You’ve probably heard a lot about search engine optimization, and you may be wondering, “what’s the big deal?”
In the SaaS industry, you know how important solid data is. When you invest in marketing, you need to know that it will generate x in revenue (or leads).
The key to running an SEO campaign for your SaaS company is establishing the right goals and tracking the right metrics. From there, it’s all about making yourself “search engine friendly” so you can get found by your prospective audience online.
It’s not a very sexy subject, like UX or UI. But I promise an effective SEO strategy will have a big impact on your SaaS company’s success, and that impact will come in the form of an increase in leads.
The fact of the matter is that 71% of people researching a B2B product or service begin with a Google search.
Further, signing up for a free trial or filling out a contact form is never the first step in the B2B customer journey. The buying process is already 57% complete before anyone takes an action on your website, according to the Google study referenced above.
When someone searches for a B2B service on a search engine, they’re searching with intent. They have a problem that they’re looking to solve right away. That’s a lot of qualified leads you’re missing out on if your website isn’t SEO optimized.
What Makes SEO for SaaS Companies Unique?
You may find yourself in agreement that SEO is important, but why are SaaS companies any different from other B2B businesses when it comes to digital marketing?
The answer is, there’s a ton of overlap. It comes down to the individual needs of your organization, but we’ve noticed a few things that consistently set SaaS companies apart.
First, SaaS companies are obsessive about generating leads. It sometimes keeps them up at night. Therefore, leads will be front and center in this SEO guide.
Second, SaaS companies are protective of their brand voice. Like mother-bear-protecting-her-cub level protective, and the unsuspecting employee in charge of SEO is the hiker caught in the middle.
Finally, SaaS companies are obviously web and user experience savvy. But all too often we’ve noticed that they fail to lay the framework for a website to be “search engine friendly.” Your website might look really cool, but Google doesn’t rank you based on your cool-factor alone.
Luckily, each one of these issues can be used to your SEO advantage. It’s a good thing that you care about leads and that you’re overprotective of your brand. Channel your passion and web expertise into crafting an effective SEO strategy.
Keep reading to learn how.
A Brief Overview of SEO Strategy
We’ll go over each of these steps in great detail in further blog posts to be released weekly over the next few months, but here’s a brief overview.
Step 1: Identify your goals
No business should engage in SEO without some clear goals in mind. This will help you chart a map to reach those goals, so you don’t wind up meandering through the digital marketing world with only marginal success.
SEO goals should differ from organization to organization, but here are a few that relate directly to the SaaS industry:
- Generate more leads – you know that your sales team will do an excellent job with qualified leads, you just need more of them
- Drive traffic – you think your website should be generating a ton more traffic, and one problem could be that you’re not ranking well on search engines for specific keywords
- Build a bigger, better email list
Don’t worry, you can have more than one goal. Just make sure it’s specific enough, and that it’s something you can track.
Step 2: Audit your website and conduct keyword research
We’ll go into much more detail on how to conduct an SEO audit in a later blog post, but for now, you should be aware that there is a multitude of tools to help audit your site. Some of our favorites include:
- Screaming Frog (powerful site crawler)
- SEMRush (great to see how your website is ranking for relevant keywords)
- Majestic (great for analyzing links)
- Open Site Explorer
Step 3: Implement changes based on audit
A good SEO audit will give you a checklist of items that need to be implemented. Go down the list and make some changes!
If you’re interested in what constitutes a good SEO audit, you’ve got some reading to do.
Step 4: Optimize your on-site content for identified target keywords
Now it’s time to put your keyword research to work. Keywords are the questions people type into a search engine, so it’s as simple as answering those questions persuasively, completely, and with authority.
One of the benefits of keyword research is that it helps you identify potential information gaps in your website. Is there something you should be ranking for, but you don’t have any content yet on your website that addresses that subject?
You can also comb through the existing content on your website and strategically insert your targeted keywords in relevant areas. Be careful, though–you want the language to be natural. Don’t just go in and stuff the keyword 30 times on a single web page. One keyword (or keyword phrase) in the page’s heading (H1 tag) and 2 or 3 times after that is plenty sufficient.
Step 5: Link building
Links make up the webbing that ties the internet together, so it’s not much of a surprise that search engines rely on links to determine whether a website is authoritative.
Any good SEO campaign involves a heavy dose of link-building, but it has to be done holistically and strategically. You want other websites to link to yours, but they should be authoritative in their respective fields, otherwise they’ll do more harm than good.
Step 6: Re-evaluate, re-assess
Always test, always re-evaluate, and learn to be agile.
That’s the name of the SEO game. It’s about pursuing strategies that give you the results, and abandoning practices that yield little or no fruit.
It All Comes Down to Structuring Your Site so it’s Search Engine Friendly
That’s SEO in a nutshell. Your site can still be people-friendly (as it should). In fact, building a beautiful website that has an excellent user experience can help your SEO. But it shouldn’t get in the way (or vice versa).
Don’t worry, we’ll show you how
This is only the beginning–continue your SaaS SEO journey by contacting us today.