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SEO For Tech Services Companies

Our cohort recently had a pitch session in front of Ron Dovich. This is where we have our customers practice their pitches in front of customer advisors. In the call Ron came out strongly about the importance of the company website in closing leads. The key to a strong website is strong content as we mentioned in our previous posts here and here. For a technology services company your content is your demo to the world on what is being purchased.

As a technical founder at Flux7 I enjoyed the content creation. But I ignored the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) finding it not exciting. Looking back, I recognize that I was treating SEO as an add on rather than an inherent part of your messaging. In this post I want to help the technology services founders unlock the value of their content by treating SEO as a first class citizen.

Most people are familiar with SEO as a means to show up in search results to drive traffic to your website. And in that capacity SEO is an add-on. But there are two aspects of SEO that are often ignored that I want to focus on 1) an understanding of the problems your customers are searching for - Guiding your strategy 2) Getting in front of the right people that are trying to solve the problem you solve - Bringing in high quality leads

Guiding Your Strategy

SEO has two parts: the SEO research and SEO implementation. The SEO research has value before we even create any content. And the value extends to the general positioning of your company not just as a part of content creation. The research is valuable in the following three ways:

  1. Understand your customers' needs: SEO research can help you better understand the keywords and phrases your potential customers are using to search for solutions to their problems. By conducting keyword research, you can identify the topics and pain points your audience is searching for. This not only helps you in developing the right content but helps you understand what the burning hair problem your customers are trying to solve. Equipped with this knowledge you can design your customer experience and service portfolio around the problems the customer needs immediate help in.

  2. Understand your competitors: In addition to understanding your customers' needs, SEO research can also help you better understand your competitors. By analyzing the keywords and search terms your competitors are ranking for, you can identify gaps in your own content strategy and find opportunities to differentiate yourself. This can also help you identify potential partners or collaborators who may be ranking for complementary keywords and could be valuable to your overall strategy.

  3. Guide your content strategy: Finally, SEO can be a valuable guide for your overall content strategy. The key is to remember the goal is to create excellent content that others will find valuable not to be ranked well by search engines. But armed with a better understanding of your customer's needs you will have a better understanding of the content you need to create. Additionally, by regularly monitoring your search rankings and traffic, you can identify trends and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Bringing In High Quality Leads

SEO has the benefit of driving traffic to your website. But what's more important than the quantity of traffic is the quality of the traffic you drive through good SEO. When the customer tries to search for a solution to their problem you want to be the one that educates them on the solution. Because at the same time time you convince the customer you are the best solution provider for them.

When they are searching for a solution is the best time to catch them. In contrast if you catch them before they are searching, they are unaware of the problem. They may not be ready to purchase because they don't realize they have a problem and it is not their priority to solve it. So you will need to spend a lot of time educating them to help them realize that they have a problem. And even more time for the organization to allocate resources to solve the problem. While eventually they may make a great customer but it will take these Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) a long time to mature. As an example the deal that put us on the map at our previous company Flux7 was one and a half year in the making because at the time they were not looking for a solution. It was through our education that they realized what was possible.

On the flip side, if you wait till after the customer has settled on a solution you will have a harder time gaining acceptance. You will likely be considered as one among a group of vendors. The customer through their research may have made some incorrect decisions and you would have to correct them. Being highly recommended by partners or a referral from another customer can help you gain trust quickly but there may still be increased internal resistance than if they learned the solution from you.

This is why the leads SEO brings you are so valuable. They recognize that they have a problem and are actively trying to solve it. In that quest they are looking for solutions. If you establish yourself with excellent content then the customer would design their solutions around your content. This puts you in a tremendous advantage. You will be positioned to deliver to the customer needs. The customer would already have accepted you as an expert. Any competitor trying to break in would face an uphill battle in displacing you.

In conclusion SEO is not only the means to extract value out of the thought leadership you are doing in creating your content but it also can help you better understand your customer, your competitors and yourself. The best part about it is that this work is inexpensive that you can hire a contractor to help you with. Unlike the thought leadership work which requires a significant time of the experts in your company. It is providing the finishing touches which don't take much time but make the difference between a great and a tolerable user experience. Next week we'll share some easy to implement tips for improving your SEO.

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