Table of Contents
7 steps to optimize your SEO for your SaaS
Note: SaaSwrites is a curated growth marketing hub and resource built to help SaaS founders grow their products. We sincerely thank all our experts for their constant value addition to this world.
Your SaaS blog should be on its own domain and have a solid topic you're going to be building around. Writing blog posts about your life likely won't get you any keywords to rank for, so pick a topic that people actually care enough about to search for.
If you have a topic in mind, great, you can find keywords around it - If you don't, no worries, you can steal content ideas from competitors who are already getting traffic or find new keywords no one has written properly for yet.
You'll want a keyword research tool, Google's keyword planner doesn't really give you the information you need. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz all have free trials which you can harvest data from and cancel later on. The best way to find keywords is to find pages or websites that already rank for them.
You could start by simply searching for "niche blog" in Google, swapping the word niche for whatever niche your blog is in. That'll give you pages you can run through the keyword tools. Once you have your list of keywords, it's time to start optimizing your post around them.
If you're starting a post from scratch, you could use a tool like @surfer_seo to give you optimization recommendations from the beginning.
There are 3 different titles on your blog post that you'll need to optimize:
- Your Meta Title
- Your H1
- Your Social Card Titles
Your social cards are optimized for things like Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn so optimize them for user click-through. Your meta title is the title you see in your browser.
Google recently made a major change where they're re-writing these in the SERPs, though @JohnMu confirmed even if they've changed, the meta title is still a ranking factor.
You want to write your meta titles in a natural-sounding, keyword-focused title that is no longer than ~60 characters. Your H1 should just be the title of your article, but you want to try to use keywords where you can - If you can use the main keyword, that's ideal.
Google compares pages between each other and see's which is the best - A true contest of champions. Making sure you base your content depth and understanding on competitors is often the easiest way to mass optimize content.
If you want to go deeper and take much longer optimizing your content.
You want to look at:
- Search Autosuggestions
- People Also Search For
- People Also Ask
- Related Searches
These are the topics, keywords and ideas Google is linking to your keyword. Utilizing what Google is giving you to feed headers, questions and new posts is free and the easiest way to find out more about your topic from Google's eyes directly.
You also want to look at adding relevant schema and microdata to your blog post. It sounds much harder than it is, but most platforms will have it built-in or some sort of plug-in. As an example, food blogs can add recipe schema to their specific recipe pages.
A full list of all the different types of schema that you can implement at http://schema.org. You can also use microdata, such as Table of Contents (You will have seen this on any Wikipedia page you've visited) Other examples of microdata are Author, Image etc
One of the most important aspects of optimizing your posts is to make sure they link between each other with keyword-focused anchor text.
Anchor text is the specific wording used in the link on a page/in the HTML a href tag.
You do this to make sure any link juice (the backlinks that point to a specific page) is passed between your pages and Google can better build your overall topical authority in a niche. Using keywords you want the other page to rank for will help it do exactly that.
And that's it! You've got a blog and blog posts that are better optimized than 99% of the others on the internet. SEO isn't so difficult once you understand the terminology and how to piece together a strategy.
Lyndon NA emphasizes Content performance audit is an integral part of optimizing SEO for your blog and monitoring its performance.Do NOT just delete content for SEO! Doing this wrong can harm your (clients) sites! It should only be done after a proper content performance audit.
Site Quality- Google uses more than just "page-level" metrics.
Link value flow-Removing pages may mean fewer internal links, thus more PageRank flowing through links.
Improved crawling- Not wasting crawls on garbage.
But there are RISKS!>>>
How can auditing the wrong way be harmful?
There’s lots of damage you may do - here are 5 risks.
- Inbound links- You might remove pages that have Inbound links, which give you ranking value. If the page is deleted, you lose those link values!
- Internal links- Your pages should interlink. They not only permit value to flow, but provide Relevance via Link Text. Removing pages may alter (potentially harming) Topicality and PageRank of other pages!
- Non-Search Engine Traffic- Not all traffic is from Search Engines (or shouldn’t be!). Some of your pages should receive inter-site and direct traffic (such as from Twitter or Bookmarks). Deleting these is not going to please some users!
- Seasonal/Trending shifts- Sometimes, a page’s SE traffic may be low/non-existent due to the time of year etc. At certain points, it may increase (massively). Do Not just go by “recent” SE Traffic data, else you may cut a seasonal bloomer.
- Conversion path- Conversion can be a gradual process - with users visiting many pages (info, trust etc.). Some of these pages aren’t seen in the same session - spread over several, across different devices and/or accounts. Removing these pages may harm conversions!
How do we get the benefits, without the negatives?
- By doing a (proper!) Content Audit!
- By choosing the right Action (deletion is just one option)
You need to look at metrics/KPIs that aren’t just search-engine based. You want things like-
- Ranking position (by term, per page)
- Traffic (by source)
- Conversion Value (by source)
- If contributes to Conversions (by conversion page/by source)
- Interaction level (time on page, scroll depth etc.)
- Engagements (comments, social shares etc.)
- Inbound Links (quality/type/traffic/conversions)
- If it links to important/ranking pages
- Quality/User value of the content
- Purpose of page
- Similarity of page (topic/intent/functionality)
And you want to check all of those over a duration (at least 13 months, ideally 25+) Look at your content from a Business perspective, not an SEO only one!
Once you’ve got Audit, you can start to make proper, informed (lower risk) decisions.
You can decide on 1 of 4 actions (5 actually):
The right choice can help you improve your SEO, and avoid hurting the site/business!
Leave. If the page performs well across the board - leave it alone!
If the page fluctuates in the SERPs and/or has low SE value, but has strong performance in other areas - consider improving it . Make a copy/backup first!
If you have 2+ pages that serve the same purpose, target the same/similar term(s), overlap in topic etc. - consolidate via 301 Redirect (or canonicalisation) (and update links/sitemap etc.). Make a backup/extract comments etc. first!
If the page sucks, provides no value or serves no purpose - Then it’s a candidate for Deletion. If the page has low/no SE value, but has some value to Users, NoIndex it (the 5th option!) Preferably, unpublish or make a backup!
Do the Audit, choose the right Action, you may not only get the 3 initial benefits: * Improved site quality * More internal link value * Crawl performance You may also get * Consolidated ranking values * Better content * Unharmed/Improved value/topicality flow
Watch Google Search Console and see if search engine results things improve. Watch your analytics, check conversion rate/value. Make sure nothing is wrong. Because you didn’t delete, (or backed stuff up), you can reverse it if needed!
Note: Quality may take 6+ months to see G respond!!!
It sounds like a lot of work. It can be, especially on Huge sites! But it is far better to sweat a bit and do it right, than tank a site due to broad, uninformative advice and poor decisions!