Boosting growth for software as a service (SaaS) companies from scratch is not that easy. You need consistent efforts across verticals to be able to create brand awareness and sustain it over time. One of the biggest challenges that SaaS marketers face is that there is usually no direct demand for their service.
Since SaaS companies need to depend on digital channels to improve the visibility and awareness of their brand, SEO and digital marketing strategies are instrumental in their success.
Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not just for increasing Google rankings and website traffic, but also to convert potential leads into customers. Considering the specific requirements for promoting SaaS organizations, it is no wonder that SaaS SEO is so much different than SEO for other businesses and industries.
What Is SaaS SEO?
The journey to achieving your SEO goals is a complicated one, especially so for SaaS companies. Over the years, the very definition of the elements has been constantly changing, and so has the process for ranking higher on Google.
SaaS companies nowadays require a more multifaceted approach to SEO, including myriad tasks ranging from optimizing the technical infrastructure of your website to creating a winning content marketing strategy. SEO does a lot more than just increasing your reach and website traffic as it can help you gain higher customer conversion rates, thus strengthening your conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Since SaaS companies usually market their products or services online, having an SEO strategy can be important for targeting the right customers. Usually, companies have to build SEO strategies to cater to the following types of potential customers:
- Customers searching specifically for your software
- Customers looking for information on the kind of software you provide
- Customers looking to buy the kind of software you provide
- Potential customers who are not looking for software like yours but fall into your targeted segment
SEO Strategies for SaaS
SaaS companies need to implement different kinds of strategies to target each of the above customer groups. While even the best SEO agencies will only be able to guide you so much on Google’s algorithm for ranking websites, there are best practices that should be followed by any growing SaaS company that wants to generate results from its SEO strategy.
The main challenge for creating a robust SEO strategy for SaaS businesses is that they get limited search volume and face heavy competition from other aggregator websites. There are proven SEO strategies that SaaS companies can utilize in order to maximize their performance through Google and other digital platforms. Having said that, creating the right roadmap to execute SEO strategies is key to ensuring success for SaaS companies. In this guide, we will look at some of the primary SEO strategies that can prove successful for SaaS companies in improving their CRO.
1. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is usually considered as one of the more important foundations for executing a comprehensive SEO strategy. On the ground level, technical SEO prepares your website for the search engine to easily crawl, analyze and rank your site and pages. Think of technical SEO as all the work that goes on behind the scenes to create the right impact and front end for your SaaS website.
Technical SEO includes varied elements, such as meta elements, title tags, meta descriptions and other significant canonical best practices which make your website ready to be ranked on Google. There are many tools to aid your technical SEO strategies including Moz, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and, of course, our good ol’ Google Analytics. By using these tools, SaaS companies can constantly monitor and track their SEO performance and boost their rankings as well as sales conversions.
2. Keyword Research
Even before you can start looking for competitive keywords that you can potentially rank for, you should define the customer persona, their search patterns and the search intent. This can help you target potential customers who are likely to be interested in purchasing your product. Moreover, mapping and optimizing their usage within the content will also be important considerations.
You can use several free and paid keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, Moz, and SEMrush to find the most relevant and high-performing keywords for your goals. Once you know the keywords that your customers are searching for, you can integrate them seamlessly within your content and target them through it.
3. Web Design
Do you know why even the most seasoned marketers find marketing through SEO so challenging? It is because many fail to acknowledge that at least some elements of SEO require you to have a basic knowledge of web development and design.
Your traditional marketing strategies can be applied when you are building and implementing campaigns; however, optimizing your web design to meet SEO standards requires you to understand the basic aspects, albeit the technical ones. Having a website that is easy to navigate and considers user experience is one of the key considerations for a SaaS brand to succeed, even for SEO. Moreover, implementing sitemaps wherever necessary, integrating accessibility options, and having impactful landing pages can convert your visitors into customers. Ensuring all these elements within your web design guarantees better sales and revenue, along with the additional perk of better SEO performance.
4. Link Building
Every new business needs to earn a certain level of credibility to be able to achieve its goals. Every SaaS business needs to earn authoritative links to be able to achieve a higher ranking on Google. When your website earns backlinks from websites with higher domain authority, it has a ripple effect on your SEO performance. Not only does it give you more traffic through the readers of that website, but it also assures Google that users would want to visit your website.
With this philosophy in mind, link building has since become one of the staple activities for improving the SEO performance of SaaS businesses. Getting mentions through blogs on websites with higher domain authority can be a great way to achieve this. Link building is also one of the guaranteed ways for businesses in highly competitive industries (read: SaaS) to surpass behemoths who have already established their place on the first page of search results on Google.
5. Social Media
You already knew this was coming, didn’t you? Social media channels are quickly becoming the place to be for any brand, especially SaaS brands.
Social media platforms offer multiple opportunities for brands, such as advertising, a place to engage with the audience and tools to showcase their products and run targeted campaigns, among a plethora of other options that were otherwise not possible. SaaS companies have an opportunity to take their customer service to the next level by answering queries and complaints on social media.
Customers turn to social media channels to engage with the brands that they use and to keep abreast of the recent updates from the brand. As a SaaS company, you can potentially raise your conversion rate through well-curated campaigns and advertisements on social media platforms.
Content Marketing for SaaS
It is a great time to invest in content marketing, especially now when brands are coming up with unique forms of content to engage their audience. Content marketing refers to the process of promoting your brand through different forms of content, across all your digital channels.
The process can start from as basic a level as creating informative and SEO-optimized content on your website, and be as creative as bringing customers to your website through videos. While content marketing as a field has been around for a long time now, it has consistently evolved with the times.
As the attention spans of netizens continue to shrink, brands have to find new ways to engage them. Visual forms of content take priority over textual content as they are more engaging and the reader is likely to retain more information from visuals than text. According to a recent study, if 63 percent of people believe a claim posted by your brand, you can raise it to 97 percent by simply adding a graph to support the claim. That is the power of visualization. Needless to say, it is the right time to conceptualize videos, create infographics and present data through images for maximum impact.
Having a strong SEO strategy is not optional for SaaS companies that need to drive their marketing efforts through digital platforms. Though there are SEO agencies that you can hire to take care of most of the activities that are mentioned here, SaaS marketers should have a good understanding of the efforts that go into building a high-performing SEO strategy. Ensuring high-quality links, content and web design are some of the most important activities that should be carried out right from the start by SaaS companies that want to grow and succeed.