SEO for Technology Companies: The Ultimate Introduction
Search engine optimisation (SEO) for technology companies is crucial for any tech digital marketing plan.
Digital marketing and lead generation activities will ultimately include your website. SEO is how you can rise above the competition in a competitive online niche and attract more customers to your technology business.
These days, SEO is vital to a tech company’s online success. Understanding why and how you can leverage it will deliver a significant competitive advantage.
Table of Contents
- What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
- Why should technology companies include SEO in their marketing strategy?
- Why is organic search a good lead acquisition channel for tech companies?
- How do tech companies leverage SEO for their websites?
- Why are buyer personas and buyer intent important for SEO?
- Why should website content be relevant to humans while understood by search engines?
- How long does SEO for technology companies take?
- How do you measure success for Search Engine Optimization?
- A comprehensive guide for developing high-impact SEO for technology companies
- Comparing SEO and content marketing: how are they the same or different?
- How does digital PR contribute to SEO?
- Which Google tools are important for doing SEO?
- What are Google Core Web Vitals and why are they important?
- How do I choose a good SEO agency?
- In conclusion: why your technology company needs SEO
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is a methodology you can apply to your website to increase its visibility in the search results when a person searches online for services or products, looks to answer a question or resolve a pain point.
Good SEO will enhance the profile of your website in the search engines results pages (SERPs) like Google and others and will ideally facilitate more potential and prospective target audiences to find your business and convert to customers.
Why should technology companies include SEO in their marketing strategy?
Your website is a valuable tool when it comes to lead acquisition. A good, well-maintained website to which SEO has been effectively applied has the potential to bring in leads organically, without the need for paid advertising.
SEO will allow you to increase your site’s visibility in the organic search of Google and other search engines, leading to increased website traffic and making it a fantastic lead source and the first step on your customer’s journey towards a sale. It is your most powerful tool marketing tool when it comes to lead acquisition if effective SEO methodologies are applied.
Not having a website means that many of your other lead sources will not have a central hub where they can funnel potential customers. Not having a website with a solid SEO strategy would mean missing out on plenty of organic leads.
Why is organic search a good lead acquisition channel for tech companies?
Organic search is a valuable lead source because it is a long term investment. The business value of organic SEO will last much longer than investment into paid leads sources such as digital advertising. You will need to invest in some means of content creation to help maintain a position of authority in the SERPs, but once achieved, the benefits far outweigh the initial costs.
The compounding benefits of organic search
SEO has long-lasting benefits that can be measured months or even years after the strategies have been applied to your website. An organic inbound lead is more likely to find your website through natural means. They have searched for a service or product that you offer and the search engine has offered your website as a solution to their problem.
This means that this leader is already far warmer than a paid acquisition as the searcher has an intent that your can fulfil. As a result, these leads tend to stay on your website for longer, resulting in a lower bounce rate, a metric that helps you understand the relevance and quality of your site content.
How is organic search different to Paid Search?
Tech companies can pay for their website to show above all other results for relevant keywords. They compete for a price per click (PPC) on their link with other companies who also want to appear for that keyword. Some keywords can become highly competitive, with the PPC costing the business thousands of dollars.
Paid search traffic comes from searchers clicking links at the top of a results page or in specific ads that appear to the right of the search results. These are generally Google Ads (formerly called Google Adwords), Microsoft Ads Adverts always appear at the very top of the page so as to be the first thing any visitor sees. However, one downside is that they can easily get blocked by anyone using a browser adblocker.
Organic search appears lower down the page, under the paid advertising and any interactive snippets that Google itself has included in the results. Usually, this is just beneath ‘the fold’ of the page, which means you have to scroll. However, this is much less of an issue because mobile devices are so prevalent.
Clicking an organic link will take you to the same place as the paid link, your website, but at no cost to the business.
How do tech companies leverage SEO for their websites?
Technology companies have to walk a difficult line when it comes to creating an SEO plan for their websites.
From an outsider perspective, a technology company with a poorly optimised website either in terms of form or function will negatively impact brand image more than a company in a different, less technological field. It would be like a construction firm with an HQ inside a poorly maintained building.
Likewise, there are additional challenges for technology companies regarding content. The problem comes in the form of the potential customer base. You may have technologically adept readers as well as laypeople with enthusiasm for your product. You need to find a voice that speaks to both these groups and meets their search needs equally.
However, SEO helps you overcome these challenges with strategies that help meet more precisely the needs of your customers. SEO will help a tech company to rank for keywords that closely match searcher intents by using buyer personas. Thereby making sure that the right client finds exactly what they need and enters the funnel at the right point for them.
It can also direct customers with technical problems directly to the solutions they seek by cleverly matching searched questions with common issues. Once again this will make the customer happier by taking them straight to the content they need.
Why are buyer personas and buyer intent important for SEO?
Identifying different potential customer groups can be done with buyer personas. Defining a persona for each customer group will allow you to understand their very different intents. Understanding buyer intents can be helpful throughout their customer journey and help you target keywords more effectively, design site pathways for better results and lead you to create the right content for the right audience.
The more tech companies can know about their market, the more powerful organic search as a lead acquisition channel will be.
Why should website content be relevant to humans while understood by search engines?
Search engines are complex computer programs developed by humans to look at data and match it with relevant outcomes. However, your target audience is made up of humans trying to answer a question or resolve a pain point by researching on the internet.
Your goal as a website owner is to attempt to fulfil the needs of that human. The search engines are just a tool you are both manipulating to achieve this goal.
As the search engine market leader, Google wants to have many happy customers. That means they want people who come with a search intent to be delighted with what Google delivers them in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If Google does its job right, the searcher finds precisely what they are looking for and stays on the provided site.
Google makes sure that website data such as keywords used on a page matches with the queries supplied by the user. If a searcher is looking for IT Services finds a website that provides IT Services, they have succeeded in their task. It will reward the website with better rankings in the SERPs, so they show up more often for this search term.
The reverse is also true. If a user finds a site is irrelevant to their search intent, the user will leave or ‘bounce’ away from the page very quickly. Google looks at this bounce rate as a metric to show customer dissatisfaction and will resolve to give the website a lower ranking for that keyword.
As such, website content must be relevant to the keywords, you are attempting to target. You can not simply grab all the keywords surrounding what you perceive as your customer’s search intent but not provide them with a satisfactory outcome. This would be considered keyword stuffing. This will upset both the customer and Google, and both will punish you with a loss of standing.
How long does SEO for technology companies take?
This is an important question to consider when undertaking any SEO project. Tech companies do not want to invest a considerable amount of money into something that may take a long time without being able to show real value. However, it is essential to understand that some of the work you undertake for SEO will have many other positive effects on your website before you start to see a return on the investment.
On average, many SEO specialists will say that it can take four to six months to see the results of the entire spectrum of SEO activities on your site. However, as mentioned above, some of these actions will also start to have positive outcomes much early than the data may show.
For example, improving your website content, such as changing the micro-content on some of your calls to action, will make navigating the site a more accessible and more pleasant experience for your users. As a result, they may spend more time on your site and make it further into the sales funnel. They may even recommend a site with good user experiences to their friends and colleagues.
In short, you will be able to see a positive experience develop for your human visitors far sooner than you will see corresponding data from the Google robots.
How do you measure success for Search Engine Optimization?
Success is a moving target in SEO for technology companies. Nothing on the internet stays very still for long, so you need to be prepared to move with the shifting tides or leave yourself behind. This is never truer than when it comes to the Google algorithm, which goes through significant updates every year and is constantly improving itself.
The first thing that can be very easy to get hung up on when measuring SEO is the Page Rank. This is the placement of your website on the SERPs and is a very visual and easily checked metric. However, whilst being top of the results page is the goal, it is by no means the final measurement for your success.
It is quite possible to rank quickly for an unused keyword that no one is searching for, but the end result is essentially useless. Your SEO work needs to match up with the buyers intent for the number one ranking to have any measurable impact on your business. No one metric will give you the complete picture of how Google views you and how successful your SEO content strategy is faring.
SEO metrics: What are DA, DR and TF?
There are three primary metrics that you may hear quoted when discussing the success of a website. They are Domain Authority (DA), Domain Rating (DR) and Trust Flow (TF). In reality, they are all measuring the same thing, the success of your backlink profile against that of your competitors.
A different SEO tool developer conceived each metric to numerically represent a website’s success. Moz uses Domain Authority, Ahrefs uses Domain Rating, and Majestic created Trust Flow.
Neither DA, DR or TF is a factor used by Google to rank your website on its results pages. They have become industry standard measurements due to the ubiquitous presence of these tools, but having a high DA/DR/TF does not necessarily mean that Google will agree and rank your website highly. They are industry standards and so often give you the best idea of how your website is faring against your competition.
The number of quality authoritative backlinks that link to your site generates the score. So, the more sites that consider you as an authoritative source on a topic, thereby linking content on your site, the greater your score shall be in each of the tools. Which tool, and therefore metric, you decide to use is down to your personal preference.
A comprehensive guide for developing high-impact SEO for technology companies
It is time to look at ways to leverage SEO for your company website and find some strategies that will assist you to rise through the rankings on the Search Engine Results Pages. We will look at the key areas you need to have on your SEO checklist for both on and off-page SEO to see measurable results. Let’s dive in and start building a consistent and effective SEO strategy.
Identify SMART goals
Before you can measure, you must define your goals. What is it that you want to achieve by improving the SEO of your website? Your business goals could be increasing lead generation, seeing a boost in organic traffic to your site, enhancing your brand name or reputation or more converted sales.
Whatever your goals may be, they need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.
You can tie your goals to each of your customer personas or set SMART goals for each area of your business. Either way, define them and write them down so you can refer your metrics back to them when it comes to measuring your success.
All roads lead to keyword research when developing a successful SEO plan. Buyer intent is critical, and you need to find yourself a niche where the keywords are plentiful, but the competition is low. Usually, these come in the form of Long Tail Keywords, search terms that are several words or a phrase.
Customer research can help identify search terms, but the best way forward is with a keyword research tool like those developed by Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush and others. An SEO agency will be able to help you with this as they will have all of the necessary tools under one roof and be able to give you the best picture of your customer keyword profiles.
Ongoing keyword work will involve seeking out and exploiting new keyword niches that are yet to be tapped by the competition. SEO specialists will identify these niches and suggest different types of content you could use to attract these new users. More on the different types of content you could create in a moment.
An SEO audit will help identify the keywords you are currently ranking for and how you could improve against the competition for each. It may also suggest keywords that are not providing an ROI and other untapped keywords that you should start to exploit.
Onsite or on-page optimization
Onsite optimisation, also known as on-page optimization, is where you have the most control. The changes you can make to the on page SEO elements of your site influence the ranking factors that Google and other search engines measures you against. There is also off-site SEO that works on building backlinks with external companies, but you have much less direct control over that so getting your onsite optimisation perfect is where you need to start.
A significant factor of onsite optimising is getting your website content right. This is everything from text to micro-content to images and videos across your site. Content needs to be cohesive and follow an easy to read, interesting to engage with and fit within the overall website plan.
When creating text content, there are many different rules you need to keep in mind to help you rank better within the Google algorithm. Some of this is in the visible text, for example, making it easy to read for the user, and some factors are in the markup code behind the scenes.
Why is page structure important? (H1, H2, H3, H4…)
As well as making it easier to read as a human, page structure tells Google exactly what the content is and how it is organised.
Readability is a ranking factor. H1 is the most important and tells Google and us about the article’s subject. H2 is the subcategories within that theme, H3 headings are the key topics, etc. So if you do not use heading tags that Google can see, it will assume that you have a block of text that is difficult for most humans to read easily.
All factors that impact how the page displays can affect your readability score. Website content needs to use headings, paragraphs, lists and bullets where appropriate, and you must also think about fonts sizes and colours. If Google doesn’t think the page is easy to read, it will penalise you and your website rank in the SERPs.
Why is meta data (Meta titles, meta descriptions and alt tags) important?
Behind what you can see on the page when you visit a website as a user is a great deal of code and additional information. It is hidden from users as it is not relevant to the content they want to consume, but it is essential info for the search engines and other tools viewing the screen.
Metadata is essentially a quick crib sheet for Google about the content on the page. Heading tags form part of this metadata, along with page title tag and metadata description. The page title and the description are the extra information explaining what the page is about. This needs to be readable for users as it is the text that Google shows you as a snippet in the SERPs when it presents its findings.
Metadata such as ALT tags on images can help Google understand what it can not see as it can not yet parse an image like text. It also assists screen readers and people with disabilities to help them read and understand pages to their fullest extent.
What is structured data or a schema markup?
Structured data is information that has been organised in a way that is easy for web crawlers to understand and parse quickly. It is used for everything on web pages, from recipes to scientific data, to product pages and event data. If there is relational data on a page, it is best to contain it within structured data tags or use a schema.
The jury is still out on how much it may affect your ranking in the SERPs. Still, SEO is all about taking the micro-advantages wherever you can, especially in competitive niches.
Why is website speed or page speed important?
Website and page speed or loading times are both ranking factors with Google. Google wants its users to get the information as quickly and efficiently as possible. Any delay to a page opening could cause a potential user to lose interest and navigate off the site.
The average user takes seven seconds to decide whether they want to stay on a page. If your use that seven seconds to load your webpage onto the screen, you will lose the customer.
When it comes to SEO for technology companies, an SEO-led and content-focused strategy will look at ways to create or improve your website content to increase backlinks, increase your authority score, and elicit more site visitors. This could be by creating carefully crafted, keyword-rich articles or white papers on topics that will attract a B2B technology audience or a potential customer.
There are a variety of techniques that you can apply here to ensure that your site is considered the first and foremost authority on a subject by merit of its well-researched and written content.
What is a content cluster?
A content or topic cluster is a group of articles built around a ‘pillar’ article that contains a central theme. The topic cluster articles will expand on that main pillar theme and explore different key areas focusing on different but related keywords.
Cluster content allows for lots of internal links to be built on your website, which will help keep an interested customer on the site for longer as they investigate more and more relevant pages.
What are different types of SEO content?
To build a rich and authoritative site, you will need lots of content to engage and interest a reader. Thinking of what to write and what keywords to produce the content around is a significant part of how an SEO agency can help. Technology companies may use several different types of content ideas to increase customer interest and site authority.
1) Content that answers questions
Customers will often have specific questions that pertain to your industry or product. You can write articles that directly answer these questions either in the form of a FAQ or informative blogs.
2) Content that instructs or guides how to do something
Walkthroughs or instructive guides always make great content for technology companies as many complicated subjects need explaining. Content that takes complex topics and breaks them down into non-technical language is always valuable.
3) Content about locations serviced (cities, states, countries, regions)
Local SEO focuses your keywords on content in a specific country, region, state, or city. It helps people search for services locally and can sometimes focus on specific keywords like ‘near me’. If you focus an article on a service location, you will pick up these searches.
4) Content about intended outcomes and solutions
Content that focuses on an intended outcome of a project or technical solution to an ongoing issue can make for excellent white papers that will engage your customer’s specific interests.
5) Content about industry vertical or niche
Specific niche content makes for perfect SEO content as it is already working within very tightly defined parameters. The more you can be detailed in an article, the better chance you have of capturing long-tail keywords.
Authoritative backlink building
Google has always held links in the highest regard for ranking signals on your website. The most important feature of a link to Google is relevancy. A link must be relevant to the website and page content. If it is not, such as a hairdresser linking to a baking site using linked text related to hair, Google will consider this a red flag.
Google will look at the relevancy of your links both internally on your site, leaving your site and, most importantly, coming into your site. If you have good quality links from equally authoritative, relevant sources, Google will take this as a positive ranking signal.
As part of a good SEO strategy, you must build external authoritative links back to your site. As well as increasing your overall Page Rank in the SERPs, authoritative link building can form an exemplary method for capturing new leads.
What is guest posting?
Guest posts are articles written for external sites with relevant links pointed back to your website. Guest posting can be seen as a form of authoritative link building. Web page owners will often allow external content creators to write an article for their site, i.e. guest posts, with an external backlink as long as the link is authoritative and of good quality. This is an effective and well-used link building strategy.
What are dofollow vs nofollow links?
Nofollow is an attribute that you can add to the metadata of any link on your site. It informs Google that you do not endorse the website content of the linked page and that you do not want the search engine spiders to follow the link and give them any authoritative benefits by doing so. Dofollow links are any links that do not use this tag.
What is anchor text?
Anchor text is the content found inside a link that is often a different colour or underlined to denote that it is a hyperlink. Anchor text is important for SEO and must be carefully considered when link building as the search engine will measure its relevancy to the linked content.
What are social signals?
Social signals are views, likes and shares on your social media posts. They help users and the search engines judge what is popular and well-liked by the users and, therefore, relevant and valuable content.
Why are reviews important?
Reviews are another form of social signal that appeal to your customers. They give you essential insight into your overall customer satisfaction. Review management is an integral part of SEO, as poor reviews that are left unanswered will often result in a loss of customer trust.
Citations and directory listings
A citation is any content on the internet that makes mention of your company name, address or phone number. You can find citations on social platforms, within business directory listings and on websites. They are a powerful signal for SEO as long as all the information is correct and matches with other citations.
You can add your business information to local directory listings to help grow your business within a region. However, you must ensure that all the information is accurate across all listings. Often this is done manually, but some tools will assist with what could be potentially hundreds of listings.
The better the quality and accuracy of your citations, the better you will rank on tools like Google Maps.
Evaluation and monitoring
To ensure that your SEO strategy is effective and remains so, you need to implement a plan of ongoing evaluation and monitoring.
This will require monthly reviews of seven key SEO metrics:
- website bounce rate
- traffic flow
- clickthrough rates
- keyword rankings
- conversion rates
- site exit points
- search engine crawling
You can track these and other metrics through various paid and free tools and alerts available on the market. Combining the monitoring results with analytical data about your market will give you the most transparent picture of how your business is performing on the global internet stage.
Comparing SEO and content marketing: how are they the same or different?
SEO and content marketing are intrinsically linked, and while some may choose to focus on one rather than the other, it is best practice to make sure you have a foot firmly in both camps.
SEO is the art of meeting the technical requirements of the search engines to ensure that your website does well within the rankings. Content marketing focuses entirely on the website content looking at blogs, articles, videos, images, infographics and downloads.
The split between the two once again comes down to the difference between satisfying the needs of the user and the needs of the digital algorithm. Both are crucial to a successful online strategy, and to ignore one in favour of the other limits your ability to succeed online.
How does digital PR contribute to SEO?
Digital PR leads directly into SEO efforts by promoting linkable assets that will organically drive customers to a website. It will also earn your website organic links from authoritative external sources that will, in turn, improve your organic visibility. Digital PR has also been much more measurable than traditional PR in terms of real impact.
The measurement is much clearer as you can see the impact a digital PR campaign may have on SEO performance or evaluate the quality of the backlinks it may provide.
Which Google tools are important for doing SEO?
Google provides a valuable collection of tools that help you get under the hood of your website and understand what is going on behind the scenes. They present a lot of information about how Google sees your website instead of how a visitor views it. You can adjust and improve your SEO strategy for maximum efficiency with this data.
This is the primary tool for gathering usage metrics on your site. In Google Analytics, they will present you with data on every metric related to your audience demographics, view acquisitions and visitor behaviours. This powerful application needs to be embedded on your site to start sending data back to Google.
Google Search Console
The Search Console is designed to give you insight into how the Google bots see your site to improve its performance and search profile. It will also keep you updated about any malware or negative impacts that might be affecting your site and backlink profile. There is a lot of technical information here that is essential to managing your site and should not be ignored.
Google My Business
This free tool allows you to manage your Google Business profile, including your citation information. This is the information that Google Maps will use to represent your business, and this must be kept accurate and up to date. You will also be able to respond to any Google review that your business receives via this tool.
What are Google Core Web Vitals and why are they important?
Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor used by Google to look at the overall User Experience (UX) a visitor receives when visiting your site. They look at metrics related to page load times, visual stability of content, page interactivity and others. This gives each site page a score on both desktop and mobile devices that will count towards your overall site visibility in the SERPs.
UX is vital for keeping users on your website as a user is unlikely to stay on a site that is difficult to use. Core Web Vitals can be seen in a dashboard in the Google Search Console and are a move by the search engine to get developers to focus more on the overall user experience when improving the SEO of a website.
How do I choose a good SEO agency?
A good SEO agency will constantly measure and evaluate the work it does for its clients. So, they should be able to provide you with recent case studies and client examples that show measurable impact on their client’s business. The world of SEO is constantly changing, so it is crucial that an agency’s SEO services up to date successes and not data from over a year ago.
SEO is likely going to be an ongoing and long term relationship, so you must visit their premises and understand what skills and services they off in-house. Your needs may grow as your website does, so an SEO agency needs to be able to take on any additional growth in the future.
Make sure they offer you metrics that meet your business needs, not only the ones they are prepared to provide. Goals need to be clearly defined at the start of the project, and your agency needs to be able to show you your growth in terms that you understand and that are relevant to your business.
The right agency for your needs will have experience in delivering high-impact SEO for technology companies.
In conclusion: why your technology company needs SEO
SEO will help your business build a competitive and authoritative web presence to increase your lead capture potential and build brand reputation. It will help your business understand your customers’ needs and desires and help you move with their changing preferences as times change. It will help you maintain a successful website in a constantly updating and evolving world.
The best step to achieving a good search engine optimisation level for technology companies is to hire outside help from a specialist agency with experience in delivering SEO for technology companies. They will have the skills and tools to help you achieve your goals and will be able to help you navigate the ever-changing fashions and improvements within the industry.
If you are interested in speaking to someone about your company and how you can leverage the advantages of a well-built and maintained website, please get in touch.