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How to Get Found Online: All About SEO for SaaS Companies

Zack Hanebrink
Zack Hanebrink 16 December 2020

Lead generation for SaaS companies is becoming increasingly difficult with all the competition out there. If there's one thing you don't want to lose sight of, it's your SEO for SaaS marketing strategy

If you don't have a digital marketing strategy in place to boost your search engine page results, then you're already behind. In this article, we're going to tell you everything you need to know about SEO for SaaS, including the four main areas of focus for your future SEO marketing strategy.

So, read on to learn more about the benefits of SEO for SaaS companies and how to go about it all. 


SEO For SaaS: What Makes it So Different?

SaaS (software as a service) is tailored to a very specific niche and target market. The software itself is fundamentally different compared to the software applications found among B2B (business to business) models. The primary difference between SaaS and B2B business models is that SaaS is positioned as an all-in-one and ongoing service, whereas B2B is more of a one-time sale.

Additionally, SaaS companies are typically cloud-based, which means that SaaS companies face the challenge of selling an intangible item. It also means that all operations including server usage, updates, patches, data security, and maintenance are all handled remotely. Hence the positioning of the software as a service rather than a product.

Since SaaS companies are leveraging an ongoing service, they need an almost completely different marketing strategy. The standard SaaS business model is one that charges its customer base for access to a software product or suite of tools for a specific purpose. The goal is to attract a customer base that wants two things: access to the product itself and the convenience of having an outsourced team to handle the technical stuff.

Therefore, your SaaS marketing strategy must reflect a service-based mindset. SEO for SaaS can seem tricky at first. There isn't exactly an influencer market that can push the needle for digital marketing software companies. However, the SaaS business model does have its advantages.

Since SaaS provides an ongoing service, you have the advantages of a customizable business model. It can be modified, improved upon, updated, and tweaked for a variety of different industries. They also usually come with tons of features that can be added, creating new categories and markets, giving your company a competitive edge in the organic search space.   

Is SEO for SaaS Companies Necessary?

Whether you go about it yourself or enlist the help of a SaaS marketing agency, you may be wondering if SEO is even worth the effort in the first place. The short answer is yes, it's absolutely necessary.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the method all competing businesses use to increase their website's position on popular search engine results pages (SERPs). The SEO method, in particular, relies on the concept of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the key to building a positive brand reputation, customer empowerment, and long-lasting business relationships based on trust. 

SEO is also something that takes time to work, which is why many businesses owners question whether or not it's worth the investment. However, once your SEO begins to gain traction, it becomes both a stable and sustainable channel for consistently reaching new leads.

Let's take a quick look at the benefits of SEO for SaaS:

Predictability and Lower Marketing Costs

With SEO, you're investing in your organic reach rather than dumping all your money into an outbound marketing campaign (think: Google ads for SaaS). There are already tons of competing businesses oversaturating the pay-per-click (PPC) markets, and the costs of your campaign optimization are only increasing.

By choosing to focus on your SEO, you're looking at an initial investment that would include some SEO audits, and design and dev implementations depending on the condition of your website. You may still have to bid for some keywords to get to position zero, but overall you can plan at least six months ahead of time for your budget.

From there you'll still have to invest in your ongoing content, audits, and optimization to maintain your SEO over time, but those generally happen within six month increments. You can also track your progress and ROI using Google analytics tools.   

You Can Capitalize on Your Existing Organic Search Results

Just because you haven't done any SEO marketing work doesn't mean that your buyers' journey doesn't involve organic traffic leading to your website. There's a good chance that potential leads are currently—and have been—comparing your company to others. That means they've been researching your company's reviews online to see what others have to say about your services.

You can capitalize on even the thinnest veil of your online existence by figuring out which keywords are being used when searching for the reviews. This is what you'll be tailoring your content around (we'll talk more about that later). Additionally, you can also build on this momentum by doing some competitor research and learning the keywords that those businesses are using to gain traction. 

You Can Position Your Content for the Right Exposure

One of the most frustrating things about marketing for SaaS companies are the requests for trial usage and demos. All that work to give your potential leads a taste of what you're offering and only a small portion actually becomes paying customers.

You want your buyer persona to reflect that of a loyal customer since needs change over time and you want to get a clear understanding of how your product helps your customers achieve their goals. With the help of SEO, you can position your content to target the audience that's specifically looking for your solution.

At the same time, you can leverage your content to create an audience of potential leads simply by exposure. This is done by creating a central topic with a primary ranking keyword as well as secondary keywords that rank in relation to the topic. This is how you create a further reach and garner more potential leads who need the solutions you're offering.

It'll Enhance User Experience and Engagement

Your website's user experience (UX) and their engagement are critical factors for the success of your SEO rankings. That means fast loading speeds and effective mobile search and navigation functionality. If your website is slow loading, your potential leads will likely click out of your site and move onto the next.

Your click-through rate is something that can negatively impact your SEO. Plus, no one is going to trust a company selling a software service if their web page isn't up to par. Part of the job of an SaaS marketing agency is to help you strengthen the user experience for a positive impact on your SEO.  

Navigating SEO For SaaS Companies

There's are tons of SaaS digital marketing tips and tricks out there that can help improve your SEO for SaaS. However, the four main areas of focus that matter the most include:

1. Do Your Market and Competitor Research

Defining your target audience and understanding your competitors are the foundation on creating an effective SEO strategy. These may seem like redundant concepts, but if you want to compete in a sea of over a hundred thousand competitors, you'll need to dig deep.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

To define your target audience, you need to narrow it down to a precise demographic. Who are they? Where do they work? Where do they live? Where do they hang out? What's their income level?—Even knowing the tiny details of what they eat or how they manage stress matters.

Remember, you're going to be creating content around the who of your target audience. Not only will this drive your keyword research, but it's a way to make your most technial content relateable. Trust us, your audience wants to be seen and understood, so you're going to need to put your marketing efforts into seeing and understanding them.

Understanding Your Competition 

Conducting thorough research and analysizing the compeition is critical to your SEO for SaaS strategy. Not only do you need to know how your competitors have garned success with their SaaS digital marketing campaign, but you also need to find and exploit their weaknesses.

  • That means taking a look at and assesing:
  • Their backlink profiles
  • Their target market research and analysis
  • Their content profile and its quality
  • The types of content their creating
  • Their marketing strategies

Ultimately, you want to master your competitor's unique selling points (UPIs) and identify any overlapping conflicts, such as services and features they offer that you don't. This will help you gain insight into how you can improve your SaaS solutions. 

2. Do Your Keyword Research

Organic keywords are the very foundation of your website's structure and your content. Before you can create your SaaS digital marketing strategy, share content, and snag potential leads, you need to come up with a solid list of buyer-focused keywords.

Focus on terms that reflect:

  • What your potential leads are searching for
  • The keywords your competitors are using
  • The estimated number of individuals interested in your SaaS solutions

It's important to keep in mind that some relevant keywords will have an incredibly high search volume—but they may not represent the indiviudals who are actually motivated to buy. Aside from the kewyord search volume, you want to focus on the search term compeition. This will let you know whether a popular keyword is too oversaturated to successfully rank.

At the same time, you don't want to discount low search volume keywords either. Combining the less competitive yet still relevant keywords with a central keyword can add up to more traffic overtime. Always aim to have at least once central keyword and a handful (three to five) secondary keywords in each piece of content.

3. Come Up With a Solid Content Strategy

Content is king in the digital world. The content you put out should increase your authority within your industry as well as your trustworthiness. You want to position yourself as the guru of whatever it is your selling, so that your site will be what your customer base compares everything else to.

Creating an effective content strategy means utlizing both information content and sales copy. Here's what you need to keep in mind:

  • Create enaging and informative content surrounding your target audience's pain points and the relevant and well-ranking keywords
  • Try reaching out to reviewers, journalists, and any influencers within your industry. This will help you create a highly-relevant backlink profile through shares and links, and it'll foster a community of active engagement—which is essentially free advertisement
  • Utilize conversion rate optimization (CRO). That means formatting your content properly for SEO using short parapgraphs, headers, bullet points, and easy-to-read language. It also means sticking a call to action (CTA) at the bottom of each post or piece of content

You'll also want to keep track of the regular feedback you recieve, whether they be comments, shares, links, and so on. Active engagement and sharing is a good sign that the content you're putting out there is working.

4. Don't Forget About Link Building and Offsite SEO

Having a solid backlink profile is one of the most crucial SaaS marketic metrics. Backlinks—links to your site from other authoritative sources—helps Google to determine your website's relevance, authority, and overall quality. Backlinks will directly affect your offsite SEO.

The best way to get more, quality backlinks is by making all of your content as shareable as possible. 

At the same time, your outbound links are just as important. When creating outbound links, use relevant anchor texts with links to high-quality sources. This may seem counterinuitive since you want people to stay on your site. However, if Google thinks you're trapping people on your page with no "outbound flow," they'll penalize you.

Remember, it's all about the user experience. Therefore, quality backlinks and outbound links make a huge difference in SEO for SaaS.

Need Help With Your SEO for SaaS?

SEO for SaaS can be a little overwhelming if you don't know where to start. it's also constant work, as keywords change and backlinks become irrelevant. If you're not conducting frequent SEO audits every six months to a year, you'll find that your efforts have become outdated and fall deeper into the darker ranks of Google.

Luckily, we can help you with that. Reach out to us today and tell us about your SaaS marketing goals. We have the all the right solutions to drive you sales.