Step-By-Step SEO Guide To

Skyrocket Your SaaS Business 

Why A Targeted SEO Strategy is Mission Critical

Remember Isaac Newton’s first law of motion? Objects at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Everything needs a boost to get going. It’s true for apples falling out of a tree, it’s true for space-ships screaming away from Earth, and it’s especially true for your SaaS SEO growth strategy. 

If you’ve found this article, you’re looking for some answers to get some explosive growth with your SaaS company. We’ve got you covered. In this step-by-step SEO guide, we are going to reveal the eight essential steps that will allow you to create a flood of consistent and recurring leads for your website. 77% of traffic to your site will likely be through organic search, so it’s important to have a well defined inbound strategy.

With the right SEO team on your side, the right SEO tools at your disposal, and the right SEO strategy implemented specifically for your SaaS business, you’re about to scale big time. It’s all right here, so strap in and get ready to rocket towards increased brand recognition, top page rankings, increased traffic, content that gets devoured, and leads that convert into fanatical buyers and remarketers.   

This guide is your path to the stars.

The Eight Core Steps You Need for a

SaaS SEO Growth Strategy

We use this guide every day to unlock the secrets that drive profits for our partners. Starting with your buyer’s psychology, we take the most important step down the right path for your growth strategy. Let’s face it, it’s all about your customer so we better make sure we’ve got a firm grasp of what they experience so you can best pave the way.

1. Strategize Your Customer’s Journey

You’re going out to eat. You’re excited to try this amazing new restaurant and before you know what happened, you’re ushered to a table in the corner and bombarded with the daily specials before your waiter even tells you their name. Puts you off, doesn’t it? 

I’m willing to bet your best dining experiences were when you were asked how you were, what you were in the mood for, and then were offered valuable options at just the right time in your decision-making process. 

So here’s a breakdown of the steps in the buyer’s decision-making process. Developing your sales strategy around this progression is the key to having a positive 360 experience for your customer.

 

1. AWARENESS. The potential buyer discovers a problem that needs to be solved.

2. EXPLORATION. The buyer explores and researches what type of software will provide a solution. They understand their problem and what would solve it.

3. COMPARISON. Here, they analyze the different providers and compare the preferred features that they want and need from the tool.

4. ACTION. Here, the buyer makes a decision based on previous considerations and research.

To help illustrate, here’s an example that’s relevant to today. A team manager in charge of an internet sales department has been put in a position where she has to skillfully manage her team as they transition to work from home.

Let’s follow her path to conversion using the buyer’s journey.

Awareness.

She knows she needs to manage her remote team’s tasks. She turns to Google and enters an organic search with one or all of the following keyword queries:

saas-computer-screen-1

Exploration.

Google has now listed a dozen options on the first page of her search results. She begins to sift through some details and learns that she needs a task management platform with time tracking.  She digs deeper with a more specific organic search:

saas-computer-2

Comparison.

She’s got some great options and she’s down to choosing between Monday.com and Trello. At this point, she’s going to do a head to head performance shootout to drill down the perfect solution for her. She does another organic search: 

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Google offers up some more results. This time, focused on user reviews and her new keywords. She absorbs everything that’s in front of her from infographics to videos and blogs. She’s thrilled with what she finds because somehow, it feels like this content was made just for her. 

Action.

She signs up for Monday.com because it has all of the features she needs: time tracking, monitoring, and the ability to manage workloads. She’s impressed by how user-friendly the platform is and is excited to get down to business. 

The key takeaway here? The whole approach is less about you and more about your customer. Matt Nguyen, marketing manager from Gitlab, said it best, “You need to get away from ego-based marketing where you are just telling people about your product. Do less of that. Try to actually help people on their journey.”

2. Analyze Your Market’s Top Performing Keywords

Did you notice how understanding the buyer’s journey revealed a natural response in the team manager to perform an organic search, more than once? The result was pages upon pages of possible solutions. In the end, she only purchased one. The chosen product that ended up being the winner was found within a select group of candidates that ranked high on page one of her search results.

The performance of the winning SaaS domain, its competitors, and all their content had everything to do with carefully researched SEO keyword targets which are the gateway to your greatest SaaS growth opportunities. By deploying all of the targeted material based on these findings, Google was able to offer up the options that it perceived to be the most relevant, useful and popular.  All based on keywords used in an organic search.

 

Let’s examine some of the main SEO tools that inform such a strategy and what they do.

 

  • SemRush. Comprehensive visibility and marketing analytics tool that can reveal intelligence data, traffic information, keywords, lead-gen and even projected AdWords spend.
  • Google Search Console. Indexing status tool for webmasters to gain insights into content performance and site performance.
  • Google Analytics/360.  Web analytics tool. Offers incredible insights into traffic and even user experience.
  • GTMetrix/Google Insights. Reporting on your site speed and performance.
  • Screaming Frog. SEO tool that crawls websites and looks at over a dozen aspects of your websites technical aspects that could use improving.

 

The reporting made available from using these popular SaaS SEO tools is as detailed as it is complex, but that is precisely where a savvy SEO agency can step up and assist you. There’s a famous book out there that emphasizes this step’s significance. It opens with “In the beginning, there was the word.” Discovering your keywords is the genesis of your strategy set in motion.

3. Outperform Your Competition – Find Out What They’re Targeting

At this point in your SEO strategy prep, you are building on the psychology of your buyer and the organic language that you know they will use to find your solution. That said, your prospects will also find other solutions and it’s this step where you will gain valuable insights into what your competitors are and aren’t doing.

Why is this so crucial? Differentiation and competitive advantage.

Thus, competitive auditing will generate greater visibility, clearer branding, and content. You can do this easily by entering: “Your SaaS VS. Your Competition,” e.g.:

google-search

This simple step will provide you with valuable information that can give you the competitive edge in so many respects; everything from design and UX ideas to positioning, content types, amounts, social media direction and more.

Digging deeper into your buyer’s psychology, you can use one of the SaaS SEO tools we mentioned in step two. SEMrush has a free 7-day trial you can use to explore all of the available analytics. For this example, let’s pretend that we are Jotform. Once we have created our account, we would simply select “organic research” from the SEMrush dashboard:

orgamic-search

From here, we would enter our main competitor’s URL into the search window for Typeforms, and voila!

organic-search2

Now you know that 34% of Jotform’s competitors’ organic search traffic comes from the following top three keywords presented in this search:

organic-position

In less than five minutes, you’ve gained insights into exactly what your competitors are targeting to find their success. Do you see how powerful this is? To understand exactly what your competitors are targeting to generate their best leads online.

Now imagine if you do this for three of your competitors’ URLs. You will understand what your market cares about, what your customers want to see from a content standpoint and be able to hijack the best content in your market. This means creating your own version of competitor content to outrank them, serve your customers well, and supercharge your SaaS growth.

Want Help Pulling This Data? Schedule A Free Strategy Session With Our Team While Spots Are Available

4. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Site speed and the path to it is everything. Imagine if our team manager in the previous example was in the comparison stage getting ready to buy, and your site was slow to load. You are going to want to be able to present your information fast. Google ranks the content on your webpages, as well as the wireframe behind them. Here’s the checklist to review with your webmaster to boost performance with:

  • Responsive page layouts
  • Quick page load times
  • Free from page errors – 404 (page not found), 401 (unauthorized), and 500 (internal server errors).
  • Index ready with an XML Sitemap
  • Decluttered with robots.txt
  • Compelling with rockin’ title tags, H1’s, H2’s and meta’s

Building your web pages with these metrics in mind will make Google love your webpages. 

Bonus criteria that’ll make Google really go crazy over your site are ensuring your keywords and images are optimized, having unique content on each webpage, and alt text for your images.

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking. This behind the scenes aspect of an SEO strategy is less glamorous than spending time on amazing graphics, strategic content, and energetic service pages but we can’t stress enough how much all this matters, too.

5. Rev-Up Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy

Checkpoint. You know your customers. You’ve paved the way for them to find you (as well as your competition’s customers). But now that you have their attention, you have to give them what they want: content that they will absolutely crave. This is critical for your SaaS SEO strategy. In fact, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.  

Targeted content is one of your major SaaS growth opportunities. During the decision-making process, 85% of customers seek trusted content to inform their final purchase. 

GIVE. IT. TO. THEM.  

Some of the best content marketing examples out there are interactive surveys, videos, webinars, blogs, newsletters (yes, I said newsletters), and even email campaigns to name just a few. Keep in mind that content creation won’t necessarily bring in more customers. Don’t just create content merely to have content. It will create noise along your buyer’s journey and likely frustrate your audience.

The four defining pieces to your content marketing strategy you need to generate triple-digit revenue

6. Link Build Across the Web. Get Found.

Each part of this process is unique and personalized to suit the goals of your SaaS growth strategy. If you are going to link, you’ve got to do it the right way. Your linking strategy is related to your business size.

 

Rules to live by:

  • If you’re a small company, reach out and link to high quality, relevant content. Don’t over do it. Keep the information appropriate.
  • If you’re a larger company, make sure your content is worth linking to. Your audience will drive backlinking and this is one of the best ways to be perceived as traffic worthy.

 

A strong link building strategy will not only help to rank better in search engines but will also bring more referral traffic. This means more growth for your business with these simple steps:

  1. Make a list of websites that appeal to your desired audience – start by checking your competitor’s backlinks and replicate the best ones they’re using.
  2. Write great content: amazing content naturally attracts more links/shares.
  3. Match content to trusted, relevant sources you’ve previously found.
  4. Reach out to site owners. This can be partners you regularly work with and your most loyal customers.
  5. Get active on social media, share your content on additional platforms.
  6. Bonus: Grow your brand to gain more authority in your market.

 

Regardless of your company size or linking strategy, the fact remains that winning content means better rankings and more organic traffic. This in turn generates enthusiastic, educated prospects which gives you exactly what you want: the opportunity to present your service as the best solution tool possible to a pressing problem that your ideal prospect has discovered.

7.  Develop a Relevant Call to Action (CTA)

Ah. The infamous call to action. We’ve placed this near the end of our step-guide because it builds upon the stacking of everything that we’ve discussed to this point. If you have a data-driven SaaS SEO strategy on your side, with content that really matters to your target audience, you’ll have presented your service as something more than a product. It will be seen as the essential solution.  

If you’ve given your prospect what they’ve been looking for and they’re still with you at this point, your approach to asking for the sale is simply an invitation to someone who is ready

Zoom’s CTAs are a great model. In today’s world with the need to connect and have reliable service, Zoom offers those solutions in a face-to-face platform that boasts a wonderful suite of virtual meeting tools. Here’s how they do it:

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Source: Zoom

When building a call to action, SaaS businesses need to sell solutions, not products. Focus on your solution to the problems your customers are trying to solve. Showcase the benefits the end-user will achieve. See your service from their point of view. You want to present as the expert while offering the best possible information. From there, your market will discover your value for themselves as opposed to you just broadcasting it through traditional selling.

Pop quiz.

 

Which is more powerful?

We are the top business software in the world.”

OR

We help marketers drive more qualified leads through FB Ads.”

The first attempts to woo potential customers by making a statement, which inevitably falls flat because there’s no added value. The second provides value by offering a real solution to a potential customer – you know exactly what you’ll get. Providing value in the form of a solution is the difference between a salesy brag and an offering to a buyer who’s ready to purchase. 

8.  Measure Your SEO Results

No more guesswork. It’s time to pull it all together and see if your hard work has paid off. All of the aforementioned analytic tools create certainty in the digital world and with that, success is identifiable and shifts can be made in real-time when the data indicates that there may be a better path. 

You set your goals. You see the results. You call the shots and make the changes. Take this example of measured conversions from Google Analytics:

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Key conversions measured on the graph are: 

  • Newsletter Signup
  • Add to Cart
  • Preorder Link

 

You can define your own specific goals to track SEO results. By knowing your rate of conversion, you can make adjustments to your SaaS growth strategy. The adjustments you make have the potential to double… triple… your revenue

In order to better understand user behavior, there are additional metrics to measure within your SEO growth strategy; using Google Data Studio.

8-2

When building a call to action, SaaS businesses need to sell solutions, not products. Focus on your solution to the problems your customers are trying to solve. Showcase the benefits the end-user will achieve. See your service from their point of view. You want to present as the expert while offering the best possible information. From there, your market will discover your value for themselves as opposed to you just broadcasting it through traditional selling.

Pop quiz.

 

Which is more powerful?

We are the top business software in the world.”

OR

We help marketers drive more qualified leads through FB Ads.”

The first attempts to woo potential customers by making a statement, which inevitably falls flat because there’s no added value. The second provides value by offering a real solution to a potential customer – you know exactly what you’ll get. Providing value in the form of a solution is the difference between a salesy brag and an offering to a buyer who’s ready. 

8-3

These metrics include:

  • Users & Sessions 
  • Top Channels 
  • Site Health 
  • Device Performance

This powerful snapshot of your monthly performance tells you how well your strategy is paying off. With this information at your fingertips, you can really focus on the aspects of your customer journey, site optimization, content strategy, CTA, most in need of revision with these SaaS SEO tools. Double down on what’s working, see what areas are in need of attention, and pivot your strategy.

Consistent measurement of your performance helps boost your SaaS growth tenfold with tweaks to your current system in place. It’s just as important as each one of the implementation steps, and without it? You’d have no way of knowing which parts of your growth strategy are working and what to target next.

 (BONUS) Turn Your Customers Into Your Best Sales Team

Carl Sagan, the famed astrophysicist, said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” Happy customers love to share. And you should make it as easy as possible for them to do it! 

Your social proof is going to be your best “digital word of mouth.” Testimonials and data-driven case studies should be easy to find and exciting to read. They should profile your clients, their unique problem, solution your SaaS business provides, and their result (usually illustrated with an infographic).

This kind of feedback is for your current prospects from your former leads-turned-customer. Nothing is more powerful so make sure it’s seen, right where it’s most meaningful either leading up to a CTA or as part of the sales page they are directed to. 

Case-studies have tremendous weight with consumers: Compared to other sales content, customer case-studies have an 83% reading completion rate. But why? Case-studies personalize a real-world experience citing a problem, strategy, solution and result, all in one place. They are highly relatable and problem/solution driven.:

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Mission Complete: Inbound SaaS Leads and Triple Revenue Growth Coming Your Way

Your count-down to lift-off has begun. You seized the moment and implemented a highly tuned SEO growth strategy. You got your traffic (and your competitor’s). You nurtured your ideal prospects. You offered them a solution to their problem and they opted-in. Your SaaS company has gotten the push it needs and you are about to scale, free from the hold that gravity has had on your growth. 

At this final stage, scale comes from your customers doing the work for you. No more rocket boosters and rough-ride to the stars. You are now enjoying increased momentum that is coming from their reviews, sharing your content, and linking back to your social feeds.

You did it.

rocket

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