When 70% of your peers in the SaaS industry already have a documented content marketing strategy, it’s a telltale sign that you should also be investing in content creation. And why not? 9 out of 10 SaaS brands that produce high-quality content obtain positive ROI, whether from increased website traffic, new sales leads, or improved brand visibility.
And like content for any other industry, SEO is the cornerstone of SaaS content marketing. It takes your already great content, optimises it for search engines, and your brand grows organically. Simple enough!
Yet many struggle to navigate the uncertain seas of SaaS SEO. They say algorithms change too frequently for one to gauge what works and what doesn’t. While it’s partly true, given that Google alone updates their ranking algorithm over 500-600 times in a year, the SEO basics remain the same.
Read on as I walk you through the steps to write SEO-optimised content.
The Myth of “Write for SEO”
If you have some prior experience with SEO, you already know what the phrase “write for SEO” means. You use keywords, follow proper content structure, and optimise titles, meta tags, URLs, etc.
You should do all that, but what you shouldn’t do is take the phrase literally. Instead, “write for your audiences” should take precedence. The SaaS audience looks for answers to their questions. They want your content to provide value they can act upon.
So, you still have to create research-driven and engaging content to succeed in SEO. Skip this part, and technical magic may bring traffic, but poor content will impact other vital metrics like engagement rate, session duration, and conversions.
Not to mention that these metrics are also crucial for SEO.
Tips to Write SEO-Optimised Content
Here are seven tips to help you optimise SaaS content for SEO.
#1 Know Your Audience
Before you can create good content, let alone optimise it for better ranking, you must research your target audience. Knowing their pain points, interests, and answers they seek is crucial so you can address them with your content.
You can gain these insights using Google Analytics or a social listening tool. Or you can go the old-fashioned route of conducting a survey and collecting customer feedback.
The data will help you develop detailed audience personas, decide the topics for blogs and even find keywords to use.
This is exactly what Groove did. After a failed attempt at content marketing, it researched the questions its audience asked. They reached out to the business owners to understand their challenges.
These hurdles were the genesis of the fresh topics for Groove’s revamped blog. With this newfound audience and some A/B testing on blog posts, the startup grew to a $5 Million/year business.
Check out our complete case study on How Groove Tasted Success with Content Marketing.
#2 Focus on Long Tail Keywords
While incorporating your usual keywords is important in your content, don’t overlook long-tail keywords. These are specific phrases that your audience frequently searches for, often in the form of questions or a combination of multiple keywords.
Long-tail keywords tend to have a smaller search volume but higher conversion value. That’s because they are very specific, allowing you to target audiences with high intent of conversion. You should use these key phrases to compliment your regular keywords.
Taking a step further, Growfusely implemented this strategy for Mind the Graph, an online graphic design platform designed for students, academicians, and scientists—a rather niche target audience.
To test its effectiveness, I conducted a random query related to graphic design and science. The result? Mind the Art claimed the top spot in the search rankings.
Here’s what Growfusely did –
It mapped long tail keywords to different target groups based on general terms they searched, issues they faced, and the purpose for which they used Mind the Graph. It also identified key phrases that audiences used to search for similar online tools.
Despite many of these key phrases having low search volumes, Growfusely was able to target exactly the right audience for their client.
#3 Prioritise Keyword Intent
In your keyword research tool, you’ll find two essential pieces of information about a keyword: volume and intent. While volume is certainly a consideration in choosing a keyword, it’s important not to overlook intent, because intent is what drives action.
Keyword intent is the underlying motivation behind the search query such as informational, commercial, navigational, etc. You should align keyword intent with your content for better results.
For instance, you can target a commercial keyword like “best CRM software” in your informational piece “Guide to CRM.” You may get visitors, but they won’t perform any desired action as they were looking for options but didn’t land on a product page.
Hubspot is a popular CRM tool and has a solid blog as well. Here’s what basic domain research about the CRM platform’s website revealed:
Over 60% of the keywords used are informational. They also bring the most traffic. It’s because audiences searching those keywords are keen to find some information, an answer. Using these wisely, especially throughout the blogs, equals more traffic.
#4 Do Interlinking
Engagement metrics like page views, session duration, and bounce rate are a measure of whether your content provides value to visitors. As a result, they also affect your site’s SEO.
One way to keep users engaged on your site for longer is through contextual internal links. These links appear through the content and take users to other blog posts on your site. Interlinking improves user experience by providing an easier way to navigate your site.
However, what’s more important is the fact that internal links help search engine bots crawl your site and index all its pages. As a result, internal linking also boosts the visibility of your website and its content.
Typeform, an online form-building and survey platform, is a great example of effective interlinking. It was struggling to rank its key landing pages and posts.
But then it decided to add at least 10 internal links to every new blog post and page, redirecting users to closely related sections. The end result was a massive boost in ranking for Typeform’s website.
#5 Keep the FAQs
“As of September 13, Google Search no longer shows How-to rich results on desktop, which means this result type is now deprecated.”
For many SaaS content marketers, the above sentence from a Google’s August 2023 announcement came as a surprise. That’s because FAQs have been a mainstay in content marketing as they helped address questions that readers ask and are often displayed in a How-to rich result snippet.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add a FAQ section to your content. That’s simply because you can still use them to answer queries from your target audience. However, you must focus on quality rather than a SEO-hack to bring traffic.
And I’m not winging it. Many in Google’s webmaster community share the sentiment.
Also, if readers can easily find answers to their questions, they are more likely to return to your site and even explore your other offerings. And isn’t it all what we want from our content marketing?
#6 Complete the Standard Optimising Procedure
Before you hit the publish button, don’t forget to go over the basics. Optimise all your usual on-page SEO elements like title tag, meta description, image alt text, page/post category, URL slug, etc.
In fact, you must optimise all these on-page elements for every new content or page you add to your site. To ensure you don’t skip these, use plugins like Yoast SEO or SEOPress. They add a checklist of tasks to your CMS to help you track the optimisations you must make in your new content.
#7 Revisit the Published Content
SEO isn’t a one-time exercise because trends, audience preferences, and, of course, the algorithm change. So, you must revisit and optimise your existing content based on new information.
You should update the title, change stats, replace keywords, and add new sections to your existing content. Also, update the date or mention details like “last updated on” to convey that the page is actively maintained and has fresh content.
A report suggests that updating older content has improved results for at least 42% of marketers. That’s because search engines prioritise new content. Given your existing content was already well-optimised, updates help you retain its freshness without publishing brand new content.
That wraps this guide on how to write SaaS content for SEO. Check out more exciting SaaS content on the Ukti Blog.