Search engine optimization is one of the most effective marketing strategies available to SaaS companies today. It allows your software company to maximize online visibility by optimizing websites for search engines. This means qualified website traffic, leading to higher conversions and cost savings over time.
But getting started with SEO isn’t always an easy task. That’s why it’s important to have a comprehensive SaaS SEO strategy in place if you want to grow your business in 2023 and beyond.
In this article, we’ll cover the essentials of such a plan, including keyword research, content optimization, link building, content promotion, SaaS landing page optimization, and more. So let’s get started!
SEO for software companies is different than traditional SEO. We categorize it as Product-Led SEO which is a strategy designed to increase product discoverability and visibility in search engine results. It is a way to ensure that users can find the right information about a product or service through their search. To do this, SaaS companies should focus their efforts on optimizing content related to their products, such as product descriptions, tutorials, case studies, guides, and more.
In addition, product-led SEO can help SaaS companies target long-tail keywords related to specific product features. This type of optimization helps draw the attention of potential buyers who may be searching for more specific solutions than what traditional SEO can provide.
Product-led SEO also enables SaaS companies to create content that is specifically designed for their target audiences, such as videos or articles. This content can help potential customers learn more about a product before committing to a purchase, leading to higher conversions and increased customer loyalty over time.
Understanding the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel is essential regarding SaaS marketing. By focusing on each stage of the funnel, you can better target potential customers and convert them into paying customers.
You must ensure you provide the right content for each stage of the funnel because a user at the top of the funnel will not be interested in your testimonials but in blog posts or videos around your product’s use case. Hence, creating a content-driven marketing strategy backed by data can help maximize revenue.
Conducting in-depth keyword research is essential for any successful SaaS SEO strategy. By conducting thorough research into relevant keywords, you can identify the search terms your target audience uses to search for solutions related to your product or service. This will allow you to tailor your content and website structure towards these keywords, improving your visibility in organic search engine results.
Content marketing is an important part of any successful SaaS SEO strategy. Creating thoughtful, engaging content centered around industry topics can attract potential customers to your website or product. Additionally, this type of content can be used to educate users on the features and benefits of your product to encourage them to take action and make a purchase.
Creating a comprehensive long-term content marketing strategy also helps to ensure that you are consistently delivering quality content that resonates with readers and keeps them coming back for more. This can include writing blog posts and creating videos, podcasts, and webinars.
When it comes to SaaS SEO strategies, UX is key. If a potential customer lands on your website and does not find friendly navigation or layout, they may leave without taking any action. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure that your website design and navigation are optimized for maximum usability and lesser friction.
Once you have ensured that the navigational elements of your website are optimized for ease of use, you can move on to optimizing other elements through On-Page SEO. This includes optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, headings, images, and other content on your website. This will help search engines better understand what content is on each page and ensure that users have a positive experience when they land on your website.
Technical elements such as page speed, redirects, broken links, crawlability, and indexation are essential for any successful SaaS SEO strategy. By ensuring these technical aspects of your website are optimized, you can ensure that your website runs smoothly and visitors have a positive user experience when visiting it.
Off-Page SEO strategies involve activities performed away from your websites, such as link building, influencer marketing, or social media campaigns. These strategies can help increase visibility, build trust and authority as well as drive traffic from other websites.
Implementing all of the above factors into your overall SaaS marketing plan can help you achieve better visibility and increased conversions from organic search results. With the right approach and implementation, you can start to see actual business results.
Following this proven SaaS SEO process, you can create an effective SEO strategy tailored to your specific needs and objectives. A successful SaaS SEO strategy will help position your software as an industry leader, drive more organic search traffic, generate qualified leads for your sales team, and increase conversions from visitors who are ready to purchase.
Researching the niche you are operating in is a key step in developing an effective SaaS SEO strategy. This will help you devise an SEO strategy that will determine what types of content (blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.), link-building, and other strategies would be most effective at reaching your target audience and driving more organic search traffic to your website.
To understand the market, start your research in marketplaces like Capterra and Serchen or review websites such as G2 or Software advice.
To walk you through an example, I am researching the project management niche at Capterra.
Head over to their website, open up the software categories, and select project management from the navigation. You can choose to browse all categories if your product category is not listed in the menu.
Once you have a list of products, you will have filters such as pricing options, features, users, and more to pave the way through in-depth research. Ideally, you should check how many products there are, the features they offer, the countries available, and a manual analysis of their website to understand the core offering, their content marketing strategy, and the overall SEO strategy for their software.
Once you have identified some of the competitors in the last step, it’s time to list and analyze your competitors in detail. Look at what your competitors are doing to improve their search presence.
Explore their content, track their rankings on various search engines and make notes of any tactics they are using that might help inform your own SEO strategy for SaaS.
One way to get a quick overview of the overall SEO plan your SaaS competitor is to follow is to conduct a site audit. A site audit will provide an overview of their SEO plan and can give you insight into how to make your SaaS SEO strategy more effective.
By utilizing a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush, you can uncover the keywords that drive the most traffic, their backlink strategy, internal linking strategy, content that is driving traction, and much more.
This can give you an idea of the kind of SEO strategies that can work best for your SaaS company and what to avoid when building your own SaaS SEO strategy.
When it comes to SaaS SEO, setting goals and KPIs is essential for measuring the success of your campaigns. After all, you won’t be able to make improvements unless you track the performance metrics that matter. To get the most out of your SaaS SEO efforts, here are some important Goals and associated KPIs you may want to consider:
By tracking the above metrics regularly, you can measure the performance of your SaaS SEO campaigns in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversions. This will help you create and improve your overall SEO strategy. Tracking these KPIs over time will give you a deeper insight into what works best for your software SEO and what needs improvement.
Creating a list of use cases or problems your software can solve is one of the best ways to create an effective SEO strategy. By creating a comprehensive list of all the potential use cases and problems your software could address, you can help ensure that your product appears in relevant search results.
Through keyword research, you can find out which terms are being used more often by customers looking for solutions. This can be achieved by simply starting your search with the top reason your product exists.
To continue with the example of project management software, ClickUp, its primary use case is project management. You can drop the “project management” keyword in a tool such as Ahrefs and see what terms people use to find a solution, like work management or project management.
The best part about Ahrefs is that it allows using many filters such as search volume, terms or phrase match, and word count, all of which can boost your keyword research process.
By doing this with other features your product offers, you can find hundreds of search terms to target for your software.
Conducting in-depth keyword research can help you identify the search terms your target audience uses to find a solution like yours. The more specific your keyword research is, the better you can tailor your SaaS SEO strategy to reach potential customers.
Detailed keyword research can define the success or failure of your SaaS SEO strategy. By understanding the intents and motivations behind a keyword’s search, you can create content that is tailored to your target audience. This will help increase organic visibility and drive more traffic to your website.
When researching keywords for your business, consider the following:
A lot of tools can help you conduct this research, but SEMrush makes it easier with its “Analyze Search Intent” feature to make it a quick process for your marketing team. With the right intent, you can create the type of content that should be focused on a keyword to satisfy the search intent.
Mapping keywords alongside the sales funnel will help you create a successful SEO strategy.
Building a well-structured website will help your SaaS search engine optimization efforts and prepare it for future growth.
Good SaaS SEO starts with a strong architecture outlining the website’s navigation and structure. This means that each page is properly linked, making it easier for users and search engines to access them. Well-laid-out websites can maximize visibility in organic searches as crawlers can crawl through the entire site easily without getting stuck or missing any pages.
Building website architecture requires brainstorming and a focus on grouping relevant content together. We highly recommend planning this as a comprehensive SEO strategy for your software website.
The previous section discusses website hierarchy, which is an important part of the technical SEO checklist. But the step itself is very comprehensive; therefore, it is ideal to focus even before creating your SaaS website.
Technical SEO problems can hinder a website’s ability to achieve its highest SEO potential. We recommend auditing and improving the following technical SEO checks:
Research has shown that 75% of users judge the credibility of a company based on its website design, so having a well-planned on-page strategy is key for many SaaS websites.
In addition, research from Google shows that 53% of mobile website visitors leave pages if they take longer than 3 seconds to load. This goes to show how important it is to optimize your site for fast loading speeds as well as a great user experience.
The on-page SEO strategy starts even before your website is built. SaaS product websites need to be designed with user experience in mind. According to a survey from WordStream, 64% of marketers believe that website design is the most important factor in SEO success. This means that SaaS companies should not overlook the importance of on-page SEO when devising their SaaS SEO strategy.
A few things to take note of include the quality of content, page URLs, mobile responsiveness, internal linking, site speed, and metadata.
When creating SaaS SEO content, it’s essential to consider what type of information would be valuable to the customer or user. Writing blog posts, case studies, and white papers are great ways to provide helpful information that incentivizes readers to stay longer on your site.
Some of the quickest ways to find relevant topics are to use Ahref’s Site Explorer feature to see which topics drive the most traffic for your competitors.
Once you have these keywords planned out, create content better than your competitors using the Skyscraper technique or covering the topic from an angle your competitor has ignored – the goal is to make it meaningful and useful for the readers.
Another low-hanging fruit you can use as a hack to quickly grow your SaaS website traffic is by using filters in the same report and getting a list of easy-to-rank and high-search volume keywords.
The idea is to write better content, quickly rank these search terms, and generate relevant traffic to your SaaS website.
A well-crafted landing page can be an effective way to increase SEO rankings and conversions. Utilize high-quality content and visuals to capture users’ attention and compel them to take action.
Gone are the days when a hero section with a call to action could suffice a landing page. Now, you need to think bigger. SaaS landing pages should contain valuable content that specifically speaks to the pain points of your target customer, detailing how your SaaS offering provides them with a solution.
Remember to keep the user experience in mind and create an easy-to-navigate page with clear buttons or links for users to take action.
Asana has done tremendously in creating a compelling landing page. Their landing page starts with a compelling headline and an eye-catching video that pops up as soon as you enter the page. This combination surely captures visitors’ attention, giving them a strong understanding of Asana’s offering and how it can help them solve their pain points.
Further down, the page includes animated GIFs, features, and benefits to engage users further, as well as a clear call to action.
Landing pages should be part of your SaaS SEO strategy because, at the end of the day, these pages will be the driving force for your software sales.
Are you among those who think producing high-quality content will generate traction itself?
Well, to some extent, high-quality content can generate attention but not what it deserves. You will have to make sure to promote your content and generate high-quality backlinks to improve your rankings.
Promote content across multiple channels like email newsletters, social media, and other sites where SaaS customers can be found. You should reach out to influencers and publishers in your industry to generate backlinks for your content or try some link-building strategy that can help promote your content and boost your website’s authority.
Also, make sure you share your content on any SaaS-related forums or discussion groups that are out there. This is a great way to get more eyes on your SaaS product and an opportunity to build valuable relationships with SaaS customers.
The last and most crucial step is to measure your performance so that you can track progress over time. You should track important metrics such as page views, bounce rates, organic search visits, etc. Once you have a good understanding of your current performance, you can start implementing improvements. This makes it the first step towards optimizing your SEO strategy based on performance.
This could include updating title tags and meta descriptions on your pages, optimizing images with proper ALT text, revamping or updating content, etc. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process so once you’ve implemented changes or improvements, be sure to monitor the results and continue to make adjustments as needed. Some of the widely used tools for measuring SaaS performance include:
With consistent effort and monitoring, you’ll be able to maximize the effectiveness of your SaaS SEO strategy.
Absolutely! SaaS companies can benefit immensely from a successful SEO strategy. Software as a Service (SaaS) business has unique needs, and optimization for SaaS requires specialized knowledge and experience to ensure success. If you’re looking to grow your SaaS product without relying solely on paid marketing, SEO is the best marketing strategy that can replace paid marketing over time.
Understanding the intent behind each keyword is essential for SaaS SEO. It helps to create content that covers the full range of keywords related to SaaS software and provides an answer to user queries, which will lead them down your sales funnel.
Before developing an SEO strategy for SaaS, it is critical to understand the sales funnel of your software. Knowing the journey that a user takes from initial discovery to purchase completion allows you to create and optimize content for each stage in the process. For example, if your SaaS product has a free trial period, organic search engine optimization can help draw potential customers in during the early stages by targeting keywords related to your product features and/or benefits.
If you want to ensure your SaaS business is successful in 2023, you need to start following an SEO framework now. The 12-step SaaS SEO strategy we’ve outlined above is a great place to start.
By implementing even just a few of these steps, you’ll be ahead of the competition and well on your way to achieving exponential growth. Of course, SEO is always changing, and it can be tough to keep up with all the new trends and best practices.
If you need help growing your SaaS business, book a strategy call with us today. One of our SaaS SEO experts will work with you to create a customized plan that will help you achieve your desired results.
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