Guide to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit for Your SaaS Business

Published on September 13th, 2023

11 min read

Optimizing technical SEO for SaaS can be complex, as it involves precise adjustments to various elements on the website. More than neglecting technical optimization is needed, as enhancing on-page factors directly correlates with generating higher-quality organic leads for your SaaS. This is where you need to audit your website.

From scrutinizing website architecture and improving page loading speed to executing on-page SEO strategies and ensuring seamless mobile compatibility, SaaS technical SEO enhances your website’s overall performance, resulting in improved search engine rankings for your SaaS business.

In this comprehensive guide to how you can conduct the technical SEO audit of your SaaS, I’ll outline the most effective tactics for executing precise on-page optimization for software websites.

Let’s go!

What Is SaaS Technical SEO?

SaaS Technical SEO involves refining the on-page SEO components of a SaaS company’s website to enhance its visibility in the organic search results.

SaaS, or cloud-based software services, are accessed online rather than installed on a user’s computer. SEO tailored for SaaS companies aids in generating more organic leads and maximizing returns on marketing investments.

While conventional SEO practices apply to all types of websites, SaaS companies face specific challenges and opportunities that influence their approach to technical SEO. Here’s a breakdown:

Fundamental Elements of Technical SEO Auditing:

  1. Website Crawling & Indexing: Ensuring search engines can access, crawl, and effectively index your website.
  2. Mobile Friendliness: Optimizing your SaaS website for mobile users.
  3. HTTPS: Confirming that your site uses secure protocols.
  4. Site Speed: Enhancing loading times for your website.
  5. XML Sitemaps: Generating and submitting sitemaps to assist search engines in understanding and indexing your site.
  6. Robots.txt: Utilizing this file to instruct search engines on which pages or sections of your site to exclude.
  7. Structured Data: Implementing schema markup to aid search engines in comprehending your page content.
  8. Website Architecture: Arranging content logically, optimizing URL structures, and ensuring an intuitive user experience.

Unique Aspects of SaaS Technical SEO:

  1. Dynamic Content: SaaS platforms often feature dynamic content that can change based on user interactions. Ensuring this content is accessible and indexable is crucial.
  2. Single Page Applications (SPAs): Many SaaS platforms utilize SPAs, which dynamically update as users interact without fully reloading. This can pose challenges for indexing.
  3. Documentation and Knowledge Bases: SaaS companies typically maintain extensive documentation or knowledge bases for their software. Optimizing these for search is vital.
  4. Authentication and Paywalls: Certain sections of a SaaS platform may be behind authentication or paywalls. Deciding what gets indexed and what remains hidden is essential.
  5. Frequent Updates and Releases: SaaS platforms often undergo regular software updates. Changes need to be reflected on the website and in SEO strategies.
  6. User Experience (UX) and Conversions: While crucial for every website, SaaS companies aim to convert visitors into trial users or paying customers. Technical SEO should complement UX design to boost rankings and facilitate conversions.

Comprehensive SaaS Technical SEO Audit Checklist:

  1. Website Accessibility
  2. Website Navigation and URL Structure
  3. Site Speed and Core Web Vitals
  4. Duplicate Content
  5. Mobile Optimization
  6. Site Security

Next, let’s explore how you can optimize these technical SEO elements on your SaaS website.

How to Do SaaS Technical SEO Audit

Below are the various facets of technical SEO tailored for software and technology companies:

Website Accessibility

Enhancing website accessibility can have a positive impact on search engine rankings. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your website is accessible to search engine crawlers and not restricted by robots.txt or meta tags.

Tips for Enhancing Accessibility:

  • Utilize clear and consistent layouts, headings, and color schemes to facilitate smoother navigation.
  • Provide descriptive alt text for images, enabling screen readers to convey information to visually impaired users.
  • Review the robots.txt file and meta tags to guarantee that essential pages and content are accessible to search engines while preventing access to irrelevant or sensitive pages.

Website Navigation and URL Structure

Ensuring an organized website structure and user-friendly URLs is essential for both search engines and site visitors. A well-structured URL not only aids search engine crawlers in comprehending your website’s content but also offers users clear, descriptive links that enhance navigation and usability.

Steps to Optimize Website & URL Structure:

Arrange your website content logically, with broader categories at the top and subcategories beneath. This facilitates easier navigation for both search engines and users. According to a case study involving 126 SaaS websites, the site hierarchy depicted below is considered optimal for SaaS businesses:

  1. Keep URLs straightforward and descriptive, incorporating relevant keywords to convey the page’s content.
  2. Use hyphens to separate words in URLs, as they are more readable and search engine-friendly than underscores or spaces.
  3. Avoid including unnecessary parameters or query strings in URLs, as they can lead to issues with duplicate content.
  4. Maintain consistency and logic in your URLs, aligning them with the hierarchical structure of your website’s navigation.
  5. Implement canonical tags to consolidate duplicate URLs and preempt potential SEO complications.

Site Speed and Core Web Vitals

A swift-loading website with excellent Core Web Vitals scores offers visitors a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience, resulting in higher engagement and reduced bounce rates.

You can assess your SaaS website’s Core Web Vitals score through the Google Search Console.

Go to Experience > Core Web Vitals to access the report:

This report will display a list of pages, both on mobile and desktop, that require improvement:

Steps to Enhance Site Speed and Core Web Vitals:

  1. Optimize image sizes and formats to decrease page loading times while maintaining visual quality.
  2. Reduce HTTP requests by consolidating CSS and JavaScript files and using browser caching.
  3. Enable Gzip compression to reduce file sizes and enhance data transfer efficiency.
  4. Employ a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute website content to servers located closer to users, thereby boosting loading speeds.
  5. Give priority to loading Above-the-Fold (ATF) content to display essential information and improve perceived performance swiftly.
  6. Address concerns related to Core Web Vitals, such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), to ensure a seamless and interactive user experience.

Duplicate Content Audit

Duplicate content arises when identical or highly similar pages appear on your website. Search engines frown upon an excess of such pages, potentially leading to penalties or ranking complications. To safeguard your website’s standing, it’s crucial that each page offers distinctive and valuable content.

To identify duplicate content pages, consider using tools like Screaming Frog. Simply input your website URL into the SEO Spider and click Start:

In the Content Tab, you’ll find precise duplicates, near duplicates, and even pages with low content:

Addressing Duplicate Content:

  1. Implement canonical tags to specify the preferred version of duplicated content, consolidating search engine authority and sidestepping indexing problems.
  2. If you have duplicate pages with distinct URLs, establish 301 redirects to guide users and search engine crawlers to the primary version of the content.
  3. Utilize pagination techniques like rel=”next” and rel=”prev” to lead search engines through paginated content, averting duplicate content issues on multi-page articles or product listings.
  4. Consider merging or consolidating similar or related content into a comprehensive page. This enhances the user experience and diminishes the risk of encountering duplicate content dilemmas.

Mobile Optimization Audit

Mobile optimization ensures your software service site is functional and user-friendly on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Search engines also give preference to mobile-friendly sites in organic search results.

To confirm if your website is easily accessible via mobile devices, you can utilize the mobile-friendly test. Simply input your site URL, and the tool will indicate whether your webpage is mobile-friendly (and if not, it will provide reasons why):

Steps for Mobile Optimization:

  1. Implement a responsive design that automatically adjusts your website’s layout and content to suit various screen sizes and devices.
  2. Confirm that all text, images, and multimedia elements are easily viewable and legible on smaller screens.
  3. Optimize images, scripts, and other page elements to decrease loading times and enhance the overall mobile experience.
  4. Simplify navigation by employing mobile-friendly menus and buttons for easy interaction on touchscreens.
  5. Position important buttons and links within easy reach of the user’s thumb for effortless navigation.
  6. Minimize or avoid pop-ups on mobile devices, as they can be intrusive and hurt user experience.
  7. Regularly assess your website’s mobile performance on different devices and browsers to identify and resolve any issues.
  8. Optimize content for mobile-first indexing, as search engines prioritize sites that are well-optimized for mobile devices in their rankings.

Site Security Audit

Ensuring site security is a critical aspect of technical SEO audit for SaaS. Google places significant importance on-site security. Therefore, as a SaaS business owner, it’s imperative to take measures to shield your website from potential threats.

Steps to Ensure Site Security:

  1. Implement HTTPS encryption to secure data transmission between users and your website, ensuring that information remains confidential and protected from interception:
  2. Keep all software, plugins, and themes up to date to address security vulnerabilities and fortify protection against potential exploits.
  3. Enforce robust password policies for user accounts and administrative access to thwart unauthorized access.
  4. Utilize a Web Application Firewall to filter and monitor incoming traffic, effectively blocking malicious requests and potential attacks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, conducting a comprehensive technical SaaS SEO audit for your business is not just a task but a strategic necessity. In the ever-evolving digital landscape, where visibility and user experience are paramount, staying ahead in search engine rankings is pivotal. 

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can assess, refine, and optimize your SaaS website’s technical aspects, ensuring it remains search-engine-friendly and user-centric. So, embark on your SEO journey armed with knowledge and the right tools, and watch your SaaS business soar to new heights in the digital realm.

Shivam Kumar Shivam Kumar

Shivam Kumar is an SEO Strategist with over six years of hands-on experience in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated his prowess in optimizing SaaS websites and delivering tangible results for multiple enterprises.

With a passion for precision and a keen eye for emerging trends, Shivam excels in crafting tailored SEO strategies that not only bolster online visibility but also drive substantial revenue growth for numerous E-commerce businesses.

Shivam Kumar

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