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Enterprise SaaS SEO: Complete Guide [year]

February 24, 2023

Enterprise SaaS SEO can be tricky.

The challenge is getting buy-in from upper management to make impactful changes.

In today’s article, we’ll cover how to generate buy-in, improve your SEO, and get more revenue.

What is SaaS SEO?

SaaS SEO is making your website more optimized for Google by using the right words and phrases. SaaS companies improve their website’s ranking by finding relevant keywords, checking the site for technical problems, making sure each page has quality information, and getting links from other popular websites.

Unique Challenges of Enterprise SaaS SEO

At the enterprise level, businesses face unique challenges—many of which translate directly to their SEO efforts.

Slow corporate processes impede digital progress.

There’s an irony in large companies: the bigger they get, the less they innovate. With so many rungs on the corporate ladder, processes become slow and bureaucratic.

The same inertia applies to SEO.

If multiple teams control a company’s website and SEO efforts, getting everyone to collaborate on optimization tasks can be slow going.

As a result, initiatives like content creation and link building often fall behind schedule or are cut from the budget in favor of more “immediate” tasks.

Internal politics can sabotage campaigns.

The big problem with Enterprise SaaS SEO is internal politics. There’s nothing worse than having all your recommendations shot down by internal teams.

Stakeholders, product teams, branding teams all have to agree.

Without a unified vision of the company’s goals, it can be difficult to move forward with campaigns and initiatives.

Complicated sales cycles lead to slow results.

Enterprise businesses have longer sales cycles that involve multiple decision-makers, stakeholders, and influencers, which can often take months or even years from initial contact to conversion.

SEO efforts may not yield quick results and can be difficult to track in the short term.

This makes it hard to determine ROI and can lead to campaigns being prematurely abandoned before they have time to take effect.

Company stakeholders don’t always know how SEO works, nor do they want to.

Members of any given tech company C-suite, on average, are in their mid-to-late 50s. This means that most of their members grew up in an age of traditional marketing and sales infrastructure.

Teaching an old dog new tricks can be an uphill battle, and they may not understand the value of SEO or why it needs to be an integral part of the company’s overall digital strategy.

This can lead to a lack of engagement with SEO and a reluctance to allocate resources for it, especially if their existing sales infrastructure is “working just fine.”

There’s too much information on such a technical subject.

At their core, SEO and its benefits are simple and digestible. But explaining them numerically to people not familiar with them can be challenging.

And SEO trends are constantly changing as Google’s algorithm updates, which can confuse stakeholders and cause them to abandon SEO efforts after a short-term drop in rankings.

Without a clear way to sell SEO and guarantee some sort of results, securing buy-in from key stakeholders is extremely difficult, even with the help of a digital marketing team.

Benefits of Enterprise SaaS SEO

For enterprise SaaS organizations, the benefits of SEO are abundant and critical.

benefits of enterprise saas seo

SEO hedges against fluctuating costs of hiring and retaining a sales team.

Out of the more than 70,000 SaaS companies out there, most are doing the same thing.

  • Hiring a sales team.
  • Training them to cold call, email, and spam us on LinkedIn.
  • Watching them turn over at rates 67% higher than any other industry.

Now, cold outreach is far from dead. But solid tech salespeople are expensive.

RepVue data tells us that the median OTE for a sales rep is around $80,000. And for account executives, that number jumps to $235,000.

And the numerous factors that play into sales team retention (e.g., high comp, well-defined systems and strategies, remote-first, and professional development opportunities) make building a team difficult, even for the massive Silicon Valley campuses with ping pong tables, beers on tap, and tech conferences galore.

A full-service enterprise SEO plan (although this varies wildly) typically starts around $25,000 per month—about the cost of a slightly above-average account executive. And since 40% of revenue is driven by organic search traffic, it also works exponentially better.

Organic marketing improves the buying experience.

SEO isn’t just about numbers—it’s about providing a better experience for buyers.

According to a Zipwhip report, almost 90% of customers won’t answer the phone anymore. The same report found that less than 4% of them would be open to receiving an unsolicited call.

B2B buyers are often well-informed prior to talking with sales—57%-70% of the buying process has usually been completed beforehand. And nine out of ten B2B buyers use online content to inform their purchase decisions.

SEO is about meeting your customers where they are, communicating with them in the channels they prefer, and allowing them to find the information they need to make a better-informed decision.

SEO gives you more control over your digital presence and brand image.

When it comes to enterprise SaaS, search results matter—a lot. But even with a strong PPC campaign in place, there are still ways for competitors to sabotage your brand by pushing their content higher up in organic search results.

notion

For instance, if you Googled the popular project management software, Notion, you would find its competitors first.

On Google, Notion isn’t even visible for its own branded keyword. We had to zoom out to 75% to show you what we meant.

monday

And even if you run ads, your competitors might outbid you. 

Large SaaS companies with deep pockets constantly threaten each other with tactics like this, and broadening your search engine visibility is the best way to fight back.

SEO helps you reclaim control by taking the conversation away from your competitors and redirecting it back to you.

ahrefs notion

Notion, for example, ranks for over 180,000 keywords across its landing pages, knowledge base, and blog.

Had they not created all of this additional content, they would be losing traffic from their competitors without any strategy to gain it back elsewhere.

Quality content proves your expertise and authority in an industry.

When you optimize your site for search engines, you’re also optimizing it for users.

By creating keyword-rich content that is also timely and relevant, you are not only efficiently boosting your SEO rankings but also providing a user-friendly experience that leaves customers with an unforgettable first impression of your business. This helps draw leads, generate sales, and ultimately increase revenue in the long term.

Blog posts, e-books, knowledge base content, case studies, and reports are all excellent tools for helping your audience see your company as a leader in your space.

SEO efforts create numerous touchpoints for your buyers.

saas touchpoints

The average enterprise sales cycle requires eight touchpoints to close a deal. When your team is understaffed or overburdened, this can be nearly impossible to achieve.

Through content creation, link building strategies, and consistent monitoring, SEO strategies create several opportunities for potential buyers to engage with your website. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of them converting into paying customers and helps to shorten the sales cycle.

Content marketing doubles as a sales enablement tool.

When done right, enterprise SEO can be a powerful tool for sales enablement. With the right content, your sales team can use it to educate buyers on why they need your product and what differentiates it from the competition.

You can also create an in-depth library of resources that helps your reps have more informed conversations with prospects to overcome objections and close deals.

As you collect buyer engagement data from sales enablement tools, you can use it to inform your content strategy, create content that resonates with your actual buyers, and help your sales teams close more deals.

Organic search visibility works, even when you (and your team) aren’t.

The best part about SEO is that it’s evergreen—it will continue to drive traffic and sales even when you aren’t actively working on it. It allows you to build content for long-term visibility, get more out of your existing traffic, and scale up sustainably over time.

Spending upwards of $40 per click for SaaS-specific search terms and investing heavily in good sales talent is important (and often essential), but those kinds of things stop delivering results as soon as money stops flowing into them.

Your SEO presence needs to be updated and growing your site’s authority takes time and money, but once you’re at the top of SERPs, you can rely on it to stay there.

For enterprise companies, SEO can be the difference between a multimillion-dollar inbound lead.

How to Build an Enterprise SEO Strategy in 2023

With such unique challenges and opportunities, developing an effective enterprise SEO strategy requires a different approach for enterprises than for smaller companies.

At the enterprise level, SEO requires a heavier focus on industry thought leadership, informational content, and link building.

To succeed, you need to ensure that your content is tailored to the needs of your target customer base, that it’s optimized for organic search visibility (not just PPC) and that it works in tandem with other channels like social media and email marketing.

From start to finish, here’s how to build an SEO strategy that can help you grow your enterprise business:

Set clear goals and objectives

First, define what success looks like for your SEO efforts—it could be anything from increasing organic traffic by 10% to generating 100 qualified leads per month from organic search.

This includes both monetary and non-monetary objectives.

  • Monetary Objectives: Goals like generating X net new revenue from organic search, increasing your ROI from SEO campaigns, or reducing the cost per acquisition.
  • Non-Monetary Objectives: Goals like boosting brand awareness and sentiment in a certain market, driving more engagement on social media channels, or increasing website conversions.

When developing your goals, remember that more traffic doesn’t equate to more sales—your SEO efforts must be focused on generating qualified leads and conversions, not just more eyeballs on your website.

Set up systems to track results (just as you would sales).

The most successful SEO strategies are data-driven, and you’ll need to track your progress the same way you would with a sales funnel.

Especially since SEO is a long-term strategy, finding ways to equate your organic search visibility in the short term to actual sales revenue later on is key for reporting to upper management.

KPIs to track for SEO success include:

  • Total organic traffic
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Organic conversions and conversion rate
  • Search engine rankings for key pages/keywords
  • Traffic from specific sources (e.g., website, blog, third-party media, etc.)
  • Average session duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate

You can use tools like Google Analytics to measure website traffic and engagement, monitor specific keywords, and track conversions from organic search.

Maintain Page Speed

Out of Google’s 200+ ranking factors, page speed has always been one of the most critical.

On bigger websites with more pages, higher traffic volume, and more complex content, page speed often suffers.

To ensure optimal page speed on your website, it’s a good idea to use Google PageSpeed Insights to test your mobile and desktop speed.

Doing so can help you identify areas for improvement, such as compressing images, reducing redirects, and caching web pages.

Refresh your old content.

Keeping content up to date, accurate and relevant for current industry standards is one of the major obstacles enterprise SEO teams face.

If you have old blog posts or web pages that are still ranking high but haven’t been updated in a while, take the time to refresh the content with new and relevant information.

Refreshing content for an enterprise company requires a delicate approach, yet also must be scalable to ensure that your SEO team can find what page needs updating and how it would boost its competitive edge.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Add infographics to high-ranking informational content to make it more visually appealing.
  • Update your content with more current research, facts, or data points.
  • Improve high-ranking but poorly written content with relevant and quality copy.
  • Create content clusters around your high-ranking pages to build additional topical relevance.

You wouldn’t want to get rid of valuable content that has a high page authority and links. But it is wise to revamp existing material while adding in new information without compromising the value of existing secondary keywords your content ranks for.

Conduct and publish research with company data.

From customers to internal analysis, enterprise companies have high volumes of unique data that many others don’t.

There are several reasons to do this:

  • Since it can’t be found anywhere else, using your own company’s data takes your reporting from well-researched to unique, forward-thinking, and definitive.
  • You can land high-authority backlinks from researchers, reporters, and publishers who spin off your findings into their own articles.
  • By delving into data that’s specific to your industry, you’re providing valuable insights to potential customers and investors who may not have been exposed to it previously.
  • Well-written research proves your industry professionalism, which in turn boosts your website traffic.
  • You can get highly targeted leads from those who input their email addresses to download your reports and case studies.

Salesforce and HubSpot are great examples of companies that have successfully leveraged their customer data to create engaging content and position themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries.

content brief

For instance, Salesforce regularly releases reports like the State of Marketing Report powered by its own customer data.

Focus on topics, not just keywords.

Keywords are awesome for organic traffic. They’re measurable, trackable, and can be targeted with precision.

But enterprise SEO teams need more than just keywords if they want to capture all of their potential buyers.

Think about it like this: When you Google something, what do you type in?

Do you type in “enterprise SaaS SEO,” or do you look for something like “how do enterprise saas companies use SEO”?

When you look for the latter, Ahrefs won’t give you anything because SEO tools are based on limited search engine data.

But we promise you, Google still turns up results. And people still click them.

Also think about it like this: Are all of your site visitors coming from organic channels?

Probably not. And if you don’t cover niche topics that your potential buyers need when they land on your website, you’re missing out on a lot of potential organic traffic.

Dominate search engines with bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) content.

You can easily create bottom-of-the-funnel pieces of content such as product pages, comparison posts, buyer’s guides, and detailed tutorials that rank well on Google and directly answer customers’ questions.

Most enterprise companies miss out on this type of content and cover only basic topics or in-depth case studies.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Build comparison pages for all of your competitors. Most of your customers want to compare different tools before making a decision, and if you want to capture those customers who are just about ready to make a buying decision, you want your company to be the first one on that search results page.
  • Create “alternatives” pages for all of your competitors. Best “Company X” alternatives for “Activity Y” are great for people who are looking for an alternative to current market leaders but don’t know where to start. You can even run ads to these with unique value props.
  • Make detailed tutorials and step-by-step guides to show your product in action. This type of content ranks well in search engines and establishes you as an authority figure in your industry. It’s also great for capturing leads since people tend to download or follow these tutorials when they’re looking for a solution.

Start creating content at scale.

When it comes to SEO, creating quality content is key.

At the enterprise level, this is a process that must be able to scale in order for your SEO team to identify suitable keywords and topics to rank for and hand off to the content creation team.

For successful enterprise SEO implementation, you’ll need a team dedicated to researching keywords and designing content guidelines at scale.

There are a few things this means:

  • Targeted keywords need clear instructions from the SEO team based on what will make the post competitive, such as including secondary keywords, image alt-text tips and snippets.
  • Your blog needs templatizing, so you can easily create dozens of posts in just a few hours and test out different topics.
  • You need to review data patterns and trends regularly to ensure that the content you’re creating is actually helping your SEO efforts.
  • Sales and marketing alignment is a must for developing content that will reach the right audience.

It also means you need the right software to get the job done.

AI content tools are great for writing content faster, but you need to use them sparingly. ChatGPT can’t interview your customers, pull your internal data, do research on your competitors, or memorize your brand voice and style.

Social listening tools work well for understanding the customer sentiment and finding interesting topics to talk about.

Content calendars help you stay on-track with your content creation and make sure you don’t miss any deadlines.

And analytics tools help to track the performance of every piece of content and measure its impact on your SEO efforts.

Link building is a must for SEO. And for enterprise companies, the process looks a little different.

Large SaaS companies need links from Forbes, TechCrunch, and other major publications if they want to rank. And you can’t use dated tactics that aren’t scalable (i.e., broken link building).

You need to create unique content like case studies, interviews, and research pieces that can be syndicated on large publications.

You also need to constantly build relationships with influencers in your niche through partnerships, podcasting, webinars, and other forms of collaboration.

Usually, content creation is the easy part of this process. Distribution is where we see most of the challenges, which is why most companies hire a SaaS link building agency.

Create an omnichannel strategy and distribute your content.

Tying everything together, you need an omnichannel marketing strategy.

Your content should be distributed across multiple channels, such as your website and blog, social media, email campaigns, and other publications.

For optimal results in scaling your enterprise SaaS content, a blend of PPC advertising to promote brand awareness, content development to boost authority, and organic SEO tactics will offer the most successful approach.

Using content like white papers to promote your business is an excellent way to generate visibility, establish links and increase traffic. This should be done across all channels such as advertisements, emails, and social media.

Successful Enterprise SaaS SEO Examples

To help you get an idea of what we’re talking about, here are a few examples of solid enterprise SaaS SEO strategies.

Hubspot: Free Value for Everyone

HubSpot is the king of marketing automation software and marketing content.

They use a comprehensive content strategy, consisting of blog posts, case studies, videos, info products, and other types of content to capture organic traffic from search engines.

hubspot academy

HubSpot Academy features learning modules that help users understand and get certified in the concepts of digital marketing and SEO. And since they are free, they have become very popular among agencies and entrepreneurs.

ahrefs hubspot

This strategy has helped HubSpot rank for thousands of keywords and garner tens of thousands of organic visitors, as they continue to offer value and help out their community.

The residual impact is that more individuals will eventually use their products.

hubspot blog

With the company’s high-value marketing reports, HubSpot has become a go-to resource for marketers to stay ahead of the competition.

hubspot backlinks

And their marketing reports always secure thousands of backlinks, many from highly reputable sources like Entrepreneur and TechCrunch.

Atlassian: Resource Hubs That Make an Impact

Atlassian is a software development and project management tools company. Its products include Trello, Jira, and Confluence.

Their webpages are filled with information about their products, but they also have resource hubs for developers which includes tutorials, blog posts, and other types of content that provides value to their audience.

And Atlassian’s resource hubs aren’t just any ordinary content. They’re targeting the best and most relevant keywords to reach their core audiences.

These go beyond what other companies are doing and helps Atlassian target its buyers and customers throughout the year. By providing content that resonates with their target audience, they are able to elevate engagement and create meaningful connections with their brand.

Ultimately, this effort yields a regular stream of leads and millions worth in page views.

atlassian resource hubs

The approach has been particularly successful for Atlassian’s resource hubs on agile methodology, IT service management (ITSM), and Git.

ahrefs atlassian

The agile resource hub, for instance, has 154K backlinks, 88.7K organic keywords, and garners 927K organic visitors on a monthly basis.

Remarkably, no additional ad spend was needed to achieve these results—instead, its value comes out to $2.1M organically.

Mailchimp: Glossary Hub for Dominating High-Value Keywords

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform used by millions of businesses and freelancers.

mailchimp marketing automation

To dominate high-value keywords that are central to their business, Mailchimp’s content team has created a glossary hub. This consists of long-form definitions of marketing terms and commonly-used technical jargon for the company’s respective industry.

ahrefs mailchimp

From its marketing glossary alone, the popular email marketing software generates almost 600K monthly organic visitors.

mailchimp rankings

This includes ranking number one for several search terms that are very difficult to rank for, such as “content marketing” and “email marketing.”

The glossary hub has also become a great source of backlinks, with over 47K referring domains as of this writing.

Tools for Enterprise SaaS SEO

Enterprise SaaS SEO requires a different approach from the traditional SEO methodologies, but many of the same tools are required. Beyond keyword research and Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, here are a few other tools that can help:

Brightedge

BrightEdge is the leading enterprise organic search and content marketing platform, giving marketers the tools to transform online content into tangible results.

Its advanced deep learning engine powers the BrightEdge platform, capable of measuring real-time engagement with digital channels like search, social media, and mobile at a global level.

brightedge

Beyond regular site audits, reporting, and keyword tracking, BrightEdge also provides content optimization and recommendations that can help enterprise SaaS companies create more impactful content in the future.

Clearscope

Clearscope is an AI-powered content optimization and ideation platform that helps marketers quickly create higher quality SEO content.

clearscope

It uses natural language processing to analyze competitor’s webpages and identify the best keywords for targeting a particular audience.

The tool then provides recommendations on how to best optimize your own pages, providing data-driven insights on both content creation and optimization.

clearscope content

It also has a content editor, so you can write your content inside it or paste it when you’re ready to optimize. It highlights the keywords as you use them so you have a clear visualization of where they are and avoid keyword stuffing.

Deepcrawl (Now Lumar)

Lumar is a one-of-a-kind SEO crawler that can also be used as an architecture analysis tool to detect technical SEO issues. It’s the ideal choice for enterprise organizations that need frequent and comprehensive assessments of their website structure.

lumar

It provides insight into how Google sees your website, helping you identify any indexing or crawling issues. It also allows organizations to check the health of their webpages and what kind of content is being served.

Oncrawl

Oncrawl is a powerful SEO crawler and analytics platform that enables enterprise organizations to obtain accurate data about their website performance.

It provides deep insight into the structure of websites, covering everything from technical analysis (such as broken links) to content relevance.

oncrawl

Additionally, its log files analysis capabilities provide more detailed and in-depth insights into user engagement.

Elk

Elk is an SEO services agency that helps enterprise organizations develop strategies to improve their overall SEO performance.

It provides comprehensive analysis of both website architecture and content, as well as keyword research and competitor analysis.

Elk helps clients make informed decisions on how to best utilize SEO data for optimization purposes, all while staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

The Bottom Line

Conventional sales methods are becoming less effective. This is especially true for unsolicited calls—the data suggest that cold calling is losing its efficiency and cost-effectiveness with time.

Although some business executives may advocate making cold calls, all evidence points to the contrary. And relying solely on inbound marketing as the solution to improve close rates is an outdated approach.

Savvy marketers understand that reaching their target audience requires utilizing a diverse set of tactics across multiple channels for optimal success.

Read our SaaS SEO guide to learn more or talk to an expert to get started.

Nick