Mar 28, 2024

SEO for B2B Software Companies: Our SEO Agency’s 9-Step Playbook [with REAL Case Studies]

SEO for B2B Software Companies: Our SEO Agency’s 9-Step Playbook [with REAL Case Studies]

Search engine optimization for B2B SaaS companies improves search engine visibility, driving high-quality organic traffic and generating more qualified leads for your sales team.

However, SEO in the SaaS sector comes with its unique challenges and nuances.

That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide. You'll discover:

  • What SEO for B2B software companies entails and its importance for your business
  • A step-by-step approach to crafting and executing an effective SEO strategy tailored for B2B SaaS, based on our proven methods

We'll also share our agency's insightful examples and success stories and highlight the tools to empower your SEO efforts.

Ready to elevate your SaaS company's online presence? Let's get started.

What Is SEO for B2B Software Companies?

SEO for B2B software companies is a specialized digital marketing approach tailored for the SaaS industry. It aims to elevate search engine rankings, boosting visibility for your target audience so you can get more potential business clients.

This strategy is crucial for B2B software providers seeking to stand out in a crowded market and connect with businesses needing their solutions.

Insider Story

One of our clients, fundraising intelligence software iWave, faced unique challenges targeting the nonprofit sector. Despite offering innovative solutions, iWave struggled with online visibility and search traffic.

CloudTech had a monthly organic search traffic of 6,000 visitors when they came to us. The average traffic value didn’t reflect the company's potential, even at its best.

However, Blue Things grew iWave’s organic traffic to 18,000:

 Insider tip: A proficient SEO agency specializing in B2B SaaS can diagnose and fix your SaaS SEO issues, thus driving lead generation and growth.

Another insider tip: The objectives of B2B SEO differ significantly from those in B2C, with B2B SEO for software companies having a unique set of challenges.

Visitors to your website are key decision-makers in their companies, such as business owners, heads of marketing, heads of HR, and more.

Thus, for B2B software companies, SEO is predominantly a lead generation tool.

A skilled agency will help you secure top positions in searches for critical industry topics. Consequently, your software company's website can become an essential hub for quality leads, feeding into your sales and marketing funnels. This not only enhances your digital marketing strategy but also has a tangible impact on your return on investment (ROI).

That brings us to the next point:

Why Is SEO Important for B2B Software Companies?

SEO is crucial for software companies in B2B for several reasons.

But here’s another case study to prove it.

Side Note: Insider Case Study

The influencer marketing platform inBeat was down around 500 monthly visitors in 2021.

Our agency built a solid content strategy and optimized inBeat’s link-building efforts with HARO and partnership link-building.

We also advised the company to build free and paid marketing tools that content creators in their niche could pick up.

This complex SEO strategy took inBeat to 70,000 visitors per month and $4,000,000 in organic pipeline value.

Therefore, SEO is a useful tool because:

  • SEO enhances online visibility. Potential business clients can discover your software solutions faster if you appear on Google’s first results. In the digital age, where most B2B buying journeys begin with an online search, being prominently ranked on search engines is key.
  • SEO helps build credibility and authority in your niche. When your software company appears at the top of search results for relevant queries, it signals to potential clients that you are a leader in your field. This trust is essential in B2B, where purchasing decisions are complex and involve significant investment.
  • SEO drives targeted traffic to your website. Unlike other marketing strategies that might attract a broad audience, SEO allows you to reach specific segments actively seeking the solutions you offer. This increases the quality of leads and improves conversion rates.
  • SEO supports your content marketing efforts. Content that aligns with your target audience’s search intent allows you to engage potential clients at various buying cycle stages, from awareness to decision-making.
  • SEO provides measurable ROI. With the right tools, you can track the performance of your SEO efforts, understand what works, and continuously optimize your strategy for better results. This data-driven approach ensures that your marketing budget is invested wisely, contributing to the overall growth of your B2B SaaS company.

9-Step SEO Plan for your B2B Software Business

As you can see, securing a prominent spot on Google's first page is vital for B2B SaaS companies aiming to expand their client base online.

But you need a solid strategy.

Here’s an outline of how our agency approaches SEO campaigns for SaaS clients, which you can adapt to connect with more of your ideal customers.

Side note: It’s the same plan that determined a 300% increase for iWave and a 14,000% increase for inBeat in terms of search traffic.

1. Purchase an SEO Tool and Set Your Goals/KPIs

The first step in B2B software SEO is to choose a reliable SEO analytics tool and define clear goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This foundational stage provides valuable insights into your website’s performance and directs your optimization activities.

Importance of Selecting the Right Analytics Tools

You need analytics tools to:

  • Track website performance.
  • Understand user behavior.
  • Evaluate the success of your SEO strategies.

They offer data on key metrics like organic traffic, bounce rate, conversion rates, and keyword rankings, which are essential for informed decision-making and strategy refinement. However, different tools have various strengths, so choose those that best fit your requirements.

Here are the tools we typically use for our clients:

  • Google Analytics: This widely-used tool provides comprehensive insights into website traffic and user behavior.
  • Google Search Console: Offers valuable information on how Google views your website, reports on search queries leading users to your website, and identifies improvement opportunities.
  • SEMrush: Boasts a versatile suite of SEO tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, and site audits, ideal for detailed SEO research and monitoring.
  • Ahrefs: Renowned for its robust backlink analysis features, Ahrefs also includes keyword research, content analysis, and technical SEO audit tools.
  • Moz Pro: Offers a range of SEO tools, from keyword research to site audits and link analysis, accessible to beginners and experienced SEO professionals.

Understanding That SEO Goals Vary

Your SEO objectives should align with your broader business goals, whether that's boosting brand awareness, generating leads, or increasing visibility for specific software solutions. These goals will shape your SEO strategy, influencing everything from keyword focus to content creation.

For instance, local awareness leads you to target navigational, location-specific keywords, while customer acquisition efforts focus on more specific, high-intent keywords.

In the following section, we'll dive into how to conduct effective keyword research for your B2B SaaS company with more case studies.

But first, do this:

2. SEO Audit

Identifying issues on your software website is the first step toward fixing them. An SEO audit is the tool for this job because it reveals those essential areas needing work.

Key Areas the Audit Covers

  • Technical SEO problems: This includes broken links and 404 errors hindering site functionality. We’ll discuss them shortly.
  • On-page optimization needs: Essential elements like title tags and meta descriptions require scrutiny for effectiveness.
  • Content quality: The audit assesses if your content aids the customer journey on your site.

Our Audit Process for Inspiration

We start with trusted SEO tools, such as Google Analytics and Ahrefs, for a thorough analysis. The first step is fixing technical issues to boost website usability. Next, we refine on-page elements for optimal keyword use and clear meta information. We also ensure content aligns with your audience's needs and interests.

3. Keyword Research and Content Mapping

After pinpointing SEO issues, dive into keyword research. This step is crucial because potential clients use specific terms to find SaaS solutions like yours. Missing these keywords means missing out on valuable traffic and leads, possibly driving them towards competitors.

Here are a few keywords we helped iWave rank for:

And here’s how you can do it, too:

The Data-Driven Approach

At Blue Things, we rely heavily on data for keyword discovery. It guides us to the most valuable keyword opportunities for your B2B SaaS business.

Sample Keyword Research for B2B SaaS SEO 

Let's consider a SaaS company offering cloud management solutions.

Start with broad seed keywords such as “cloud management software,” “SaaS cloud solutions,” and “cloud services for businesses.” These seeds will help you find more specific, longer keywords.

To do that, you can use a keyword research tool or add keyword descriptors to your original search term ideas. At Blue Things, we do both.

Remember: You’ll need:

  • Seed keywords: These broad terms, also known as short-tail keywords, are highly competitive but have significant search volume.
  • Long-tail keywords: From seed keywords, derive more specific terms like "cloud management for small businesses" or "scalable SaaS cloud platforms." These have lower competition and higher conversion potential.
  • Niche-specific keywords: Target low-competition, niche-specific keywords such as "cloud solutions for remote teams." These may have a lower volume but attract highly qualified traffic.

How to Conduct Research (The Easy Way):

  1. Enter a seed keyword into a tool like Ahrefs, like “cloud management software.” Notice that this medium-difficulty keyword requires 24 referring domains to rank in the top ten.
  1. Use the “Matching Terms” feature.
  2. Sort keywords by difficulty, targeting the least competitive with decent volume. You can exclude brand-related words from your search query to get only relevant results.
  1. Analyze competitors using the same keywords to gauge competition and volume.
  2. Conduct a content gap analysis to identify missed opportunities by competitors.

For example, “multi-cloud management platform” is an accessible keyword:

Not only is it easy to rank for, but many top-ranking websites have few backlinks. Also, their organic traffic values are notable.

Grouping Keywords by Intent

The next stage after making a list of keywords is to group them based on search intent to cater to users at different stages of the buying journey:

  • Informational: For users seeking knowledge, like “What is cloud management?”
  • Commercial: For users comparing options, like “Best cloud management platforms.”
  • Navigational: For users looking for specific solutions or companies, like “CloudTech management software.”
  • Transactional: For users ready to purchase, like “Subscribe to cloud management service.”

Remember: Effective keyword research for B2B SaaS involves understanding keyword types and search intent and balancing long-tail versus short-tail keywords. Coupled with insights from competitor analysis, this forms a content strategy that meets user needs and aligns with your business objectives.

4. Content Strategy for B2B SaaS SEO

We’ll say this right off the bat:

Avoid keyword stuffing. You need an actual content strategy to help your website rank well.

Developing a content strategy involves aligning topics and content types with user needs and search intents.

4.0. Insider Story

With this type of solid keyword strategy, we helped influencer analytics platform outrank Wikipedia and the Oxford English Dictionary for their brand name. We still have Merriam-Webster to beat.

Because “tiddle” is an actual word people search for.

How we did it:

You can immediately glimpse our strategy by looking at how compares to the other search results.

We helped Tiddle build quality links from authoritative websites. As such, we increased its URL Rating (UR in Ahrefs) considerably compared to its competitors.

As a result, Google perceives Tiddle as a more trustworthy source than the others, so it ranks it higher in SERPs, making the agency more visible.

Now, here’s what you can do too:

4.1. Create Topic Clusters

Begin with a broad pillar topic relevant to your SaaS offerings. A pillar for a company providing cloud management solutions might be “Cloud Management for Businesses.” From this pillar, develop subtopics like “Enhancing Security in Cloud Computing” or “Cost-Effective Cloud Solutions for SMEs.”

Why it's essential: This approach improves SEO by thoroughly covering a subject and makes it easier for users to find interconnected information.

4.2. Select the Appropriate Types of Content

Tailor content types to both search intent and the preferences of your target audience. This ensures your content strategy is not only effective but also user-centric, attracting the right visitors and guiding them from initial awareness to the final decision.

Remember: Pick the best types of keywords according to your ideal customers' search intent.

  • Informational Intent: Use blog posts and ebooks to educate on topics such as “Benefits of Cloud-Based Solutions.”
  • Commercial Intent: Create comparison guides or detailed whitepapers on subjects like “Cloud vs. On-Premise Solutions.”
  • Transactional Intent: Use detailed product pages and demo videos to showcase your software's features, like “CloudTech Platform Walkthrough.”
  • Navigational Intent: Optimize for specific product or brand searches, like “CloudTech Enterprise Solutions.”

Relevant content assets for software companies in B2B include:

  • Blog posts: Ideal for addressing FAQs and exploring the latest industry developments.
  • White papers: Provide in-depth analysis and insights, perfect for a B2B audience looking for detailed information.
  • Videos: Great for product demos, customer testimonials, or simplifying complex SaaS functionalities.
  • Infographics: Use these for visually summarizing data, trends, or processes relevant to your SaaS offerings.
  • Case studies: Showcase real-world applications and successes of your SaaS product with detailed case studies. These provide tangible evidence of your solution's value, building trust with potential B2B clients.
  • Webinars: Host live or recorded webinars to delve into industry topics, demonstrate your product, or discuss case studies. Webinars are effective for engaging directly with your audience and establishing thought leadership.

Insider tip: Afterward, select the most high-quality content pieces and start building links to them.

5. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization makes your website understandable to search engine crawlers. Without it, your website might not be indexed, making it invisible to potential clients using search engines.

Here's how on-page optimization could be tailored for a B2B SaaS company:

  • Title tags: Create engaging titles incorporating key phrases like “Top Cloud Management Solutions You Don’t Want to Miss.” Attractive titles can boost click-through rates, signaling to search engines the authority of your content, thus improving rankings.
  • Meta descriptions: Summarize your page with compelling descriptions that include target keywords and a call to action, like “Optimize your business with top-tier cloud management software.”
  • Header tags (H1, H2, etc.): Structure your content with clear headers to aid indexing. Begin with a strong H1 like “Maximize Efficiency with Cloud-Based Solutions” followed by relevant H2s like “Streamlining Operations with Cloud Software.”
  • Content quality: Ensure your content is informative and includes relevant keywords organically. Valuable content that keeps visitors engaged signals to search engines your website's credibility, enhancing your rankings.
  • Images and alt text: Optimize images for quick loading times and use descriptive alt text with keywords, such as “cloud software dashboard,” to boost SEO and accessibility.
  • URL Structure: Craft short, descriptive URLs containing your target keyword, like “/cloud-management-software,” making them more user- and SEO-friendly.
  • Internal links: Include links to related blog content, such as a blog post titled “How Cloud Software Transforms Business Operations,” to assist search engines in understanding your site structure.

Concentrating on these on-page elements will skyrocket your website's search engine rankings and, more importantly, attract the ideal audience looking for software solutions.

6. Technical SEO

Technical SEO means optimizing the infrastructure of your website. It ensures search engines can efficiently crawl and index your site.

At Blue Things, we routinely address several technical SEO challenges for B2B SaaS platforms:

  • 404 errors: Non-existent pages can lead to user frustration and negatively impact rankings as visitors are likely to return to search results. An example might be a link to a deprecated feature page without a proper redirect.
  • Redirects: Poorly executed redirects can weaken link authority. It's important to redirect outdated SaaS feature pages to the most current information.
  • Sitemap: An absent or outdated sitemap can hinder search engines from effectively crawling your site. Keep your sitemap refreshed with new feature announcements, updates, and insightful SaaS industry blog posts.
  • Broken links: Non-functioning links degrade the user experience and SEO. Regularly audit your content, particularly older technical blog posts, to fix broken links.
  • Mobile-friendliness: With increasing B2B decision-makers using mobile devices, having a mobile-optimized website is critical. Ensure your software's user guides, feature descriptions, and other content are easily accessible on mobile.
  • Site speed: Slow load speeds lead to high bounce rates. Optimize your SaaS platform's UI screenshots, video demos, and other graphical content to ensure quick load times.

By addressing these technical aspects, you can significantly improve your website's usability and search engine visibility, making it easier for potential clients to find and engage with your software solutions.

7. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is essential for B2B software companies because it establishes your company's credibility and authority in the SaaS industry. In turn, this can significantly impact your rankings and organic traffic.

Imagine getting authoritative links from all the top content creators in your niche.

This tells Google your software solutions are genuinely useful, so your domain authority increases. Google also ranks you higher in SERPs, making you more visible.

Side note: At Blue Things, we’ve built a solid network of link partners, but we also practice HARO, broken link-building, guest posting, and more.

We won’t lie: It takes a lot of work but can bring excellent results, like in Tiddle’s case.

We also helped ThreatX API steadily grow its backlink profile with quality mentions from authoritative domains:

Effective off-page SEO strategies from our playbook include:

  • Securing backlinks: Aim to get links from well-regarded industry websites. These backlinks signal to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative.
  • Engage on professional networks: Platforms like LinkedIn are ideal for connecting with potential link partners and B2B clients. Share insights, join discussions, and network to build your brand's presence. We also use SEO Slack communities to connect with potential link partners.
  • Contribute to niche publications: Offer your expertise through guest posts on relevant industry blogs or digital magazines. These contributions should link to your website, increasing its authority and driving traffic.

By implementing these off-page SEO tactics, your B2B SaaS company can establish itself as a thought leader. This enhances your search engine visibility and positively shapes potential clients' perceptions, encouraging them to consider partnerships and collaborations with your business.

8. Tracking User Behaviors and SEO KPIs

Tracking user behavior and key website metrics is essential for refining your SEO strategies and enhancing the user experience. Metrics such as session duration, bounce rate, and user flow provide invaluable insights into how potential clients interact with your website, which content resonates, and where there might be room for improvement.

Here are the key metrics we monitor at Blue Things:

  • Crawl depth: This shows how many clicks are needed to reach a page from the homepage. Shallow crawl depths mean fewer connections between pages, leading to less reliable indexation by search engines. To avoid this, link to each new page you build from older pages. 
  • Session length: Longer sessions indicate more engaging content, keeping potential clients interested in your solutions.
  • Pages visited: The number of pages a user visits in a session reflects the breadth of content engagement across your site.
  • Organic keywords performance: Tracking the performance of organic keywords helps understand which terms drive traffic and conversions, guiding content optimization.
  • Backlink profile changes: Monitoring new and lost backlinks can help gauge your website's authority and identify areas for improvement in your link-building strategies.

Why it’s important: Analyzing these metrics allows us to make data-driven decisions to optimize our clients’ websites. For example, if certain pages have high bounce rates, it might indicate that the content is not meeting user expectations or is hard to navigate.

Tools for tracking: We use advanced SEO tools like Google Analytics for user behavior analysis and Ahrefs or SEMrush for backlink and keyword tracking. We like these tools because they offer detailed reports that can help us identify trends, pinpoint issues, and uncover opportunities for optimization.

9. Adapt and Improve Your Successful SEO Strategy

For sustained SEO success, you must continually refine your strategies. SEO is dynamic, with frequent changes in search algorithms, market trends, and user behavior. Regular evaluations and adjustments keep your strategy aligned with these shifts.

Here are some solid strategies we employ for continuous SEO improvement:

  • SEO adjustments: Use insights from analytics to refine keywords, content, and website architecture. If analytics reveal underperforming pages, consider re-optimizing content or updating it to match user expectations.
  • Competitor analysis: Keep an eye on your competitors' SEO tactics. Identify what's working for them in terms of content and keywords. This can uncover new opportunities for your strategy.
  • Trend monitoring: Stay ahead by monitoring industry trends and topics of interest. Developing content around emerging trends can attract more backlinks and boost your authority.
  • Incorporating PPC: Complement your organic efforts with PPC campaigns. Targeted PPC ads can provide immediate visibility for specific keywords and help capture high-intent traffic.
  • Continuous learning: The SEO landscape is always evolving. Keep up with the latest best practices, algorithm updates, and innovative strategies to maintain a competitive edge.

Launching an SEO Campaign for B2B Software Solutions

Dealing with all the complexities of SEO is not easy.

It takes a certain kind of grit and love for data to do it.

But remember, it pays off. A well-crafted, tailored SEO campaign is key to increasing your SaaS company's visibility and attracting more qualified leads.

At Blue Things, we specialize in elevating B2B SaaS companies in the digital space.

From conducting thorough SEO audits to devising effective content and off-page strategies, we're equipped to drive your success.

If you need help, schedule a strategy session with us.

We're ready to discuss your needs and how we can apply our expertise to boost your online presence and achieve your business goals.

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