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Hootsuite is the world’s largest social media management platform. But if you think that meant the brand easily ranked well and had tons of organic search visibility, think again.
Amazingly, smaller competitors were outranking them all over Google. Why? Because Hootsuite didn’t have an integrated SEO strategy.
Aside from that, they also had a host of technical liabilities that prevented them from performing well in search – until SEO expert Zak Ramdani came on board and turned it all around.
Ramdani, the Great SEO Owl at Hootsuite, joined SEJ Think Tank on July 26 to discuss how Hootsuite broke their organic traffic metrics for seven consecutive months, doubled their blog traffic using on-page techniques to cater to Google’s answer box, and deployed an SEO mindset throughout all communication channels within Hootsuite.
Here is a recap of the webinar he gave.Leverage the Evolving SERP Landscape
In a span of five years, Google has rolled out several significant algorithmic updates and features that have caused a massive shift in the SEO landscape. Now, we’re in the midst of yet another transition that affects the way we produce and consume content.
One search element that many SEOs want to rank for is Google’s Featured Snippets.Own the SERPs for Informational Queries
On December 7, 2023, Google updated their desktop results to more closely reflect mobile results, which introduced a higher propensity for Google cards to be surfaced.
Google will read the featured snippet out loud when using Google Home, Android Auto, or from your mobile device. This change represents a new opportunity for SERP ownership not seen since domain crowding updates in 2012/2013.2x Your Traffic with On-Page SEO
Using on-page techniques with the aim of ranking for Google’s answer box helped Hootsuite double their blog traffic. Some of Hootsuite’s content that landed in Google’s featured snippets are standard answers, as well as ordered and unordered lists.
Aside from providing succinct answers to search queries, structuring and formatting your content properly, just like what Hootsuite did, can also help you rank for featured snippets.Optimize for Featured Snippets
According to Ramdani, there are general rules on how you can optimize your site for featured snippets:Must Rank on Page 1
You don’t have to rank in position one, you just have to be on page one.Perform a Search for the Target Keyword
You’ll need to evaluate the results for the following:
Is there a Google Answer present?
If so, what format does Google prefer based on the query?Succinct Content Structure
It is important to structure your content in a manner that clearly shows the answer and steps to get to that answer. You should craft your heading/subheading so it closely reflects the user’s question.What If Your Competitor for a Term Is a Huge Site?
If your competitor is a huge site, such as Wikipedia or WebMD, ask yourself: Is this huge giant answering the question effectively and could I do it better?
If your competitor is doing a good job, chances are they have a higher level of domain authority than you do.
The future might not look so bright if that’s who’s currently in the feature snippet spot. If your competitor is one of those big players but they are not answering the question succinctly or they’re not optimized, then it’s possible you can beat them.Why You Might Not Be Getting Featured Snippets
Take a hard look at how your competitor’s content is structured versus yours.
Are the question and answer higher up in your competitors’ pages than yours are?
Is yours buried three pages down versus your competitor having it near at the top of the page?
Does your competitor have their content structured in a way that’s easy for Google to take and replicate or put into a featured snippet versus yours?Some Actionable Steps
Go back to basics. If you’re not even on page one for the terms that you want to get to, you’ll need to work on that first. Develop your link profile so Google thinks you’re more important, continue to write content, and make sure that your website, from a technical perspective, is performing the way it should compared to your competitors. Featured snippets will play a role once you can start getting on to page one for the terms that you want to rank for. That said, you can still write content for featured snippets from the beginning. You’ll never know what type of terms that you’ll rank for outside of the terms that are directly visible to you.
Optimize for topics, not so much for keywords.
Integrate optimization techniques into your blog content and include it to your regular process.Conclusion
Optimizing for Google’s featured snippets is an opportunity that SEOs should consider pursuing. There is a huge opportunity in adjusting content to answer informational queries especially now that Google favors content that is valuable and relevant to readers. Using proper on-page optimization techniques and adopting a cohesive SEO strategy can greatly help in driving organic traffic metrics in today’s SERP landscape.#SEJThinkTank SEO Case Study: A Hootsuite Search Success Story Webinar
Here’s a video recap of the webinar Q&A session:
Here’s the SlideShare of the presentation as well.Join Us For Our Next Webinar! KPIs, Metrics & Benchmarks That Matter For SEO Success In 2023
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You're reading This Seo Strategy Helped Hootsuite Double Its Traffic
Today’s ask an SEO question comes from Kate in Louisville, who wrote:
“I work for a company that builds microsites for clients.
What factors do I need to focus on when there’s a dip in organic traffic?
In Q4 2023, for example, we did a rebrand and meta data was altered.
Would this have a massive impact on traffic going forward?”
Strictly speaking, there’s nothing different when it comes to how search engines treat a microsite versus a regular website.
They still look at URLs, links, titles, content, and hundreds of other ranking factors so the same SEO best practices for diagnosing a rankings drop will apply to microsites, too.Let’s First Talk About Traffic Drops
I want to share some thoughts on microsites in general, but before we do that let’s look at how to handle that traffic drop.
The specific answer to your metadata question is: Maybe.
The good news is, that changing it back and seeing what happens is a really easy and quick test to perform.
The first thing to do when there’s a dip in traffic with any site is to understand where the traffic dip occurred.
Is it a specific query or set of queries? is it a specific page or group of pages? Is it sitewide?
Look for patterns. It might be one “style” of the keyword (for example, keywords around a specific section of the site) or it might be a certain page template.
This information can steer you where to look.
Once you figure out where the traffic drop is, search for that query/page and see what happens.
If you aren’t showing up at all, check your site for a technical issue.
If you are showing up, did somebody else jump your position?
If you have lost rankings, you should first ask what changes were made to the page.
Often an unwanted title tag or content change or random technical issue could be at fault.
Assuming there’s no change at fault, the next step requires some soul searching.
Ask yourself: “Is this really the best result for a user? if I was searching this query, is this what I would want? Is it better than what’s outranking me?”
Often times as SEO pros we think in terms of push marketing – ” how can I get this page to rank for this query” but true success comes from a pull marketing mentality of understanding what the user is trying to do and creating something that accomplishes that.
We’re seeing this a lot lately with the Google core updates.
Search queries that used to return product description pages now return recommendations and curated lists of the best products in that category.
Google has decided that these pages better serve the user than a single product page.
If something like this is happening in your area, the only solution is to re-evaluate your content in the context of the query and what the engines are showing.
Usually, this isn’t quick or cheap, but it’s the best way to succeed.Okay, Let’s Talk About Microsites
Except for a few rare cases, I’m not a big fan of microsites.
Big brands love them because they can hire a cheaper/faster vendor to come in for some smaller project and keep it separate from their main website’s codebase, budgets, processes, etc. – but there are many drawbacks.
That just seems like a lot of unnecessary overhead that introduces more jump-off points for conversion.
It can also be an analytics tracking nightmare.
From a strictly SEO perspective, a microsite is starting over without any of the PageRank, link juice, or domain authority of the main website.
Whether you believe in such metrics or not, links still matter – and often microsites have fewer links to their pages than if they were placed on the main domain.
The other issue is competition. Too often a microsite done by another agency doesn’t collaborate with the agency doing the main website, and they end up competing for the same keywords.
In some spaces that can be a good idea, to own the search result and push down other pages – but the key here is to have a plan and collaborate with the main site.
Owning multiple search results or pushing something else down for ORM (online reputation management) could be one of the reasons why you’d want a microsite.
Paid search could also be another reason.
In general though, if there isn’t a good reason for a microsite, I’d recommend just creating a new page or section on the main website.
When in doubt, let the user experience dictate the decision, not SEO.
If it’s going to be branded differently or there is a good reason to keep users apart, do a microsite.
If not, you’ll have stronger rankings and more success by including it in the main domain.
Featured Image: Soagraphics/Shutterstock
Online shopping has taken over the world.
While people still run to the store to pick things up, the allure of buying just about anything from the comfort of your home is unstoppable.
From plumbing fixtures to pizza rolls, if you want it, you can get it delivered with the push of an app – without leaving the house.
And even if your business sells services, rather than products, there’s an incredible chance that the majority of people are shopping for it online.
This means ecommerce should be a focus for every company that’s selling something. And that means you need an increased focus on web traffic.
After all, you could have the best website in the world, with cutting-edge design, optimized for ideal user experiences, and copy that would make David Ogilvy gnash his teeth in envy, but if no one ever sees it, it’s not doing you an ounce of good.
You need to get found. And that, of course, is why SEO is a crucial part of any modern marketing plan.
You want to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), so you get found organically by your targets.
However, this is much easier said than done. But don’t fret, we’re here to help.
Whether you’re an experienced professional looking to brush up on the fundamentals for a client or a complete newbie trying to figure out how this whole SEO thing works for your business, you’re in the right place.
Here, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating, implementing, and optimizing an SEO campaign that will have your site shooting up the rankings in no time.What Is An SEO Strategy?
You’ve probably already figured out that an SEO strategy is your plan to make your website or landing page more appealing to Google and other search engines
The goal here is to rank higher and drive more organic traffic (and hopefully conversions).
It sounds simple enough, but there’s a big catch: Search algorithms are always changing.
As Google seeks to enhance the quality of its searches and provide users with better solutions to queries, its algorithms are updated several times a year.
What that means for SEO is that you can’t just set it and forget it. Every search engine optimization needs iterations.
That’s good for SEO professionals – otherwise, we’d be out of jobs rather quickly
But it means a bit of a commitment for you.
To stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the world of search, you need to regularly consult with reliable sources (like this one).
Luckily, there are a wealth of resources you can mine for quality information. Whether you prefer articles, webinars or podcasts, there’s SEO content available for you.Do You Really Need SEO?
Right now, some of you contrarians are sneering at your screen and asking if you really need SEO to find customers.
You have somebody handling paid search or affiliate marketing for you, so you’re not sure there’s much of a benefit to investing all this time into organic search. Don’t fall into that trap.
Organic search is what drives more than half of all website visits and should be an important part of any organization’s digital marketing strategy, whether you’re a multinational mega-corporation or a mom-and-pop shop.Creating An Effective SEO Strategy: 9 Fundamental Steps
Though SEO requires a comprehensive strategy, you can break it down into several manageable steps.1. Align SEO With Business Goals & Define KPIs
First things first, you need to know where you currently stand, where you want to go, and how you’ll measure success along the way.
You’ll want to begin by performing an SEO audit.
This is the roadmap that will guide you throughout the entire optimization process and allow you to benchmark against your current site.
You need to examine a variety of aspects, including:
Domain name, age, history, etc.
Page factors like headlines, keyword & topical targeting and user engagement.
Content organization, content quality, and the quality of your images (no one trusts stock photography).
Past and upcoming website updates.
The quality of inbound links.
On-site factors like sitemaps, image optimization. and robots.txt.
For a step-by-step guide on how to perform this audit, we have an excellent series that will guide you through it.
Once you know where you’re starting from, it’s time to plan your timeframe and allocated budgets and resources.
This is yet another area of life where you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for fast and cheap, you’re not going to get the results you would by investing more time and money.
Obviously, your budget and timeframe will depend on your company’s unique situation, but if you want good results, be prepared to pay for them.
For an idea of how much you should be spending, consult this article.
During this step of the SEO process, you’ll also want to define your key performance indicators (KPIs).
This is how you’ll measure the success of your new implementations and figure out what’s working for you and where you need to make adjustments.
Some of the KPIs you should be tracking are:
Keyword ranking increases.
Bounce rate (keep i mind that bounce rate is an internal metric and is 100% dependent upon the events you set up on your pages and will be phased out in GA 4)
Pages per session.
Average session duration.
Page load time.
Top exit pages.
For more information on what these are and why they’re important, be sure to read this piece on top SEO KPIs.2. Perform Keyword Research
Search engine rankings are determined by an algorithm that evaluates a variety of factors to decide how well a website answers a particular search query. And a huge part of that is the use of keywords.
From single words to complex phrases, keywords tell search engines what your content is about. But adding keywords isn’t quite as simple as just plugging in the name of the product or service you want to sell.
You need to do research to ensure keyword optimization, and that means considering the following:
The beauty of the English language (and the bane of SEOs) is in its richness.
But words often have multiple meanings, which makes it crucial to consider search intent, so you don’t attract an audience that was searching for something else.
For example, if you’re trying to attract customers to a haberdashery, ranking highly for [bowlers] may attract people who want to roll a few frames instead of those looking for a new hat.
Once you’ve identified your targets, you need to figure out which keywords are important to them.
It’s usually best to target only a few keywords, as targeting too broadly will make it difficult for the search engine to determine what your pages are about.
These are short phrases consisting of two or more words that people type into search engines to find specific content.
For example, someone looking for dance lessons may ask Google for [tango classes near me].
Keyword Research Tools
The brainstorming process is a great place to start keyword research, but to ensure you’re attracting the right audience and proving your value to search engines, you should utilize a research tool.
Most SEO professionals use Google’s Keyword Planner for this, but it can be a bit frustrating to use, so you may wish to consider other options.
These are specific search terms people use to find an exact match for their query.
They tend to be longer and are more likely to be used by people who are closer to making a purchase.
An example of this would be [vegetarian restaurants in San Antonio], which would most likely be used by someone with a craving for a plant-based meal.
This will tell you the number of searches for a particular keyword over a specified timeframe, giving you an overall idea of the term’s value and competitiveness.
[Christmas lights] is going to get a lot more volume in November and December than it will in July. A lot of terms are seasonal, keep this in mind.
Likewise, [used cars] is going to have more competition than [2006 Volkswagen Passant].
These are keywords targeting users at various parts of the sales funnel.
People at the top of the funnel are more likely to be attracted by more general terms like [Cancun vacation], whereas those who are nearer to purchasing are comparing prices and brands and will more likely be attracted by things like discounts or hotel names.
Keywords are as much about your audience as they are your content.
For a more detailed explanation of every part of keyword research and optimization, we have a detailed ebook on the topic.3. Define Your Most Valuable Pages
Every team needs an MVP, and in the case of your website, that’s your most valuable pages.
These pages are the ones that do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.
For non-ecommerce sites, these are usually things like your home page, your services pages or any pages with demos or other offers.
These pages are also likely MVPs for ecommerce sites, but will also be joined by category and/or product level pages.
To find which pages are your site’s most important ones, you should consider what your organization is known for.
What verticals to you compete in? What pain points do you solve? Define these or add more based on the high-level keywords you came up with in the previous step.
Once you’ve identified the category and product pages that bring in the most visitors, you’ll be able to focus your strategy on improving them and increasing your organic traffic.
Read more about how to find your MVPs here.4. Conduct A Competitive Analysis
If you didn’t have any competition, there would be no need for SEO. But as long as other companies are manufacturing refrigerators, Frigidaire needs to find ways to differentiate itself.
You need to have an idea of what others in your industry are doing, so you can position yourself for the best results.
You need to figure out where you’re being outranked and find ways to turn the tables.
You should know which keywords are most competitive and where you have opportunities.
You should have some understanding of the opposition’s backlinking and site structure, so you can optimize your own site for the best possible search ranking.
Learn more about how to perform this analysis and develop a template for it by reading this piece.5. Plan For User Experience & Technical SEO
Don’t overlook the importance of how your site is structured, both technically and how users interface with it.
The best content and keyword strategy in the world won’t lead to a single sale if your site is constantly broken or is so frustrating to use that people close your page in disgust.
You should carefully consider your site’s architecture and user experiences to ensure people are taking the desired actions.
Likewise, you should find and fix any technical issues like broken links, slow load times and bad site schema.
There are a number of free tools you can use to ensure your site is working optimally.6. Consider Your Resources
SEO doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it impacts many other parts of your organization, including marketing, sales, and IT.
If you’re looking for the budget to perform SEO, you may find some of your employees are already well-qualified to help.
For example, your sales team probably knows which products people are most interested in.
Enlisting them in your SEO strategy development will help with lead generation and find new targets who are already qualified.
Similarly, SEO can tell your marketing team what types of content resonates best, so they can fine tune their campaigns. And your copywriters and graphic designers can develop the type of content that will help you shoot up the rankings.
Your IT team probably already has control over your website.
Your SEO strategy should be designed around their expertise, to ensure website design and structure, development cycles, data structure, and core principles are all aligned.
And these are just a few ways you can integrate SEO into your existing workflows.
Others exist if you look closely and it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to start completely from scratch.
Evaluate your existing software, technology, and personnel, as there’s a good chance you have some of the pieces already in place.
And if you need to scale production up, you may find the budget already in place in existing departments.7. Align Your SEO Strategy With Your Customer Funnel
At the end of the day, sales are the name of the game. Without customers, there’s no revenue, and that means no business.
To aid in the sales process, your SEO strategy should align with your customer funnel.
Sometimes described as the customer journey, your sales funnel is a summation of the touchpoints customers have with your company as they go from awareness to post-purchase.
SEO fits neatly with every stage of this cycle:
Awareness: In the modern world, many customers first hear about your business online. Through a Google search, for example.
Interest: This is where customers start doing research. And what better place to do research than your website?
Decision: The customer wants to buy and is deciding between you and the competition. Your meta description mentioning free shipping could be the thing that sways them.
Purchase: Ecommerce continues to grow. Having a search engine optimized point of sale makes it easy for people to buy.
Post-purchase: Customer reviews, either on your website or on a third-party site are a great way to build trust and increase your relevancy for keywords.8. Report And Set Realistic Expectations
Reporting is essential. You need to be able to effectively measure and report on the progress you’re making.
Reporting allows you to establish consistent, accurate data that earns trust.
It helps you understand the factors behind your ranking and identify areas where you could improve, and not least of all, it proves the value of SEO to the organization’s decision-makers.
One of the most common mistakes people unfamiliar with SEO make is expecting overnight results.
And because of the variables involved with competition, inbound links, and the content itself, it’s nearly impossible to provide a definite timeframe.
You need to go into the process with an understanding that SEO takes time and the more competitive the keywords you’re going after, the longer it will take to climb to the top.
This needs to be conveyed to stakeholders from the start, to ensure expectations are realistic.
For a guide on how to create impactful reports that generate quality insights, read our guide here.9. Measure And Document Your Strategy
Congratulations on making it this far, but you’re not quite done.
After you’ve generated the reports on how your SEO strategy is working, you need to track the metrics and prove its impact.
Some of the most important metrics you’ll want to consider include organic sessions, bounce rate, top exit pages, and crawl errors.
By identifying all of these, you’ll get a better idea of what you customers are looking for – and what’s driving them away.
For more information, read this article on top SEO KPIs.
There are a variety of both paid and free tools available that you can use to measure and track conversions, and compare them weekly, monthly, or by another timeframe of your choosing.
Simply find one that works for your budget and needs.Conclusion
No one ever said SEO was easy, at least not anyone who has done it. But it’s a vital part of any modern organization’s business plan.
However, with a solid strategy, a willingness to learn, and a little old-fashioned elbow grease, even a complete beginner can send their website to the top of the SERP.
In this piece, we’ve given you nine steps to take to get your SEO strategy off the ground. But of course, this is just the start.
You need a unique plan that will work for your industry and your needs.
Luckily, Search Engine Journal can help with this too.
Download our ebook on SEO strategy with a full-year blueprint for an easy-to-follow 12-month plan you can use to develop a solid strategy, track your progress, and adjust to changing situations.
Featured Image: Lena Noir/Shutterstock
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a highly unique but profitable business model when combined with a successful marketing strategy.
Since the cost of hosting cloud networking and applications tends to be reduced with additional customers, SaaS companies need to grow their subscriber base quickly to thrive in a competitive market.
Over the years, I’ve found that many SaaS companies tend to focus more on paid acquisition for steady traffic flow and conversions. While this strategy certainly has short-term profitability, once you turn the faucet off, the traffic doesn’t come back.
For this reason, I recommend that most SaaS companies invest more into SEO as an all-encompassing strategy for growth.
Furthermore, the SEO strategies I list below will only improve your existing marketing efforts, whether you market your company using PPC, email, or social media.
With this in mind, I’d like to discuss some of the unique challenges SaaS companies face in the digital space and ways SEO can be used to overcome these challenges.
Then, I’ll provide nine actionable tips to help you improve your online presence and grow your business.5 Unique Digital Challenges For SaaS Companies 1. Economies Of Scale
As I stated in the introduction, SaaS marketers face a tough challenge in scaling SaaS businesses to a comfortable degree in order to offset the cost of hosting their cloud applications.
To achieve a lower cost of total ownership (TCO), SaaS companies need to build an effective network scale that:
Acquires new customers constantly.
Retains existing ones.
Entices customers to communicate with one another using the software to build a full-fledged network.
Instead, what’s needed is an omnichannel strategy that builds awareness organically through multiple channels.2. Levels Of Service
Many SaaS providers use varying business models, including self-service, managed service, and automated service models for customer support.
These models relate to the amount of support the SaaS vendor provides, which greatly affects the cost of managing and running their platforms.
In some ways, a managed or automated troubleshooting model could be a positive piece of marketing material.
But if your SaaS platform has a notoriously high learning curve, such as Salesforce, and you use a self-service model for customer support, you may need to invest heavily in educational materials and tutorials to assist customers as they learn about your products.3. Customer Acquisition Vs. Retention
While we focus heavily on customer acquisition to grow the network of a SaaS provider, keeping customers on the network is equally important.
Whether you rely on a one-time purchase or a subscription model, constantly iterating with new products, releases, and continual customer support is critical for maintaining steady growth for your business.
For this reason, SaaS companies need to invest in a wide-range marketing strategy that appeals to new and existing customers in different ways.4. Competing For Branded Keywords
Most of your keywords may be branded, which can be difficult to scale if no one is aware of your software or brand.
For this reason, a mix of PPC, link building, and high-level content will be critical to growing your brand’s name and people’s affiliation with your products.5. Optimizing For Search Intent
Finally, when you’re dealing with branded products and multiple keywords, it can be difficult to decipher intent.
As we’ll discuss, optimizing your funnel and content strategically around intent will be important for your overall SEO strategy.Benefits Of SEO For Sustainable SaaS Growth
Since SaaS companies rely on building economies of scale to reduce costs and increase profit, a long-term strategy like organic SEO makes the most sense for SaaS businesses.
Some of the benefits of SaaS SEO include:
Generating sustainable growth through steady customer acquisition.
Reducing the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) of each new customer.
Creating widespread brand awareness for your products.
Educating and retaining customers through highly authoritative content.
Improving overall omnichannel marketing performance.
The last point is interesting because most SaaS companies will typically use email marketing and paid media to attract and retain customers.
As a final point, increasing brand visibility around your software is perhaps the most important aspect of SEO.
Many products like Microsoft Office and G-Suite benefit from having more users on the platform because it reduces friction for people trying to communicate through two different products.
So by establishing yourself as a thought leader and building a loyal customer base using a mix of content and SEO, you can build out a wide-scale network of users that reduce hosting costs and accelerate your growth.
To get started, let’s discuss seven actionable SEO strategies for SaaS businesses.7 Actionable Ways To Scale SaaS Businesses With SEO 1. Establish The Fundamentals
First and foremost, you need to build a user-friendly site for people to download your products, contact customer support, and just read content.
Some technical fundamentals your website needs include:
Fast page speed.
Optimized images (quality and size).
Clear web structure.
Strategic keyword usage.
Clear calls-to-action (CTAs).
A sizeable crawl budget.
An XML sitemap.
No duplicate content issues.
Hreflang tags for international or multilingual users.
Once established, it will be easier to rank your website for authoritative content and keep users dwelling on it once they visit.2. Create Your Buyer Persona
Next, your team should develop a list of buyer personas you will pursue using multiple conversion tools. Input for buyer personas could be based on the following sources:
Sales and marketing teams.
Existing analytics sources (e.g., Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or Paid Media Channels).
Customer service representatives.
Direct feedback from customer surveys and interviews.
Now, your buyer personas or avatars will differ whether you’re targeting a B2C or B2B space.
In a B2C space, your buyer persona will be based on several demographic and psychographic inputs, including:
For example, if you were selling photo editing software, you would likely create separate avatars for professional/freelance photographers and also hobbyists.
On the other hand, your B2B persona will likely target specific people in an organization, such as managers, founders, or daily users.
For example, one marketing campaign and persona may focus on a software solution for sales teams and sales managers. At the same time, another campaign in the SEO space may target SEO managers looking to switch from existing products.
Once you have a list of buyer personas and avatars, you can create strategic campaigns with actionable solutions that appeal to these personas on both paid and organic channels.3. Optimize Content For All Stages of the Funnel
As a SaaS provider, you will likely need to create separate content for separate buyer’s personas, but also for new and existing customers.
In terms of acquisition, creating specific content at each stage of your individual sales funnel will increase your chances of conversion.
Create awareness that the user has a problem and that your software can solve it. Common marketing materials include:
Boosted social media posts.
Build interest in your products and find ways to engage with users.
For example, encouraging users to sign up for your newsletter or email service can be a great way to engage with users over time.
Engage with users further to push them closer to a conversion. Some common tactics include:
Free beta testing.
Purchase And Loyalty
Once a user has purchased one of your products, continue to engage them with special offers or educational content that improves their user experience and delivers satisfaction.4. Focus On The Right Keywords
Since the acquisition cost for early-stage SaaS providers is incredibly high, it’s important to curate a strategic organic keyword strategy that brings in qualified traffic to your website.
Some strategies to generate high-converting keywords and to use them appropriately include:
Target a list of your highest-converting PPC keywords.
Analyze what keywords competitors are bidding on and targeting organically.
Optimize for informational keywords (e.g., photo editing software: “How to enhance a photo”).
Leverage “integration” related terms if your software works with other products.
Focus on benefits (e.g., increase, improvement, automation, etc.).
List features (e.g., photo editing, red-eye removal, cropping, etc.).
Segment target keywords by intent across your sales funnel (e.g., informational keywords at the top of the funnel and keywords about features/benefits for mid-funnel content).
Optimize for lower volume, niche keywords with less competition to carve out market share.5. Build Out Topic Clusters For Authority
Once you have a list of keywords and an actionable content strategy for your funnel put in place, it’s time to execute.
Since SaaS products are fairly sophisticated and highly competitive, it’s ideal to follow Google’s E-A-T guidelines (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) to craft your content.
In addition, I also recommend creating topic clusters around topics with similar content that reinforces the main topic to generate authority and answer as many user questions as possible.
HubSpot is a good example of a blog and SaaS platform that creates highly sophisticated content clusters around its main products, including blogs and user tutorials.
To create a topic cluster, start with a seed keyword that serves as the main topic, such as “Photography,” and create a series of related topics.
For example, Adobe provides a series of photography tips designed to educate users about and sell their products, such as Photoshop.
As a bonus, leverage community forums to further engage and educate users with common troubleshooting concerns with your products.6. Don’t Forget About Links
While backlinks are still a valuable ranking signal, I view backlinks as a more valuable promotion strategy.
If you follow my content tips above, you will create many linkable assets that naturally accrue backlinks and can be used for promotion to earn more.
For example, white papers, ebooks, surveys, studies, and tutorials provide great resources to educate people and cite information for their own research.
However, to gain early exposure and build links to content, follow these actionable tips below:
Guest post on popular blogs and websites to generate buzz.
Promote educational content on paid channels, such as Facebook and Google.
Email educational content to relevant people in your industry to build awareness.
Contact resource pages for links to your software.
Conduct roundup interviews with industry professionals.
Promote surveys and studies through press releases or paid channels.7. Tie Everything Together Across Multiple Channels
Finally, combine all of these strategies into an omnichannel strategy.
Using a mix of PPC for brand exposure, content to build authority, and organic SEO to scale customer acquisition will provide the best strategy to scale an early-stage SaaS business.
Combine your PPC and SEO keyword research to optimize your funnel and create a consistent marketing strategy that nurtures users from awareness to the decision stage.In Conclusion
SEO and SaaS don’t just sound alike, but they truly do go together.
Featured Image: /Shutterstock
How UK retailers can stand out in the Black Friday American crowd
Black Friday is no longer a frenzy that only takes place in North America. British consumers have embraced the phenomenon with open arms, and sales topped a record £5.8 billion over the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2023. This was an increase of 15% on 2023 numbers, and this year numbers are expected to be even bigger.
However, some retailers in the UK have not been as quick to capitalize on the shopping extravaganza, even as sales continue to grow year on year. This has been great news for US ecommerce giant Amazon. The conglomerate sold 7.4m items in the UK last year at the expense of British business and is expected to expand their offerings this year. If UK retailers wish to grab a piece of the pie, they need not be just as good as their American counterparts but even better at attracting and converting visitors.
Knowing how massive Black Friday is becoming for consumers in the UK, you may be wondering what is the best approach to start optimizing your site for this huge event. As you prepare for the impending shopping holiday, the first step is ensuring your company’s website is ready to attract these customers with a basic SEO strategy.
To help you get started, we’ve created the following steps:Create an exclusive page for Black Friday deals Optimize on-page elements
Additionally, transactional keywords are better suited for ecommerce sites, something worth considering if you are targeting a small town or even a neighbourhood.
For the on-page elements, it’s important to ensure the header tag is properly coded (only one h1 per page) and that it contains the main keyword (the same keyword should be used in the title tag).Don’t forget about your content
You should aim to have at least 300 words on your Black Friday landing page. The content needs to be unique, informative and relevant to the products being sold.
This is also a good opportunity to include any extra information about your shipping times and rates. And remember that keyword research remains an important SEO element, so targeted keywords should be included in the copy.
The content on this page can be edited and expanded every year, as long as it remains unique.Avoid indexation and duplication issues
Don’t trust your ecommerce platform to handle all of the optimization for you. While their functionalities may be helpful, it’s important that you take the time to properly configure your site for search engines. If you find existing duplication issues, use canonical tags to direct search engines to the preferred version of a page.
Be careful not to have your automatically generated XML sitemap include URLs you don’t need to be crawled. Configure your sitemap to include only the URLs that you want indexable and ranking to make the most of your Black Friday efforts.Encourage enthusiasm to increase conversions
Once you have attracted visitors to your website, you need to convert them. The problem here is that some British shoppers are still spectators who hesitate to join the frenzy. This was evident in last year’s numbers.
While visitors to online retail sites grew from 2023, the growth in sales was lower than anticipated because of the under-performing conversion rate. I believe this is solely caused by a poor execution of the user conversion funnel, and not because of British consumers’ lack of enthusiasm.
The following is a list of the top reasons many retailers in the UK fail to convert the additional traffic brought by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and what they can do to change thatStart early
What started as a one-day craze is now a month-long maelstrom. Amazon kicks off their sales on 14 November and some retailers even earlier.
Consumers want to get moving on their holiday shopping during this period, making it a great opportunity to capitalize on deals at the same time. This early spending shift simply can’t be ignored, because you run the risk of losing revenue on both bargain hunters and holiday shoppers.Added urgency
The natural excitement surrounding these two shopping holidays already adds a sense of urgency. Yet, you can increase it even more by improving your website’s messaging.
For instance, you can implement a countdown clock that reminds consumers of when a deal is ending, or you can highlight the number of products left in your inventory. These are both great ways to transform those indecisive visitors into paying customers.Plan for traffic spikes
Many shoppers are ditching the crowds and queues for the convenience of online shopping. Yet, those same shoppers often end up running into a different kind of headache: slow-responding websites unprepared for the seasonal traffic spikes
This one issue can turn what can be a very profitable few days into an absolute flop. The time-sensitive nature of the event means you can’t afford for your servers to respond slowly. While some visitors may be forgiving and willing to wait for a slow website to load, most users expect your site to take no more than few seconds.
In fact, according to a KissMetrics report, more than 30% of users will abandon a site if they have to wait up to 10 seconds for it to load.
Prepare for success by getting your site ready for a traffic spike.Optimize for mobile and tablet
Mobile is king, especially for UK consumers. In 2023, online purchases made on a tablet or mobile device accounted for £25.2 billion, an increase of 25% on the previous year. While a majority of purchases still occur on a tablet device, mobile wasn’t far behind—and it’s quickly making up ground.
With this in mind, make sure your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions are optimized for handheld devices. Here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind:
Product images are legible
Navigation is a breeze regardless of the device being used
Fonts are clear and decipherable smaller screens
Most importantly, input fields are intuitive and easy to useHighlight key benefits to customers
How you set yourself apart—aside from your product prices, of course—is crucial. While consumers are clearly looking for the best deal, other factors play a significant role in their decision-making.
For example, shipping fees and delivery dates are major deciding factors when it comes to cart abandonment rates and who consumers ultimately purchase from. While most retailers offer free shipping, how and where you present this messaging can have a huge impact on conversion. The same goes for your return policies.
It’s imperative that you look at your site’s messaging and ask yourself, How can I lower consumer anxiety and increase motivation?Now what?
Hopefully, this post encourages you to start thinking about all the ways you can better optimize your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just remember that this a two-step process: first, you need to rank, and then you need to convert.
It’s now up to you and your team to see if you are ready for this year’s event.
Double Exponential Moving Average (DEMA)
An indication of the price movement of an asset or security over a certain number of past periods
Published December 22, 2023
Updated June 28, 2023What is the Double Exponential Moving Average (DEMA)?
Double exponential moving averages (DEMA) are an improvement over Exponential Moving Average (EMA) because they allocate more weight to recent data points. The reduced lag results in a more responsive moving average, which helps short-term traders spot trend reversals quickly.
Let us look at Apple Inc.’s prices over a period of nine months from April to November 2023. The chart uses candlesticks, which are used to reflect the change in Apple’s stock price for each period.
The yellow line is the simple moving average line. The red line indicates exponential moving average (EMA), and the green one is the DEMA line. We can observe that the DEMA is closest to the price points and with the least deviations.
Since the DEMA line mimics the stock prices most closely, it is, therefore, most sensitive to the stock volatility. Changes in volatility are good indicators for a trend reversal, and hence, stock trades. Let us look at differences when the number of days for the DEMA is changed:
The black line is the 50 days DEMA, which is significantly detached from the stock prices compared to the nine days DEMA, which is the green line. The moving averages are dependent on the last data point, and the lower the number of days of moving averages, the higher the effect of the last data point will be.
It can be seen here that the lesser the number of days used to calculate the moving average, the higher the volatility will be of that moving average. Hence, DEMA of a lower number of days will be more volatile and will incorporate the price changes more accurately.Calculating the Double Exponential Moving Average (DEMA)
The Double Exponential Moving Average (DEMA) is a combination of smoothed exponential moving averages (EMA) and a basic EMA. The combination reduces the lag in the combined DEMA. DEMA can be represented as:
DEMA is named so because it uses an EMA of the EMA and not because it uses 2*EMA. Similarly, there is another popular measure known as triple EMA, which uses the EMA of the EMA of the EMA.Applications of the Double Exponential Moving Averages
The DEMA is used similarly to simple or exponential moving averages. They can be used in:1. Trend Analysis
Trend analysis refers to the use of the movement of historical asset prices to predict future movement. DEMA is an important trend indicator for technical analysis. The direction of the DEMA is the direction in which the asset prices are expected to move in the future. Rising DEMA signifies a probable rising price, whereas falling DEMA signifies a probable asset price fall.
A price point of an asset above the DEMA is likely to rise, and the price point below is likely to fall. If the asset price line moves above the DEMA, this indicates that the falling trend in prices will reverse. Similarly, if the asset price line moves below the DEMA, the price rise is expected to reverse the trend, and prices fall. Traders use the cues to go long or short to earn profits using directional trading strategies.2. Support and Resistance
Another important use of exponential averages, including DEMA, is to show support and resistance levels for the stock prices. Resistance levels indicate where the stock prices show little inertia to go higher, whereas support levels indicate where prices are not likely to fall below.
The graph shows a 25-days DEMA line for AAPL stock over a period of approximately four months. The first half shows the candlesticks below the black-colored DEMA line, which acts as the resistance. Once the stock price moves above the line around March 24th, the price does not fall below the DEMA line. The line now acts as the support.
The change of support and resistance where stock prices move above the resistance line is known as a breakout. Breakout is an important trend reversal indicator and is regularly used by the traders.Difference Between Different Moving Averages
The simple moving average is the simple average of the past n-day asset prices. The exponential moving average provides more weight on the more recent observation. The DEMA provides an even greater weight on the most recent observations.
To sum up, moving averages are used as a technical indicator. The greater the weight on the most recent observation, the greater the moving average is susceptible to the price changes. DEMA is therefore preferred by short-term traders, whereas simple moving averages are preferred by long-term investors.Additional Resources
CFI offers the Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and developing your knowledge base, please explore the additional relevant resources below:
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