A popular belief within the SaaS industry is, “If you craft your products intelligently, you may not need to advertise at all”.
But how true is that? Is it true at all?
Well, there are countless companies out there, who, despite having amazing products that solve crucial pain points of users, still struggle with lead generation. With the SaaS market becoming increasingly crowded finding qualified leads for nurturing, and converting them can be quite challenging which is why you need SEO for SaaS and why investing in SaaS SEO should be a priority to grow and scale.
Here are 4 reasons why is SEO important for SaaS companies:
SaaS SEO Gets Your Business Noticed
One of the reasons that SaaS companies struggle to create a steady stream of high-quality leads is that the SaaS market is fiercely competitive and steering customers to your product is difficult. There might be a product or service very similar to yours and there’s a possibility that your competitor ranks at the top of search results and although you have curated a customer-oriented product or service that is not going to be enough for you to be on top of the world of Google!
If your target audience is not aware of the difference between your product and your competitor’s, if they aren’t even aware that your product exists in the first place, they will still land on your competitor’s service page, thinking it’s the best they can get. This is where Keyword Research – a salient aspect of SEO, comes into play.
Ranking for the right keywords will have a crucial impact on your lead generation as 93% of the time an online session is initiated with a keyword search. Additionally, with over 5.6 billion searches in a single day of which 16-20% have never been searched before, capitalizing on those keyword searches (longtail-high intent-low volume) will help you bridge the gap between your product and your potential customers. Focussing on long-tail keywords instead of short-tail ones (which, by the way, are very high intent and difficult to rank for in a short time) will help you attract relevant traffic, increasing your conversion rate.
According to SmartInsights, “the first organic search result in Google has an average click-through rate of 28.5% which drops dramatically to 15% and 11% for the second and third result.” Moreover, people are more likely to remember your brand name which will work out in your favor as it will increase the chances of word-of-mouth marketing.
An amazing example of this is Hubspot that currently ranks for around 300K keywords and drives 750K+ visitors per month. How did they achieve this? From informational content to promotional they have it all, their robust content strategy and the fact that their content solves issues faced by the general audience and educates them too is what helps them rank for these keywords.
This means that even people who don’t know anything about a CRM or aren’t familiar with what a marketing automation tool does, are, however, aware that a company named Hubspot exists, as they may have read a piece of content by Hubspot.
Reduces the Paid Acquisition Costs
It’s a common notion amongst SaaS companies, “Paid Ads Are The Way To Go” but how true is that?
Well, on one hand, paid ads help your brand get noticed and spread the word in the market, on the other paid ads can eat up your entire marketing budget as well, if that’s the sole source of your leads. For SaaS companies who’ve just kickstarted their journey, paid ads can be a real pain in the neck as the ROI is limited and soon you start to exhaust your audience. Additionally, there is a higher probability that most of the leads generated through paid ads will not even be marketing qualified let alone sales qualified.
This means that as a SaaS marketer, you’re spending big bucks on advertising and marketing strategies that are not directed toward motivated buyers.
That’s where SEO has an advantage. Although it may take months before you start seeing results, it’s worth the wait as stats show that around 51% of the web traffic clicks on organic results and only 10% on paid ads.
Additionally, the cost of acquiring a user with SEO marketing is much less than paid marketing, the reason being content doesn’t have a shelf life, you can repurpose and update the same content again and again and it will still drive traffic to your website.
With SaaS SEO, there’s a clear pattern of growth and as your organic traffic increases, the marginal acquisition cost decreases. In fact, users are 20x more likely to click organic search results over a paid ad which means although paid ads help you show up at the top search results without content, organic search drives most of the traffic.
SaaS SEO Boosts Your Acquisition Efforts
For SaaS companies, driving traffic to your website isn’t the end goal, converting them is and although getting visitors to your website is a great start, you must remember that they won’t be converting at the first instance. You will need a sturdy marketing strategy to nurture those leads over time. That is where marketing and sales funnels come into the picture but all these nurturing and conversion tactics will be futile without organic traffic as organic and motivated traffic will be the first thing you need. Investment in SaaS SEO will lay a foundation for those strategies and will power those strategies to create an overarching marketing plan that will boost the overall growth.
A popular example of the magic of investing in SaaS SEO is Maptive – a mapping software that transforms your location data into a customized map that saw a surge of organic web traffic by 54% with an increase of 51% in the software demo signups.
It’s a known fact that the majority of online experiences start through search engines, and it’s SEO that will help you capitalize on that. In fact, a survey by Junto revealed that around 57% of B2B marketers agree that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, strong SaaS SEO strategy will help you gather a larger base of potential customers that will, hopefully, transition over to the sales part since SEO leads have been found to have a close rate of 14.6%.
Gives You an Edge Over Your Competitors
Acquiring customers through inbound marketing is a long-term strategy that no SaaS company can or should ignore. Once you’ve achieved the desired SEO results, you might want to stop and say to yourself – that’s it, I’ve done it. But that’s when you have got to work even harder since now you’ve to maintain that.
Search engines have ripped off many websites of their online reputation, businesses that used to sit on the #0 position thrones are nowhere to be seen now. With businesses competing for top positions, your competitors will also try to get to that rank. By investing in a well-designed SEO strategy, you can outrank your competition and divert more traffic to your website.
Overall, SEO offers better ROI than paid acquisition and although using paid channels is effective at the start, it’s not an effective long-term strategy and for better cost-effective results you will need to switch to SEO. SEO is a continuous process and the fact of the matter is that the more you invest (time mostly), the greater is the ROI. SEO is an endless race with boosters at every checkpoint.
What’s your take on how important is SEO in a saas business? Any additional reasons why you invest in SaaS SEO? Let us know in the comment section below.