Building a B2B SaaS SEO strategy is like finding the perfect balance between a bowl of cereal that’s too soggy and one that’s too crunchy. You need the right ingredients for that deliciously successful outcome in both cases.
But pouring the right amount of milk over your cereals is easier to learn.
Optimizing your B2B SaaS website for search engines requires more tools, attention, and expertise. This article explains all the steps with actionable advice, neat examples, and pro tips.
And yes, we understand that B2B SaaS is extremely different from B2C SaaS. We’ll be focusing on that a lot too.
Keep reading below.
TL;DR: B2B SaaS SEO
- B2B SaaS SEO Strategy: Building a successful B2B SaaS SEO strategy is complex but crucial. It's not the same as B2C SEO due to the specific challenges and differences in the target audience.
- Three Pillars of B2B SaaS SEO: To succeed, focus on three pillars: on-page SEO (keyword research and content), off-page SEO (digital PR, social media, and backlinks), and technical SEO (optimizing website elements).
- Research Phase: Start with thorough research, including technical audits, competitor analysis, and understanding your target audience. This forms the foundation of your strategy.
- Set Clear Goals: Establish realistic goals and KPIs based on your research to guide your SEO efforts effectively.
- On-Page SEO: Choose the right keywords based on the customer journey (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) and create a content strategy accordingly. Build high-quality content, including guides and FAQs, and optimize your website structure.
- Off-Page SEO: Boost your authority and expertise through digital PR, social media, and building backlinks from authoritative sources. Leverage podcasts, communities, and influencer partnerships.
- Technical SEO: Optimize various technical aspects like header tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, URLs, page load speed, mobile experience, images, internal links, and fix broken links. Ensure keyword usage within reasonable limits.
- Monitor and Optimize: Regularly monitor your SEO campaign's performance, including on-page, off-page, and technical aspects. Deliver reports to track progress and adjust strategies accordingly.
- Scale with PPC: Consider paid search (PPC) alongside SEO to achieve faster results, reach a qualified audience, and optimize your budget allocation.
- Start Your Campaign: Begin your B2B SaaS SEO campaign by researching your company, competitors, and audience. Prioritize a customer-centric, inbound marketing approach to simplify the process.
- Pro tip: Hire a SaaS SEO agency for stellar results!
What Is B2B SaaS SEO?
B2B SaaS SEO entails optimizing your B2B SaaS business for search engines so that it appears on the first page. That’s your goal.
To achieve it, you must build three pillars:
1. On-Page SEO
- Keyword research
- Content production
2. Off-Page SEO
- Link building
- Online PR
- Social media presence
3. Technical SEO
- Website architecture
- User experience
- Website speed
- Image optimization
- Building alt-texts
B2B vs. B2C SEO Challenges for SaaS
Doing SEO for B2B SaaS companies is not the same as doing it for B2C SaaS because:
- Your target audience has more expertise: You are speaking to decision-makers in companies instead of run-of-the-mill people. These persons will do more research to see if your services fit their budgets, long-term plans, and even company culture.
- You need a more comprehensive strategy: These decision-makers have different roles, so you need better segmentation and persona building. At the same time, your SaaS product isn’t generic to appeal to the masses. Therefore, your audience is narrow.
- There’s more insecurity: Although your audience is narrower than in a B2C scenario, your competition is prolific. And your B2B customers are less loyal. They constantly research better alternatives, so they change subscription plans without looking back.
Step-by-Step B2B SEO Strategy for SaaS
Now that we’ve clarified the end goal and potential challenges let’s see some actionable strategies to reach the desired results.
The first part of any actionable search engine optimization strategy is doing research. That’s because you want to solve your specific problem – not a generic one.
At Breeeze, we conduct research in three stages:
- Technical audit for your company
- Your competitors
- Your target audience
1.1. Technical Audit
This stage entails checking your website to ensure it’s fast, user-friendly, and crawlable. You should also run a content audit at this point.
Top technical SEO agencies recommend to follow these steps:
- Build a technical roadmap and highlight any on-page problems you notice.
- Keep things simple and actionable so that you can focus on the solution.
Ahrefs Site Audit is a neat tool that will help you get started. Notice the wide array of filters and variables you can get from an Ahrefs report:
1.2. Competitor Research
- Shortlist your competitors.
- Analyze their SEO strategy, looking at the keywords they rank for, website structure, backlinks, etc.
- Try to get valuable insights on why they rank well in SERPs.
- Focus on whether you can reverse engineer this strategy or find unique opportunities your competitors have missed.
Ahrefs Site Explorer will help you with this one, too:
But if you want to try a new tool, Semrush does a pretty good job as well. Here’s how this website compares Slack to m.io:
1.3. Target Audience
- Get insights from your sales team: Determine keywords and topics your B2B customers are searching for.
- Look at your data to build a customer persona: Analyze the buyers’ profiles and messages that have convinced them to purchase. Use your CRM data to get started on your segmentation strategy.
- Understand your ICP’s language: ICP stands for Ideal Customer Persona. To understand their language, determine your existing customers’ positions and industries. Then, do a bi/tri-gram analysis to get useful insights on phrases they utilize and the overall user sentiment.
- Run a behavior analysis: This stage entails looking at metrics such as:
- Scroll depth
- Customer journey flow
Pro tip: Google Analytics offers great insights into your audience’s behavior and acquisition.
2. Set Your Goals and KPIs
The previous step delivers valuable insights into your strategy, competitors, and audience. Now, leverage these insights to establish a realistic goal.
Remember: You also need specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor your B2B SaaS SEO campaign. If you work an enterprise SaaS SEO, metrics may also differ.
Ask yourself two questions:
- How many new B2B customers do you want to attract?
- How much ROI can your SEO efforts render realistically?
Based on these answers, build:
- An effective SEO strategy roadmap
- Your KPIs
Here are some commonly used metrics:
- Traffic per month
- Number of new unique visitors
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rate
- Cost per acquisition
3. On-Page SEO
Remember that a solid search engine optimization strategy is based on three pillars: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. Let’s start with on-page SEO.
At this point in the game, you must focus on keywords and content.
3.1. Choose the Right Keywords
The keywords that propel you to the first page of Google should be optimized based on your customer journey. So, start from your sales funnel:
- TOFU (Top of the funnel): Your goal is building awareness. Your customers' search intent is solving a generic problem. Your content marketing strategy should start from these generic keywords.
For example, new business owners may search for “how to get a website domain.” Here’s a snippet of what Google shows based on that query:
Remember: These keywords have low conversion rates. However, they position your company in the minds of your customers.
- MOFU (Middle of the funnel): At this point, your objective is building expertise and authority. Your potential customers have already found a slew of solutions; now, they must shortlist the best ones.
That means you must position your software as the best choice, differentiating yourself from the competition. Of course, you need plenty of middle-of-the-funnel content on your landing pages and blog to achieve that positioning.
Pro tip: Use long-tail keywords focusing on your prospects’ specific needs.
For example, your customers may need more than a standard registrar. They may want a “domain registrar with 24/7 phone and chat support.” Here’s what Google shows:
- BOFU (Bottom of the funnel): Now, your prospects are getting closer to the end of the sales process. They will decide which service to get, so they’ll use specific keywords to help them compare solutions.
These keywords regard:
- Feature comparison
- Customer reviews
- Pricing packages
- Contact forms
- Sign-up process
For instance, the prospects who find GoDaddy the most appealing might want to find out which software integrates with this registrar. So they search for “GoDaddy tool integration,” revealing these results:
Follow these best practices for your keyword research project:
- Create a list of keywords that your ICPs are searching for. Use keyword research tools like Ahrefs' Keyword Generator and Keyword Explorer to get started.
- Pro tip: Write comprehensive content for each keyword cluster to build topical authority on a specific subject. As your visitors and Google recognize you as an authority on a specific matter, your search ranking increases.
- Map your website menu and build your content plan based on the types of keywords that suit you best.
- Set your content goals and expected results.
- Choose your metrics based on these goals:
- Estimated search volume: The search volume represents the number of organic search queries for your keywords. High search volume keywords are the ones people search the most.
- Competitive density: This value defines how many websites compete for each keyword. Keywords with low competitive density are easier to rank for.
- Keyword difficulty: This figure shows how difficult it is to rank organically for your chosen keywords.
3.2. Build a Content Strategy
The best content marketing campaigns for software companies are built on the principles of B2B inbound marketing. Following a customer-centric approach in content creation increases your organic traffic, the average time people spend on your website, and thus, your reputation.
Pro tip: Create this content for SEO too. Use high-intent keywords, follow an intuitive structure for your articles, and focus both on external and internal links.
Next, create a content calendar and start disseminating these messages.
Remember: B2B prospects will seek more in-depth information and clearer numbers. They’ll also spend more time reading long-form content.
That’s why good pieces of content include:
- Build topic clusters starting from a pillar topic. Then, split this topic into multiple parts that connect to each other.
- Interlink between smaller blog posts to boost your SEO.
Remember: Orphan pages that don’t connect with the rest of your website decrease your search engine ranking because crawlers can’t index them quickly. Besides, the user experience becomes more frustrating.
Here’s how one of our clients, inBeat.co, segments its blog posts based on pillar topics:
In-depth FAQ sections are also a good way to attract and convert B2B customers. These neglected portions of your website help you use specific keywords, optimizing your schema markup.
As a result, you:
- Create a valuable resource for your prospects
- Improve your rankings
Here’s another snippet – this time from Whatagraph.
Side note: With our help, Whatagraph reached DR76.
- Focus on your customers’ common questions.
- Use PAA (People Also Ask), so your FAQ section can be included in PAA snippets.
- Optimize internal linking to improve keyword rankings.
- Optimize your FAQ meta descriptions and title tags using specific keywords for a topic cluster. That will help crawlers index your page easier, boosting your organic ranking.
4. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO improves your organic traffic and ranking. It also boosts your authority and expertise to get more sales.
Here’s what you need to focus on:
4.1. Digital PR
Digital PR encompasses any indirect recommendations. You can let your customers speak on your behalf or let your actions be louder than words.
Some tools include:
- Expert panels
For example, Epidemic Sound offers licensed soundtracks to creators, small companies, and enterprises. Its CEO, Oscar Höglund, participates in many podcasts that hash out relevant topics for Epidemic Sound’s audience.
One of these is utilizing AI to stay on top of changing music trends:
Also, a successful strategy is to make a QR code and share it on social media platforms leading users to your website, encouraging action and boosting your website traffic.
Here’s another neat tactic that Monday.com, one of our clients at Breeeze, has adopted:
Building a network of affiliates.
The advantage for Monday.com is obvious: getting more word-of-mouth recommendations.
Pro tip: Monday.com offers many advantages to its affiliates, thus motivating more people to join this program. Benefits include intensive support, access to more in-depth materials, performance stats, and rewards.
4.2. Social Media
A proficient social media marketing strategy can help you connect with your audience, listen to their needs, and stay on top of their minds. As a result of creating this long-term relationship, you will increase your:
- Domain authority
- Organic traffic
There are two ways you can tap into social media:
- Create relevant content for your social platforms
- Partner with influencers to gain social proof
Let’s randomly peek at what Slack is doing on TikTok. Its posts range from relatable memes to trends and insider tips. Like this one on how to match your Slack sound notifications to the food you’re eating:
These TikTok videos are highly shareable and have an excellent potential to go viral. Therefore, they’re all great tactics to increase awareness and engagement.
But many influencers are already mentioning Slack on TikTok as well.
Apparently, your boss reading your Slack messages is a TikTok trend now:
Even the people at Morning Brew have hopped on this train:
4.3. Building Backlinks
Getting high-quality links from authoritative sources outside your own website is essential because more relevant mentions indicate high-quality content to:
- Your potential audience
- Search engines
Basically, you’re hitting two birds with one stone.
B2B link-building strategies include:
- Broken link-building: Find broken links on authority websites and pitch your content as a valuable replacement.
- Guest blogging: Find relevant magazines that your potential business partners are reading. Pitch your valuable content to get more dofollow links to your website.
- Relationship-based link-building: The best SaaS link-building agencies recommend to create a relationship with other SaaS businesses to mention each other’s content. This can help you build a solid backlink profile and increase your online presence.
- Linkable assets: Create useful software solutions or informative content like white papers and case studies. That way, more journalists and marketers will quote them, getting referral traffic back to your website.
Let’s take another example. nChannel offers system integration tools for B2B and B2C merchants. These tools help their customers with inventory synchronization, order fulfillment, supply chain management, and more.
In 2015, nChannel created this piece of content filled with useful statistics:
The article is so good that it still gets quotes seven years later. Here’s one excerpt from an article on Mention.com from March 2022:
That’s a linkable asset.
Alternatively, Ahrefs constantly produces blog posts for specialty websites, like the Search Engine Journal:
5. Technical SEO
Your SEO team needs to hone your technical SEO. That's the third and final pillar to support your search engine optimization strategy. Here’s what you need to tick off your list:
- Header tags: Use one focus keyword per page, including it in your singular H1 tag. Check that your H2 tags include related keywords.
- Meta description: Write a snippet summarizing your content to help crawlers index your page on SERP. Your prospects will also need this meta description to ensure your webpage is relevant. And as you get more interested visitors (aka relevant traffic), your bounce rate decreases.
- Meta title: You need a title tag for SERP indexing.
- Alt tags: Include them on images to ensure you’re getting more target keywords, thus improving your performance.
- URLs: These should be short and contain your focus keyword.
- Load speed: The slower your web pages load, the more potential customers bounce off them. That’s why you must decrease your load time as much as possible.
- Mobile experience: Improve your touchscreen experience and ensure smooth navigation on mobile platforms. Google's Core Web Vitals Report will help you understand your visitors' navigation patterns to improve UX.
- Images: Add images, but make sure they’re the right size. You want them to be clear but not too large to decrease loading speed.
- Internal links: Ensure there are no orphan pages on your website. However, build relevant internal links that focus on your prospects’ needs.
- Broken links: Check for dead links monthly to replace those no longer working.
- Keywords: Use relevant keywords for your audience, but don’t overstuff your website. Remember that Google allows a maximum of 5% density for keywords, but even that may be too much sometimes.
6. Monitor and Optimize
All reputable SaaS SEO agencies know that monitoring plays a crucial role to achieve the desired results. Whether your goal is to increase qualified traffic or search rankings, keeping track of your campaign is a critical element for optimization.
Monitor your B2B SaaS SEO campaign and deliver monthly/quarterly reports that include:
- Comparisons between your objectives and your current results
- On-page, off-page, and technical SEO
- Competitor backlink audits and strategy analysis
Your annual report should include a larger picture:
- Used strategies
- Unused strategies
Having this data will help you optimize your campaign to get better results in the future.
7. Scale up with PPC
While SEO can improve your organic rankings, paid search can also be an important part of your strategy. Studies show that 33% of people click on an ad if it responds to their original query.
Of course, paid ads appear first on SERPs, like so:
- PPC is much faster than your other SEO efforts.
- You can optimize your ads based on multiple variables, such as their location, time, device, and more.
- You get a qualified audience who already intend to buy your products.
- It’s easier to monitor PPC, keeping track of your reach, impressions, and sales. As a result, you know where your customers have come from so that you can also optimize your budget allocation.
How to Start Your B2B SaaS SEO Campaign
Start by researching your company, competitors, and audience. This will help you determine clear, realistic goals and the strategies that work best.
Remember to build your SEO campaign on three pillars: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. Your website must be relevant for B2B prospects, but search engines must also crawl and rank it easily.
Things look complicated, but a customer-centric, inbound marketing strategy makes everything a breeze.
Need more help getting started? Schedule a free call, and we’ll find the right strategy for your needs together.