Useful SaaS SEO Strategies for All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

23 min read
SEO/Content Marketing
By: Nicholas Godwin

The Software as a Service (SaaS) market is both growing and shrinking. It’s a real-life paradox.

A 2023 report found that most organizations now use an average of 130 SaaS applications, a cheerful 18% increase from the past year. Yet 40% of IT professionals removed duplicate SaaS apps from their stack, causing some vendors to lose customers despite the market’s growth.

Succeeding in the SaaS market hinges on how users see your app: Is it essential, just handy, or expendable?

For example, buyers who typically use multiple project management apps — think Trello, Asana, and ClickUp — must eventually choose one to optimize their workflow.

So, the more users find, understand, and engage with your app and content, the more likely they’ll choose your brand. So, how do you create your own luck? How do you make your audience discover, test, and stick with your app?

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) strategies come into play.

Effective SEO practices help you retain existing customers and connect with new buyers — talk about hitting two targets with one shot. This guide will show you how to develop and execute SaaS SEO strategies to keep your app users loyal and attract fresh adopters.

SaaS SEO: The Basics

SaaS SEO involves optimizing your software brand’s website to rank higher in the search results.

Typically, you’ll use keyword research to identify terms potential customers use, optimize website content, improve technical SEO, and boost authority through links.

In addition, you’ll optimize for mobile responsiveness and website speed for an improved user experience (UX).

Effective SEO is not a one-time event. So, you’ll update your blog content regularly, monitor your analytics, and adapt to user behavior to boost your website’s visibility and organic growth.

But why does SaaS SEO matter?

Depending on your data source and definition, there are between 20,300 and 72,000 SaaS businesses worldwide.

The precise number may be tough to track down, but it’s easy to see you have competition.

And it’s intense.

You must get potential buyers to notice, trust, adopt, and stick with your brand. Otherwise, internal app consolidations across your customers’ departments or hungrier, more aggressive SaaS competitors will eat away at your market share.

The Takeaway: Your competitors take their SEO seriously. For your brand to keep up, you also need to.

How Important Is SEO in a SaaS Business?

SaaS businesses need search visibility and website traffic on mobile and desktop devices since buyers use those channels to find their ideal technology providers. That visibility attracts new buyers and keeps old ones coming, explaining why top brands rely on SEO for high returns and ongoing value.

In a 2023 HubSpot report, surveyed marketers said SEO has one of the top four largest returns on investment (ROIs) of any marketing trend. No wonder 46% of businesses consider SEO vital to content marketing success and 88% are keeping or raising their SEO budgets.

"SEO has one of the top four largest returns on investment (ROIs) of any marketing trend"

In addition to gaining more attention on your business and attracting leads, an effective SaaS SEO strategy can lower your customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Your CAC is how much money you’ll typically spend to get one new person to buy your product. SEO helps reduce your CAC by helping your content show up higher in relevant search results, so more people find your business without the need for expensive advertising that stops being useful as soon as you stop paying for it.

Five ways SEO benefits SaaS businesses.

Let’s look at SEO’s benefits for SaaS more closely.

Increases Visibility

Applying effective SaaS SEO strategies is akin to turning on a spotlight for your business in the digital realm. Optimizing your online content makes your product more discoverable to potential customers on the hunt for the solutions you offer.

The heightened visibility from a solid content strategy makes more of your ideal buyers notice and recall your brand when shopping and understand how your solution suits their use cases​​.

Optimizes Marketing Costs

In marketing, cost-effectiveness is the holy grail, and SEO is the key to achieving it. Unlike traditional (offline) marketing methods, SEO hones in on users actively seeking your offerings.

It’s like advertising to an audience already interested in what you have to offer, making every marketing dollar work more efficiently.

: What compounded marketing results for every $1 spent looks like for offline ads, digital ads, and SEO.

What’s more, SEO crowns your marketing efforts with long-lasting, desirable results. It lowers marketing costs and compounds your gains over time, unlike online advertising, where you must continue spending to maintain visibility.

Example of SEO’s gains compounding over time.

The graph above depicts how high-quality content gradually draws in organic visitors over time. It mirrors the SEO graph in the “Compounding effect of $1 spent on marketing channels” illustration. I created this piece of content for a SaaS brand in the help desk software space, and 20 months later, it continues to bring in more leads for the business.

Boosts Trust and Credibility

Securing a prime spot in the search engine results is not just about clicks. It’s also about building trust. When users see your website ranking at the top, there’s an inherent perception of trustworthiness and credibility, supported by Google’s policy of surfacing expert content high in relevant searches.

In one survey, over 80% of software buyers reported feeling satisfied or very satisfied with B2B-related Google Search results.

Over 80% of B2B software buyers feel satisfied or very satisfied using Google Search to find content.

And when potential customers click through to read your content and love what they find, they’ll be more willing to buy your product since people buy from those they know, like, and trust.

Adapts to Search and Industry Changes

In the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, staying relevant is key. SaaS SEO strategies aren’t static — they evolve. Whether adapting to algorithm changes or aligning with industry trends, up-to-date SEO practices ensure that your digital marketing efforts remain effective and in tune with the pulse of the online world.

Considering the ever-increasing pace of search and industry changes, you’ll benefit from having The Blogsmith serve as your extended strategy team.

Guides Business Growth

Consider SaaS SEO as the compass for navigating the vast online terrain. It not only directs organic traffic to your virtual doorstep but also ensures that the right kind of traffic arrives. This, in turn, leads to increased conversion rates, revenue growth, and sustained online success.

With SEO, you’re not just playing the game — you’re playing to win.

However, winning depends on employing the best organic search optimization strategies tailored to your SaaS business.

How the Buyer’s Journey Impacts SaaS SEO

The different stages of the SaaS buyer’s journey and their business significance.

Understanding how businesses choose and use software (aka the SaaS buyer’s journey) helps you make irresistible offers for every stage.

From awareness to advocacy, top dogs optimize their SaaS SEO strategies for each stage to engage prospects, convert them to buyers, and nurture brand advocates.

You might be thinking, “But what’s our buyer’s journey as a SaaS company supposed to look like?” Let’s take a look.

The Stages of the SaaS Buyer’s Journey

When businesses decide to buy software, it’s not typically a quick decision — decision-makers go through multiple steps and stages of approval before finalizing a solution. These steps help them understand and choose the software that fits the bill.

That process is their buyer’s journey, and it’ll look something like this:

  • Awareness: Would-be customers realize they have a problem and start seeking SaaS solutions.
  • Consideration: Future customers start researching available SaaS options, weighing their features, pricing, and user reviews.
  • Decision: Committed buyers shortlist vendors based on their findings, exploring demos or trials before deciding on the best-fit option for their needs.
  • Adoption: After committing to a solution and going through onboarding, businesses start integrating operations with their new SaaS solution.
  • Retention: Provide ongoing support, updates, and product documentation to help lower churn and address evolving customer needs, increasing your customer lifetime value.
  • Advocacy: Buyers who love their new software become brand ambassadors, influencing others in their industry.

Tailor Your SaaS SEO Strategies to Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Your SEO strategies must account for each stage to engage and convert your potential customers into buyers who become your advocates.

Here’s how to do it:

In the awareness stage, focus on creating educational content and being more visible to attract prospects exploring industry-related topics.

Ensure you’re still tuned in to the right search intent for your target audience, and don’t just go for keywords with a large search volume. No and low-volume keywords often have less competition and allow you to target buyers who are most likely to be interested in your SaaS.

Transitioning to the consideration stage, emphasize comparison content, case studies, and testimonials, optimizing for keywords that reflect solution-seeking behavior.

Optimize for keywords that reflect solution-seeking behavior in the consideration stage.

As potential customers move to the decision stage, prioritize product-led content that includes features, benefits, and free trials. Concentrate your SEO efforts on branded keywords and terms signaling purchase intent.

In the adoption stage, engage new customers with onboarding guides, tutorials, and support-focused content that captures post-sale search queries.

Genuine customer advocacy that’s not propped up by an overdose of rewards and giveaways comes from creating content that helps buyers understand and use your product better. After all, it’s easy for buyers to stick with and recommend a product they understand, use, and love.

Fortunately, creating content experiences that buyers love is within your control. It’s up to you as the expert on what your SaaS does to help shoppers understand if your solution is a fit for their use cases. And putting a tool into specific contexts is a great way to gain new customers.

Post-sales content can also help you win over customers who already use competitor tools but aren’t getting enough support and guidance from those vendors.

Now that you’ve conquered your way to the top by targeting every stage, it’s time to stay there.

Track, analyze, and adapt your keywords and content to ensure your business stays relevant and visible throughout the customer lifecycle.

Reaching and staying at the top demands a rock-solid support system. That’s why we offer a free consultation session to discuss creating an end-to-end, purpose-built content solution for your business.

SaaS SEO Strategies and How To Apply Them

  • Define Your Brand Identity and Buyer Personas
  • Mine Your Internal Customer Interaction Data for Keywords
  • Plan Out Your Keyword Research Approach
  • Research Keywords and Find Keyword Gaps
  • Map Your Audience’s Keywords to Their Intentions and Buyer’s Journey
  • Apply Keyword Modifiers To Target B2B Audiences Better
  • Cluster Keywords and Topics To Build Your Keyword List
  • Identify Quick SEO Wins To Target
  • Create Content That Fits Your Audience’s Needs and Business’s Goals
  • Execute Data-Driven On-Page SEO
  • Take Care of Your Website’s Technical SEO
  • Apply SaaS SEO Strategies for Off-Page Optimization

Define Your Brand Identity and Buyer Personas

Crafting a standout brand requires dissecting competitors’ strategies to find unique opportunities. You need to stand out not by merely looking different but by tackling overlooked pain points that your audience is willing to part with money to solve.

So, how do you do that?

Move beyond demographics when defining customers — explore psychographics for a deeper understanding of their values and aspirations. In other words, you need to know what excites, annoys, or interests your target audience.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Define Your Target Audience: This could be your current customers, potential customers, or a specific demographic segment.

2. Gather Demographic Information: Collect basic demographic data, such as age, gender, income, education level, occupation, marital status, and geographic location. This provides a foundation for understanding your audience.

3. Conduct Surveys and User Interviews: Take informational meetings with current and prospective customers. Ask questions about their interests, hobbies, lifestyle choices, values, opinions, and attitudes.

Use both open- and closed-ended questions to collect qualitative and quantitative data.

Remember to ask them why they made those choices or felt that way. This helps you understand their motivations.

4. Analyze Existing Data: Use market research reports, customer feedback, social media analytics, and website analytics. Look for patterns and trends that reveal insights into your audience’s psychographics.

5. Segment Your Audience: Group your audience based on shared characteristics. These segments could include personality traits, values, motivations, interests, or behaviors.

6. Create Personas: Develop detailed personas representing different segments of your target audience. Each persona should have a name, background, demographics, psychographics, preferences, and goals.

Personas humanize your audience and make it easier to tailor your marketing efforts. You can speed up the process using HubSpot, Semrush, or Canva buyer persona templates.

7. Identify Pain Points and Needs: Identify the challenges, frustrations, aspirations, and needs of each persona. Understanding their pain points helps you tailor your products, services, and messaging to address their concerns.

For example, a privacy-conscious audience would prefer products with advanced security features like end-to-end encryption.

Then, target buyers whose interests align with your business goals to unify your messaging across marketing channels, product development, and customer service.

For SaaS products already in the market, go beyond usage patterns. You need to understand the “why” behind the action.

Keep an eye out for unexpected applications for your product and opportunities to adapt and innovate based on how businesses are using it. For instance, if you notice customers start using your note-taking tool for customer relationship management (CRM), find out why.

Example: Instagram began as a location-based social network called Burbn but noticed users were primarily interested in sharing photos. The app pivoted to become Instagram, focusing solely on photo and video sharing.

This strategic shift led to Instagram’s rapid growth and widespread popularity as a leading global social media platform.

Takeaway: It’s not just about being different. It’s about being undeniably valuable in the eyes of your customers.

To etch your brand’s name on your ideal buyer’s mind, figure out where your target audience hangs out online and be a fly on the wall there. Consider relevant communities on Reddit and Quora. And find and join industry and niche communities.

Mine Your Internal Customer Interaction Data for Keywords

Your internal customer interactions are a treasure trove of valuable keywords from actual visitors and customers — data you can’t find anywhere else. You can mine these golden keywords in several ways:
  • Analyze internal search terms on your website.
  • Look for common phrases in your customer success and sales interactions.
  • Extract keywords from your customer reviews, comments, and feedback.
  • Find information and gain context from reviewing customer support tickets for issues and their resolutions.
First, identify recurring terms that visitors use or questions they ask when using your website’s internal search. You can see this data in Google Analytics (old version) or the new Google Analytics (GA4).

Next, extract keywords from your sales and customer success insights by doing the following:

  • Coordinate with the customer success team to identify common use cases and customer profiles.
  • Interview the sales team and internal subject matter experts to learn about frequently asked questions and competitor mentions.
  • Review sales call recordings or protocols for insights.
  • Find keywords your high-traffic tutorial content ranks for and double down on them by creating more extensive content.

Finally, dig through user-generated content, such as reviews, comments, and feedback, to uncover new keywords and add context to existing terms.

Learning how people feel and what they care about helps your brand talk to them in a way that makes sense and feels right.

Plan Out Your Keyword Research Approach

You know who you’re targeting and your business objective for targeting them. Now, you need to find out how your prospects describe their aspirations and pain points when searching for solutions on search engines.

The words they use to describe their needs are keywords. Their reasons or goals for using those words are their search intent.

Let’s discuss keywords first.

Tools like Semrush and Ahrefs can help you find the words searchers use to describe their needs and the terms your competitors rank for in search results.

You can approach finding keywords in two ways.

Use Seed Words

Identify words and phrases that broadly represent what searchers want in your product, industry, and market. Enter each seed word into your keyword tool to find related terms and then consider the data.

To walk you through this process, let’s say we have a cloud management SaaS business called Pulse InCloud Solutions. To dig up relevant seed words for this hypothetical B2B brand, we’ll turn to Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool.

The Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush helps you find in-demand keywords related to any seed word you enter into the tool.

We can use the seed word “cloud management” to find and extract long-tail keywords about our audience’s worries, behaviors, and product use cases. Those keywords will guide our content marketing strategy.

The Keyword Magic Tool shows broad match results for the “cloud management” seed word.

We can also use the long-tail keywords that sprouted from the seed word to identify trends that match the buyer’s search intent and journey.

For instance, we can create content for informational intent using “how to” + relevant topics in “cloud management,” like “How to optimize resource allocation in cloud management.”

We can also apply this model to other buyer intents. For instance, for commercial intent, we could add “tools” to our seed word to get “cloud management tools.”

This method works best if you understand your product’s use cases.

Consider Competitor Keywords

The second option is to use a tool to see what your competitors rank for and analyze keyword gaps.

This approach feeds two birds with one scone — you analyze competitor keyword strategies and find in-demand keywords.

Use the first approach if you have only a few seed words in your niche or industry. Analyzing competitor keywords should yield better results if your SaaS business is complex, like Salesforce.

A Caveat: There’s no hard and fast rule. Try both methods to see what works for you.

We use Semrush at The Blogsmith, so we’ll demonstrate how to combine the two keyword research methods from the perspective of using this tool.

Research Keywords and Find Keyword Gaps

Now, let’s dig into the data. For our hypothetical Pulse InCloud Solutions, we’ll extract the keyword data from Flexera, a competing cloud management software.

Using Semrush, enter the competitor’s domain in the Organic Research tool to see its keywords, traffic, and ranking position.

Do a domain analysis to find the organic keywords your competitors rank for and their traffic source.

You can dive into your competitor’s keyword specifics, including:

  • Organic traffic data
  • Top pages with the biggest traffic changes and keyword ranking changes
  • Top-ranking keywords with their search volume and ranking difficulty
  • Keywords ranking in SERP features
  • Percentage of keywords they rank for different search intents

Here’s what that’ll look like:

Extract competitor keyword data using Semrush.

After that, export the keywords that represent your ideal audience’s search terms and intent.

Next up is hunting down keyword gaps — relevant search terms in your competitor’s content you’re not currently ranking for that represent low-hanging fruit opportunities to usurp them.

To do this, you can use a tool like Semrush’s Keyword Gap. Enter your domain and competitor’s domain, then choose the keyword type you want to extract (paid, organic, or product listing ads).

The Semrush Keyword Gap analysis tool helps you find keywords with high-traffic opportunities that you’ve missed.

Don’t ignore low- or zero-volume keywords that serve your business interests. Some marketers focus on search volume instead of how well a target keyword promotes their SaaS product.

In addition, these search terms can send hyper-targeted traffic to your website.

After you create a master list of these untapped opportunities, it’s time to focus on how to use them.

This is where you shift gears to mapping.

Map Your Audience’s Keywords to Their Intentions and Buyer’s Journey

Mapping keywords involves using keyword patterns to reach your audience at different points on the customer journey.

Although a tool like Semrush maps your keywords to the buyer’s journey and intent, you can do this manually, too.

Here’s how:

Clean up your keyword list document, leaving only the most relevant data, such as target keywords and their corresponding search volume.

Keywords and search volume for mapping keywords to search intent.

Then, create tags for each buyer’s journey stage in a different column.

Use a data validation dropdown menu for that column. Here’s how to create it in Google Sheets:

1. Select the fields in that column where you want to add the data validation.

Data validation fields selected for the buyer stage data.

2. Go to Data > Data validation to set your rules.

Access the data validation option from the Google Sheets menu.

3. Click + Add rule to specify your data validation rules.

Data validation rules.

4. Choose your data range — the column boxes where you want to add data validation. Leave the criteria as a dropdown, add your buyer stages in the item boxes, and color-code them.

You can also tag your stages by search intent — informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional. Next, assess each keyword and tag them.

You can also tag your stages by search intent — informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional.

Next, assess each keyword and tag them.

Keyword tagging by stage of the buyer’s journey.

Doing this manually might initially feel overwhelming, but you’ll soon begin to notice patterns. Search terms with specific words might have something in common.

For example, terms with “manage” might suggest searchers are already aware of the problem and seeking solutions. So, they might all fit into the consideration stage.

To speed things up, you can set up filters in your spreadsheet to find keywords that fall into a similar buyer’s intent or stage.

Create filters to find keywords that fall into a similar buyer’s stage and group them faster.

If you’re unsure what stage a keyword fits into, put that term into Google and take a look at the top-ranking articles for inspiration.

Tip: Choose keywords that people often use when looking for products like yours, so you can create content that helps them find and understand your offer.

Apply Keyword Modifiers to Target B2B Audiences Better

Use B2B keyword modifiers to target search terms that attract the cream of the crop of your audience, helping them find your content and product more easily. These modifiers exclude B2C scenarios, giving you pinpoint accuracy.

Here are some examples:

Examples of keyword modifiers for B2B keywords.

You can also:

  • Insert your target industry, e.g., restaurant project management software.
  • Highlight the problem you solve, e.g., lower unscheduled factory downtime.
  • Spotlight your product’s use case, e.g., network security checklist.

Avoid using generic terms like “app,” which tends to suggest your SaaS is for B2C, except in obvious B2B use cases, like “employee management app.” Use B2B product modifiers like “systems,” “tools,” “platforms,” “solutions,” “software,” or “modules” to appeal to businesses.

Again, look for keywords that fit your product use cases.

Cluster Keywords and Topics to Build Your Keyword List

Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to get organized. For efficient keyword and topic clustering, check out the hub and spoke or topic clustering model. This method improves content comprehension and navigation for both humans and search engines .

Topic clustering is a content architecture emphasizing a central “pillar” page connected to multiple related “cluster” pages.

To use this method, group keywords with the same search intent and cluster them with similar business objectives.

Let’s look at an example:

Pillar Page: Cloud management

Cluster Pages: Service models, performance monitoring, deployment models, automation, security, cost management, serverless computing, migration, and compliance/governance

Possible cluster pages of a “Cloud Management” pillar page.

Cluster pages can hold subpages to make a third- or fourth-tier structure. So, your website structure will look something like the image below.

Pillar and cluster pages with subpages — cluster pages that have subpages become secondary pillar pages.

Identify Quick SEO Wins to Target

SEO for SaaS businesses is tough because these are some of the most represented brands in search results pages. They understand the value of SEO and invest heavily in it.

In response, aim for quick SEO wins using low-hanging fruits. These are minimal competition keywords that have the potential to attract and convert your target audience.

Easy-to-win keywords help your content to start making inroads into search engine results pages (SERPs), building momentum for your website to rank for more coveted keywords. They can boost your business if you’re just starting out or operating in extremely competitive markets or industries.

Besides that, turn your attention to revamping articles ranking in positions 11 to 30 for your target keywords. These assets are already on track to win.

Rewrite or refresh those articles to add important information, update facts, and improve visuals. Also, update on-page SEO elements to include the relevant keywords you’ve identified in your research. Use SEO tools like Clearscope and Frase to optimize your content.

In addition, study what your competitors are doing better for inspiration.

Create Content That Fits Your Audience’s Needs and Business’s Goals

Use all your understanding of your audience to craft content that does double-duty — addresses their pain points and meets your business’s goals.

You’ll hit that sweet spot by focusing on product-led keywords and topics. This showcases your product’s practical applications and benefits in ways that address your audience’s needs.

You should assess potential topics based on your business’s goals. Here’s an example using our hypothetical company:

Score topics by their business potential to find viable product-led content opportunities.

Product-led content doesn’t just talk about your product or its features. It drives home the real-world benefits and usage, providing your audience with practical insights and solutions.

Spotlight customer testimonials, case studies, and interactive demonstrations to illustrate your product’s value. By aligning your content with your audience’s pain points and showing how the product resolves them, you engage users more effectively, fostering a deeper trust in your offering.

Tip: Combine product-led content with low-hanging fruit keywords for a beautifully crafted conversion engine that wins in search engine rankings and attracts ready-to-convert traffic.

"By aligning your content with your audience's pain points and showing how the product resolves them, you engage users more effectively, fostering a deeper trust in your offering."

Execute Data-Driven On-Page SEO

Once you’ve written your content, optimize for other contextually relevant keywords that searchers use.

Naturally incorporating these secondary keywords helps search engines understand and recommend the content to appropriate users.

A tool like Clearscope helps you use these related terms in your content.

Clearscope allows you to optimize your article with relevant keywords to boost your SEO performance.

While your focus is on-page, take another look at these short but crucial elements for SEO content creation and optimization: meta descriptions, headings, and title tags.

Title tags and headings aid a logical flow in your content, helping search engines and humans understand your message better. Meta descriptions help searchers understand your content’s value proposition before they click through to consume it.

Your content’s meta description sets the searchers’ expectations.

Take Care of Your Website’s Technical SEO

Keyword and content optimization will only take you so far if your website loads slowly, landing pages break, or mobile visitors feel unengaged.

This is where technical SEO saves the day.

But even superheroes have shortcomings.

The challenge with technical SEO is in the name — it’s technical. So, if you’re new to SaaS SEO, you’ll have a learning curve here.

A good start is to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get an overall technical SEO health analysis for your website.

PageSpeed Insights helps you understand your website loading performance and how to improve it.

You can also employ this terrific trio of technical SEO audit tools:

  • Google Search Console: Get the lowdown on how your website is doing in Google Search — check out your page experience report, links report, indexing, and any potential hiccups.
  • Google’s Rich Results Test tool: Vet your webpages’ structured data markup and get feedback on whether they qualify for rich results in search engine
  • Screaming Frog: Crawl your website to hunt down broken links, duplicate content, missing meta tags, and more.

So, you’ve darted through your website analysis and unearthed valuable recommendations.

What’s next?

Put those findings to work. Use your audit reports to improve your website’s structure and navigation and implement proper internal linking and URL structure.

Your audit report should come from different site auditing tools to cover all your bases. That said, it should include seven key categories with bankable recommendations:

  1. Website Performance: Assess page speed, load time, file size, redirects, and JavaScript/CSS reports.
  2. Internal Links: Improve internal links, fix broken links, and optimize anchor text for better site cohesion.
  3. HTTPS Validation: Distinguish between secured and unsecured pages and validate security certificates for HTTPS implementation.
  4. Global SEO: Implement hreflang tags for targeted international visibility across languages and regions.
  5. Markup Data: Enhance your content presentation with Open Graph, structured data, Twitter cards, microformats, and
  6. Crawlability and Indexability: Evaluate page indexability, crawl budget, and crawl depth for improved search engine visibility.
  7. Core Web Vitals (CWV): Analyze the Largest Contentful Paint, Total Blocking Time, and Cumulative Layout Shift for improved UX.
Core Web Vitals reports reflect your website's real-world UX.

Apply SaaS SEO Strategies for Off-Page Optimization

Your off-page SEO tactics can improve these four metrics:

  • Backlinks: Quality and quantity of links from other websites to yours.
  • Social Signals: Engagement and presence on social media
  • Brand Mentions: Online references to your brand, even without a link.
  • Brand Authority: Building a strong, authoritative presence in your industry.

When deciding how much effort to attribute to each tactic, it may help to think about the 80/20 rule. This principle loosely means that 80% of the results you want will come from 20% of the effort you make.

Putting this in context: Building high-quality backlinks to your pages will take care of most of your off-page SEO needs.

Backlinking is one of Google’s earliest SEO metrics for ranking websites and is a major ranking factor today.

Building high-quality backlinks to your content will lead to most of your off-page SEO results.

Your website’s do-follow backlinks are votes endorsing your content’s authoritativeness on the topic. Building a robust backlink profile from authoritative websites signals to search engines that your content should rank in relevant searches because it’s trustworthy.

The quantity of backlinks matters, but quality takes priority because search engines don’t always ignore spammy backlinks. Instead, they penalize websites that don’t remove or disavow them. So, monitor your backlinks and fix issues quickly using Google Search Console reports or SEO tools like Semrush or Moz.

Use your competitors’ data from Ahref’s free backlinks tool to help you build links.

For example, Zapier ranks number one for the search term “Kajabi vs Teachable.”

Zapier ranks number one on Google for the search term “Kajabi vs Teachable.”

If you’re interested in building links to your content on the same keyword, you can use Ahrefs to find the backlink data for that Zapier page.

Enter the page URL into Ahrefs, set it to the exact URL, and check the backlinks.

Ahrefs free backlinks checker tool allows you to find competitors’ backlink profiles.

The SEO tool offers useful data, like:

  • Number of backlinks and do-follow percentage
  • Number of linking websites and do-follow percentage
  • Referring pages with URL and content title
  • Anchor texts
  • Domain rating of the competitor’s page
  • Domain rating of the link sources
Backlinks profile of Zapier for its “Kajabi vs Teachable” page.

Your competitor’s backlinks profile helps you in three ways:

  • Number of Backlinks: Know how many are enough to stand a better chance of ranking for the keyword.
  • Source of Backlinks: Learn where those backlinks come from so you’ll know the types of websites to approach for links.
  • Google’s Expectations: See the backlink source, volume, and domain authoritativeness of linking websites, which show Google’s expectations for ranking pages for the keyword.

Once you have collected this data, it’s time to start getting backlinks to your content using your knowledge of Google’s expectations and a list of websites to target.

When seeking backlinks, always consider, “What’s in it for the website I’m requesting a link from?”

Here are some strategies to consider:

Backlink-building strategies for SaaS businesses.

As a SaaS brand, offering free tools that dovetail into your paid solutions is a viable link-building strategy, so let’s focus on that.

For instance, Ahrefs free SEO tools page has over 1,600 backlinks from nearly 700 domains, with over 70% being do-follow.

Ahrefs uses its free SEO tools to attract and convert its target audience.

The SaaS marketing platform has seen such great results from this strategy that it now offers 14 free tools.

Ahrefs maintains 14 free SEO tools, which is indicative of the SEO benefits of these tools.

Each free SEO tool has thousands of do-follow backlinks from hundreds of domains.

SaaS SEO Best Practices for B2B Companies

Think of SaaS SEO best practices as industry standards for optimizing SaaS websites.

For starters, Google places a premium on who creates the content it ranks. Search engines want content from people with the best topical experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

For example, Google will prioritize an enterprise tax management software discussing “how to file business taxes” over the same topic from a project management software.

Let’s look under the hood for other SaaS SEO best practices.

Create Engaging and User-Friendly Content

Create content that matches Google’s E-E-A-T ethos. Your audience will find your brand and products through the content you create, so it also gives them their first impression of you.

This is why you want to use a content agency that will leave no SEO stone unturned to deliver content that drives value at every stage of your buyer’s journey.

The Blogsmith’s army of specialized SEO and content professionals can help you increase your search dominance using our tech stack armory and battle-tested SEO content processes.

Tailor Your SaaS SEO Strategies to Your B2B Audience

Sophisticated B2B buyers are overwhelmed by a sea of information. Thus, traditional keyword targeting — stripped of the B2B SaaS SEO strategies we discussed earlier — falls short.

The solution?

Harnessing the power of semantic SEO, low-volume keywords, and B2B keyword modifiers.

Craft content that aligns with industry jargon, addresses specific pain points, and shows you have a firm grasp of the problems your audiences face.

For example, if your product is for project management, avoid writing about taxes and write more about relevant frameworks, like Scrum, Kanban, Agile, and Waterfall.

Emphasize Industry- and Use Case-Specific Content and Keyword Targeting

Busy B2B professionals seek depth in content. Shallow information fails to convince or guide their decision-making process.

Prioritize product-led content and keywords to show your audience the specifics of how your product use case solves their problems. Provide in-depth analyses, case studies, and actionable takeaways to establish your authority and reliability.

Build Thought Leadership to Dissolve Skepticism

B2B decision-makers are skeptical — trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.

In the survey we cited under “Boosts Trust and Credibility” earlier, 60% of respondents expressed trust for B2B content from independent reviewers over company websites.

B2B SaaS buyers trust third-party software content more than company website content.

Cultivate thought leadership through content that showcases your expertise, industry insights, and a forward-thinking approach. Leverage guest posts, webinars, and collaborative content to establish your brand as a trustworthy authority.

Adapt Your Content to the B2B Procurement Maze

The pathway businesses take to buying things is complicated because people within these companies have different needs and worries. So, from awareness to decision-making, provide tailored content that addresses the worries and interests of everyone who might have a say.

Maintain Agile SEO Processes

Due to the fierce competition in SaaS, businesses constantly innovate their products and processes. Traditional SEO strategies often fail to adapt to these fast-paced changes in the B2B SaaS landscape.

So, how should you respond?

By embracing agile SEO practices.

Regularly audit and update your content, monitor industry trends, and adjust your strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Use advanced analytics and AI-driven insights for real-time adjustments.

It can quickly get overwhelming, and things can break. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you hire our team of experts, you can rest assured your business will walk this SEO tightrope without slipping off.

A man walking on a tightrope.

Measure, Analyze, and Optimize SaaS SEO Performance

Tracking your SEO efforts is like watching a recording of your performance live. It enables you to see where you delighted your audience or lost touch with them. And then use that intel to put up a better show for next time.

You can use tools like Google Analytics, Semrush, and Ahrefs to get this valuable intel.

But those tools can do more, helping you capture, record, and report your performance based on the metrics and conversion events you care about. Then, you can use these reports to inform your strategy going forward.

Here’s how to squeeze out the most benefits from your SEO tracking and reporting tools:

  • Answer the Question “Why?”: It’s easy to miss the mark when calibrating user intent, leaving you to grapple with the elusive “why” behind user interactions. Solve this by diving deep into site structure, long-tail keywords, user engagement patterns, and sentiment to decode the nuances of user intent, unveiling your roadmap for content optimization.
  • Look Beyond the Click: Conversions are the lifeblood of SaaS, and focusing narrowly on click-through rates (CTRs) often leaves businesses in the dark about the true impact of their SEO efforts. Employ advanced conversion tracking tools to trace the entire customer journey and optimize each touchpoint for maximum impact.
  • Optimize for All SERP Visibility Opportunities: Embrace advanced SERP features tracking, including featured snippets, knowledge panels, and rich snippets, to not just rank but dominate the SERP landscape and outshine your competitors. This is what we do at The Blogsmith.
  • Measure Content Resonance: Employ metrics related to social shares, brand mentions, and user-generated content to gauge the true resonance of your content. Finding people who enjoy your product and openly talk about it offers you an opportunity to turn engaged users into brand advocates. For example, invite them to your loyalty and referral programs, and if they command a large social following, partner with them to promote your software.

Final Thoughts: Potent SaaS SEO Strategies for Standout B2B Brands

The SaaS market is in flux — the user base is growing, but adoption is shrinking for some vendors.

The secret to solving this puzzle?

Using SaaS SEO strategies that work.

This guide shows how boosting your app’s visibility and connecting with IT professionals or SaaS decision-makers can make a difference. Standing out is crucial in a world where many of your customers are inundated with an average of 130 SaaS apps.

The strategies we explored aren’t just about keeping your current users happy but also grabbing the attention of new customers. Gaining new users is your insurance against the inevitability of app consolidation across departments.

Whether you’re trying to keep your current customers or attract fresh prospects, nailing SEO is the key.

If creating content that generates growth throughout the entire sales funnel sounds like music to your ears, contact The Blogsmith. We cover end-to-end SaaS SEO needs — content ideation, strategy, creation, and distribution. Plus, you can be as hands-on or off as you want without diluting the content quality.

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