How can we help a SaaS company to successfully navigate in a highly-competitive market, making sure every step we take together is relevant and brings the projected results?
Surely, many methods can help to determine the current site performance and quality regarding the technical aspects, content, and best SEO practices. As we already explained the importance of technical SEO for SaaS companies, it’s time to get things to the upper ladder with a great SEO audit for SaaS.
But first, let’s explain what that audit means.
Table of Contents
- What Is an SEO Audit and Why Do You Need One?
- SEO Audit Steps for SaaS
- What Tools to Use to Perform SaaS SEO Audit?
- What are the common SEO challenges faced by SaaS startups?
- What are the Common SEO Challenges for Existing SaaS Businesses?
- What Should be Included in SaaS SEO Audit Checklist?
- How Does SaaS Content Optimization Impact Search Rankings?
- Can AI Help with SEO Efforts and Audits for SaaS?
- Final Thoughts on SaaS SEO Audit and Its Importance
What Is an SEO Audit and Why Do You Need One?
An SEO audit is a process of looking at and analyzing the issues that don’t let your website rank on search engines, from improper crawling to factors that contribute to low ranks. So, in order to avoid competitors enjoying rankings and conversation, you must hurry and detect why you can’t accomplish the goals.
That’s why you need to audit your website regularly. The SEO site audit should be a part of your regular SaaS SEO strategy, so you can resolve problems quickly. So, there are a few aspects you need to cover like:
- Potential technical issues like slow loading or messy code as part of technical SEO audit
- On-page and off-page tactics and how you implement them
- Content audit to evaluate quality and relevance
Also, there are additional steps you need to take, including keyword analysis and competitor research.
So, let’s start with the steps you need to take, so you can perform an inclusive SaaS SEO audit and help your site rank better.
SEO Audit Steps for SaaS
When it comes to technical SEO and detecting the technical issues that prevent your site from ranking, the audit answers most of these questions:
- Is this site indexed well on search engines?
- Does it have a satisfying loading speed?
- Are the structure and hierarchy properly implemented?
- Are the URLs SEO-friendly and consistent?
- What redirect issues can we detect?
- Is there duplicate content?
- Are the images and multimedia optimized?
- Is the code optimized?
- Is the XML Sitemap properly configured?
In the meantime, it’s important to analyze the on-page and off-page SEO aspects.
So, let’s start with it:
On-Page SEO Audit
The on-page analysis, as its name says, starts on the page. As an integral part of it, you need to check for what keywords your content ranks for, how much organic traffic those keywords bring, do all links on the site work properly, do you follow the best heading structure practices, and if your content is quality and relevant for the website and SaaS industry.
As part of the on-page SEO audit, you need to determine if the top pages (by importance) are ranking for relevant keywords already, or you may need to suggest content optimization and/or transformation.
So, in order to get the thing right, you will need to ensure that:
- The page and its content satisfy the search intent
- All keywords are used properly with no keyword stuffing
- There is only one page per targeted keyword to avoid cannibalization
- The content is plagiarism-free, i.e., completely unique, with no copied parts from other resources
- If other resources are used, a proper citation is included
- The URL is optimized and clean
- The meta tags have a proper length
- The images alt tag is properly optimized too
- The internal links are properly placed
According to best SEO practices that you can implement for your SaaS SEO audit, a meta title must be about 50-60 characters long, while the meta description is about 140 characters long.
Also, the H1 must be different than the Title, preferably with the focus keyword used properly or a semantic variation of it. About the H2s, they must be related to H1 as subtopics while avoiding content repetitions. That means each H2 must be unique and cover a relevant part of the content.
When it comes to images, check if they consist of the keyword and its variations in the alt tag to avoid generic names like image01.jpg or featured-image.jpg. That means you will have to name the file properly with hyphens between separate words, something like:
Keep in mind that the file names should be different from each other, as well as the alt tag.
Content Analysis as Part of SaaS SEO Audit
When we’re done with the SEO elements, it’s time to analyze the content quality on the pages and blog posts, but also SaaS-specific pages like “About Us,” the homepage, pricing page, demos, and trials, etc.
The general recommendations are:
- No duplicate content is allowed within your site, so consider removing or de-indexing those pages
- You’re allowed to use bold, italic, and bulleted lists appropriately, as long as it makes sense
- Break the content into readable chunks instead of plain text through the whole page
- Use proper multimedia where needed
The general rule is that the whole audience must easily understand what’s on the page. But keep in mind that SaaS is something different.
Most SaaS companies have a pre-defined target audience, so they don’t aim to target the general audience. And while the content should still be readable and understandable, SaaS companies are allowed to use industry-specific words and even target them as focus keywords.
Remember that in the world of SaaS, on-page SEO and content quality will take your business a few steps closer to success. You need to ensure every element is placed properly while the content answers all the questions your target audience may have.
That means combining the SEO tactics with the concept of the buyer’s journey to make sure the relevant audience finds the content through search engines and surely stays and converts, depending on what your SaaS product is about.
Off-Page SaaS SEO Analysis
Off-page SEO has a big impact on the visibility of your SaaS website. Explore the world of backlink analysis and the power of constructing high-quality, authoritative backlinks. Learn how to manage your internet reputation and leverage client reviews and feedback as well.
As its name says, it’s all about the SEO elements happening outside your website that improve your overall optimization. Surely, backlinks are a huge part of SEO SaaS strategies, so during the audit, you’ll have to:
- Identify the backlinks with tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, SEMrush, or any other tool you prefer
- Analyze the backlink quality to ensure there aren’t any spammy or irrelevant links
- Check on the anchor text – is it generic or highly optimized and relevant?
- Identify potential opportunities for new backlinks
- Check if there are any brand mentions with no link included
- Ensure consistent citations from relevant resources
- Review the social profiles and content shares
- Monitor your online reputation
- Identify the eventual content gaps based on competition analysis
In general, you need to ensure all the gained backlinks through the years are still relevant and point to your website consistently. That way, you can improve the link-building strategy for your SaaS website and even identify new opportunities for outreach, guest posting, or relevant partnerships within the industry.
What Tools to Use to Perform SaaS SEO Audit?
SaaS businesses and their marketing teams must have a toolset that helps them analyze the progress and track the rankings on search engine results pages. Also, SEO agencies that provide SaaS SEO services already have these tools. Even though every SaaS company is specific and may have different tools for SEO audits and strategies, the well-known are:
- Ahrefs – Very popular SEO tool to analyze keywords, audit websites, perform competition analysis, etc.
- SEMrush – Another popular SEO tool to audit your blog, look for backlink opportunities and track your competitors.
- Google Search Console – A free service offered by Google to monitor your website’s presence in search results and improve it based on the data.
- Screaming Frog – SEO tool to scan websites and analyze the SEO structure.
- Yoast – A SEO plugin to measure the on-page SEO elements, readability, and the percentage of long sentences and passive-voice parts of your content.
- Grammarly – A tool to proofread the content since it’s essential to be grammatically punctual.
- QueText – Check if the content is unique, as plagiarism is not allowed when it comes to quality content.
- Bing Webmaster Tools – If you want to ensure your website ranks well on Bing, not only on Google.
Surely, these are only a few suggested SEO-related tools to help you analyze the current situation with your SaaS site and make sure the SEO strategy is properly executed.
Every agency or in-house SEO team may have various tools in their toolsets that help them perform an in-depth audit and come up with a better strategy, so every SaaS business can use the ranking potential properly.
What are the common SEO challenges faced by SaaS startups?
Sometimes launching a SaaS startup may seem discouraging, knowing that the industry is often overwhelmed by similar products. Still, these companies are often limited primarily by their budget. That’s why it’s pretty challenging for SaaS startups to allocate enough resources for SEO. It’s tough work, but when leveraging the power of free SEO tools or the limited trials of the paid ones, the initial strategy may help build some authority and include high-quality content on the website.
Additionally, finding relevant long-tail keywords may be challenging, too, especially when too many websites already rank on Google for them. Still, SEO is ongoing work, and sometimes it’s better to try than to conclude you’ll fail anyway.
As a SaaS startup, you need to leverage SEO as part of your overall digital marketing strategy and scale as time goes by. That way, you can consistently work on SEO, perform regular SaaS SEO audits, and improve the strategy as needed.
What are the Common SEO Challenges for Existing SaaS Businesses?
As we know, every SaaS business is unique, but still, there are common SEO challenges they face. Sometimes, they fail to adapt to algorithm changes, especially when they don’t perform SEO audits every quarter (or any other fitting period). Search engine algorithms require flexibility, and sometimes failing to meet them may result in penalties or deindexing.
Also, the content flow doesn’t only require creating new content. Instead, by analyzing the audit results, SaaS businesses can scale the existing content while adding fresh ones, too, to stay ahead in the competitive landscape.
Still, conversion optimization is a pretty common issue because even if you have top Google rankings, low or zero conversions mean you don’t target transactional keywords. So, the SEO SaaS audit can help resolve those issues and scale your performance.
What Should be Included in SaaS SEO Audit Checklist?
When performing an SEO audit for a SaaS website, you need to consider these elements and aspects:
- Keywords, keyword research, and target phrases your audience searches for
- On-page optimizations, including titles, meta descriptions, headings, and target keywords
- Ensuring technical SEO aspects work well
- Incorporating a consistent content strategy
- Building and gaining quality backlinks from authoritative sources
- Apply local SEO if needed (most SaaS companies operate globally)
- Exceptional user experience
- Conversion rate optimization with better CTAs and relevant transactional keywords
- Competition analysis to see what your competitors are doing better than you
How Does SaaS Content Optimization Impact Search Rankings?
As a result of the SEO audit for SaaS, you may need to optimize the website content to improve search rankings and, even more important, align it with the buyer’s journey.
So, first, you need to focus on content quality that improves the site’s overall SEO performance, positioning you as a SaaS leader and relevant information resource.
But when it comes to the buyer’s journey, you need to do these things in general:
- Awareness Stage – Include informative blogs and resources for potential clients who have unanswered questions, targeting their pain points.
- Consideration Stage – In-depth guides, comparisons, product evaluations, and any other resource to help you position the SaaS product as the best option for interested website visitors.
- Decision Stage – Case studies, product demos, social proof, and customer testimonials as a final push to encourage conversions.
By optimizing SaaS content across the buyer journey, you can ensure that your website meets the specific demands of potential consumers at each stage, improving the likelihood of attracting and turning them into loyal users.
Can AI Help with SEO Efforts and Audits for SaaS?
First, we must note that modern AI models like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard can assist you in executing SEO strategies and audits, but they can’t completely do that for you.
Still, the AIs can help you start keyword research by suggesting related terms. They can help you analyze content pieces and suggest improvements and optimizations. Sometimes, you can use ChatGPT or Bard to generate consistent, and SEO-friendly outlines for your SaaS pages, but again, you shouldn’t rely on it 100%, but only use the parts that make sense.
In summary, AI can surely help you optimize the workflow and shorten the time you spend on repetitive tasks. Still, the technology still evolves, and you need to be critical about the generated results.
Final Thoughts on SaaS SEO Audit and Its Importance
The SEO audits are quantitative estimations of what’s currently happening on your website and how those things affect the rankings. Based on the extracted data and knowledge, a SaaS company, their SEO team, or the partner SEO agency can suggest strategy improvements or a completely new strategy for the website to perform better on search engines and attract leads that will convert to customers.
Still, when in a SaaS environment, SEO is more about keywords that push conversions instead of targeting general ones. The goal is to sell that product or at least attract people to sign up for a demo or trial. So, the approach is the same, just like for any other website, but the SaaS SEO audits must answer how to improve conversions by targeting the right keywords and creating relevant content.
So, make sure you audit your SaaS website regularly to ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities for growth.