SEO strategies for B2B SAAS
SEO strategies for b2b SAAS are varied. Often times, your resources and overall goals determine the SEO strategies that you can implement. In addition to that, your level of expertise, knowledge of SEO and general web development know how can highly impact your success.
- 1 Quick summary
- 2 Understanding your customer
- 3 Let us discuss the sales funnel
- 4 SEO strategies for B2B SAAS
- 4.1 Understand Keywords and how to use them
- 4.2 Understand your Goals
- 4.3 Identify the problems your customers face
- 4.4 Do a bit of keyword research
- 4.5 Create the perfect content strategy
- 4.6 Don’t forget about on page SEO
- 4.7 Promote your content to earn backlinks
- 4.8 Avoid shady tactics
- 4.9 Conclusion
But the key thing to understand with regards to SEO is that, SEO is all about providing value in the form of content. Assuming that is, the technical aspects of it are sorted.
To succeed in SEO for B2b, you need to really understand your business. You need to know your customers inside out. Also you need to be aware of your sales funnel. Only then would I advise you to go ahead and pick a strategy from our resource guide on SEO strategies for B2B SAAS.
So in this article we are going to discuss how to do customer research. Understanding your customer is the first step in coming up with effective SEO strategies for B2B SAAS. After we finish with customer research we will discuss the sales funnel in depth and the impact it has on your SEO strategy. Then we will give you a series of SEO strategies for B2B SAAS.
Depending on your capabilities, you can either choose to implement the strategies or hire us to do it for you.
So lets get started. Feel free to skip and skim this article. Use the Table of Contents to find your area of interest.
Understanding your customer
Who buys from you? And also, why would they buy from you? I mean it. How would you describe your customers. The problem with a lot of entrepreneurs especially in the SAAS world, is that they start with a solution, then they create a problem for it.
Essentially putting the cart before the horse.
You need to take the time to figure out, who exactly you are building your solution for. There are several ways of getting to know you customers. Here are some tips.
Don’t be shy about using syndicated research
Often times, the first step we take to understand our customers is to conduct do it ourselves surveys and diving into web data. While it is a good first natural step, it is paramount to go further. If you survey customers from your personal network or website alone, you have a high chance of ending up with sub standard data.
Syndicated research data often reach deep into the trends of various consumers. You are able to get an accurate picture of your customers because syndicated research uses vast pools of data sources.
Using professional market research from a reputable firm, will help you understand your customer and evaluate the demand for your B2B SAAS platform.
Answer these questions about your customer
There is a concept we call the ‘W’ qualifier. What this is simply is a list of questions that you can ask yourself and answer to gain a deeper understanding of your customer.
For example , Who is the Customer? What does the particular customer want to buy? When does our customer want to buy? What price is the Customer willing to pay and how do they want to structure their payment?
Evaluate your customer’s motivation
This may be a very rewarding source of customer information.
You need to ask yourself, what job is this particular customer trying to get done?
Let me use a metaphor to explain this section. When you buy a power drill, what are you looking for? A power drill is just a collection of metal and plastic parts. Of what use are these metal and plastic parts for you? The truth is that you don’t care for them. Actually, what you care about is what the collection of metal and plastic parts do. You want to drill a hole in the wall. Pure and simple, so you are not buying the drill, but rather, you are buying a hole in the wall.
So you need to really understand what your customer is trying to accomplish.
Let us discuss the sales funnel
The sales funnel is really a fancy term for the customer journey. That is the series of steps the average person takes from being completely unaware of you to being your customer.
Why is the Sales funnel important in coming up with SEO strategies for B2B SAAS? Quite simple. You need to know where exactly SEO fits in your funnel. Often times, SEO forms a large part of the top of the funnel level. This is because it is cheap and it works. But sometimes SEO can form part of the bottom of the funnel. There is the concept of the inverted funnel, where, emphasis is placed on repeat customers and marketing to existing customers.
This can be in regards to aspects such as user manuals or items such as success guides.
For example, software company Oracle utilizes SEO in the bottom of the funnel level. This is due to the fact that they have a good brand awareness and also, their existing customers need to know more about the product to be successful.
So understanding your sales funnel, allows you to understand what kind of SEO strategy to implement. It shows you whether to focus on top of the funnel awareness SEO strategies or bottom of the funnel, customer success strategies or middle of the funnel sales heavy SEO strategies.
Again, we have a really good articles on creating sales funnels on our website. You should really check them out.
SEO strategies for B2B SAAS
Now we can mark a couple of milestones.
- We know our customers inside and out.
- Our customers goals and intents form the basis of our products
- Also, we have a working sales funnel. That is, we understand the customer journey and where SEO is going to fit in
With all that in mind, we can get to creating our SEO strategies for B2B SAAS.
Understand Keywords and how to use them
The first item on the agenda is to understand keywords. Keywords are essentially singular words or a combination of words that, help search engines know what your website is about.
Keywords are the cornerstones of SEO. They form the bread and butter or most SEO strategies. Understanding how to use keywords is a key SEO tactic that will lead to your success.
Top of the funnel keywords
These are the top, main keywords that your prospects will use to search for a solution to a problem that they have. In most cases, they do not know that a SAAS platform like yours even exists. For example, with a solution like Pipedrive, some top of the funnel keywords that they rank highly are;
- sales management
- sales process
As you can see, these are not searches to find Pipedrive, rather, they are made by people working in sales looking for a solution. These sales people are the exact audience Pipedrive is interested in. However, the conversion rates for such keywords is rather low. Generally, the main goal is brand awareness.\
Middle of the funnel keywords
These are keywords for the prospects who know your SAAS platform exists. However, they are yet to really explore your solution. They are basically searching for options at this point. Their keywords are slightly specific. Lets pretend there is a platform called ATCRM. In this case, they would be searching for things like;
- sales CRM
- pipeline management software
There is a slight intent to purchase. However, they are still weighing their options. Most of the times, it is the landing pages or the product pages that rank well for such keywords.
Bottom of the funnel keywords
Here, most prospects already understand their problem and are aware of they various solutions that exist. They also know the various solutions providers. So its really a matter of best fit.
In this case, they use queries with high search intent. For example;
- ATCRM pricing
- ATCRM reviews
- ATCRM vs Hubspot CRM
This is the last and final chance to convince your prospect that you are the best solution for their problem.
Understand your Goals
This is easily one of the most important parts of SEO. You need to understand what you want out of SEO. Are you looking for top of the funnel SEO strategies or bottom of the funnel SEO strategies.
Having a goal really give you something to aim for.
Identify the problems your customers face
This will really help you with top of the funnel SEO, which in my opinion is the core of SEO. When you truly understand your customer’s problems, you will be able to come up with really good top of the funnel SEO keywords. These are often broad and target a large audience.
- Start by writing a list of problems that your SAAS platform can help solve.
- Then list the various topics that your users are searching for online to help them solve their problem
- Think of the questions they might have and the various topics. Also take a not of related topics that share an audience.
Do a bit of keyword research
You need to be sure that your keywords have a high enough search volume. Also it wouldn’t be clever to try to rank for super competitive keywords. There are plenty of low competitive keywords with high enough search volumes.
So pay real close attention to the keyword difficulty
There are plenty of tools to research keywords. Personally I like keywords everywhere. It is an extension that allows you to see the keyword difficulty and volumes of various keywords as you browse. This works really well because I like to search for a particular keyword. Once I find that the volume is reasonable and it is not competitive, I would click on the first three results then ask myself. Can I create content that is better than what is already published.
You can also use Google’s keyword research tool.
It is foolhardy to try to beat a website with thousands of web pages and a team of content creators, if you are just one person for example.
So the key focus on how I personally do keyword research is competitor analysis.
It is advisable to place yourself in a juxtaposition with your main competition. Then try to see the areas they have failed to address and capitalize on that.
Create the perfect content strategy
At this stage we have a few things going for us.
- We understand our prospect very well
- The problems that our prospects face are clear and obvious to us
- A keyword list of fully researched keywords is available. We know the top of the funnel keywords that we need, we know the middle of the funnel keywords and bottom of the funnel keywords.
- We also know a bit more about our competition. We know their weaknesses and what it will take to beat them
We are finally ready to craft a content strategy.
SEO is all about content. Google and the other search engines are simply information banks. Their role is to organize the world’s information. So they reward highly, website that are an authority in their field. But how do they figure out the level of authority? Simple, the amount of quality content that is available on your website.
Hence the importance of a good content strategy.
So how do you go about this? You need one of two things, money and/or time.
Writing blog posts
You need to write really informative blog posts, based on the keywords that you have just researched. The content of the blog should seek to address the prospects problem. Also take into consideration where the propsect is in the sales funnel.
Create content for all levels of the sales funnel.
For example, for the top of the sales funnel, the topics should be rather broad. The goal is to appeal to a wide base. Then as you move down the funnel, you need to adjust your topics, tone and tonality to make it relevant for the prospects in that leve.
A good example is, if you are creating content for the bottom of the funnel for example. And your keyword is “ATCRM Pricing”, don’t beat around the bush and deviate from the topic. The lower you are on the sales funnel, the more the need to get straight to the point.
Also, pay attention to the keywords and use them organically through out your content. Don’t overoptimize your content with keywords and at the same time, use enough.
Aim to get a featured snippet
This is the holy grail of SEO. If Google gives you a snippet, then there is a very high likelihood that you also have position one on the search engine results page.
The more the content the better
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. No matter how good a keyword you get, you need to find more keywords and create a lot of content. More content simply increases the chances that one of your pieces of content will rank. Aim for really long blog posts. And publish frequently
Don’t be shy about video
Videos are a really good way of getting your point across. Some people actually find videos easier to create than blog posts. But at the end of the day, the principle is the same. The core idea is to create content with the aim of providing a solution to your prospect. You want to be a source of answers for them.
Use visual media
By visual media, I mean things like info graphs. They are important because they will help you distill complex concepts into easily digestible bits of pictorial data. At one glance, one will be able to get the information they need.
Don’t forget about on page SEO
This is more so about your static pages and landing pages. You also need to optimize them with your keywords. Remember for product pages and landing pages, bottom of the funnel keywords work really well.
Don’t forget about technical SEO too. You need to make sure your SEO titles, meta descriptions and Header titles reflect your keywords.
The performance of your pages and especially landing pages need to be on point. Your pages should load within one second.
While this step is optional, it is good to promote your content. Backlinks help website rank well, although you can still rank without them. It will just take a bit longer.
A really good way of getting back links is to guest post on other people’s blogs. This is a win win situation. They get content from you. Meaning a new and fresh perspective, while you get to link back to your website.
So you will be building trust and credibility which will again signal your authority in that domain.
Avoid shady tactics
There is a lot to comment on with regards to shady tactics. The key thing is to focus on providing value to your prospects. Anything else is going down a slippery slope.
Avoid bad tactics like keyword stuffing or other attempts at cheating the search engines. Should you be exposed, it could lead to your blacklisting. You will lose months if not years worth of work and rankings. This is not an ideal situation.
So what have we learnt in this article. Let me summarize;
- Do understand your customer
- Make sure that you know your customer’s problems
- Research keywords before using them
- Aim for areas that your competition is weak at. Capitalize on that.
- Create world class content. Remember, you are not creating content for the search engine, but rather for your future customers. First impressions matter. So put in work to ensure your content is top notch
- Don’t forget the technical stuff. Pay attention to performance matters.
- Avoid the temptation to cheat. Shortcuts don’t work in SEO. Trust me.