The Complete SEO Checklist for SaaS Companies
Demand for Software as a Service continues growing at a rapid pace and looks to quadruple in less than a decade. As the industry grows, SEO for SaaS is more vital than ever for companies to remain visible and competitive.
The challenge is that SaaS companies live almost exclusively online and must depend more on digital marketing than enterprises with physical stores and products. As a result, a practical blueprint is critical to SaaS content marketing success.
We created the following checklist from strategies we’ve successfully used. With this guide, you can ensure you never miss an SEO essential.
- Aligning keyword research with a strong funnel marketing strategy helps you reach potential customers at every stage of the buyer journey.
- Pain-point content engages your customer by demonstrating how you can solve their problems.
- Technical SEO and on-page are essential so that users and search engines can intuitively navigate your website.
- Search engine algorithms look for backlinks to determine your brand’s authority.
- High-value lead magnets turn web traffic into leads and conversions.
The Value of SEO for SaaS
Before you jump into action, appreciate why a proven SEO for SaaS strategy is critical. Remember, it takes a few months to start seeing benefits, such as:
- Growth in web traffic: The results start gradually but in time can lead to exponential increases in sustainable organic traffic.
- Increased brand awareness and authority: The boost in traffic optimizes your site’s domain authority and helps you rank higher on search pages.
- Lower customer cost per acquisition: You gain new customers for a lot less than pay-per-click or paid social ads.
- Better conversion across channels: SEO complements your other marketing efforts because you can repurpose content as well as drive and convert customers from other channels.
- Higher customer retention rates: Your awareness and authority keep you as a thought leader in the minds of existing customers who’ll stick with you.
As you can see, focusing on SEO eliminates common marketing challenges and helps you capitalize on the unstoppable growth in the SaaS industry.
Image Source: Search Engine Land
SEO for SaaS: Your Complete Checklist
Take these steps to create an SEO for SaaS strategy or enhance your existing one.
Keyword research is foundational to content marketing for any company. However, competitors and content thoroughly saturate the SaaS market.
Unfortunately, there’s no changing that aspect of the marketing landscape. Still, you have opportunities to be strategic about keywords to make your brand more visible and competitive on search engine result pages.
SaaS companies can use an SEO pyramid framework to find, cluster, and prioritize keywords in ways that optimize funnel marketing opportunities.
Image Source: CXL
Categories at the top of the pyramid have the lowest search volume but the highest purchase intent. Conversely, categories at the bottom of the pyramid have the highest volume but the lowest intent.
SaaS companies should be creating content to cover the entire pyramid. To do so, you need an intentional, balanced approach to content creation that allows you to prioritize the areas where you see the highest return on investment.
The SEO pyramid framework helps you brainstorm keywords for every category. The framework also ensures you’re creating great content for every stage of the buyer journey in your SEO for SaaS methodology.
Funnel Marketing Strategy
Did you know that B2B buyers now complete 70% of their brand research before ever reaching out to a company directly? In other words, leads have made their way through several stages of the buyer journey before conversing with your sales team.
As a result, your content is your most powerful tool for keeping potential customers engaged until they’re ready to reach out. That means creating appropriate content for every stage of the sales funnel.
Image Source: VMG Studios
Maintain a solid funnel marketing strategy by looking at your SEO pyramid and matching your keywords to the stages of the sales funnel.
Does your SEO for SaaS strategy include creating relevant content for buyers at every stage? When you do that, you’re setting yourself up for better success in driving customers from one stage to the next until they ultimately convert into leads or sales.
Looking at your content through the lens of the sales funnel also helps you pinpoint what gaps exist in your content, where potential buyers show more or less engagement, and where you need to focus on optimizing your content strategy.
E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These criteria are among the most important Google ranking factors, especially for SaaS companies.
Your E-E-A-T rating plays a big role in determining whether Google’s algorithms view your brand as an authority (or not) in your industry and where you’ll rank on SERPs.
Important factors that contribute to your E-E-A-T score include:
- Bio and company profile: Create a clear, detailed overview that explains why you’re an expert in your industry.
- Social proof: Highlight customer reviews and testimonials throughout your website and content for effective SEO for your SaaS brand.
- Guest posts and appearances: Appearing in posts, webinars, podcasts, or interviews for other brands builds your credibility and authority.
- Reliable source links: Always use high-quality, trustworthy sources in your content.
- Create human-centered content: Design your content for your human beings, not for search engines.
That last point is critical because search engines are smarter than ever, and they’re looking for content that provides value. Information offering real benefits will become even more valuable as algorithms seek to hunt and destroy posts that come from artificial intelligence.
(To learn how we create authoritative content for our clients, check out our 20-point perfect blog post checklist.)
B2B buyers seek out SaaS companies to help them accomplish something they cannot do on their own. In other words, they’re dealing with a problem or challenge, i.e., a pain point.
Featuring pain point content in your SEO for SaaS strategy demonstrates the value of your brand and offerings by clearly highlighting how you can solve customers’ problems or meet their specific needs.
Consider this simple but accurate representation of what it means to think in terms of pain points, not solutions:
Image Source: Ceralytics
Thinking in terms of pain points first can feel counterintuitive. After all, you’re selling a solution, right?
That’s true, but in the end, your customers will only take an interest in your solution if they can see how it will address their problems. When you center content around pain points, you engage customers by making them feel understood.
SaaS customers do tons of research online and almost always find several brands that provide the type of solution they’re seeking. Showing that you truly understand your potential customer’s experience will help you stand out in a crowded market.
While high-value content is essential in your SEO for SaaS approach, you should not concentrate on content at the expense of technical SEO. Focus on these major factors:
- Google Analytics: Set up Google Analytics and tracking to find insights on site performance and quickly discover technical issues.
- Site structure: Maintain an intuitive site structure that is easy for human users and search engines to navigate.
- Secure protocols: Your website should always default to a secure HTTPS version.
- Mobile optimization: Google has implemented mobile-first indexing because most traffic is now mobile, so optimize your site for mobile use for better UX quality.
Attention to detail on the back end of your website is a big contributor to your rankings. Conduct a full technical SEO audit to set up your website for success.
Various on-page adjustments make your content more readable and more attractive to algorithms. Optimize your pages by:
- Using target keywords in the title and headings
- Writing a captivating meta description
- Including images and optimizing them with descriptive alt text
- Linking to other pages on your site with related information
Don’t forget to revisit older posts and implement these features. Doing so may make a page with few hits surge in popularity.
Backlinks are links from other websites to your content. These links play an important role in SEO for SaaS because ranking algorithms look to them as a sign of authority.
The thing is, they’re not that easy to earn. To do it, you really have to play the content marketing long game.
When you consistently create high-value, shareable content, it earns more traffic and visibility. Over time, more readers share it, and your backlink volume grows.
If link building is new to you, here are some valuable tips from SEO expert brand Ahrefs:
High-Value Lead Magnets
Since most of your potential customers are researching long before they ever reach out to you, how can you start the relationship earlier? Create irresistible lead magnets!
In short, lead magnets are high-value content that you give in exchange for a potential customer’s contact details. However, lead magnets must provide information that helps the audience accomplish something meaningful to work well in SEO for SaaS.
Effective lead magnets are specific and actionable but still leave the customer wanting more. Common lead magnets include:
- PDF checklists to make a complex or difficult problem more manageable
- Explainer or demo videos to connect people visually to your brand’s people and products while providing important how-to information
- Ebooks and whitepapers on particular topics that demonstrate your brand’s expertise
Keep a steady stream of lead magnets in your regular content creation formula.
Help for a Quick Boost to Your SEO for SaaS Performance
This checklist is robust and has a lot of crucial pointers to help you succeed. While the number of essentials may seem overwhelming, help is near at hand.