The ULTIMATE Guide to SaaS SEO

Saas feature image

This is a step-by-step guide on how to master SaaS SEO.

In this new guide, you will learn:

  • Why SEO is important for SaaS
  • How to perform keyword research
  • How to do proper ONpage
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for SaaS SEO
  • How to run a successful SaaS business

Strategies and best practices are included.


Let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

SaaS SEO Definition

In short, SaaS stands for “software as a service.”

These are apps provided through an online platform instead of being installed locally.

Some examples of popular SaaS products

G Suite

Gsuite

Slack

Slack

QuickBooks Online

Quickbooks

SaaS SEO refers specifically to search engine optimization strategies for software companies.

There are a few key differences compared to traditional website SEO.

  • SaaS sites often have dynamic content that is personalized for each user 
  • It is harder for search engines to index everything
  • User behavior and actions within the software are less visible to Search Engines than regular site navigation and usage
  • SaaS companies may have many subdomains, pages, and areas that are not directly accessible or indexed by search engines.

The goal of SaaS SEO is to help search engines understand your software.

sass

With that said, your SaaS brings onboard more indexed pages, that will gain more potential traffic and clients. 

Plus for the people searching for similar services. 

SEO for SaaS

If you run a SaaS business, SEO is one of the most important things you must focus on.

While word-of-mouth and paid ads can help drive customers, organic search traffic is crucial for finding new users and keeping existing customers happy.


In this chapter, we’ll look at why SEO matters so much for SaaS and some practical tips you can use to improve your SEO.

Why SEO Matters for SaaS

There are a few big reasons:

Customers Research Online

When people are looking for new software solutions, one of the first places they go is search engines like Google.

search saas

They search terms related to their problem or needs to find recommendations and reviews.

If your site doesn’t show up, you miss out on these potential customers.

Existing Users Need Support

Even after signing up, your users will continue using search engines to find help with issues they encounter.

They may search for something like “how to export contacts in [your software name].”

google

You need relevant support articles and FAQs to come up in search results for these queries.

Free Traffic is Critical

For SaaS businesses, the cost of getting customers through paid ads can be very high compared to the lifetime value of each user.

Free organic traffic from search engines helps you gain customers at a lower cost so you can grow sustainably.

Builds Trust

High rankings in Google is signal to users that your site and product are legitimate and helpful for others.

free traffic

This builds trust in your brand and helps convert more visitors into paying customers.

Supports Viral Growth

SaaS products are often spread through word-of-mouth as existing customers recommend them to coworkers and friends.

Of course, in case your software is worth that campaign. 

If that’s the case, your SaaS will start ranking naturally, because people will also share your website link.

And that’s the best SEO for SaaS you can get for your business. 

Keyword Research for SaaS

Ok, you’ve got a cool new software product.

The next big step is figuring out how people will find you online.

That’s where keyword research comes in.

saas kw research

You should understand what keywords or phrases your potential customers are searching for.

That way you can make sure your website and content are easy for them to find you.

The first part of keyword research is identifying some seed keywords.

seed keywords

These are the broad, main terms related to your product or service.

For a SaaS company, your seed keywords might be something like:

“Project management software” or “CRM for small business”.

These are the big, general searches people do when first looking for a solution.

But we need to dig deeper.

When someone searches one of your main keywords, they are trying to solve a problem or complete a task.

And that’s called “

driving traffic

For example, if someone searches “project management software”, their intent might be to “track team tasks and deadlines” or “organize client projects”.

Understanding intent helps you create content that directly answers what people are looking for.

Some great tools to help with keyword research:

– Google Keyword Planner
– Ahrefs
– SEMrush


Ahrefs

Google Keyword Planner is free and lets you see monthly search volumes and competition for keywords.

Ahrefs and SEMrush give more in-depth insights like related keywords, top page ranking for terms, and ideas for “long tail” keywords.

Long tail keywords are specific, multi-word phrases instead of just single terms.

They usually have lower search volumes but are easier to rank for.

For example;

– Instead of just “project management”, you could target keywords like “project management tools for small creative agencies”.

These long-tail keywords are a great way for niche SaaS tools to get found.

search intent

You’ll also want to analyze what keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Tools like Ahrefs let you enter a domain and see the top keywords driving traffic to their site.

ahrefs tool

This gives you ideas for terms to target yourself that could potentially steal some of their traffic.

Be sure not to just copy them though – you still need keywords relevant to your unique product.

Some other tips for SaaS keyword research

Look at niche forums and subreddits to see how potential customers naturally talk about and describe problems your software solves.
Ahrefs

Check app pages on places like Capterra or G2 Crowd to get a sense of how vendors describe themselves and their features to shoppers.

Don’t forget to consider keywords for non-English speaking countries if you have global ambitions.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner let you switch languages.

tool saas

Refine your seed keywords over time as you learn more about customer behavior and intent from analytics.

Focus on keywords with low-medium competition at first for easier wins as you’re starting out.
best saas

With the right keyword research, you’ll be able to create helpful content and optimize your site specifically for the people searching for solutions to their problems.

And that’s the best way to get your new SaaS off the ground and to be seen by potential customers. 

On-Page for SaaS

I’ll show you 5 tips to help optimize your website structure and SEO for your SaaS business.

These tips are easy to follow and can help boost your search rankings.


Optimize Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

The title tag and meta description are the first things search engines and people see when they find your page.

saas software

Make sure these clearly show what your page is about in a quick, scannable way.

For SaaS, include your software/service name and what problem it solves.

For example, “Project Management Software – Online Kanban Board for Agile Teams” tells people right away what the page is and how it can help them.

The meta description should explain this further in around 150 characters.

onpage for saas

Test different titles/descriptions and see which pages get more clicks in search results.

Use Header Tags to Structure Your Content

Header tags like <h1>, <h2>, etc. help search engines understand your content structure and priority.

For SaaS sites, use <h1> for your main software/service name on key pages. 

h1 for saas

Then have <h2> tags for sections on that page, like “Features” or “Pricing.”

This hierarchy clearly shows search engines the focus of each page.

It also helps visitors scan your content faster.

Make sure to only have one <h1> per page and use header tags appropriately throughout your site.

Create Compelling Content

content for saas
Great content is still king for ranking high in search.

text for saas business
Write helpful, solution-focused articles that answer common questions people have when searching for software like yours.

Cover topics through the customer journey, from initial research to post-purchase support.

Make content easy to read at a 5th-grade level.

Add images and videos to break up text. 

video to txt

Link to other relevant pages on your site.

Publish regularly to keep bringing visitors back.

With the right content, search engines and people will keep finding your software.

Utilize Visuals and Multimedia

People mostly learn in different ways.

Using visuals like screenshots, diagrams, charts, and multimedia like videos engages more types of learners.

saas learners
Videos especially perform well for search and social sharing.

Show your software in action with tutorial or product demo videos.

saas in action

Add relevant images to blog posts and landing pages.

Optimize these files with descriptive filenames and alt text for accessibility.

Multimedia gives search engines more content to understand what your site is about.

Inter Linking for SaaS Pages

Linking between relevant pages on your site, called internal linking, helps search engines understand how pages connect.

This shows search ranking authority between pages.

For SaaS, link between software/pricing pages, support articles, customer case studies, and more.

Use anchor text like “Compare plans” or “Read more” instead of generic phrases.

Update navigation menu and footer links.

Consistent internal linking builds a stronger site structure for search engines.

With the right pages set up, keywords optimized, and helpful content published regularly, your business will keep getting found by more people searching online.

Technical SEO for SaaS

In this chapter, we will make your software shine.

There are a few important things you need to focus on.

Make Your Site Fast

One big thing search engines look at is how quickly web pages load.

onpage saas speed

Slow sites are less fun for people to use.

Google may show faster sites higher in search results.

There are some easy things you can do to speed up your SaaS site:

  • Compress images so they are smaller in size without looking worse
  • Remove unused code and plugins from your site
  • Extra code just wastes time loading.

Use a content delivery network (CDN) like Cloudflare to serve your site files from locations close to users.

CDN

Enable browser caching so pages load from the browser cache instead of your server if someone goes to the same page twice.

Make It Work on Mobiles

More people use phones and tablets than computers to search today.

You want your SaaS to work well on all mobile devices.

saas on mobile

Some things to check:

Make sure your site is responsive.

That means it adjusts to fit on different-sized screens like phones, tablets, and computers.

Keep page weights low since mobile connections can be slower.

No one wants to wait ages for pages to load.

Use the mobile-friendly test in Google Search Console to find issues stopping your site from working well on phones.

Add a mobile sitemap to tell Google about your mobile pages separately from a desktop.

Be Secure with SSL and HTTPS

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the technology that keeps your website secure and encrypts data as it’s sent over the internet.

Secure Sockets Layer

It’s important for security and also for SEO.

Google now shows a “Not Secure” warning on sites without SSL.

To add SSL:

Get an SSL certificate from your domain registrar or a site like SSLs.com

Install it on your web server following the provider’s instructions.

Redirect all traffic from HTTP to HTTPS in your site settings.

Tell Search Engines About Your Site

Search engines need to know about all the pages on your site to properly index them.

XML sitemaps and Robots.txt files help with this.

XML

Create an XML sitemap listing all pages on your site.

Submit it to Google Search Console.

Add a Robots.txt file to your root domain to block access to parts of your site you don’t want to index like admin pages.

Check your sitemap and robots files are being read properly in Google Search Console.

Use Schema and Structured Data

Search engines are like sites with machine-readable structured data on pages.

Schema.org vocabulary helps search engines understand what your pages are about.

Schema.org

Add Schema markup for your company, products, reviews, etc to give search engines context.

Structured data helps surface your content in richer ways like knowledge panels, video previews, and a lot more.

Test your Schema with the structured data testing tool to ensure it’s valid and being extracted correctly.

Fix Duplicate and Canonical Issues

It’s bad for SEO to have duplicate or very similar content across multiple URLs on your site.

Use canonical URLs and 301 redirects to tell search engines the best version.

301 redirects

Add <link rel=”canonical”> tags pointing to the preferred URL version of duplicate pages.

Use 301 redirects to permanently move traffic from old similar URLs to the main ones.

Check for and eliminate duplicate meta descriptions and titles across pages.

Content Marketing for SaaS

This part is very important.

It can bring a lot of potential traffic and clients if all done well.

Let get dive in.

Write Helpful Tutorials and How-To Guides

Creating tutorials is a great way to provide value to your customers and prospects.

Think about common questions people have when first using your software.

Then make guides that answer those questions step-by-step.

Guide for saas

Be sure to include screenshots or videos if helpful.

Google loves pages that solve people’s problems.

So tutorials can really help your SEO.

Optimize Your Blog Posts

Blogging is a core part of any content marketing strategy.

But to help with SEO, you need to optimize your blog posts.

blog optimize

Some things to focus on include using your target keywords in the title, first paragraph, images, and headings.

Internal linking to other helpful pages on your site is also important for Google.

And don’t forget to add structured data to your blog pages to help them rank.

Record Video Tutorials

Videos are a fun and engaging way for people to learn.

Consider recording some screen-cast-style video tutorials showing how to use your software.

software saas

Host these on YouTube and embed them on your website too.

The keywords you use in the video description and title tags will help the videos rank in search results.

And people watching videos on your site means more time spent and pages viewed – both good signals for search engines.

Use Visual Content Like Infographics

People love visual content that’s easy to understand and share.

Make some infographics that visually explain common processes or features in your software.

Share these on social media and your blog.
social media for saas
The images will catch people’s eye, while the content works to optimize for your target keywords.

Infographics are a win-win for user experience and SEO.

Make It Easy to Contact You

Be sure people searching can easily find ways to contact you like a contact page, email form, live chat, or phone number.

The more opportunities searchers have to get in touch, the more likely they are to become leads and customers.

Plus, links from other sites are great signals for Google algo.

So make it easy for partners or reviewers to link to your contact details too.

Link Building for SaaS

Does Your SaaS Need More Backlinks?

In short, yes!

Getting other sites to link to you can take a lot of work.

Here are some easy ways for SaaS companies to get quality backlinks and help more people discover your software:

Make helpful how-to guides

Write guides that teach people how to do things with your software or how to solve problems your software can help with.
link building for saas
For example, if you have accounting software, write a guide on “How to do your taxes online.”

Publish these guides on your site and ask related sites to link to them.

Do outreach campaign.

Sites about taxes or accounting would want to link to your guide to help their readers.

And that’s the way you can get high-quality links. 

Guest post on industry blogs

Find blogs about your type of software or the kinds of problems it solves.

Contact the blog owners and ask if you can write a guest post for them about using your software or a related topic.

Do contribution.

contribution for saas

In your post, you include your link. 

This is a good way to get a backlink from an expert site in your industry.

Create helpful resource pages

Build pages on your site with useful info like lists, glossaries, calculators, or case studies that don’t sell your product.

saas products

They provide real value.

Tell other sites about these resources and ask them to link as a way to say thanks for the helpful info.

People will appreciate the useful resource and link to it.

Participate in online communities

Find forums, Facebook groups, and Reddit communities about your type of software or industry.

Be helpful by answering questions from others.

saas support

Over time, you can mention your software if it comes up naturally in a conversation.

Community members will link to your profile which helps your site.

But don’t just do self-promotion – help others first.

That way everything will look more natural. 

Local business citations

If your SaaS helps local businesses, get listed on business directories like Yelp, Foursquare and Google My Business.

GMB

Fill out all the info about your company correctly.

These directories pass “link juice” which helps your site rank for local searches.

You want customers close by to find your software.

Building backlinks takes time but these methods are easy for any SaaS company to start with.

Focus on creating helpful content for your target audience instead of just self-promoting your product.

Real people will appreciate the useful info and link to you organically.

With some patience, your link profile will grow which will help more potential customers discover your software.

Local SEO for SaaS

Whether your SaaS company is just getting started or has been around for years, focusing on local SEO is a smart way to attract more customers.

While national and global SEO is also important, optimizing for your local audience can pay off big.

Businesses are more likely to purchase from a company they feel is close by and understands their needs.

Saas biz

From optimizing your Google Business Profile to partnering with local influencers, these tips are designed to be actionable and help you get started attracting customers near you.

Claim and Complete Your Google Business Profile

Having a complete and optimized Google Business Profile (also called Google My Business) is a must for local SEO.

This is where potential customers can find key info about your company like address, phone number, services, and more.

Make sure to:

  • Claim your business listing and verify it with Google.

  • Add high-quality photos so your profile looks professional.

  • Keep your business hours, address, and other info up to date.

  • Respond to all customer reviews to build trust.

Post fresh, relevant content like tips, promotions, or new features regularly.

Saas FAQ

Taking the time to fully complete your Google Business Profile lays the groundwork for all other local SEO efforts like getting found in Maps searches and voice assistants.

Optimize Your Website for Local Keywords

Focus on optimizing your website, blog, and other online content for local keywords related to your SaaS niche.

Some ideas include:

“[Your SaaS name] for [city/region] businesses”

“[Your SaaS features] SaaS [city/state]”

“Best [your SaaS category] software [city/region]”

Use these keywords in your page URLs, titles, meta descriptions, and throughout the content.

saas content

Don’t forget to include your business address and phone number on relevant pages.

This local optimization helps search engines understand where you’re located.

Get Listed on Local Directories

Beyond Google, get your business information listed on other local directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, and niche-related sites.

Be sure to claim any local citations of your business to consolidate online profiles.

saas profiles

Consistently update listings and respond to reviews for maximum visibility.

Partner with Local Influencers

Reaching out to local bloggers, podcasts, chambers of commerce, and industry groups can spread brand awareness through word-of-mouth.

Offer to guest post, sponsor an event, or provide a discount code they can share.

Collaborating with local influencers is a personalized way to connect with customers near you.

Advertise Locally Through Google Ads and More

While SEO is important, paid search through Google Ads lets you get in front of customers right away.

Target ads to your local area and bid on relevant keywords.
saas kws
You can also advertise through local publications, radio, and other nearby small business platforms.

Having a consistent local advertising plan keeps your SaaS top-of-mind for businesses close by.

Track and Analyze Local Metrics

To see what’s working best, track key local performance indicators like direction requests to your office, calls from local phone numbers, and website traffic from your city/state.

Pay attention to reviews and citations added nearby.

saas reviews

Analyzing local metrics helps refine your strategy over time based on real customer behavior and needs in your area.

Focusing efforts on your local audience through Google profiles, directories, influencers and more is a highly effective way to grow your business close to home.

Keep optimizing, advertising, and engaging locally for ongoing success in reaching customers in your city and region.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are special numbers and stats that help us track how well our marketing efforts are doing.

Just like how a teacher uses test scores to see which lessons students are learning best, we can use KPIs to find out what SEO strategies are most effective for SaaS companies.

Some common KPIs we look at for SaaS SEO include:

– Organic traffic
– Leads generated
– Conversions

But there are lots of other numbers that provide useful information too.

I want to share some of the most important KPIs to monitor, along with tips for how to track them and ways to improve your results.

Let’s start with organic traffic.

organic traffic

This measures how many visitors are coming to your website from search engines like Google after searching for keywords related to your product or company.

Tracking organic traffic over time lets you see if the work you’re doing is getting more people to your site from search.

You can find this number in your analytics dashboard under “Acquisition” or “Traffic Sources.”

Traffic Sources

Make sure to also track where your organic traffic is coming from specifically.

Is it mostly from your brand keywords or more generic industry terms?

Knowing this helps you refine your SEO strategy

You may need to work on ranking for long-tail keywords if most traffic is from broad searches.

Another useful metric is leads generated from organic traffic.

organic traffic

This shows you how well your website is converting those search visitors into qualified sales prospects.

Monitor your lead forms and track submissions separately for organic vs. paid traffic.

Seeing increases here indicates your on-page optimizations and content strategy are working.

Conversions are the ultimate goal of any marketing activity.

Conversion rate from organic traffic is super important to track.

This could mean:

  • Purchases
  • Free trials started
  • Or some other important customer action you want to see.

The higher this number climbs, the more successful your SEO efforts are at driving real business results.

SEO effort

Now let’s look at some other KPIs specific to SaaS companies

Trial starts/signups from organic traffic.

This helps assess how well your website is enticing search visitors to test out your product.

Paid upgrades from organic leads.

Seeing more free users become paying customers shows your content is effectively selling the value of your software.

Organic traffic to pricing/purchase pages.

Organic traffics

Higher numbers here correlate with more potential customers ready to buy.

Average time on site from organic sessions.

The longer time spent indicates engaging content that holds user attention.

Bounce rate from organic traffic.

Aim to reduce bounces by optimizing for usability and providing helpful information searchers need.

saas information

Backlinks gained per month.

The more relevant sites link to you, the stronger your domain authority will be over time.

You’ll want to track all these KPIs on a monthly or quarterly basis so you can compare numbers and spot trends.

Use your analytics and marketing automation tools to pull reports on each metric.

Some things to track weekly include organic traffic and conversions for quicker insight.

Now for some tips to improve your KPI numbers through SEO:

  • Optimize your site speed and make sure all pages load fast
  • Speed is a huge ranking factor for Google.

Scaling Efforts

As your SaaS company grows, keeping up with SEO work can get tricky.

There’s a lot more content to create and optimize!

However, SEO is important to keep bringing in new customers through organic search.

Here are some tips for scaling your SEO as your SaaS business gets bigger.

They should help you do more with less work.

Plan Your Content Calendar

It’s hard to scale SEO if you don’t plan.

seo plans

Sit down each month and make a calendar of all the content you want to create.

This could include:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Videos, and more

Break big topics into smaller pieces you can make over time.

plan seo for saas

For example, if you want to write about “Security Features” you could do a post about each feature.

That’s 5 posts right there!

Assign topics to your team so everyone knows what to work on.

Check in each week to see how things are going.

Planning helps you get more done with the same effort.

Use Templates

Creating new content takes a long time if you start from scratch each time.

Save yourself work by making templates you can reuse.
seo templates for saas

For example, make a blog post template with your standard intro, formatting, and outro.

Then you just fill in the middle.

You could also make topic templates, like one for explaining new features.

Just plug in the feature details.

Templates help you write faster so you can cover more keywords and topics without getting worn out.

Everyone on your team can use them too.

Outsource Content

If you have the budget, outsourcing some content creation can help scale your SEO.

You can find freelance writers online who will research and write blog posts and other materials for a reasonable price.
saas outreach
Give them your topic calendar and templates so they know your style.

Then you just need to edit their work before publishing.

If needed but sometimes you will probably find a writer that will 100% fulfill all your needs. 

Outsourcing the writing lets you focus on more important strategic SEO tasks while still increasing your content volume.

Just be sure to work with experienced writers.

Use AI Writing Tools

New AI tools can also help you scale content creation with less effort.

Services like Anthropic’s Constitutional AI write blog posts and other materials based on your topic and style guidelines.

seo plan ai

They can pump out several high-quality posts per day.

You just need to review and edit them before publishing.

AI is getting very good at natural-sounding, human-based writing.

Still, AI can’t replace human-written content but it can help you greatly increase your content output without overworking your team.

Just be sure to closely review AI content before sharing.

Optimize Your Site

While creating more content is important, you also need to make sure your existing content is optimized.

Go through your site and:

  • Add relevant meta descriptions and titles to increase CTR from search results
  • Insert internal links to connect related pages and help Google understand your site structure
  • Make sure all images have accurate alt text for accessibility and SEO
  • Check for broken links and fix or remove them.

Optimizing what you already have published helps Google understand your site better without needing new content.

saas first page

Measure and Adjust

As you scale up your SEO efforts, keep measuring results in Google Search Console and Analytics.

This will help you see which tactics are working well.

If some topics or pages don’t seem to be moving the needle, you may need a different approach.

Don’t be afraid to stop spending time on low-effort strategies.

Always test new SEO tactics too.

What worked small may not work at a larger scale.

Measure and adjust your approach as your business grows.

SEO for Different SaaS Business Models

Different types of software companies need different SEO strategies. 

There are a few main types of software businesses.

One is when you charge customers to use your program every month.

This is called a subscription model.

Another is when you charge customers one time to buy your program.

This is called a perpetual license model.

A third type is when your program is free to use, but you make money another way like ads.

This is called a freemium model.

Subscription Model SEO

For subscription programs, focus SEO on problem keywords.

packages saas

These are keywords people search for when they have a problem your program can solve.

Optimize your site and blog posts around these keywords.

Include action words like “how to” and “tutorial.”

Show customers how your program can specifically help them with tasks.

You can also target broad keywords.

These are words people search just to learn more about a topic.

Ranking for these can bring in new customers curious to explore your program.

Make sure your site explains clearly what your program does and how it is useful.

Add lots of photos, videos, and testimonials too!

Perpetual License Model SEO

For one-time purchase programs, focus SEO on comparison keywords.

These are keywords people search when choosing between options, like “compare” and “vs.”

Create pages that compare your software to competitors.

Show charts and lists explaining why your software is better.

Also, target solution keywords.

These are keywords people search for when they need help with something specific.

Your pages should clearly explain how your software uniquely solves their problem.

Use customer stories and case studies to prove how well it works.

Freemium Model SEO

If your software is free with optional paid upgrades, focus SEO on free content.

Create lots of blogs, tutorials, templates, and other free resources around common tasks.

This attracts people to your site and teaches them the value of your software.

You can then gently guide interested visitors to paid upgrade pages with targeted ads and calls to action.

Explain the extra benefits clearly so they see the value.

Make sure the free version still provides real help on its own too!

Your Turn

Did you like my new guide about SEO for SaaS?

Did you find it useful?

What’s your #1 takeaway tip from this post?

Let me know in the comments below!

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