How to Kill it With SEO for Your SaaS

How to Kill it With SEO for Your SaaS

A growing number of online entrepreneurs and businesses are realizing that even with a great SaaS, getting your offering the exposure it needs to provide you with those big returns, in a sea of highly similar and competitive options, is a major undertaking.

You can absolutely focus on paid acquisition strategies and social media to provide a short-lived stream of users. But if you want that long-term, self-sustaining, scalable growth, then your SEO game needs to be on point, because it is the marketing foundation upon which all others will succeed. Below are some things you really should be doing if you want to kill it with your SEO and make your SaaS stand out. 

Understand Your Buyer’s Journey

Most buyer journeys for SaaS are non-linear, which is to say, they will not always come to your site in search of a solution to their problem. Sometimes they do, but they often have no idea you are offering one, and so they find you through questions asked online. Invariably, those questions are asked via Google, by searching long and short-tail queries relevant to customer problems. “How do I do X faster,” how to make X simpler,” searches in this vein. 

Your SEO, therefore, should be layered, with different content focused on different stages of the journey. The beginning stage involves blog content that focuses on the targeted keywords contained in your customers’ “problem-solving” searches. This blog content should start as an informative description that aims to educate, and gradually lead into how your particular SaaS is the solution to their problem.

Content geared towards those in the second stage of the journey is targeted at those who are aware there are SaaS solutions to their problems, but shopping for providers. Your SEO at this stage should be focused on middle-of-the-sales-funnel keywords that are describing what it is your service provides–”the best email outreach,” “the best CRM,” “the best productivity measurement tool.” Instead of the educational tone that you would use at the beginning of the customer’s buying journey, focus on specific features, integrability, and product categories. 

Those at the final stage of their buying journey (i.e., the buyer knows what they need, why they need it, and which specific products meet those needs) require an even different content approach. Here is where buyers compare and contrast their shortlist of products to see which one makes the most sense for them. This is where you should be attracting product-aware buyers using keywords that focus on comparisons and alternatives–“versus” lists and “alternatives to” lists. 

Link Building: The Other Vital Piece of the Puzzle

SEO is really a dual process. It involves content creation–which we just covered–and link building. Layered content that attempts to reach your target market during different stages of the buying journey is crucial. But that, plus a steady supply of solid backlinks from relevant high DR sites, will take your SEO to the next level.

Link-building, however, unlike content, is more painstaking and requires more expertise. It is a much more systematized process and the investments required to learn, do and scale it (not only money, but in time and opportunity cost) are too much for many businesses to handle in-house. If you are serious about dramatically increasing your visibility, look into a solid link-building service, especially ones that specialize in generating high-quality SaaS links. 

Most of the reputable link builders will work with you on a pay-per-link arrangement, which means a budget is established and then each time a link is built, you are charged. The more solid DR sites you have linking back to your SaaS pages (whether your home page or specific content pages), the higher up in Google’s search results your site will appear when people look for keywords related to your service. 

Don’t Forget About HARO

People who use HARO (Help a Reporter Out) either love it or hate it. Pitching HARO queries takes time and it can be a while before you see a return on that investment. Sometimes the articles you are hoping to be featured in won’t be published for four, six, maybe even twelve weeks. What makes HARO so valuable, however, is that it’s free. Anyone can sign up for HARO and start responding to blogger and journalist queries. 

HARO shouldn’t be the only way you build links for your SaaS, but it should certainly be one of them. The chance to score high DR links from relevant sites for free is too important to pass up, and if you have real expertise in your niche and can write a good ~200-word quotable response that answers a query’s questions or provides unique insight, you can land some really solid links. Try to leverage both your personal expertise and your niche’s relevance (either together or separately) when choosing which queries to go after. 

Build A Social Media Presence 

YouTube is the web’s second-largest search engine behind Google (its parent company). It has over 2 billion monthly users and it is the next major SEO frontier. When was the last time you searched something in Google and the top results were YouTube videos on the topic? Those results could (and should) be you. If you have an SaaS and you want to convince prospective customers they should buy it, show them how it works on your branded YouTube channel. 

You can create ‘sister’ YouTube content to accompany your blog posts (which you can also cross-promote) and apply the same SEO keyword tactics to coming up with the titles and descriptions of your videos. Your YouTube content can include “how to” videos on the various functionalities of your service; troubleshooting videos, and you can even use YouTube as a place for feedback that can be incorporated into future patches and designs. You can count on brutally honest YouTube users to tell you where your service’s shortcomings are and what you might change to improve your UI and UX. 


SEO, when done right, is the absolute best way to build an affordable, long-term marketing plan that can be scaled as you go and which, when done right, becomes self-sustaining. Getting your SEO off the ground takes some time and money, but if you pick and choose who you work with and where you allocate your resources, you can build a large pool of potential customers who are in the market for precisely what your service offers. Keep the above tips in mind and you will absolutely kill it with your SEO for your SaaS.

17 Strategies for Optimizing Your Website Speed

17 Strategies for Optimizing Your Website Speed

Want to capture more impressions, create more engagement, and convert more visitors into customers? Start by improving website speed.

It’s a common-sense approach backed by solid data: a one-second delay in site load times reduces user satisfaction by 15% or more, and 79% of paying customers will consider shopping elsewhere if your website’s product and checkout pages can’t keep pace.

Assessing your website speed is easy enough — Google offers a free tool called PageSpeed Insights that provides a color-coded green/yellow/red score reflecting your site’s overall performance — but what happens if your results aren’t great?

If you’re not sure how to optimize website speed, we’ve got you covered — here are 17 strategies to supercharge site loading times and increase end-user satisfaction.

17 Strategies for Optimizing Your Website Speed

1. Audit Your Site

Before making any changes that impact how your site loads and handles content, it’s worth auditing current performance. This starts with tools like the PageSpeed Insights option mentioned above but should also include actual experience: access your website from multiple devices and see what the experience feels like. Is it seamless and speedy, or cumbersome and clunky? The more data you have about how your site performs, the better your ability to identify and implement key fixes.

2. Prioritize Potential Fixes

Once you’ve identified website speed issues, it’s tempting to fix everything at once. Don’t.

Instead, prioritize potential fixes based on what matters most to your visitors. For example, if your site takes a significant amount of time to start loading, focus your efforts on server-side concerns such as hosting provider problems or DNS issues. Here’s why: Even if the content on your site also struggles to deliver at speed, it won’t matter if loading the page itself takes so long that visitors give up and go somewhere else.

3. Evaluate Your Current Hosting Provider

As noted above, your hosting provider could be a potential source of speed problems. While several factors could contribute to speed issues, including the geographical location of your provider, their physical infrastructure and the overall bandwidth of their network connection, the type of web hosting — shared, VPS or dedicated server — your website is using can also impact performance.

Although shared hosting options are the most cost-effective, they see hosting resources split among multiple sites, lowering overall performance. Virtual private server (VPS) options logically segment services on a shared physical drive to improve performance but still face speed issues if resource loads are high. Dedicated servers are more expensive than shared or VPS options but will significantly boost your speed.

4. Consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

When all data required to fully load your site is stored in one place, initial and ongoing load times suffer. Content delivery networks (CDNs) use multiple servers to store your content across multiple locations — when users visit your site, the CDN chooses the server (or servers) closest to their physical location to optimize content delivery. Worth noting? Not all CDNs are created equal, so it’s worth evaluating several providers to find your best fit.

5. Optimize Your Images

Images boost the impact of your site but can drag down loading times, especially if they’re high resolution. Compressing these images before adding them to your site can save precious time — many photo-editing programs now include “save for web” options that optimize images for websites but there are also free, online options available for compressing common files types such as .JPG, .PNG and .TIFF.

6. Reduce Total Redirects

Redirects send users away from the page they’ve clicked on to another page — in many cases, they’re a great way to connect high-ranking, high-traffic pages to newer content you’ve created. The problem? More redirects mean more loading time, which can negatively impact the user experience.

While it’s worth using a redirect initially to keep content views steady, replace old redirects with new content ASAP to keep load times short.

7. Limit HTTP Requests

Every HTTP request — for images, stylesheets, scripts, and fonts — adds to your site’s overall load time. As your site grows, these HTTP requests start to stack up and eventually create a noticeable delay between user click-throughs and actual page loading.

In-browser services such as Google’s Developer Tools can identify all the HTTP requests made by your site and help you pinpoint old or overly-complex requests that can be eliminated or combined with other functions to save time.

Learn more about reducing your website’s HTTP requests.

8. Compress, Compress, Compress

The more you can reduce file sizes without compromising quality, the better your website performance. One of the most robust and reliable compression frameworks is gzip, but other methods can also deliver reduced file sizes without impacting the user experience. Best bet? Ask your web hosting service what type of compression they’re using. If they’re not using any, consider a new provider.

9. Capitalize on Caching

Caching allows browsers to pre-load some of your content to speed up webpage delivery. Many content management systems (CMS) will automatically cache the most current versions of your site, but it’s also possible to extend this caching timeframe through CMS settings — this is especially beneficial for content that doesn’t regularly change on your site.

10. Track 404 Errors

404 or “page not found” errors occur when users try to access a page that you’ve deleted or moved — and once they’ve run into 404 errors it’s unlikely they’ll try accessing your site again, meaning you lose a potential customer. Solve for 404 errors by running free, external tools to track down 404 outcomes and remove dead links.

11. Make Mobile a Priority

As more users switch to mobile devices as their primary browsing and shopping mediums, speedy mobile sites are essential. While it’s possible to simply display your desktop site on mobile devices and hope for the best, this often results in load time and interactivity issues that quickly frustrate users. Here, it’s worth spending on development for a mobile-native website designed to maximize loading speed and improve response time.

12. Streamline Your CMS

The right content management system can significantly improve website performance by streamlining content retrieval and offering robust options to modify site operations. Both free and for-pay options exist; do some digital legwork to find out which CMS works best for your site.

13. Combine Key Files

If you have the website development know-how, it’s possible to combine sets of JavaScript or CSS files and reduce the number of steps required to completely load your site. WordPress plugins such as WP Rocket make this possible with just a few clicks, but whether you dive into code itself or use a CMS, it’s worth considering file combination to increase total speed.

14. Determine Your DNS Speed

The longer it takes your domain name server (DNS) to respond, the longer your time to first byte (TTFB) and the slower your site loads. Free online tools can determine where your DNS provider ranks compared to other offerings, which in turn helps pinpoint specific performance issues. Worth noting? In some cases, your hosting provider will also supply DNS services, while in others these two functions are separate.

15. Opt for Asynchronous Loading

Many files and functions on your website are loaded synchronously by default, which means they’re loaded in the order they appear on the page — elements will only load once the script or service immediately prior is fully loaded, increasing page load times.

Many new CMS tools and plugins, however, make it possible to enable asynchronous loading for CSS and JavaScript elements which allows them to load simultaneously.

16. Choose Fewer Fonts

While web fonts can help your site stand out from the crowd, they can also negatively impact performance, especially if they’re uncommon or require unique character sets. To maximize page loading speed, use the fewest number of fonts possible, and focus on fonts that are optimized for new browsers.

17. Pinpoint Problematic Plugins

Last but not least? Pinpoint performance-sapping plugins. While plugins offer a host of useful features to help manage your website they can also negatively impact performance, especially if they’re used to load a significant amount of assets or perform large database queries. Here, the speed rule is simple: Only keep the plugins you need and always deploy the latest, fastest versions.

The faster, the better.

The faster your website loads, displays content, and responds to user input, the lower your bounce rates and the higher your conversions. Here, incremental improvement is critical — while going from slow to supercharged doesn’t happen overnight, any of our 17 website optimization strategies can help jumpstart your need for speed.


The Beginner’s Guide to Web Optimization

The Beginner’s Guide to Web Optimization

To capture customer interest and drive sales conversion, users must be able to quickly and easily find your site. If they can’t, it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you’ve spent increasing page performance and creating great content — without top-tier search results, your site is effectively invisible.

And there’s no time to waste when it comes to getting noticed: Google now handles upwards of an estimated 2.2 trillion searches every year — and this number is only going up. So how do companies connect the dots between current content resources and potential search results? It all starts with web optimization — tools and techniques designed to get your site indexed by search engines and noticed when it matters most.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down the basics of web optimization, tackle key techniques to improve your search standing and highlight some of the best tools available to get your site front and center.

Learn More About HubSpot's CMS Software

What is Web Optimization?

Put simply, web optimization is anything that helps your site get noticed by search engines. This starts with content that appeals to automated search engine “spiders” — pieces of code that comb the web for relevant, keyword-driven content.

But having your page found isn’t enough; your content must also pass checks for relevance, originality, and even search intent to be consistently displayed as a top result.

Given its focus on search success, web optimization is often called search engine optimization (SEO). Different SEO solution providers and industry experts have differing ideas about exactly what makes optimization efforts successful — for example, many focus on targeted keyword usage to boost your ranking for specific search terms.

And while this is both useful and potentially profitable, it’s not enough in isolation; effective web optimization requires the reevaluation of all component website parts and content to ensure the collective end result is ideally suited to satisfy search engine preferences.

But what does this look like in practice?

Key Web Optimization Techniques

Before putting time and effort into SEO and web optimization strategies it’s critical to define specific outcomes.

Here’s why: The sheer volume of tactics, tools, and techniques available to improve search-friendly design is staggering — by understanding where your website struggles and focusing your efforts to address these shortfalls you can maximize impact while limiting overall spend.

As a result, the best way to start any website optimization effort is with a complete audit of site performance and pain points. Tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights can identify loading and usability issues, while basic keyword research can help determine which terms your target market customers are searching for — and how your site stacks up.

For example, if you run a lawn care business in Detroit, you’ll want a high search ranking for terms like “lawn care Detroit” and “Detroit lawn service”. If searching for those terms doesn’t return your site as a top result, you’ve got work to do.

And while there’s no single, standardized solution to optimize your website, some common techniques include:

Pinpoint your market.

Before you can optimize your website, you need to define your target market. Start by identifying your ideal customer: What products or services are they looking for? How much are they willing to spend? What are their priorities when it comes to contacts, contracts and communications?

Develop your keywords.

Next, select keywords aligned with your target market and use them to return search engine results. If your site isn’t on the first page, top competitors provide key data to help optimize your content.

Optimize your content.

Great content relies on relevance; any blog post, video, podcast, or digital resource you create should be geared toward your target market. But it’s also critical to optimize your content for search engines by adding keyword-based page titles, integrating specific keywords where applicable (and without overstuffing), and developing meta-tags that highlight key concepts.

Account for user intent.

Improved, AI-driven analysis now helps companies like Google extrapolate user intent based on their search inquiry and display contextually relevant results. This makes it essential for site owners and operators to think like users rather than marketers when creating new content and optimizing site design.

Improve the user experience.

Better user experience means increased satisfaction — and can also impact your search ranking. As of 2018, Google began incorporating mobile page speed as a factor in search rankings, making improved performance a factor in favorable results.

Build better backlinks.

Backlinks from other highly-ranked sites can help organically improve your standing in search results. Best bet? Create and submit relevant, market-focused content to industry news or knowledge sites. It’s also a good idea to regularly search for your company or brand name to identify any missing attributions and ask for backlinks to be included.

Address image attributes.

Images optimization for web content is also critical. Start by giving your images file names that succinctly describe what they display; do the same for any image alt attributes. When it doubt, err on the side of plain language and straightforward descriptions — superfluous image details can result in penalties to your overall ranking.

Measure and monitor.

Effective optimization requires ongoing measurement and monitoring to ensure long-term ROI. Here’s why: As customer preferences evolve, top keywords change and search engines shift their focus. Regular evaluation of SEO efforts helps keep your optimization strategy on track.

Image Optimization for Web

The goal of any image optimization strategy is to improve web performance — and the single best way to do that is by compressing images on your site.

Compressing your images — while maintaining image quality as much as possible — is a crucial component to any broader web optimization strategy. Even if you spend hours optimizing every other facet of your site, if your image file sizes are too large, they’ll slow down your site’s overall load time — and visitors won’t wait around for them to load before bouncing.

To learn more about compressing images, check out our post on the subject here.

5 Great Web Optimization Tools

While the right techniques can help boost the impact of your site’s content and marketing campaigns, the right tools can help streamline the process and give your team more time to focus on what matters — building your brand.

With hundreds of tools now available both free and for-pay, we’ve compiled a list of useful options to help your site maximize optimization efforts.

1. HubSpot CMS

The HubSpot content management system (CMS) is a full-featured solution with optimization tools for marketers, developers, and IT teams alike. Optimized web pages can be easily created, managed and personalized for different visitors and modified to suit specific device types or conversion objectives. Interested? Try a 14-day trial to see what HubSpot CMS can do for your business.

2. Moz Local Listing Score

Moz uses multiple data sources to see how your local business listings are performing across the web. Designed for companies with brick-and-mortar storefronts, Moz shows how your listings compare and offers suggestions to help correct inaccurate data or supply more detailed, SEO-friendly information. Basic Moz checks are free, while more in-depth results come with a monthly fee.

3. Google Analytics

If you want to know how your site is performing across the world’s biggest search network, start with Google Analytics. This free tool provides both critical site metrics and actionable data about user behavior at scale to help better tailor online content and campaigns and rank higher in search results.

4. Ahrefs Backlink Checker

As noted above, great backlinks can help boost your site’s ranking in search engines and drive referral traffic. Ahrefs Backlink Checker lets you see the top 100 backlinks to your site to help improve linking strategy and drive better search results. The trial version of this tool is free, while the premium option comes with a monthly cost.

Worth noting? You can also use this backlink checker to evaluate competitor sites and capitalize on gaps in keyword strategies.

5. Google Keyword Planner

Google makes the list again with their keyword planner. This tool not only identifies the search volume of specific terms but also suggests potentially relevant keywords that reflect user intent and may not be on your marketing radar, in turn opening new avenues to help boost your site’s overall relevance and ranking.

Optimally Speaking

Want to boost conversions and generate better ROI? Make sure your site gets noticed with targeted website optimization.

Start with an evaluation of current site performance, then implement key strategies to capture the attention of popular search engine spiders. Finally, deploy the right tools at the right time to automate key processes and discover new optimization opportunities.

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