Things move fast in the world of digital marketing. Constant education is key to making sure you’re staying up-to-date with trends that could make or break your tech website. (In fact, that’s probably why you’re reading this blog post right now!)
We’re big into continued learning over here at Kiwi Creative, so I wanted to share some insights from an awesome book I just finished reading: “SEO 2017: Learn search engine optimization with smart internet marketing strategies.”
Super long title, I know, but basically it focuses on how to use Google’s three key principles—relevance, authority and trust—to boost your organic search rankings. And I’m here to tell you how you can apply that advice to your own tech company so you can surpass the competition in Google.
Increase Relevance: Blog More Than Your Competitors
How many blog posts does your competitor publish in a month?
If they post once a month, post twice. If they publish two blog posts, write three.
Your aim should be to publish more high-quality posts than your competitors. However, if you’re super motivated, HubSpot says B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3x more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month.
Why is this important? Blogging allows your company to produce fresh, relevant content, which is one of Google’s top three key principles.
Blogging also gives you great content to share on social media; since posts from Facebook, Twitter and other popular social sites appear in search engine results, being active on social media will help to amplify your organic reach.
Need more stats to convince you that blogging is effective for SEO? 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. In other words, the more content you produce, the more likely it is to match the terms that your potential customers are searching for in Google.
Helpful hint: If you’re trying to publish a large number of blogs per month without hiring additional resources, try making everyone at your company write one post per month. That way, you'll get a variety of blog content—including important insights from sales, project management and IT—without having to write everything from scratch yourself. (You'll still be doing plenty of editing though…content experts are not always grammar experts!)
Increase Authority: Promote More Than Your Competitors
How much time should you spend promoting your content? Derek Halpern from Social Triggers suggests using the 80/20 rule: if a blog takes you three hours to produce (20%), then you should spend 12 hours promoting it (80%).
Sound crazy? Here's why it's not.
Authority—aka your site’s overall strength in the market—is another one of Google’s top three key principles. By promoting your content on social media platforms, you’ll gain likes, comments and shares… and brands with a strong social media presence are seen as more authoritative by Google.
Helpful hint: When you start promoting on social media, schedule posts in advance using a platform like HubSpot, Hootsuite or CoSchedule. It's easier to make sure you have the right mix of timing and messaging when you write in bulk vs. sending one-off posts over the course of several days or weeks.
Increase Trust: Get Linked To More Than Your Competitors
Google’s third top key principle is “trust.” One of the best ways to prove trustworthiness is through backlinks from other reputable sources, especially .gov or .edu domain extensions. It's like having a network of websites that are willing to vouch for the quality of your own site.
Not all backlinks are created equal, however. Google WILL penalize you if you try to obtain backlinks unnaturally using spammy tactics such as:
- Purchasing links
- Swapping links
- Spamming message boards with crappy content
- Joining a paid network
Here are a few legitimate ways B2B tech companies can obtain backlinks from reputable sources:
- See where your competitors’ backlinks are coming from using Moz’s Open Site Explorer. Simply enter a competitor's website address into the search box and you'll be able to see which sites are giving them backlinks, along with those sites' page and domain authority. This should give you a few good ideas for sites where you could potentially get backlinks from, too.
- If you're already creating traditional blog posts, make them into video clips so you can gain even more backlinks using sites like YouTube, Veoh and Dailymotion.
- Identify potential social influencers using BuzzSumo. Just enter a target keyword in the search box and you’ll be able to see which accounts have the most Facebook engagements, LinkedIn shares, Twitter shares, etc. on that particular topic. Reach out to these influencers to see if they’ll share your content, which will create a backlink from someone with lots of authority.
Helpful hint: To spark an influencer’s interest, your first step is to study what they’re about and what’s most important to them. Next, reshare a few of their stories relevant to those topics. Then finally, engage with them in ways that will add value. For example, if your influencer is @DanielMiessler (cybersecurity guru), he expresses interest in corporate infosec programs. After you reshare a few of his tweets, reach out with research or stats about corporate infosec programs.
At the end of the day, surpassing your technology competitors in Google isn’t JUST about increasing relevance, authority and trust. You still need to focus on the basics: creating quality content targeted toward your specific audience.
After all, nobody likes to read crappy content. Nobody will “like” crappy content on social media. And nobody will link to your crappy content. And if no one cares about your content, neither will Google.