Independent Contractor Services
Find out how much more you could bring home each
month. Contact us free on 0800 195 3750 or via email
Google web marketing advice for IT contractors
Posted Jul 10, 2009
A growing number of IT contractors have their own websites - either to promote their businesses and any non-contracting services they provide, or simply as a showcase for their contractor skills.
Creating a website is a no-brainer for many contractors, however getting people to visit our site is an art in itself. Often referred to as 'search engine optimisation' (SEO), getting your website to rank well in Google is the most crucial part of marketing your website.
Although many people we have met over the years think of themselves as 'experts' when it comes to Google, the team behind Contract Eye have worked their web marketing magic on Google with great success over the past decade, and here are ten real tips to help you get your site to the summit of the world's favourite search engine results.
1. Basics - Before you start your 'SEO' effort, you need to have created a well-designed, well-coded website. The basics of designing and uploading websites are covered ad infinitum elsewhere on the web.
2. Content - Google loves well-written, regularly updated content. Although this might not be easy with a 'brochure' site which simply advertises your contract services, you could always add a blog (easy to set up via Wordpress for example).
3. TITLE Tag - In the old days, you could cram a page with keywords, and Altavista would propel you to the top of the rankings for your chosen phrase within days. Now, the search engine monopoly that is Google doesn't even pay attention to the keywords tag at all, preferring to give particular importance to the TITLE tag. Take time to create a relevant and appealing TITLE tag for all your pages.
4. Keywords - Rather than trying to compete for popular keywords (e.g. "Java", or "SAP") in your webpages, you should target a large number of less competitive phrases (such as "Java developer Surrey"). You have little chance or fighting for major keywords, and will do much better by gaining good ranking for a number of less competitive phrases - known as "the long tail".
5. Keyword Placement - We prefer an 'organic' approach to web marketing, and wouldn't recommend trying to outwit Google by placing keywords in every single place possible within your webpages (e.g. Header tags, IMG tags), but you should try to place a sensible number of repetitions of your chosen phrases across each page to keep the keyword density up.
6. Internal Links - You need to ensure you pay attention to your internal linking structure. Don't create deep directories of content, and keep everything together with thoughtful navigation. Use your keywords in any internal linking text.
7. External Links - The most important element to web marketing these days, the more quality, relevant inbound links you have, the most likely Google will be to rank your pages highly. Try to obtain link exchanges with other sites in your industry (one way links are even better). Again, try to include some of you favoured keywords in any inbound link text
8. Directories - As well as spending time building up the number of inbound quality links to your business site, you should also add your URL to the various web directories out there (from Yahoo! downwards), and include any skill-specific directories you may come across.
9. Articles - You could consider writing expert articles for publication on tech sites, or simply contribute to business forums and include your URL in your posts or the signature field.
10. Ongoing Tasks - Traffic building is an ongoing activity. You need to build up content, links and visitors steadily over time. Perseverance is the key to success with web marketing, and remember that you cannot cheat the system. The key things are to build up a repository of good quality content, and a growing number of relevant inbound links from related sites.
We recommend you sign up to Google's Webmaster Tools facility to see how you web marketing effort is going.
Also, you might enjoy our article on how to give your contracting business a professional image.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance - Essential cover from Hiscox
- Helix Management Ltd - Up to 90% retention. Same day payments
- Parasol - the UK's favourite umbrella company
- Qdos - IR35 experts - Providers of low cost contractor insurance
- Contractor Finance - up to £30,000, when you need it
- Umbrella Company - 12,000 contractors can't be wrong!
- SJD Accountancy - UK's largest Accountants to Contractors
- Together we're stronger! - Join PCG, representing contractors
- ClearSky Accounting - specialist support for contractors
- Free IR35 & Tax Review - Call ICS on 0800 195 3750
- InTouch Contractor Accounting - Clients love our personal service
- Contractor Mortgages - Based on your daily rate alone