In this modern digital era, the rapidly expanding Software as a Service industry makes it an incredible moment to start your SaaS development. Statista has forecasted that SaaS is taking over the world. Its market size has achieved a growth of USD 157 billion in 2020, which is double the size of the SaaS market in 2014.
A strong SEO presence is what makes a SaaS business successful. Implementing SEO for SaaS can be daunting, but the overall business success depends on how you get your product to a large number of people. With rising customer acquisition costs, it is vital to build a robust SEO strategy that can generate sizable organic traffic to drive your business towards sustainable growth. You can do it by yourself or refer to companies that offer saas seo services.
In this SEO for SaaS guide, we will discuss all the necessary details and strategies required to develop a winning organic search engine optimization technique. To conclude the article, we will discuss three practical use cases where SEO strategies were implemented in real companies where.
What Is SaaS SEO
SEO is the technique of achieving the top position in search engine results pages for a list of pertinent keywords by boosting the traffic to the website of a Software as a service business.
SEO for SaaS businesses focuses on increasing the online presence of a platform in front of people who are:
- Attempting to search your service online
- Looking for information about service/solution similar to yours
- In line to purchase solution identical to that you offer
- Trying to search and ingest content about similar services that you also provide
Although SEO for Saas differs in nature from SEO for other businesses, the primary ranking variables of Google apply similarly to all various industries. RankBrain, Content, and Backlinks are some crucial factors for ranking purposes. A HubSpot survey states that 75% of businesses are thriving in attaining their marketing objectives by implementing SEO tactics.
Image Source: Hubspot.com
It is essential to understand that you must centralize your SEO strategy on producing excellent content that generates inevitable backlinks when it comes to SaaS businesses.
The Role of SEO for SaaS: 4 Reasons to Invest in SEO
The fact that a solid SEO strategy is essential for every SaaS business to drive growth is supported by a few reasons:
Reason # 1: Ensures Exponential Compound Growth of the Traffic
SEO led by creating evergreen content results in the exponential growth of your business. Evergreen is content that stays relevant for users if it’s updated over time. For example, content containing tips, How-to guides, videos, product reviews, etc.
Evergreen content generates a sustained interest in the audience through fresh pieces of information for their audience. Put the right content in place, and watch your traffic grow significantly.
The first step is to produce helpful content. The focus of this content must rely on topically related keywords. The second step is to promote this content to generate and increase organic traffic. The next thing is to utilize the data gathered from the first launch and use this data to improve further optimization that spurs additional growth.
Reason # 2: Reduces New Customer Cost of Acquisition
CAC has faced an increase of 40% over the past five years which means that acquiring customers through paid media leaves you with exhausting customer acquisition costs over time. In contrast, SEO continues to produce steady traffic to your website even if your SEO expenditure drops for a while. This decreases your reliance on paid advertising, thus becoming another significant reason to invest in SEO for your SaaS business.
Reason # 3: Helps to Stand Out Among Competitors
The larger organizations will face lesser competitors in numerous business areas as more enterprises adopt SaaS. According to Mark Hurd (Oracle CEO), small companies with low investment in cutting-edge SEO capabilities could not keep pace with SaaS enterprise platforms.
Reason # 4: Content-Based SEO Strategy Boosts Referral Traffic and Email Marketing
The truth is that all SEO strategies require a significant portion of the investment for the content creation process. In addition to ranking your business against your targeted keywords, this content can be reused to structure your email marketing and social media marketing strategy and drive referral traffic. SEO aids you in building brand recognition to attract customers from multi-channel.
SaaS SEO Ranking Factors
Google uses artificial intelligence algorithms to rank the content. Freshness, relevance, and usability of the source and pages are some factors used by this AI algorithm. Some of the other ranking factors taken into account by this algorithm are:
1. Technical Factors
A number of technical factors are crucial for SaaS Seo, including the loading speed of a website, security, reliability of the site, and responsiveness to portable devices. To ensure better visibility of your site in SERP, you must work on improving website speed, optimizing images and server response time, switching to HTTP, and optimizing your URLs.
2. Domain Factors
Search engines walk through your website to check the relevancy of your content to the industry you specified. Domain factors like the age of your site, authority, contact pages, references, external links, and trustworthiness are highly evaluated by Google.
3. Content Quality
Content is the top ranking factor regarding Google’s algorithm and human visitors to your website. Rich and valuable content based on optimized keywords must be the primary goal of SEO, Google Trends API will definitely help you at this point. You must ensure that the prominent posts and articles on the site respond effectively to the user’s intent.
4. User Behavioral Factors
CTR, dwell time, and bounce rate tells much about your user’s engagement with your site. For example, a top-ranked site can be considered irrelevant if its CTR is not high enough.
5. Backlinks Profile
Backlinks profile determines how many relevant sites and domains have links to your website. Domains with a low domain rating aren’t valuable here, so it’s necessary to gain authority among reputable websites that also follow some SEO strategy.
3 Pillar’s Parts that Make the SEO so Powerful
#1 The Base: Technical Optimization
Technical structure in SEO plays a crucial role because if a website is broken or down, it could negatively affect the content you add later. Technical areas are addressed to ensure that a website platform is stable enough to support an asset of quality content created by a business. You can perform technical optimization in various aspects, such as:
- 404 Error: To check how pages of a site maneuver and if any page is broken or has redirecting 404 issues.
- Load Time: Load time is a primary ranking factor and it must be a priority to optimize load time that allows users to navigate the site easily. Google PageSpeed Insights can help you analyze what exactly causes the load time error.
- Responsiveness: Ensure your website has relative HTML and CSS references to be displayed correctly on all user’s devices.
- Content Quality & Structure: Avoid adding duplicate and thin content and add proper indexes to content. Add a rel=canonical link tag in the head section for Google to relate variant versions of a page to its original one while ranking.
#2 The Shaft: Content Marketing
This content marketing is one of the vital SEO strategies that leaves a more significant impact because we focus on people-related elements. Optimized content acts as a gateway between users and SaaS solution providers. Content should be placed in a hierarchy that encourages user participation. Whether your content is direct, indirect, or sale-oriented, you must implement a framework of multiple steps to achieve effective results in this part of Seo:
- Content Organization based on Keywords: The first step is to use each category of keywords to map out the areas of the content located in the main menu of the website. Use some of the below-mentioned aspects in creating your content strategy for SaaS:
Attributes: Use target keywords to define what features your SaaS solution offers.
Use Cases: Mention typical instances of how customers can use your solution.
Target Industry: Include content on which sectors use your tools and solution and what benefits they get.
All these aspects can individually be used in drop-downs of your website on the main navigation page. It is essential to add a separate page for each keyword and group these related keywords under their parent section, as shown in the figure below.
Image Source: simpletiger.com
Keyword Research: researching keywords is crucial, and you must consider three things while doing this:
- Compile those keywords that are relevant to the SaaS company and the targeted audience
- Include the keywords that have sufficient search traffic
Keep the scope and size of the industry in mind while implementing these techniques.
- Producing Valuable Content: This entails producing material that tackles issues related to your product, responds to inquiries from your users, and informs them of the most crucial issues of the topic. Add links to blogs, webinars, and videos to make the content even more valuable. One of the primary ranking factors that Google considers is the regular publication of new content. New content should:
- Contain exciting details, including studies, photos, and videos. Make sure they are relevant to the topic.
- Provide answers to queries submitted by users.
- Be organized and well-structured.
The marketing department needs to understand their reader profile, reader’s intent, and what readers are looking for. Properly analyze current trends that people are searching for and then optimize your content to match those trends.
#3 The Capital: Link Building and Offsite Strategy
Link building is the process of acquiring links on other websites to raise the authority of your own. A solid and trustworthy backlink is to demonstrate your authorization to Google and website visitors. Backlinks are used by other websites to reference your content. A well-reputed company linking to your domain reference exhibits to Google that your website is trustworthy in the industry.
Offsite Strategy: Any linkbuildin activity occurring outside of your website is termed an offsite SEO strategy. This involves obtaining links from other websites, brand mentions, content sharing, and “votes of confidence” from other reputable websites.
White-hat Link Building
White-hat link building is the authentic way to earn backlinks. It can be achieved by focusing on a few things:
- Create Worthy Content: High-quality content attracts journalists, writers, bloggers, and academic and industry leaders to cite your content.
- Pitch Your Content: Use manual outreach to tell others in what way your content (articles, infographics, guides, posts) is useful and relevant to them.
- Locate well-performing Backlink Sources: Analyze top SERPs to identify sources from which your competitors generate backlinks and save those sources for your own use.
Black-hat Link Building
Using low-quality sources and websites to get backlinks comes under black-hat link building. This technique can get you penalized by Google, and your website will not be considered for ranking at all.
Consider these top strategies while creating backlinks.
- To create an optimal link that leverages the existing pages and also involves the creation of new pages.
- Use digital PR methods that promote links and get people to talk about your site.
- Obtain backlinks to your site through other websites by tactical link generation. To obtain a boost in local search results, get your website listed by small businesses
- Locate broken links on other websites and offer your content to fill space for those broken links. This will save other webmaster’s time to create new content thus getting you easy recognition.
Why Content Marketing for SaaS Companies Is Different
Because Software as service companies offer both SaaS solutions and services, SaaS consumers look for additional support that these companies must provide with the product. Therefore, SaaS companies are required to focus on marketing both good products and excellent customer support with it. That is an additional challenge in marketing for SaaS companies.
The key to a successful SaaS marketing plan is that it starts with in-depth market research to uncover the exact needs of the target customer and then write the content that meets these needs. Valuable SaaS content includes:
- Manual guides for products
- Beginner guide for establishing a SaaS solution
- Articles with rich content on how to do things
- Instructional videos
- Templates for CRM dashboard to be used by multiple departments
Such SaaS content results in constant traffic on a long-term basis. For example, a WordPress hosting provider platform named Kinsta managed to increase its website visitors by creating valuable content that educates visitors. Their organic views have reached 672,000 as of June 2022, all because of optimized content marketing.
SEO for SaaS Techniques to Use
This section highlights the essential techniques businesses can use to perform Seo. These techniques allow a SaaS business to get around competitors.
Hub & Spoke Strategy
In this strategy, the main topic on which we want to build a higher rank and better authority is known as “Hub”. Spokes point to all the supporting content that is connected to the core topic. The spokes also assist us in acquiring higher ranks by Google.
Talking in terms of keyword research , Hub & Spoke strategy can be further defined as:
Hub: The keywords which are researched in high volume and are transactional in nature come under the Hub category. For example, web development services or Seo services etc.
Spoke: The informational keywords that are normally long tail in nature and perceived as supporting keywords come under the spokes category. For example, all the content generated for explaining what Seo or web development services are.
Hub & spoke strategy is leveraged to increase ranking around main topics (Hub).
Voice Assistant-Friendly Content
The main purpose of this strategy is to create properly structured content that supports voice search. For better organization and indexation of content, you can use the Google structure data testing tool. Moreover, make sure that your content is voice-assistant friendly so the text may be transformed into audio for those users who prefer listen to rather than read.
Systematically Refresh Older Content
Frequently updating your old content is a good idea because Google favors it. Once in three months is an ideal time to make content updates but if you cannot update this frequently, then once every six months is also an alternative. Revising your keyword use in old posts is also a feasible option.
Digital PR to Earn Authority Backlinks
We have already discussed that link building is one of the primary pillars of SEO and high-quality content is a key to getting more authority in the eyes of Google. Digital PR is a fundamental technique to gain editorial backlinks from valuable content creation. Rich content containing research studies, tools, infographics, statistics, etc. attract agencies to share it.
Improve Your Organic CTR Using PPC Testing
Title tag and meta description affects the click-through rate (CTR) of a site. To determine what kind of title tag and descriptions provides the highest click-through rate, implement a PPC campaign to test these tags. To test what highly affects your CTR:
- Use three various hedallines with the same description to test against title tags and determine which one performs best.
- Test three varying descriptions against the same headline and tag. This will help you identify the best performing description.
The insights achieved through PPC testing help in improving CTR.
Steal Your Competitor’s Broken Backlinks
Locate all 404 pages on the websites of your competitors by using a backlink analytics tool. Once found, reach out to all referring domains that are using that specific broken link. Use this opportunity to offer your content that can fill up space for the broken ones. This will help the other webmaster to avoid a bad user experience that can occur when a user clicks a broken link while you get a free link from another website.
This one is an excellent SEO strategy that helps SaaS businesses to build high-quality content that results in high SERPs. This technique contains various steps:
- Examine the top ten Google SERP results for any given keyword.
- Analyze them to discover the strengths and weaknesses in each of these results.
- Create content that is ten times more comprehensive and in-depth than the top-ranking result on the SERPs.
- After you develop valuable content, reach out to other websites that reference the content from the top ten ranking of SERPs. Communicate with these websites to outline how your content is better and more valuable for them to target their audience.
Successful Content Types For SaaS
A large pool of marketers, up to 82% use rich content as a fundamental tool to execute all SEO tactics on their site. Some of the main assets that your SaaS business can leverage for content marketing are:
A clear and adequately linked website hierarchy can be built using cluster content. In cluster strategy, content is organized around the topics that are further to be included for ranking in SERPs. These few topics act as pillars, and their subtopics act as clusters. Links for clusters are backlinks with main posts (pillars) that ensure smooth site navigation for search engines.
Guides and “How-to” Articles
It is a best practice to collect “How-to” keywords used by people in your niche and information about commonly asked questions by your website visitors. These two pieces of data can be further combined to form a How-to post or articles educating your customers. These how-to articles/tutorials boost conversion rate and backlinks. While writing this type of content, focus on the advantages your SaaS solution provides and explain to users how they can use them.
Furthermore, detailed guides with 5 to 6k words of evergreen content can generate 77.2% of links.
Case Studies with Tips and Insights
Case studies with statistics and insights can help your customers to understand what value your product can add to their business. Moreover, case studies provide essential information for people to relate to your existing solutions. This technique boosts the reputation and value of your product and services.
Podcasts & Interviews & Webinars
Live and pre-recorded webinar sessions by SaaS companies can help to promote their brand and user engagement. Podcasts are also popular among 60% of listeners. Podcasts should focus on valuable information to the audience rather than just promoting the product.
Posts Containing Statistics
Posts with genuine statistics no older than three years are a great content strategy for SaaS businesses. SaaS is a popular topic with a broad scope and serves as a great piece of information to be used by people for citing in their own content or for brand building.
Measuring SEO Results For SaaS Companies
SEO results for SaaS is measured in three main metrics. Ranking, Traffic, and Conversions are three factors indicating how SEO tactics are performing. Ranking deals with identifying the place of visibility of a website on Google against specific keywords. Traffic analysis determines organic visits from other channels to your site and how these visits are converted. Monitoring of all these three metrics provides insights that facilitate further website optimization efforts.
Helpful Tools to Use
SEO can reach the next level by using some helpful SaaS tools that assist you in identifying weak areas and offering ways to optimize them.
We have listed the best ones in this section for your reference.
It is one of the most potent SEO tools with a dashboard to show reporting about a web domain. One can simply type a website URL to view its search volume and ranking of keywords.
It helps in determining targeted keywords that are also used by your competitors and that you can acquire to optimize your brand.
Main Idea: Research for competitive keywords and SEO analysis
It is a popular SEO tool with the power to provide analytics about backlinks, keywords, and about those backlinks which your competitor uses.
Main Idea: Ahrefs is a complete toolkit to assist businesses in monitoring various analytics about the quality of keywords and backlinks.
- Check My Links
This one is a great chrome extension to check for links that are broken and affect the user experience. Broken links result in affected dwell time, which is not a good sign for sites with many links.
Main Idea: A free tool to check for external and internal broken links
Link: Check My Links
- Website Grader by Hubspot
This one is an easy-to-use web application that generates detailed reports about the performance metrics of a site by just providing the URL and email. It offers analytical reports about SEO relevant factors such as loading speed, SEO metrics, responsiveness, visibility, easy navigation by search engines like Google, and traffic speed.
Main Idea: A great tool to analyze the performance of a website against various factors like a pro
Link: Website Grader by Hubspot
- Moz Pro
The Moz pro tools is a full-fledged suite of SEO to perform and control SEO tactics, for your SaaS business, with a single dashboard. It comes with high-end SERP features to analyze:
- Ranking of the competitors
- Visibility of site in search
- Analysis of keywords
Main Idea: A pro package to perform all-in-one SEO from basic local keyword search to a high-level site crawler of up to 3000 pages.
Link: Moz Pro
3 Real-Life Cases When We Helped Get More Traffic
Case 1: Increase Conversion Rate
Client: Low-code platform (SaaS)
Services Provided: Landing pages content optimization and altering UI/UX design, page speed optimization, UX review, Hub & Spoke Strategy implementation
What the SumatoSoft marketing team did to achieve impressive results:
We used the hub & spoke promotion strategy. It has proven itself on the positive side and has worked great for many of our clients. She also helped with this case. Working closely with our client’s marketing team, we identified six landing pages that became conversion drivers. Each of the six landings had keywords identified. For landings, keywords with high Keyword Difficulty were identified. Then we began to work on the content – write articles for each landing page. We got 12 articles per month (2 articles for each landing page). The result was not long in coming. After three months of work, we recorded stable traffic growth of 5% -15% per month. Next, we started working on turning site visitors into leads. To do this, we first added conversion keywords to the content, and for landings, we began to conduct A / B testing using Google Optimize, trying to find the most converting landing options. In the next three months of continuous operation, we increased the conversion rate from 0.1% to 1.2% on blog pages and from 0.4% to 1.6% on landing pages. The traffic has maintained its upward trend of 5%-15% per month. The cooperation with the client continues.
By implementing these strategies, we lift the conversion rate from 0.1% up to 1.6%, ensure traffic growth by 15% every month, and boost referral traffic by 340% in 6 months.
Case 2: Boost Referral Traffic
Client: eLearning Platform with ML (SaaS)
Services provided: Link building and content strategy development
What the SumatoSoft marketing team did to achieve impressive results:
To begin with, we compiled a content strategy for 12 months with the client. Here you need to understand that the eLearning topic is currently highly competitive. Next, we used Skyscraper Technique in content marketing. Using our content plan, we searched for competitors’ articles and tried to improve them many times over. Further, we, using the ahrefs.com service, looked for links that the competitor’s article received and wrote to the authors of these posts with a proposal to replace the link with our just-published article since it:
- Newer and has the latest topic data
- In it, the topic is disclosed more fully.
This strategy was not long in coming. In addition to organic traffic to quality articles, we received a lot of referral traffic. Based on the results of 6 months of work, Referral traffic increased by 340% from the initial one.
Case 3: Increase Organic Traffic
Client: PaaS-centric service
Services provided: Content strategy and writing services
What the SumatoSoft marketing team did to achieve impressive results:
The client’s task was to establish a trusting relationship with the client through content marketing. In order to achieve the goals, the Sumatosoft marketing team has established constant interaction with the sales and customer service departments. Thus, we constantly receive information about the “pains” of customers. Within one month, the most in-demand topics were determined, and we managed to draw up a content plan for six months. The content plan was constantly updated and improved throughout the entire period since we did not stop working with the service and sales departments for a minute. Developers have improved some aspects of the product thanks to this joint work. After 12 months of working together, we recorded an increase in organic traffic by 186% and an increase in the number of regular blog readers by two times.
Bonus From SumatoSoft: Your Project Could Become The Fourth Case
Our SEO success cases tell much more than other words we can use. However, there is something we can add. SumatoSoft offers all services necessary for successful SEO results:
- SEO consulting & strategy development
- Market research
- Keyword research
- On-page and off-page optimization
- Content strategy development
- Content writing services
- Link building services
- UX & engagement optimization
However, this is not all. SumatoSoft managed to become a reliable technological partner for more than 150 businesses for 10 years on the market. Thanks to our strong commitment to deadlines and their needs, our client’s satisfaction rate is 98%, and 70% of our clients come back to us with another project. Our expertise in SEO and marketing is enough to build custom advertising and marketing solutions.
Contact us! The SumatoSoft Team is ready to get you on the first page of Google!
A powerful and properly formulated SEO strategy is fuel to the vehicle of any SaaS business. If you put effort and investment into building a robust SEO strategy at the right time, you will be able to scale up your business sooner.