Every B2B SaaS business runs into problems with scalability sooner or later. As you need more and more leads to grow, running display ads becomes unsustainable. Especially so in industries that see a lot of competition.
The common practice for a modern B2B SaaS business is to start working on SEO as your PPC spending grows out of proportion. While optimizing your business website for search engines does not provide immediate results, experts believe it shows the best ROI in the long run.
A robust B2B SaaS SEO strategy incorporates content marketing. This means optimizing your pages for search and creating articles for your core audience members. If you have a SaaS solution for gym owners, you will write on topics that gym owners would search for.
Most of these efforts will cover the top and middle of the sales funnel. Visitors may not convert immediately, but they will be exposed to your brand. With enough effort and content visible on SERPs, you’ll establish your brand as an authority in the industry, resulting in more leads.
Leads generated by B2B SaaS SEO can be taken further down the sales funnel via email marketing or other forms of content. According to 58% of B2B marketers, some of the most effective forms of content are webinars and online events.
Eager to learn how SEO can help your B2B product acquire more marketing-qualified leads? The article will be helpful both for startup projects and for enterprise products. Read this article to learn about the benefits of SEO for SaaS products and the best practices your business can implement. It’s going to be useful whether you’re doing it in-house or hiring a B2B SaaS SEO agency.
But first, let’s learn some lingo.
CTR — clickthrough rate. The number of clicks that your ad received divided by the number of times your ad is shown.
Informational keywords — keywords with the intent to find information
Money pages / Money keywords – the pages/keywords that are expected by a marketing department to generate revenue.
MQL — Market qualified lead. A lead who has engaged with your company and could become a customer if nurtured properly.
SEO — search engine optimization. Set of activities that aim to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results.
SEM — search engine marketing. The practice of increasing the visibility of a website through paid advertisement.
SERP — search engine result page. It’s Google’s response to a user’s search query
What Is SEO for B2B SaaS?
Some B2B SaaS businesses still rely on attracting a small number of corporate clients yearly to grow. That can be done with a relatively small sales department.
However, more and more businesses are relying on providing software as a service to a large pool of clients. To achieve that, a sales department is not enough. You need a lot more qualified leads to turn a profit.
This is where B2B SaaS SEO comes in. Search engine optimization helps your business to get found on Google, generating traffic and leads.
Another power of B2B SaaS SEO is that organic traffic comes from relevant keywords, meaning your visitors are more interested in your product (compared to outreach leads), which increases CTR.
Organic growth SEO B2B SaaS strategy works for the long term, providing traffic even if no money is spent on it later. Some cases even show an increase of a thousand percent in sales.
What Benefits Does SEO Bring to B2B SaaS Businesses?
Your company may create innovative products, follow the latest trends in software development, and it won’t matter if nobody finds out about you. SEO for SaaS companies is the right long-term answer as it helps to expose your business to a much wider audience and produces MQLs.
Here are the benefits of using SEO to generate more MQLs for a B2B SaaS.
- Get more leads for cheaper. Optimizing your website for search engines will allow you to pay less per lead than with PPC ads. Sure, the upfront investment can be high, but content pieces, once published, will bring in traffic and leads for years.
- Capture leads early. Optimizing SEO content to cover all stages of the sales funnel can help attract people who are in the first stages of the buying process.
- Educate leads. Leads that start following your business before making a buying decision can be nurtured, increasing trust and loyalty to your brand.
- Analyze competitors. During the optimization process for search engines, you need to conduct a lot of research. It can provide insight not only into their SEO strategy but also their broader business strategy. For instance, the keywords they’re using may indicate their target demographic.
Search engine optimization is much more cost-effective than display ads and allows B2B SaaS businesses to attract more MQLs.
What Is the Role of Search Engine Marketing in the B2B Sales Funnel?
Content marketing can be useful at all stages of the funnel. Search engine marketing is most potent at the initial stages. Having many pages rank high on SERPs helps to get exposure to hundreds of new leads.
SEM can influence the later stages of the sales funnel, where the lead also makes a purchase. However, it requires ranking your money pages, and the keywords needed to do that are pretty competitive. So it will likely take a lot of time and effort.
When you manage to rank well for informational keywords, it helps attract people in the awareness or interest stage. How-to articles on specific business-related topics that rank well also attract people who are at the desire stage of the sales funnel.
Overall, SEM helps with generating a growing stream of traffic. But every B2B SaaS SEO strategy must incorporate conversion rate optimization-traffic that can be converted into MQLs with gated content, pop-ups, email marketing, and other digital marketing tools.
B2B SaaS SEO Hacks to Get More MQLs
Getting more marketing qualified leads ultimately comes down to attracting more relevant traffic to your website. To do that, your business needs to do both SEO and content marketing — produce content that is easy to find on Google. Here are five tips on creating a B2B SaaS SEO strategy and overcoming marketing challenges.
Building backlinks to your website is one of the most important things for search engine optimization. It’s a vital ranking factor and practically impossible to rank for highly competitive keywords without having authoritative backlinks.
For a B2B SaaS business, it’s not just the quantity of links that matters but the PR value you get from media mentions. It’s not enough to submit press releases to hundreds of news websites. On top of that, you want your business’ CEO or spokesperson to be featured in prominent industry blogs.
Put together a list of websites that your core audience follows and gets advice from, and try to become a contributor. Doing this doesn’t just give you a backlink, it gives you publicity and recognition.
The easiest way to get started is to see what your competitors are doing regarding backlinks and learn from their strategies. SE Ranking has a backlink analyzer tool that lets you see all the links leading to your competitor’s website.
The SE Ranking tool shows you metrics like Domain Trust and Page Trust (relative estimates on the authority of websites), country of origin, and anchor text, along with others, for any link.
You can use SE Ranking to create a list of websites that link to your competitors but don’t link to you. Then, get your SEO team working towards getting those links.
Using the Right Keywords
Every website should target specific keywords to ensure the right people find it. If you have a SaaS CRM for gym owners, you will likely get high ranks with “money” keywords (e.g., “best gym CRM”, “CRMs for gyms.”)
These keywords will have a high conversion ratio since they are used by people who are in the final stage of the sales funnel. But the entirety of your sales funnel is much wider than that, and you can reflect it by targeting other keywords.
People who are not ready to buy but are in the awareness stage may just be looking for solutions to their problems. They may search for topics like how to run a gym, manage gym memberships, or organize taxes as a gym owner.
This is where your top and middle of the funnel keywords come in. Whatever your niche is, figure out what kind of questions people ask before purchasing a subscription. Then, narrow these topics to several long-tail keywords with a keyword tool like Google’s Keyword Planner, SE Ranking.
Create articles that answer the search intent of those keywords, and you’ll have a stream of leads who will soon be ready to convert.
Content B2B SaaS SEO Tips
Keywords only give you an idea of what you should create content about. But it’s not all there is to content marketing.
You need to build the content on your website into the broader marketing funnel. For the top of the funnel, you want to cover broad topics like “how to organize a gym business” and introduce your SaaS solution.
For the middle of the funnel, your goal is to solve concrete problems your prospect may have, like “how to do accounting” or “how to manage memberships or billing”.
The bottom of the funnel is for content that is trying to sell your SaaS tools — comparisons with the competition, explaining how particular features work, etc. It’s also a good idea to introduce many forms of content there.
For instance, you could create case studies with your existing clients to showcase how the tool can help your customer. Or create an ebook with a detailed guide on an important aspect of the business your customers may be running. Your best content can be gated to get an email address and further information on the lead, like the size of their company or their primary goals in business.
With a larger strategy, you also need to do some optimization for the SERPs. This includes optimizing metadata and schema markup. Creating meta description tags and titles that contain keywords and are click-worthy will increase CTR when you get to top positions in search.
Creating a schema markup for your articles allows Google to show the rich snippet of the article, making it more visible on the search result page.
When creating a content marketing plan, don’t forget that Google and other search engines are not the only way to discover content. Since it’s B2B content we’re talking about, promoting it on LinkedIn is a great strategy.
You can either buy ads or run a LinkedIn blog that regularly links to the website content.
Tech B2B SaaS SEO hacks
Finding the right keywords, building backlinks, and creating stellar content can still fail if the basics of technical B2B SaaS SEO aren’t in place. These are technical best practices that ensure the website loads fast, can work on both mobile and desktop, and displays correctly.
Following Google’s recommendations is the easiest way to implement these best practices on your business website. You can do that by right-clicking on your website in the Chrome browser and running a Lighthouse check or by visiting Web.dev.
It will not only run a basic check but also give actionable advice you can follow, like what you see below.
Spending time to improve the basics pays off. Walmart was able to increase sales by 1% by shaving off 100ms of loading time on their website. Improving most B2B SaaS sites won’t take that long.
Track & Measure Your Efforts
The last tip, and what may be the most important one is tracking your successes. No B2B SaaS business is the same, and all may need slightly different strategies to succeed.
Apart from tracking all the important SEO metrics like the number of impressions or conversions, you should keep looking at what keywords and articles produce the most traffic. Even though it may be hard to attribute sales to the top of the funnel content, you want to know what content works best.
When you do, you can start focusing on that type of content or keyword more.
B2B SaaS SEO Examples
Success in B2B SaaS SEO often depends on what your competitors are doing and how hard it is to beat them. But even in highly competitive niches, there are a lot of opportunities.
One example of this is Driva, a B2B fintech startup that grew organic CTR by 800% in a span of 8 months. They did it through smart competitive research.
The Driva team found the top-performing keywords on the competitors’ sites, found the ones that were easiest to rank for, and improved content to match them. They did some link building based on competitors’ profiles and tripled traffic as a result.
Companies with smaller SEO budgets can benefit from content consolidation. This is what Hurdl, a tax calculator startup, did to increase its search rankings. Instead of producing more content, the team simply went back and improved already existing material.
They combined that with excellent keyword research and focused on only 21 keywords that were easy to rank for, and the results were fast and impressive.
How to Get More MQLs for B2B with SumatoSoft
We know business challenges growing SaaS businesses face on the Internet. One challenge that affects the business’s revenue most is the fact that attracting new clients got harder because of the increase in the customer acquisition cost by 40% and a 70% decline in users’ willingness to pay. Other challenges are a low conversion rate, the absence of link building and content strategy, 0 referral traffic, and unsatisfying organic traffic.
SumatoSoft helps to cope with these challenges by providing SaaS SEO services to companies in 27 countries across the globe. We apply the following SEO techniques to reach results:
- PPC testing to improve organic clickthrough rate
- Digital PR to gain more trust from Google and get backlinks from companies like SEranking or Clutch
- Technical optimization
- And more
If you see struggles in getting new clients, contact us. We’ll provide a free consultation and offer ways out.
Many, if not most B2B SaaS companies rely on a steady stream of subscribers to generate cash flow. The main goal is to get more core audience members through the door.
Search engine optimization helps with that immensely. You get discovered by your audience by finding the right keywords to focus on. Implementing B2B SaaS SEO basics like improving website speed and producing content lets you double or triple website traffic in a couple of months.
As long as the conversion rate stays the same, you’ll get more MQLs. From there, your marketing team should start working on improving the conversion rate to make the number of MQLs even higher.
SumaSoft can help your team in that regard — our UX design team can implement best practices to increase conversion. See how we helped other B2B SaaS businesses in one of our case studies.