If your ISV company is deploying inbound marketing techniques to attract leads to your website, you need to master SEO. Search engine optimization is optimizing content so that it appears when your target audience searches on sites like Google or Yahoo. The ultimate SEO utopia would be to have a link to your site show up near the top of the results for anything someone in your target audience searches. With that ideal in mind, here are five things ISVs need to know about SEO keywords that will help you work toward better ranking in search results and increased organic traffic.
Choosing SEO Keywords
If you’re an analytical ISV with little use for the poetic side of content, SEO keywords should appeal to you. Writing for SEO isn’t like writing in a composition class. There is different strategy involved. With the right keywords, you can shape your destiny when it comes to where your content shows up in internet searches.
You need to define one or two SEO keywords that your target audience would search and work them into your blog or web page. If your prospects would search for a “healthcare communication app,” for example, that’s a good place to start. The next step is to check the word with Google AdWords Keyword Planner or another keyword planning tool. You want to see how many searches that keyword phrase has. If it doesn’t have a lot of search volume, you may want to consider changing the wording to something like “medical app.” which has more searches.
Word of warning: don’t be tempted to use a different word if it isn’t what you’re writing about or if it’s not the phrase your prospects would search. Producing well-written, understandable content that is relevant to what the user is searching for will perform better than a blog that is “keyword stuffed” with phrases you think people will search. Keyword stuffing will, in fact, lessen your chances of a good ranking on search engines.
Don’t Ignore the Competition
When you research SEO keywords, look at the competition for the keyword in addition to average monthly searches. That metric tells you how hard it will be to rank near the top of the search results listings for that word or phrase. In our example, “healthcare communication app,” had a modest number of average monthly searches, but high competition. “Medical app” had more searches and medium competition, so it may be the better keyword.
Build a Long Tail Keyword
The next step is to ask yourself whether the keyword alone is specific enough to match what your target audience will search. You want to attract the people who are specifically interested in your solutions—not just people who click, see it isn’t relevant, and bounce off your site.
According to HubSpot, you should focus on one or two long-tail keywords that match what your prospects would be searching for. Is “medical app” alone what your prospects would be interested in? Or would your prospects pose a question like “Where can I find a senior-friendly medical app?” (Trend alert: searches now are often in the form of questions.) Choosing more specific keywords may limit the number of people they attract, but they will attract the right people.
Location, Location, Location
Once you’ve settled on the optimal keyword phrase, it’s time to use it in your blog or on your web page. HubSpot recommends using the keyword (or keywords) in these places:
- Title tag: Use keywords in your headline, close to the beginning, if possible.
- Subheads: Make sure keywords appear in at least one subheads (H2, H3, etc.)
- Text: Incorporate the keyword into the copy in a natural way. Don’t overuse it and run the risk of being flagged as a keyword stuffer. Plug-ins like Yoast SEO can help count keyword usage and keep it within the right range.
- URL: Search engines also consider the content of a URL when ranking.
- Meta description: This is the description of the post that will show on the search page. Make sure it includes your keywords and is written with energy to engage readers and make them want to click.
- Image alt tags: Web crawlers can’t see images, but they can see alt tags. In your description of the image, make sure you include your keyword.
Getting on Page 1 is Time Well Spent
As you create content for your website, you’ll find that the process of incorporating keywords will become automatic. In fact, new keywords you want to rank for may become the inspiration for your next blog. Using SEO keywords does take some extra time, but without it, your terrific content (along with any brand visibility you could have) could be stuck back on page 5 of the search results. Take the extra few minutes, do the little bit of extra work, and then take the time to enjoy your increased web traffic.