SaaS SEO: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

This guide aims to be the best SaaS SEO source on the internet.

Many websites already provide in-depth articles about SEO for SaaS companies. So, I spent the last few weeks thinking about the article structure. How could it give more value, teach better and help the readers not just understand the content but also implement the suggestions in their company?

The tips I share in this guide have helped Growtika’s clients become leaders within their niche, and I hope it will do the same for your company with its SEO and marketing efforts.

Let’s begin:

SaaS SEO basics

What is it and why is it important?

The SaaS industry is rapidly growing. In an ever-changing environment where customer acquisition cost (CAC) can jump quickly, focusing mostly on PPC is too risky a marketing strategy. New competitors are constantly going out of stealth, so something needs to be done. By building a solid SaaS SEO strategy, producing great content, and understanding the value of content marketing, you'll be able to drive organic traffic to your site. In doing this, you'll be less sensitive to competitors, and increase authority and brand awareness within your niche.

What is SaaS SEO?

SaaS SEO refers to the actions and strategies aimed at improving a SaaS website’s ranking in search engines, which increases visibility and drives more qualified traffic to the website.

SEO consists mainly of technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. This simple illustration explains what each one of the SEO fundamentals contains.

SaaS SEO explained

Each card deserves a dedicated article, but this will give you a rough overview of how your SaaS SEO should look in general.

SaaS SEO vs. Traditional SEO:

SEO is a long process. Seeing any impact from your SEO and content writing efforts could take months. Time is a precious thing, especially in the fast-growing landscape of SaaS.

The global software as a service (SaaS) industry grew from $212.2 billion in 2021 to $242.57 billion in 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3%.

This rapid growth drove more and more competitors into sub-niches that were a lot less competitive not so long ago. As a result, SaaS companies couldn’t just use the good old SEO strategies. It became a different game; companies needed to adapt to win. That’s when a new type of SEO approach was born. 

SaaS SEO is different than traditional SEO for several reasons:

  • Too Many SaaS solutions: Your target audience is likely to use many tools already. Data from Productiv shows SaaS teams use 40-60 apps on average. This viral thread from HN sums up the feelings of many.
    HN Thread about the amount of SaaS products - Growtika
    It can feel like there are endless SaaS products out there. With there being so many sub-niches and companies, SaaS SEO campaigns must also focus on brand awareness.Getting your target audience to see your product numerous times in a positive context can greatly impact your SEO efforts.

 

  • Ambitious Competitors: It might sound obvious, but many SaaS companies know what they are doing, especially in marketing and SEO. These companies pay for SEO agencies, or have an in-house team that’s constantly monitoring their progress and looking to expand their company’s reach. 

    When so many companies actively work on their SEO, finding great keywords to focus on (high volume, low competition) becomes difficult.Even after you find a great keyword to focus on, there’s a good chance a competitor will write an article around it and spend high amounts on link building. That’s why diversity is one of the most important aspects of any B2B SaaS SEO campaign.

Why SaaS SEO is important:

Over the last few years, numerous SaaS companies approached us with little to no understanding of SEO and content marketing, despite having been in operation for several years. Most of these companies had spent high amounts on PPC and so had grown fast. In months, they had managed to drive great traffic to their site, drawing on most of the keywords in their niche.

However, since they were living fundraising to fundraising, their marketing strategy was too centralised, making them vulnerable. Their traffic growth had a direct impact on their ad spending. With close to zero organic traffic, their competitors, who started focusing on SaaS SEO much earlier, had a significant advantage that would prove costly and hard to overcome.

B2B SaaS companies have to invest in SEO from day one, otherwise their rapid growth will soon turn into a sharp decline. Furthermore, ads can’t be the only main marketing channel; SaaS companies must consider SEO for this too.

In some niches like B2D (business to developer), I would go further to suggest that company spending should focus a lot more on SEO than other marketing channels since the target audience is less likely to click on ads.

I’ve made this illustration after calling several CMOs who spent millions of USD on ads and SEO. The logic behind it is simple:

SaaS B2B PPC Lifecycle Flow Map

To visualise it, I sketched a simple graph:

 

SaaS B2B PPC vs SEO illustration

When Is the Right Time to Begin with SEO for SaaS Companies?

Since it takes a long time to see any results from SEO work, should SEO still be a primary focus for SaaS companies? We recommend investing from day one in your SEO (especially on-page SEO).

All it takes is good keyword research and team members that are passionate about the project, and writing about it.

Starting early with SEO for your SaaS company will help you in the long run. You’ll be less vulnerable to your PPC ups and downs, show traffic from multiple sources, and strengthen your domain, brand awareness, and credibility, which will also have a positive impact on your PPC campaign.

 

B2B SaaS SEO: How to Begin

Just getting your shoes on is the hardest part of any workout. When it comes to beginning with SEO for your B2B SaaS startup, the first steps can stop you from getting the process rolling. The process might feel; so long and exhausting that you give up before you even begin.

So, before we dive into the next chapter, let’s get a clear picture of your entire B2B SaaS SEO process. Once you have a clear picture, the road will look a lot easier.

Let’s divide your SaaS SEO into blocks:

Solid Site Foundations:

Keeping your site foundations strong will prevent you from having to make time-consuming and expensive changes later on. This block includes:

  • Design
  • UX/UI
  • Security
  • Site Speed
  • Technical SEO
  • Site Structure
  • Sitemap

Research:

In order to achieve long-term success in SEO, keyword and topic research is crucial. Ideally, content being published on your site should rank for selected keywords and assist in your SEO efforts. This block includes:

  • Keywords Research
  • Topics Research
  • Competitors Analysis

Content Briefs:

Content briefs can be an effective tool for SaaS teams to scale content while maintaining quality. By standardising the writing style and quality of your briefs, you’ll be able to hire new writers and produce content more easily.

This block includes:

  • Blog Writing Style Guide Document
  • Getting Your Writers to Write Content That Ranks

Content Creation:

Stay organised and persistent when creating content. Don’t compromise quality for speed. This block includes:

  • Dividing Keywords into Content Clusters
  • Content Calendar
  • Content Pipeline (Commit to X Articles Per Month)

Execution:

Submit & share new articles. Whenever possible, add internal links. This block includes:

  • Share on Social Websites & Communities
  • Backlinks
  • Content Updates (When Needed)
  • Internal Links

 

 

Keyword Research

Planning your content creation is as important as writing it. Many B2D (business to developer) and B2B (business to business) SaaS companies reach out to us at Growtika after writing dozens of articles on their blog and not seeing any returns on their SEO efforts.

The sad truth about search engines is that your target audience might love the content you write, but the views still don't convert to sales. If you don't follow Google ranking factors, do in-depth keyword research, and write high-quality content that's also SEO-oriented, the article is less likely to rank and drive traffic to your domain in the long run.

On the other hand, if your company blog focuses only on SEO to make search engines rank you higher, your target audience will notice it, and you'll lose potential customers and credibility. The secret is to find balance. This chapter will show you how to run keyword research for your B2B SaaS company like a pro.

When I began my SEO and marketing journey more than a decade ago, I read multiple keyword research guides. I understood the idea behind it and knew how to run it, but all of my research didn’t teach me as much as my hands-on experience did.

Only when I started running hundreds of keyword researches per month did I catch the small nuances that helped me find the hidden gems.

Those nuances are what turned my basic keyword research into a professional one. Extensive practice is the key to mastering keyword research. Let’s go over the basics of running keyword research for B2B SaaS and B2D companies.

 

What Is Keyword Research?

The purpose of keyword research is to uncover potential search terms your target audience are typing on different search engines.

In keyword research, you’ll consider potential traffic, difficulty (how much competition around a particular search term), global and local search volume, as well as search intent.

To simplify the process, let’s split keyword research into three phases:

  1. Seed Keywords: In this stage, you will brainstorm the main topics you want to focus on without using any SEO tools.
  2. Keyword Research: Here you will organise your spreadsheet, conduct in-depth keyword research, and export your findings.
  3. Keyword Clusters: Now, you will group the keywords into topic clusters.

Seed Keywords:

Creating seed keywords is the very first step of any keyword research. In this stage, you’ll want to write down the answer to a few essential questions:

  • What is your company about?
  • What does your tool solve?
  • What are the struggles faced by your target audience?
  • What keywords would you like to rank for?

For example, let’s imagine we run a B2B SaaS company that has built a tool called ‘Pandora Code‘. Our tool can find and fix vulnerabilities in our clients’ code.

What our company is about: Helping companies and developers secure their code.

What our tool solves: Improves the company’s security and lets developers use their time to focus on building, rather than finding security holes in their code.

The struggle our target audience faces: Developers don’t like to verify their code. It’s a stressful and time-consuming task that many developers would rather avoid. In addition, not all developers can write secure code, which can open the door to security vulnerabilities within the organisation.

This Reddit thread sums it up pretty well. Developers fear from verifying their code security

Keyword Research:

At the beginning of this phase, we will analyse the competitors in our niche. I personally like to divide the competitors into Low/Medium/High.

Low = Indirect competitor in your niche.

Medium = Direct competitor in your niche; offers different services.

High = Direct competitor in your niche; offers the same services.

 

Competitors overview in keyword research growtika

 

After conducting market research and finding our competitors, we will need to dive into each competitor to check which keywords they target.

For the keyword research, I’m using Ahrefs.

For the purpose of our example, let’s analyse the Snyk.io domain:

snyk competitor analysis dashboard on ahrefs growtika

They rank for 142,000 different keywords, which drives 406,000 organic traffic.

Let’s clean all this data and find keyword opportunities.

– Click on ‘Keywords

Position: In the new screen, click on ‘Position‘. Make it up to 10 so that we see results only from the first page of Google.

Volume: Filter the results to 50 searches per month (US). For B2B and B2D SaaS companies, the search volume is likely to be mostly lower than that of B2C companies.

Keyword Difficulty (KD): Since, in our example, Pandora is a new domain, I want to look at keywords that are not too competitive. Let’s make the KD up to 30. Keyword difficulty on Ahrefs gives a score for how difficult it is to rank for a certain keyword from 0-100, where 0 is the easiest and 100 is the most difficult.

Word Count: Let’s add 2 to the word count so we won’t see shorter keywords, which are more likely to have higher competition and weaker buyer intention. For longer tail keywords, the number increases.

Keyword: In this section, you can add a rule that the search results shouldn’t contain the word Snyk (like Snyk Login, etc.)

Our quick filter process helped us go down from 142,000 keywords to 4,552 keywords. I usually like to play with the SEO tools until I get less than 1,000 keywords, so let’s continue with our filter process.

Click on traffic and make the minimum 20. Change the KD to a maximum of 20.
From 4,552 keywords, we are now down to 327.

The next step is to manually review the list and mark each relevant search term.

Repeat the same steps for all the competitors. Once you reach 30-50 keywords, export it as CSV and upload it to Google Spreadsheets or Excel.

Export-Ahrefs-keywords1

Choose the format you wish to use and click Export:

export-keyword-research-ahrefs-

Now, upload the list to Google Spreadsheets or Excel. I like to use this simple template:

I’ve added two columns to make life easier with content calendar planning and expanding keyword research.

Keyword Clusters:

In the next phase, gather similar keywords under one main topic.

Priority Rank: Rate each keyword from Low to High. Rating it High means the keyword is very relevant to your company or core product. When expanding your keyword research, you can look for related search terms to the High-Medium keywords.

A Low rank means the keyword is important but not enough to expand it and find similar topics.

excel header keyword research

Download the list from Ahrefs, load it on Google Spreadsheets, and organise it in the structure I’ve shared:

Spreadsheet example with data we exported from Ahrefs

Now, add the Group and Priority Rank and fill in the information manually:

Orginized keywords in spreadsheet

After the keywords are ranked, dive into each High ranked keyword and run dedicated keyword research around the focus keyword in order to expand your group.

Let’s go to Ahrefs and search around one of our high-priority groups, Java.

The focus keywords are Java security. Search for it on Ahrefs, and scroll down to the SERP overview section.

In the video above, I’m diving into the top 10 highest results for the search term ‘Java security’. When I click on ‘Keywords,’ I can see all the different keywords that these articles are ranking for, which helps me to find new related keyword ideas.

Another great and free way to conduct keyword research around your focus keyword is to use Answer The Public to check what people are searching for on Google around this topic.

answerthepublic research for java security

Another simple way to find related keywords to expand our group is to use Google. Search for the focus keyword, and check the headings of each article in the top 10 results.

I like to use the Ahrefs Chrome extension to go over the heading structure in each article quickly.

Ahrefs chrome extension for topic research

 

Once you have found and added more keywords to your document (try to aim for around 100), you are ready for the next chapter in our guide: Content Creation.

Note: We use a more evolved and in-depth version of this process at Growtika, which can sometimes take several days . However, the process given here will give you a good understanding of how to conduct comprehensive keyword research.

There are many different methods to find relevant search terms and check what your main competitors rank for. So, use the methods shown here as a recommendation, and always be open to trying new techniques.

Content Creation for B2B and B2D SaaS Companies

Content creation is your site traffic generator. If done correctly, creating high-quality content that aligns with your SEO strategy helps you rank for more keywords, which will drive relevant traffic. This chapter will cover what you need to know about the content creation process for B2B and B2D SaaS companies, from research to content creation, editing, and optimising.

What is Content Creation?

Content creation is the process of researching, finding, writing, and optimising the content on your site in order to rank for more relevant search terms and increase your domain’s traffic, authority and credibility.

The different types of content you can create in your SaaS company:

You can create many types of content for different sections on your site, and even off your site. Here are some ideas of the content types you can create:

  • Articles
  • Webinars
  • Glossary
  • Spreadsheets
  • E-books
  • Landing pages
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Research
  • Podcast
  • Demo user cases (articles around a problem your product solves)

Numerous B2B and B2D SaaS companies release most of their content under the blog section, which can become messy at some point.

I recommend planning the different sections in your site and deciding what type of content will get published in each one. Here’s an example of a possible structure you can consider:

Content Creation SaaS companies

Keep in mind that this structure is just a suggestion. The decision of which content type you create and the structure of your site is totally up to you.

From my experience, there isn’t a structure that can guarantee better traffic, but similar structures have seen great results for our clients.

Why is Content Creation Important for B2B and B2D SaaS Companies?

SaaS companies are constantly looking for ways to get new customers and users. As mentioned above in our PPC vs. SEO illustration, SaaS can’t rely only on PPC as their growth engine.

That’s why content creation is crucial for your SaaS company. It will help drive targeted traffic to your site, leading to more users and customers.

Your blog and resource sections will not only generate great traffic and leads, but also serve as a place to demonstrate your company’s expertise, wow your audience, and get them hooked.

When done right, content creation drives large amounts of traffic to your site that will likely surpass the paid traffic.

Let’s take a look at Logz.io‘s traffic on Semrush:

Logz.io traffic Semrush

 

The difference between Logz.io’s organic and paid traffic is impressive. Logz’s organic traffic is their main growth engine, which could have been achieved only by creating an effective content creation process.

PPC vs organic traffic logz.io

 

How to Create High-Quality Content for Your B2B SaaS Company?

In this article, we show what SEO is and how to conduct keyword research. This info should assist you in your content creation efforts.

After all, you want to create content that ranks for relevant search terms and drives traffic to your site.

Let’s split the process into three phases:

  • Content Creation Research
  • Content Writing
  • Editing and On-page SEO Optimisation

Content Creation Research:

In this phase, we want to build the article’s table of contents. It will give us the structure to create an article that’s more likely to rank highly for the focus keyword we choose. Let’s assume we want to create an article around the focus keywords ‘Kubernetes network security‘.

kubernetes network security Ahrefs

  • Google ‘Kubernetes network security’.
  • Go into each of the top 10 results, write down their titles and get it all into one document.
  • Write down the word count for each article and the DA, it will give you more context of the competition and what it requires to rank for it.
  • Use the information to build your article structure.
  • The target audience of this article is developers, so make sure you sit with one of your in-house devs and check if they have any ideas for new headings for the article.
  • Get the right person or company to write the article. Make sure a developer writes it. As the article structure is optimised for search engines, you should let the developer who writes the article option express their knowledge and creativity, remove some sections, and add others to make the article not only SEO optimised but also DEV optimised, which is far more important.

Topic Comparison Growtika

The image you see above is our topic analysis for Kubernetes network security. We marked in green all the repetitive topics.

Content Writing:

If writing SEO-optimised content is challenging, writing SEO-optimised content that technical people love is incredibly hard. Your goal is to have content on your blog that’s ranked well for the keywords you found in your keyword research. However, it is also to challenge, educate, and enlighten your readers.

By keeping in mind that all of these things are important, you are already in a better place than most SaaS companies.

How to Rank B2D & B2B SaaS Content

A great example of a company doing this properly is Sysdig.

Their content is SEO-optimised and in-depth, and it is clear they paid attention to the small details when writing this article.

Sysdig example of great SEO and technical article

With more than 6,000 keywords, 30 headings that go in-depth to the H4 level, complex images, and data tables—the article is not only SEO-oriented but also technical and thorough.

This article brings them hundreds of visitors per month and receives 350 backlinks from 78 domains.

Sysdig article performances on ahrefsThis article is just an example of the power of content writing for your SaaS company when done right.

Once you have the topic you want to write about and all the different sections you found during the topic research, you can now begin writing your article.

But how can it be done?

Use the topic research analysis technique shown above to create a list of all the topics you want to include in your article.

If your main target audience is developers (B2D SaaS company), go over the topics you collected with one of your in-house developers to make sure the list makes sense.

On-Page Content Optimisation Tips

  • Content Structure: Check the top 10 articles, their headings, and the keyword lengths. Write in bullet points what you liked and disliked in each article. Then write an article around the topic that’s more in-depth.
  • Search Intent: Try to understand what the intent of the searcher was. If the focus keywords are Kubernetes security tools, the intent is not to find a definitive guide about Kubernetes security, but to find a listicle article with useful tools.Kubernetes security Tools example - All the articles type is Listicle
  • Images: Don’t add images just for beauty. Your target audience is likely to be technical, and if they read your article, they want to consume insightful information.Complex illustrations, infographics, charts, and images that can teach your audience something new will increase the time page of the reader, as well as the chance they will love your article and share it.
  • Heading structure: Proper heading structure is important for both usability and SEO. By using heading tags (such as <h1> and <h2>) to structure the content on your webpage, you are not only making it easier for readers to navigate and understand the page’s hierarchy, but also helping search engines understand the relevance and importance of certain topics on the page.It is recommended you use only one <h1> tag per page, as this typically represents the main topic or title of the page.

    The rest of the headings should be structured with decreasing levels of importance, using <h2> for subheadings, <h3> for sub-subheadings, and so on.In addition to using proper heading structure, including keywords in your headings can improve your page’s search rankings.

    When using keywords, ensure they are relevant to the content and fit naturally within the heading rather than just putting them in unnecessarily.

  • Internal links: Internal links are the links between different pages on your site. When writing your article, link to several internal pages besides your homepage.Linking to other blog articles or resources will keep visitors on your site longer, positively impacting SEO and improving the crawlability of your domain.

    There are different internal linking and structure strategies (topic cluster, for example) that we will cover in future articles in our blog.

    Here’s what a pretty simple and healthy internal linking map should look like:Basic internal linking flow

    For more strategic articles on your site, you can add more internal linkings (as long as the context flows naturally into one another).

    It will help your overall SEO efforts. For example, let’s say that in the illustration above, my most important page is Page A.3.

    I will thus add more internal links to signal search engines about this page.Internal Linking Boosting a strategic page

  • Bullet points: You can make your content easy to skim by using bullet points and numbered lists. When writing an in-depth article with thousands of words, bullet points can be a welcome distraction to your reader’s eyes.
  • Length: Even duo length by itself might not be a ranking factor. It has an impact on your reader’s time on the page, and in-depth content that covers multiple subtopics might have more chance to rank high for several keywords (in most cases).But, how can you know how long your article should be?I recommend checking the word count for all the top 10 results for your target keyword.

    If you focus ‘Python Security Best Practices’, for example, let’s run it on Ahrefs and check the SERP overview.Example on Ahrefs for how to find out what the content length should be
    I’ve marked three articles that looked like the most vulnerable (SEO-wise). Two of them have no backlinks, and the other has two backlinks but zero domain rank.

    The longest article had 1900 words and is well structured. Having then checked all of the other seven results, the longest article belongs to Synopsys with 3300 words.

    If the focus keyword is strategically important for your company and you plan to have the chance to rank first, aim to compete with the longest article length.

    If the article is part of your ongoing content creation efforts, make sure you write a longer article than the weakest article from the top 10 results (in this case, an article longer than 1900 words).

  • Don’t link to competitors: Linking to competitors does not necessarily mean linking to companies selling the same product and services. It means you don’t want to link to other articles that compete with yours for SEO reasons.In this example, TechTarget won’t link to Wikipedia, even though Wikipedia is a neutral source.

    Linking to competitors who optimise their content for the same focus keyword as your company will give them an advantage, so you want to avoid doing that.

    Example of debugging search on google

  • Focus keyword: The focus keyword is a specific word or phrase representing the main topic of a piece of content. It is important for SEO because it helps search engines understand the content, allowing them to rank it accurately for relevant searches.Including the focus keyword in strategic places throughout the content, such as the title, headings, and body text, can signal to search engines “this content is relevant”.
    However, it is important not to overuse the focus keyword as this may be seen as keyword stuffing and hurt the general SEO of the content.

    Overall, carefully selecting and appropriately using a focus keyword can greatly benefit a website’s search engine rankings.

 

Technical SEO

Since technical SEO requires some technical knowledge, ignoring your site's entire technical SEO aspect or just forgetting about it is the easiest choice for many companies. It wasn't until a few years ago that I understood Technical SEO was my weak spot. Only when I decided I wanted to understand what it is, how to analyse websites, find technical errors, and fix them, did I begin mastering SEO.

In this chapter, I'll briefly go over what technical SEO is, how important it is, and why you should care about it. Since it's such a vast topic, we will write a dedicated article around it at some point, but, for now, let's begin with my two cents on technical SEO.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to optimising a website’s infrastructure and architecture to improve its search engine rankings. This includes improving site speed, mobile responsiveness, indexability, and overall usability.

Some key technical SEO considerations include ensuring that all pages can be accessed and indexed by search engines, and setting up proper redirects for any deleted or changed pages.

Technical SEO can be divided into five parts:

  • Crawlability: How convenient it is for search engine crawlers to access the different pages on your site.
  • Indexability: Once Google’s crawler goes through your site, your pages will start to appear on search engines for different search terms. In indexability, you’ll go over your site and decide which pages you want Google to index and which you don’t. For example, you might want your inner user portal pages, landing pages, and some user profile pages to not be reachable to audiences and search engines.
  • Renderability:  When search engines crawl your site, they check your pages based on several parameters.

Source

The illustration above is great, and the methodology is widely accepted in the industry. Still, I have noticed that some of these words are just too fancy for several SaaS companies I’ve worked with, which makes them skip it all instead of diving into it and planning how to improve their technical SEO.

I made an alternative graphic that can simplify the information, which might increase the chance your company will pay attention to it.

The Pyramid of Technical SEO

PYRAMID OF TECHNICAL SEO

Each block contains dozens of tasks that we will cover in future articles. Today, let’s quickly go over each one of the blocks’ main elements.

Foundations:

You want to ensure your site is aligned with industry standards in this part. Your site needs to cover the following:

SSL: Ensure your site uses an SSL certificate and serves the HTTPS version to your visitors.

Speed Optimisation: No one wants to visit a slow website. When it comes to SEO, speed is crucial as it might increase your bounce rate. This can cause people to leave your site faster, signaling to search engines your site is less relevant for the topic the visitors came for.

In addition, Google states that speed is an important ranking factor. In 2020, Google introduced Core Web Vitals, which became an important ranking signal.
Tweet by Google Search Central (1)
This illustration by Google shows how they measure websites’ core web vitals scores. GOOGLE INTRODUCE CORE WEB VITALS

Responsiveness:  Google’s search algorithm takes into account the mobile-friendliness of websites when ranking search results. So, having a responsive website can also improve your search engine optimisation.

You can check your website responsiveness on different devices using free online tools like Designmodo.
Screenshoot of mobile responsiveness checker tool

Design: Having a well-designed website can greatly impact your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. For example, a clean and organised website structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages.

This, in turn, can improve your rankings for relevant keywords. Additionally, a visually appealing website can increase user engagement and time spent on your pages, signalling to search engines that your content is valuable.

Scan & Process:

  • Sitemap: A sitemap is a file used by website owners to inform search engines about the pages on their site. It provides information such as when the page was last updated and how often it changes. This helps search engines crawl the site more efficiently and improve the site’s visibility in search results.There are both XML and HTML sitemaps, with XML being primarily for search engines and HTML being for website visitors.example of growtika.com sitemap
  • Robots.txt: The robots.txt file is a text file located on a website that tells search engine bots which pages they are allowed to access and crawl. This helps website owners control what content gets indexed in search engines, prevent duplicate content issues, and manage server load.It is important to note that just because a page is disallowed in the robots.txt file, does not mean it cannot be accessed or found, as some bots may ignore the directives in the file. For example, here’s what Ahrefs robots.txt looks like:

    example of ahrefs.com robots

  • Structured Data: Structured data in SEO refers to a specific markup language that can be added to a website’s code. This code helps search engines understand the information on the page and present it in a useful way, such as displaying star ratings or including a website in a carousel of top results for a certain topic.Implementing structured data can improve click-through rates and overall visibility in search results. However, it is important to note that using structured data does not guarantee better rankings. It is just one factor among many that search engines consider when determining a page’s relevance for a certain query.

    A common type of structured data markup is schema.org. Their about us page describes what Schema is:what is schema?

  • URL Structure: Your site’s URL structure must be simple, clean, and logical. This allows your visitors and search engines to better understand each page’s purpose.You can check Google tips for a good URL structure. Our illustration below can give you a sense of a proper URL structure:Clean URL structure illustration Growtika
  • Crawl Budget: Crawl budget refers to the number of pages on your website that search engine bots can access during regular crawling sessions.Google specifies who should care about managing their crawling budget:who should care about crawling budget according to google

    Should small-medium sites also care about the crawl budget? As far as I know, the answer is yes. You should ensure your site is crawlable and remove parts you don’t want Google to crawl.

 

Why is Technical SEO important for SaaS companies?

While PPC and content SEO are the growth engine for your B2B SaaS company, technical SEO is the solid foundation your site relies on. If your website loads slowly, the traffic you bring won’t convert.

If your heading structure is a mess, your readers and search engines won’t understand it quickly, and your page won’t rank. If your sitemap doesn’t exist or is configured the wrong way, your pages will get indexed slowly or won’t get indexed at all. These are only a few of the many reasons why technical is important for any company.

How to Analyse Your Site to Find Search Console Errors

You can analyse your site to find your speed score and what slows you down by using the PageSpeed Insights tool.

PageSpeed Insights is a tool developed by Google that allows website owners to analyze the performance of their pages on both mobile and desktop devices.

It provides specific recommendations for improving site speed and user experience. By following these suggestions, websites can increase their search engine rankings and drive more traffic.

Let’s quickly analyse this great Java security article by Snyk:

How to analyze core web vitals

It’s important to highlight that when it comes to optimization, your site can rank high and drive great traffic, even without being optimised. Since Snyk is a leader niche and ranks for thousands of keywords, their site speed results highlight the fact that you can rank high and generate great traffic without placing technical SEO as one of your highest priorities.

The New York Times, TechCrunch, and even Google Developers are good examples of popular sites that receive low scores.

Speed result of popular sites

Optimising your site is just one of many factors Google considers when ranking your site. Paying attention to it is important, but reaching a perfect 100 score won’t magically get you instant traffic; it will just place you in a better position than your competitors for that particular ranking factor.

Moreover, having a feature that helps you increase your conversion rate, like a chat widget, is more important than improving your score, so don’t compromise on having useful features just to reach a high score.

 

Why Are Backlinks Important For B2B SaaS Companies?

Link building should be an important aspect of your SEO efforts for several reasons. Backlinko analysed 11.8 million Google search results and found that:

To better understand why backlinks are important, we need to understand how they work.
Backlinks can be seen as points certain pages have. The more points the page has from relevant resources, the stronger the page will look to search engines.

What is a Backlink? Growtika

When it comes to backlinks, it’s not just about quantity. It’s mainly about the quality and relevance of the backlinks.

For example, a backlink to our Quora Marketing Guide from several food blogs will be much less powerful than even one link from Moz, a respected SEO software company.

When building backlinks, you should mainly care for the following:

  • Domain Authority: Domain Authority (DA) is one of the most important metrics when building backlinks. Generally speaking, the higher your domain authority, the easier it will be to gain valuable inbound links that can help improve your search engine rankings and visibility online.You can check DA quickly by using a free tool like Website SEO Checker.
  • Dofollow/Nofollow: Another key factor to consider when building backlinks is whether or not they are do-follow or no-follow links. Do-follow links are preferred by search engines since they pass more link equity and help improve overall SEO performance.A no-follow backlink is a link you add to your website with the “rel=”nofollow” attribute. This tells search engines, like Google and Bing, that they should not follow or crawl the link in question when searching for new content.

    In other words, it won’t pass along any SEO power to whatever site you linked to. Nofollow backlinks are described by Matt Cutts beautifully:Matt Cutts quote about nofollow backlinks

    Since Matt wrote his article in 2009, a lot has changed in Google’s algorithm, and in 2019 Google released a new algorithm update saying they are now considering Nofollow links as ‘hints’.

  • Anchor Text: It is the actual, clickable content in a link that takes you from one page to another on the internet; it’s usually marked in a different colour. Many companies don’t pay attention to anchor text when building links to their site.From my experience, anchor text is among the most important things to look for when building links. You want the anchor text to give the person who clicks it a sense of what to expect when clicking the link. Make sure you use the right anchor text to increase the time visitor spends on your page. Also, make sure your backlinks are relevant to your content.how anchor text looks like

    Source

  • Link Type: As part of the Google algorithm update in 2019, besides no-follow, Google introduced two new links: UGC (user-generated content) and sponsored. These links are pretty similar in nature to the no-follow links. They tell Google not to pass PageRank, but serve as hints for search engines.UGC Sponsored and NoFollow backlinks explained by google - growtika
  • Content Quality & Traffic: Ideally, you should aim to build links from existing articles that have already ranked high on relevant search terms and can drive potential traffic to your site.If you have difficulty finding these link-building opportunities, try to list several high DA domains in your niche with high content standards. That should be a good starting point for where to get your first backlinks from.You can also use Ahrefs to analyse any of the domains you want to get backlinks from and filter their traffic using this simple method:

How to Measure Your Backlinks Quality:

If you’re not new to marketing, you’ve probably searched for link builders in the past. On Upwork and Fiverr, there are many different link builders who sell hundreds and  thousands of links at ridiculous prices.

Low quality link builders on fiverr

I don’t recommend looking for easy and cheap ways to buy backlinks since, in most cases, it will be spammy ones that take you nowhere. But how can you know if the backlink you’re getting is high quality? Our simple illustration can guide you:

How High Quality Backlinks Should Look

How Can You Get High-Quality Backlinks for Your SaaS Company?

From when I became interested in marketing, getting backlinks has been one of my main interests. The only thing that has changed over the years is the way.

After having spent a lot of money and time on trial and error, I can confidently tell you that creating insanely good content is the best way to get high-quality backlinks.

Let’s briefly go over how you can get backlinks for your site.

  1. In-depth articles: Creating high-quality, in-depth articles is one of the best ways to build backlinks for your SaaS company. This content creation takes time and effort, but it pays off in the long run by driving relevant traffic and gaining valuable backlinks from other websites.Backlinko found, “Content longer than 3,000 words get an average of 77.2% more referring domain links than content shorter than 1000 words.”Long form content generate more backlinks than short content Backlinko research reveal

    Credit: Backlinko

    Does it mean you always need to write long-form content? No. You need to base your content length on a few parameters:

    Intent: Do people who search for the focus keyword want to find a very long article? No. For example, if I search for a Hummus recipe, I don’t want to find a definitive guide that explains to me the origins of hummus and the different benefits of eating hummus every day (I’m sure there are many).

    I just want a recipe. When trying to understand if a certain article needs to be long or not, the search intent is important and should be considered.

    Competition and Search Volume:
    Writing a 5,000-word article around a topic with no competition might be a waste of time, as a shorter article might rank faster.  Let’s assume you want to rank for this search term: ‘Kubernetes pod environment variables’.EXAMPLE OF AHREFS SEARCH FOR 'kubernetes pod environment variables'The competition is low, and the volume seems decent. Let’s take a look at the SERP overview:SERP overview for kubernetes pod environment variables

    I marked two sites in the top 10 results because they have 0 backlinks and low DR (domain rank, you can look at it like the DA rank of Moz).I’m looking at the weakest domains to understand what will be required to reach the first page of Google.

    I’m checking the content quality in the two results that have the weakest DR and zero backlinks.It will give me a better understanding of how much effort I need to invest to reach the top 10 results. Here’s an example of one of the articles.With the right content structure, you can create an article that search engines will favor.example of site who rank at top 10 for the keyword 'kubernetes pod environment variables'Priority: When deciding how long an article needs to be, consider how important  the focus keyword is in your SEO strategy.

    If it’s an important article, check the top 10 results on Google and try to make better and more in-depth content than most competitors. In our example, that would be this article, which is great from an SEO perspective.
    example of strong article SEO wise

  2. Research: Another great way to get backlinks is by conducting surveys and research in your niche. This can help you generate interesting, relevant content that will pique the interest of other website owners and bloggers, who may then be willing to link back to your site as a source.In most of the articles I write, I love finding cool statistics and charts that can give more valuable information to the readers. Sites like Backlinko and Hubspot are doing it brilliantly in the marketing niche. Use them as examples and aim to create content people in your niche will want to quote when writing articles.
  3. Mention & Outreach: Mentioning interesting companies, industry leaders, micro-influencers, and strategic people/companies in your article can help you gain backlinks and build relationships within your niche. Before publishing an article, list all the companies and people you’ve mentioned.Try to reach out to them via email, Twitter, or Linkedin. If someone is not answering, you can tag them on Twitter and Linkedin once the article is live. I found this technique simple and effective, mainly in building strategic partnerships.
  4. Unique Illustrations & Infographics: As you’ve probably noticed, I love adding unique illustrations and infographics to articles. It helps make the article look more authentic, increases time spent on the page, and gives value to the readers. Besides that, it’s also a great backlink generator.If your graphics are well-thought and unique, other companies might pick them and share them on social media or on their blog articles.
  5. Submit to different sites: Sharing your content on relevant communities is a great backlink generator, but there are two things to consider: Your content has to be great, and you have to share it in the right community. For B2B SaaS companies, I recommend focusing on HN, Reddit, Indiehackers, and forums within your niche.To better understand how powerful those communities are, let’s look at an article that went viral on HN recently.


    recently viral article on HN
    Let’s analyse this article on Ahrefs to check if it received any backlinks as a result of going viral.
    How many backlinks article got after going viral

    The article recorded 149 backlinks in a short amount of time. The spike in this chart better represents it:backlinks spike example

  6. The ‘Unicorn Links’ techniques: One of the most common link-building methods is to find broken links in your niche across the web, reach out to the webmaster, and try to get them to link to your page instead. This method can be useful but requires a lot of time and effort.The most time-consuming part is not the outreach, but tracking the right domains with the right content. I’d like to introduce you to the ‘Unicorn Links’ techniques. In this technique you find companies in your niche that have been acquired by larger companies and look for backlinks that might been left out due to migration mistakes or bigger companies who care less about spending time recovering those backlinks.

    After a company in your niche has been acquired, once they change their address, it opens the door to many broken links you could potentially get. How can you find this type of opportunity? Since most acquisitions get featured on TechCrunch, I like to run a reverse search that looks like this:

    site:https://techcrunch.com/ acquires devops

    Example of unique google search being used to build links (1)
    Let’s take Codeship, for example. A few years ago, they were acquired by Cloudbees.

    Codeship URL changed from

    http://codeship.com/

    to

    https://www.cloudbees.com/products/codeship

    Let’s run Codeship on Ahrefs and look for broken links:

    After running codeship.com on Ahrefs, click on broken backlinks, filter them by domain rank, and begin outreach to webmasters from relevant sites.

Conclusion

For SaaS companies, SEO is not just good to have, it's essential for the company's growth. In the long run, it helps you scale faster and be less sensitive to competition, turning companies into niche leaders. The main thing I want you to take from this guide is the importance of high-quality and strategic content for your SaaS company.

With the help of our guide, I hope you understand the basics of SaaS SEO and now feel equipped with the tools and knowledge to get the ball rolling in your company. If you enjoyed reading this guide, share it with your friends, followers, and company members. Your support helps us to continue spending days and nights publishing in-depth, authentic content that provides value to our readers and patrons.