I don’t have to tell you that software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a competitive niche.
Yet you still need to get to the top of Google’s search results somehow. The articles you write, no matter how good and insightful they are, will be of little help to you unless they can be discovered by your customers online.
And there’s another trick: The most relevant keywords for SaaS startups are rarely focused on the purchase. They’re focused on education and information, questions about how to do things and manage things.
We’ll explain this a bit later—but for now, just know that it’s the reason why SaaS site churn rates can be significantly higher than in other industries.
One way to get ahead in SaaS SEO and customer referrals is by building powerful backlinks. In this competitive niche, getting high-quality backlinks might be the key to search engine visibility improvement, getting more valuable organic traffic and drawing referrals who are ready to buy.
The only question: How do you get these much-desired links to your SaaS website?
Here at Chanty, our marketing team focuses on SaaS SEO and has the mission of continuously winning high-quality backlinks.
In this article, you’ll learn 12 no-BS techniques to build your site’s link profile and kill it with SaaS SEO.
Let’s dive right in!
12 Ways We Boost Our SaaS SEO with Powerful Backlinks
1. Produce linkworthy blog content like there’s no tomorrow
As mentioned above, most keywords relevant to the SaaS industry tend to lack the buying intent.
The search queries that drive traffic to our website are “team communication,” “office collaboration,” “workplace productivity” and so on.
That’s why you shouldn’t generate content just for keyword value. If your blog articles are fluffy and useless, say goodbye to backlinks. Nobody cares.
If we only focused on general, bland discussion of “team communication,” we’d get no rankings or conversions. We achieve rankings and conversions by digging deep and sharing how our SaaS tool can truly improve readers’ lives.
Create high-quality, relevant and thought-provoking content that reflects your own experience and personality. Go with in-depth, original research rather than generic and overused topics. The more value your content can offer, the better.
Once you create several really noteworthy pieces of content related to SaaS topics, the backlinks will follow quite naturally.
2. Don’t overlook blog directories
The following three no-brainer steps can help you get high-quality dofollow backlinks from most blog aggregators for free:
- Submit your site (mainly, the RSS feed of your blog).
- To confirm your ownership of the site, add a special HTML code to it.
- Wait for the blog aggregator to review your site.
And that’s all there is to it!
3. Create and participate in SaaS round-ups
Reach out to influencers in your industry and ask them to contribute to a blog post.
Once the round-up goes live, you can simply ask participants to share or link to your blog post. If you feature 10 industry influencers in your round-up, and each one of them reposts or links to your article, you’ll get 10 high-quality backlinks at no cost and little effort.
For example, we recently asked 10 SaaS startup founders to share their advice on how to find beta testers. Our result was nine backlinks.
If you make a name as an influencer in a certain field, you can expect to get similar requests from fellow startupers. Then it’ll be your turn to contribute as an expert. This will also get high-quality backlinks to your website.
4. Become a guest posting ninja
Guest posting is the oldest trick in the SEO book.
This also means that it’s one of the easiest tasks to get done. All it takes it a little commitment and a lot of good writing.
There are many resources out there that will be willing to accept your article. Keep in mind that a poorly-written article can give you a bad name, whether it gets published or not. So before submitting, make sure that:
- The website or blog is relevant to your industry.
- The article is not all about how great your SaaS business is.
- Your article is well-written, valuable and interesting.
It’s important that you build links that help your website and not links that can negatively impact your website’s ranking in search results. The only way to do that is to submit excellent content and focus on sharing valuable information with the readers of the site that’s hosting your guest post.
When readers see that you’re not just in it for the SaaS SEO, and that you genuinely have something to offer them, then they’ll begin to trust you—and might even click on that promotional backlink you embedded in your guest post. That’s when the SEO gets a real boost and when the referral traffic starts flowing freely.
5. Make friends for the sake of cross promotion
Partnering with related SaaS companies is a great way to generate backlinks.
You both want the same thing: Improved SaaS SEO performance, backlinks and new customers.
The opportunities here are limitless. However, it’s important to find the right company for co-marketing. It shouldn’t be your direct competitor, but rather a company targeting a similar audience and offering a slightly different product or service.
Our partnership with Daxx brings us good friends as well as high-quality backlinks. For example, we exchange guest posts, share each other’s visual content, use partner’s expert opinion in our own articles.
6. Don’t rely on famous (and overused) linkbuilding methods
Broadly speaking, if you’re starting from scratch, you can’t expect to have the same results you read about on blogs of marketing gurus. Almost all impressive case studies using The Skyscraper Technique, The Moving Man Method and other well-known strategies were performed on an already-established site.
This means that they had a good leg up when they started. If you’re starting from scratch, or with a much smaller website, getting those same incredible results will require more time and effort.
Not to mention, implementing every link building technique is a time-consuming activity. If you’re ready to throw about 20 hours to the winds and get no backlinks, give it a try. If you aren’t, consider allocating your time and efforts somehow differently.
My advice to curious marketers would be to give any one strategy of interest a test and see if it works for your SaaS business. If it works, you’ll gain dozens or hundreds of links. If it doesn’t, you’ll still get your content and make contact with hundreds of prospective influencers.
7. Benefit from your images and infographics
No matter how great your blog and guest articles are, some people find it easier to grasp information visually. That’s why many SaaS companies often use infographics to attract links. In fact, we did too. And it actually turned out to be a great strategy for getting high-quality backlinks in our case.
Yet, keep in mind that someone might use your infographic, without any linking to you. To see if your images are used without proper attribution (in the form of backlinks) you can simply run a “reverse image search” in Google with any of your existing visuals.
There’s a simple rule when it comes to SaaS content marketing via infographics: 20 percent is content creation, 80 percent is content distribution.
8. Submit your website to SaaS/startup/web design directories
Not all online directories are bad. A directory that not only gives you the chance to post a link to your website, but also provides useful information for your potential customers, is a directory you should be listed on.
For example, speaking of website design, you can find many feedback resources out there where you’re able to submit the site and get honest feedback on its design and content. The great thing about these feedback resources is that most of them provide a link back to your site.
9. Find and benefit from the low-hanging fruit
These resources allow links to your website and sometimes, as with Quora, you can even refer to a specific piece of content in your answer. The latter, however, offers only nofollow links which are good for driving relevant traffic but not for SEO.
10. Use HARO in a full swing
HARO is one of the best ways to generate high-quality backlinks from authority news sites.
Here’s how it works:
2. Receive three emails per day on weekdays from reporters looking for sources. Look out for source requests relevant to you and your business niche.
3. Respond with some helpful content and your credentials.
11. Provide testimonials
Consider giving a testimonial for a product that you really like using. All companies love showing off customer testimonials on their website.
Testimonial link building is a win-win scenario. Companies get another testimonial to place on their site, while you get a new backlink.
Quick tip: There’s no need to ask them to link back to you. Most of them will do this, to prove that you’re a real person.
12. Keep an eye on your competition
As a SaaS startup, you should know who your most important competitors are before you even start building your product.
The market is highly saturated and, in most cases, if your rival companies are ranking higher than you, they must have done something better. Better content, better SEO, better backlink building strategy.
Here’s an idea: Replicate the best backlinks of your competitors by surfing their backlinks profiles. Moreover, make this a habit, an everlasting process.
To start with, understand how your competitor has got that link. There are dozens of ways a SaaS startup can get backlinks: through sponsored product reviews, influencer marketing or by contributing guest posts to different sources, etc. You learn all of this information by keeping an eye on your Monitor Backlinks dashboard.
The Competitors tab in this tool will lead you to the complete backlink profiles of all your tracked competitors.
Click View Links for any competitors and you’ll get a bird’s eye view of it all.
Then you’re just another click away from seeing the nature of each and every backlinks this competitor has. Filter for the most powerful ones, see what kind of content the backlinks are embedded in, and then reach out to get those same backlinks for yourself.
That’s it. SEO is no rocket science, even for a SaaS startup.
It’s pretty simple and straightforward, all things considered.
Certainly no more complicated than any other type of SEO work.
The thing is—it is more challenging.
It will take longer and require more patience and focused effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results quickly. Link-building, especially in this particularly crowded and competitive niche, takes time.
Take it from us: Focus more on building your brand’s image online and establishing real relationships with the industry influencers rather than simply getting the much-desired links to your SaaS website.
This way, you’ll earn those backlinks and SEO benefits fair and square. Doing things the right way. Creating real value.
And the best part? Implementing most of the listed techniques won’t cost you a dime.