SaaS marketers know that the best way to grow these companies is to invest heavily in SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key driver behind maintaining organic traffic in the long term, but you have to develop the perfect strategy before you can attract your audience.
How to Add to Add a SaaS SEO Strategy to Your Business
SaaS companies receive the majority of their traffic through organic searches. To capitalize on this conversion gold mind, you need to add the following 9 strategies to your SaaS business.
1. Keyword Research at all Funnel Stages
Keyword research isn’t just an essential aspect of SaaS SEO; it’s the most important. Since SaaS companies have a multistep funnel, they have to research keywords for every stage:
- Top of the Funnel: At this step, your customers are searching for a product that solves their problem. Use short keywords to grab customer attention, clicks, and awareness.
- Middle of the Funnel: At this step, your customers know a solution exists for their problem. Customers will search for product names and software solutions.
- Bottom of the Funnel: At this step, your customers are about to make their decision. They’ll use comparison keywords (vs.) and look up reviews, features, and costs.
Finding the correct keywords requires a lot of research. You’ll need to understand your customer persona, analyze your competitor’s keywords, and develop a keyword comparison strategy (A/B) to keep attracting the right customers. Have a list of “go-to” keywords for your marketing.
Take your time here, as keywords affect your whole strategy. Without the correct keywords, your prospects won’t be able to find you, which is bad news for your reach potential and general ROI.
2. Make Good Content with the “EAT” Strategy
Link building for SaaS companies requires quality content. Backlinks, in general, are one of the strongest ranking factors for search engines. But, you’ll need to use “EAT” (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) to make content that can support your backlinks.
SaaS companies can prove their expertise by creating content that’s valuable to the user, not search engine robots. Stuffing your content with keywords will tank your search ranking.
While authority comes with time, you can start the process of gaining recognition in your space by knowing what you’re talking about. If you’re selling software that optimizes SEO for blog posts, you have to convey that you know what optimization tactics work for most blogs.
Finally, trustworthiness. Reviews and testimonials can prove you’re trustworthy on and off your content. However, trustworthiness also comes from backing up your facts. New customers will feel they’re in good hands when you add customer quotes and authority links to your content.
3. Take Advantage of Analytics and Data
SaaS is a business structure that exists almost entirely online, so data feedback can help you maximize your conversion rates. Most businesses use Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console because they offer in-platform reports that track the buyer’s journey through goals.
Plus, Google would know what metrics and KPIs work best on their search engine, like:
- Net Monthly Recurring Revenue
- Net Promoter Score
- Quick Ratio
- Customer Acquisition Cost
- Customer Lifetime Value
However, Google Analytics doesn’t just measure data; it also helps you incorporate better flow into your site through nav-bar designs and site hierarchy. Combined with Google’s Search Console, which tracks your site’s performance, both products will increase traffic to your site.
4. Optimize Metadata for Inbound Scaling
Search engines use meta page titles as ranking factors, and meta-descriptions can seriously boost click-based results. Researching what target keywords will attract customers at each funnel stage will increase your chance of appearing on the front page or as the top result.
The meta-description appears after the title of your blog post on search engines. They can give customers a sneak peek of your article, but it also helps you rank better if you use the right keywords. A meta-description that’s honest and accurate is also more likely to rank higher.
For the best results, write a meta-description between 140-160 words and keep your target customer in mind. Use natural language for your descriptions and emphasize your product.
5. Don’t Forget About Technical SEO
Most SEO strategies can be separated into two categories: content marketing and technical SEO. While content marketing involves optimizing your blog posts, technical SEO focuses on the site’s technical elements. However, technical SEO goes beyond user experience (UX).
There’s a lot to technical SEO, but most SaaS companies will perform an SEO audit on:
- Regularly check for broken links, missing pages, or server errors.
- Creating a mobile-friendly site that’s fast and easy to use.
- Crawlability tied to sitemaps, meta-robot commands, and URLs.
- HTTPS certificates for security purposes and Google rankings.
Whether you have 100 or 1 million visitors per month, a regular technical SEO audit can save your site from a manual action penalty. There are several technical and content-specific penalties Google could issue, but the majority of them involve faulty links and hidden media.
Remember that a manual action penalty won’t populate by accident, and Google won’t take ignorance as an excuse. Keep your technical SEO high-quality to stay search engine compliant.
6. Develop a Site Hierarchy Structure
To get your customers from the top of the funnel to the bottom, you need a site hierarchy. Your potential customers will likely find your site by searching top-funnel keywords, but since customers are unlikely to convert at this stage, you’ll need to show them more content.
Throughout your blog posts, you should place links to your other content, preferably to the next stage of the funnel. For example, your top funnel should connect to the middle funnel content.
The call-to-action at the end of your blog posts should contain information about their next steps, like an opt-in call, an email list, or a free product. It’s possible to include all funnels in one blog post, but it’s better to focus on one stage so your customers can learn more about you.
In the end, your content should include a pillar page with general information that links to other child pages or more focused pieces of content. This directs your customers to the final stage.
7. Backlinking for Inbound Marketing
Ranking algorithms heavily favor backlinks because it signals your authority. High domain rating (DR) backlinks are notoriously tricky to get, and there aren’t any artificial ways to boost them. As far as Google’s concerned, you need to have great content and SEO to get a good DR.
As mentioned, blogs are a great way to earn authority and improve inbound marketing. Inbound marketing specifically targets people who are already interested in your business niche.
Besides high-quality content, here are other ways to reliably build links:
- Use HARO to increase your reach on other platforms.
- Publish skyscraper content, which improves existing popular content.
- Use content formats that generate backlinks (like how-to or why posts).
- Reach out to content creators and ask if they can include your link.
- Guest post on other high-authority websites or social media pages.
Remember that link building takes a lot of time, so it’s crucial to build brand recognition first. Once you’re an authority in the community, more high-quality sites will link your content.
8. Understand and Use the Core Web Vitals
Google’s Core Web Vitals measures key metrics based on user experience. Since its implementation, more businesses are focusing on improving navigation on their websites.
However, many businesses don’t realize how much UX and SEO correlate, but they were heavily intertwined before the invention of Core Web Vitals. For example, technical SEO considers fast loading times necessary, whereas on-site SEO values click-through rates.
Core Web Vitals, trackable through Google Search Console, also tracks these user experience KPIs but takes it one step further by breaking the concept down into three key metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Tracks the time it takes for a page to render.
- First Input Delay (FID): Tracks the time between user input to browser response.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Tracks how much a layout shifts after a page loads.
9. Emphase User Sessions in The Back-End
Search engines can’t access content that isn’t available to customers. That means if a customer has to log in to see certain content or download said content, Google won’t be able to use it to rank you. With that in mind, make sure your strategy also includes the back-end of your website.
Some businesses will make the mistake of including user-session and session-based URLs in their Google Analytics data, which makes a campaign look more successful than it actually is.
Make sure you never include the following back-end metrics in your strategy:
- Session-ID based URLs that exist within the platform
- Subdirectories only accessible to account holders
- Site structure that relies on dynamically generated URLs
When tracking content like landing pages, always filter out what can’t be tracked. Keep in mind that back-end content should still be optimized for user experience, but you don’t have to spend your time marketing these pages. They should just be treated as a means to an end.