While all businesses depend on continued growth to survive, SaaS businesses in particular need to constantly grow and innovate to sustain themselves. Unlike many other types of businesses, SaaS companies use a “live service” model to continually update their software offerings for an audience that subscribes monthly or annually to temporarily utilize their software. Once a company or individual unsubscribes from a SaaS company, they no longer pay for the SaaS company. As such, their subscription revenue is generally used to continually develop the software as well as pay for developers, software engineers, marketers, and other personnel. As a result of this predicament, SaaS companies constantly need new to have a new base of customers they can pull from who are ready to sign up for a subscription to their software.
You can run paid ads for them, but the ROI on these is usually low for SaaS companies. For example, if you are spending $30 to get a new customer through paid ads and a user subscribes to your software for just one month, or even just a free trial, and the cost of your subscription is $25 a month, then the cost of acquiring them is too high. While paid ads can generate leads quickly, they may not be sustainable for a young SaaS company that needs to have continual capital to put into ads and figure out their ad targeting strategy.
For this reason, many SaaS companies use Google search as their primary method of acquiring new customers. This can be done by implementing a dedicated SaaS SEO strategy, which will likely land your SaaS company’s website on the first page of Google for target keywords. These keywords, if properly researched in the keyword research process, should be highly specific and relevant to the search engine’s intent. The search engine itself may not realize that it is looking for software, but it may turn out that the search terms you are searching with primarily display software-based pages on what is called the search engine results pages or SERPs.
These SERPs are where businesses compete with other businesses, blogs, and publications for target keywords. Analyzing the SERPs is very important for SaaS companies in particular, who need to determine if the intent of the keyword is for people to find software or if it is to find information. Once this is done, a SaaS company can determine which page they would like to rank for a target keyword, or whether or not they need to build out a new page such as a comprehensive content resource, an integration page, or even a page that details and compares themselves to a larger competitor. By analyzing SERPs and seeing what other types of content is being promoted, SaaS companies can make an informed decision about where to best make investments in content marketing.
Overall, SaaS companies are very well positioned to use SERP data. However, SEO is a long-term investment, and SaaS companies looking to make that investment will likely find that over time, they can find a base of new users who are excited about their SaaS product.