Software as a service (SaaS) is continuing to grow in popularity, as by the end of 2020, 85% of small businesses are expected to invest in such solutions.
However, the competition in this niche is becoming fierce too. It’s becoming harder to stand out from the crowd and differentiate your company and the service you’re offering from all the others.
SEO can help you stay ahead of the curve, as it will make your service rank well in searches, says Leslie Gilmour from BeFound SEO. This way you will be able to inform your target customers about your solution, gain a credible reputation, and provide your service to more customers.
Read on to learn more about how to make the most out of your SEO efforts.
Plan Your SEO Strategy
Your SEO marketing strategy needs to be tailored to your niche industry and your target audience, so to make it successful, start with the very basics.
This means defining your target market – companies or individuals that will be using your service. Try to get as many details and create your customer profiles. The better the insight you have into your customers, the better you’ll tailor your campaign. As you’ll know their demographics, interest, habits and pain points, you’re more likely to address them with your solutions.
The next step is getting to know your competition – the companies that offer similar software services. Determine their target market, how much content they have and what their backlink profile is. While researching your competitors, pay attention to how you differ from them, as this might be beneficial for converting your leads.
Determine Your Most Valuable Keywords
The first step towards a successful SEO campaign is determining what your most valuable relevant keywords are. You are looking for the words your target audience will most likely use when they are searching for the solution to their problem, the one that you’re offering.
It’s important to know that it’s much easier to rank well for so-called long-tail keywords, that are longer and more descriptive, than for the general, short-tail ones, that are usually an exact match.
You can start by entering short words related to the services that you’re offering. Tools such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or KWFinder can be beneficial, as they’ll show you a list of keyword ideas, along with their volume and competition. The keywords that you identify as important and relevant for your SaaS could be your short-tail keywords.
As these keywords will have a high search volume, it would be pretty hard to beat the competition and get high rankings for them.
You need to go a step beyond and look up the long-tail keywords, that are more specific when it comes to what the user searches for. These keywords have lower search volume, but they are usually easier to rank for.
Create a Content Strategy
After you’ve decided on your most valuable keywords, the next thing to do is to create your content marketing strategy and start creating content.
Research the topics that are relevant to your niche, that could cover the keywords you’ve identified, and bring you relevant organic traffic for your SaaS business.
There are many tools available that you can use for this purpose, such as SemRush Topic Research or Buzzsumo.
One of the best ways to make your SaaS solution visible to your target audience and create a predictable source of leads is by having a blog on your website. You will use the blog for posting well-tailored, useful and relevant content for your target audience, that will educate them on how to solve their problems and offer your unique solution. You can also create informational content about your product or service.
Try out different types of posts, that will include photos, infographics, and videos. This way your blog will attract more traffic, as a blog with video attracts 3x as many inbound links than a simple text – image post.
You should also use your high-quality articles to establish a strong social media presence on the channels your target audience uses.
Getting quality backlinks for your website is another SEO basic, as this is the way to earn some great rankings.
You need to make sure that all the backlinks pointing at your website are coming from credible and trustworthy sites. This will be the sign for the search engines that your website is credible and trustworthy too.
If you play your cards right, link-building will boost your organic search rankings and traffic, while also boosting your domain authority and your brand awareness.
Try to learn more about the most-common link-building strategies, and determine the ones that would best suit your needs and resources.
Provide Great User Experience
However, optimizing your content with keywords is not where the SEO story ends.
The main goal of any action that is related to optimizing your website for the search engines comes down to one thing – boosting the experience of your website visitors.
Google Rank Brain will use behavior metrics, such as pages per session, dwell time, bounce rate, etc. to inform search engines whether your website visitors enjoy the time they spend on your website.
Unless your visitors are satisfied with what they find when they enter your website, they will churn, and your rankings will fall.
Now, there are things that can improve this experience more directly:
- Improve the loading speed of your website. While 1 to 3 seconds delay has a low bounce rate with the probability of only 32%, every additional second will triple the chances that your visitor will bounce.
- Since 2017, mobile makes 50% of web traffic worldwide. You must provide great UX for your mobile visitors, by making your website mobile-friendly.
- Use simple navigation on your website, so that your visitors can find their way around it easily.
You can also consider using some of the more advanced technology solutions that are now available, and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
For example, using AI-powered chatbots can keep your website visitors engaged and get them to stay longer on your website, giving them information about your SaaS solution 24/7/365, and boosting your conversions.
Consider gate-protecting some of your high-quality content so that you can generate more quality leads, and use email campaigns for even better results.
In order to rank well in searches, your website needs to be appealing both to your target audience and the search engine crawlers.
There are many things that you should pay attention to when optimizing your website for search engines, but some of the basic ones are:
- Using meta-descriptions and meta titles, with relevant keywords included. These are very small but extremely helpful parts of the HTML code on your webpages. They help search engines understand their content. They appear in the search results too, and when optimized well, they can get you more qualified traffic.
- Using alt text – Google understands what’s in your images by their name and the alt text you provide. Make your image alt text descriptive and include keywords.
- Avoid duplicate content on your website.
- Create an internal linking strategy for your website and optimize and fix internal links.
Don’t expect immediate results from your SEO improvements. Keep in mind that SEO takes time, and continual efforts, but the benefits it will bring to your SaaS business will be worth it.