The following is a guest article written by Adam Singer, founder of AbilitySEO.
Google AdWords identifies 18 IT Service-related SEO terms that get 1K-10K searches a month in the US. The companies who are #1 for these searches are companies Google has identified as being the most authoritative, most local, and most relevant for these searches. Here’s how you can climb the ranks to get on top too.
So what are the terms that every IT services company should want to be #1 for?
Google offers a tool through its AdWords platform that indicates how often any given term is searched for in any given geographic area. These numbers are far from exact, but they are an indication of what Google thinks are the terms people are most likely to Google when they are looking for what IT services companies sell. The following is a list of the 18 terms related to IT services which Google reports are searched in the US between 1,000 and 10,000 times a month. They are not in any specific order.
- it consulting firms
- it consulting
- it help desk
- technical support
- it companies
- it support
- managed services
- it outsourcing
- computer support
- managed it services
- managed service provider
- it services
- it support specialist
- computer services
- it solutions
- computer service
- it consultant
A word about Semantic Logic
It’s not necessarily advisable to obsess over specific terms instead of specific ideas. When you are building your SEO strategy, you don’t necessary need to obsess over the specific term “IT solutions” instead of “IT services” or “IT help”. For the sake of organic search rankings, these terms may be interchangeable.
Google strives to read Google searches the way a human being reads them. For example, you might assume that if you want to find a website about “star wars”, you would have to type the words “Star Wars” into your Google search. Semantic logic enables Google to deliver “Star Wars” results even for a search that does not contain the words “Star Wars”. Search for “movie about Luke Skywalker” you will find search results about Star Wars, even though the words “Star Wars” were not in the search you put into Google. Google is smart enough to know that people searching for “Luke Skywalker” probably want to see results about Star Wars.
Semantic logic means that you don’t need to plaster your website with the term “IT Services Baltimore” in order to appear when someone searches for “IT Services in Baltimore”. In fact, you really shouldn’t plaster your website with any term you’re trying to rank for. Write intelligent article that is useful people looking for the the terms above and you are likely to rise to the top of Google.
How Do You Get Your Website Found For These Terms on Google?
Google wants the top websites on any search to fit the three things:
- Most Authoritative
- Most Relevant
- Most Local
I wrote a more detailed description of why some sites rank higher than others in an article I wrote on my website about Baltimore SEO. You can also see more about how Google search works in this classic YouTube video by Matt Cutts, one of the pioneers in search quality at Google. The video is from 2010, but the concepts are undoubtedly still true:
How to Win the Authority Contest:
Authorities Are the People Who Help The Most
This may not be true in all of life, but it’s true on Google. If you want the website that comes up to the top of the list for a Google search, be the website that most effectively helps the person searching for your service.
Google wants what your customers want: a solution to their problem, an answer to their question, etc. The way to differentiate yourself from your competition is to find a way to be more helpful. Answer more questions. Make information easier to find on your website. Make your website experience easier to navigate. And be sure it’s mobile-friendly. SSL helps, but it’s not a driving factor. Being the most helpful is a driving factor.
A Word About Backlinks: How Authority is Measured
Historically, Google measures the authority of a website and a web page by who and how many other websites and webpages link to it. If a webpage has links from lots and lots of well-respected bloggers, it’s likely to be authoritative. If those other bloggers thought this page was useful, other people will probably think it’s helpful too.
There are no shortcuts to authority. Don’t buy links or do scammy things to get people to link your web page / website. Google didn’t get to be a $700 billion company by letting scammy link building campaigns win Google searches. Don’t pay for scammy links.
How to get links: Start by creating content that legitimately helps people. Then find other bloggers or companies who have an audience that will find your information helpful. Offer to create content for them and then include appropriate links to the content on your website. This is time consuming and takes hard work, but it is probably the only legitimate way to earn authority.
There is more to authority than links, but links still carry a lot of weight.
Looking for good things to write about?
Check out the moz keyword explorer tool, Quora, Amazon Q&A, and Reddit. If you really want to invest, you can try out the questions tool on BuzzSumo.com. This is a great tool, but comes with a price tag. The others are free.
How to Be Relevant
It’s a bit pathetic, but when most companies say they “do SEO” they really mean they include relevant terms in good places on your website. This is a sliver of the SEO pie, but not one that should be ignored. Here are the places you should be sure your terms appear:
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Alt-tag for images
- Body of your text
- H tags (h1, h2, h3)
How to be Local
Don’t take it for granted that Google knows your business location. If someone is looking for an IT Services company, Google will probably show them a company closer to where they are searching. You want to make sure that your company’s address or addresses are correctly listed on Google. One way to do this is to fill out the information on Google My Business. However, Google My Business is not necessarily enough. Often times businesses can have overlapping listings, wrong addresses, outdated addresses, wrong categories, etc. etc.
To see how your business is listed on Google, you can check the free local SEO tool on AbilitySEO.com . There are probably hundreds of websites Google checks to find your location. There are lots of ways to standardize your information across these websites. You can do it yourself by going to each one, or you can use a service like Moz Local, Yext or Synup to make sure your information is correct across the Internet.
A Word on Reviews and Images
Google searches deliver a lot more than links to websites. Be aware that images of your business and reviews can make a big difference in whether or not you get business from a Google search. Adding good images and five star reviews should be a part of your SEO plan. Google offers an easy way to create a link you can send to satisfied customers who can submit reviews on Google. First you will need to create an account on Google My Business. Once you’ve you created that account, you can follow instructions here to create a link directly to review your business on Google: How to Create a Google Review Link.
Some Final Words on What it Really Means to Win at SEO
The real goal of SEO is not to get to the top of a Google search. The real goal is to get business from people searching online. That means that your website has to do more than be relevant, authoritative, and local. It has to help make a relationship between you and those searching for your services.
Make your SEO goal to be as helpful as possible and you will get more traffic and more leads than the companies just trying to sell more services. Give searchers a reason to want more from you and a way to get more and you will win the terms you want on Google and get more leads and more revenue than the competition.
Written By Adam Singer
Adam Singer began programming for the World Wide Web in 1998 while working as an Informational Specialist for the Bureau of National Affairs, a Fortune 500 publishing company based in Washington, DC. In 2001 Adam became the Marketing and Communications Director for Jetro Platforms, a server-based computing software manufacturer. In 2011 Adam founded AJ Singer Studios, an Internet Marketing company based in Savannah, GA. In 2015 Adam formed AbilitySEO as a full service marketing agency specializing in using SEO, social media, and e-mail marketing to get more visitors, leads and customers