Your success as a cloud-based service depends on how many potential customers you can reach.
Faced with stiff competition, you need a robust online presence to stay ahead of the curve.
Simply put, your SEO strategy must be on point.
That said, if you want to outperform your competition for your cloud-based service website, the actionable tips in this post are what you need.
Let's take the plunge.
Make Sure Your Website Is SEO Friendly
Good SEO starts with optimizing your site of search engines. Why?
Because your company's website is the foundation of your SEO strategy and, by extension, the success of your business.
The first step to ensure that your site is SEO friendly is to conduct a technical SEO audit.
If you don't get the technical SEO correct, you will have a hard time trying to rank your website in SERPs. And it won't matter if you have the best content out there.
The primary reason for doing an SEO audit is to detect problems that would prevent your content from getting noticed by search engines.
How Can You Fix Your Website’s Technical Issues?
Here's the breakdown:
- Log into your Google Search Console
- Hover over the "Coverage" report. Here, you will see the number of indexed pages. You will also see the errors Google encountered while trying to index your pages under the "Details" section.
- If the URLs you submitted to Google have not been indexed, you will see a "noindex" tag. While this isn't something to worry about, it is worth fixing. In fact, it is one of the most common technical SEO errors that you'll only see in the Search Console.
You can find more about what technical issues you need to fix using SEO audit tools such as Ahrefs.
Before you begin keyword research, ask yourself – how many pages do I have? Some must-haves include the homepage, pricing, features, about, and blog.
Every keyword you want to target should have a dedicated page.
So, how do you go about keyword research for technology companies?
That's what we'll talk about next.
Transactional keywords are phrases that show a user’s intent to buy. These can be something like “SEO software of proposal software for lawyers.”
There are various ways to start your search for transactional keywords.
Let's take a look at a few of them.
AdWords Keyword Planner
AdWords Keyword Planner is one of the best ways to find transactional intent keywords. To do this, log into your account and hover over the "Tools" tab.
Next, select "Search" to identify new keyword and ad group ideas from the list that pops up.
Then, enter your service in the search field. After a couple of seconds, a graph with search volume will pop up.
However, you should focus on the "Keyword ideas tab.
The suggested keywords appear in this tab, and your job is to pick transactional keywords that you want to target.
Another way to find buyer-intent keywords is to use Google Analytics.
Start by signing into your Google Analytics accounts, click on the "AdWords Keywords" report in the "Acquisition" section.
A table showing top-performing keywords and the conversion rate will appear. Here's what we mean.
Your top ten keywords appear in the far-left column by default.
You can change the set of keywords through the dropdown menu, as indicated in the figure above.
The three columns that appear below the goal you're viewing match the percentage of visitors who converted in column one, the total conversions in column two, and the monetary value of the conversions in column three.
The idea is to find out how your target keywords affect actual conversions. That way, you will know which keywords to go for and which ones to ignore.
Informational keywords are phrases people use to search for information.
If you're selling e-invoicing software, informational keywords would be terms such as
- How e-invoicing works
- Benefits of electronic invoicing
- e-invoicing tips
- How to choose the best e-invoicing software
Unlike transactional keywords, informational keywords target phrases your prospects search for when they're not looking to buy a product.
Why do you need to write informational content?
Why would you focus on keywords that are not buyer-intent keywords?
You see, a SIGNIFICANT number of prospects don't search your exact software.
For example, only 9,900 people search for the phrase "weight loss app" per month, according to UberSuggest.
On the flip side, a staggering 200,000 people search for the phrase "how to lose weight."
Now that's 20 times more searches!
The point is, even if you were to rank number one for the transactional keyword "weight loss app," it wouldn't attract as much traffic as "how to lose weight," which is an informational keyword.
On top of that, informational keywords are relatively less competitive than transactional keywords.
How do you identify informational keywords? Again, there are several ways to pinpoint informational searchers.
Google Keyword Planner
Sure, Google Keyword Planner leans towards ads. Still, you can use it for SEO. All you need to do is to key in a keyword, and the tool will list suggestions.
There's a point we need to clarify here, though.
Google Keyword Planner is ideal if you're still learning the ropes of keyword research or looking for low volume searches or what is commonly referred to as long-tail keywords.
Find Trending Keywords
Trending phrases offer an excellent opportunity to unearth gems that can bring you tons of traffic.
The best tool to find what's trending in your industry is Google Trends. And the beauty of it is that you can tell whether the keyword's popularity is increasing, decreasing or stagnating.
However, there's one thing you need to know. Google Trends might not be of much help, especially if you're an industry insider who is always in the know about what's happening.
So, if you want more insights, you can consider Exploding Topics.
Unlike Google Trends, this tool combines trending topics and keyword ideas gathered across the internet. You can even filter topics based on categories or a specific period.
Use Paid Tools
Of course, paid tools offer more than free options.
The biggest advantage of paid tools is that you can spy on your competitors and, most importantly, find out the keywords they're targeting.
A tool like Ahrefs, for instance, will even show you the exact search phrases that your competitor is ranking form.
Create SEO-Friendly Content
You now have the keywords. The next step is to write content that will rank in SERPs.
Writing content for your cloud-based is one of the most challenging parts of the SEO journey. Before you write a post, you should do one thing – check the kind of content written by your competitors.
Let's say you want to write about electronic invoicing tips.
Key-in your keyword is SERPs.
As you can see, the top websites have done "listicle" type of content. In essence, this means that you cannot write a guide or a case study.
You will have to go with the same style of content to stand a chance of outranking your competitors for the targeted keyword.
But, your post has to be more detailed than what's currently ranking in the first position. Make sure that you're telling your target audience everything it needs to know.
You may not know it, but Google tends to rank comprehensive content that offers all the answers users are looking for.
How Long Should Your Post Be?
Google loves long-form content. However, that doesn't mean churning out thousands of words that don't seem to drive the point home.
You should aim at offering value with your content as opposed to writing super long, jumbled up articles. One nifty trick you can use to determine the length of your posts is to analyze top ranking articles.
Your posts should be slightly longer than these articles or just about the same length. Think quality over quantity.
After writing your posts, make sure that you optimize them for SEO. To do this, add your target keyword in the following areas.
- Title tag
- H1 and H2
- Three to five-times on your page
- Once in your meta description
- Once in your introduction and conclusion
Where Should Your Content Live?
Before we go to how to the next point, let's talk about where your content should live on your website.
There are a couple of places where technology companies tend to place their content.
- On the blog
- Resources section
The right place to put your content depends on what you want to achieve in your conversion funnel, your source of traffic, and your technical abilities
If you have generated one or two major pieces that most of your audience will want to read, you should place it in the top navigation or a dropdown. Or, you can put it on your homepage in a dedicated section.
Guides and e-books live in the resource or learning section. You can also distribute this content through drip email campaigns or when launching a new product.
Most of your content should live on your blog. To ensure that your target audience has access to your best content, consider having the "most popular" page or link in the top of navigation or the "best content" widget in the sidebar.
Build High-Quality Links
Even with the best content, people aren't going to discover your cloud-based service if you don't promote it.
What follows is a rundown of tested and proven link building tactics for SaaS.
Offer Free Apps And Tools
Yes. One of the easiest ways to attract backlinks for software companies is to create free web-app versions of their product.
A perfect example is Answer The Public, a free keyword research tool.
According to Ahrefs, this tool has garnered a mind-blowing 70k + backlinks. The tool has generated more backlinks than CovargeBook, the SaaS company's parent website.
Guest posting is an excellent way to gain links for cloud-based services. Sure, it isn't the easiest of options, but it can bring you high-quality links that can help you rank high in SERPs.
Create a list of high-quality websites within your industry and reach out to them for a guest post. Come up with a unique topic that will add value to their site and educate the target audience.
When sending pitches for guest posts, make sure you're reaching out to the right person, in this case, the editor or owner of the site.
You can use free tools such as Hunter.io to find the email of the person to pitch.
Podcast remains one of the unexplored ways to market your cloud service business and gain links.
A podcast can generate visitors to your website and a ton of free trial signups if you do it right. Of course, you will gain quality links as well.
While podcasts are a relatively new idea for building links, Harrison Baron has got it figured out.
Follow his blog for tips on making the most of your podcast and, most importantly, how to make sure you get it right for every podcast you hold.
Get The SEO Support You Need To Get Your Company Off The Ground
Now that you know what SEO for your cloud service looks like, the next question becomes.
Where do I go from here?
Well, this depends on your budget. If you have a team and are not ready to invest in a full-time SEO expert, you might want to hire an SEO agency to direct your team to get the job done.
If you have the budget, you can hire an SEO consultant to create a strategy that will drive traffic, leads, and sales.
Either way, GrowthGenerators will be happy to work with you on your SEO strategy. Our team of SEO experts will discuss with you about your business and goals.
You will get recommendations from over a decade of doing SEO and running marketing campaigns for SaaS companies and other players in the cloud-based services.
All you have to do is contact us, and one of our dedicated experts will get back to you in the shortest time possible.
You don't have to second-guess your SEO strategy – work with people who understand the dynamics of SEO as you build your brand from the ground up.
February 10, 2021
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