If you’re an early-stage startup looking to grow your brand, chances are you’ve considered using SEO as a marketing channel.
With all the marketing channels at your disposal, choosing the right one can be hard.
In this article, I’ll walk you through a few reasons why you should include SEO in your marketing campaign.
Is SEO Important for a SaaS?
SEO is always an option for SaaS, depending on your target audience, offering, and positioning.
While B2C and B2B SaaS have different decision-makers to reach, B2B SaaS has the perfect opportunity to leverage SEO to increase revenue and brand awareness for your company.
SEO allows SaaS companies to target their entire marketing funnel by creating content that builds your pipeline and attracts visitors at all stages of the funnel.
Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
If you’re using SEO as a marketing channel, you have a prime opportunity to decrease customer acquisition costs.
With SEO, there are no additional costs outside the costs needed to optimize your content.
Whether you’re measuring your agency’s budget or in-house SEO spend, you’ll likely see that SEO has one of the lowest CAC compared to all other marketing channels.
This applies mainly to all inbound channels, but inbound and SEO will almost always beat out your outbound paid channels.
And once your content starts performing, no additional costs are needed to keep that content ranking.
So over time, as your content drives results, your CAC slowly decreases as you earn traffic and customers on autopilot.
Less of a Reliance on Paid Advertising
When your SEO starts performing, you do not need to rely on outbound channels like PPC as much.
With SEO, you can build your audience; with PPC, you’re borrowing an audience that’s not guaranteed to last.
While PPC can earn short-term results, it is less sustainable for long-term growth.
That’s not to say one strategy is better than the other, but once your SEO is set and compounding in results, you can decrease your PPC budget to allocate more to SEO.
For example, you can use PPC data to find the keywords driving the most conversions for your site; you can use this data to create content to rank for these keywords without spending money to be featured.
Plus, you have data to back up that there’s conversion intent behind them.
So you don’t need to stop PPC entirely since it still can be an effective strategy to use alongside SEO; you can scale your budget back as you are not wholly dependent on it as a lead channel.
You can also read this article here that covers which channel is better for a SaaS: PPC or SEO.
SEO Brings in Higher Quality Leads
With PPC, it can take more work to build a sustainable pipeline, whereas, with SEO, you can target topics that bring quality website traffic.
You can create SEO content focused around your user’s pain points that tie into your product.
Say your product is employee retention software, and your audience is HR professionals; you can create content that matches pain points they might currently have that your product would solve.
So you could create content like:
- How to improve employee retention
- How to keep employees engaged
- Why are my employees feeling unsatisfied
These searches indicate an issue with your target audience, and your product fits in as a solution.
When creating your content, you can craft it to highlight their pain points and possible solutions they can use to fix their problems, one of them being your product.
You’ll also want to include CTAs throughout your content that capture their information or even get them to sign up for a free product demo or trial.
Think about who’s searching for “Why are my employees feeling unsatisfied?”
Chances are it’s an HR professional or manager who needs help retaining their staff.
So not only are you attracting this highly qualified audience, but you’re also using a product-led approach to position your product as a solution.
SEO Builds You an Audience
As mentioned before, SEO will build you an actual audience.
If you’re using PPC as your primary marketing channel, there is little room for brand growth outside lead magnets.
But with SEO, you can capture audiences at multiple touchpoints and searches.
For your software product, you’ll want to create content relevant to your target audience that keeps them returning.
The problem with most software content marketing plans is that they try to build around multiple topics simultaneously instead of hyper-fixating on one singular topic.
Not only is this bad for audience building, but it’s also bad for SEO since you’re preventing your website from building topical authority.
But when it comes to your audience, you also want to establish yourself as an authority.
Create relevant and quality content around one topic so users can find it at multiple touchpoints and return for more.
The more visible you are throughout the customer’s buyer’s journey, the more likely they’ll choose your product.
SEO Allows You to Target Every Stage of the Marketing Funnel
Another benefit of SaaS SEO is that it allows you to target every aspect of the marketing funnel.
The marketing funnel is a way to visualize your users’ path before becoming a customer.
Starting with awareness, moving down the funnel into consideration, and lastly, making their final decision at the very bottom of the funnel.
So when starting your SaaS SEO plan, you’ll want to target bottom-of-the-funnel topics while working your way up.
With SEO, you can cover this entire funnel, but you have to think about the logical steps your target audience will take before they become a client.
Are they comparing you against your competitors? Are they looking for the best product? Are they looking for alternatives to a competitor?
You’ll want to start with the bottom of the funnel first because of the visibility and availability you’ll have when a user is moving through their buyer’s journey.
Say they just found out about the solutions they need for their problem and identified that a software product would be the best option for them.
Now they want to find providers of that software and figure out who the “best” is.
Then, they’ll finally be ready for their decision, which usually comes down to two companies.
This is where you’ll want to start since users are at the final stage before deciding.
So if you’re Ahrefs (a popular SEO tool), you could create content optimized around their competitor SEMrush like this “Ahrefs vs. SEMrush: Which Product is Right For You.”
In that final stage, you’ll have more control over which product they pick and ultimately increase your conversion rate.
After you have that portion of the funnel mapped out, you can then move up to the middle of the funnel and eventually top of the funnel.
What Other Marketing Channels Should Be Used With SEO?
SEO is not a siloed channel, especially not for SaaS.
To get more leads through SEO, you must use an omnichannel approach that blends other marketing channels to create a full experience.
You can also use outbound for this.
However, if you’re trying to build an audience, I recommend using inbound channels like email, social, and video marketing to grow and engage your audience.
Plus, these inbound channels allow you to repurpose existing assets between each other easily.
How SaaS SEO is Different From Traditional SEO
SaaS SEO differs from traditional because there are many other contact points to consider outside of a user landing on your page and buying your product or contacting you.
If a user needs to spend $100s or even $1,000s per month on a product, they need to trust your brand and know that your product is right for them.
So while it’s good to use an omnichannel approach to engage with your audience, you’ll need to be very active with your SEO to capture your target persona at multiple touchpoints.
That’s why traditional agencies struggle with SaaS SEO.
There needs to be a growth-first mindset to SaaS SEO, and content production needs to be scaled along with quality.
SEO for SaaS is costly, but choosing a growth-first SEO plan allows you to scale your organic without waiting for results.
A SaaS typically needs to spend more on SEO for it to be effective.
Creating an Effective SaaS SEO Strategy That Positions Your Brand for Growth in 2023
Now that you know about the value of SEO, here are some SaaS SEO tips that can help you scale your brand’s growth
Ultimately the most crucial part of any SEO strategy is creating content that captures your audience’s attention.
You must thoroughly understand your target audience, who they are, where they work, their position, their pain points, and how your product can make their lives easier.
Once you have that research nailed down, you can create content that helps build awareness about your brand and further guides them along the marketing funnel.
Your content must always be written for a particular audience, so narrow your sights and topics when creating content.
If you want to adopt this growth-first strategy, you will need backlinks.
While scaling content is a great way to increase traffic, backlinks add fuel to the fire.
They not only manage to help your site rank for more keywords, but they also allow your site to rank better for those keywords.
Backlinks help search engines understand the trust and authoritativeness of your website.
The more quality backlinks you have, the more trustworthy your site appears.
So you can leverage digital PR to scale backlinks while targeting high-authority publications that can skyrocket your organic campaign.
While content is a great first step in your SEO strategy, you’ll need to optimize your content for search so it can rank.
On-page is optimizing your content so search engines can understand it and its relevance to a search query.
Your content should always start with keyword research.
Identifying the topics that will have the most impact on your business and defining how you’ll be able to rank for it.
You will want to review the SERPs to see if you can outrank your competitors (look at DR, links, and traffic) and what content you need to outrank them (looks for trends in the top 3 results).
Once the content has been written, you’ll also want to review your content, ensuring that it has internal links pointing to other pages and that it has been optimized for SEO (entities, keywords, information gain score).
You can use this checklist to guide your SaaS SEO efforts.
Likely the most important part of any SEO strategy, technical SEO ensures that search engines can crawl and index your website.
It’s important to remember that if your content can’t be indexed, it won’t rank.
The first step in your SEO strategy should always start with reviewing your Google Search Console account to see that search engines can discover, crawl, render, and index pages on your website.
You’ll also want to measure for user experience signals like mobile usability and page experience.
You can find a list of technical SEO ranking factors here.
Looking to Get Started on SaaS SEO?
Looking for someone to help you get started with SaaS SEO? Feel free to schedule a free SEO strategy call with me to discuss how SEO can work for you.