SEO for SaaS vs. traditional software: what’s the difference?
Before we plunge into the world of SaaS SEO, let’s look at the difference between Software as a Service (SaaS) and traditional software applications. Unlike the traditional software model, in which the app is downloaded to the computer to run locally, SaaS products are cloud-based. And because all operations including patches, updates, server usage, data security, and maintenance are handled remotely, your software is positioned as a service rather than a product.
This distinction has a significant impact on your technology marketing and SEO strategy. Let’s examine why.
Why B2B SaaS SEO requires a different approach
A SaaS service is (with exceptions) generally tailored to a particular service niche and target market. It’s a fundamentally different software business model than those for locally-run applications since it’s generally positioned as an all-in-one service rather than a one-time sale.
For example, you could buy a car from a dealership, drive away, and end your relationship on the spot. Or, you could instead purchase a car subscription service, in which the vehicle, maintenance, and insurance are all provided for a fixed recurring cost. While both scenarios involve acquiring a new car, the former is a sales model while the latter is more of a service model.
That’s why SaaS needs a different marketing strategy. You need to find and attract those customers who want both access to the product itself and the convenience of having all other considerations taken off their hands.
Of course, SEO is the cornerstone of any B2B marketing strategy. Shifting your mindset away from product-based to service-based will have to be reflected in your SEO strategy if you want to boost conversions and increase your customer base.
The SaaS SEO strategy guide to better conversions
5 steps to a successful SEO strategy for SaaS Companies
Market & competitive research
Conduct keyword research tailored for SaaS
Keywords are the cornerstone of both your content and your website structure. Before you can begin to create and share marketing content to capture visitors and generate sales, you’ll need to have a list of buyer-focused keywords that will drive your campaign.
For your SaaS website, you’ll have to research and distill a list of keywords that answer these questions:
Content strategy for SaaS Companies
The goal of your content strategy should be to increase your authority in the field and while simultaneously increasing your search rankings.
An effective content strategy means creating a mix of both informational content and sales copy. Getting this right means having a thorough understanding of the sales funnel. Many marketers make the mistake of trying to get people to hit “subscribe” too quickly, and inundate visitors with the hard sell instead of priming their interests.
Onsite SEO for SaaS websites
As we mentioned above, a best practice for on-page SEO involves careful keyword placement in heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc). Your keywords must also be present in your page title, meta descriptions, with sub-keywords and semantically-related keywords peppered throughout the page.
A word of caution: don’t over-optimize your page (i.e. “keyword stuffing” your content). Google will penalize your site if it feels you’re trying to push spammy and inferior content. Write naturally, and try to ensure a minimum page length of at least 750-1000 words.
Link building and off-site SEO
Choose a specialist SAAS SEO agency
Converting visitors and boosting sales to your B2B SaaS website begins with a thoroughly-researched and executed SEO strategy. Miromind’s 12-years experience providing industry-leading analysis and SEO optimization for SaaS innovators around the world can accelerate you on your way towards meeting your business goals — quickly and affordably. Contact us today to learn how we can get you started.