I suppose since you clicked here you know what SEO is. But what you might have unclear is how to begin and improve your SaaS website so that it is SEO friendly.
Today's marketplace is fundamentally different from how it used to be. Within the digital world, in particular, social media is taking over.
But there's one topic which is frequently discussed and it is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is rightly considered by many marketers as one of the most important features of digital marketing. 61% of them go as far as believing that SEO is THE key to online success.
According to Safari Digital, 97% of consumers research a company via the internet. Consumers have access to more information than ever. This SEO fact highlights the importance of having an abundance of company information available online for potential customers.
Many SaaS business owners, small and big, are jumping on to take this opportunity to rank higher. However, they have many basic questions on how to start improving SEO.
In this article, I will explain some basic SEO practices you need to do right now so you can start improving your SEO confidently!
8 things you need to do to improve SEO for your SaaS
The time it takes you to increase search engine optimization results depends on a number of factors. However, there are some actions that you can start taking today to improve your chances of ranking higher on the SERP.
Here are just a few ways to improve your SEO:
- Start with an SEO Audit
- Run a Keyword Research
- Improve User Experience
- Optimize your Website for Mobile
- Improve your site's speed
- Fix Duplicate Content
- Start producing good content
- Improve your Site's Linking
Related: eCommerce SEO guide.
1.Start with an SEO audit
The first thing you need to do before tasking yourself with improving anything is to conduct a website audit. This step is recommended by everyone and rightly so.
When you do the audit, you'll be able to notice the issues that might stop you from ranking higher.
The purpose of the audit is to identify as many foundational issues affecting organic search performance as possible. The SEO audit usually includes:
- Technical SEO issues
- Website structure issues
- On-page SEO issues
- Potential off-site problems
- User experience issues
- Content gaps and opportunities
The SEO audit should occur on a regular basis and if there's a simpler explanation for it, I'd call it the "website health checker".
By knowing this information you'll know what are some of the factors you need to work on in order to improve the SEO standing for you SaaS.
Here are some steps offered by SEMrush to begin with:
So how do you figure out which problems need fixing?
First and foremost, you can have a look at this guide by Ahrefs on the SEO checklist that will give you an overview of how things should be. Furthermore, tools like Screaming Frog, Moz, and SEMrush have free features that will give you an idea.
2.Run a Keyword Research
Along with your SEO audit, keywords research is the second step you need to take in order to understand your website’s Google performance.
Whatever position you rank in Google, it’s because of some keywords you’ve adapted in your content. These keywords might be relevant to your industry or general terms.
Keyword research helps you first identify keywords you rank for and then based on searchers’ intent find new relevant ones. These new keywords you find should be adapted to your content giving you a higher chance to get ranked.
Keyword research impacts every other SEO step we’ll cover here, including finding content topics, on-page SEO, and content promotion.
They’re like a guide that’ll help you decide where to go and run other SEO campaigns.
So how do you do it?
Well, people tend to make the process super difficult when in fact it’s not. Don’t forget to be good at something you need to start from the basics and that’s what will do with Keyword Research.
First, to find out keywords you rank for, you’ll need Google Search Console which is a free tool offered by Google. There you basically can see the list of keywords that you rank for organically, position for these keywords and traffic they bring.
To find New Keywords there are many ways but the simplest way to go is Google Suggest.
With Google Suggest you just type the keyword or a topic as in this example below and Google will list some suggestions that people have searched for that are relevant to the topic.
Or try and put one space before the searching word "online courses" and you'll get an awesome list of keywords.
There are many other ways and tools on how to come up with Good Keywords. Some of the best free tools are:
- Google Trends;
- Keyword Generator;
- Keyword Sheeter;
- Answer the Public;
- Keyword Surfer;
- Google Search Console;
- Bulk Keyword Generator;
3.Improve User Experience
Often ignored and underrated, User Experience is responsible for a huge portion of your SEO results.
Google pays a lot of attention to user’s activity on your site. If the user stays longer on your site and reads a lot of your content, the message is clear – They like your website. Therefore, you’ll rank higher.
The opposite is of course if a user jumps from your site.
That’s why you have to pay attention how you design every part of your website to offer the best possible experience for visitors.
With the help of Google Analytics, there are two main metrics you should follow as a starter.
Bounce Rate - (The percentage of users that leave your site immediately after clicking) – A higher bounce rate shows bad user experience and vice versa. (Unless you have a 1 pager website, in that case this is not so relevant of an indicator)
Average Session Duration - (The amount of time a user stayed on your site during one visit) – A longer session shows a good user experience.
One crucial issue to improve User Experience is your Site’s Architecture
It’s recommended that it should not take more than 3 clicks for a user to navigate every page on a Website.
In addition, your navigational menu should be clearly labeled in a way that makes sense for site visitors. People who land on your site shouldn’t have to click around for a while to find what they’re looking for.
The graphic below shows the appropriate structure for your website.
4. Improve your SaaS website's mobile performance
Tailoring your site for mobile users is a mandatory step for good SEO. This is no longer an optional task like it was a few years ago.
Google will penalize sites that are not optimized for mobile. Why? More than 58% of searchers use mobile to submit their queries to Google. That's more than half of the world's traffic.
According to Backlinko 51% of smartphone users have found a new company or product when searching on mobile. That is also one more reason to be there.
So while building you site, go with user’s experience in mind by adapting it to them. Using Wordpress will help easily adapt, but if you’re already using another service, you should make the change.
Where to start?
Here are the things you want to be looking at.
Increase your SaaS website speed
The first thing you probably have to do is check your site speed. Why? Mobile Internet speeds are generally slower than connected ones, and users are as impatient as ever. This will be discussed in more detail in the next step.
You should also make sure you have a…
This is a crucial component of creating a mobile-friendly website. When you use responsive design, you ensure that your website adapts to any device a searcher uses. Whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, your audience will get the best mobile experience for their device.
Go with user’s experience in mind
This next tip goes hand-in-hand with responsive design. If you want to be successful with mobile-friendly SEO, you must focus on the user experience. Here come all the elements such as appropriate fonts for mobile, easy to use navigation bars, easy to find Call to Actions, optimized Meta tags, etc.
5. Improve your SaaS website's speed
Your site's load time is an integral part of the mobile experience and overall SEO standing. When users search for information on-the-go, they want to access it quickly. If your website doesn't load fast enough for your audience, they will bounce from your page.
To keep users on your site, you must improve your site’s load time. Google PageSpeed Insights will provide you with information on your site’s load time.
Since Google has openly admitted site speed as a crucial ranking factor, you should definitely do something about it.
What are the elements that determine your site’s loading time?
Moz, in one of their blog posts clearly describes some very technical investments you can do to improve your site’s speed. They suggest to:
- Enable compression
- Reduce redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Improve server response time
- Use a content distribution network
- Optimize images
6. Fix Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is content that appears in several URLs on Google. This is a problem because search engines don’t know which URL to show first. Thus they might rank both URLs lower and give advantages to other pages. It can be a copied version of different blogs, thin content, or internal technical issue.
Copied content technically is duplicate but the only way to solve it is not to copy and to warn others who copy your original work.
The one we’ll refer here is Duplicate Content that occurs because of technical website issues such as:
- URL variations
- Https vs Http pages
- www vs non-www pages
That’s why you need to make this one of your priorities when starting SEO.
How to check duplicate content?
One Tool that’s recommended to check duplicate content is CopyScape.com.This tool is like a scanner that will highlights the part of the text that is copied and that’s the exact same as other content. This tool is free, but to get unlimited scans for websites or go in more detail, you’ll have to pay a premium.
Another tool you can use is Screaming Frog. This one will help you check internal duplicate content on your site. Again there’s a free version of the tool for scanning up to 500 pages but if you want more you have to update to the premium version.
You can check it manually
Just copy the text of one of your articles and paste it to Google Search. Google will give you a bunch of results if the content is considered duplicate.
Note: You cannot search for more than 32 words at a time.
How to fix duplicate content?
Two of my favorite methods for solving duplicate content are
- 301 redirects – When you set a 301 redirect from duplicate page to the original one
- Rel="canonical" – When you tell search engines not to consider the duplicate page and guide them to the original.
7. Start writing good content around your SaaS
There is no doubt that Content is one major factor for SEO improvement. You don’t stand a chance to rank if you don’t have at least some content written on your site.
If this wasn’t one of your practices or if you did it but not often for your SaaS, start right now and make it part of your daily strategy. Be it some blogs or other articles.
However, just producing is not enough. You have to write good and worthy content, based on the keyword research we discussed. Content that will really help you improve your SaaS website and boost your SEO efforts.
How do you produce good content?
The secret elements
We just discussed duplicate content and how it’s not a good practice. One way to combat it is by producing original work.
Furthermore, original content is more valued by visitors and also receives more backlinks.
Pay more attention to each headline
Headlines are the magnets that you should use to bring visitors to your site. If you want people to read your blog, you should spend more time making your headlines engaging and eye catching.
Statistics from Copyblogger concluded that:
- 80% of people will read your headlines.
- But only 20% of those people will read the rest of your content
Which shows how much you can lose if you create dull headlines.
People search and click to your article usually to learn something new, to navigate options or even buy something. In each of the cases you have to include a call to action in your content.
You do not want to write a descriptive text and leave it there. Website is not a novel, nor a collage book. The Internet is all about brief, rapid value generation. So offer steps, tools, techniques, practices, case studies, exams, etc. if you want them to keep reading and come back to your site another time.
Also people won’t stand reading some huge blocks of text. They want to see other media such as photos, videos, quotes, and graphics. Make sure in every article you offer some of these.
People search to find answers to their problems. If you don’t answer their question you’ve failed to produce good content and it won’t bring any SEO value to your business. When writing content always write it with audience in mind and if they will have learned something new after they leave.
When you are writing an article or a blog post, always try to include a story. Be it personal or a story you’ve heard. The impact of it will be immense. People are far more likely to read a story that they can relate to rather than facts presented in a logical order.
So, tell a story
8. Improve your site's internal and external linking
This step is closely related to Content Creation and it’s one crucial ranking factor openly admitted by Google.
Internal linking is basically the linking you use to connect your own pages in a whole website structure. When you manage to create a good internal linking structure, it will give a great message to search engine crawlers for your site and boost your ranking.
External links are the links you use to add value to your content from other outside sources.
In order to add them, you need to add content to your website.
But one major type of links that will absolutely, positively affect your site authority are
Inbound Links (Backlinks)
These are links from other sites that direct their visitors to your site, passing you some of their authority. They especially improve your SEO performance if they come from the main SaaS industry influencers like Nathan latka or Dan Martell.
Since authority is a huge ranking factor, you’ll need some inbound links to rank high.
To learn more about Backlinks (since it’s a broad topic), check out this guide by Backlinko.
Essentially, this site just won an inbound link from me.
If you want to improve SaaS SEO, these steps are definitely the ones to follow before you go any deeper. Refer back to these basics anytime you want to change or improve something. This is the exact same procedure I used in my beginnings and it saved me a lot of trouble.
Remember SEO wants a lot of work and patience and if you feel that you can’t commit enough, it’s always better to hire someone and do the work for you.
In fact you could do this right now. Get in touch with us!