By | Sarah Kaminski
In order to do all of its proverbial magic, digital marketing needs to be aligned with the industry it is operating in. What works for a brand selling pet food will not work for a brand selling a productivity app.
In the SaaS marketing landscape, a lot of brands sadly make the same SEO mistakes. Here are seven of the most common ones and why they should be avoided.
1. Choosing the Wrong Keywords
A lot of SaaS brands forget that their audience is shopping for solutions rather than features. They optimize their website for keywords related to product features that no one is actually looking for. Instead, they should be targeting the solutions that those features provide.
The best SaaS SEO agencies understand that searcher intent focuses on a selfish need – solving a specific problem. This is why they focus their keyword research around problems and pain points, as opposed to what the SaaS product actually does.
2. Addressing the Wrong Audience
SaaS solutions are purchased by both businesses and individuals. But B2B marketing is so different from B2C marketing that choosing the wrong kind can cripple your efforts.
A lot of SaaS brands go wrong here. They try to sell to just one of these markets and choose to speak as if they were targeting the other. You can’t expect an individual who has unlimited access to their own budget, or even a solopreneur, to have the same thought process as the buyer for a huge company.
3. Choosing the Wrong Channel
On a similar note, a lot of brands also choose the wrong marketing channel. SEO is about much more than just optimizing a website for certain keywords. It also needs to take into account the source of the traffic, for one thing.
If your audience is best swayed on social media, for example, you shouldn’t be optimizing for organic search as much. Instead, create the kinds of pages that will be easily marketable on socials or via paid social ads.
4. Forgetting about the Funnel
All digital marketing efforts, SEO included, need to come with an optimized sales funnel. Top-of-the-funnel customers will not want to look at the same kinds of content as brand evangelists.
It’s very easy to focus on one type of content alone and forget about everything else. While it will certainly appeal to a certain audience segment, it will also alienate everyone else. What you should be doing instead is creating content (and promotional activities) for different stages of your sales funnel, specifically tailored to that audience’s needs and pain points.
5. Writing Sub-par Content
SEOs used to hail content as king. While the phrase is thankfully dead, the principle still applies. Search engines aim to rank valuable, useful, insightful, and well-optimized content. Keyword stuffing no longer works: you need to prove you know what you are talking about.
Instead of choosing a set of long-tail keywords to optimize a post for, aim to write content that teaches your audience something and that allows you to seamlessly promote your solutions. This will be valuable both for humans and robots.
6. Forgetting about the Competition
No SaaS solution exists in a vacuum. There are other brands out there who are trying to promote their own tools. While you shouldn’t try to copy them exactly, you should aim to learn from their best practices.
Perhaps you can discover there is a specific topic no one has yet addressed well. Or that you can make good use of someone else’s backlink portfolio when building your own. Competitor research is meant to give you an overview of the industry and give you your own ideas. It’s not about copying someone else’s efforts.
7. Neglecting Speed and On-Page Optimization
A lot of SEO is technical in nature. For example, neglecting to optimize your website in terms of loading speeds can do a significant amount of harm. Loading times impact rankings, and they also impact user experience. Optimizing your website well is just one piece of the SEO puzzle.
As for on-page optimization, SaaS companies need to forget about over-analyzing keyword potential and aiming for the long-tail phrases no one has yet capitalized on. Writing content naturally will help you get started. Once you have enough data in Analytics and Search Console, you can go back and re-optimize for the phrases your audience is actually looking for, as opposed to phrases a third-party tool recommends.
SEO for SaaS is not a silver bullet. There are so many companies out there trying to solve the same problems that it can be quite difficult to rank at the top. However, SEO is also about much more than keywords. If you choose them wisely and make SEO a comprehensive digital strategy, you can see the kinds of results that make front-page marketing news.
Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.