SaaS SEO Strategy – How to Skyrocket Your SaaS to success

B2B - Brand Strategy
Lead Generation

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a booming business model. In the modern – ever more digital – world, delivering software solutions remotely fits both our personal and business needs. It’s for that reason that the SaaS market has been growing year on year for over a decade.

An expanding sector, though, means a more competitive marketplace. If you’re going to succeed as a SaaS brand, you need to get – and stay – ahead of your rivals. There are many strands to a successful strategy to grow any SaaS business. To name only a few, you must:

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This guide will take you step-by-step through the process of building precisely the SaaS SEO strategy you need. We’re going to cover:

  • Search Intent – Why it’s crucial to understand how and why searchers use Google.
  • Mapping SEO Strategy to Your Marketing Funnel – How to track the buyer journey and adapt your SEO efforts accordingly
  • Top, Middle, & Bottom of the Funnel SEO – What each level of SaaS SEO looks like and how to get it right.
  • Actionable Strategy How to turn your insights into a practical SEO and acquisition plan that also encompasses link building.

 

However, we should mention one more thing before we start to put meat on those bones. And that’s why a cloud communications or other SaaS company must have an SEO strategy. 

 

Why a Cloud Communications Company Needs an SEO Strategy


Let’s start with a quick refresher on SEO. SEO is a catch-all for everything you do to improve your brand’s performance on search engine results pages (SERPs). The aim is to get your pages and content as high on those pages as possible. The higher ranked you are, after all, the more traffic you get. 

There are a vast number of factors that go into determining each page’s ranking. Google – the pre-eminent search engine – uses an AI-enhanced algorithm to rank online material. Some of the ranking factors accounted for by the algorithm include:

User engagement – How site visitors interact with your pages. Do they stay for a long or a short time? How much do they click on or engage with your content? How often do your pages get viewed?

Link profile – The makeup of the links to and from your content. Which sites and domains link to you? Where do your external links lead? How are internal links organized?

Content What your onsite material is about and how useful it is. What keywords are prominent within your onsite content? How well do articles or posts answer reader intent? 

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Those represent the tip of the ranking factor iceberg. A robust SaaS SEO strategy accounts for all of them and more. It’s not a straightforward undertaking; it takes significant time, effort, and investment. Done well, however, and it’s all worth it for a range of reasons. 

 

1. Predictable & scalable growth

 

Like many acquisition channels, SEO is complicated. Plenty goes into making it work efficiently for your brand. Unlike things such as pay per click (PPC) advertising or incentive marketing, though, it’s often predictable.

The precise volume of organic traffic any site gets will differ. No two pages or posts are the same. Trends and patterns in search traffic, however, are broadly predictable. With proper analytics and experience on your side, you can anticipate the results of your SEO actions.

It’s comparatively straightforward, for instance, to foresee the boost in traffic that will come if you move from #3 to #1 for a search term. That makes it easier to assess ROI and budget for a long-term SEO strategy. 

What’s more, growing traffic via SEO can deliver exponential results. As you ramp up and improve your efforts, the impact compounds. Everything you do builds upon the actions you’ve already taken. That means each improvement’s effect is more significant than if that was the only step you’d made. 

A SaaS SEO strategy, then, won’t deliver instant returns. What it will do, though, is set you up for the long-term. You’ll build ever more targeted organic traffic. It’s from that kind of traffic that you can then generate more leads and conversions.    

 

2. Supporting & bolstering other channels

 

So far, we’ve expounded the virtues of robust SEO. That’s not to say, however, that you should shun all other acquisition strategies. You need a well-rounded plan to find, qualify, nurture, and convert leads. The beauty of SEO is that it can be the pivot around which such a plan is built.

Boosting organic traffic feeds into and supports your other acquisition and marketing efforts. More site visitors means more chance of capturing email addresses. That will improve the results of your email marketing.

The high-quality content you produce as part of your SEO efforts, too, can be multi-functional. A great blog post is something you can market to your social media followers. A highly optimized product page, meanwhile, will aid your conversion rate optimization (CRO) as well as your SEO.  

 

3. Long-term cost-efficiency

 

If you’re not yet convinced of the virtues of SEO for SaaS, cost might be the reason. You may be thinking that what goes into growing organic traffic sounds like it needs a lot of investment. It does, but it’s worth it.

Thanks to the aforementioned compound impact of SEO, too, your ROI increases over time. Your first SEO efforts will be slow to take hold. It takes more than your first piece of outstanding content to sway Google. With each step you take, though, the cost of bumping up traffic decreases. 

That’s in stark contrast to other acquisition channels. Take PPC, for instance. At first, you may find some low hanging fruit. You could buy ads for some high volume, low competition keywords, and cash in. 

As time goes on, though, those opportunities dry up. To keep making gains, you’d have to plunge more and more cash into more competitive ads. What’s more, what you’ve spent in the past is no longer getting you anything. There’s no compound effect like with SEO. Approaching acquisition in this way isn’t sustainable.       

It should be apparent, then, why a successful SEO strategy is integral to growing a SaaS business. How, though, can you build such a plan? It starts by understanding search intent.  

 

Search Intent: Types of Google Searches

 

Performing a Google search is something with which we’re all familiar. It’s so run of the mill, in fact, that it’s easy to take it for granted. If you’re already interested in SEO, you won’t fall into that trap. What you might do, though, is get so caught up with searches that you forget about searchers.

There’s a real person behind every search term, and you should never forget it. Thinking about search volume, keywords, and click-through rates is essential. What’s equally so, is considering and understanding why someone performs the search they do. That’s search intent.

Anyone who types a phrase into Google needs something. They’re looking to the search engine to perform a service on their behalf. Precisely what they need differs, as we’ll cover in a moment. That it’s critical for you to understand their search intent remains the same. 

It’s thanks to Google itself that search intent is so vital. The search engine is dedicated to delivering the most relevant results possible. As such, Google’s algorithms can and do recognize the intent behind searches. SERPs only display what searchers want – and need – to see. 

You must ensure it’s your content that fits the bill, therefore. That means tailoring pages and copy to what those searching for relevant keywords are after. The first step in this process is to grasp the four principal types of search intent:  

1. Informational.

Sometimes we head to Google to find some answers. We’re looking for information we don’t presently have. This may be a straightforward query like ‘What is VoIP?’. 

2. Navigational.

Sometimes when you perform a search, you know precisely where you want to go. What you might not have is the relevant URL. Or perhaps it’s faster to tap out a quick search than to input it in the address bar. 

In that case, you may enter something like ‘RingCentral VoIP Services’. It will more swiftly get you to the product page you desire than typing out a full address. 

3. Transactional.

Among other things, the internet is a vast marketplace. Plenty of searchers on Google are looking to buy something. More than that, some of them are already close to the point of purchase.

That’s when they’ll perform transactional searches. They’re looking for pages they can click through to where they can buy what they want. Someone searching ‘Buy VoIP Phone’ isn’t interested in a guide to the benefits of VoIP. They’re already sold, and if your product pages can rank for these types of searches, your wares will be too.   

4. Investigational.

Investigational searches are like a combination of informational and transactional ones. They get performed by people who know they want a product but haven’t decided who from.

‘Vs.’ searches are by far the most common here. Searchers type something like ‘RingCentral vs. Vonage’ to compare the two companies. It’s part of their due diligence on two providers of similar solutions. 

Our whistle-stop tour of search intent should have taught you two things. One is that not every searcher is using Google for the same reason. The other is that the type of content that ranks changes according to search intent. 

Take a look back at our search intent screenshots. Each one shows separate entries ranking on page one of the SERPs. That’s despite each search term being broadly related to the same topic (VoIP). Grasping search intent, as well as the search terms used, therefore, is critical.