Running a software company is always tricky. Competitors fight hard to rank as high in Google as possible. Leads you’ve generated and paid a lot of money for could earn you either millions or less than you pay for a few dozen clicks in Google Ads. You’ve been there, you’ve done that – expensive keywords, leads that don’t reply to your emails and the lengthy purchase-making sales funnel. The list could go on forever.
If paid traffic seems like a dead end (we don’t think it actually is a dead end, but if you do – that’s fine), SEO may be your last chance. It might be the only logical option to attract high-quality traffic to your website, as it will generate leads that will eventually convert into customers.
But where to begin? Your competitors invested a ton of money in sponsored articles on countless blogs or in magazines, and they have armies of content specialists that take care of Quora, Medium.com and their own blogging sites. How is it even possible to rank in the top three under keywords that have actual business value, and avoid spending your last dime on SEO?
We were asked this very same question by our client who we’d been helping with other projects for several months at that time.
You know those pushy salesmen who would promise you everything just to close the sale, right? Well, that’s not our style. We simply said that for the time being, we should forget about anything expensive like sponsored articles on Forbes.com or New York Times, paid backlinks or blog posts written by well-known authors with thousands of followers in social media. We wanted to show that SEO actually works and that it can bring in new business in less than 12 weeks. We focused on the on-site optimization and well-thought-out content marketing strategy.
From August, when we started working on it, to October, we increased the number of organic visitors by 65% (about 250 Unique Visitors), improved session duration by almost 10% and also helped a bit with pages/session ratio.
Okay then, so what exactly did we do to make SEO work in a software development company with an extremely tight budget?
You probably think it’s rocket science, but actually, we pretty much did it by the book.
- We did a keyword research to determine what should we be focusing our manpower on. We asked ourselves several questions: in what areas were our competitors somewhat weaker? Which keywords could generate traffic and which keywords could potentially attract high-purchase-intent customers? Are those keywords present on our client’s website? Are there any articles containing them on their blog?
- We did an on-site optimization. We dug really deep. From compressing images and changing meta titles to restructuring internal linking and cleaning up CSS and JS files – we did everything to make the website as SEO-friendly as possible.
- We analyzed the blog and talked it through. It’s a common – and unfortunately negative – phenomenon that a SEO specialist or a SEO copywriter casts a glance at a blog and simply rejects it in its entirety. We may know to some extent how Google’s algorithms work, but we’re nowhere near close to knowing and understanding how our clients’ businesses work. Who are their customers? What do they value the most? What influences the decision-making process? Our clients know it. They may not always understand how to take advantage of Google, but they ask for our help not to revolutionize the way their company operates, but rather to combine their business knowledge with our SEO skills. Conversation with our client gave us great ideas as to our future strategy regarding content marketing, and we started implementing it right away.
- We didn’t want to spend money on expensive backlinks, so we had to rely on well-targeted but free (or very inexpensive) high-quality websites from the same field. People often say that the times when people would link to your blog for free are over, but thanks to our unique content and fun approach to tech matters we were able to get some great and diversified links to our client’s website.
We also closely monitored what happens in Google Analytics and Search Console. We constantly performed A/B tests and experiments, and as you can see from the screenshot above – it was all well worth it.
In mere three months, we increased our client’s traffic by almost 66% and improved other rates (as of December 2019). And what about the previous month? We gained 38 new visitors. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when we started, it was 10% of all the organic traffic our client was getting.
So, do you still think that you can’t afford SEO for your business?