SEO for SaaS products

How to grow your SaaS company with our recommendations and examples of SEO strategies

This article discusses SEO promotion strategies for SaaS products. The material is intended for SEO specialists and readers with knowledge of the principles of SEO website promotion, as well as for owners of SaaS products; the reading time – 13 minutes.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is a kind of web software that provides various software solutions using cloud technology. As a rule, the software offers a web interface with the functionality necessary for the user and a server part, which the provider fully services.

Approaches to SEO promotion of SaaS products

At the Around Web digital agency, we share two approaches to SEO promotion for SaaS; conventionally, they can be called traditional and alternative.

The traditional SEO approach for SaaS (working for results) is a methodology that provides for a “traditional” and ordered set of actions – collecting and researching the semantic core, highlighting commercial groups, creating and optimizing pages according to SL, technical SEO, link building.

This SaaS SEO option suits new products, low-competition niches, and high-budget projects.

An alternative approach to SEO promotion (working from the result) is a more flexible and utterly individual strategy that involves researching the project’s current state and identifying growth points for maximum profit.

This is the best SEO / SaaS interaction option for existing products, highly competitive niches, and small budgets. It is the alternative promotion strategy that we will consider in this article; for the traditional one, there are many materials and guides.

Since the time and budget are limited, it is worth using the Pareto principle. The main questions that should be answered when choosing this promotion method are:

  • What is the site missing?
  • Can this be added?
  • How to do it with minimal investment of time/money?

SaaS Product SEO Guide by Example

Let’s briefly consider the chosen strategy using the example of https://www.clearviewcrm.com, and then we will talk in more detail about each item.

Step 1: Initial site analysis in Ahrefs

So let’s take a look at the overview:

We conclude that the site has a weak link mass (we ran a little ahead, but, logically, 90 donors are not enough for a CRM system), and keys and traffic are practically not ranked.

Let’s look at the keys: 

We can immediately conclude that the main page for which the queries of the “CRM” group are relevant is ranked only by brand queries (the words “clearview”, “softrek”). Looking ahead, for the query “crm” and similar, the site does not rank in the TOP 100.

However, another page ranks in the TOP 10-15 for non-brand-related queries: “nonprofit membership management”, while the queries in this group are commercial targeted queries.

Step 2: Goal setting and search for growth points

The main goal of almost any SEO project is to get traffic for targeted queries. To achieve this, we need to find commercial key groups for which we can rank in Google.

Also, to increase the positions of commercial pages and attract external links and leads, you need to create a blog. The benefits of information traffic will be described in more detail below.

Step 3: We evaluate the external indicators of competitors for the selected keys

*Note: We recommend you start this step only after collecting the complete SC and not individual groups (as discussed in the example). 

 

For each group (it is desirable to take not one but at least 2-3 queries), we analyze the output and look at: 

  • number of domains per site/page;
  • DR/UR;
  • age (it is also desirable to separate the age of the site and page);
  • use of the key in Title.

I also recommend watching Volume / Global Volume (because SaaS products are very rarely designed for one region), Traffic Potential (a useful indicator), KD (a must-have for each key), Parent Topic

*Note: We don’t rate texts at the moment

Step 4: Page creation/optimization

We give priority to groups with low KD and optimal indicators of the other items described above.

Step 5: Conclusion in the TOP 10

We look at which pages are striving for the TOP and pump them with links; we do this with caution, observing the fundamental laws and rules of Linkbuilding.

 

Let’s take a look at some Saas/SEO points in more detail

Keyword research for SaaS

 

See also  Key growth strategies for SaaS companies

The collection and clustering of the semantic core are not fundamentally different from other websites; however, a more detailed manual study of query groups is recommended, especially for low-frequency queries that can be neglected in other projects.

Some SaaS product owners mistakenly believe that the target group of requests for their product can only be one (or a limited selection). In turn, the digital agency Around Web specialists believes it is necessary to collect a wide semantic core, dividing queries into different pages.

For example, to optimize the site https://www.clearviewcrm.com/, we would prioritize “nonprofit membership management” over “crm”. Why?

Because it’s easier and cheaper to get high positions on “nonprofit membership management” queries than on highly competitive ones:

KD of the “crm” query:

KD of the “nonprofit membership management” query:

If you go further, you can find more queries, such as “crm for b2b”:

Here the frequency of the request is only 10, you say. But the KD indicator is 0, we will answer, and add that the global frequency is 500 also, experienced specialists know that services cut off the request frequency quite large + we will take into account similar requests, etc.

At the same time, the requests are the most targeted and conversion – the B2B segment for this niche is the audience that buys the maximum subscriptions and cooperates with this Saas product longer than others.

In this case, we can deduce the credo of this SEO strategy for SaaS: it is better to receive a small amount of traffic for low-frequency groups of queries than not to receive any traffic for high-frequency queries.

Using Information Keys in SaaS SEO Strategy 

The benefits of information traffic are very high: 

  • additional low-converting traffic (do you think it might be redundant?);
  • promotion of commercial pages by behavioral factors (increase in session time, active actions, return percentage);
  • good content is shared on social networks and their websites.

 

These and other benefits will become available if you find the right keywords and write decent content. 

A few tips: 

  • here try to look for requests with a higher frequency and low KD;
  • write good content (we will consider this further);
  • select topics only for you or as close to the topic as possible.

Traffic Prediction in Keyword Research

Let’s consider several groups of keywords and example traffic that these keywords can obtain. 

*Note: This forecasting method is not a rule; we use it to obtain approximate indicators that will differ from real ones.

The traffic calculation scheme is based on research by Chitika et al., according to which traffic is distributed among the TOP-15 according to the following principle:

Thus, a site in the TOP-3 for a certain group of requests will receive from 10 to 30 percent of the total traffic.

Consider the selected site keys from the example:

 

Keywords group Overall group frequency on Ahrefs in the US region Traffic forecast when entering the TOP 1-3 per month
nonprofit membership management 160 от 16 до 48
crm for b2b 100 от 10-ти до 30
crm for gmail 1100 от 110 до 330
crm for small business 11000 от 1100 до 3300
what does crm stand for 11000 от 1100 до 3300
what is crm 58000 от 5800 до 17400

 

The table includes examples of low and high-frequency requests for clarity with various KD and other indicators.

It is worth pointing out that high-frequency pages should also be created; when reaching the 10th line, it is possible to receive about 3% of traffic (for the “CRM” group, this is about 50,000 visitors)

 

We also take into account:

  1. PPC ads, special navigation blocks in Google SERPs that steal traffic;
  2. Low-frequency requests are cut off by frequency services and keys that add traffic.

 

Thus, you can collect a full-fledged audience for the site; it is worth starting with creating and optimizing commercial low-midrange pages and then attracting traffic to more competitive ones.

Researching text factors of competitors and writing content for SaaS software

Content writing for SaaS does not depend on the choice of SEO strategy. However, articles should be as useful as possible for readers and sufficiently optimized.

How to look for competitors

See the results for 2-3 keywords from the group, and choose 5+ competitors (3+ for low-frequency queries) according to the principle:

  1. semantic and structural similarity with the presentation of our page;
  2. place in the search results (we do not recommend taking competitors from the second page onwards);

only in that order.

What parameters to take for writing text

  • the volume of text at the level of competitors;
  • structure (headings) similar in meaning;
  • synonyms/LSI words;
  • the density of occurrence of keywords/phrases.

Who writes the text?

An independent copywriter can write the text, but a niche expert must necessarily review the content.

You can also go from the opposite: according to the structure, the text is written by an expert (product owner, company employee), then the SEO specialist reviews and adds the necessary elements to achieve acceptable performance. This is the best approach to writing SEO-optimized content for SaaS products. There are so many niche nuances that no one knows better than the creator/owner of the software or the employee who works with it.

Technical SEO for SaaS Products

This SEO section for SaaS also has no differences from the traditional way of promotion.

A competent and complete SEO audit of the site is necessary; if the owner is promoting the product and does not have enough technical knowledge in SEO to evaluate the site – we recommend finding an outsource/outstaff specialist or reading the materials on this topic on the net.

See also  Gamification in advertising or How to farm conversions

It is worth mentioning that well-provided technical SEO for SaaS is the key to the success of your chosen promotion strategy and the foundation of website optimization.

Crawling and identifying technical errors in the work of internal links

Crawling is a site crawling by a special robot that imitates the work of a search robot. Crawling is necessary to check the accessibility of your pages to users and the robot and identify problems.

We recommend using Screaming Frog, Netpeak Spider, or another crawler that is convenient for you to scan SaaS sites and others.

Avoid having broken links and many redirects within site; this will ensure that your pages are well indexed. We also recommend checking outgoing links; a good resource should link only to thematic and authoritative resources.

Page loading speed, mobile version, and other indicators

The following signals are taken into account by search engines when evaluating a site:

  • page loading speed;
  • availability of an optimized mobile version;
  • micromarking;
  • bread crumbs.

 

Google provides tools that allow you to check your site’s status and recommend optimizing the points described above.

E-A-T promotion

E-A-T – Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Google and other search engines evaluate the usefulness of your information and try to give the user the most relevant answer – help them with this.

The usefulness and reliability of the information on the site is the key to the success of every business; take care of the availability of the pages “Contacts”, “About Us”, “Privacy Policy”, etc., and order content from copywriters who understand your subject, and also check the texts before posting to match the SaaS information to the product.

 

*Note: We recommend a deeper study of E-A-T factors for medical and legal websites.

How to deal with internal linking

Well-executed internal linking allows you to save the budget and time for searching and building external links. Recommendations: 

  • use breadcrumbs (even on sites with a small number of pages);
  • add links to commercial pages from the blog using anchors from the semantic core and the Google Search Console;
  • use simple and intuitive linking blocks on the site – sidebar, blocks at the bottom of blog entries to similar entries, etc.;
  • put links in the content of blog posts not only to commercials but also to other informational pages;
  • remember that the most important pages should have the most connections within site.

External SEO promotion for SaaS products

There are many materials on external promotion on the Internet, so we will not dwell here in detail.

The best SEO strategy for SaaS products in link building is finding and getting natural links, just like for other niches.

Use different ways to get links: 

  • outreach;
  • web 2.0 (with caution);
  • forum links and others.

We recommend looking at competitors’ links, trying to understand how to get them, and repeating them on your site.

The Best SEO Strategy for SaaS in 2022

As stated at the beginning of the article, we believe that the best approach to promote SaaS products is an alternative that uses the Pareto law and saves your time and budget.

If you miss the details, the main differences of this SEO SaaS strategy are detailed keyword research and focusing on pages striving for the TOP.

Every time we select a page to create/optimize, we ask what is missing from the site? What can be added?

For the example above, therefore, it can be understood that for the “nonprofit membership management” query group, it was possible to add a small number of optimized keywords and words per page, increase 2-3 links, reach TOP 1 – TOP 5 and receive about 80 visitors per page—month for the US region only.

Which SEO/SaaS tools to use

We recommend using the usual set of tools that you always use in your daily work. Necessary and sufficient SEO tools to promote any SaaS product:

  • Google Search Console;
  • Ahrefs;
  • Excel/Google Sheets;
  • any text analyzer that highlights lemmas, density, and phrases.

Other tools usually only replace/optimize/complement the tools described above.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

How to improve SEO for Saas companies?

Use the alternative SEO/SaaS promotion approach given in the article, expand your semantic core and focus more on content than links.

 

How can SaaS products help SEO?

SEO promotion will help get traffic (visitors) to your site, so your sales will increase, and there will be more users of the SaaS product.

 

How to create an SEO strategy for a SaaS product?

Develop a SaaS product promotion strategy based on keywords. For example, use commercial conversion and high conversion queries, as well as low conversion informational ones. Remember that “extra” traffic will never be superfluous (subject to subjectivity).

 

Where to look for keywords?

Any methods for finding keys will be useful here:

  • brainstorming with the product owner;
  • search for new keywords in GSC;
  • study of pages/structure of competitors, forums, and information portal of your subject.

To search for the keys above, use the different wording of the master key in ahrefs and look for related/similar terms and search suggestions

Author – Makarenko Timofey,

leading SEO specialist of Around Web digital agency