The SaaS industry has witnessed exponential growth in recent years, presenting unique challenges for companies operating within this space. In fact, the projected growth of the SaaS industry indicates that it is expected to increase from USD 251.17 billion in 2022 to USD 883.34 billion by 2029. This means that to navigate the highly competitive landscape and capture their target audience effectively, SaaS companies must adopt a tailored approach to SEO.
And let’s be honest, SaaS SEO and marketing are a special beast to tame. Although it has some similarities and some of the same benefits that SEO and marketing bring to other types of businesses, there are some specific challenges for SaaS businesses:
- Selling intangible products makes it difficult for customers to visualize the product and its benefits.
- SaaS sales cycles are long and require businesses to provide customers with a lot of information and marketing material throughout the cycle.
- SaaS companies constantly update and enhance their products to stay competitive, as such, their marketing strategies need to adapt and evolve accordingly.
- SaaS marketing relies on creating and sharing original information to educate, inform, and engage customers.
- Customer retention is crucial. SaaS companies need to acquire new customers but also ensure that current customers continue to find value in the product.
- SaaS companies have a greater focus on providing exceptional customer service and satisfaction, as well as a special focus on upselling and cross-selling.
- SaaS companies often offer free products and valuable content to attract potential customers.
By understanding these nuances––and how SEO can help when used correctly––anyone in the SaaS industry can drive organic growth and achieve sustainable success.
#1: How To Convince Leadership?
SaaS products often require intricate decision-making, leading to long sales cycles. Gaining user’s trust is crucial in the SaaS industry, however, you’ll need to address different users that use a different language, have a different degree of responsibility and job title, and a different set of jobs to be done and pain points.
Building credibility through subject matter experts (SMEs)
By employing writers or interviewing people with real industry experience and expertise, SaaS companies can effectively address complex topics and showcase their knowledge and expertise. SMEs provide unique insights that resonate with the target audience and establish the company as a trusted thought leader within the industry.
SMEs are also necessary thanks to Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines. This means you have to show your Experience and Expertise in order for your content to rank high and above the competition–which is where you want to be––especially as a SaaS business. With 66% of marketers prioritizing thought leadership content, it becomes evident that including SMEs is essential to savor the sweet taste of success.
Covering your entire marketing funnel through organic traffic
SEO is a versatile tool that covers all marketing funnel stages. It attracts new visitors and creates brand awareness at the top of the funnel by addressing audience needs. Moving down, it generates interest and consideration by providing valuable content that addresses specific pain points. Building engagement and trust through high-quality, informative content keeps the audience interested. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, SEO drives conversions and sales by optimizing product and landing pages with relevant keywords, ensuring a seamless path to purchase.
#2: High Churn? Increase Loyalty
The SaaS industry is characterized by subscription services and the need to create loyal, long-term customers. One buy is never enough, you need to continue selling your tech and this means finding the right balance between keeping customers satisfied, and continuously evolving your product to keep addressing their needs. With an average churn rate of around 6-8% SaaS businesses need to do all they can to reduce this number to around 3%.
SEO and the right content help reduce and avoid churn
To enhance user retention on your B2B SaaS site, create informative content like tutorials, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides that address common user questions and issues. This helps reduce frustration and ensures a positive user experience with your tool. Additionally, optimizing your content for relevant keywords will make it easy for your customers to find it, improving user satisfaction, reducing support requests, and showcasing your commitment to excellent customer support.
Improve the “free trial” experience
Additionally, supporting content significantly improves the trial experience for new users, leading them to stick with a new product or service. By providing informative and engaging resources such as tutorials, case studies, and customer success stories, SaaS companies can help users fully understand the product’s capabilities and its relevance to their specific needs. This content not only assists users in making informed decisions but also builds trust and confidence in the product’s effectiveness, ultimately increasing user satisfaction and retention.
#3: Saturated Market? Build Links.
Making sure people hear about your brand and read your content is a priority. However, this is something that’s hard to do in a saturated market––there will be 72,000 SaaS companies in 2024.
Gain presence through competitive link-building
Due to the intense competition in the SaaS industry, link-building is critical. In fact, 46% of businesses will spend $10,000 for SEO link-building, this shows how valuable this practice is.
Here are some link-building strategies SaaS companies can benefit from:
- Unlinked brand mentions: Identify mentions of your SaaS brand without a link and reach out to the website owner, requesting them to add a link to your website.
- Product embeds: Make your SaaS product embeddable and encourage users to embed it on their websites, ensuring that the embedded content includes a link back to your relevant page.
- SaaS-specific directories: Submit your SaaS product to relevant SaaS-specific directories and listings, gaining backlinks from authoritative sources within the SaaS industry.
- Integration partners: Establish partnerships with integration partners and ensure they link back to your SaaS website in their integration directory listings and guest posts.
- SaaS review sites: Offer free access to your SaaS product to reputable SaaS review sites in exchange for reviews and backlinks.
- Expert contributions: Offer your CEO or industry experts for interviews or expert contributions on SaaS-focused websites, gaining links and increasing your brand’s visibility.
- SaaS industry awards: Participate in SaaS industry awards and competitions, potentially earning backlinks from award websites and gaining industry recognition.
- Feature on SaaS podcasts: Seek opportunities to be featured as a guest on SaaS-focused podcasts, securing links from podcast websites and reaching a targeted audience.
- Reach out to content managers: Find them on LinkedIn and ask for a partnership if they’re not a competitor.
- Case studies and social proof: Reach out to your clients and see if you can write a case study on them or if they want to do a guest post or a review on your product.
These strategies can help SaaS companies acquire high-quality backlinks and increase organic traffic to their target pages––increasing their digital presence.
#4: Need Funding? Show Long-term ROI
With 45% of venture capital going to SaaS companies in 2022, it’s crucial that companies can establish a clear connection between SEO and the generation of Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). This can be especially tricky when stakeholders and investors don’t really understand what SEO is, or how it even works.
Proving that SEO has a higher ROI than PPC
While PPC can deliver immediate visibility and traffic, it requires ongoing financial resources to maintain that visibility. In contrast, SEO aims to improve a website’s organic ranking, resulting in a continuous flow of relevant traffic without incurring additional costs per click.
PPC campaigns often allocate a single budget to high-volume keywords and for SaaS, high-volume keywords are inefficient since you want to reach your niche audience. This approach may waste your marketing budget on non-converting keywords, driving up the cost-per-lead. On the other hand, SEO generates higher-quality traffic, with SEO leads having a closure rate of 14.6% compared to 1.7% for outbound leads. By targeting high-intent long-tail keywords, businesses can implement an effective SEO strategy that attracts top-quality organic traffic to their site––without spending astronomical amounts of budget.
The long-term value of SEO and its sustainable growth
SEO doesn’t deliver immediate results, but it does provide sustainable growth that no other marketing campaign can provide.
Long-term benefits of SEO for SaaS companies:
- Independence from ads, which is crucial for SaaS companies, especially those with limited investment funds. Relying on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can lead to a halt in marketing efforts once the funds run out.
- Long-term rewards and cost-efficiency, as SEO efforts can continue to generate organic traffic and leads over time without incurring additional costs for every click or impression.
- A steady stream of qualified leads, ensuring that SaaS companies attract potential customers who are actively searching for their specific solutions.
- Touchpoints at all stages of the buying cycle, allowing SaaS companies to engage with prospects from initial research to final decision-making, maximizing the chances of conversion.
- Cultivation of brand awareness, and establishing a strong online presence and visibility for the SaaS company, which is essential in a competitive industry.
- Increased confidence and trust in your brand, as appearing in organic search results positions the SaaS company as a credible and reliable solution provider.
- A better understanding of your audience, as SEO analytics provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, allowing for more targeted marketing strategies which are fundamental for SaaS businesses.
- Improved user experience, as optimizing the website for SEO leads to better navigation, faster loading times, and mobile responsiveness, enhancing the overall user experience for visitors to your website which is your main selling point.
Unlock the power of SaaS SEO and reach sustainable growth with AUQ
In a rapidly evolving SaaS SEO landscape, we face exciting challenges and incredible opportunities that demand a tailored approach. By diving deep into the unique hurdles faced by B2B SaaS companies and embracing the right strategies, you can unlock the true power of SEO for long-term success. At AUQ, we specialize in SaaS SEO, and we’re here to provide expert guidance on your journey toward achieving SEO greatness. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today and explore how we can help you conquer your business goals through impactful SEO strategies.