There is no doubt that SaaS (Software as a service) is an up-and-coming and highly competitive niche. A couple of facts are enough to prove it. This market’s annual growth rate is 18%, and in 2021, 73% of companies will entirely or mainly switch to SaaS solutions.
Unsurprisingly, business owners are most eager to balance their business’s power with the potential of SEO for maximum reach. And here, a snag often occurs because classical optimization methods hardly work with SaaS.
Simply dealing with keywords is not enough. The best strategy currently available is getting valuable backlinks that improve your site’s visibility and drive both organic and referral traffic to it. The Internet is full of different link building techniques that are supposedly universal for everyone. But we know for sure that SaaS is far from everyone, so we will choose only those that are exactly applicable to it.
Before We Start
There is hardly any need to tell you what link building is. But some information about what makes it successful won’t hurt before we start exploring its main techniques:
- Understanding your audience and their needs. Random actions to spread the word about your company without knowing your client’s profile are pointless and ineffective.
- Analysis of competitors’ activities. Explore everything you can get with analytical tools. Knowing where your competitors are getting backlinks from can be a great help in your future endeavors. For example, you can track these resources’ best and arrange to place your links with them.
- Competent promotion strategy. It would help if you didn’t rush to every technique in a row. You need to determine which tasks are the most resource-intensive and which need priority implementation.
- The naturalness of mentions. In order not to arouse suspicion and not fall under the sanctions of search engines, a smooth increase in the number of links is required. It may take a little longer than you would like. You will then be able to experience all the benefits of a well-built link background for your business.
Equipped with our tips, you are now ready to take action.
3 Pillars for Backlink Collectors
We can conditionally divide the ways we are considering into three main categories:
The names speak for themselves.
The first point includes methods that require you to create content, be it text, graphics, podcast, video, and more.
The second is based on your independent monitoring of the online space in search for relevant directories and mentions of your brand.
The third means cooperation with another company (not a competitor, of course). For example, you implement the interchange of products with a subsequent mutual mention in the form of backlinks.
1. Guest Posting
It makes no sense to talk a lot about this technique: it is undeniably effective when used correctly. Correct use means the regular posting of useful and valuable articles on reputable platforms whose topics are similar to yours. To search for such platforms manually, you can contact one of the link building automation agencies that we have discussed above. Such resources may provide services for writing articles on the topics you need according to your instructions with a link to your site.
Why do articles need to be useful? There are several explanations for this:
- Reputable resources simply won’t accept poor-quality text.
- The text is not only a backlink but also new readers and your reputation in their eyes.
- With the help of a guest article, you can get exciting referral traffic, ready to purchase. But only if you can write clear and useful text.
Guest blogging gives endless opportunities for delivering important and useful information to the reader. At the same time, it is not difficult to naturally mention in the text the benefits of your product or its new features that will solve the problem even more effectively.
2. Showcase and Q&A Platforms
Quora and Reddit are such popular Q&A platforms for marketing benefits that there is even a separate segment of professionals who promote brands there. And there is nothing easier than to leave a link there – the very scheme of questions and answers is conducive to this. You can leave links to the homepage of your site and any others, including blog articles, contacts, and knowledge base.
Showcase platforms like ArtStation, Behance, and Dribbble also allow you to visually communicate with potential clients and, of course, add backlinks. The visual approach is very effective: by posting screenshots of your software, you first familiarize people with its functionality and awaken interest.
A friendly reminder: nothing prevents you from taking an active part in the local communities, discussing designs of other applications and software, thus indirectly increasing your brand awareness.
3. Organization of Online Get-Together
There are many content options here:
- Gather your SaaS peers (not competitors, again) to share their views on a hot topic for their industry in a large, shared webinar. This is a hugely popular format these days. At the same time, the webinar is posted on your website, and its participants refer to it from their resources – who doesn’t want to share material in which they participated?
- The same thing, but with a podcast. Until a few years ago, podcasts were considered a dead end. Now more than half of US residents listen to podcasts, of which more than 80% spend more than 7 hours a week on it.
- The same thing, but with the article. Collect the business owners’ opinions, post them in the article, and make sure that they also refer to this material.
This way, you can collect several awesome backlinks at once and provide your site with cool and informative content.
4. Directories and Databases
You can’t just take and ignore online catalogs, databases, and directories. Many people neglect the opportunity to place their resources in such directories, but this is sheer recklessness.
For example, the Clutch platform is a real treasure for the SaaS business. Not only do you get a backlink, but you also get the opportunity to get ranked based on user reviews that are collected here. This and similar platforms like DesignRush are often visited by people looking for software solutions to their problems. And you have an amazing chance not only to increase your link mass but to attract a targeted referral to your site.
5. Brand or Name Mentions
If you’ve been in the market for a while, the chances are high that someone has already mentioned you. At the same time, this someone quite possibly knowingly or unknowingly did not put a link to your site. Your task is to correct this misunderstanding.
It is simple to accomplish:
- Write a letter to the author of the article, asking to restore link justice and provide a direct route to your product.
- When doing this, do not forget about the rules of courtesy.
- Praise the article, thank it for the mention, and then move on to the request.
With the name, everything is the same except that we are looking for the names of your company’s top employees: CEO, marketer, business analyst, or others. Perhaps they were mentioned in some article, or a quote/post/tweet of one of them was used in some material.
Your actions remain the same: contact the author of the material and ask for a link to your company so that readers can quickly follow it if they are interested.
There are many tools for monitoring such mentions: Google Alerts, YouScan, Mention and others. Be sure to use them if your key employees, for example, are active on social networks and have a good follower base.
6. Collaboration with Other Companies
Why not partner with agencies that might benefit from your product? This is a fairly effective option, which for some reason is not used so often. And by the way, for the SaaS product, successful collaboration can turn out to be a real gold mine.
For example, if your product is a chatbot and you decide to partner with a marketing agency, this could be a very good deal. Customers who come to your partner for marketing services can leave with your chatbot, which improves communication with customers, increases engagement, and stimulates sales. At the same time, you will be absolutely sure that the traffic that goes to your site is highly qualified, visitors are interested and ready to listen to you.
Bonus Tip: Avoid Overused Techniques
You’ve probably already read about such super-popular ways to get links, such as the Skyscraper technique or searching for broken links. Even though the first is very difficult, and the second is overly simple, both of them most likely will not help you. The reason is that too many people know about them.
If you’re just starting with a backlink strategy, the Skyscraper method shouldn’t be your first choice. It takes a huge amount of research time, and no one can guarantee that you will be able to outperform competitors who have learned about this technique before. Everything is generally clear with broken links: they were snapped up a long time ago, and you will only waste your time looking for them.
Instead of one Skyscraper article whose potential is shrouded in fog, you can create several articles whose quality is not worse. And then find a good use for them in the guest blog space. Always evaluate the ratio of the effort expended and the expected result: one today is worth two tomorrows.
Working with Saas products is quite a challenge for marketers. Therefore, before attracting any of the link building strategies, you need to analyze whether it is relevant for your business. And if necessary, adapt it to your product.
Increasing the number of valuable links is a rather lengthy and resource-intensive process. However, it does guarantee a sustainable and affordable strategy for improving search rankings and increasing brand awareness.