SEO for SaaS is somewhat unique compared to other businesses, but it can potentially allow SaaS businesses to significantly scale their revenue growth and acquisition strategy. In fact, several highly successful SaaS companies owe their growth in large part to SEO.
As content marketing specialists at Embarque, we’ve put together this guide to explain what makes SEO for SaaS different and give actionable insight into the key SEO framework for SaaS:
- How is SEO for SaaS different from other businesses
- How to strategize SEO content for SaaS
- How to do SEO keyword research for SaaS & the importance of search intent
- Creating SEO landing pages for SaaS
- Link building for SaaS
- SEO ranking factors for SaaS
How Is SEO For SaaS Different To Other Businesses?
SaaS companies have a unique opportunity to compete in organic search results with SEO. Because the SaaS business model is based on non-tangible products that can be modified and pivoted for different industries and uses, they can target multiple audiences and have consistent opportunities for new content.
Due to the nature of their offerings, SaaS companies tend to have a more global reach than traditional businesses that may be constrained by geography in terms of getting customers. By creating helpful content around highly lucrative keywords, they can create a brand people want to follow and convert search traffic into paying customers.
SaaS in-house dev teams can handle the technical side of SEO that other businesses might struggle with. Plus, with small website sizes compared to e-commerce, marketplaces and other sites, it’s easy for these companies to create an SEO-friendly structure and robust content that Google can crawl quickly, allowing the site to rank faster.
At Embarque, we use SEO tools to perform keyword research for our clients, including Ahrefs (keyword research and linkbuiding), Frase (semantic optimization), Keywords Everywhere (keyword and trends research), SEO Scout integrated with Google Search Console data (rank tracking), and Google analytics (Website traffic).
Unless you have time and resources to fully invest in SEO, we wouldn’t recommend investing in expensive SEO tools such as Ahrefs that you’re just going to be using once or twice. SEO for SaaS can involve a lot of moving parts, so it might make sense to invest in a freelancer or an agency to execute on your SEO strategy.
SEO Content Strategy For SaaS
To boost traffic and conversions to your site, you need a robust content strategy:
- Audit your website for content gaps around your keywords, your SaaS’s features and uses, and your users’ search intents.
- Create varied content types: informational guides, lists, feature and product articles, interviews, comparison pages, etc. Remember that Google likes fresh content, so post regularly. Content creation is a long-term investment with ROI increasing over time, so outsourcing it to a professional agency like Embarque will never be in vain.
- Leverage your old content: by re-writing and re-optimizing your previously published blogs and pages, your old content may get the chance to rank on the first page for target queries. At Embarque, this is a key part of our content strategy and have helped our clients rank on the first page of the search results for relevant queries.
- Increase your word count, whilst keeping quality high: there’s more room to pack in essential information to answer your users’ search queries in longer posts. When Google recognizes your content as in-depth and authoritative, you rank higher.
- Share your content on social media, newsletter and relevant groups! The more traffic, the better, and it can lead to new backlinks.
Keyword Research For SaaS
With so many potential opportunities for SaaS companies to rank in the search results, user search intent is key to your SEO keyword research, as well as your content and landing page creation.
Why Is Search Intent So Important?
Google’s algorithms recognize the intent behind what users are searching for and its SERPs will only display what those searchers want to see. Therefore, you need your content to be as relevant as possible to the search query in order for it to rank.
Different Types of Search Intent
Focus on who your potential customers are and what they’re looking for, rather than what you can rank for. Create content that answers all relevant queries for different search intents and map it to your marketing funnel:
- Informational searches: for example, “what is SEO” or “how to do SEO for SaaS”. Incorporate guides and informational blog posts into your content strategy that target short and long-tail keywords to prove your authority to Google, and convert readers into email subscribers (and eventually paying customers).
- Navigational searches: when users know exactly what they’re searching for and Google it rather than typing in a full URL: e.g. “Embarque content marketing pricing”.
- Transactional searches: when a user is already ready to buy, they don’t need guides or information, they want to be able to click through to a page where they can purchase what they want: “buy SEO blog content for SaaS”. Make sure your product and landing pages are optimized for branded and purchase-intent keywords.
- Investigational searches: combining informational and transactional searches, this is when a user knows they want to buy a product but hasn’t yet decided who from. Include comparison articles in your content strategy to demonstrate to searchers that your product is best, targeting keyword modifiers like “vs”, “review”, “alternative”, and “comparison”, for example, “Copify Review & Alternative”.
Because of the flexibility of SaaS products, it’s also key to optimize your content for multiple target users. Take our case study of online mentoring platform MentorCruise, for example. Embarque overhauled its SEO strategy, ensuring its content targeted all key customer segments. As a result, its MRR increased by 107%.
Target keywords that convert
Your keyword strategy should focus on targeting different types of keywords that are relevant to your niche. This will allow you to take note of which keyword types convert better than others. From our experience with SaaS clients, here are the most important types of keywords for SaaS businesses.
- Long-tail and question keywords for informational searches: low-competition terms that answer specific search queries from your different target user segments will help you rank higher
- Competitor comparison keywords for investigational searches.
- Product, feature, and service keywords for transactional and navigational searches: target high-purchase intent terms to convert searchers who are ready to buy
- Relevant high-volume terms that generate traffic even if you rank on page 2.
As an example of effective keyword research in action, Embarque got ScrumGenius to rank in the featured snippet. They reached position 0 on Google for a +17k traffic keyword with no backlinks.
SEO Landing Pages For SaaS
With so many different target uses and users, creating multiple optimized landing pages is crucial for SaaS companies. Here are some best practices:
- Understand, do keyword research for, and target your users’ different search intents with different landing pages
- Create a scalable landing page structure: make a template so you can easily replicate landing pages for different search intents
- Keep adapting and creating new landing pages in line with trends, new demand, new features, etc.
One SaaS company that has successfully capitalized on its landing page strategy is Canva. They have different landing pages for different use cases and are quick to leverage new trends. For example, when remote work became the norm for many around the world during the pandemic and Zoom use rose, Canva was straight in with a targeted landing page which now ranks #1 on Google for “create Zoom backgrounds”.
Link Building For SaaS
Last but by no means least, SEO link building is essential to demonstrate your site’s authority to Google and increase the chances of it ranking. This includes internal and external links:
- Anchor text: using unique, natural, and relevant anchor texts for each link is essential to show Google the relevance between pages. Your SEO keyword research will help you find long-tail terms to diversify your anchor texts and pass Google’s algorithms.
- Internal linking structure: to allow Google to crawl and index your site, it should have a clear linking structure. Ensure you have a parent-child relationship between relevant landing pages and link to related content within your blog posts.
In doing so, you also facilitate a great UX, show Google your expertise and authority by demonstrating contextual links, and pass authority between pages. All of which help you rank higher.
- Backlinks: one of the most important ranking factors for Google is having a high number of high-quality, relevant backlinks to your domain from other websites. Some successful SaaS companies employ people specifically to do SEO link outreach, but we know not every startup has this luxury!
Embarque’s white-hat backlink generation service can save you the hassle of link outreach. We find appropriate backlinks for your SaaS site, reach out to bloggers, and implement link swaps, link insertion, and ABC linking to boost your ranking on the search engines.
Important Ranking Factors & What They Mean For SaaS SEO Strategy
How it’s measured: Clicks, interactions, time on page, pages per visit, pages viewed, and bounce rate.
Best practice: Create high-quality content that answers users’ questions so they stay on your site longer.
How it’s measured: Pages and titles optimized for keywords, length of content, linking within content, use of other relevant keywords to demonstrate authority to Google.
Best practice: Optimize your landing pages for different user search intents, increase content word counts, practice link building, and target secondary keywords.
Best practice: Backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors on Google and are used to measure domain authority. You need a high number and quality of backlinks and an effective internal linking structure to rank.
Best practice: Don’t overlook technical SEO: fix structural issues on your site affecting page loading speeds, HTML errors, and non-optimization for mobile impact ranking and UI.
After you’ve resolved any technical SEO issues on your site to ensure efficient web design, work on keyword research, engaging content, targeted landing pages, link building, and data analytics to produce an optimized web presence for your SaaS.
Take Your SaaS SEO To The Next Level With Embarque
SEO for SaaS is a long-term game. Even after auditing and optimizing your site, you should be analyzing your ranking and traffic data and continuously adding content and landing pages in response to new features, trends, and search intents.
We know that SaaS SEO strategy can seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t have an in-house content marketing team to handle it. That’s where Embarque comes in. We use our SEO expertise to craft a content strategy that’s tailored to your SaaS and proven to boost search traffic and increase revenue.