays off. There are so many global and strong websites that win the top positions for general phrases that you need to find your ways to reach an audience.

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