With B2B buyers doing 70% of their research online, SEO is critical for any company selling online. If you’re not showing up in your target audience’s searches, then you can bet your competitors are.
Here are our top SEO tips for software companies.
1. Keyword-targeted landing pages
A landing page is a standalone webpage, created as a destination following a click-through on a digital ad or paid search campaign. As the point that an ad or search converts to a visit to your website, your landing pages represent an important step in your customer journey.
But because they’re not usually part of your core website, SEO can easily get forgotten. Landing pages are, however, great SEO opportunities.
Because they’re specific to a campaign, you can make them more targeted than your general website pages.
You can target a particular customer segment by embedding SEO-optimised keywords specific to them in the copy. You’ll be able to pick up searches unique to that segment, without compromising the broader appeal of your main website.
You could focus the SEO on a landing page for:
- Geographic location
- Service or product – is there a particular product or service in your line-up that’s especially relevant to the segment you’re targeting?
- Market or sector – such as IT, retail or construction
- Features and benefits – are certain features or benefits particularly relevant to your segment?
2. Segment-specific web pages
Similar to landing pages, but part of your core website. If you serve more than one segment of a significant size, consider creating a different section of your website for each of them.
For example, you could create a section aimed at SMEs and another aimed at large corporates, or sections for different industries. This allows you to create content that’s tailored to a specific audience and embed the keywords and phrases that they’re searching.
When people search for a tech solution, they often search for something relevant to their industry or business type, such as “CRM software for SMEs”, so highlight features and functionality that’s most relevant to them and include case studies highlighting customers like them.
Because they’re searching for a solution specific to them, they’ll typically have higher intent, making them more valuable leads than more general searchers.
3. Announce new features
Do you regularly develop and refine your products? You can use this to your SEO advantage by creating content out of it.
Publishing consistent, good quality content improves your search rankings. So, write articles and blog posts to announce new features or releases, combine them with videos – and you have relevant interesting content that promotes your products’ features and improves your SEO.
What’s more, they’ll remain discoverable by search engines beyond the actual announcement date. If your product is popular, they’re also likely to get shared and mentioned by bloggers around the web, creating SEO-boosting backlinks.
New feature announcements can take a few forms:
Product release notes
Product release notes summarise and introduce new features, and can also include a special offer or discount on the new features. List features in an easy to scan format. Make sure you keep user benefits in mind and don’t delve too deep into technical jargon.
New feature announcements
Less technical than release notes, these are more akin to the traditional press release, announcing a new feature and delving into the detail of the features and benefits it can bring.
You can sell your brand story and the benefits of your products. Include a video highlighting your new features and you’ll increase interaction with the story and give your prospects a demo. Videos can also be published on platforms such as YouTube to increase visibility.
These might get picked up by your industry media outlets, giving you valuable backlinks from high-traffic sites.
A software roadmap
A software roadmap is a directory of all of your updates, releases and version history. It can give search engines a wealth of information on your product.
It’s also likely to prove useful to your users, and might generate backlinks if it gets discussed and shared.
4. Documentation and APIs
If you publish technical content, you can optimise it for SEO. By embedding target keywords in your technical documentation or information on APIs, you can increase the chance of it getting picked up by relevant searches. Avoid stuffing it with too many keywords though, or it will lose it’s credibility.
Anchor links can help search engines crawl your content. Algorithms are heavily influenced by backlinks, so if your technical documents are on a different domain, be sure to backlink to them.
And avoid using frames or iframes to create the documentation pages, as these page configurations can hurt SEO.
5. Create industry-relevant trend reports
Valuable and engaging content carries great SEO weight, so why not target particular industries with trend reports.
If they’re done well, they’ll be downloaded, shared and backlinked to. It’s really important that the reports are well-researched, well-written and insightful, and they provide genuine value to industry leaders.
Structure the landing page that the reports sits on with keywords so that search engines can find it. Put the main keywords in the report title – Google pays attention to titles when working out what a document is about and where to rank it – and in the description. Also use the report title in the page’s title tag.
Include sharing links on the page, and if your content is gated behind a lead generation form, make sure there’s enough on the landing page for a search engine to rank it.
Trend reports demonstrate that you understand your customers and can offer them value. They position you as a thought leader and an authority in your field, which is great for SEO.
6. Guest blogs
Blogging on other websites gives your brand name exposure and provides an opportunity for backlinks to your own website.
Your posts must be high quality and add value to your target audience. Google recognises spammy posts that are purely designed for backlinking. It’s a good idea to make the quality of your blogging and the credibility of the sites you’re working with the main driver of your efforts, and see backlinks as a by-product.
Also, make sure the pages on your own website that get linked to are of good quality and relevant to the audience, otherwise you risk harming both your own SEO and that of the site you’re blogging on.
7. Review and directory sites
Listing your brand and your products and services on good quality, software-focused review and directory sites will provide backlinks form reputable sites and drive traffic – both of which boost SEO. It will also raise brand awareness.
It’s important that you’re on all of the sites important to your sector. Prospects use these sites to evaluate potential purchases, and often they’ll be the first port of call in their research phase. If the site is well known, you’ll benefit from its SEO authority too.
If you’re using a review site that lets you reply to customer reviews, do make sure you stay on top of it. It could do more than good if you have a string of reviews that you haven’t responded to, and it looks good if you take the time to thank a positive reviewer.
To sum up
As a sector that operates almost exclusively on the web, if you’re a software company it’s important that SEO is a top priority of your marketing strategy.
Alongside more general SEO best practise, there are several easy-to-implement tactics you can do to boost their SEO. From optimising your technical content to creating targeted web pages, you’ll be able to maximise your brand exposure, establish yourself as an industry leader and demonstrate the value you can provide your audience – all of which is great for SEO.