Looking to drive more qualified traffic to your SaaS business?

In this guide, we’ll walk step-by-step through three actionable SEO strategies that consistently help our SaaS clients rank higher and drive more qualified traffic, fast.

For each strategy, we’ll cover the following:

  • Overview – what it is and the end goal
  • Process – step-by-step actions
  • Results – case study snapshot

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a set of proven processes to start driving more traffic, trials and demos to your SaaS business.

Let’s dive in …

 

#1. Find Existing Traffic Opportunities

Most SaaS companies start the keyword research process with the goal of finding new content topics. While this an important step in scaling organic traffic growth, it ignores all the existing opportunities sitting right under your nose.

In this strategy, you identify content that’s not performing as well as it could and optimize it in a way that generates more traffic. It’s one of the first things we do when engaging with a new SaaS client.

You can find these existing keyword opportunities on the bottom of page 1 and page 2 of the SERPs – it’s what we call the “low-hanging fruit.”

Often, minor on-page optimization and link building can quickly move these assets into the top 3 positions, and result in significant short term organic traffic gains.

Our Process

Here’s our 3-step process to find existing keyword opportunities:

Step 1 – Identify low-hanging fruit

In SEMrush:

  1. Select “Organic Research” from the dropdown menu
  2. Enter your domain URL – e.g. “groovehq.com/blog”
  3. Click on the “Positions” tab
  4. Add a custom filter for positions #6-20:

pos6 20

Note: in the example above we’re looking for existing opportunities on the GrooveHQ blog. However, you might decide to first search for higher-intent opportunities inside the /features subfolder.

In this case, a company like SPOTIO would set the URL filter to include /features:

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Step 2 – Prioritize your list

Next, you decide which keywords to target first:

  • Export the results from SEMrush as a “.CSV” file.
  • Copy/paste the data (including headers) into the tab labeled “1. SEMrush KW Opp” in the Google Sheet template.
  • Select the “greenest” rows as they have the highest existing rankings, search volume, and the lowest level of competition.

In the example below, you can see that “service culture” is mostly green with a decent search volume, moderate keyword difficulty, and low competition, plus it’s already ranking on the first page of Google:

kw opps

Step 3 – Optimize your content

Here are a few ways you could optimize the content to move it up the rankings:

  • Add example success stories
  • Add more expert opinions
  • Update data points like scoreboards and graphs
  • Identify competitor content gaps
  • Update screenshots and visuals
  • Re-promote on social media and mention
  • Add internal links from 3-5 relevant posts with high URL ratings

Note: once you have outlined the on-page changes that need to be made, create a detailed outline with supporting reference links to aid writers in the relaunch process:

Content Brief

Results

This is one of the fastest ways to increase organic traffic and get more value from existing content. Here’s a screenshot from a SaaS client:

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It can also work on higher-intent pages too:

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This strategy can add up to a lot of new organic traffic and conversions, especially if it is scaled across multiple assets.

 

#2. Remove Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization is a BIG problem.

It occurs when two or more pages on your website compete for the same keyword.

As a result, Google struggles to decide which page to rank, so it often doesn’t rank either of them.

The other downside is that shares and backlinks get split between the two pages, which results in less authority for each page.

In short, your website is competing against itself!

So when you find cannibalization on your site, you need to take remedial action.

Our Process

Here’s our 3-step process to remove keyword cannibalization:

Step 1 – Find keywords in SEMrush

Use SEMrush to see which keywords your website is ranking for:

  1. Select “Organic Research” from the dropdown menu
  2. Enter your domain URL – e.g. “groovehq.com/blog”
  3. Click on the “Positions” tab
  4. Export the keywords as a CSV file

groovehq keywords all

Step 2 – Look for keyword duplication

Next, you decide which duplicate keywords to action:

  • Copy/paste all the exported data into the tab named “1. SEMRush KW Export” in the Google Sheet
  • Run the “Script” in the Google Sheet
  • Examine the “Results” tab for duplicate keywords and select an action from the drop down status:

kw duplication

The template will automatically group together all the URLs that are ranking for the same keyword (i.e. competing), along with search volume and rank position.

Step 3 – Resolve the duplication issue

Finally, take steps to resolve the duplication issue on your website. This could be an entire guide by itself, but here are a couple common :

  • Merge the two (or more) pages
    • Merge any unique content from the lower ranking competing asset into the top ranking one. Make sure to add a ‘301 redirect’ from the lower ranking post/page, especially if it has links pointing towards it!
  • Delete one of the pages
    • If the competing page has no traffic, links or conversions, and serves no secondary purpose on the site, remove it from the index.

Results

This site had widespread cannibalization. After consolidating the competing assets, organic traffic increased 30%:

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#3. Perform Intent-Based Keyword Gap Analysis

Using competitor research is a popular way of finding your competitors’ top-ranking keywords that you can also target.

However, you can take this one step further by performing an intent-based gap analysis.

For instance:

You can analyze URL subfolders like “/features/” or “/product/” to discover all the bottom-funnel, high-intent, commercial terms.

Or, you can analyze URL subfolders like “/blog/” or “/insights/” to find all the top-funnel, low-intent, informational keyword topics.

Our Process

There are a couple of ways you can perform intent-based searches in SEMrush. You can either use the subfolder selection with the full URL and subfolder or use the advanced filters.

We’ll show you both options below.

Example 1 – Find top-funnel, low-intent, informational keywords in SEMrush

Use the SEMrush subfolder selection to see which informational keywords Groove HQ is ranking for in its “blog” subfolder:

  1. Select “Organic Research” from the dropdown menu
  2. Enter your competitor’s domain URL and subfolder – e.g. “groovehq.com/blog” 
  3. Click on the “Positions” tab

groovehq blog subfolder

So, if Groove HQ was your competitor, you’d now have 14.4K lower-intent keywords, which you could select and export as a CSV file.

Example 2 – Find bottom-funnel, high-intent, commercial keywords in SEMrush

Use the SEMrush advanced filters to see which high-intent keywords SPOTIO is ranking for in its “features” subfolder:

  1. Select “Organic Research” from the dropdown menu
  2. Enter your competitor’s domain URL – e.g. “copper.com”
  3. Click on the “Positions” tab
  4. Apply advanced filters:
    • Include > URL > Containing “/features/”
    • Include > Words Count > Greater than 1 (to eliminate single-term keywords)

Competitor KWs

So, if Copper was your competitor, you’d now have 685 high-intent keywords, which you could select and export as a CSV file.

Note: keywords are moved into the Master Keyword document where they are tagged, qualified, and assigned content types and goals:

Keyword Plan

This process ensures we’re only targeting the highest value topics, and have the necessary CTAs in place to move readers further down the funnel.

Results

Competitor keyword research is one of strategies we use to build content pipelines that consistently help our clients scale qualified organic traffic growth:

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Up and to the Right

There you have it – three simple, yet powerful SEO processes to drive more qualified traffic and trials to your SaaS business.

Before you begin implementation, make sure you’ve outlined a clear set of KPIs and have a top-level dashboard in place to see how rankings, traffic and conversions are trending over a rolling 30-day window:

Analytics

We like to use Databox for client reporting as it allows us to pull data from multiple third party sources into a single interactive dashboard:

  1. Rankings (SEMrush)
  2. Organic traffic and conversions (Google Analytics)
  3. Pipeline metrics (HubSpot)

This way, we can show how the SEO campaign is impacting business, all the way from keyword rankings and traffic to trials and closed deals.