Content Marketing

B2B SaaS SEO: Blueprint to Generate Leads from Your Content IN 2023

In this post, I share a proven blueprint you can use to generate leads for your SaaS brand through content.

John Ozuysal

August 31, 2023

It's a norm these days to see B2B SaaS SEO case studies titled: “How X company generated 1000+ SaaS leads  in 6 months doing SEO.”

Except these headlines are misleading or clickbait, there's no denying that it is possible to generate that amount of leads in that time frame simply by maximizing the power of SEO.

So, you are churning out content weekly, and you are probably hoping that you get that “ SaaS SEO aha moment,” aka time to create a case study — “the leads I generated through BOFU content.”

But then you remember that you need a blueprint to get these results, you need time to generate leads, and you fidget about it. This means you are not sure what works. 

In this post, I share a proven blueprint you can use to generate leads for your SaaS brand through content.

What are the benefits of investing in SEO for B2B SaaS?

Benefit #1: Increase in sign-ups and traffic — 

Datapad used a ROI-driven SEO to acquire 1000+ sign-ups in six months.

Also, Hotjar's search volume increased 47% over the past 2 years.

That's millions of new visitors each year.

 They used an effective SEO strategy to build topical authority and domain authority with clusters and a great UI/UX design.

So, what does this tell you?

Simply put— numerous possibilities abound when you increase SEO efforts for your B2B SaaS, whether you are looking to increase your organic traffic or trying to convert these visitors to customers with product-led content.

As they say, data doesn’t lie. 

So what says data on how B2B SaaS teams are milking off revenue from SEO? 

Per research by Growfusely: 


Benefit #2: Improved online visibility and domination 

Success in SaaS SEO doesn't always mean more sign-ups.

No truer words from Victor Ijidola, a POV-driven marketer who believes that there are more benefits beyond the joy of getting more sign-ups for your products or consultation services.

Relevance and authority — that's how you make your mark on search and social media. Imagine your content popping up for every keyword your ideal customer searches for. An advantage, right? Yes!

And that's not all that SEO offers. An effective SEO strategy can take you beyond the rocks of SERPs. Let's think about it this way:

  • What if people share your content with others on social media? Okay, you probably distributed it on social media, and people shared it. It's even better if it's high-quality content.
  • What if your content is a topic for discussion on a Slack channel? Dark social comes into play here. You don't even know how far your SaaS has become just because of content 

All these improve your visibility and domination online. However, it takes more than doing SEO to dominate. Aside from having great content, you must take Content distribution seriously.

As Ryan Law puts it — “Many great articles languish in the quiet backwaters of the internet because their authors didn't consider distribution, or laboured to promote an article somewhere it didn't fit.”

So, if you don't take distribution seriously, you might as well reduce your chances of dominating online, and this is not to downplay the power of SEO, no! It would help if you add an amplifier, and that's what content distribution gives you.

Benefit #3: Lesser expenses on AD spend

When I asked John Ozuysal, a SaaS growth adviser and CMO at Datapad, to tell me about the other benefits he cherished from the amazing results Datapad generated from ROI-driven SEO, he had this to say to me:

“If we didn't have the organic search practices going on, we would need to do paid ads and spend some money to make it work."

And he said this specifically for SaaS Startups and SaaS brands with a tight marketing budget, so he continued:

“So when you are a startup, your budget is limited. If you're spending a lot of money on ads, then this means — you don't have the money for other stuffs.”

To spend less on ads, you should invest in a solid SEO strategy.

NOTE💡: Spending less on ads doesn't mean you shouldn't invest in paid ads when needs be. And putting all your eggs in an SEO basket doesn't guarantee quick results! It is a long-term game.

When is the right time to invest in SEO?

It depends.

You know investing in Search Engine Optimization is worth it, but you are not sure when the right time is to invest in it.

The simple answer — it depends. So, what does it depend on?

  • If you have a startup that is well funded, and you've got the budget, then you can start early. SEO is an investment, not an expense. SEO is like Rome. You don't get results in a day. So, don't worry about why it's not giving early results.
  • If you have an in-house SEO strategist or a team of SEOs you can invest in, then the right time is now. With an in-house SEO team, you can hit the ground running immediately. They can quickly assess your current SEO status, identify lapses, and implement strategies.
  • You want to conduct a thorough market analysis before doubling down on SEO — It's OK to take some time, understand your audience, create a product-market fit, and map out a strategy to run your SEO efforts effectively. 

For instance, if you have project management software and are trying to identify key terms and long-tail keywords that your ideal customers are actively searching for. If you can finish your research, it is a clear signal that SEO can drive valuable traffic, so start!

I love how Kesley Jones put it in a Moz article on “B2B SEO in 2023: What's New and How to Adapt Your Strategy for Success". She says — ”Develop buyer personas and identify their pain points, needs, and search intent. This insight helps you choose relevant keywords that align with your audience's interests. It’s important to pay attention to the “curse of knowledge” and don’t assume your audience has the same level of knowledge about your product that you do. 

  • You don't have good site architecture. Wait, fix it, and kickstart SEO. Run a technical SEO audit. While we glorify publishing quality content, it still pays to have a great site architecture. Kesley also points out a few benefits of having a great site architecture. She points out that —

Pro tip💡: Waiting for the best and most convenient time to start investing in SEO will only be a waste of time if you don't have candid reasons behind your delay. While you are waiting, your competitors are ramping up strategies and getting compounding results. This is a long-term game that'll yield great marketing results. So, start!

Important things you need to have before investing in content and SEO

1. Effective messaging and brand positioning

It’s one thing to publish tens of articles on your blog, and it’s another to create high-quality content that passes the right message to your ideal customers.

That's why you need to have good messaging and positioning. But first, you must answer these questions –

  • Who exactly are you writing for? Simply put—who’s your ideal customer? You see, the litmus test for SaaS SEO content is having your ideal customers read your content, not just your content but... more on this in the next bullet.
  • What problems are you trying to solve for them? If your ideal customers get to read your content and their problems remain unsolved after the last word on your page, then it’s almost futile to spend so much on content. Remember, SaaS buyers spend 27% of their time during the buying process conducting independent research on search engines; this means you don't want to leave your readers empty-handed after they read your content.
  • Are my other pages — homepage, sign-up pages, e.t.c — portraying my brand's unique value proposition?  “Value that is not perceived will not be received,” says Flint McGlaughlin, Marketing Director of MECLABS Institute. This is very true.

If your value is not perceived by your audience beyond your content, then your content efforts will look like a fluke. This is what positioning truly means — a consistent messaging throughout your SaaS SEO assets that puts you out there as the brand that dominates.

Three things to note from these questions:

  1. Create ideal customer personas — a popular tip but very underrated.
  2. Optimize your core website pages for high-intent keywords and good copywriting. It can be quite challenging to rank these pages but don't depend on it so much. 
  3. Create solution-focused content. At House of Growth, this is one of the most cherished steps when we create a SaaS strategy for our clients.

Pro Tip💡: When perfecting your messaging and brand positioning in the SaaS marketing realm, remember that clarity is your compass. Craft crystal-clear answers to these questions listed above. By fostering a consistent brand message, you establish your dominance in the SaaS landscape.

Here's an example:

Grant Lukin, Marketing Manager at Nimble, a financial services company, generated  241% higher CTR by adding value prop to a landing page.

Here's what he had to say:

“Before, we had a page that didn’t have the value proposition section and was somewhat of a generic site like other competitors. After we made the changes to our webpage, the results were very positive,” Lukin said.

Clicks on the call-to-action went up by 241% compared to when they didn’t have that section. 

The section —

The company received 93% more applications for short-term loans. Ultimately, the change increased revenue by 32%. This is what effective messaging can do for you.

2. A round-up of points and ideas from interviews with your current customers

Minimum Viable Content Marketing (MVCM) is a thing in B2B SaaS SEO! You see, the idea is to start with the smallest amount of content possible; however, you can't start with content creation if you don't have an idea about how you want to help your potential customers

Your customers are your best bet to give you raw ideas about your product. And with these ideas, you can create magic with content rather than using generic keywords.

So, I reached out to John Ozuysal and asked him, “why interviewing your current customers is beneficial ”?

He had this to say to me:

He's not the only content leader and SaaS growth advisor saying this. Peter Caputa, CEO of Databox, talked about how their main marketing investment has been in content marketing in a LinkedIn post.

He discussed booking calls with customers and collaborating with them to create content. He terms it — collaborative marketing 

With this playbook, they grew Databox to $7.5m ARR. How?

  • Identifying questions or topics your potential customers would find extremely valuable.
  • Speak to your sales team, fix a call and talk to your customers; listen to them. Note down these questions and ideas from them.
  •  Then, you crowdsource insights and expertise from that target audience to help you offer the most comprehensive, complete perspective on the topic.
  •  Next, you compile and summarize all those insights into a “pillar” piece of content

3. Hassle-free onboarding place 

If your customers have to worry about how to get educated about your product, then you are making a mistake. And you can't fix this with content on the blog alone, no. You must have solid onboarding.

Let's see what the stats say:

63% of customers think onboarding is key to subscribing to a product. User onboarding is a turning point for your new customers. The primary onboarding experience helps customers decide whether to continue business with you. 

Almost 60% of companies say they are not satisfied with their current user onboarding experience for their product. So what do you need to do:

  • Get the right digital onboarding tools.
  • Have a dedicated customer onboarding team
  • Ask your current customers for feedback from your current onboarding process
  • Avoid BS in your welcome onboarding messages

How to do SaaS SEO the right way

Step 1: Do comprehensive keyword research for commercial intent keywords.

SaaS keyword research is the building block of any good SaaS content marketing strategy. If you get it right, you will get a ton of traction and conversion rate, but if you get it wrong, it will adversely affect your time and budget. 

Of course! You want to generate sign-ups and increase organic traffic, so the no-brainer is looking for commercial intent keywords that target your potential customers.

Ideally, commercial intent keywords are types of keywords that include:

  • “Best of" product listicles: You target people searching for a product like yours. At House of Growth, we create a lot of listicles for early-stage startup startups because it leads to immediate conversions. For instance, best [solution] software, best [industry] software, e.t.c
  • Alternatives: You simply search for your product's competitors available and write a listicle of the top alternatives for it. This involves running a competitor's analysis.
  • Competitor comparison: This can be a 2-way comparison - [competitor] vs. [your brand] or a 3-way comparison - [competitor 1] vs. [competitor 2] vs. [your brand]. For example, Userpilot once used — Chameleon vs. ProductFruits vs. Userpilot.  

So, how do you research these high-intent keywords:

  1. Ask your PPC team what high-converting keywords work for them, as they could be your potential ROI keywords. It would be best to ask them about the keyword research process that gives them the highest conversion rates for every point of the customer journey.
  2. Go to G2. It is a great place to get keyword ideas. You can use this technique to also check on what people are saying about your competitor's product. Take their pain points and find a way to resolve them by introducing your product to your competitor's customers and making them your customers.  The site has millions of people writing their opinions about the products they are using.
  3. Leverage your existing customers to do a high search intent keyword research by asking them what triggered them to look for a solution for the problem they are facing. 
  4. Check Your Competitors Out Using a Keyword Research Tool: Input your competitor's domain into Ahrefs, go to their organic keywords section, filter the keywords by software, apps, or tools and then see what keywords they’re ranking for.

We've written about how you can approach this step effectively in our article on SaaS keyword research.

Step 2: Create a cluster around your content for each keyword you have

Any B2B SaaS company needs to create clusters that support their articles for each keyword. 

Why? You'll build topical authority and high-quality links. You'll simplify navigation for users — better user experience — and search engines. Also, with topic clusters, it's easier to organize your content and avoid keyword cannibalization issues

So, what does building a cluster page look like?

You create a central pillar page that covers the major topic and several cluster pages, a.k.a mini-clusters, that delve deeper into related sub-topics.

It can look like this descriptive image by Semrush

So, how do you do this? Follow these steps, and you are on your way to building topical authority:

  • Research — Unless Google goes into extinction! Hahaha. Everything starts with Google. Go there; that's where your customer will go (a big bang on AI now, hehe). Type the keyword you want to build your mini-cluster around. Let's say “digital onboarding software”. Also, you can speak to your customers to find out the search queries they used to find your product on search engines. What next?
  • Create a competitive keywords shortlist from your research and use SEO tools to analyze. For example, here's an analysis of the keyword: “project management software ".
  • Plan your content and start right away. Remember to choose topics relevant to your SaaS brand and your ideal customers. Also, choose a broad topic to create several pieces of content around. 

I like how Isioma Ogwuda, a content strategist, emphasized it in an article: “Your cluster pages should target more specific keywords with lower competition and be located one step deeper in click depth from the main page".

Step 3: Weave your product into your content

Product-led content is any content that gives you the opportunity to showcase your product in action contextually.

You say — I'm just going to publish this article, make it valuable, and build authority. There's no need to add my product; they'll check my pricing page.

Here's your competitor's reaction —because they are doing it and you are not.

What you don't know is that — where your product is the primary vehicle to get and activate users — is here to stay.

I love how Ahrefs CMO & Product Advisor Tim Soulo puts it — “My theory is that people don’t sign up for your [SaaS product] and then learn how to use it. My theory is that people first learn how to use your [product]. And they sign up because they know how to use your tool.”

It's not enough to produce well-optimized content and cluster or search engines. No! You must create solution-focused content that shows how your product can help your customers. This way, you are not being salesy; you are following the educational route.

But how can you create this kind of content without first understanding your product and who you want to serve?

A great example of product-led content is this article on the Hotjar blog about “Click maps: using them to optimize your website,” written by Fio Dossetto. 

Right after the H2 — How to use click maps on your website —  she introduces their product in a sentence that reads, "Log into the main Hotjar dashboard (sign up for a forever-free account if you’re new to it), and navigate to the Heatmaps section to begin.."

This way, they demonstrate to potential clients how Hotjar can be used to maximize click moans on a website. And with a free forever trial — this shows they are giving more value to their customers. So, what next? Hey! It's time to swipe my card and enjoy more premium features.

This is what product-led content is: its value first, but you can weave your product in. 

In Victor Ijidola's piece on Product-Led vs. BoFu Content: Which Should You Prioritize? He wrote that Product-led content helps you tell a story about your product when your target audience wants to consume content that relates to your product — and would consider using it.

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