Search Engine Optimization of software companies’ sites has a number of features. We will try to consider these features in this article to help you to define the best marketing strategy for your site:
First of all, it is necessary to notice that a competition in this thematic niche is extremely high. The competition is so high due to a large number of small and medium-sized software companies, for which the internet is the main or even the only source of orders, so they actively promote their sites in search engines.
There are also some big companies in this niche, which have been operating on the market for a long time and thereby they have a lot of natural inbound links. This allows them to hold top positions for the most popular queries.
Fig. 1. Well-known software companies
Fig. 2. SERP for a query “Software Development”
It is worth to mention a large number of thematic forums, developers` and web designers` specialized blogs and detailed portfolios which can be shown at the first page of SERP as well.
Fig. 3. A blog, which has the 10th position for a query “Software Development” in the Google top 10
Starting to work on such project, it is necessary to pay attention to the following moments:
- it`s better when landing pages are optimized for selected keywords
- the text should be unique and relevant to selected keywords on promoted pages (it is a weak point of the majority of such sites)
- internal linking, sitemap, robots.txt help search bots to index pages successfully
- put links not just to a homepage, but to internal pages as well
Fig. 4. Example of pages linking in site footer
During promotion of software sites you can face difficulties in defining of true keyword search rate. Such problem is common for the majority of competitive niches due to the fact that accuracy of search results statistics suffers from multiple automatic rankings checks performed by webmasters.
Therefore, entering struggle for the top-10 positions in SERP for alleged high-frequency queries, the site risks not to gain even a tenth part of expected traffic.
Having a great experience in software sites promotion we can recommend focusing on low-frequency queries (up to 1000 searches per month) covering the whole spectrum of services provided by a site, especially at the initial stage of promotion. The semantic core of a site can include up to 1000 of these keywords in total.
Fig. 5. Example of low-frequency queries
One more advantage of site promotion for low-frequency queries is that these keywords are usually the most targeted and they are not general (e.g., software, software company etc.). That allows you to bring potential customers to your site, instead of simply curious visitors.
You always need to analyze the “utility” of promoted keywords during the promotion. Replace keywords which don`t bring conversions with new potentially more effective keywords. An example of keyword analysis is viewed below:
Fig. 6. Example of promoted keywords analysis
We can identify keywords potentially beneficial for a promotion comparing such data as:
1) a number of visitors who came to a site,
2) a position of a query which led visitors to the site,
3) keyword frequency,
4) bounce rates,
5) conversion rate,
6) average time that visitors spend on the site.
Such analysis is also convenient because we can see the full picture of visibility and effectiveness of web pages in search engines. To make understanding clearer, mark rates important for analysis with different colors.
We recommend monitoring the following events with the help of web statistics systems (e.g., Google Analytics):
• Filling of the contact form;
• Sending of the filled form;
• Entries through a link «Contact via e-mail» (mailto);
• Clicks on icons (e.g. «Contact by Skype»);
• PDF-documents downloads (downloads of various teaching materials, a portfolio or a list of services);
• pressing on “Print” button on a contacts page;
• keywords which bring spam from non-targeted regions (for example, from India);
• number of subscriptions (to a RSS of a blog, e-mail-newsletters etc.)
It should be noted that a button “Print information about the company” proves its necessity. Before making a decision about whom to contact, customers often make a list of companies with information about them, highlighting and copying all the data from contact pages. It is well visible while tracking user behavior on a page “Contacts” through a clicks map provided by Yandeks.Metrika. So adding a small additional convenience for the potential client will not be excessive.
It is typical for B2B niche that a conversion often occurs not from the first site visit, because users study, compare, choose a company visiting some sites again and again. Therefore, brand searches and direct entries to a site happen not often.
As we have already mentioned above, while determination of your goal pay attention not only to a contact form. Collection of maximum information will help you to analyze the success of certain keywords and ways of their promotion.
Let’s discuss competent pages linking on a site using «project» page as an example.
Pages which contain a description of work you have done are the most valuable kind of landing pages. They are, in fact, thematic sections with content which is unique and most useful for potential customers. All pages of a portfolio should have links to each other if it is possible, and it is also desirable to write keywords in this links. Keywords should be written in page addresses, in a tag H1 (header) and in a text (description of a project).
Using of a tagging system is good for qualitative linking. Some tags should be given to each project (for example, AJAX, HTML, Codelgniter, ExtJS). Clicking on a specific tag, a user gets to an appropriate optimized page that contains all projects which are in fact relevant to a user`s desired topic.
Fig. 7. An example of tagging system
Portfolio pages are also useful because they can bring additional traffic using names of already completed projects.
Let`s highlight all useful properties of portfolio pages:
• Contain a unique content with the description of completed projects;
• Help to create a competent pages linking using a tagging system;
• Can be an additional source of traffic;
• Are landing pages for low-frequency queries.
Blog or forum can improve a reputation of a brand and raise trust of potential customers. Blog is an additional opportunity to increase an amount of traffic to your site, especially for low-frequency queries.
Links to useful materials on a blog will appear in social networks, where thousands of people can be interested in this information. Try to use the whole potential of various tabs.
Fig. 8. Social buttons for a company blog
However, it is necessary to highlight that the majority of such resource visitors are already existing clients or not target visitors. So traffic from a blog and a process of a blog promotion should be considered separately.
Employees can also help to promote your site by leaving a link to the site in their signature while writing comments at various forums and blogs. In such way you can increase a number of natural thematic links and get an additional popularity as a reputable company for a wide range of queries.
• Keywords need to be analyzed and filtrated very often.
• Focus on low-frequency queries gives a positive result.
• It is necessary to throw information character queries away from promotion keywords core.
• Competent internal linking and portfolio in particular will help to improve ranking in search engines.