You Don’t Have To Be an Expert To Create a Perfect SaaS SEO Strategy

Creating an effective software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketing strategy is the best way to promote your SaaS website. By investing in processes such as technical search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and link building, you can boost your website’s relevance within Google and other search engines, without having the personal strategic expertise. This helps carve a niche for your up-and-coming software brand and, given the amount of money circulating within the industry, any marketing investment will likely be worthwhile. 

If you check the data, you’ll realize that the SaaS business has grown from a “measly” 5.56 billion worth (2008) to a whopping 157 billion (2020). Only a handful of industries can boast such incredible growth during the same period, making Software-as-a-Service one of the more enticing industries. 

Unfortunately, boosting website traffic is easier said than done. Other software companies understand the importance of SEO and good search result placement, which is why every niche is littered with powerful brands. However, with the right search engine optimization process, you can overcome inherent obstacles and position yourself as one of the market leaders. 

This article will demonstrate how to create a successful SaaS SEO strategy and why website optimization trumps all other marketing tactics.

Why Use SaaS SEO? 

The SaaS industry is much more focused on business-to-business (B2B) buyers than business-to-client (B2C) clientele. Most of these tools are geared toward other businesses, providing marketing, logistics, sales and accounting support. 

So, when a potential customer is looking for a new SaaS product, they will start with a Google search. Unlike other products, such as apparel or gadgets, clients will purposefully analyze the market, seeking the best software solution for their business. 

In other words, SaaS purchases are rarely a result of impulsive behavior, which is why it’s much better to prioritize inbound marketing than some outbound SEO tactic. 

In fact, if you take a look at this short case study, you’ll realize that 68% of web experience starts with search engine ranking pages. In the case of SaaS, these figures are probably higher due to previously mentioned reasons. So, by creating an effective SaaS SEO strategy, you can draw in all these users interested in digital tools for their companies.

Should I Use Paid Ads Instead?

Given that almost every buyer journey in the SaaS industry starts with search engine results, you might think a Google Ad approach would be more suitable for your software brand. While this way of thinking has its merits, there are reasons why many people still opt for an SEO campaign:

  • Even if you decide to invest in paid ads, you still need quality SaaS content on your site to convert the incoming traffic. So you’ll still need to pay for related services. Furthermore, you’ll also need to invest in traditional SEO services like keyword research and SEO audit to maximize user experience.
  • While PPC campaigns allow you to rank at the top of Google for a lucrative, relevant keyword, they don’t provide long-term brand exposure. The benefits last as long as you pay money and end instantly after you stop paying. 
  • During optimization, a SaaS company can achieve real-world exposure, connect with influencers and other brands and open up other partnership opportunities. PPC campaigns don’t provide the same benefits as they focus on a small number of keywords without interacting with any market participants.
  • Limited data shows that SEO has 14.6% conversion rates compared to PPCs 10%. 

While achieving SaaS SEO success takes significantly more time, it also sets the table for a healthy software brand. Whatever the case, you should always prioritize optimization, although you might consider combining SEO and PPC for an even bigger search engine impact.

5 Steps to a Perfect SEO Strategy

Your SEO effort is only meaningful if you have a viable plan. Search engine optimization is an extremely meticulous process where each process serves a particular purpose. Here’s everything you need to do to achieve good results with your campaign:

  1. Analyze the Market 

It isn’t unheard of for companies to change their software features to penetrate a specific market more easily. This is also something that happens with the SaaS model and SEO.

Before you roll out a full-scale campaign, it would be wise to learn more about the market competitiveness and the potential challenges you might encounter along the way. For the most part, the SaaS industry is already very saturated, and there’s a good tool for just about any process. So, even if you have a great marketing team, you’ll still need to find market gaps and provide a unique solution.

Here are a few things you should do before launching an SEO campaign:

  • Check the most important players in the industry. See what kind of content strategy they’re using and how many posts they have and assess their websites’ functionality.
  • Put particular emphasis on links. Check Domain Authority (DA) for some of the most prominent websites and metrics like Trust Flow and Domain Rating. 
  • Check cost-per-click (CPC) in Google Ads for every popular target keyword. This will show you how much brands fight to position their SEO content at the top of Google and how much money they can generate from subsequent leads.
  • Take a look at the competition for the most popular keywords. Specifically, assess the number of indexed pages on Google. 
  • Check competitors’ social media followership and what kind of public image they portray.

Although you might get discouraged, especially when you realize how far your competitors are ahead of you, doing analysis is vital for setting realistic campaign expectations.

2. Conduct SEO Audit

The audit is an extremely complex process during which an SEO expert improves website performance. As Google always gives an advantage to optimized sites, this process will set the basis for all other content and link procedures.

These are a few things that need to be addressed during an audit:

  • Site speed
  • Mobile optimization
  • Sitemaps and architecture
  • Link errors and other issues
  • Duplicate content
  • Indexability
  • Image, video and visual optimization
  • Schema Markup, etc. 

Having an optimized site doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on your rankings. Instead, Google is much more interested in visitors’ interactions, like time spent on the site, bounce rate and click-through rate. A lousy performance might indicate that there’s something terribly wrong with the platform and that users couldn’t get the total value from your pages. 

Besides checking different performance metrics, the optimization expert also has to use Google Search Console to see if the website has suffered any penalties. There’s a chance the company’s pages aren’t even showing, making your entire effort meaningless. Similarly, Google Analytics can also provide valuable insights into how users interact with your pages.

3. Perform Keyword Research 

During keyword research, a software company is trying to learn more about the target audience and what kind of queries they browse for. During this process, you can learn a lot about the search intent, which will be invaluable during content creation.

First off, you’ll need a good SEO tool such as Ahrefs or SEMRush. Start by typing in your seed keyword (i.e., the type of software you’re selling) and start browsing related queries. During keyword analysis, you’ll have to pay attention to three things:

  • Search volume
  • Difficulty
  • Relevancy

Basically, you’re trying to find phrases that are easy to optimize for (low competition) while providing high traffic (high search volume). They also need to be relevant to your brand and to “lure” the right profile of users. By prioritizing certain queries, you can get easy wins early on and drive first visitors rather quickly. 

Besides difficulty and traffic, you’ll also need to consider the search intent:

  • Informational (users want to learn more about software or a related concept) 
  • Navigational (users are looking for a software or a brand)
  • Commercial (users are learning about different software)
  • Transactional (users are ready to make a purchase) 

Most keywords that are easy to optimize belong to the Informational category. They can attract users who want to learn more about software-related topics, but unfortunately, they rarely lead to sales. So, during keyword research, you also need to decide whether to pursue complex, profitable phrases or maximize the number of users who aren’t necessarily interested in purchasing.

4. Create Powerful Content 

High-quality content is always the focal point of SEO, as well as other marketing processes. If people aren’t interested in hearing what you have to say, you’ll never attract them to your social profile or website. 

Here are a few tricks to create converting pieces:

  • A good strategy is to analyze the best-performing pages in Google. Given that the search engine has already placed these articles on the top, you can achieve the same results with a similar but better post.
  • Consider search intent from the get-go. Provide users with the information they’re looking for, as this will make them stick around a bit longer, thus sending a strong, positive signal to Google.
  • Ensure all your posts are easy to read, relevant and well-structured. Pay attention to grammar and text uniqueness. 
  • Invest some money in content tools like Frase and MarketMuse. These programs will show you what the perfect article should look like and which keywords to add.
  • Add metadata as well as internal and external links. Stimulate users to browse the website, thus sending a strong quality signal to the Google search engine.

With these simple tricks, you can squeeze maximum value from each piece.

5. Perform Outreach

Having great content isn’t enough, as Google can’t determine whether these articles are relevant enough for users. You need to accrue as many links, shares and mentions from external platforms.

External links are vital for any successful SEO strategy. They are de-facto “votes of confidence,” showing search engines that others have gained value from your articles. Ideally, you should get as many hyperlinks from reputable sources in the same software industry.

While link-building is the most challenging SEO process, it’s probably the most important one, quickly moving the needle for your SaaS business.

Conclusion 

Following these tips can create a perfect optimization strategy for your SaaS company. Take your time researching the market and setting yourself up for success. And if you ever have trouble with some of these tasks, you can always hire a reputable SEO provider to help you out!

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