Keywords sometimes seem part of an elaborate game on the internet, where SEOers (search engine optimisers) do their best to game the system to attract traffic to websites.
The idea is to dream up a few likely search words or phrases and stuff these in every orifice of your website, from on-page content to page descriptions to tags on images.
To paraphrase the advice of my dear mother, ‘keywords are not a toy’. They don’t have to be a part of some mysterious game, and in fact keywords in many ways reflect the marketing strategy for your tech company.
While trying to game the system may draw lots of traffic, getting your keyword strategy right will help the right kind of people find your website.
Keywords as tech marketing strategy means understanding some core principles.
First, is being clear on the category your product fits into. Tech companies are notorious at trying to differentiate their product around what it is, rather than what it does, thereby making it hard for the potential customer to understand.
People want to understand what your innovation is like, and then be convinced of its unique benefits. They don’t want to buy something that’s just different.
Getting this ‘category’ right helps with your keywords, as these are what people are searching on. Think “CRM software” rather than “social-powered customer intimacy platform”.
Second, define the types of personas who buy or influence the buying of your product. Being able to focus your keywords on people from a particular industry niche, or location, helps you to refine your terms.
In keyword terms it also means knowing what kind of language they typically use – from the CFO type who will tend to focus on analytical terms to the HR person who might use more emotional concepts.
Third, and possibly most crucially, is being able to identify the core needs of your customers. It’s what keeps them up at night worrying that will guide many of the search terms they use.
It’s possible prospects don’t even know your tech product is a solution to their problem. To use the CRM example again, they might be trying to find help with “poor sales”, “tracking my sales team”, or “better sales process.”
Finally, it’s about understanding your value proposition. Is your solution better, faster, cheaper etc than other ways of a customer solving this problem. If your strategy is value (i.e. lowest price), then you need to attach some of those kind of terms to your keyword strategy.
If you understand these elements of your hi-tech marketing strategy, then you are well equipped to use keywords as a serious weapon rather than a silly toy.
To arm your weapon, there is no end of advice on finding and using keywords. A good place to start is over at our friends at HubSpot.
Access our primer on technology marketing strategy “7 attributes of tech marketing success.”