The Ultimate Guide to SaaS SEO in 2023

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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With so many articles covering traditional SEO, finding information tailored to SaaS companies’ unique needs can take time. That’s where this ultimate guide comes in. This article includes everything you need to know about SaaS SEO in 2023 – from SEO basics to advanced technical optimization, link building, and much more. Whether you’re new to search engine optimization or a seasoned pro, you’ll find pieces of information valuable for taking your SaaS company’s search engine rankings to the next level. 

Using principles from this guide, our SEO agency in Chicago helped many of our clients thrive within their niche. Feel free to use them to enhance your SaaS SEO strategy and secure content marketing success. So let’s start! 

Table of Contents:
The Ultimate Guide to SaaS SEO in 2023

Basics of SaaS SEO

It can be costly to acquire new customers in the SaaS industry, especially if only relying on PPC advertising. That’s why you should consider other ways to attract potential customers – and search engine optimization is the best long-term solution. SEO statistics suggest that nearly 70% of online experiences start with search engines. That’s why optimizing your website and content for search engines is one of the best ways to reach your target audience right when searching for solutions your company offers. This way, your SEO efforts will ultimately lead to a lower cost per acquisition (CPA) and a higher return on investment for your business.

What is SaaS SEO?

Simply put, SaaS SEO is the process of optimizing your SaaS website and its content to rank highly in search engine results for relevant keywords that people type in Google search console. The ultimate goal of the SaaS SEO strategy is to obtain more organic traffic and convert that traffic into paying customers.

There are three crucial aspects of search engine optimization, which we’ll be exploring throughout this article:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO

How is SaaS SEO different from Traditional SEO?

SaaS SEO is different from traditional SEO because the SaaS industry is rapidly growing and constantly evolving. The tactics and strategies used for SEO need to keep up with these changes. A successful SaaS SEO strategy requires a unique approach considering each niche’s specific characteristics.

Here are some of the reasons why SaaS SEO is different than traditional search engine optimization:

  • Variety of SaaS solutions available to your target audience – SaaS space is very crowded. You need to differentiate your product or service from the competition. It can be difficult to find valuable keywords your competition is not already targeting, so SaaS companies need a diverse SEO approach. SaaS SEO goes beyond just targeting relevant keywords and creating high-quality content that addresses your target audience’s specific needs and pain points. It would help if you had a strong content marketing strategy and learned what makes great SaaS websites. By doing so, you’ll be able to engage your potential customers and build long-term relationships.
  • Most competitors have expert SEO teams – Many SaaS companies have in-house SEO teams, so the competition for visibility in SERPs is fierce. To succeed, you need a solid SaaS SEO strategy to attract qualified leads and drive long-term, recurring search traffic and conversions.
  • The importance of brand awareness – Increasing brand awareness is critical to success in the SaaS industry. You must invest in content marketing and thought leadership and build relationships with influencers and industry partners. Engaging with your audience through social media can also help you build brand awareness and trust.

When should a SaaS company begin with SEO efforts?

Our SaaS SEO agency always advises its clients to begin their SEO efforts as early as possible, ideally from day one. This is because SEO can take time to see results, and the earlier you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start benefiting from increased organic traffic and qualified leads. Solely relying on PPC advertising can be expensive and risky, especially if you’re a new company with an unstable income. For B2D SaaS companies, investing in SEO is even more important as their target audience usually has less tendency to click on paid ads in search engine results.

Additionally, SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix. By starting early, you’ll be able to optimize your website and content marketing strategy continuously.

A robust SaaS SEO strategy will boost your domain authority and make your brand more visible and trustworthy, which will also positively affect your PPC efforts. With a passionate in-house team or a dedicated SaaS SEO agency, noticeable results will appear within months. And results will be gratifying. After all, it’s relatively easy to start improving your page rankings.

Where to start with B2B SaaS SEO?

Starting a B2B SaaS SEO campaign can be intimidating – after all, getting started is often the most challenging part of any SEO effort. But don’t worry – with some planning and some hard work, you’ll be well on your way to driving measurable results. Here’s where to begin:

Create a great SaaS website:

Your website is the foundation of your SEO campaign. From the home page to the about us page, the devil is in the details. Good initial efforts will save you precious time and resources later on, as you won’t have to make many changes to drive search engine optimization results. So pay close attention to the following:

  • SaaS website design
  • User Experience
  • Navigation
  • Page Speed
  • Site structure
  • Technical SEO aspects of your website

In case you already have a website, performing an SEO site audit will help you identify all the strong and weak areas of your website. This way, you’ll be able to make necessary changes on time and save time moving forward with your SaaS SEO strategy.

Do your research:

Conduct keyword research, topic research, and competitor analysis to identify the terms and phrases your target audience is searching for. Stay tuned, as we’ll soon show you every step involved in successful keyword research.

Also, conduct competitor analysis to learn more about SEO efforts from other SaaS companies within your niche. Use this information to strengthen your content marketing strategy.

Follow these steps to create high-quality content:

Based on your research, create content briefs that outline the topics you’ll cover and the goals you hope to achieve. Then, start creating high-quality, valuable content that addresses your target audience’s needs and pain points. Make sure to include relevant keywords, as this will help you achieve higher page rankings and attract high-quality search traffic.

Create content clusters, plan your calendar, and determine how many articles you want to publish each month.

Execute your SEO strategy:

Use the information and content you’ve gathered to develop and implement a SaaS SEO strategy that includes on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and technical SEO. Connect your pages with internal links, share your content on social media, and engage in link building. 

Also, you might have to update your articles from time to time, so keep an eye on their performance and find new ways to enrich them with relevant information or new links.

Keyword research for SaaS SEO involves identifying phrases that people often use when searching for products similar to the ones your SaaS company offers.

The Power Of Keyword Research in SaaS SEO

Keyword research is an essential step in any SaaS SEO campaign. It will help you understand what your target audience is searching for and how to target those keywords in your content effectively. Knowing which terms and phrases to include in your website and content is difficult without keyword research. It may prevent you from attracting qualified leads.

Although writing engaging content is essential, it may not bring the desired results in search engine rankings if you’re not implementing the right keywords. This is because search engines use algorithms to match search queries with relevant content. And keywords play a crucial role in this process. With the right keywords in your content, you increase the chances that your target audience will find your website just at the right time.

How is Keyword Research Done?

While most people understand the main idea behind keyword research, they need to gain knowledge that would allow them to find hidden gems. It takes experience to identify a valuable keyword that competitors have missed out on for years. And now, our SaaS SEO agency will show you the approach that brought success to our clients.

We can break down keyword research into three phases:

Finding seed keywords:

A seed keyword is a broad term related to a product or service your SaaS company is offering. To find seed keywords, start by brainstorming a list of relevant terms and phrases, and then use a keyword research tool to identify variations and related terms. 

Ask yourself what your company is about, which problems your tool solves, what troubles your ideal customers, and which keywords you want to obtain search traffic for.

Keyword research:

Once you have a list of seed keywords and related terms, you can use a keyword research tool to identify each term’s search volume, competition, and relevance. Doing so will narrow your list to the most valuable keywords to target in your SEO efforts. During this phase, feel free to explore additional keywords that people type in the Google search console.

Start by analyzing other SaaS companies within your niche. Create a table with three columns – indirect competition, direct competition that offers different services, and a direct competition that offers the same services as your SaaS company. 

The next step is identifying keywords your competitors are trying to rank for. After you insert their website’s URL, do the following to find new keyword opportunities:

  • Page rankings: Filter out keywords that your competitor is ranking within the first ten search engine results.
  • Search volume: Set up filters to only show you keywords with 50 or more monthly searches. Don’t expect sky-high keyword search volumes since fewer people search for B2B and B2D SaaS offerings than B2C products and services.
  • Keyword Difficulty: Check how difficult it is to rank for a desired keyword. The higher the score, the less likely you will achieve high page rankings for that keyword. Some keywords are not worth chasing despite high search volume. But there is no universal rule. If you believe some keyword is highly relevant to your SaaS company, try ranking for it even if it has a high KD score.
  • Exclude keywords related to the competitor’s brand name: Doing this will help you narrow down the list of potential keywords even further. 

Now you can manually find keyword opportunities and then export the list to Excel or Google Spreadsheets.

Forming keyword clusters:

After identifying your target keywords, you can group them into clusters based on theme or topic. This helps you create a more organized and cohesive content strategy. It will also make targeting multiple keywords within a single piece of content much easier. You can start by ranking each keyword’s priority from low to high (high priority meaning that a keyword is highly relevant to your SaaS company’s offerings). Also, use different colors to organize your tables visually.

Content creation involves various stages you need to get a good grasp in order to drive long-term growth.

Creating Content for B2B and B2D SaaS companies

In this chapter of the ultimate guide to SaaS SEO, we’ll explore the specific considerations and best practices when it comes to creating content. From considering your target audience to using the right keywords, we’ll show you how our SaaS SEO agency approaches content creation for B2B and B2D SaaS companies. It will give you a clear understanding of how to drive organic traffic and boost your SEO efforts with powerful content.

Content Creation is more than writing articles – Here’s what it includes…

When someone mentions the word “content”, blog articles usually first come to mind. But the content creation process behind successful SaaS SEO campaigns is much more than that. 

Content creation refers to generating and publishing written, visual, or audio material to attract and engage an online audience. When it comes to content creation for B2B and B2D SaaS companies, the focus is on producing high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that speaks to the needs of your target audience. This usually includes:

  • Blog posts – Informative articles that provide helpful insights, tips, and resources related to your SaaS product or industry.
  • Case studies – Detailed accounts of how your SaaS product has helped specific businesses solve a problem or achieve a goal.
  • White papers – In-depth research reports that delve into a specific topic or issue relevant to your SaaS product or niche.
  • eBooks – Long-form guides or resource materials that provide comprehensive information on a particular subject.
  • Infographics – Visual representations of data or information. Design these to make complex concepts easier to understand and remember.
  • Videos – You can also make short or long-form video content to demonstrate your product. But don’t exclude the opportunities video content provides for educating and entertaining your audience.
  • Podcasts – Audio recordings of discussions or interviews that provide valuable information or entertainment to your potential customers.

For the best SEO results, you must provide visitors with quick access to the content they want. But how to organize all these pieces of content across your website? Many SaaS companies make a mistake by publishing them all under the blog section. This can cause a mess once your content library starts growing. That’s why you should plan a SaaS website architecture to include different sections where you can place different content types.

The Secret to Creating High-Quality Content for Your B2B SaaS Company

Creating high-quality content can seem like a daunting task. But by following a structured process and keeping your target audience in mind, you can engage readers and boost your SEO results. Here are the three stages to consider during the content creation process for your B2B SaaS company:

Research for content creation:

To create high-quality content, you first need to do your research. The more efforts you invest during this phase, the easier it will be for you to create content that drives SEO results. Start by analyzing your competitors. Find out your competitors’ titles and topics and which keywords they include. Check how long their pieces of content are and how deep they go into exploring a topic.

But you also need to build a strong article structure. This will help you organize your thoughts and ideas and help you cover all the key points. But a clear article structure makes it easier for your audience to follow along and understand your message. And search engines will be able to understand the context and structure more efficiently, which might result in higher page rankings.

It’s also important to consider what types of content your audience is most likely to engage with – would they prefer blog posts, infographics, videos, or podcasts?

Content writing:

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to write about, it’s time to start writing. This stage involves crafting SEO-optimized content that is in-depth, engaging, and relevant to your audience. Make sure to include keywords you’ve collected throughout your content. It would be best if you always had a focus keyword when writing an article for your blog. But avoid keyword stuffing, as this can negatively impact your SEO. Make sure to craft content that is easy to read, with a catchy introduction, clear body, and conclusion. This will make content editing and on-page optimization an easier task.

Content editing and on-page optimization:

During this phase, your goal is to polish your content to ensure it’s of the highest quality. Ideally, you’ll have different people on your team responsible for writing and editing articles. These two tasks require different skill sets, and two pairs of eyes are always better than one. 

When editing content, pay close attention to readability, grammar, spelling, punctuation, content structure, headlines, and more. If the article is difficult to read, break up walls of text with bullet points and shorten the sentences.

And to successfully do on-page optimization, you must ensure images are relevant and add alt text to them, include internal links, write meta tags, structure heading, and similar. Also, ask yourself whether this piece of content will satisfy the user’s search intent for a given keyword.

Link-building helps you improve the authority of your website, as backlinks act as a vote of confidence from one website to another.

Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. These backlinks will not only bring more quality traffic to your website but also make it appear more trustworthy in the eyes of search engines. When a webpage links to another webpage, it gives a vote of confidence to that page. The more votes a page has, the more likely it is to rank well in search engine results. That’s why link building is essential to every SaaS SEO strategy.

There are many ways to go about link building; the best tactics depend on your SaaS company’s specific goals and resources. In this chapter, we’ll give you valuable knowledge about link building and help you choose the right approach based on your needs.

For SaaS companies, link building can be precious because it can help to drive qualified traffic to their website. By acquiring links from websites relevant to your industry and target audience, your company can attract visitors who are already interested in your products or services. 

Backlinks can also help you establish your SaaS company as an authority in your industry. When other websites link to your website, it can show that your company is trusted and respected in its field of expertise. This can be particularly valuable if you’ve just started out and want to establish yourself as the leader within a specific niche.

However, it’s about more than just the number of backlinks you acquire. The quality is more important. For example, if your SaaS company sells SEO tools, one link from SEMrush will benefit you much more than dozens of links from furniture companies.

Pay close attention to the following factors during your link-building efforts:

  • Domain Authority: Domain authority is a metric that measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile. Websites with a high domain authority are more likely to rank well in search results and can also help boost the ranking of the websites they link to. So, it’s generally more valuable to acquire links from websites with high domain authority.
  • Dofollow/Nofollow links: Another factor to consider is whether the link is a “dofollow “or “nofollow” link. Dofollow links pass along “link juice”, which will help you improve your page rankings. On the other hand, nofollow links don’t pass along link juice and are generally less valuable for SEO purposes. However, they can still be valuable for driving traffic and increasing brand awareness.
  • Anchor text that is used: Anchor text is the visible text that is hyperlinked. Descriptive, relevant phrases that accurately reflect the content of your web page will prove most beneficial for your SaaS company. For example, if another website is linking to your webpage about SaaS marketing, anchor text like “SaaS marketing tips” or “SaaS marketing strategies” will drive better results than generic text such as “click here”.
  • Link type: Google added two new link types that are not passing any link juice. These are UGC, which refers to user-generated content and sponsored links. Although these links will not improve your page rankings, they can still serve search engine algorithms.
  • Quality of content and traffic: You also need to consider the quality of the content and traffic of the websites that are linking to your SaaS website. High-quality content and a high traffic volume are usually good indicators that the website is reputable and authoritative. Links from low-quality or spammy websites can negatively impact your SaaS SEO strategy, so aim to stay clear of them.

You should also conduct a comprehensive backlink analysis to learn more about your competitors’ link-building efforts.

Many B2B SaaS companies fall into the trap of buying backlinks in hopes of bypassing the hard link-building path. However, this usually proves harmful to their SaaS SEO efforts. Tactics that violate search engine guidelines or attempt to manipulate page rankings can have negative consequences in the long run. That’s why you need to approach link-building strategically and sustainably. 

Here are some of the proven SaaS SEO strategies for obtaining backlinks in 2023:

Write high-quality articles:

Although creating valuable and informative content takes time, it will pay off in the long run. If your content is good enough, other websites will naturally want to link to it.

Mind the search intent:

When you understand the needs and interests of your audience, you can create content that better resonates with it. By meeting specific informational or transactional goals people have, you can increase the likelihood that both regular internet users and other websites will link to your site. With 3rd party tracking tools, you can find out how well your content satisfies the search intent.

Conduct research within your niche:

Statistics always come in handy during the content writing stage. As you might have noticed, we included some of them in this article and included links to other websites because of that. By researching relevant topics in your niche, you can provide valuable insights for your audience and other websites in your industry. And publishing this research in a blog post or white paper will make it easily shareable. 

Create infographics:

Infographics are a highly shareable form of content. If you create an informative and visually appealing infographic, people will be more likely to share it on their websites. You can also include an embed code to make it easier for other websites to include it on their site and link back to your SaaS company’s website.

Mention and outreach:

By mentioning other websites in your content, you can establish relationships with other businesses within your industry. You can contact them to let them know about the mention and ask if they would be willing to link back to your site. But you want to use a strategic and respectful approach and avoid sounding spammy or pushy. Focus on building genuine relationships and providing value to the other businesses or websites you contact.

Participate in industry forums and discussions:

By providing valuable insights and contributing to industry conversations, you can attract the attention of other businesses and websites in your niche. They may become interested in linking to your site or sharing your content with their audience. Participating in industry forums will allow you to establish yourself as a thought leader and trusted source of information, opening the doors for new backlinks.

Guest posts:

When you write a guest post, you can include a link to your website within the body of the article. Focusing on writing high-quality, informative content that engages readers will help you make your guest posts more effective. Also, guest post on reputable websites in your industry with a large audience and high domain authority. 

Technical SEO illustration

Technical SEO

Although getting good at technical SEO requires time, it’s a step you can’t miss in order to master SaaS SEO. Experience has taught us that a SaaS company can only partially unleash its potential to attract organic traffic by ignoring the technical aspects of search engine optimization. In this final chapter, we’ll cover all the crucial aspects of technical SEO you need to be aware of in 2023. 

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is all about optimizing your website’s technical elements to make it more visible and easy to crawl for search engines. This includes things like optimizing your website’s code, improving its SEO speed, and making sure it is mobile-friendly. By focusing on technical SEO, you can help search engines understand and properly rank your SaaS website, leading to improved page rankings and more organic traffic. Regular SEO site audits will help you improve technical SEO and ensure that your website keeps performing at its best. 

Crucial Aspects of Technical SEO

To help you better understand technical SEO, let’s explore all of its essential aspects:

Website structure:

Your website’s structure plays a significant role in its visibility and usability. It’s important to have a clear and logical hierarchy, with a well-organized menu and easy-to-use navigation. With a well-designed site structure, your SaaS website will be much more crawlable for search engine bots.

Page speed:

Page speed became even more important for SEO with the Core Web Vitals update. Slow loading times can negatively impact your page rankings and user experience. By optimizing your website’s loading speed, you can improve its performance and make it more attractive to both users and search engines.

Mobile-friendliness:

As more and more users are accessing the internet from their mobile devices, you need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. It should be easy to read and navigate on a small screen and should adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions.

Meta tags and titles:

Meta tags and titles are HTML elements that help search engines understand the content and context of your website. You can improve your website’s visibility and search engine rankings by including relevant and keyword-rich meta tags and titles.

URL structure:

The structure of your website’s URLs can impact its visibility and usability. It’s important to have clear and descriptive URLs that accurately reflect the content of your website. They should be easy for both users and search engines to understand.

SSL certificate:

An SSL certificate helps to secure the connection between a website and its users’ web browsers, protecting sensitive information and improving search engine rankings. It will also increase the trustworthiness and security of a website, leading to more organic traffic. So make sure your SaaS website serves HTTPS version to visitors.

Sitemap:

A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on a website and provides information about their importance and how frequently they are updated. This helps search engines discover and crawl all the pages on your website, making them visible in search engine rankings. If your website has many pages or a complex structure, pay close attention to the sitemap to help search engines navigate and understand its content more easily.

Robot.txt files:

These files allow you to tell search engines which pages on your website to crawl and which to avoid crawling. This can be useful if your website has pages irrelevant to the search engines or has a limited amount of bandwidth and server resources. With robot.txt files, you can ensure that search engines will focus on the most important pages. These also allow you to prevent duplicate content and other potential issues that might diminish the success of your SaaS SEO strategy.

Structured data:

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a webpage and its content. It’s often used to mark up content with specific tags, or “schema”, that helps search engines understand the context of the information on your web page. Using structured data is a great way to make your pages stand out in the SERPs and improve traffic quality. For example, you can use structured data to provide users with information about your local business, show reviews, phone numbers, hours of operation, and available payment methods.

Final Thoughts on SaaS SEO

SaaS SEO is essential for growing your business long-term. By focusing on keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building, you can improve your website’s visibility and boost the quality of your organic traffic. Additionally, by paying attention to technical SEO, you can ensure that your website is easily accessible and crawlable by search engines, which will help you improve page rankings and obtain more search traffic.

We hope this ultimate guide to SaaS SEO has helped you obtain the knowledge and tools you need to maximize your online visibility in 2023. Use the strategies outlined in this article to position your SaaS website for long-term success in search engine results.

And if you’re looking for an experienced SaaS SEO agency, feel free to get in touch with Alpha Efficiency. We can perform a comprehensive SEO site audit and help you craft a successful SaaS SEO strategy from scratch.

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