How to Build an SEO Growth Engine (By Not Following The Typical SaaS Marketing Consultant Playbook)
Before you hire a SaaS marketing consultant, answer this question: off the top of your head, how many competitors does your SaaS have?
A survey of 1,432 SaaS founders showed that a decade ago the average number of competitors for a SaaS startup was 2.6. Five years ago it was 9.7, a 4X increase in competition. The survey hasn’t been updated for 2021, but I would guess that trend in competitor growth either continued, or at the very least it plateaued at a high level (perhaps unbundling in the market and trends toward micro saas slowed it down a bit, but the steady market growth SaaS has seen continues to attract new competitors).
Meanwhile, content marketing is more competitive than ever. Not only is the sheer volume of content being produced by your competitors growing, so is the quality. Today it’s much harder to win views, backlinks, and customers with a blitz of 5,000 word articles. Everyone is already doing that.
And yet, if you do some Googling for a content marketing consultant, that’s exactly what you see promised.
A playbook for cranking out high quality blog content. ACME SaaS Marketing Consultants will perform keyword research, identify the hottest topics, and help you promote it. Oh and we’ll do technical SEO and link building outreach, too (cause no one will probably link to this content organically anyway).
Is anyone starting to see the problem with SaaS marketing consultants?
Growing competition. Everyone following the same playbook. It’s like one of those Japanese trains at rush hour with everyone heading in the same direction at once. And the marketing consultants are like the train attendants trying to cram you onto the train.
Instead of competing to lose, what if you found a way to win?
Brute forcing your way to higher rankings with massive amounts of high quality blog content is expensive.
As a SaaS leader, it’s time to start thinking smarter not harder. You are not a media company, you’re a software company. And it’s that shift in thinking that can open the door to some incredible SEO opportunities that are completely unique to SaaS.
Like how Zapier optimized it’s ungated product integration pages for search, to create a growth engine that propelled them to $140M ARR. Or how Duolingo added a language learning module to it’s product for learning Klingon and attracted 431 high quality backlinks in under a couple months.
These are examples of SaaS companies stepping back from the typical blogging playbook, and finding ways to generate massive SEO success from creative strategies that exploit the strengths of being product driven software companies.
I’ve come across countless other examples of out-of-the-box SEO strategies in SaaS, and I help clients put their companies under the microscope to uncover where unique SEO strategies like these are hiding.
Is there an SEO growth engine hidden in your SaaS?
I specialize in helping SaaS clients build SEO growth engines that can scale quickly. Most client engagements typically only last 6-12 months, which includes overseeing the ramp up and implementation of the strategy and then off boarding ongoing processes to your team (including training your team).
When I decide to work with you as a SaaS marketing consultant, I’m aiming for a grand slam home run. Not creating a trickle of results and embedding in your team forever. That means I’m also picky about who I work with. If I don’t see an SEO opportunity that can be leveraged and scaled up in a big way, I’ll politely refer you to someone who’s a better fit.