Our client is a tech stack SaaS that specializes in document storage solutions for businesses with strong HIPPA requirements – essentially they help businesses set up and manage access to sensitive user data & documents.
AUQ was brought on early on to help our client develop and kick start their content and SEO strategies, we were starting from 0 but with lofty goals.
They’ve asked us to keep this case study confidential, so we won’t be sharing names or numbers, but we’ll explore in detail the steps we took to achieve growth.
We’ll specifically look at the problems and solutions we’ve implemented including:
1. Overcoming new domain challenges, in a competitive market
2. Creating content that decision makers respect ( and converts )
3. How to set up Analytics for a long buying cycle
4. How to optimize design for SEO
Typical SaaS SEO Challenges
1. Problem: New Domain With Low Authority
The challenge was that our client was a new domain when we began our work and we were competing with established powerhouses with an already established online presence and strong domains. We need ed to find a way to grow traffic and show results while simultaneously building up their domain authority.
Solution #1: Very Niche Specific Keyword Research
To start driving traffic right away we had to really niche down with our keyword targets. In the first 3-6 months of our campaigns we focused on long tail keywords & industry specific terms. Rather than covering large topics like “document security” we would have to focus on highly specific use-cases that are not covered in detail by our competitors.
This is a great approach for new websites and while it won’t sky rocket traffic, you can still see your content appear in top positions and potentially get traffic with higher conversion rates.
This was our strategy for the first few months while working on linkbuilding.
Solution #2: Link Magnets
Niche keywords will only get you so far, every client wants to rank first for their “home run” keywords. To get there we had to improve their domain authority to bring it up to par with competitors.
Link Magnets – the safest and most scalable method of linkbuilding we’ve been able to implement successfully are link magnets. Essentially these are articles that exist for the purpose of driving links, but with a twist. The twist is that these articles cater towards other content writers – we’ve all heard the old adage “build great content” but that alone won’t get you links.
So we create stats focused articles that we expect to be cited by other SEO writers. The strategy is that most writers want to reference statistics to back up their claims, so we place our stats focused articles in top positions for niche focused content and wait for them to get cited by other content writers.
Every industry has a variety of stats related topics, anything industry specific for the previous year is a good place start. Sales stats, user stats etc…
Solution #2: Bought Placements
Sponsored Link Placements – another scalable tactic we’ve developed in-house is purchasing sponsorships on already existing content. While this method has been around in the past, we’ve built an in-house formula that values these links based on the strength of the page placement NOT the strength of the domain.
While most sponsorship placement are priced by authority of domain where a link will live ( you might pay upwards of $1,000 for a DA 80 link ) we basically see this as misleading at best, and a scam at worst.
Consider this situation:
A DA 80 domain has 10,000 pages – so that domain authority gets split across 10,000 urls, and most of them are not even indexed, let along rank in decent positions for any relevant keywords.
While a DA 30 domain might have 500 pages total and a few pages that rank in the top 50 for keywords directly related to your business. Which one would you rather partner with?
Long story short – we’ve developed this in-house method of evaluating link placements to scale cheaper & therefore faster since we have more budget to allocate to sponsorships.
2. Problem: Creating Authoritative Content for Decision Makers
Another challenge was that our clients industry is highly technical, since we’re generally targeting tech leads or C-suite users with our content.
The challenge is finding authors who could write about complex topics like government regulation and technical implementation accurately, with minimum editing and in a way that converts.
Solution #1: Specialist Authors
We could not work with generalist writers for this type of project. They wouldn’t have the experience and would require extensive editing and oversight from our clients project managers.
So we built outreach lists for authors that published articles in top publications of our client’s industry – and reached out to them directly. We contacted them through LinkedIn and email, and while many of these writers were either full time members of content teams, CEO or professors. We did find a healthy amount of authors interested in doing freelance writing.
This allowed us to bring on subject matter experts to partner with our client and expedite accurate & technical content publishing.
Solution #2: Technical Knowledge Base
Additionally we worked to create a “technical glossary” which was a separate part of the website that focuses on definitions, these pages are easy to create and easy to write and serve 2 purposes:
- Rank in Google’s featured snippets due to their ‘definition’ structure
- Add a variety of content to help improve the domain’s standing in the industry
An added benefit of this type of content is that it can be written by AI as it only looks at definitions and examples. While we wouldn’t recommend this type of content as the bedrock of your SEO strategy, it’s a great way to supplement existing campaigns.
We implement a full service approach that includes technical, design and content optimization. Before we move into ongoing monthly work which focuses on content and linkbuilding:
- Discovery Phase – we worked with Persona to understand their team, their clients and their goals for this engagement.
- Technical & EAT Audits – to set the foundation for a successful SEO future, we worked on a technical & EAT audit to identify any holes in the current structure of the site to address authority as well as general tech table-stakes.
- Design SEO Audit – To complement the newly created content we’ve also worked on optimizing the article templates on the blog. We highly recommend focusing on design elements that help improve the user experience and perceived authority of the blog. We find design elements like table of contents, author bios, and conversion banners a crucial part of design seo.
- Keyword Clusters & Content Research – we analyzed search patterns to recommend possible keywords with a focus on technical and regulation focused content that would be easier to rank for a new website. After keyword approval we organize these keywords / article pairs into topical content clusters and plan a 3 month content calendar.
- Publication & Optimization – Once content production begins, we regularly check back on older articles and optimize based on ranking changes. It’s crucial to review older content as these are often the easiest articles to bump to the first page.
- Linkbuilding – especially important for a new site, we ran tactical linkbuilding campaigns to increase linkflow to pages we want to rank as well as evergreen “link magnet” content pieces that continue to gather links to this day.
We’ve been able to continuously grow our impact by focusing on technical industry terms that our client’s research.
While these keywords are not high volume, they’re certainly highly technical and competitive within the client industry.