When running a software company, your expertise probably doesn’t lie in SERP and the effects that Google’s Pigeon Algorithm has had on small businesses. That being said, if you are running a small business and doing your own marketing, then SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is imperative to your success. The question is: how do you get your business to rank well? Here are a couple of basic tips to help you get found among all the heavy-hitters in your industry.
The first step when trying anything with SEO is to make sure your site is optimized from a technical standpoint. There are several steps to getting your site on the right track.
Indexing: The first step is making sure that your site is being found by search engines. If your site can’t be found, it can’t rank. The best way to test this is to use one of many tools available on the web. The number of pages found should closely match the number of pages that you have on your site. You can also search through the specific search engine you want to test by typing in “site:www.(YourWebsite).com”. You should then see your site showing up for every listing on the page.
Page Speed: Not only is page speed a huge factor in rankings, but it is also crucial for UX (user experience). If that’s not reason enough, Google has a big focus on page speed – and anything Google wants, you do. You can test your site’s speed with one of the many tools available on the web, or you can use Google’s PageSpeed Tool. Regardless, make sure you have a blazing fast site.
Mobile-Friendly: If Google likes page speed, then it is COMPLETELY OBSESSED with being mobile friendly. Want a fast way to lose pages worth of rankings on every search engine? Make your site mobile-unfriendly. No surprise, Google has a tool for that as well.
Sitemap and Site Structure: As I am sure you have noticed, UX and rankings are closely aligned. This is true for the structure of your site as well. Audit your site for click depth (how many clicks it takes to get to different parts of your site), broken links, and unnecessary redirects. Make sure your XML Sitemap is updated whenever you add new content to your site. These are heavily leaned upon by search engines.
Keyword selection is not just important for things like Adwords. You should also write content on your site around specific keywords to increase your rankings. The difficult part is picking the right keywords.
Let’s say you are a SalesForce VAR (value added reseller) that creates a recruiting app to manage HR processes. Many companies would go after keywords like “hr management”. That is a great keyword, as it has a huge number of searches per month. Unfortunately, you will be fighting against some behemoth human resource companies. It is a very difficult keyword to rank for. When it comes to keyword selection, get niche. Find a few long-tail keywords that have lower competition and that you are more likely to hit. Maybe your software works best with smaller businesses, or maybe it is exceptionally customizable. Trying to reach number one for “customizable human resource management” is a more realistic goal. Use Google’s (surprise, surprise) keyword research tool to find the best keywords. Look closely at searches per month, and the competition around each keyword.
While these tips aren’t all-encompassing, they are a great place to start. Now comes the hard part: getting those keywords to rank. Sound like a lot of work? It is. That is why many companies chose to work with marketing experts that understand SEO and can use many marketing channels to turn your website into a lead-generating machine. Reach out, and see how we can help bring your business to the next level.
Jacob is a digital marketer who takes joy in translating complexity into clarity. He has a passion for helping tech and finance companies connect with their customers. He also has a small cat.