At the early stage of a SaaS business, expectations are on the high side. Entrepreneurs, SaaS founders and Marketers might get lost in the fantasy of managing the next big software solution on G2.
Yes, dreams do come through but the work must be done too.
Every successful SaaS brand started by generating quality traffic through effective marketing strategies but SEO seems to stand out.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still used by many SaaS companies today to generate leads, boost brand awareness, increase sales and other conversion metrics.
This source claims that 68% of online experience begins with a search. So, there's no reason your company's website shouldn't be optimized for search engines.
Therefore, we have written a comprehensive guide to help Start-ups and existing SaaS businesses understand SEO for SaaS and how to go about it.
Let's dive in;
SaaS is an acronym for Software as a Service while SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
But, how about SaaS SEO?
SaaS SEO means carrying out SEO practices that will enable a SaaS company's website to rank high for targeted queries on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
These targeted queries also known as keywords will then send traffic to the company's website when they eventually appear on the Google first page.
Have you ever gone online to search for queries like 'best software for video conferencing', 'best CRM software, and other related queries?
Yes, you did that because you are sure that you will find them there and this is the same reason you must do SEO for your SaaS business - For your prospects to find you!
Now, let’s check out some actionable steps to help your business achieve this in the coming months.
According to Orbelo, Google takes 91% of the global search share, so we will be using them as our focus search engine in this article.
Google has over 10 major ranking factors which its algorithm uses to determine which website takes the highest traffic share on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
However, the ranking is not constant as the Google algorithm update happens several times a year. You check out current Google ranking factors for 2022 according to research by firstpagesage.
- Consistent Publication of Engaging Content - 26%
- Keywords in Meta Title Tags - 17%
- Backlinks - 15%
- Niche Expertise - 13%
- User Engagement - 11%
- Internal Links - 5%
- Mobile-Friendly / Mobile-First Website - 5%
- Page Speed - 2%
- Site Security / SSL Certificate - 2%
- Schema Markup / Structured Data - 1%
- Keywords in URL - 1%
- Keywords in Header Tags - 1%
- Keywords in Meta Description Tags + 19 Other Factors - 1%
So, if you want to rank your SaaS website high on Google, you put those factors into consideration.
Now is let us take it step by step;
If you have once troubleshooted your PC then you should easily relate to what SEO Site Audit means.
An SEO audit is the practice of analyzing your website to know if there are errors or it is in accordance with the search engine ranking rules.
This audit requires running checks on the parent aspects of Search Engine Optimization; On Page SEO, Off Page SEO, User Experience and Technical SEO.
After the auditing process is completed, you should have a report that identifies the errors on your website and show how to fix it.
With it, you can easily know the next step to take in improving your company website SEO.
So how is the Site Audit done?
SEO Audits can be done manually but that might take forever. In fact, you need to have some extra level of SEO expertise and data analytics to pull it off.
However, you shouldn’t see that as an issue because the Rank Tracker SEO tool will get the job done for you within a few minutes.
See how below:
- Visit Rank Tracker official website;
- Navigate to sign up and choose your preferred plan. Starting at $9 per month
- Navigate to the website audit section or click here;
- Input your website URL and you will see a report like the image below;
From the report, you can tell which area needs on be improved on your website;
The process of finding phrases, queries or terms that your prospects use to find you on Search Engine is called Keyword Research.
Your choice of keywords will determine everything from the kind of contents you churn out to the quality of traffic you drive to your website. So, it would be best if you carry out this stage carefully.
Generally, keyword research for SaaS starts from brainstorming the terms you know your prospects use on Google. And to make it easier, you should consider the following:
- Your type of product - A solution? Tool? Platform?
- Your product offers - Does it save people's time? Does it make them more money? Does it reduce risks? and more
- Unique features of your product.
- Your target audience
Having figured these out, you can then start the actual keyword research process which requires using SEO tools.
But before proceeding, you must understand the following keyword search intents.
These categories of keywords are used by searchers to find more information about a subject matter.
Contents written on these keywords are usually long form like the one you are reading currently because you are learning everything about SEO for SaaS. Some of these keywords have words like 'what', 'how to', etc.
These categories are used by searchers with the intention of buying. For instance, when a prospect searches for ‘Rank Tracker SEO Powersuite’ they are having the intention of subscribing for a plan.
Transactional Keywords that are categorized as both informational and transactional keywords. Keywords like 'best CRM software' will help the searcher make the best buying decision and also educate the searcher about the recommended software tools.
See the steps below to begin your keyword research process;
- Visit a keyword research tool. I prefer Ranktracker because it allows me to filter the following;
- KD (Keyword Difficulty) – An over 100 metric that allows me identify keywords that are easy.
- Volume – Average number of searches per month.
- CPC (Cost per Click) – Amount advertisers are willing to pay per click.
- Input your seed word and hit the search button.
- Use the filter feature for a list of keywords that matches your selection to pop out like the one we have in the screenshot below;
Pro Tip – Go for keywords with low difficulty and good search volume.
At this stage, you must have had a list of keywords you would want to rank on Google. So, it is time to come up with a compelling post and optimize it for your desired keyword.
Below is what the process looks like:
- Search for the keyword on Google;
- Look at what the top 10 results are doing to understand the keyword search intent.
- Watch out for content gaps.
- Write great content that covers everything about the topic.
- Satisfy the keyword search intent and fill content gaps.
- Optimize the post for your target and related keywords using the tips below:
- Keyword in Title
- Keyword in Meta Description
- Keyword in H2/H3
- Keyword at the beginning of the post and towards the end of the post.
- Keep URL simple or use keyword in possible
- Keyword in IMG Alt Tag
- Interlink to other related posts
- Link to an authority post.
There is more to the On-Page SEO but if you use CMS like WordPress then plugins like Yoast or Rankmath can help you.
Backlinks have been among the major Google ranking factors ever since the start of Search Engine Optimization practice and it is still relevant today.
Backlinks serve as a vote of trust to Google. Therefore, building backlinks for your SaaS website means building Trust and Authority in the eyes of Google.
In the early years, link building was a game of numbers but the Google algorithm changed the whole thing to a game of ‘Quality of Quantity’ because webmasters abused it.
Today, a backlink from an authority site is better than spammy backlinks from 100 sites. The latter will only cause damage to the company's website.
So, how do you get quality backlinks? See the tips below;
- Have a linkable asset – Your SaaS tool should be your linkable asset especially when you have a free version. Webmasters are likely to link back to your website when publishing posts like ‘how-tos’ and ‘reviews’.
- Guest Post – The act of publishing on another website to get a link back from the website.
- Publish research-based content - Doing this will attract backlinks because other websites will reference your website as the source of the content after research.
- Steal your competitors backlinks – You can do this by auditing your competitor backlinks using our backlink checker here. See the screenshot below to see what our dashboard looks like;
There are many other ways to build backlinks which will only make it another complete blog post but the strategies above are enough to improve your SaaS website SEO.
Meanwhile you can learn more about SEO by visiting our blog.
SEO helps SaaS businesses grow by helping them boost traffic, generate leads, increase sales and other conversion metrics. The process involves auditing the website, carrying out keyword research, writing, optimizing contents on those keywords, publishing and building backlinks.
So, if you have always wanted to understand SEO for SaaS business, why not get started with this guide?