SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most powerful channels when it comes to lead generation. Getting SEO right can mean the difference between a successful business with steady growth, and a business with a diminishing customer base and revenue.
Unfortunately, when SaaS companies start out with SEO, they run into a litany of challenges. That’s why we put together this blog post – to give readers a high-level overview of how to correctly approach SEO. Let’s review that process.
Note: Ranking for SEO is a complex process, and we can’t possibly define all the ins and outs in one blog post. We aim to provide your B2B SaaS business with a few simple, specific, and actionable ways to improve your SEO.
1. Find Your Keyword Strategy
Choose your Keywords
At a high level, Google and other search engines use keywords (or search terms) to gain an understanding of search intent. In the early days, this was just a simple matching of what websites/pages have the search term in it. Today, Google’s algorithm uses an advanced AI engine to understand meaning. Once it has that understanding, it can connect users to relevant online content. Hopefully, for your target market, it’s your website that pops up at the top of the page for relevant keywords.
So, which keywords do you pick?
From a strategic perspective, this is where you need to start thinking about your customer. If your B2B SaaS business is solving a customer’s problem, they are probably searching for a fix to their problems. As a B2B SaaS business, focus on keywords and phrases that relate to the solutions you provide and the problems your market would be searching to solve.
For example, if you offer a SaaS solution that helps businesses manage their payroll, you would want to target keywords like “payroll management software” or “payroll services.” The people searching under those terms have a payroll management problem. Your business needs to grab their attention and offer your solution.
If you’re not sure what keywords to target or what terms your customers are searching for, we have a recommendation. A great start is to use something called the Keyword Planner.
Google’s AdWords (now just Google Ads) Keyword Planner is an excellent option for keyword research. This free but powerful tool can take broad search terms and help you determine more specific and related keywords. It also allows you to see the estimated monthly searches keywords receive and the costs to target them.
This only scratches the surface of identifying keywords, but it’s an excellent place to start. For more help with understanding keywords and the strategy behind them, contact us. We’ve got over 20 years of experience in this area.
Insert Keywords into the Right Places
Once you know which keywords you want to target and have validated they have traffic and relevance, it’s time to get them in your company’s messaging.
Start by targeting specific places on your site to insert your keywords. This could include the titles, subtitles, body text, and URLs on your website. Google and other search engines pay the most attention to these areas. Having keywords there will make it easier for Google to understand your site and rank it higher on search results.
Note: As you begin to change content on your site to reflect the right keywords, make sure you avoid keyword stuffing and cannibalization.
Keyword stuffing means you are overfilling a page with keywords or numbers. Essentially, it’s keyword spam. Nobody likes spam–especially Google. Also, using a phrase or word too often on a webpage looks strange and forced to visitors. That repetitive use creates an annoying experience for any potential customer visiting your site.
A similar problem is keyword cannibalization. This happens when your website starts competing with itself for the same keywords. This can cause your ranking for those keywords to drop. Additionally, if your website pages have too similar content, Google doesn’t know which page to rank, so it can end up ranking your pages lower.
2. Generate Content
This step closely aligns with the last recommendation. Because of the all-in-one purchase nature of the SaaS industry, potential customers will likely be doing a fair amount of research before making a purchase. It can be a fairly high-consideration purchase. Blogs can be very helpful for aiding with that research process and for Google as it tries to connect relevant topics with searches. After surveying over 300 consumers, HubSpot found that 56% purchased something from the company after reading a blog post from them. So, don’t leave your prospects hanging.
Creating a blog can be very extensive once you include design and other technical aspects, but don’t overthink it. Get high-quality content up and iterate as you go.
To begin, you will need to generate blog topics.
This is where knowing your keywords and customers come back in. Focus on your market’s concerns or needs, pairing those with the traffic/competition as found in the Keyword Planner. How-to guides, tips and tricks, and checklists are the types of blogs many SaaS customers read and learn from. The most important part, however, is the quality of the content.
As your potential customers search for solutions and your blog depth increases, your blogs will appear, and they will learn from your expertise framing your organization as a go-to resource for the topic. In many cases, that’s the first step to the sale.
Now that you have some key keywords selected and have a blog starting up let’s take a deeper look at the website itself.
3. Optimize Your Website
There are many routes to take here, but a few simple optimizations will greatly boost your SaaS business’s SEO rankings.
When your focus is on keywords and content, it can be easy to forget images.
When uploading images to your website, it’s important to compress them. This will reduce the file size of the image, which will improve the load time of your website (overly large images are one of the biggest causes of slow load time). It will also make your website appear more responsive to users. Google wants to give users, a.k.a. your potential customers, the best experience. Part of that experience is loading speed.
Use a compression tool like Kraken.io. It’s easy to use, and it will help you reduce the file size of your images without compromising their quality.
Additionally, apply alt tags to those images. These are brief descriptions of the image that will be displayed if the image can’t be loaded for some reason. This is another opportunity to include keywords in your content, so be sure to make the most of it!
One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your SaaS company’s SEO ranking is to add internal links to your website. Internal links are links from one page on your website to another page.
Adding internal links is a great way to increase the average user’s pages-per-session, and it also helps Google understand your website’s structure.
External links can also boost your SEO. How does this improve ranking?
In a nutshell, external links allow different search engines like Google to determine the value of your website. If you’ve linked to high-value, high-ranking sites, your site’s value and ranking can increase.
However, your links should be to relevant sites or information. Stats, how-to videos, infographics, and educational articles would be good examples.
Additionally, make sure you target only quality websites. Those sites should be professional, respected, and include quality content.
On the other hand, if you link to a site that is unprofessional or filled with click-bait content can adversely affect your credibility and ranking.
These are a few suggestions to consider. Your website is your main centerpiece for presentation and SEO. Investing time and effort here is critical.
Want more B2B SaaS SEO help?
Even though we’ve repeated it more than several times in this article, we want to reiterate: SaaS SEO is a challenging endeavor. We’ve only scratched the surface of all the areas your business needs to consider. If it feels overwhelming, don’t despair. We’re here to help.
Our team has helped many B2B SaaS firms to rank highly on top search engines, build user bases, drive more sales, and grow using the right marketing channels. We’re confident we can help you too.
Schedule a free consultation, and let’s get into the specific tips that will work for you, so you can craft a B2B SaaS SEO strategy that stands.