Ultimate SEO Checklist for SaaS Businesses

Search engines have become a vital part of today’s purchasing process, even in the Software as a Service industry. So if you own or manage a SaaS business, online visibility should be at the top of your priorities.

Consider this: SaaS companies today get 68% of their organic traffic through SEO. It is ten times more potent than social media at generating traffic, and seven out of ten marketers think it’s more effective than pay-per-click advertising.

All these numbers point to one thing — if you do not have a solid SEO strategy, you are missing out.

The question now is, how do you make your website more visible to search engines and easier for your target audience to find?

We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive SaaS SEO checklist.

SEO for SaaS

Before we get to the “how,” it is important for you to understand the “why” of SaaS SEO. Let’s start again at the beginning, which is the emergence of search engines.

People do over 8.5 billion searches on any given day, and that is just with Google. This translates to 99,000 queries every second.

You can just imagine how many potential customers and clients you can reach if you manage to land one of the top search result spots. In addition, it would mean more eyes on your website, which is critical when building a brand.

Also, the more visits you have, the more high-quality leads you generate. As a result, you get more subscriptions, more sales, and more profit.

Even better, once you have set up your SEO strategy, it will keep on bringing you customers. It would also reduce your need to launch paid ad campaigns, which helps you conserve your marketing budget.

Note that all of these benefits are contingent on you launching a successful SEO campaign. For this to happen, you need to have clear objectives from the get-go backed by a structured strategy that contains the following key elements:

  • SEO Site Audit
  • Competitor Research
  • Keyword Research
  • Technical SEO
  • Content Optimisation and Creation
  • Content Promotion and Link Building
  • Analysis and Reporting

We will be looking more closely at each item in the next sections, so keep on reading.

SEO Site Audit

Before you launch a new SEO campaign or make changes to an existing one, you must first find out what the current situation is by doing an SEO audit. It is the best way for you to identify current and potential issues that would prevent your website from ranking.

If your site has problems, search engines will have a hard time indexing and crawling your pages. As a result, you won’t be able to attract organic traffic, which means that you won’t be able to hit your sales targets.

This is true not only for SaaS companies but for other industries as well.

Note that SEO is a long process that involves a lot of steps. Doing an audit first lets you know what direction to take so you do not end up wasting time, energy, and money on activities that would later turn out to be non-value-adding.

What’s involved in an SEO Audit:

  • Crawling and indexation by Google
  • On-page SEO issues
  • Off-page SEO issues (e.g., poor backlinks)
  • User experience
  • Content keyword optimisation
  • Low-quality or duplicate site content
  • Analysis and tracking implementation

SEO Competitor Research

Once you have done a self-assessment, the next step is to understand what you are up against by doing SEO competitor research. Finding out what you can about your competitors allows you to glean valuable insights that you can use later on.

For instance, you can find out what type of content works for them and try to make a better version of it. You could also look at some of their high-performing pages and analyse how you can duplicate their success.

Here’s a quick look at some of the valuable insights that can be derived from organic search competitor analysis:

  • Keywords
  • Best performing content
  • Site architecture and URL structure
  • Website performance
  • User experience

Doing competitor research can be hard and time-consuming. The good thing is that there are tools that can make your life much easier.

One example is Ahref’s Site Explorer, which lets you analyse your competitor’s domains. You can use it to find out how they structure their URLs or what types of content drive the most organic traffic for them.

You could also try using the SEMrush Market Explorer tool to identify your competitors and find out what their best practices are so you can come up with ways to outdo them.

As you do your research, remember that not all your organic search competitors are in the same exact niche as you are, which means that they are not competing with you directly. Therefore, you must be on the lookout for these types of businesses or websites because what works for them may not work for you.

Keyword Research

When people go online to find out what they can about your product or service, they type their queries into the search box and hit Enter. It is the first step of their buying journey from awareness to consideration to decision.

A big part of your task when doing SEO is to find out their search intent based on what words or phrases they use. In addition, you must pay close attention to long-tail keywords since SaaS is a niche industry and would benefit from more specific queries.

That is where keyword research comes in.

Keyword research is the process of understanding what search terms your target audience uses. You can then use this information to determine which queries are popular and how difficult it is to compete in them. From there, you will be able to decide which keywords to target.

Keyword research is important to your SaaS business because it tells you what search terms to optimise for. That is why it is a part of a solid competitor analysis. Without it, you will be getting irrelevant traffic or no visits at all.

Technical SEO

Another big piece of the complex SEO puzzle is technical SEO. It involves improving key elements like loading speed, internal linking structure, site security, and more. All these things help ensure that your site meets the requirements of both the users and search engines.

Note that many of the technical aspects of your site should have been evaluated during your SEO audit. Any potential issues identified during this stage should be given high priority.

Here are some of the more important aspects of technical SEO:

  • Finding and fixing broken links
  • Adding and fixing schema markup
  • Resolving indexation issues
  • Ensuring optimal sitemaps are submitted to Google
  • Optimising site speed performance
  • Addressing issues reported by Google Search Console
  • Resolving canonicalisation issues
  • Image and media optimisation

There’s so much more to technical SEO than these items, so if you think that it’s back-breaking work, you would be right.

However, there is no way around it, as the success or failure of your SEO campaign would depend on it to a large extent.

Content Optimisation

If you have an existing website, optimising its content based on the results of your keyword research can give you big but quick gains. That is because these content opportunities present high traffic potential despite having a reasonable degree of keyword difficulty.

In addition, competing in the right keywords allows you to display your expertise, which is great for building your authoritativeness in the industry. Note that SaaS is a technical industry, so having a reputation for being credible is a great way to boost your rankings.

Again, when it comes to content optimisation, you should have already identified which areas to strengthen during your SEO audit. Remember the SEO objectives that you set at the start, as it will help you decide which pieces of content to prioritise.

In fact, an in-depth audit will show you that some of your content might be redundant or even obsolete and should be pruned. This process allows you to get rid of dead weight that might be bringing your website down.

Even better, content pruning gives your new or high-performing pieces more opportunities to shine, increasing the overall health and performance of your site.

All of these benefits show you that content optimisation should be based on keyword mapping and prioritisation.

Content Creation

Content creation is the process of building relevant content that your target audience would find useful. It is an important part of an effective SEO strategy, especially for a SaaS company like yours.

Why?

People need to have a certain level of confidence in your brand before they buy your products. For this to happen, you must build three things: expertise, authority, and trust, otherwise known as EAT.

This is especially true for the SaaS industry because, as mentioned above, it is a fairly technical niche, which means that your target audience is always looking for accurate and helpful information.

By posting articles, blogs, videos, infographics, and other pieces of content that provide a lot of facts, you meet the needs of your target audience. You also make your pages more visible to search engines because EAT has a huge impact on Google’s ranking process.

The problem is that creating fresh and high-quality content that shows your expertise takes a lot of time and energy, especially since you have to do it consistently.

Content Promotion and Link-Building

Your job is far from done once you have made great content. You still need to get the word out and let people know that it exists.

There are a number of ways that you can create a buzz around the new content that you just built, but the best ways are promotion and link-building.

If you have a social media account (which is a must these days), let your followers know about your new offering by making organic posts. You could also try social media ads if you have the budget for them.

Social media is a great platform for promoting different things because people here are highly engaged and active. If they like your post, they are likely to share it with their friends and followers, which draws more attention to your content.

Another method that you could try is to launch an outreach campaign. Try to get backlinks to your content from prominent players in your niche.

Having high-quality backlinks is a sign that other businesses trust what you are saying in your content, which boosts your search ranking. However, make sure that your links come from trustworthy sites too.

Analysis and Reporting

At this point, you are closer to the finish line, but your journey is not yet over. You still have to track your performance using advanced analytics.

It is important to keep tabs on how your SEO strategy is doing because this gives you a chance to make timely adjustments. You don’t have to wait for things to get out of hand before you do something about it.

The good thing is that there are many tools that you can use for analysis and reporting, like Google Analytics. It can help you monitor the organic search performance of your content and pages. It can also help you identify potential issues more quickly.

Another useful tool is the Google Search Console, which can track your click-through rate or CTR and find URL issues.

On top of all these, there are third-party tools that can carry out valuable reporting and analysis tasks like competitor comparisons.

Download Our Ultimate SEO Checklist for SaaS Businesses

Click on this link to download our Ultimate SaaS SEO Checklist for free!

1. Site Audit

  • Crawling and indexation by Google
  • On-page SEO issues
  • Off-page SEO issues
  • User experience
  • Content keyword optimisation
  • Identifying Duplicate content
  • Analysis and tracking

2. Competitor Research

  • Keywords
  • Best-performing content
  • Site architecture and URL structure
  • Website performance
  • User experience

3. Keyword Research

  • Finalise primary keywords
  • Find relevant long-tail keywords
  • Sort keywords by search volume and difficulty level
  • Determine search intent based on keywords
  • List the intent of pieces of content that rank for those keywords
  • Come up with a shortlist of top keywords to use

4. Technical SEO

  • Find and fix broken links
  • Add and fix schema markup to relevant pages
  • Resolve issues with indexation
  • Update and optimise your XML sitemap
  • Optimise site speed
  • Solve issues reported by Google Search Console
  • Resolve canonicalisation issues
  • Optimise images and other forms of media

5. Content Optimisation

  • Optimise existing content based on keyword research done
  • Ensure that optimisation is aligned with SEO objectives

6. Content Creation

  • Define the objective of your content
  • Find out what your target audience wants to know
  • Choose the types of content you want to create (blog posts, guides, infographics, etc.)
  • Use keywords strategically
  • Make sure that each piece of content has the three components of expertise, authority, and trust (EAT)

7. Content Promotion and Link-Building

  • Promote your content through organic social media posts
  • Consider paid social media ads
  • Collaborate with trusted websites
  • Publish guest posts in other trustworthy domains

8. Analysis and Reporting

  • Monitor ongoing site health
  • Identify and fix issues before they get bigger
  • Evaluate organic search performance
  • Use advanced analytic tools

As you can see, SaaS SEO is a long and painstaking process. If you do not have much experience, you could easily miss critical steps, which would be disastrous for your campaign.

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