Software as a Service, abbreviated as SaaS, is a means of software distribution. Softwares can either be distributed by the companies who create them (like SAP for an organization) or by a third party vendor in the same industry.
SaaS tends to fall in the latter category whereby a third party vendor develops a platform on which they showcase applications and allow users to download and use them.
Some examples of commonly available SaaS platform around us are Google App Store, Slack, Hubspot, and Netflix. In case you are just wrapping your brain around how Netflix qualifies as a SaaS, it is because they use the Amazon Web Service to run their application.
SaaS can also make available specific applications that are demanded by a customer. In this case, the customer is given only one copy of the application, which is accessible over a network. Since the source code remains the same for any customer who has access to the application, any new developments or updates in the application become available to all customers in the same manner.
A number of times SaaS applications are merged with organization-specific systems by using APIs. Microsoft and Oracle are examples of such SaaS. These are normally used for salary processing software, email management, labor force management, and customer relations management.
SaaS merged with official systems offers great convenience for organizations since they do not have to incur the hardware expense of developing such systems themselves or engage in obtaining licenses for multiple softwares.
The SaaS provider is responsible for any updates or maintenance of the application. They just have to be present on the server of the organization to be used by its employees.
Why Does your SaaS Product Need SEO?
The nature of the SaaS market is similar to that of any product or service; it is highly competitive. New SaaS platforms are coming up every now and then, which has caused the once very popular platforms to become redundant and outdated.
In order for your SaaS to not be lost in the white noise of all other platforms, it is essential that it is search engine optimized. This would make it appear amongst the top search results when a user searches for an application relevant to your SaaS platform.
SEO has known to be behind 68% of the organic site visits for SaaS platforms, and even then, only 11% of organizations have actually used it to their benefit by working on their marketing via improved content. This is reflective of how much scope is still present for all organizations to still invest in SEO to improve the online visibility of their respective platforms.
Novel applications like BizSwipe, developed for B2B networking, have also started giving its users the option of filtering their search results based on organic traffic. If you do not wish to appear at the bottom of these search results,SEO should be a rule of thumb for your SaaS business.
Maptive is one such company that attempted SEO and succeeded a lot when it saw a 51% increase in sign-ups for the demo version of its software. Once you begin engaging in SEO, it results in awareness and promotion about your organization's SaaS business. It is a known fact that people rarely scroll down the search result for anything to look at options that are not appearing amongst the top 5 results.
If your SaaS is optimized for SEO, it will appear on top of the results and have a greater chance of being clicked by the users. Once customers use your SaaS, there is a greater possibility of them recommending it to others via word of mouth marketing.
SEO is also responsible for increasing the footfall of visitors on your website. If you want your SaaS platform to appear among the top in organic search results and be clicked, you should consider SEO.
It is only once the customer clicks on your platform’s link and visits it that there is a possibility they will download applications from it. If it is not visible, it does not get clicked and is eventually lost in the clutter of other SaaS platforms.
Another benefit of SEO is that your business will appear stronger relative to that of your competitor. Since that is the main objective of literally every business and SEO helps you attain it, investing in SEO should be your priority. Since all players in the market including your competitors will be taking steps to improve their competitive positions, you should not stay behind as well.
An underlying benefit of SEO via improved content is the reduced level of ad spend that has to be incurred for paid promotion of your platform. It reduces the financial burden on your organization to a great extent.
How to Optimize Your SaaS Product for SEO?
In order to optimize your SaaS product for SEO, you need to undertake a step by step process. The SEO optimization planning for your SaaS platform will begin with the identification of your target audience. For example, is your target audience males, females, work, non-working, children, teenagers, or adults.
This will further be broken down into their lifestyle, annual income, age groups, geographical locations, and occupations. You will profile your potential target market to the very last detail possible in order to tailor your content to them.
Once you have identified who you are catering to, it is essential to evaluate the existing players in the market who will be your competitors. You should study their offering in detail to highlight your USP and distinct services via content marketing.
This will optimize the SEO for your SaaS and improve your visibility relative to the competition. You should also keep track of your competitor's marketing activities in order to design your own SEO plan.
The third step in this process is to develop a structure for your website. The website structure is modifiable and adjustments can be made over the course of the business as well. The structure is like a skeleton within which you insert SEO optimized content for your business, suited to your target market.
10 Tips for Optimizing Your SaaS Product For SEO
1. Make sure you have objectively and clearly identified your target market. If your target market is identified incorrectly, you will have an incorrect starting point for the optimization of your SaaS business. This will result in your content marketing strategy to be developed for the incorrect target audience, and it will cause your business to get lost among the search results.
2. Look up the most searched terms by your target audience and ensure that these search words are part of the content on your SaaS platform. This will ensure it to appear among the top search results in organic search.
3. Use assisting tools like keywords explorer to see how your target market responds to the keywords related to your SaaS platform. Sometimes you may find alternative keywords with the help of this tool that improves the optimization of your SaaS product.
4. Experiment by partially typing certain keywords relevant to your product on Google search to see the suggestions that come up. This is also a means for you to see which are the top search results for keywords related to your SaaS platform, and you can incorporate these in your content.
5. Seek some assistance from social media platforms by typing keywords pertaining to your SaaS product. The results that come up will show you the popularity of those keywords on social media platforms like Facebook, which will form the basis of your SEO strategy.
6. Develop content that is rich in keywords that you have obtained from your research across multiple platforms. It is important to note that very short content or blog posts on your web page will actually damage your search results. Research shows that longer posts improved Google search results since there is a greater potential to include keywords in it.
7. Ensure that your website has a secure platform. If your website is not of a secure domain, it will not appear among the top search results on Google.
8. Try to obtain cross-links on other platforms for your website. This increases the chances of users clicking on the link and visiting your SaaS platform.
9. Prevent any redundancy or outdated content on your website. Your content at all times should be unique and updated.
10. It is very easy to forget that images are a part of content optimization. Ensure that all images on your platform are optimized for your SaaS business.
The optimization of SaaS by SEO has seen incredible results in terms of increased customer footfall, higher click through rates, improved sales, or downloads from the website and appearance among the top search results in organic search.
Despite seeing actual results of SEO, there are still a large number of businesses that are not sold on putting in the effort to ensure the optimization of their SaaS product. This has often become the reason behind the death of highly impressive SaaS businesses. They get lost in the clutter since they do not appear among the top search results due to the lack of optimized content.
This translates into their weblinks not being clicked and their platform not having enough footfall to survive. If you do not wish for your businesses to be amongst those lost in the white noise, you must invest in content marketing and optimize your SaaS business by using SEO.
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