A recent meeting of the RSPA Niche & Startup ISV Community started with a software developer executive sharing this challenge: “We compete with companies that have a lot more money than we do, and they beat us at SEO (search engine optimization). We’re buried on the eighth page of ‘restaurant.’ How can you get your company to show up on Google? Resellers are a good local presence for us, but we need a web presence, too.”
The ISV Community offered several helpful suggestions:
- Small ISVs need to optimize organic search by speaking to their unique value proposition. That’s done best through FAQs, blog articles, and working with an SEO expert.
- We find specific search terms and purchase those as paid ad words to get lower CPM (cost per impression). If you go too broad, you will spend a lot of money and get lots of crappy leads. Buying “food hall software” gives you a better likelihood of ranking high, and it generates more specific leads.
- I recommend you think about backlinks, too. It matters who you’re able to connect your website to and who connects to you. We repost on LinkedIn and connect to our website because Google likes that. Work to get links from your partners to help them with their search as well.
- Produce end-user-facing content like “how to get your food hall ready for the holidays.” You want to be seen as a subject matter expert in that niche. You won’t get that through buying “cloud POS.”
- We have 2½ content creators on staff doing all they can to help our organic search.
- CPM is cost per impression, and you could be making an impression on the wrong person. It could be culinary students if you’re not specific enough. You want to dial in who you’re talking to and be really specific with content for them.
- We think you have to stick with organic search and stick in the niches. I remember Toast getting their $29 million exclusively for marketing and thinking, “My $40k budget isn’t going to cut it.”
- There are a ton of digital marketing agencies around. Website builders today are more and more savvy about optimization. Getting help with digital marketing is ripe for the gig economy.
- Our content is mostly very nichey blog posts like “things liquor store owners can do to find employees” and “how to integrate into a web shopping cart.” We post everything on industry-specific landing pages.
- We produce content in several different mediums. Some people like blogs, some like videos, some like white papers.
- Find a topic that is so specific if someone Googles it, they’re not going to get 1,000 hits. They’re going to get way fewer.