Over the past year or so I’ve worked diligently to get my site ranked well in Google for key terms in my industry and it’s finally starting to pay off. The homepage for HelpSpot (http://www.userscape.com/products/helpspot/) is now about #27 for the search: help desk software. Pretty good considering it’s an insanely competitive keyword.
It’s competitive because it costs about $35 A CLICK to get into the top spots in adwords. That’s a lot of dough.
Of course to start really having an impact I’ll need to get somewhere on the first page, but I’m alot closer now than just a few months back. I’m also happy to say I’ve managed this without spamming, which is something I don’t think some of the products ahead of mine can say. Of course I wrote up my SEO tips awhile ago but I have a few more specific ones for the ISV market so let me share them.
This one is really important! Pick the final URL for your products main page before you even write one line of code. What I mean is that I made the decision that the URL for my product would be http://www.userscape.com/products/helpspot/ very early on. Put your placeholder there are whatever. The key benefit of this is that as you build up interest and people link to information on your product you want them to be pointing to the final homepage of the product. Even though what’s there now is a placeholder or a mailing list signup. This is critical, because once you actually put your product page up you’ll instantly have all these links now pointing to real content. I see many apps who’s temporary page is domain.com/mailinglist.php or whatever. Don’t let that be you! You’ll end up having to start all over getting links if you go down that path.
Get a blog of course. I’ve had tons and tons of bloggers link over with things like: “hey look, this guy is talking about XYZ he’s developing for his new help desk software” ahhhhhh. Love that, love it more than anything! Having the keywords you want in the anchor is key to good SEO.
Put yourself in a few software directories that already have good rankings on your terms. So search through google and find software directories that are in the top 80 listings or so for your terms. Make sure they’re legit! Don’t go adding your product to some fly-by-night spam directory covered with ads (some ads are OK of course). Doing so could hurt as much as help.
That’s about it really. I’m hoping this strategy can carry me the last few yards to page one. If you’d like to help please send a link 😉