What is the secret of the most successful SaaS companies? How do they attract a wide audience? The truth is that a key factor in their growth is how they optimize their online assets for success. If you’re looking for a way to boost growth in your SaaS business, here are some SaaS SEO tips to get you started.
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What is SaaS SEO?
Software as a service (SaaS) search engine optimization (SEO) is the strategy of increasing organic search engine traffic for an SaaS company’s website by using SEO techniques to improve search engine results page (SERP) rankings of the site’s pages for relevant keywords.
Like most businesses with online channels, SaaS companies use paid advertising, like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and local ads, online and offline. And paid ads are great sources of qualified traffic for your marketing funnel.
But every company has a marketing and advertising budget, and in order to get the most leverage, SaaS companies turn to creating an SaaS SEO strategy.
Because getting organic search engine traffic complements paid ads, and helps you grow your audience exponentially. Diversifying your traffic sources will drive new leads, new prospects, and existing clients to your website that you might not attract any other way.
An SaaS SEO strategy can drive traffic consistently even when your budget runs out for paid ads. You can stretch your budget out to find the most strategic use of your PPC ads, by filling it in with technical SEO.
Who can you attract with your SEO strategy?
SEO techniques with target keywords send search traffic, people who are already searching for services you provide, to your SaaS website. You can harness the incredible reach of search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and let them do the heavy lifting. You can make your site more visible when people search.
Typical searchers are:
- Familiar with your brand and looking for details
- Looking for software in your industry
- Ready to buy software in your category
- Want to learn more about what your software does
Your SaaS SEO strategies need to focus on what cues to send search engines to achieve the search engine rankings you’re looking for.
In Google’s case, the search engine uses specific factors, RankBrain, content, and backlinks to rank all business listings. What’s unique about SaaS SEO is that it focuses on content creation to drive organic traffic.
Progressive Web Applications (PWA)
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are a particular type of web application that is somewhat similar to a mobile app. These PWAs work when you download them to your device (similar to smartphone apps), store them on your device’s home screen and access them.
Progressive web apps often use technologies to send you push notifications, manifests, or service workers. Because you download and store them on your device, PWAs can be used when you’re offline.
Why You Need to Invest in a Solid SaaS SEO Strategy
With SEO for SaaS, your organic traffic will grow exponentially. That’s because you’ll continue to get SaaS business from search engine traffic, and you will start getting traffic from other sources, like social media shares, backlinks from other relevant content, and internal links. As your traffic grows so does your search volume which in turn moves your page higher in SERPs.
This strategy is easy to scale and repeat with other targeted keywords.
Reduce Your Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
Since you don’t have to pay for organic listings like paid ads, the organic search traffic costs less. That makes the total CPA go down. With PPC, you pay for every click no matter how qualified the person clicking is. You might see your rates go up as you exhaust the list of people on a channel who are interested in your service.
With SEO, you have an initial higher cost, but your costs aren’t based on how many people click your links. As your search traffic grows, your CPA goes down.
To build this traffic, you will have to invest upfront in a content strategy.
You will initially create content for your website pages to establish your business on the internet using on-page SEO tactics. Then you will begin creating blog content which will start to build your mailing list.
You can also create a content marketing strategy that includes several ways to reuse the content you already have to convert customers. Some methods of reusing content include:
- Posting on social media with links to your existing content. This can be an image, video, or text link depending on the site and your audience.
- Creating an email newsletter to link to and promote your content.
- Adding internal links to tie content together in relevant groups.
SaaS SEO: Personas and Problems
Targeting the Right Buyer Persona
The entire keyword research process is worthless unless you know exactly who you’re marketing to. Therefore, there’s no content marketing for any of your marketing channels before defining your buyer persona(s).
The goal of building and getting to know your buyer persona is so you can understand them well enough to know how they’d respond to your content, and where they are in your sales funnel.
Understanding the Buyer's Journey
Once you’re totally familiar with your buyer persona, you can understand their journey from the top of your funnel to the point they’re ready to buy.
If you don’t know your buyer persona well, you may be using the wrong keywords to target them. Know their pain points and what is a priority for them.
Search Intent: Types of Google Searches
There are a few different reasons why people run a Google search. The types of search intent are:
- Informational – Looking for information about SaaS services
- Navigational – A search for a particular website for an SaaS company
- Transactional – A search for something to buy from an SaaS business
- Investigational – A commercial search with an intent to research something for your own business, like whether an SaaS business will be a good supplier or partner
The search intent makes a big difference when selecting keywords to target with your content marketing.
SaaS Keyword Strategy: Optimizing Across the Sales Funnel
Before you begin, you need to determine which keywords people use on search engines when they want to learn more about and buy software just like yours. Once you have a keyword strategy in place, you are ready to create content.
Top of the Funnel SEO
What are the keywords people use when they’re at the top of the funnel? They use problem-related words. They have a problem they’re trying to solve and are trying to figure out what solutions are available. They might not know your company or software exists.
Goals: Help searchers find your software to solve their problems. Your keyword research should focus on problem-solving keywords. Use keywords that alerts them that a solution is available.
Middle of the Funnel SEO
At this point, your middle-of-the-funnel searcher is looking for more details about your software and how it can solve their problem. They are looking for features, benefits, and drawbacks to help them decide on a purchase at a later date.
Goals: Help searchers learn more about your service or your product. Focus your keyword research on product-related words. Direct them to the in-depth details they need.
Bottom of the Funnel SEO
Once a searcher is at the bottom of the funnel, they are ready to buy. It’s just a matter of deciding which service is the best fit for their needs.
Goals: Give these searchers the information they’re looking for. Your keyword research should focus on comparison and purchase keywords. Your content that supplies these answers will trigger them to buy your software as long as you have the best choice for them.
SaaS SEO: A 9-Step Strategy
1. Know Your Goals
Start by setting your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Your goals need to be specific or else you won’t know if you’ve reached them or not. Setting goals gives your team something to strive for.
2. Define Your Customer
We’ve discussed this a bit already, but narrow down your customer persona so that you can successfully research your keywords. This persona may be a segment of your total list of buyer personas for your products. Maybe this software package is used by a specific industry. If so, only potential clients in that industry will be interested.
3. Analyze Your Direct Competitors and Sector
Take some time to see what your competitors are doing with keywords and content. You’re bound to overlap somewhat, and you have to decide whether you can compete effectively with the same keywords or if you need to use different keywords.
Every company has a specialty that they’re good at. What is yours?
4. Build a Keyword Strategy: Identify Your Customers' Problems or Challenges
Using your customers’ typical problems or challenges that your software can overcome, build a keyword strategy for the entire length of the funnel.
Start by writing down a list of all the problems that customers hope you can solve. Then work up a keyword strategy based on their point of view.
5. Define Keywords to Optimize Your Platform's Landing Pages
Choose keywords that resonate with customers where they are in the sales funnel. Try combining them with the word “software” to specifically define your software solutions.
6. Build Out a Comparison Keyword Strategy
A comparison keyword strategy sounds difficult but it’s not. Basically, you need content that compares your software with a competitor’s. Describe what is different and which one is better.
Literally use the phrase “[your company] vs. [their company]” and go point by point through your comparison.
7. Create Better Content Than Your Competitors
Your product is the best, and your content should be too. Make sure you’ve explained everything so that a total novice can understand. Provide better reference links, images, and answers for all of those FAQs you get asked regularly.
Make sure your written content is in-depth and formatted properly, and provide interactive content to make it more engaging.
8. Don't Forget Technical and On-Page SEO
Although content marketing is the biggest percentage of your SaaS SEO doesn’t mean that you should skip over technical and on-page SEO on your website, landing pages, or blog. Each investment you make in refining your SEO will pay off with search volume. Make sure every page has the right markup, keywords, and headers to clue in search engine bots.
9. Promote Your Content to Earn Backlinks
It’s not good enough to just create content and let it sit. Even the largest, most popular companies need to promote their new content.
There are several ways to promote new content. The best is to find out which social media and industry forums your customers hang out on, then create posts to add there with links to your new content.
Once you establish an email list, you can add email marketing to the ways you promote your content. Other potential marketing channels include PPC ads, videos on video channels, and radio and TV commercials.
How Do I Do SEO for Saas?
Here’s a quick breakdown of how you do SEO for Saas.
- Find keywords to target at each stage of the funnel – beginning, middle, and end.
- What are SEO keywords? – Words or phrases that are used to find products like yours.
- Study general topics and subjects of interest to prospects at each stage of the funnel.
- Determine the types of content you need to produce for every area.
- Decide which parts of your funnel on which you should place more emphasis.
- Research existing content that can get repurposed or optimized to fit your plan.
SaaS SEO: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is SaaS SEO?
SaaS SEO is the strategy of increasing organic search engine traffic for an SaaS company’s website by using SEO techniques to improve SERP rankings of the site’s pages for relevant keywords.
What is B2B SaaS Content?
Business-to-business (B2B) SaaS content is content created to market and sell SaaS products and services to other businesses, organizations, and governments. This content can be any medium including text written content, images, videos, infographics, online guides, interactive content, etc.
What is SaaS Copywriting?
SaaS copywriting is marketing or sales copy written specifically to market and sell SaaS products and services.
How Do You Write SaaS Content?
SaaS content is written by researching the ins and outs of the SaaS products being marketed and then creating SaaS SEO content by compiling all of the information and optimizing it for SERPs.
What are the Top Three SEO Strategies?
The top three SEO strategies are:
- Website optimization
- Regular content posting
- Link building
What is Link Building for SaaS SEO?
When building links for SaaS SEO, you need to create content according to your content marketing strategy. Then, promote the content using email marketing, social media marketing, etc.
Is SEO a Waste of Money?
SEO has been shown to increase traffic from search engines exponentially and drive conversions and sales.
How Can I Learn SEO?
You can start by reading content online as long as it’s from reputable resources. Then to learn more, you can take classes in person or virtually. To start out, take a look at our blog.
Ready to Learn More?
To learn more about SaaS SEO, contact us.