Dear Databox: How Do I Increase Traffic to My B2B SaaS Site?

Marketing Jul 18, 2023 24 minutes read

Table of contents

    While SEO has plenty of qualitative components like content quality and search intent, it’s a numbers game at its core. Your traffic numbers — and the quality of that traffic — are the primary indicators of your search performance.

    Even when you have visitors rolling in, you want the right people to see your website. This rule especially applies to business-to-business software as a service (B2B SaaS) companies where you’re targeting a very specific group.

    Traffic quantity and quality are both common issues for B2B SaaS marketers. We recently got this question from a marketer in the industry:

    “I’m a marketing leader in a B2B SaaS company. We’ve had decent growth up until now, but we really want to start investing in more SEO. It looks like our search impressions are much lower than our peers (22.3k), and I think there’s a lot of opportunity for growth. I want to know, what steps can we take that would help us move the needle quickly?”

    Marketing Leader at a B2B SaaS Company

    We consulted SaaS marketers through our Benchmark groups, a survey, and a LinkedIn discussion to find solutions for this marketer’s situation. Read on to learn about SEO benchmarks for SaaS companies, strategies for traffic growth, and solutions to common challenges SaaS marketers face in growing traffic.

    This article is part of our Dear Databox series, where you can send an anonymous question through your Benchmark Group to get insights from industry experts.

    Google-Analytics-Traffic-Growth-Dashboard-Template

    Google Search Console Benchmarks for SaaS

    A common question that comes to mind when you’re auditing your SEO performance is, “What’s a good number to have in the first place?” The marketing leader who wrote to us had peers to compare to, but that’s not always the case for a company.

    That’s where our Benchmark Groups come in — groups where Databox users can share their data anonymously to compare with others. Our Google Search Console for SaaS group offers some insights into the topic at hand.

    The group’s median number of impressions in May 2023 was 131.71K, according to data from 426 contributors. As the marketing leader suspected, this means that their impressions are lower than the typical SaaS. (But, we’ll come up with strategies to improve!)

    Google Search Console Impressions

    It also matters how many people actually click through to your website when they see your result. Among 328 contributors, we saw a median of 2.3K clicks in May 2023.

    Google Search Console Clicks

    Now, let’s see how the ratio of clicks to impressions — the click-through rate (CTR) — turned out for the benchmark group. Based on 243 contributors, the median CTR was 1.59%. That’s about one and a half clicks for every 100 impressions.

    Google Search Console CTR

    Your position on the search engine results page greatly impacts how many people will find it. Among the 230 contributors who shared their data, there was a median position of 33.99. For reference, Google displays about 10 results per page.

    Google Search Console Position

    For more Google Search Console benchmarks from SaaS companies, join the Google Search Console for SaaS group yourself. In exchange for anonymously sharing your Google Search Console data, you’ll see how other SaaS companies are doing.

    7 Expert Strategies for Growing Your SaaS Website’s Organic Traffic

    If your numbers are lower than the benchmarks we shared, we have plenty of growth strategies to share from marketers who have been in the same boat. We analyzed answers from 50 SaaS marketers to understand what strategies work most effectively for the industry. Among that group, 68% worked directly for a SaaS company, while 32% were agencies or consultants who serve SaaS companies.

    When we asked this group what SEO tactics helped them grow traffic the best, their top two answers were building high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites (22%) and producing high-quality content (20%).

    SEO traffic

    We also asked open-ended questions about specific tactics respondents used to increase their SaaS website’s traffic and a closed-ended question about traffic monitoring. The strategies they shared provided starting points and new angles for many of the tactics we presented in our closed-ended question about tactics.

    1. Monitor and Analyze Your Traffic Regularly
    2. Create a Content Calendar With High-Quality Content
    3. Build Content Clusters
    4. Make Linkable Assets
    5. Leverage Your Existing Community
    6. Implement Lists and Directories
    7. Audit and Refresh Your Content

    1. Monitor and Analyze Your Traffic Regularly

    The only way to tell how your traffic is doing is to pay sufficient attention to it in the first place. Regular data monitoring and analysis of your traffic numbers will give you regular benchmarks to work with.

    The respondents to our survey seem to agree, with 72% checking their traffic at least weekly (30% daily, 42% weekly).

    Website traffic analysis

    A business analytics platform like Databox that pulls all your SEO analytics in one place, can help you make a habit of monitoring them and reporting on them on a more regular basis. With less clicking around to do, it’ll be easier to keep track of your metrics.

    You can also set up a workflow for tracking traffic to make the process more efficient. Here’s a guide to monitoring these numbers in Google Analytics and Databox to help you build yours.

    2. Create a Content Calendar With High-Quality Content

    One of our respondent’s top tactics was creating high-quality content. However, that can be such a subjective term since everyone values different qualities in content. As Rand Fishkin from SparkToro explains, alignment with business goals is generally an easier framework to conceptualize. Create content that appeals to the people who are most likely to help you achieve those goals and build a system to keep creating it.

    You can see one such process from reloadUX’s Ali Husnain. “I focused on creating informative, engaging, and well-optimized content that addressed the pain points and challenges of the target audience. This included informative blog posts, comprehensive guides, and instructional videos, among other formats. The content aimed to provide value and solutions to the readers,” Husnain says.

    Husnain also organizes this content in a calendar to publish it consistently. “Based [on] keyword research, I developed a content calendar outlining the topics, formats (blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, etc.), and publishing schedule. This helped ensure consistent and strategic content creation.” We have 52 tips for managing your content calendar to help you start your own.

    Using these two strategies along with others like search optimization and social media marketing, Husnain saw impressive results: “Through the implementation of this content marketing strategy, the organic traffic to the client’s SaaS website experienced significant growth. Over a span of six months, organic search traffic increased by 40%, resulting in a steady influx of qualified leads and an overall improvement in the website’s conversion rate.”

    A dedication to the fundamentals of SEO content that focuses on your audience can take your website traffic a long way. Before trying advanced techniques, develop a consistent schedule and approach that you can modify as you go.

    3. Build Topic Clusters

    Some of our respondents found success with creating topic clusters — groups of content organized around a topic. Google parses your content more easily when it’s clearly organized and includes links among similar pages. The process for making these clusters consists of:

    1. Identifying a high-level topic based on a keyword your intended audience searches for
    2. Creating a main page based on that topic
    3. Developing “pillar pages” related to sub-topics of your main topic
    4. Linking between your main page and pillar pages

    At Revelo, one of the strategies Beth Bovie used to improve organic traffic was to create a topic cluster. While it’s common for cluster strategies to target moderate to high search volume, the Revelo team opted for low search volume and high search intent to target the highest-quality audience possible. “This is a very granular way to target organic leads, but it can take more time and resources to see month-over-month organic growth; it’s not an ideal strategy for a company looking for fast organic growth,” Bovie says. Revelo’s marketers also ran a strategy involving helpful content targeting keywords with larger search volume to raise awareness of their brand.

    Benchmark Email’s Natalie Slyman also implemented a topic cluster strategy to bring in traffic:

    “We really focused on creating topic clusters based on keywords we wanted to rank for and what we knew our audience was using in their online searches. Once we created those topic clusters, we created pillar pages for each cluster and organized our existing content that aligned with those clusters. Then, we focused on our internal linking by adding links to our existing related content to our pillar pages. [We make] sure we’re using consistent keywords as anchor text for certain content of ours is an ongoing process.”

    On top of their cluster strategy, the Benchmark Email team also keeps an eye on high-performing content and updates it regularly.

    4. Make Linkable Assets

    Establishing backlinks was the most successful tactic for earning traffic for our survey participants. You can participate in traditional link-building methods like contributing to articles like this one. There are also ways to make your content more appealing to link to in the first place.

    According to Nikita Sherbina, the AIScreen team improved their linkability by investing in what they call “linkable assets.” “One tactic that proved highly effective was creating linkable assets such as research studies [on] crazy trending topics and statistics. These assets attracted authoritative websites to link back to us, resulting in increased traffic and improved search engine rankings.”

    Here’s how the strategy worked out: “The use of linkable assets helped us build valuable links, ultimately driving organic traffic to our website. In one of our campaigns, we built a hub page and its subpages. We made improvements to the hub page [by converting it into] a linkable asset, then employed various outreach methods to promote the content. The outcome was highly successful, as we obtained 20 backlinks from high authority sites.”

    Think about what kinds of content you like to use as sources in your own work and create it yourself. Your fellow content marketers will start to count on it to back up their content.

    5. Leverage Your Existing Community

    Link-building also benefits from a strong community willing to share your content. It can sound intimidating to build this base when you’re just starting your link-building strategy, but you have more people to support you than you think.

    For example, you can partner with business colleagues and customers you already know, like Khanan Grauer from Komodo Technologies. “I started involving the Komodo community in the mix,” Grauer says. “We’re communicating daily, and they helped us greatly to improve our product with valuable insights, which we integrated into new features. Also, we showcase their use cases of the Komodo app through video interviews which we then repurpose in a Shorts or Reel format with captions, blog format from the transcript, and long video format if other people want to learn a thing or two from their innovative use cases.”

    Grauer adds, “Also, I record video answers for the questions from our website community page or social media. People like to be involved and be a part of like-minded groups. We’re just providing them with a platform.”

    Matchable’s Oliver Farmiloe took a similar approach while making it easier for community members to share their features:

    “The most effective method for increasing our website traffic by 15% within 3 months and increasing our domain ranking by 10 places was by utilising our existing client base and corporate partners to secure easy wins when it comes to backlinks. We created ‘in partnership with’ or ‘using Matchable for…’ graphics for clients to place on their website footer with a link back to us.”

    Oliver Farmiloe

    Oliver Farmiloe

    Marketing Executive at Matchable

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    Many of the people you already know will be willing to link back to your site if you can offer a beneficial partnership and make it easy. Look for opportunities to share your community’s knowledge in your content and website, and make them more likely to share by simplifying the process for them.

    6. Implement Lists and Directories

    Lists are a popular and successful content format that you’ll see all over the internet. These pages could be a list within a blog post or various pages that make up a list, such as a ranking or a directory.

    Brafton’s Estrella Alvarado improved traffic to the company’s software site with a “Surround Sound SEO Strategy.” “Recognizing that our core landing pages were being overshadowed by directories and “listicles,” we focused on three key tactics to enhance our visibility and rankings,” Alvarado says.

    The first strategy involved getting listed in directories. Alvarado says, “We identified industry-specific directories and platforms where our target audience actively searches for software tools. By getting our software listed in these directories, we increased our chances of being discovered by potential customers looking for solutions like ours. This tactic helped us tap into existing traffic sources and gain exposure to a relevant audience.”

    Secondly, the Brafton team created their own lists: “To establish our authority and attract organic traffic, we developed comprehensive and informative lists that compared our software with other relevant tools in the market. These lists provided value to our audience by offering insights, recommendations, and comparisons. By publishing these lists on our website and promoting them through various channels, we positioned ourselves as a trusted source of information and increased our visibility in search results.”

    The Brafton team’s third and final strategy was to join other companies’ lists. “In addition to creating our own lists, we actively sought opportunities to be included in established “listicles” and comparison articles that featured multiple software tools. We reached out to relevant publishers, influencers, and content creators in our industry, highlighting our software’s unique features and benefits. By getting mentioned and recommended in these lists, we leveraged those platforms’ existing traffic and credibility to drive organic traffic to our website,” Alvarado says.

    7. Audit and Refresh Your Content

    In addition to surveying marketers about their traffic growth strategies, we hosted a LinkedIn discussion to see what advice our community had to share. The conversation there revolved around content auditing and refreshing.

    Our SEO specialist, Harsh Shah, recommends auditing internal links and content. “I would definitely start with an internal link audit followed by a content audit to complement the website structure that directly boosts the health of website and content architecture. You’ll not see an impact in the short run, but definitely, in the long run (approx in 3-4 months), you’ll see significant traffic growth.”

    If you want to try content auditing yourself but don’t know where to start, we have a 10-point checklist to follow.

    On top of auditing and adjusting, Shah suggests an additional strategy for faster growth: “Plus, if you want to reduce the time, then the best way is to create a new category (just like we did at Databox) or produce opinion-backed content at scale to leverage third person influence.”

    Konstantin Vashkevich, global marketing operations manager at Conectys, believes in the impact of content refreshing, which you can easily do after you perform an audit:

    “Pivoting old content is a real game-changer. I was especially excited to show that to the C-level management, as the difference in stats (before/after) makes the best ‘wow’ effect.”

    Konstantin Vashkevich

    Konstantin Vashkevich

    Global Marketing Operations Manager at Conectys

    Want to get highlighted in our next report? Become a contributor now

    Content refreshing worked wonders for two of the experts we interviewed in the past — Brendan Hufford and Nate Turner. In addition to updating previously successful content, they also updated the calls to action throughout their content to match their current business goals.

    The Biggest Challenges SaaS Businesses Face When Growing Organic Traffic

    Traffic growth in SaaS brings up many common obstacles that marketers overcome through experience and experimentation. You can avoid putting in some additional effort by learning how others figured out their solutions.

    The biggest SEO challenges survey respondents faced were dealing with strong competition (32%) and niche-specific keyword targeting (20%).

    SEO challenges for SAAS

    When we asked survey respondents to elaborate on the challenges they faced when trying to grow their organic traffic and how they solved them, they brought up these issues:

    Understanding Optimization Beyond Basic Keywords

    Search engine optimization goes beyond inserting keywords into your content. Your content also needs to cater to Google’s algorithm and your audience’s needs. It’s a common part of the learning process for marketers to figure out these standards as they grow in SEO.

    For Ana Paula Schwab at SafetyMails, this experience involves placing keywords semantically — including keywords with meanings related to each other. “Understanding how the algorithm works was and remains a challenge for us. We understand that the algorithm does not follow only a keyword plan. Content semantics are extremely important to achieve good organic placements. In view of this, we have updated our content to map keywords that fit the semantics of the contents,” Schwab says.

    Alan Jones from Locklizard Limited also came to learn the algorithm over time: “Our SaaS business has encountered a few SEO-related challenges as we’ve sought to improve organic traffic. One of the biggest issues that posed an obstacle for our business was ensuring that the content we create adheres to best practices and follows SEO guidelines. We struggled with producing content that met keyword relevancy expectations while still providing value to users.”

    Jones continues, “We worked hard to understand how search engine algorithms operate and also took advantage of tools like keyword research, analytics, and optimization software in order to craft targeted content for our users. In order to ensure our content stayed relevant with changing trends and preferences in the industry, we actively monitored user behavior on a regular basis. Through the implementation of these tactics, we were able to better follow best practices while still creating valuable content — helping us reach more individuals through organic search traffic and grow our business even further.”

    When we interviewed Fara Rosenzweig about her experience with growing organic traffic, she also invested a lot of effort in advanced SEO techniques. Focusing on content quality and basing her strategy on a competitor analysis helped her get a leg up on the algorithm.

    Finding Niche-Specific Keywords

    Niche-specific keywords are difficult to implement, but they provide a huge payoff when you optimize for them correctly. People who search for keywords related to your niche have a high chance of interest in your industry and product. But, since they’re, well, niche, they don’t have as much search volume to work with.

    At Trellis, Esmail Hanif achieved better results with niche keywords through content organization. “One of the toughest challenges is finding niche-specific keywords to get the relevant audience on the website. While most relevant keywords are difficult to rank for, we categorized keywords into topic clusters and leveraged FAQs for each keyword or topic. This strategy helped us in getting a relevant audience through niche questions, which were easier to rank, and increased organic traffic overall,” Hanif says.

    Maintaining Technical SEO

    On top of optimizing, getting placements on other sites, and creating useful content, SEO also has a technical component. Search engines will crawl your site more effectively if you meet certain technical criteria on its backend. But, if you don’t know what they’re looking for, it’s easy to miss this important step of SEO.

    Brand Velocity.io’s V. Michael Santoro had a client who needed a new website to take advantage of SEO:

    “My client had an older website that had major technical issues. It was mobile-friendly but not mobile-responsive. We build a new site that also had good navigation and clickable calls to action. Additionally, with site speed being an important ranking factor, the images were resized and optimized before uploading to the website. Also, we ensured that the site’s core vitals improved the user’s experience.”

    V. Michael Santoro

    V. Michael Santoro

    Founder at Brand Velocity.io

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    Bringing your technical SEO up to snuff can sound intimidating if you don’t have development experience, but people with minimal experience can tackle many issues on their own. Follow our 17-step process behind a DIY audit.

    Getting the Right Traffic

    Traffic growth is a cyclic process. When you get traffic from people with a genuine interest in your content and product, they’ll perform actions that will help you get higher on the result pages. The key here is attracting the right people in the first place.

    At Mint Position, Justin Calderon helped Reloadly get better traffic through careful keyword targeting and content strategy. Calderon says, “What we did with Reloadly was to look at keywords that were directly related to their product, and this didn’t necessarily mean they were high traffic. In fact, many were low traffic but very high buyer intent for their target B2B audience. In this case, they were targeting CTOs and developers with specialist API products. We then had to identify a range of keywords that would bring in this niche target, and we settled upon ‘gift card reseller API.’”

    Calderon continues, “We produced a tutorial article with lots of screenshots showing just how developers can quickly begin to use Reloadly’s product, setting it up in less than one day. That article ranked to #1 for that keyword in the first month of being published, and it converted 25 new users within the first month as well, which our UA defined as users that actually put funding into the platform.”

    There are two stages to addressing your traffic quality: Determining your traffic quality in the first place and increasing it if needed. Discover how to evaluate your traffic quality and increase it in our comprehensive guide.

    Avoiding Duplicate Content

    When Google indexes content to add it to search result pages, it can hide pages it considers duplicate content. If your content has similar content to other pages, the algorithm may hide it to provide as much distinct content as possible.

    Karan Rawal faced this problem at Ace Infoway. “One specific SEO-related challenge our SaaS business encountered when striving to improve organic traffic was the issue of duplicate content. With a vast amount of product information and multiple landing pages targeting similar keywords, our website inadvertently had several instances of duplicate content. This hindered our organic visibility and rankings as search engines penalize websites with duplicate content,” Rawal says.

    So, here’s what the Ace Infoway team did to solve this issue: “To address this problem, we conducted a thorough content audit to identify and consolidate duplicate pages. We implemented canonical tags to specify the preferred version of the content and used 301 redirects to redirect traffic from duplicate pages to the primary ones. Additionally, we optimized meta tags, headers, and content on the consolidated pages to ensure they were unique and provided valuable information to users.”

    Resolving the duplicate content conundrum also took ongoing effort. “Regular monitoring and updating of our website’s content helped us overcome the duplicate content challenge, leading to improved organic visibility, higher rankings, and increased organic traffic over time,” Rawal concludes.

    Getting Past Position 5

    When your content gets on the first page of Google’s search results, the impact of moving up a position on your CTR increases greatly. According to Backlinko data, moving up one position increases CTR by 2.8% in general. But, going up a spot when you’re on the first page boosts CTR from 11.2% to as much as 74.5% when you’re on the first page. Keeping your content moving will earn you exponential growth in CTR.

    But, what should you do if you make it to a certain position on the first page and get stuck? John Reinesch from Exponential Growth, LLC used to see this issue quite often and found a solution:

    “We often found that we had competitive keywords stuck in position 5-10 of Google. We were getting some clicks but ultimately our competitors ranking above us were getting the majority of clicks. Title tag testing allowed us to improve our rankings (and more importantly clicks) as our CTR improved. Since it is such a data-driven approach to SEO, we can tell fairly quickly what is and isn’t working and then adjust our strategy.”

    John Reinesch

    John Reinesch

    Founder at Exponential Growth, LLC

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    As Logan Bryant explains, title tag testing involves trying out different title tags based on SEO factors like search intent. Since it’s what searchers see when your content appears on the results page, the title has plenty of impact on your performance.

    Improve Your SaaS Website’s Traffic With Databox

    As it goes with SEO, the solution to growing your traffic will depend on the exact issues that are getting in the way of growth in the first place. It involves trying new strategies and paying close attention to their effect on your visitor count.

    Databox makes this process easier by collecting the data from your favorite analytics tools in one place. Set up a databoard with the traffic-related metrics you want to keep an eye on to save time clicking around multiple tools. You can use the visualization formats you want, like bar graphs or pie charts, and drag them around your dashboard to the perfect spot.

    It’s free to use with three sources and three databoards — plenty to get started with. Give it a shot by creating an account.

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