Developing an effective SEO strategy for your SaaS (Software as a Service) business is crucial. Your SaaS SEO should be exhaustive and cover all necessary bases.
Search engine optimisation aims to increase your search engine ranking, which drives people to your SaaS website. Using SEO successfully can bring consistent traffic to your website, allowing exponential organic growth.
Most successful SaaS companies will have developed a solid SEO and content strategy to help them rank highly on Google searches. Now we're going to teach you how to do the same. We've developed a thorough SaaS SEO guide to help you build your own SaaS strategy.
Principles of a SaaS SEO strategy
You want your SaaS SEO strategy to increase organic traffic to your company's website. This will allow you to have a wider audience reach, get higher customer conversions, and generate more revenue.
It all sounds great! But where do you start? First, let's talk about the principles of an effective SEO strategy for SaaS businesses.
The fundamental principles of SEO for SaaS businesses are:
- Understanding your audience
- Developing clear business goals based on customer needs and value proposition
- Considering opportunity and gap analysis
- Reviewing current website performance (if available), and prioritise SEO in all aspects of the website
- Conducting competitive research, examining top competitors in the market
- Looking at website architecture and ensure it satisfies audience requirements
- Developing a content marketing strategy
This seven-chapter series takes you through the entire process of developing a SaaS SEO strategy document. It's the exact step-by-step guide we use when working on an SEO document with clients, and we'll supply you with all the techniques you need to create your own.
So sit down, open up Excel or Google Sheets, and get started!
Chapter one: set out your goals
Applying SaaS SEO is a challenging process. It can be tricky to get right if you don't know what you're doing. It's more than using a meta description, sprinkling some keywords into your content, adding backlinks, and hoping for the best. So that's where we come in. We're here to help you along the entire process, to ensure you can use SEO for SaaS successfully.
The importance of understanding your audience & goals
The first thing you should do is define your target audience and identify how your software caters to them. Your audience will have a set of requirements and needs, and you're going to satisfy those needs with your software.
Consider it a streamlined process. Your business goals will satisfy your customer needs, defining your value in the market. This is illustrated in the three blocks below:
For this article, we'll use an 'example' client: A B2B (business-to-business) SaaS company offering communications software for messaging, video calls, and video meetings. People can subscribe monthly or pay a higher fee and purchase a licence for the software similar to Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Step one: Break down your primary & secondary business goals
Your first step to developing an effective SaaS SEO strategy is defining your business goals. What software service are you providing for your customers? How do they align with customer needs? You should always consider your business goals when developing SaaS SEO strategies.
Correct SaaS SEO drives search traffic to your website to meet your business goals. If you're not doing it properly, you won't convert customers. It's crucial to define your business goals and ensure you understand them. Consider:
- What are the primary or secondary goals of the SaaS website?
- Are these currently reported or tracked in analytics?
We have some helpful tables to support you in developing your business goals and monitoring how you track them. Let's look at our example. Their primary business goals will be related to purchases and sales. Secondary goals are about growing their audience, driving more search traffic, and leading to more sales.
Primary Business Goals
Goal/Metric/Currently Set Up in Reporting:
- Prospective business downloads paid version of software | Arrives on website, and purchases/install the software | Tracked through CRM weekly
- Prospective business downloads trial version of software | Clicks on the ‘free one month trial’ part of the website and downloads | Tracked through CRM weekly
- Prospective person purchases paid/trial software | Clicks on the ‘software for a single use licence’ part of the page and downloads | Tracked through CRM weekly
Secondary Business Goals
Goal/Metric/Currently Set Up in Reporting:
- Grow audience on Facebook | People arrive on FB page and follow | # of FB followers recorded via FB analytics weekly
- Get more followers on Twitter | People click Twitter icon and follow | # of Twitter followers recorded weekly via Twitter analytics
- Interact with online blog | People leave comments, like the post, share the blog | Not currently tracked
Following the example above, fill in some tables on your own with your primary SaaS business goals.
Step two: Consider your value proposition & differentiator
Another vital step is looking at your own company's value and identifying what sets you apart from your competitors. Every business has competitors. There's a slim chance you are coming to the market with unique software. So it would be best if you asked yourself these questions:
- What makes your software different?
- How are you valuable to your customers?
These answers will help you find your footing in your niche. You should consider what service your software provides for people. Looking back at our example client, we can make a list:
- An accessible and understandable interface, so anyone can use it.
- It can be downloaded as an app or used in-browser, so it's easy to host video conferencing worldwide.
- Can host large online video conferences with up to 1000 people, making it easy for online webinars and large meetings.
- Excellent customer support service 24/7 for any issues.
Now it's up to you. Ask yourself these two questions:
- What is your value proposition?
- What is your differentiator?
Step three: Understand your target audience needs
Typically, people who come across your SaaS website will have come there from a search engine. They could have come for a variety of reasons. You need to consider the needs of your target audience and why they are coming to your website. One of the most effective ways to understand your target audience is to create audience profiles or customer personas.
Let's look at our example client. They are selling a subscription-based or one-off fee video conferencing software. Their primary customer is going to be other businesses.
Audience Profile/Customer Persona:
The current CEO of a small start-up business is getting off the ground and hiring more staff. They are looking to add video conferencing software to manage meetings remotely.
Average age: 30 - 40.
Average income: unknown.
Male/Female: M: 59%, F: 41%
- To source reliable video conferencing software for their small business
Searcher Queries For Goal:
- [video conferencing software for businesses]
- [simple video conferencing software]
- [easy video conference software]
How Site Helps Accomplish That Task:
- Provides access to a subscription-based or one-off purchase of video conferencing software aimed at businesses
Site Also Provides:
- Testimonials from past customers
- Free trial of 1 month so prospective customers can try software
- Access to customer service/suppose via email/telephone
- Information on software
- Blog on technology related topics
Site Goals Related to This Audience:
- To sell software
- To stand out from competitors
- To provide information regarding software advantages and capabilities
Conversion Success Metrics:
- Request more information via website
- Purchase software
- Try a free trial
- Contact customer service
That's an example, your SaaS strategy can have multiple audience profiles. You don't need to use just one. If they all fit what you think your target audience should be, you could have five. This allows you to tailor all of your content towards those relevant customers.
Target audience & business goal summary
So, now you have a clear vision of your business goals, what value you bring, and how you compare to your competitors. You've also worked out your target audience. We'll need to delve into some of these topics further down the line. Still, you've got an excellent starting point for creating a killer SaaS SEO strategy.
Chapter two: Keyword research
Once you've done the basics, the next thing you want to look at is keywords. These are crucial to getting correct because it's what people will use to find you when using search engines. Therefore thorough keyword research is necessary to determine what topics are relevant to your SaaS business and decide the best keywords for your target audience. This will allow you to tailor your content across the website with all these things in mind.
Are you ready? Let's go!
Step one: Create a keyword seed list
The best starting point is to create a seed list. This is a list of relevant keywords and categories that you immediately know are connected to your software. If you're an existing SaaS business, then browse your website to identify any patterns in products and keywords across your content. If you're entirely new to the market, you'll want to look at your top competitors and base it on theirs. Or you can brainstorm!
Going back to our example client, some relevant keyword ideas include:
- Video conferencing software
- Online meeting
- Video conference
- Remote working
- Business conferencing
- Online video services
- Video conference solutions
Step two: Expand keyword research
When conducting the entire keyword research process, it's important to remember there's no incorrect way to do it. You can be as thorough as you want to be. As part of your keyword strategy, you can also expand the targeted keywords by considering your audience profiles and thinking about what they'd be searching for. Is there a particular keyword they would type into a search engine?
An excellent tool to remember is search intent when carrying out your keyword research process. This refers to the purpose behind someone's search. We've written about it thoroughly here.
Different types of search intent could include:
- Someone wanting to purchase your software immediately
- Someone looking for more information on the type of software they need
- Someone searching for general information on your business
- Someone wanting to go directly to your company's website
Understanding someone's search intent will help you discover the particular keywords they might use when searching for your product.
You can use Google Keyword Planner to help with your keyword research. Using their website with your current GoogleAds account, you can find new keywords, see search volume, and view data trends. You can also enter competitor websites in the planner and see keyword suggestions based on their content, allowing you to decide what ones are relevant to you.
Repeat this process for your top competitor websites and see if there are any common themes with target keywords. Always ensure your searches are relevant to your software and your service.
Step three: Create a keyword spreadsheet
Okay, so now we've done our keyword research, we need to compile all the information we've gathered and put it in one place. You can do this on Google Sheets or Excel, creating a tab for 'Content Ideas' and 'Seed List.'
Then you want to create a bunch of tabs relevant to different keyword categories, this will be individual to you as a business, but for our example client, I've done the below:
Step four: Conduct as much keyword research as sou can
It cannot be stressed enough that keyword research will be an ongoing and continuous process. You should research regularly to spot upcoming data trends and follow what's popular. So keep looking for different keywords and filling up the spreadsheet with relevant ones. It's all there for you to find. It'll help you understand your customers better and is a vital part of your SaaS SEO strategy.
Google's Keyword Planner linked above is helpful, and so is KeywordTool.io. You can use these keyword research tools to monitor and plan.
Step five: Refine popular keywords
Now that your spreadsheet is full of keywords, you'll need to start refining what will be most relevant for your SaaS SEO campaign. Some keywords are too competitive, some are already saturated or aren't regularly searched at all. You should examine each potential keyword and remove all the ones you don't need. These could be:
- Negative keywords: These do not meet your audience's needs or business goals we looked at in the first chapter.
- Competitive keywords: The most competitive keywords will have hundreds of other SaaS companies competing for them for their SEO. Decide whether it's sensible to compete for these keywords and if not, then delete them.
- Low search volume: These keywords aren't regularly searched at all. You probably want to look elsewhere for the ones that have only 10-100 searches per month.
Keyword research conclusion
Ultimately, deciding what target keywords to use is your judgement. It doesn't all have to be perfect right away. You can try and test different methods and target keywords and change what isn't working. Remember to keep your target audience and their search intent at the forefront of your mind.
The more keyword research you conduct, the deeper your insight will be into the market and your competitors. It'll help you understand your customer better too. It's a learning process, and you'll get better at it the more you do it.
Chapter three: Gaps and opportunities for your SaaS business
We've ticked off keywords, business goals, and target audience. Now we will look at identifying gaps and opportunities as the next step of your SaaS SEO strategy. If you're just starting out, you can skip this step! This is most relevant to people who have already got their software and have an existing website and content.
You can use existing search traffic data for your SaaS website and Google search volume data to conduct a gap and opportunity analysis for your business. This will give you an idea of what's performing well and what isn't.
Step one: What are gaps and opportunities?
This chapter will explain how to conduct a thorough opportunity and gap analysis on your website. You'll be armed with data on your site's current performance and be able to use that to identify where you can make improvements.
First, let's define exactly what we mean by gaps and opportunities.
A gap refers to customer demand for your SaaS, but you only get a low share of the visits to your site from organic searching. For example, one of our previous client's primary keywords was 'video conferencing software'. Let's say that gets 10,000 searches per month, but they only get ten referrals from that search. That's a poor click rate and would indicate a gap in your SaaS website's performance.
Opportunities are where we are looking at a chance to get more organic traffic through keywords that offer you no traffic. You can identify which search terms your website currently isn't attracting an audience from and find opportunities to tailor your content to target these audiences.
Step two: Conduct an opportunity and gap analysis
Right, we know what we're looking for. But how do we do it?
You first need to go back to the extensive keyword spreadsheet you made in the last chapter. You can start adding columns for Google Referrals and Click Through Rate in the spreadsheet. Go into every tab of your spreadsheet and do this. Now you're going to research every keyword using the keyword research tools we told you about.
So go to your Google Analytics account follow these steps:
- Login to Google Analytics
- Choose 'Acquisition' in the left-hand menu
- Select all Traffic
- Select Organic Traffic
- Enter your keyword
This will let you get a figure for the referral volume for the keyword. Type it into the 'Google Referral' column you created. Continue to do this for all your keywords.
Now, if you go to your 'Click Through Rate' column, you'll want to put in the following formula, then copy and paste it into all the cells in that column:
Google Referrals / Traffic * 100
Step three: examine the data
Now it's time to analyse all the juicy data we collected in the last step.
The spreadsheet now shows the estimated monthly Google search volume and how much google referral traffic your website gets, plus an estimated click through rate. So, where are the gaps and opportunities?
Sort the click through rate column from low to high. The lowest click through rates should be at the top. You're looking specifically for keywords with a high estimated number of searches in Google but a low number of Google Referrals. If there have been 1000 monthly searches, but your website has only had 20 clicks, that's an identifiable gap.
Highlight all the searches where the click through rate is less than 2%. Do those keywords have any patterns? Is there a chunk of the market you're not hitting? You want to ask yourself these questions:
- Why is there a low click through rate?
- What can we do to improve it?
- Are these keywords highly relevant to our business?
- Is there value in improving it?
You want to look for keywords with a higher search volume when identifying opportunities. Still, the website isn't getting any referral traffic from the search engine. This will give you ideas for markets you can expand your SaaS website into.
Sort your Google Referral column from low to high. All the keywords from which you're getting no referral traffic will be at the top. Browse the keywords and identify which ones get a high volume of searches on Google.
For example, if you've got [video conferencing remote working] that gets 7500 searches monthly, but you're not getting any referral traffic, this could be an area for opportunity.
When making a note of opportunities, you should ask yourself:
- Is this relevant for my SaaS business?
- Does it meet the business goals?
- Can I add value to this market?
- Will it help me reach my target audience?
Step four: Create an SEO strategy from your analysis
Your keyword spreadsheet will be full of relevant information now for where there are gaps and opportunities in your existing content. The next step of your SaaS SEO strategy is using the information you've gathered to improve.
For example, our client has identified that [video conferencing remote working] is a highly searched term that currently gets them no referrals from Google. It's relevant to their SaaS website, as they offer online video hosting for remote video conferencing.
What can they do on their website to improve referrals for those target keywords?
- Add a written blog piece about the benefits of video conference software when remote working.
- Provide customer testimonials from current customers using your SaaS about this topic.
- Investigate current content and content marketing strategy to see areas where these topics could be mentioned or discussed.
Another way to expand the analysis is to group the keywords together and investigate the data within these categories. You'll notice there are specific markets where your website isn't performing.
Now we've come to the end of your gap and opportunity analysis. You'll be feeling a bit worn out. However, your business will thank you for it. Now you've gathered enough research on your target audience. You know what is searched regularly on search engines. And you've developed a plan to expand your SaaS SEO strategy to use your data.
You're well on the way to being an SEO superstar!
Chapter four: find the top competitors
Congratulations! You're more than halfway. We've not got far to go now, but this chapter is chunky. We're going to look at how to analyse your competitors and identify what works for them so that you can make the same process work for you too. You don't need to reinvent the wheel when you're in business. It's helpful to be unique, but there will always be other companies competing with you.
So let's dive in!
Step one: Look for your competitors in the search engines
First things first, you want to look for competitors ranking high across the search engines. That means they have their SaaS SEO on point. When you're looking at SEO for SaaS organisations, who better to check out than the people already doing it successfully?
Once you look at the SaaS companies that rank highly on SERPs (search engine results pages), you can examine their SEO strategies and get some tips. Then you can figure out how to beat your competitors.
#1 Prepare a spreadsheet
Yes, it's time for another spreadsheet. This time you'll call it 'Competitor Research.' We're going to do an in-depth analysis of all your top competitors.
Go through your keywords on the other spreadsheet and pick the ones most relevant to your business. Note this as they'll be necessary for the next step. For our example client, this could be video conferencing software.
#2 Do a Google search
We're keeping it nice and easy so far. Based on the top keywords you've pulled out of the spreadsheet, all you need to do is google it. Suppose you have multiple products in different markets. In that case, you could google each product individually and conduct a competitor analysis on every product. But if you tend to stick to one niche, that isn't necessary.
Another way of driving traffic is to have your software featured in articles. Take the following search terms: [video conferencing software], [CRM software]. Instead of going directly to websites, Google suggests websites that have compiled lists of this type of software and rated them. Once you've got your SaaS business off the ground, you'll want to be in these articles with the other successful SaaS companies.
As you can see, we can get a clear idea by going into these articles about what your top competitors are if you've got a CRM platform you want to sell.
#3 Use Moz's keyword explorer tool
You can use keyword explorer tools to help you investigate your competitors. Moz's tool provides a list of top websites that rank for each keyword, so it's a handy tool to use when you're doing your competitor research.
You can type all your relevant keywords and make notes of the websites. Suppose you're doing [video conferencing software], for example. In that case, you'll find software like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, appearing across all the keywords as they are the prime SaaS companies that offer this. Are there any patterns?
#4 Compare the data
Now you've gathered the data. It's time to compile it. You should create a table to identify your highest-ranking websites and assess the competition. You can ask yourself the following questions about your findings:
- Do some companies appear consistently across all target keywords?
- What are the top companies of each keyword?
Big sites like Amazon and eBay can skew the results somewhat. It's okay to remove them - although you will always be competing with them, they are big conglomerates that run in every market.
#5 Repeat the process
Now you need to continue to do this for all your chosen target keywords. It seems like a lengthy process, but carrying out this work.
You've done it!
Congratulations, you've made it to the end of the chapter! This was a shorter one, but you've got some hard data regarding what companies have successful SEO strategies by conducting competitor analysis.
This data will come in handy for the next chapter, so keep it, and we'll be using it next time.
Chapter five: Analyse your SaaS businesses competition
Alright, you've done the competitor research. You know who your top competitors are, and you know they have successful SEO for SaaS companies. If you intend to be a ranking competitor against these organisations, you must understand how they got there. Now let's examine the information and see what we can apply to your SaaS website.
This meaty chapter will help you conduct competitor analysis and get a leg up on your competitors.
Step one: Analysing the competition
When analysing the competition, there are several different factors we consider for SaaS SEO success. We will take you through all the necessary steps to carry out your competitive analysis. That way, you can create engaging content and reach your target audience on your website.
Interesting features on a website can promote engagement and activity. Something simple like adding a calculator or tool people can use may increase the chance of returning.
For example, you offer software for freelancers to process invoices and manage tasks. You could put a calculator on your website that allows them to calculate their monthly income. People will come back again and again to check the totals. Having repeat visits, getting links back to your website, and having visitors share content is vital to your SaaS SEO success. It'll go towards determining your search engine rankings.
Popularity Is important for SEO
Creating content that people engage with will help you rank higher on search engine page results. If people like, share, or comment on the blog post, it boosts page rankings. It could be a blog post that offers some advice, for example, '5 Tips on Becoming a Freelancer'. Other articles might even use your article as a source and link back to it. Even things like people bookmarking your landing pages or blog content and social media sharing will help.
Quality of content Is crucial
Google is strict on quality control. If your content is full of spelling or grammatical errors, Google might filter it out as spam, and your website won't rank. There are several factors considered when looking at quality:
- Is the article relevant?
- Does it provide original content, research, or analysis?
- Is there a value in the article compared to others of a similar type?
- Would a user want to bookmark or share the content?
- Will other websites link back to this article?
There are plenty of guidelines that you can follow to ensure you meet the standards expected.
Step two: Consider these factors when evaluating competitors
Now you know what Google looks for in a high-ranking website, let's apply that knowledge to your competitors. We will break it down step by step to understand how your competitors are making the search engine algorithms work for them.
#1 External link analysis
xternal links are crucial to the success of your SaaS SEO strategy. All content feeds into each other, and Google places high importance on the quality and quantity of websites using your pages as links. We'll use the website Moz a lot here to analyse your competitors.
First, we'll run through some quick definitions for what we'll discuss in this section.
- Domain Authority: This is Moz's best prediction about how a website will perform in search engine rankings.
- Page Authority: A prediction on how likely a single page will rank highly on the search engine results pages. Higher page authority means higher rankings.
- Backlinks: The link a website makes back to your website in its content.
- External Followed Links: Total of links from other sites to your subdomain.
- Followed Linking Root Domains: Number of domains linking back to your subdomain.
An excellent tool for analysing the links on a website is Moz's Link Explorer. You can input a competitor's domain into the 'root domain' field, then Moz generates a backlink profile for that website.
This tells you how many domains they link to, what inbound links they have from other websites, and how many ranking keywords they have. You can export the data into spreadsheets to analyse it further.
Once you've updated a company's domain and generated its profile, go into the 'Compare Link Profiles' on the left-hand side to compare more than one website.
This part of the competitive analysis allows you to get an in-depth view of the backend of your competitor's domains. You can understand what region of link profiles you need to be in to be a top-ranking website. Carry out external link analysis for all your competitors and make relevant notes from the results.
Think about the following questions:
- How many internal/external links do the competing websites have?
- What is their page and domain authority?
- What are the overall search statistics?
- How many keywords do they have?
- Which other websites link back to their websites?
- What is the most popular form of content linked to?
- Are there any patterns in popular topics and content?
- How many visits per month do they get?
#2 Website structure
The structure of a website is essential for search engine optimisation. You also need to consider URL structure, navigational structure, and internal linking structure. These all have to be clean and concise. If your website has many pages that lead nowhere or spammy URLs, it won't rank highly on search engines.
Now you've identified your top competitors, navigate their websites and make notes on their website architecture. Are there common pages used? What landing pages do they have? How simple is it to navigate across the whole site? Make notes and comparisons, and identify any patterns. You should consider the features, and the links, browse their product pages, and take inspiration for your website.
Step three: Carry out landing page analysis
Now on your competitors' websites, we're going to look at landing pages specifically. It's crucial to understand how relevant each landing page is to their software and identify its purpose. Every page of your website should be relevant to the software you're selling. This analysis can be used during the development of your website.
You want to identify what imagery is being used, how products are categorised, and other features that help sales. Are there customer reviews or testimonials? Do they have a star-rating system? What symbols are they using to reassure the customer and gain trust?
Step four: Link building tactical recommendations
Looking at the links your competitors have will allow you to generate an idea of what sort of link building you need to conduct on your website. We can break this down into three sections.
A basic link tactic does not require additional resources to create. It would be something an in-house employee could implement without bringing on additional people or writing a new piece of code or software.
This is slightly more complicated and would need potential outreach to other websites or vendors related to your SaaS business. It could include ongoing monitoring of content to build more links and would generally need support from an SEO specialist.
These link building tactics are primarily aimed at sales-focused companies. They would require outside support from SaaS SEO specialists to take on the demand of an advanced link building tactic.
How competitors get links
There are various methods used to get more links, so we'll run through the most common ways. This analysis will help you build the tools to carry out your link building activities and generate organic traffic.
- Competitions: Many companies run competitions via social media and on their websites to generate traction with their audience.
- Bloggers/Influencers: A common technique of gaining traction is having an influencer/blogger who has a large following advertising their software or reviewing it.
- Guest Posting: You can feature a guest posting or have guest posts featured on other websites discussing your software and the benefits to their customers.
- Featured Sections: Successful SaaS companies often feature their software on other websites to drive referrals back to their website and increase brand recognition.
Verdict for competitor analysis
This chapter was particularly meaty, but now you've got an in-depth analysis of your top three competitors. This knowledge will be vital in creating your website, as you've seen what works across these other companies. You can carry out further competitor analysis on anyone you identify as a leader in the niche you are hoping to tap into. Just remember, it's all about search engine page rankings.
Chapter six: Bringing all your data together
You can give yourself a big pat on the back. The research is over! You've gone out and conducted all your competitor analyses, you've identified gaps and opportunities, and researched keywords. Now it's time to compile all that data into your SaaS SEO campaign.
This won't be too difficult. We need to round up all the information from Chapters One to Five.
Step one: Put together a document of your findings
If you've been following these steps correctly, you'll already have several spreadsheets full of data about your keywords and competitors. Let's go back and revisit all the notes you've made in our previous chapters and make a summary document.
Part one: Business goals, customer needs, value proposition
- Start by noting your primary and secondary business goals. The entire document will be focused on the goals you had at the very beginning.
- Write all relevant information about your customers. What are their audience profiles? What does your software provide them with? What value does it add to their lives?
Part two: keyword research
- Go back to your target keyword groups and review them. Are all your keywords relevant? Are the categories relevant to your business?
- Is there anything obvious in the data you can see now that you didn't before?
- Are there keywords that are more prevalent than others?
Part three: Opportunity and gap analysis
- What gaps did you identify in your data? Where can improvements be made to your existing content?
- Were there any opportunities you found in the search results? Are there any markets you haven't tapped into? Or keywords you haven't utilised?
- What is performing well on the website? If you have content that is performing well, investigate why and try to replicate that.
Part four: Competitors
- Who are your top five competitors across your primary keyword categories?
- How do they rank in the search engines?
- Are there companies showing up consistently in the results?
Part five: Competitive analysis
- What is the link profile for your competitors? How do you measure against them?
- What is the website architecture and structure of their websites?
- What URL styles do they use, and what is navigating their website like?
- Are there any gaps you think you could fill?
- Are there consistencies across the competitors' websites?
- Is there anything you don't like about the websites?
You might think of more questions, but these are just suggestions to help you summarise the information you've gathered. Your website is your judgement call, and it has to fit your requirements. If you can include data and screenshots, then do so, but it doesn't need to be massive. You can do further research if you feel you need to at a later date and keep the strategy as a live document that you update.
Creating a successful SaaS SEO strategy
You should already have a meaty document based on all the data you've gathered. It's time to apply that knowledge to developing your SEO for SaaS content. Every successful SEO strategy is different depending on the industry. There's no size fits all approach that applies to everyone when making SEO recommendations.
But you can start by focusing on specific areas:
- Visual aspects - colours & design
- Website features (calculators, tools, etc.)
- Landing pages
- Website architecture
- Outreach and promotion
- External links
- Internal links
If you break down these categories and decide how to tailor each of them with SEO in mind, you'll do well.
Let's look at a recommendation for our example client who has video conferencing software.
Example recommendation 1:
Search Term: Address SaaS SEO and create content around search term: host meetings online for remote working.
- No content on the SaaS website referencing remote working
- The company doesn't rank for queries related to remote working
Create in-depth blog content (1000+ words) about:
- Uses of video conferencing software when remote working
- How to set up your video conferencing software
- Structuring your online meetings when remote working
- Get links by working with other bloggers when doing content creation
- Create guest posts with links about remote working, linking back to the software
Chapter seven: Cost-benefit analysis
It's been a long journey to get here, and you've done so much work! But now, you've got a data-backed SaaS SEO strategy that will skyrocket your business through SERPs. Research and data are crucial to getting SEO right, but it's also important to remember why all this data matters.
You've developed this thorough SEO strategy, but it can be overwhelming now trying to prioritise which recommendations to take first. We're here to help you break it down into simple, workable steps so you can apply this to your SaaS company.
Step one: Prioritise your recommendations
Your SaaS business needs to get measurable results relevant to the overall business goals we created in Chapter One. Every company out there is running on limited time and resources. There's not enough time to make every improvement you want to make. So it would be best if you prioritised which ones will benefit your business the most.
In the last chapter, you wrote down all your recommendations based on SEO for SaaS companies. You should have a juicy document full to the brim with potential SEO recommendations. You need to look at each one and order them in terms of priority for your business.
While you're doing that, here are the primary considerations you should make:
- Impact: How much impact will this recommendation have on your business?
- Resources: Are there resources already available to make this change? Do you have the time to do it? If an expense is necessary, is that feasible? If additional resources are needed, is the business able to do so?
- Business Goals: Remember we have spoken about how important business goals are to consider in every step of this process. Does this recommendation directly contribute to the business goals?
It'll take some time to sort out your recommendations by priority. Still, once you've done it, you'll have a clear action plan available for improving SEO for your SaaS company.
Step two: Cost-benefit analysis
In any business, the top priority on everyone's mind is cost. CEOs and executives will always focus on how much something costs vs. the benefit it will bring. So it can be tricky convincing the higher-ups that SEO is a key focus. Doing a cost-benefit analysis can help alleviate these concerns and persuade them that SEO is vital to a company's performance online.
Here's an example of a cost-benefit analysis:
According to Moz, organisations that occupy the top spot on Google receive 32.8% of the clicks. So if the keyword [CRM software] gets 27100 monthly searches in the United States (according to UberSuggest), that means the website in the top spot will receive 8,888 clicks from that keyword alone.
The industry average for successful SaaS companies' visitors to lead conversion is 7%, so we'll use that in our calculations. So 7% of 8,888 is 622 sales per month.
Let's say the SaaS company generates £25 in profit per sale. That one keyword is generating £15,550 in profit every month.
Run your cost-benefit analysis to determine how much SEO efforts will cost vs. how much revenue they'll bring in. That's just an example figure. If you run the figures based on what you would expect from your own company, it becomes clear why having a thorough SEO strategy is essential.
Congratulations! You've made it to the end. After carrying out all the steps in each chapter, you should now have all the tools and data you need for your SEO strategy. Correctly using SEO for SaaS companies generates more organic traffic from the search pages to your website. As you continue to develop and use your SEO strategy, you can monitor your progress on Google Search Console. It'll tell you how your site performs in the search results as you manage your SEO campaign.
It doesn't all need to be done tomorrow. All you have to do is start applying it to your existing content (if you have any!) and use it in any new content. You can work at your own pace to apply it to your business.