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Our company has been engaged in search engine promotion for technology business companies for several years, dealing with IT outsourcing, startups, cryptocurrency projects, and many other industries. Having 7 years of experience in highly competitive markets, we have formed a large base of unique developments and proven working strategies for each segment of the IT sector. It helps us implement our promotion strategies for new clients, and more than 90% of them bring good results. How do we manage it, and what do we use in our work? We will talk about this in our new case study, dedicated to promoting an IT outsourcing company.

ABOUT THE CLIENT

Fireart Studio is an IT service company from Poland, engaged in web design and software development for customers from the USA and Northern Europe. During 8 years in the market, the company’s portfolio has expanded to more than 700 projects, including for such industry giants as Google, Atlassian, and Codio.

In addition to the head office in Warsaw, Fireart has offices in the United States and Great Britain.

During its operation, the company received new clients primarily through direct communications, roadshows, and professional communities. But at this stage of the company’s development, it had few of these channels, so it was necessary to focus all marketing efforts on a more integrated approach to achieve better results and get a steady stream of targeted calls.

So, at the first stage of communication with the client, the following problems were identified:

  1. Previously, the company’s website was not promoted systematically. There was no clear KPI and comprehensive vision;
  2. Users came to the website mainly from professional communities like Dribble, Behance, and Medium. For example, before the redesign of the Dribble portal, Fireart was in the top 3 of the best performers on the website and attracted targeted leads. After the redesign, Dribble’s lead flow dropped significantly;
  3. The search traffic of the client’s website at the beginning of work was about 3000 users per month, mainly from informational blog articles and professional communities.

Summarizing all the above information, we had the following data:

Industry

IT (software development, design)

Target region

USA, Northern Europe

Goal

Stabilize the flow of targeted hits. Ensure the growth of applications through inbound channels.

Service

Complex search engine promotion

MAIN PROBLEMS OF IT COMPANY PROMOTION IN 2021

Fireart Studio approached us with a goal: to increase targeted requests through the website using organic traffic in the next six months. But like all IT companies, the studio faced a difficult challenge, incredible competition.

So, the European IT market in the second quarter of 2020 increased by 7.3% compared to the same period in 2019. In June, the growth was even stronger, 14%. Moreover, the largest countries in the region showed an impressive trend: Germany (+ 17%), Italy (+ 38%), France (+ 15%), and Spain (+ 19%). It is evidenced by the data of the analytical company Context.

The IT market in Poland (client’s region) grew by 38% in June 2020. 

As a result, in recent years, incredible competition has appeared in this market, so we had to compete with large companies that have been persistently engaged in promotion for several years and had huge marketing budgets. Because of this, it was complicated for small local companies to receive targeted applications and take at least some positions in the TOP. 

So, the problems that most IT companies face in the early stages of promotion:

  • huge competition in the IT outsourcing niche (both from companies from Eastern Europe and Asia (India, Pakistan);
  • difficulties in conducting marketing activities due to the huge budgets of IT giants;
  • problems with the formation of USP (unique selling proposition) in a highly competitive environment;
  • high pay rates for developers: in some technology stacks, they reach the level of salaries in the United States.

All this affects the creation of promotion strategy: CEOs and marketers of new IT companies should understand where to move, in which segments to develop, how to declare themselves correctly, how to present their portfolio, and how to show themselves favorably in comparison with IT giants.

But in our experience, even IT companies that have been on the market for decades make mistakes in their promotion, and we know how to find growth points for young companies.

START OF WORKS: HOW WE GOT TRAFFIC IN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS OF WORK

СOMPLEX SITE AUDIT

At the first stage, we started with a comprehensive audit. Fortunately, the client had a completed website with a portfolio and little traffic. But the dynamics of website traffic were falling every day, and it was necessary to work urgently to reverse the trend in the opposite direction quickly. We created a work plan for ourselves, which includes:

  • comprehensive website audit;
  • analysis of competitors and market trends;
  • drawing up a plan of recommendations based on the audit;
  • formation of a comprehensive search strategy.

Our first action was a full technical audit of the website. Why is this audit helpful? It allows you to understand, see, and analyze the existing problems of the website that affect the positions in the search results, even if there are links from trust resources, selling content on the website, and impressive traffic. Based on this data, we set works that can help the website receive traffic even before link building.

What about Fireart Studio? During the audit, we identified the following problems:

  • JS inserts were present in the code of the pages, and the search engine bots saw the content of the pages only BEFORE this insertion. As a result, semi-loaded pages were added to the index. Sometimes inserts were found at the very beginning of the page, so search bots could not see other content;
  • The website had many duplicate blog pages that had already been indexed. Having switched to a different structure of links, Fireart Studio “lost” the blog tag in them. Because of this, Google led to old pages and received a 404 error. We solved this problem by gluing the pages using a 301 redirect;
  • There were problems with adding priority URLs to the Sitemap. As a result, indexing priority was given to pages that could not bring relevant traffic and targeted commercial clicks with applications.

These works were performed first since all next stages of work simply would not make sense.

When developing a comprehensive strategy, it is essential to pay attention and analyze the closest competitors in the search results. 

Over the past few years, we have noticed that a niche strategy works best for easier and faster market entry. This strategy focuses on specific services, niches, and solutions that a client can provide based on their portfolio. For example:

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 1
+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 2

This approach gives the best results in the shortest possible time since promotion for narrow queries is easier in terms of competition (since keywords have a low frequency) and is more effective for attracting specific target queries.

Previously, most IT companies wanted to enter the TOP for “software development” requests. But it is no longer relevant and almost impossible for young websites unless the client is ready to invest several tens of thousands of dollars monthly for several years.

IMPLEMENTATION OF AUDIT RECOMMENDATIONS. WORK WITH BLOG.

 After implementing technical audit recommendations, we moved on to work on the blog.

Why the blog? We previously recommended starting with a thorough study of the semantic core and the formation of the website structure based on narrow target queries. But in this case, we started with a blog since the client’s blog had several dozen articles that brought traffic. Therefore, we realized that we could take advantage of this at the first stage: finalize the material, optimize articles, and get traffic in the first months.

But here we found a problem too.

Building the blog reader’s profile: does it affect the conversion?

Initially, all articles on the Fireart Studio blog were written with an informational intent, so the topics were not segmented according to the target audience portrait. But it is impossible to compile a selling material without a detailed study of the target audience (pains, interests, etc.).

Our client drew up a detailed ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and identified weaknesses, pains, and problems at every decision-making stage. This collaboration helped us create and segment the topics of the content plan without missing a single important request. Also, we completely revealed the target user’s intent.We recommend our readers to take a responsible approach to this stage and use an already proven template for describing the target audience, for example, from Webris:

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 3

By clicking this link, you can download the template and use it to describe the portrait of the target audience for your project.

When collecting semantics for a blog related to IT outsourcing, it is vital to understand the intent of decision-makers we are interested in, as well as the nature of the request. For example, you can write an article on “Best practices in UI/UX design” and get 19 conversions from traffic in 1600. Or you can write an article “Magento vs. Shopify: best technology for e-commerce website ”and get 54 conversions with the same traffic.

As you can see in the example above, the intent for the first article has informational nature and a cognitive purpose. It is often interesting for novice designers or users who are passionate about design. In the second article, it is likely that a user with this request is going to build a website and analyze which technology will be better in this case.

Also, by revealing intents, you can understand the check of the targeted user.

Take a look below and think about where you can potentially get leads with a bigger check:

Blog Article Topics (Option 1)Blog Article Topics (Option 2)
How to Design the Best Call-To-Action (CTA) Button for Your WebsiteMust-have features of customer loyalty software for any business
How to Create the Best Artist Website DesignCloud migration strategy for enterprises
Ten Steps to Create the Best Website Navigation DesignCustomer analytics software for banks: Reaching a 360-degree view

Theoretically, in the first variant, you can get target requests for developing individual elements of the website or design. In the second variant, you can receive applications for large enterprise solutions.

Often, the applications that we can receive upon requests in the first variant will have smaller checks than in the second. Therefore, as mentioned above, it is vital to understand which customers and with what checks we want to receive.

After analyzing the blog, we re-optimized the articles by changing (adding) keywords with commercial intent. As a result, a content plan was formed for the client for several months with a selection of topics that, in our opinion, should have brought the client targeted traffic in the near future.

In our case, the “selection” genre worked better (for example, “TOP 10 IT Outsourcing Companies in Ukraine”), articles based on specific client cases, and articles in How-To or X vs. Y. 

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 4

After the optimization, the website received a 2-fold increase in traffic from the blog (in the first months of operation):

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 5

DEVELOPMENT OF THE SEMANTIC CORE AND SITE STRUCTURE

The next step was to develop, expand, and update the semantic core. The semantics of any IT company is thematically divided into the following groups: 

  • industry (health/insurance/finance/consulting, etc.);
  • technologies (Java, React, etc.);
  • Services;
  • solutions;
  • brand platforms, tools, plugins (Magento, Azure, etc.);
  • engagement models (outstaffing, outsourcing, etc.).

After conducting in-depth interviews with the client, we identified the main business priorities and assembled the most structured semantic core.

Below you can find out how the structure of a website should look in terms of a niche strategy.

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 6

After the semantic core was assembled, we selected the top highest priority requests. Success in competition for queries depends on the authority of the domain, the age of the website, and the number and quality of links to the pages of the website from authoritative resources. That’s why we carry out targeted work to collect key queries, focusing on many indicators: the frequency and seasonality of the request, the competitiveness of the request, and the main business tasks of the client.

We use a formula calculated on the basis of multicollinear indicators, which makes it clear which query is more profitable to develop first. The priority for a website with a low domain authority is queries with weak competition, strong traffic potential, a growing search trend, and the main business interests of the client in the niche. So, our team has created 80+ additional landing pages that will help bring relevant traffic in the long run.

Below you can see an example of calculating the prioritization of keywords of one of our clients, with whom you need to work at first to get maximum traffic in the shortest possible time:

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 7

You can read about our approach to each project here.

When we collect keywords for IT-related topics, it is necessary to understand the user’s intention by the keyword entered by them. For example, if you type “front end programming” in a search engine, it will return a lot of informational websites. Despite the apparent relevance, this request is googled by those who want to learn about programming. That is, beginners in the IT market who are unlikely to become leads for our client.

It is vital to analyze the trend potential of the request: for example, the demand for Java developers has been steadily declining over the past five years. Perhaps, no one will be looking for javists in 3 years, which means that the efforts and investments in the “hire Java developers” key and related semantics will be wasted.

ON-PAGE SEO AND WORKS ON LANDING PAGES

As mentioned above, we have compiled 80+ terms of reference for new commercial pages. Furthermore, we worked on the existing landing pages of the client’s website, optimizing them for relevant keywords.

We very carefully approached the preparation of the technical specification for the commercial pages of the website. We analyzed competitors’ pages, selected references, and defined the structure of landing pages from meta tags to H3 titles and Q&A sections. In this part of the work, we consciously took on the tasks of the client’s marketing department to get the maximum SEO potential out of each block of the commercial page.

+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 8

We analyzed the link profile of competitors and developed a link building strategy for the client’s website. We focused on outreach to select the highest quality relevant websites for anchor link placement. We also analyzed the quality of current backlinks. In cases where the link brought clicks to the article but did not attract leads, we used the 310 redirect to transfer traffic and weight from this link to the commercial page. In this way, we contributed to its faster growth and increased the conversion rate.

For high-quality link building, we need to determine the sub-niches of donor websites accurately. For example, we do not use a single database of outreach platforms when promoting websites for game development studios and fintech developers. To place links for each IT sub-niche, you need to use your thematic websites.

We studied the top platforms for the client’s business, looked at the backlinks of the websites of those competitors that demonstrate positive traffic dynamics, correlating with link dynamics (it means that the links are working). After that, we sifted out empty platforms with no traffic or websites with poor performance and selected appropriate resources.

To achieve maximum results in link building, we use a structured approach:

  • we distribute anchor/non-anchor, dofollow/nofollow links by niche to prevent Google from filtering us out;
  • We provide non-anchor links from inexpensive donors and anchor links from good and high-quality guest posts received after outreach;
  • We find websites that comply with our query by keywords. There we place links to increase traffic and the authority of the client’s website domain.

It is necessary to remember that there is a danger of parsing authoritative websites in a niche when links to our website are duplicated from low-quality portals and harm the link building strategy. We always monitor the status of posted links to the website and eliminate “junk” links; we contact the webmasters and force them to return the link if it is suddenly removed from the website after some time after placement.

In our company, a specialist of the link building department has KPI indicators related to selecting a certain number and quality of links and the price for each link.

Very often, we had situations when clients who came to us from other contractors showed us reports on the purchase of links, where, on average, one link costs $200. When our specialists agreed to place a link on the same resource, the price was 4 times less. Boldly speaking, our specialists should know how to find high-quality links and get the best prices for placement for our clients. We do not receive any commission from links. We are interested in our clients getting more for their budget.

OUR SECRET TO CREATE A WORKING SEO STRATEGY

First of all, we should say that the main thing for us is to work together with the client. Not collecting data and issuing dry ToR, but constant communication and expressing desires. To do this, we conduct monthly brainstorming sessions with our clients, where we decide together what to do next and what to pay attention to.

We regularly audit our work and constantly monitor trends in the development niche of our client. Once a year, we make a list of relevant topics and draw up technical specifications for copywriters and blog authors so that our client receives the maximum possible traffic on the topic.

Also, every quarter, we analyze links and redistribute them, expand the structure of the semantics of articles if they do not receive high-quality traffic, and modify and update them for the new realities of the market.

RESULTS

So, what have we achieved working with Fireart Studio? Here are our results after 6 months:

  • 240 new keywords are top 10, including competitive high-frequency keywords;
+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 9
+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 10
  • the number of sessions from organic traffic increased by 186%;
+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 11
+186% organic traffic and 200+ commercial keywords in the TOP 10 in the IT outsourcing niche in 6 months - 12

We aimed to increase both traffic and MQL/SQL indicators through well-segmented commercial queries and high-quality link building. Our main task was to comprehensively work on the amount and quality of traffic to convert more users into leads and generate income for the client.

By the way, according to the CEO of Fireart Studio, the high-quality SEO strategy we created increased the company’s revenues by 3 times!

Conclusion

Of course, we would not have achieved all this without the well-coordinated teamwork, frequent interaction with the client, and our extensive experience in promoting IT companies. But Fireart Studio adhered to our advice, and we got excellent results. If your company competes in the IT niche and strives to improve lead generation with an SEO strategy, we will be happy to help you!

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Marynarska 21, Warszawa, Poland (02-676 )

+48 451 088 591

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