Businesses are ditching the traditional premise software for the more modern software as a service (SaaS). The ripple effect is that the SaaS industry is growing fast. It also means you will need to invest in ways to differentiate your SaaS business from the competition as an entrepreneur or leader in the space. Investing in SaaS SEO can help your business build long-term organic traffic at a fraction of what it would cost to run other facets of traditional or digital marketing. You can only reap the most from this approach by designing an actionable SaaS SEO strategy. We have compiled a quick guide to help you craft an effective SEO strategy for your SaaS business.
Write down what you want to achieve
For starters, it is worth noting that no strategy can be fruitful without a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail when it comes to creating a SEO campaign that will reap Return on Investments(ROIs). In other words, you must set goals that are specific and measurable. This means instead of setting arbitrary goals like “ get more traffic” you can opt for a SMART goal like “get 40 high-quality backlinks to the page within six months.”
Always keep in mind that your SaaS SEO goals should align with company goals.
Know your audience
Before rolling out your SaaS SEO strategy, you should know who you are rolling it to. Ask yourself who would look for your software? Who wants to learn more about your software? Who would buy your software? And who would be interested in consuming the content related to your software? Knowing your target audience is the only way that you create relevant solutions. Below are simple ways of knowing your audience:
- Do some research on your buyer persona.
- Know your competitors.
- Checking some analytics on your website, social media ads, etc.
- Experiment with content and updates.
- Conduct surveys.
Know your competitors
You must study your competitors for benchmark as a way of creating better SEO campaigns. Find out their SaaS SEO strategies, i.e., what are they doing to drive the bulk of their organic traffic. Things to look at are:
- Their top-performing keywords.
- Top organic traffic driving pages.
- A summation of the indexed Keywords.
- Their traffic split.
These aspects will give you insights and help you develop a better strategy.
Identify the problems your customers have and find a solution
Now that you have done some research on your audience, it’s time to identify the problems your audience has. The good part is that the research, surveys, and analytics on your website and social media will get you acquainted with some of the problems your customers face. Simply look at what they are searching for, focus keenly on the queries, and aim to find a solution for them. Remember, the goal is to rank your site for these queries. If you can do this effectively, you can be guaranteed to reach a much larger audience.
Create better content
Good content, Effective content plan, developing effective content strategies…. Remember, content is king when it comes to marketing in today’s market; it is what earns you the top rank on searches. It is the reason every entrepreneur is on the lookout for ways that can help them create better content. The big question is, what is regarded as better content? Well, when we talk about content, we are talking about much more than blog articles.
Good helpful content explores various dynamic formats such as infographics, videos, and podcasts. It is also valuable and consumer-relevant, one that answers customers’ queries better than any other result out there. To create good content, you need in-depth product knowledge and search intent. If need be, work with an expert or your customers to determine what they are looking for and what could be done better to aid consumption. Once you have that figured out, ensure that whatever content you produce is formatted in a way that can be easily understood. You can use a pillar content strategy to help create better content and grow your rankings. Let’s explain more about pillar content.
Bear in mind that Google steadily makes efforts to improve its algorithm for a better user experience. Improving the quality of your content and “organizing” it well can help search crawlers find your web pages. Organizing here refers to arranging your web pages wisely.
For instance, you can create different topics for your “Blogs” web page and hyperlink each. Add these links to other blogs as additional information about the topic. In this scenario, the “Blogs” page will be known as a pillar page.
Understand that this page is designed to provide a generic overview of the topic; the content linked to it is known as cluster content. For example, you can create a pillar page on Instagram marketing and hyperlink to a blog post covering “how to make good Instagram images?”
Tips: Create pillar pages by researching on topics you would want to rank higher for. Think of the challenges encountered by your audience and craft content that expounds on the solutions in detail.
Take care of the Technical and On-Page SEO!
Technical SEO includes technical elements, i.e., mobile-friendliness, site speed, and site structure, that can help optimize your website. Technical SEO is the best place to begin your SaaS SEO efforts. Think about it: if your website cannot crawl and index, it would be impossible for search engines to rank your website. Fostering any other SEO improvements would be impossible without taking care of your website structure.
On the other hand, On-page SEO are the investments you make to improve the quality of your website. This includes improving your domain authority, Image optimization, URL structure, etc.
Invest in Link Building Tactics for SEO
Developing a SEO SaaS strategy without a link-building strategy is simply creating room for failure! It is simple; if you want to rank and dominate the searches, you must invest in link building. Simply defined, link building is the practice of building backlinks to a website to improve search engine visibility, drive referral traffic, and position one as an expert. In fact, links have long been an important ranking signal used by search engines like Google to judge the trustworthiness and authoritativeness of a site. Well, here are a few ways to build backlinks to your website:
Find linked & unlinked brand mentions
One of the best places to start with building links would be to track your brand mentions online. Once you have found the sites that have mentioned you, then reach out to the author perhaps via a mail or a social media Direct Message and ask them to kindly link back to your site. You can use a free tool like Google News Alerts or a paid tool like Mention, Brand24, Brand Moran and the likes to track your mentions.
For instance, in the author bio given below, Simon Lewis talks about working at Outreach Monks, but there is no link to the website. So, you can drop an email to the site owner to link the brand mentioned to your homepage.
On the flipside, you can also find sites that have linked to certain pages on your site and ask them to change the links to your target pages. This way, you can make the most of higher-quality referral traffic. For instance, the blog post below explains fixing broken links to reap SEO benefits. Here, the blogger has linked to the homepage of OutreachMonks to describe bad and broken links. You can request them to link the brand name to a specific blog post or page explaining broken link-building. It will help direct the traffic to the webpage of your choice.
As a SaaS entrepreneur, you can reap the benefits of interviews to share your expertise in the said field with other businesses or prospective professionals. The first step would be to draft a list of websites with a history of interviewing SaaS professionals. You could then approach a couple of these websites and enquire whether they would like to interview your CEO in exchange for a link to your website’s homepage on their blog post. An added advantage of such interviews is that they don’t have to be live. You could answer a few questions in a Google Doc and send them via email.
Use guest posts to cultivate relationships high-authority sites
One of the most predictable and reliable ways to build links would be to create guest posts on high-authority sites. For guest posting to be effective, you first must establish a positive relationship with the prospective websites in your niche. The next step would be to pitch a topic proposal and ask whether they would like high-quality content from you on their page. Once they accept your submission, assemble a team of writers to develop great content and use target keywords to boost SEO rankings in exchange for high-quality backlinks to your website. Below are a few examples of high-quality content for guest posts in SEO for different types of niches.
Take advantage of broken links
Broken links are also dead links and will take you to a 404 page once you click on them. If you are browsing through a few websites in your niche and notice one of the links is dead, you could approach the owner and request them to replace the broken link with one that links to your content. Broken link building is effective if you already have a well-established site with content. Search engines aren’t a big fan of dead links, making this offer lucrative for website owners. However, this process becomes tedious if you are creating content from scratch. Below is an example of how to look for broken links using Ahref tool.
Create quality industry reports & infographics
Research show that content with images and graphics is 94% more likely to get views than plain content. Infographics make your content easy to digest and fun to read. An effective SaaS SEO strategy you could use to boost organic traffic is using infographics. Remember that it is quite easy to find graphics or pictures online. So, if any blog post or blogger has used your infographics, you can request them to mention you in their article or link to your website.
Start by searching for high-quality and credible websites in your area of expertise that could use data visualization. The next step would be to approach the admin and enquire whether they would be interested in partnering up with you.
In fact, you might earn admirers of your top-quality reports and infographics that you might have your hosting pages used as a referral link.
Tip: Invest in creating well researched reports and use well-designed visuals to attract visitors.
Ask for photo credits
In the SEO world and all forms of life, downloading someone else’s image and using it on your website without crediting the owner is a big no. However, there is no shortage of people who steal other creators’ content without paying or giving credit. If you come across a page that has used one of the images on your website, you could request image credit in the form of a link that goes back to your article or website.
Well, there is no harm in crediting another creator and indicating that you have referenced your information from a reputable third party. Image crediting is a simple way to build homepage links and generate traffic to your website. This is how you can ask them to give you credit for your infographic or picture.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Journalists and reporters are constantly searching for content to pitch to the public. You can help these professionals with their content creation by using an online tool called HARO or Help A Reporter Out. HARO is an excellent combination of positive PR and link building whereby you provide factual information about a subject matter in exchange for a link back to your website in their article.
One of the most significant elements of SEO is getting high-quality backlink. You are better off having one good backlink from a website with high authority than ten weak backlinks from shady link farms. Ultimately, it is a win-win situation where both parties benefit greatly from the partnership. If you have a paid account, you could use keywords to filter out the topics you would like to tackle.
Here are their plans:
It is normal that prospective clients might be reluctant to try your products, especially if you are new in the market. Studies have found that positive reviews on your website influence up to 90% of purchase decisions. Consumers are constantly comparing their options and switching from one brand to the next till they find a product that best suits their needs.
Testimonials provide raw and unbiased information about another client’s experience with a product and whether or not it is worth all the hype. These positive reviews are also an excellent way to prove credibility and build trust with potential clients and visitors to your website. As shown in the picture above, you can insert sliders and scrolling displays on the homepage of your website. Or, you can dedicate an entire page to testimonials and include it on the drop-down menu for easy access.
Solve your client’s problems on Q&A sites
One of the first places your target audience will look for answers to their problems is Google. You could take advantage of Q&A sites like Quora and Yahoo to answer their questions satisfactorily. However, you cannot provide the answers they are looking for if you can’t predict the questions they will ask. A great place to start would be to figure out everyday problems they are likely to experience before determining how you can help them scratch their itch. Adding a link to the response will generate traffic to your website and increase the number of in-market clients that sign up for your services. An example of getting links using Q&A is this article by Neil Patel. Here, the author talks about using Google Analytics and other tools.
Source : Quora
Create shareable links for your users
If your SaaS tool let’s users create shareable links for their projects the better! You can entice them to create shareable links and even share them around the Internet, depending on the nature of your service. It can be a very nice way to get backlinks from other top sites like GitHub, Adobe, Eventbrite and the likes.
Create valuable free tools
You can use free tools to attract your target customers to your website. And if they had a good experience, you can request them to invest in premium versions of tools with advanced features. In this case, craft resource pages with tools that users will love trying. You are also bound to get backlinks to these tools as users recommend them around. Some good examples are the free SEO tools created by Ahref.
Give out products for reviews
You can also reach out to bloggers as a way to churn product reviews out there and build links in the process. It is one SaaS link building tactic that can get you, direct customers, as well as give you social proof that is good for your overall digital PR.
In a nutshell, creating an effective SaaS SEO strategy is not a hard nut to crack. It only necessitates a well-crafted plan on the different metrics that play a role in achieving SaaS growth. Take your time to understand the best SEO strategies that would work best for your platform. You can also, conduct research and gain insights from your competitors by analyzing technographic data insights. Don’t forget to measure using the right tools and find out if your campaign is churning out ROIs.
Simran is an Operations Team lead at OutreachMonks. She excels in marketing, business, and technology niches, Besides her expertise in digital marketing, she has a flair for writing.