The number of SaaS projects in the world is growing annually. As a rule, all of them have an interesting mission and a great technical background behind the founders. However, after releasing a product on the market, companies often face problems with creating a marketing strategy and SEO promotion.
From this article, you will learn what aspects should be taken into account to create and implement an effective marketing strategy for a SaaS project, bring your company to the top in Google SERP, and get links from niche resources.
What Is Link Building?
One of the key tasks of an Internet business is to attract the maximum number of potential customers (leads). No matter if you have a sole proprietorship or an LLC (which is more beneficial in terms of taxation and liability), effective SEO optimization and a link-building strategy will help bring your website on top of Google SERP. According to Rahul from Kasera, SEO jobs are high in demand, especially with the popularity of e-commerce. Since COVID started more and more brands are looking for SEO professionals and we have first-hand experience of this working with many brands.
Link building (getting backlinks) is a complex of actions focused on attracting referral traffic and website promotion.
Link Building is a difficult task these days as competition is stiff. It will require you to put together a strong, persistent, and ongoing strategy that will require you to put in a lot of time and effort. You know what they say though: anything worth doing is worth doing well! And link building is definitely worth doing these days. (Lindsey Allard CEO and Co-Founder of PlaybookUX)
Instead of buying backlink packages on stock exchanges, quality link building offers a selective and individual approach. Experts in various SaaS companies carefully study the field of activity of their clients and their target audiences, choosing only reliable and effective donors. This allows them to achieve great results in SEO promotion, although the process requires assiduity, patience, creativity, and consistency in action.
Link building can be more difficult for SaaS companies due to the niche nature of the industry and the competition that comes along with a crowded market. (Emma, Marketing Director at Routific.)
What Does Link Building for SaaS Include?
Link building is a whole strategy for getting backlinks exclusively from quality resources. The effective system of attracting traffic is almost impossible for competitors to duplicate by adopting.
For SaaS based companies or products/services link building tasks is a mid-level task that is not so easy or tough. Simply, you have to work with patience and reach different websites/blogs related to your Niche on a daily basis for more reach/engagement to get backlinks for your SaaS business. (Joe Smith, iCrowdNewswire)
It should be noted that only a comprehensive link-building strategy (incl. website and creative component selection, as well as other effective optimization ways) will allow the website to reach the highest positions in the SERP.
Link-building for SaaS can be complicated if you don’t have the resources necessary to create useful content. For one, other websites are not going to link to articles or resources that aren’t helpful for their audience – being relevant, informative, and delivering multiple content pieces a month can be an expensive endeavor. And then there’s the other side: most other websites probably aren’t helpful to your domain relevance. Getting links from blogs about cooking or farming will not help your content rank and may end up being a spam signal to Google. So, essentially, you end up playing in a small sandbox with other SaaS websites competing for popularity. (Victor Antiu, the CMO of Custify)
One of the most efficient link-building strategies for SaaS is guest posting. There are plenty of websites that accept guest posts and give relevant backlinks in return. The main precondition is to have quality content and find relevant websites to contact. SaaS is a bit specific so not every website may link to it, unless it’s really relevant. (Nick, CEO of DataforSEO)
The link building process involves a combination of several strategies as follows:
- Outreach involves collaborating with owners of other websites, media representatives, and popular bloggers (influencers). The main activity is focused on establishing contact with the information platforms where a link (to the customer’s website) can be posted in the future;
- Crowd-marketing is one of the link-building branches, aimed at working with hidden product placement of a resource or a specific position in the catalog. Crowd-marketing is a form of feedback, social network posts, and comments on blogs/forums;
- Submits represent promotion via posted data about the client’s company on external resources. The summary should contain a direct link to the website. There are several types of submits: sites with reviews and recommendations, online directories, and geotags. Submits are ideal for local businesses such as clinics, spas, specialty stores, bars, and restaurants.
The best way to get high-quality backlinks for a SaaS in 2021 and 2022 is to use the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) platform. Big names in the SaaS industry post daily queries there, which allows you to provide them with first-hand information and get your backlinks quickly. My SaaS has been using HARO for 3 years already and gained over 30 high-authority backlinks and good relations with reporters already. (Dmytro Serheeiv Tax Consultant & Co-Owner at https://pdfliner.com/)
You can use services like Majestic and Ahrefs for link mass analysis. The latter should be performed constantly since both temporary and permanent links are used to promote a website.
The best strategy is to develop your site’s presence with high-quality original content and build social media shares and followers overtime before trying any advertising methods (paid or organic). A notable exception would be if you can afford costly SEO packages, including professional-level PR through blogs and social media sharing on top of traditional advertising techniques like SEM/PPC ads. (Emir Bacic, Co-founder of Pricelisto)
Ideas for Content Creation
Before you read the following tips, we’d like to remind you that focusing on content and topics that generate emotion, engage, entertain, and inform your customers is the key to success.
- Upload semantics on competitors from Ahrefs;
- Divide your product into dozens of mini-products. You can put a mini-tool on the homepage and inside an article, combining it with a how-to guide. Otherwise, you can simply go with h1 and Description. The main value of such pages is that you don’t need a lot of content for ranking;
- Build mini products based on other products’ APIs. You can use the same data in many ways. Once you get traffic to the web page, immediately start collecting statistics on conversions and revenue. Not all pages will increase your ROI;
- Look for other non-standard ways to use your product. Generate the most impossible ideas of what else the product could be useful for. Look at your competitors in Ahrefs with overlaps in requests. By creating a successful experimental landing page, you can discover another great niche for your product;
- Focus on comparisons with competitors (…alternative);
- Translate the page into other popular languages (where your product is in demand);
- Find the best keyword that Google “likes” the most to get to the top immediately.
Ideas for Content Improvement
Unless you have a solid content strategy template, your competitive advantage will remain low.
Google’s algorithms love good content. So, creating long-form expert content will push you up the SERP. Try your best to make it unique. That means you need a darn good writer who can engage the audience with a new angle on something. If the content is fresh and interesting, you’ll definitely build backlinks. You have to promote it heavily. (Jacques Buffet, digital PR tech lead at Zety)
Creating and advertising content for SaaS product promotion to create links is a challenging task. There are many practicalities to consider, and coordination may be difficult, but the premise is simple: provide material that people desire, and they will connect to it. (Aakhil Karthikkeyan, https://document360.com/)
Creating one is a great way to make your customers notice you on the SaaS market. Apart from that, there are a few other ways to improve your website content as follows:
- Check every page on your website to see the whole picture. You can run the process in sections if your website is rather big and assign each page URL one of 3 actions: keep, improve, or remove;
- Use quality infographics and strict editorial policy. Precise principles of content creation, unified structure and page templates (home, blog post, ‘About us,’ news archive, contact), unified rules for punctuation, paragraphs and indents, headings, bullets, and numbered lists;
- Proofread your articles. Find and correct typos, identify errors of lexical, syntactic, and orthographic nature. Check the correctness of hyphenation, headings, lists, bullets. Monitor compliance with the unified design concept;
- Make sure your images, pages, categories, and individual posts are 100% unique. Your website images should not just look attractive but also meaningful. Your designer should be able to quickly grasp the main idea of this or that article and convey it in an image. If you find your own photos/images on the web, demand/request link placement;
- Expanding content based on analyzing top results in SERPs;
- Page load time acceleration;
- Breadcrumb navigation for your blog;
- Studying user behavior via Hotjar;
- Comparison with competitors. The most targeted customers come by such requests (they’ve already used a similar tool but didn’t like something). Make it clear on the page that you are better than everyone (start with the title and h1). Look at the small but growing competitors. As they grow, traffic to your feeds grows too.
To develop an effective strategy and avoid mistakes, it’s important to analyze 5-10 competitors. You can find them in several ways as follows:
- Search for the main key phrases, select the region of promotion, and ignore ads. Your competitors will be at the top. This method works for identifying SaaS competitors since services tend to have 1-2 main traffic pages. However, it’s irrelevant for other websites;
- Check your competitors through Ahrefs. Type your website into the search bar and click “competitor domains.”
When optimizing your website, it’s important to pay attention to the following aspects:
- 404 errors;
- Image weight;
- Page load times;
- Duplicate content/pages;
- Unnecessary 301/302 redirects;
- HTTPS protocol, etc.
Also, do not forget about adaptive design. These days, users spend most of their time on the Internet from their mobile devices. In this case, the time they are willing to use a website, in comparison with going online from a PC, is almost twice reduced.
Your website should be equally user-friendly and convenient to use both from a PC and smartphone.
Ideas for Generating Backlinks and Traffic
Here’s a list of ideas that work for us for generating traffic and backlinks:
- Blog comments: Just go to all the articles in the top 50 for your search queries. You can leave comments on quality websites even without links – just mention the name of the domain. The perfect comment will be detailed, demonstrating that you read the article carefully in full and complementing it;
- Business listings: Fill out your business profiles to the best of your ability, use your subscriber database for reviews, as well as feedback on your website;
- Link exchanges: Put your team members’ contacts and photos on your website. As your traffic and authority grow, you may get requests for interviews and link exchanges. Since you’re linking to other sites in your content anyway, if you’re offered a backlink to a good product, the exchange will be useful;
- Broken link building: We tried it, and it didn’t work for us. Alas, in the SEO niche, your found broken links might only get you free hugs;
- Google Chrome plugin. Allocate a small but valuable feature in the product with good retention. Create a plugin, carefully verify its title, description, and icon. Translate it into other languages and start driving traffic to the plugin from the website and newsletters. This way, in addition to satisfied users, you will also get one more page of your own;
- Interview bloggers and subject matter experts. Think of interesting questions, write down your conditions (how many links can be placed), provide an offer (why spend time on your interview), find experts on conference websites or Google “best … experts,” “best … blogs,” “… LinkedIn experts,” etc. Start with middle specialists and use social proof once you get to interviewing top specialists.
A great link-building strategy is to create an in-depth report that could be of interest to others. Use numbers you have access to via your platform, relate it back to a larger topic and publish the finished copy on your website. If you do a good job of it and publish a strong piece that covers a topic others will be related to, then you can use it as a way to get links. (Yazan Sehwail CEO and Co-Founder of Userpilot)
A quality interview with a blogger will get you into Google Discover, links from experts’ blogs, links to quotes from interviews, traffic from branded queries, traffic from social networks, and insight into the habits of your target audience.
- Help center pages. Write unique and useful content and guide users to the guides from the website and newsletters. Monitor the pages that have made it to the top and improve them further;
- Niche blogger reviews. It’s always best to have a few quality reviews. Evaluate websites not only by link profile but also the activity of blog readers (comments), design quality, navigation, etc. Ask for a thoughtful and objective review but talk about your strengths. There may be important features that the blogger won’t notice without your help. Review budget: from $100 to $600 per review;
- Freelance exchanges. Create a tool whose data acts as a checkpoint for customers and contractors. Make it clear to customers that they can delegate work to freelancers (you can give a list of exchanges). Create jobs as customers with links to your website and services as performers with links to your website;
- Quora. Not all topics are equally important. Use content from the blog but be sure to add your own thoughts. Show that you’re getting into the user’s question. Basic views and clicks will bring in 5-10%. In Google Analytics, you can see the effectiveness of each response (report source/medium, secondary dimension “referral path”);
- Facebook. Join all of the related groups. Respond in detail to all your users’ questions (related to your product) on a regular basis. Do not be stingy with words and carefully study their issues;
- YouTube. Do one video review of one product. Optimize it considering all aspects, namely: keyword search, title, description, tags, cards, end screen, special splash screen, public accessibility, playlist, email notifications to users who liked the vid, response to user comments, social media distribution, and newsletters. After publishing your video, it’s important to get as many views, comments, and likes as possible in 24 hours (you’ll need this video for business listings);
- LTD sites. You can try AppSumo for better sales, increased branded queries (4x or more), and more video/text reviews. You will also get “tough” questions from your target audience who knows products similar to yours, understand what’s critical to fix, and what new features to add. Let alone market change options and positioning;
- Live chat. Collect feedback on what users like/dislike about your website, as well as ideas for new products and website pages.
Reclaiming links is an excellent link-building strategy for SaaS companies. It is obtaining links from mentions of your product across different business websites and blogs. When you have an excellent SaaS product, it is highly probable that your app or tool is mentioned on various websites as recommendations from industry professionals and bloggers or cited with good reviews by businesses who use the app or tool. (Sam Dolbel, Co-founder & CEO of SINC Workforce – https://sinc.business/)
You can start reclaiming links by finding your product mentions online by manually searching for them, or you can also use tools that can alert you when you get mentions. Then, obtain the contact information of the blogger, writer, or publisher of the content where your product is mentioned so that you can reach out and request for them to turn the mention into a link leading to your website.”
How Do I Search for Topics?
Almost every landing page has the main keyword in front of it, which is used to “push” it in Google. The same keyword can be used to find topics. You can also use data from the neighboring tab (Search Console) or data from Ahrefs.
Before you search for topics, it’s important to look at the content on the landing page to understand what topics will be the most relevant.
How Do I Choose the Right Topics?
For every landing page theme, there are basically 1-3 of the most valuable topics that are worth the effort. In reality, topics, where you can get a large number of views, have already:
- Generated more than 2,000 views in total;
- Generated followers (10+ is already OK).
So what you can do? Type in a keyword -> open 10-20 topics in new tabs that seem relevant by their headlines -> choose 1-3 most valuable by the number of views, followers.
How Do I Create a Response Based on Landing Page Content?
A comprehensive response will provide your users with the following types of information:
- Exclusive (this is probably the main reason for popularity);
- Relevant (meaning information that best answers the question). In the first/last paragraph of your answer, it’s important to write text showing that you copied the content from the landing page since it answers the question well;
- Structured (it’s not only about headings but also bolding key ideas).
In each topic, before you answer, look at the top responses in that topic and make an upvote for the most valuable one – so that there is a natural activity of the account.
Additional Link Building Tips
- Check out the following tips and always keep them in mind when optimizing your website:
- SEO is just one possible source of traffic;
- The right SEO strategy derives from the right marketing strategy;
- If you got traffic, but your SaaS product is not ready yet, try turning to your competitors or experiment with prices;
- Not all web pages will be good for you, conduct regular assessment of the effectiveness of your website pages, and improve only the best ones;
- There’s nothing wrong with copying your competitors – copy it but improve it. That’s how all development happens;
- Remember that your niche competitors don’t cover all semantics.
SaaS Marketing Strategy: Mistakes & Solutions
Here’s a list of common SEO mistakes and solutions to them:
- Lack of purpose. Understand what you want and why and then create specific results;
- Lack of strategy. Write a detailed plan with a clear goal, list of activities, milestones, deadlines, costs, and responsibilities. Define reporting metrics;
- Quantity of leads over their quality. Identify your TA, assess the real interest of users, and focus all your efforts on working with them;
- Poor website optimization. Check duplicates, page loading time, 404 errors, unnecessary redirects 301 and 302, image weight, HTTPS protocol operation, server errors;
- Incorrect (or incomplete) assessment of your competitors. Check what and how your competitors do, where their traffic comes from, what content attracts users, and where they promote it;
- One promotion channel. Use social networks, publications on external sites, remarketing, email marketing, contextual advertising on low-end queries, link building;
- Inadequate audience management. Consider user engagement when interacting with users;
- Absence or vague strategy for creating content. Identify topics that are attractive and useful to your visitors, schedule a content plan at least a couple of months in advance;
- Poor site/content structure. Work out requirements for each page, post, considering even the smallest details. Make sure your site map looks clear. Check your content types (people, products, reviews), content type data (first/last name, position, bio, email, phone number), hierarchical/non-hierarchical taxonomies (e.g. “categories” / “tags” for your blog), and so on;
- Cancellation of previously posted articles. Update old publications by adding relevant keywords and information.
If you haven’t yet included link building as a core element in your SEO strategy, now is the right time to do so.
2021 is ended and the start of a new year provides an opportunity to make fresh changes to your strategies, the consequences of which you can watch throughout 2022. You need to carefully analyze your site’s link profile, check donor domains, create a link-building strategy, and select trusted donors for linking and optimizing your budget.
Increase traffic, reach top positions in the SERP, and attract the attention of new customers!