You have aggressive revenue targets, so you’re laser-focused on enabling growth and scale for your SaaS platform. Product demos are probably your most important lead gen touchpoint and possibly even your trigger to advance an MQL to SQL, the gateway to new opportunities. The big question is: how do you grow demand for your product demos to support your growth goals? Your best opportunity is through growth SEO (search engine optimization).
To make sure you have enough prospects at the bottom of your funnel, you need to fill your entire funnel. More opportunities come from more SQLs, which are driven by demos, which are offered to MQLs, and so on. To support this, you need to start at the top by growing qualified traffic. It’s all a numbers game, right?
Growth SEO will build your organic channel, the source of your highest quality web traffic, which will then become your highest quality leads. Your goal is to be the first resource your potential customers find when they’re researching the problem you solve. From there, use your expertise, demonstrated by your content, to go from being their first resource to their most trusted one.
Growth SEO Is the Key to Finding Quality Leads at Scale
Why is SEO so important? It’s how you get on page one of Google, before your competitors. Organic traffic is the most relevant and highest quality type, since it represents visitors who are actively searching for solutions like your platform. And while organic traffic takes time (think: a few months) to really gain traction, once it starts to build momentum, it grows exponentially. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, because a high-performing page will only get more and more traffic over time, and you’ll get tons of return from a single asset.
If you’re wondering whether you can get the same results from SEM (search engine marketing), the short answer is, you really can’t. But the two strategies do go hand in hand. Initially, you’ll probably need to pay for quality traffic via PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, like Google Ads, as you build up your site’s organic credibility and status.
PPC is easy to measure and when it’s optimized well, you’ll get a steady stream of qualified traffic, so that’s great. But it’s also expensive, and in highly competitive spaces like the ones you probably want to target, the cost can be a limiter to growth.
With a solid growth SEO strategy, you’ll eventually be able to lower your CPL (cost per lead), CPA (cost per acquisition), and PPC budget, because you’ll be getting better quality traffic without paying for each visit. Then, you can reallocate the money you save to other marketing or strategic growth initiatives. #win
By now, you’re probably sold on the strategy. But how can you make sure that you're doing it well?
5 Keys to Growth SEO Success
While you probably understand what SEO does for your site and your business, even people who do it every day can struggle to keep up with everything that goes into ranking well in search results. SEO is complex and changes all the time. So let’s focus on a few strategies that are core to growth SEO success and unlikely to change tomorrow.
1. Use Tech to Optimize Conversion Funnels
Map Offers to Your Sales Funnel
This is so important. You need to make sure that you’re offering relevant calls to action (CTAs) on every webpage and content asset. But be careful, don’t start just sticking product demo CTAs everywhere. Not every visitor is ready for a demo, and not all demos are created equal.
Take time to map your offers (content, demos, etc.) to your sales funnel stages. Awareness content is too soon for a demo offer. Focus first on helping your visitors name their problem and identify possible solutions. Once they’ve moved into the consideration stage, where they’re investigating solutions further, a low-pressure recorded demo might be a great fit. And once your lead has moved into the decision stage and is choosing their vendor, go ahead and hit them with a live sales demo CTA!
Use smart CTAs whenever possible. These dynamic offers change on the fly, based on what you know about each visitor. Invite current customers to watch a video on new features you’re rolling out. Show awareness-stage visitors a teaser for your best-performing blog post. Do you know that a visitor is in the decision stage, has consumed lots of your content, and just visited your pricing page? Deliver that live product demo CTA! And with the right marketing automation platformorm, you can do it all using the same piece of real estate on your site.
The mapping of your content offers to your lifecycle stages will vary by your sales process. Longer sales cycles need more touchpoints and more assets to support the buyer’s journey. If you need help here, our content marketing experts are happy to talk through your needs.
Measure Your SEO Conversion Rate
Sometimes the clichés are true: what gets measured, does get managed. You need to track your SEO conversion rate to make sure that you’re getting results from your efforts. Filter your reports so that you’re only looking at traffic and leads driven by the organic search acquisition channel, then measure:
- Conversion rates for each stage, from visits to leads, all the way to customers
- Individual CTA conversion rates (downloads, form fills, etc.)
- Demo requests
Tools like HubSpot make it really easy to set up the reports you want, then filter them as you need. And as you put in all this effort to bring more traffic to your product demos, make sure the deliverable is up to snuff! Check out this great resource from HubSpot for tips on getting your demo just right.
2. Remember That SEO Is a Content Strategy
Start Creating — Like, A Lot
At its core, SEO is really all about content. That means you need to generate a lot of it, and that the quality has to be good. Focus on answering your potential customers’ questions and adding real value to their buyer’s journey, not on selling. Remember that people consume things and learn in different ways, so create a broad mix of content: long and informative, short and shareable, as well as both written and multimedia types:
- Long-form content: white papers, ebooks, pillar pages
- Short-form content: blog posts, infographics, case studies, emails
- Multimedia: webinars, videos, animations, podcasts
Get More from Less
Syndicate your content across multiple channels to get the broadest reach from each piece. Some places to consider include LinkedIn, Medium, Quora (a good place to let developers and other experts get a little geeky), as well as any trade pubs in your industry.
Also be sure to identify multiple uses for every piece of content you generate. If you’ve put out an ebook, create a series of related blog posts to tease it. Hosting a webinar? Capture attendee questions and turn the answers into an infographic. For tons of great ideas that will help you get the most bang for your content marketing buck, check out: Attract 10X Value to the Content You Already Have.
3. Balance Keywords with Readability
Use Keywords Strategically
Keyword research and on-page optimization are crucial to growth SEO. You can really target only one or two very closely related keywords with a single page. That means you’ll need to identify the keywords you want to address and create a prioritized plan for how you’ll cover them across your site. Think about what type of content (product page, landing page, pillar page, blog post) is most appropriate for each term.
You’ll also want to map your keywords to your funnel (does that sound familiar?), pairing low-intent phrases like, “what is [product category] software?” with awareness content, and high-intent phrases like “how much does [your brand name] cost?” to your pricing page with a demo CTA. For more specifics, check out Ahref's guide on how to do keyword research for SEO.
Then, make sure that your internal pages are thoughtfully cross-linked by topic. Use your internal links to move your visitors through your site to where you want them (ultimately, a product demo!). Guide them from awareness-level pages on down the funnel.
Beyond cross-linking, you may also consider a backlinking strategy. The more relevant, high-quality sites that are referring traffic back to yours, the better. Backlinking can be time-consuming and it takes time to show results, but it will help increase your site’s quality score, which is another important SEO metric for Google.
But Write for Visitors, Not Search Engines
While keywords are critical, never forget that you're writing for real, live humans. That means you need to write naturally. Don’t keyword stuff! It’s not 1999, and Google is way more nuanced and intelligent today. Just talk about your SaaS platform the way you would in person, and you’ll most likely include all the right words to signal that you’re an expert in your space. Include your keywords in your meta tags and a few headers, then just write like a human.
4. Don’t Ignore the Technical Stuff
Technical SEO can be overwhelming, but you need the basics in place to support a growth SEO strategy. Here are a couple of high-level things that are easy to overlook, but will pay off:
- Make sure your site is optimized for mobile. Google really doesn’t like non-responsive sites, and neither do your visitors.
- Have a valid SSL certificate in place to give site visitors confidence.
- Clean up your URL structure: create parent/child relationships, work in focus keywords, and get rid of any long URLs with random nonsense or character strings in them.
- Confirm that you have a sitemap and that it’s accurate and up to date.
- Search for and eliminate broken links and error messages.
- Identify and get rid of duplicate content — always rewrite; never use the exact same copy on more than one page.
Well, That Sounds Like a Lot
Yes, it is. SEO is a lot of work, and it takes a good amount of both knowledge and time to do properly. However, it’s probably the highest-returning work you can do, delivering huge results in the form of exponential traffic growth. You’ll draw in the highest quality and most relevant leads — those potential customers who are actively looking for the solution you sell. And at the same time, you’ll generate lots of great content that will position you as a true thought leader.
If by now your heart is starting to race, don’t panic. This doesn’t all have to fall on your already busy in-house team, and honestly, it’s probably best if it doesn’t. Offload this work to a team of knowledgeable SEO experts, like our team at First Page, who make it their job to keep up with the rapidly changing trends. Reach out to us to get all the results, with a lot less stress.