In the digital age, SEO has become a critical part of any business including SaaS businesses. By optimizing their online presence, especially their websites, SaaS businesses can increase their visibility, attract targeted traffic, and ultimately drive growth. According to a Hubspot survey, SEO has the potential to increase or maintain investments for nearly 88% of those who use it in 2023. However, with so many SaaS SEO tools, choosing the right ones can be overwhelming.
In this Ultimate SaaS SEO toolkit, we will discuss the importance of SEO for SaaS business, the best SEO tools along with the best practices for using the tools.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It’s a subscription-based software-delivery model where customers access the software online via a mobile, browser, or application without installing it on their own device computer.
Importance of SEO for SaaS Businesses
Increased Visibility and Traffic
SaaS businesses rely heavily on traffic to their websites to generate leads and convert them into customers. By implementing SEO strategies, SaaS businesses can improve their website’s visibility on search engines, resulting in increased traffic and potential customers.
Marketing is expensive and requires a lot of time and energy. SEO also takes time and effort but it’s one of the most cost-effective marketing for all businesses including SaaS. As a SaaS business owner, you must also be considering PPC advertising, and stats show that PPC ads bring about twice the number of visitors than SEO. However, SEO is more of a long-term game. It generates steady traffic while PPC ads like AdWords only generate traffic during their campaign period. A survey conducted by Google shows that 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results such as the “click to call” option.
Once a website is optimized for search engines, it ranks well for relevant keywords and drives traffic and leads without exhausting any additional marketing budget. According to an Ahrefs study, the average top-10 ranking pages on Google are over two years old and the top page is over three years old. However, you will need to revamp and brush up on the content from time to time.
Improved User Experience
For years, SEO was all about keyword use. However, user experience (UX) is now an essential part of SEO. A study led by Google found that users are 5 times more likely to leave a website if it is not mobile-friendly. Another study by Backlinko found that web pages that appear on the first page of Google load in 1.65 seconds.
While there’s no correlation between website speed and Google rankings, an improved UX can lead to lower bounce rates, longer on-site time, and higher conversion rates.
The SaaS industry is pretty competitive and any competitive advantage can work wonders. SEO helps businesses get targeted traffic and rank higher than their competitors for relevant keywords. This can result in increased brand awareness, visibility, and credibility.
Best Professional SaaS SEO Tools
|SEO Research||Technical SEO||Content Creation|
|Google Analytics||Search Console||Clearscope|
Ahrefs — SEO Research
Pricing: starting from $99 (no free version or trial).
In the SaaS SEO community, Ahrefs is one of the most popular tools (and for good reasons). It was originally launched as a link analysis tool but later morphed into a complete SEO toolkit (including a search engine called Yep).
Ahrefs is a great tool for website owners who want to look beyond Google. It allows users to get keyword data on nearly ten search engineers including Bing, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu. Beyond keyword research and competitor analysis, you can also use Ahrefs for site audit and check for issues like broken links and meta tags with your website.
Most notably, Ahrefs is an excellent tool to spy on your competitors. All you need to do is enter your competitor’s website, and the Site Explorer tool shows you the keywords that are bringing them the most traffic, the number, and quality of backlinks and the ads that they’re running.
All in all, Ahrefs is an excellent SEO tool for anything from keyword research to competitor analysis, rank tracking, and site audits.
Screaming Frog — Technical SEO
Pricing: Free version with limited capabilities + paid licensed version for £199 per year.
Technical SEO is an essential part of every SaaS SEO strategy and Screaming Frog is hands down the best tool. Also known as the SEO Spider, Screaming Frog is a web crawler that helps run site audits, find vulnerabilities and gaps in your website SEO and make changes accordingly. It can also integrate with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and page and site speed APIs.
To use Screaming Frog, all you need to do is download it on your computer and get started. It offers a lite version that can crawl up to 500 URLs, but you cannot access advanced features like integrations. You can purchase a license for £199 per year to remove those restrictions.
Google Analytics — SEO Research
Pricing: free with a paid version.
Google Analytics is the keystone of web analytics today. However, what might surprise you is that it was not developed by Google, but was acquired when Google acquired the web Analytics Company Urchin back in 2005. It’s a must-have analytics tool for all SaaS companies. You can measure traffic, downloads, conversions, and pretty much everything else on your website with Google Analytics. It can also be integrated with other Google services like Google AdWords and Google Search Console.
Google Analytics 4 AKA GA4 was rolled out in July 2023. Most features in GA4 have been removed or replaced with advanced features, but the main difference is that GA4 combines both mobile and web data in the same property whereas GA3 tracks screen views in separate mobile-specific properties.
For content creators, Google Analytics is a great tool as it allows the to measure the performance of their content and optimize their content strategy. They can track metrics like pageviews, bounce rates, and conversion rates to gain insights into how the users interact with the content. The data can be used to identify the best and most effective pieces of content as well as areas for improvement.
SpyFu — SEO Research
Pricing: free with a paid version (starts at $33/month) with advanced features.
SpyFu, originally known as GoogSpy is an SEO research tool that specializes in keyword research for PPC and SEO. SpyFu’s keyword research tool allows you to discover new keywords, analyze keyword difficulty, and track keyword rankings. You can even find advanced keyword insights like keyword history and metrics like ‘mobile vs. desktop’ along with traditional stats. It also offers rank tracking that lets you track your and your competitor’s websites over time for certain keywords and backlink analysis to analyze your competitor’s backlinks and find opportunities.
On top of SEO research, SpyFu is also a great competitor analysis tool. It has a feature called Kombat that allows users to compare up to three websites side-by-side and compare various organic and paid performance metrics such as keyword rankings, estimated clicks, cost per click (CPC), ad copy, and more. This helps users identify the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors in search marketing and spot areas of opportunities.
ChatGPT — Content Creation
Pricing: Free with a Plus version starting at $20 per month.
When using an AI tool, it’s important to remember that ChatGPT is an AI tool, and however efficient it may be, you still need to verify the fact before moving forward.
While ChatGPT is an excellent tool for content creation, it can be used for much more than just that. You can also use ChatGPT for language translation, summarization, classification, sentiment analysis, text prediction and completion, generative art, and dialogue generation.
Google Lighthouse — Technical SEO
Google Lighthouse is an open-source tool, developed by Google that’s mainly used to run technical website audits. It runs audits across five categories including performance, best practices, accessibility, SEO, and Progressive Web Apps (PWA). Users can select the categories they want to audit. It’s a great way to analyze your website’s performance on desktop, mobile, and web applications.
What makes Google Lighthouse an excellent choice for technical SEO is that it accurately highlights performance issues and offers solid recommendations. Since it’s part of the Google toolkit, its report carries a certain authority over other tools.
However, it comes with a few limitations. For example, users can only report at the individual URL level right now. To test multiple pages of your website, you need to identify major page types (e.g. homepage), goal conversion points (e.g. demo signup page), common templates (e.g. a tool page), and run reports on each of these sample URLs.
Google Search Console (GSC) — Technical SEO
Google Search Console (formerly known as the Webmaster Tools) is the best free tool in your SaaS SEO toolkit. It allows website owners to monitor how their site appears on the SERP alongside queries that you’re ranking for, the clickthrough rate, and more.
GSC comes equipped with a complete set of tools and resources that let you analyze your website’s technical performance. You also get notified when there’s a technical error such as a broken URL and fix it immediately.
On the other hand, Google Search Console is great for exploring the search queries section. You can check which keywords, terms, and long-tail search queries triggered your website page to appear in the search result. It also lets you see how many impressions you received and the positions it showed for.
The best part about using GSC is that it takes the guesswork out of the equation as all data is coming directly from Google without any third-party API or tool. However, you need to add and verify your website with Google, which means adding a block of HTML to your website Homepage or using a Google Analytics account that’s linked to your website.
Jasper.ai — Content Creation
Pricing: free for up to 10 pieces of content and a paid subscription starting from $24 per month.
Jasper.ai is an AI-powered platform designed specifically for content creation. It can help users create original content, boost ad conversions with a finer copy, and quickly scale up their content marketing efforts. You can create unique SEO-optimized content for your SaaS platform just by entering your keywords and the type of content you want.
While the main feature of Jaser.ai is content creation, it goes much further with topic research, optimization, and collaboration. It can write clearly in over 25 languages, which works great for users who want to create content in other languages. It can help writers and business owners come up with ideas, and suggestions, and create content up to five times faster.
ClearScope — Content Creation
Pricing: a free trial of one content piece per day with a paid version starting from $170 per month.
ClearScope is another AI-powered content creation and optimization platform. Alongside content creation, you can also useClearScope for keyword research, competitor analysis, and performance tracking. As part of the content optimization process, ClearScope offers suggestions about questions and citations that you must use along with ideas for your content based on your competitors.
What sets ClearScope apart are integrations. You can seamlessly write content with tools that you already use such as Google Docs and WordPress without having to go back and forth between platforms. It can help writers and business owners save valuable time and resources while improving their content performance.
SaaS SEO Tools Feature Comparison
|Software Name||Keyword Research||Rank Tracking||Competitor Analysis||Backlink Tracking||Visitor Behavior Analysis||Automated Reporting||G2 Rating|
|Screaming Frog||X (crawlers)||4.7|
|Google Search Console||x||x||x||x||4.7|
|Google Lighthouse||X (usability)||4.6|
Best Practices for Using SaaS SEO Tools
The idea of using SaaS SEO tools seems simple. However, you can follow certain best practices to make the best out of your SaaS SEO toolkit.
- Before starting to use your chosen SaaS SEO tool, set specific goals as the right tools can help you focus your efforts and work more efficiently.
- Choose the right tools by weighing the features, limitations, and other factors and choose one that fits your business needs best.
- SEO is constantly evolving so stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Following industry blogs and reliable news sources, and attending seminars and conferences can be some great ways to stay informed.
- Monitor your progress with the tool’s reporting feature and measure the success of your SEO efforts.
- Depending on your specific needs, a combination of tools may work better than a single one. If that’s the case, leverage one or a combination of tools according to your specific needs. Furthermore, SaaS SEO tools can be even more powerful when integrated with other tools like automation platforms or CMS.
For every SaaS business, it’s vital to select and use SEO tools effectively. It can help businesses improve their SERP ranking, drive targeted traffic, and ultimately grow their business. We have explored several free, open-source, and professional SaaS SEO tools, but the right tool is different for every business. By weighing the features, limitations, and benefits, you can identify one (or more) that works for your business.