Launching a B2B SaaS startup is no small feat. You have to start from scratch to build your brand and product awareness, especially in a market booming with competition from major brands.
In the beginning, you need robust marketing strategies to hit the ground running and generate business – seemingly out of thin air. Otherwise, you could end up with no clients, no revenue, and ultimately, no business.
Worse yet, most SaaS startups have minimal budgets, a virtually nonexistent marketing team, and a drive to put most of their resources into product development. Fortunately, search engine optimization (SEO) can get you plenty of organic traffic to boost sales, all without major marketing spend.
However, B2B SEO is a little different than B2C, and it’s important to know the differences.
B2B vs. B2C
B2B companies and B2C companies have many similarities, but the key differences lie in the buyer behaviors. B2B companies are selling to another business, so they can’t rely on impulse purchases or leveraging emotions to drive sales.
Remember, a B2B buyer is looking at a purchase as investment for their business to solve a problem they have. Often, this involves not just one buyer, but a group of stakeholders with different pain points, motivations, and concerns, all of which need to come together to get to “yes.”
How to Launch an Effective B2B SEO Campaign for SaaS Startups
Like any SEO campaign, your B2B SEO campaign starts with knowing your audience, your product, and how it benefits the client.
Segment Your Audiences
Consumer purchases are vastly different than a B2B buyer making a purchase as a business investment. Aside from the different stakeholders and longer sales process, B2B products are often more expensive and have higher stakes.
The buying decision is much more complicated. Business buyers are taking a risk on their purchase, hoping that it will translate in more operational efficiency, better workflows, more revenue, or a better experience for their end customer. If it fails, they’ve lost time and money, and they need to start over to find a better solution.
B2B purchases also have to be approved by different decision-makers, often managers, executives, department heads, and leaders. All of these stakeholders are considering the purchase from different perspectives and with different pain points. They want to know how the solution benefits them.
With all this in mind, your B2B content should be focused on the individual stakeholders as individual segments of your audience, not one monolith buyer. You have to address different pain points and questions, some of which may be quite different than the others. For example, a CFO is going to be concerned with ROI, whereas a CEO may be concerned with overall operational efficiency, but both are thinking about bottom line performance.
Build Brand Trust
B2B buyers need trust to make a business purchase. Their consideration process is longer because they want to be sure that they’re making the right choice for their business. Even with different individual goals, they’re all focused on the organizational goals.
Content needs to not only communicate the value of the software, but how your brand is a leader in your industry. You must showcase your understanding of your client base and their unique challenges and pain points so you can communicate why your solution is the best one. If the buyer feels understood, they’re more likely to trust you as the brand that can help them.
Choose Low-Volume Keywords
Keyword research is paramount to effective SEO, but B2B SaaS companies have different keywords to focus on than B2C companies. With all the stakeholders involved, you have to understand what they’re searching for and what phrases they will use.
All of your keyword research should target different audience segments and their search intent. You can target each stage of the buying process for each segment and create highly tailored content that speaks to them individually. Most of the keywords will have low search volume and lower competition than B2C keywords, however.
Three Pillars of SEO
No matter if SEO strategy is B2B or B2C, SEO has three pillars:
On-page SEO is the front-facing website and its technical aspects. You want your website optimized by search intent and keywords, then tailored content that offers value for the audience.
Here’s how you can improve your on-page SEO:
- Research low-volume keywords
- Evaluate the content that already exists for your keywords
- Note the top search results
- Consider the existing content’s strengths and weaknesses
- Develop your content strategy to create content that’s better than your competitors
Off-page SEO is often more challenging than on-page. It requires building backlinks, which has no shortcuts or fast tracks. It simply takes time and effort to build high-quality links, but it pays off in more valuable traffic and brand authority.
Linkbuilding is a valuable strategy that brings traffic to your site from external, authoritative sources. When you have links from these sites, you gain some of their existing authority to boost your own search engine rankings.
Though it may be tempting to use blackhat methods like purchasing backlinks or spamming, it’s not worth it. In fact, you may even be penalized by Google for doing so. Put in the work by creating quality content that other sites want to link to.
Technical SEO is everything that happens behind the scenes with your website and promotes a positive user experience. This part takes some technical knowledge.
Here’s how to improve your technical SEO:
- Evaluate your website load times
- Develop an internal linking model for your site’s hierarchy to help search engines understand how you value your own content
- Use nofollow links and follow links to help users navigate your site
- Include keywords in the title, meta tags, and URL
- Avoid duplicate content
- Search for broken links and remove or replace them
- Create an index for your content and website
- Ensure your site is mobile friendly
- Safeguard site security with HTTPS
Hit the Ground Running with B2B SEO Strategy for SaaS Startups
B2B SaaS startups can use SEO to target the different segments of B2B buyers and drive traffic to the site for more brand awareness, authority, and revenue. Though there are some important differences with B2B SEO, an effective strategy can make the most of your startup resources.