Technology and SAAS companies can drive millions of dollars of revenue, gain more funding, and even sell for 100X what they put into their platform if they understand keyword research, and utilize it and broader SEO principles to build their company. How do I know SEO can be a giant arbitrage for technology and SAAS companies?
- One of the first SEO clients I had 4 years ago was a B2B sales platform, and we got it to #1 for ‘Sales Development Software’, at a time when it’s competitors had 100’s of millions of funding and they had 3.
- We have an IT company that had 3 total leads from the web last year, and with SEO + PPC efforts this past 3-6 months we had the client email us the other morning and say they received 2 leads THAT MORNING – in an industry where closed business often results in a 300k average customer lifetime value.
- Our company has now done search engine optimization for 10+ clients, and I’m starting to see patterns – our system leads to significant results in every case we’ve applied it to – leading to 80% year over year traffic for our average client.
I’m going to outline everything I can possibly express in this short but extremely actionable guide. Because I know many of you don’t have the time and don’t have the 100 hours it’d take to some of the components here (many will take only 10-20 minutes apiece – so knock those out first, of course.)
A number of years ago – I had slowly built my freelance career on the side with the help of SEO, writing blogs regularly and learning about backlinks. Leads were coming in regularly, but I still was only offering website design to our clients.
A technology / SAAS client asked – why are these graphic design and website changes not leading to more business? I had to admit – his traffic was too low.
I could do some of the things I’m doing for my own site for yours, I said.
Introduction: Content & Links – The basic building blocks of SEO.
Once you get the basic technical SEO right (no small feat by the way, but not that crazy – check out our basics of SEO post).
Once you get thin and duplicate content de-indexed (with Yoast, other SEO tools, Google XML Sitemap plugin for WordPress) the real scalable effort you’re left with is CONTENT & LINKS.
Some SEO teams may tell you differently, but just know SEO’s joke amongst ourselves that there really are no secrets, just putting significantly more effort into writing articles, guides, and landing pages – as well as guest posting and procuring links from around the web back to the site. These two activities can basically be scaled ad infinitum and you can get really good results from taking aggressive, and heavy-duty effort in these directions.
1. De-index thin & duplicate content
This is the absolutely first and #1 most important SEO tip for most people.
You need to make sure your site doesn’t have a ton of thin and duplicate content. In WordPress, for instance, sometimes you’ll have miscellaneous templates indexing on google – try this just google “site:yourwebsite.com” and see if a bunch of nonsense shows up (even in the later pages.)
This seems like a non-sexy SEO tip – but it’s huge.
2. Write 1 Giant Guide helping Ideal Customers solve a problem
What question do you get all the time in the sales process?
How can you guide people to START solving their problem – but maybe you can then help them finish solving it?
Big content is better for SEO than tiny blog posts, but I suggest at least a baseline of – one bigger ‘hub’ type post a month of at least 1500-2000 words, and 3 regular sized 750+ word posts a month. The guides are much more likely to garner significant attention – we’ve even had a big guide like this rank for 1000 plus keywords.
3. Guest post on another authoritative site that owns the attention of your audience
Leveraging other people’s audience that hold your ideal customer’s attention is reason enough to guest post.
But besides that, linking back from these kinds of sites (check that their Domain Authority is above 30+ with Mozbar) is massive for getting your site higher than your competitors in search engine rankings.
4. Remove password-protection on content or un-gate half of the piece of content – “The Content Upsell”
If you’re still gating big, chunky content completely – you’re massively stifling your search engine traffic opportunities.
An amazing way to get e-mails but still have a ton of value open for the public is gating half or the last 3rd of a resource / through the ‘content upsell’
Check out an example of that strategy in our ‘Google Analytics Basics’ guide, where 10 of the final 20 strategies are available only by giving your e-mail.
This guide was even tweeted by Google Analytics Twitter account– even though it was half gated! Your 100% gated content isn’t going to get that kind of natural attention.
5. Create a systematic, rhythmic content strategy to address the problems of your ideal customers
Now that you’ve done some chunky, serious content – you need to be putting out a drip of regular systematic content.
Whether that’s once a day, once a week, or once a month – determine the right pulse for your organization – and just make the content as useful as possible.
6. Try keyword research now (it’s also a great general competitive research tool.)
Ahrefs and SEMRush are both awesome tools that have somewhat less expensive versions, where you can pop in competitors sites into the tool and get the keywords they are ranking for – and use those keywords to seed the pot for your ongoing keyword strategy efforts.
8. Use a Freemium to convert people reading your articles.
Why not have a popup or a sidebar ad that offers people a free trial, perhaps for 7 days.
The freemium offer allows you to get people in the door to experience all your software has to offer if you are doing a SAAS. The SEO trick here isn’t the freemium model, it’s the compelling call to actions throughout your content marketing efforts.
We get 5 opt-in’s a day from various call-to-actions on our blog, and there’s no paid advertising to our content.
9. Have your sales guys relay back questions they get 2-3 times (and write a blog post on them.)
Working with your sales team super closely on content is one of the most under-rated technology / b2b / SAAS SEO strategies of all time in my opinion.
10. Check out Quora and Reddit for the topics that your company helps with and start answering upvoted ones.
There is an untapped goldmine of content ideas from people looking for answers.
If you’re the one who has those answers – write a 1000-word blog post in response, and put a 200-300 version in the answer and link to your full answer on your blog – being useful + getting traffic.
11. Measure ROI to Lifetime Value
The only way to get buy-in for SEO efforts is to actually identify the lifetime value of the average customer.
Customer Lifetime Value DIVIDED BY closing ratio = the value of the lead.
Once your team has clarity around this, it will be alot easier to understand and attribute value back to your SEO efforts.
12. Templates not Pages
If you identify that you want a page to go after a certain vertical – strive to instead create a template that can be used for any vertical.
This can then scale in the future to be used for any vertical. Knock out the one first, and then do 2-3 more the next week because of the efficiency of having the template up!
SEO can be insanely powerful for technology, SAAS, and B2B software companies – but the first big step is getting a linking and content strategy that goes after questions your ideal customer is asking, un-gating your content, and mining the web for topics that will actually generate traffic. From there asking them to try your software with a freemium model, or sharing an asset that will get the e-mail can increase your conversion rate. Once you get the basics down, pushing into schema markup to acquire more answer boxes from Google, using search console to find content to improve click-through, and working with sales to nail down the big questions and creating a systematic rhythm for putting out content and landing pages that bring people to your site is crucial.
Thank you for reading “15 Valuable, Proven SEO Strategies for Technology Companies” and good luck on your SEO + Content Marketing journey for your IT, SAAS, Software or Technology company. Let us know if we can help be aggressive on your behalf.