If people can find your business online, you won’t run away from content marketing. It’s inevitable. Today the entire online promotion has turned into a non-stop content generation machine that attracts and converts a relevant audience into leads. It’s no secret that every niche has its challenges, do’s and don’ts when it comes to content marketing.
The SaaS niche isn’t an exception. You have to choose the right content strategy to achieve success. If you don’t – all your writing hours will go in vain. In this article, we are going to share our content marketing tricks that work wonders for our SaaS blog and enable us to convert visitors into leads at a 7% rate.
How do you choose the right path for your SaaS product?
We’ve learned it firsthand that initial content marketing decisions can determine the overall product strategy your business will follow. Although they say Google doesn’t pay attention to keywords as much as it used to, keyword research is still the first and the most important thing you should start your content marketing journey with.
Here’s a short story of how we do it at Chanty.
The Chanty team communication app is the SaaS product we are building. When we thought of the keywords for our articles, the first ideas were ‘team communication/collaboration/productivity tool’. We evaluated how popular the word is along with how difficult it would it be to rank for it in Google. It turned out that it’s pretty hard to get to the top of Google with the phrases we had in mind.
We continued our search and finally hit gold.
Google Keyword Planner suggestions
Accidentally we ran into a keyword ‘Slack alternatives’ (Slack is our well-known competitor). Surprisingly, it had quite a low difficulty level along with several hundreds of Google searches per month. What was even better is the super clear intent behind the phrase. We had a chance to directly attract people who are looking for us, the Slack alternative.
Keyword research with intent in mind
Not all keywords are made equal. If you want to end up with content that converts, there are four stages you have to go through while performing keyword research:
1. Make sure the user intent is there
This is where your competitors may come in handy. If you are building a SaaS product, chances are you have a well-known and established rival. Take a closer look at “alternatives” and “vs” keywords that include your rival’s name. People looking for these alternatives are usually not happy with the current solution they are using. It may be too expensive, complicated, some features may be limited, etc. Apart from certain dissatisfaction, however, these prospects may come along with high expectations. This is why if your software solution doesn’t keep the bar at the required level, the game isn’t worth the candle.
2. Check for search volume
How many times do people actually type this keyword into Google? You wouldn’t want to build your content strategy around keywords nobody is searching for. There has to be a demand and you can check it either with Google Keyword Planner or tools like SemRush or Ahrefs.
3. Check for the keyword difficulty (KD)
Finding out the search volume is just half the battle. It may take you forever to rank for super popular keywords where competition is insane. Therefore, go to Ahrefs or SemRush and check the KD for the keywords you’ve chosen. It shows how hard you’d have to work to get your website page shown on the Google Top 10. The “work” mainly includes getting backlinks.
KD gives you an idea of the competition on the first few pages of Google search results. If the first page is packed with websites backed up by millions of backlinks, the KD will be quite high. This would mean you’d better look for another keyword.
SemRush keyword analysis
4. Choose a battle you can win
It’s important to find a balance between high search volume and low difficulty score. With the right approach and a bit of luck, you’ll end up with a list of high-intent, low-difficulty keywords people are actually searching for on Google. Now, when the keywords are chosen, it’s time to start creating content.
Let Google boost your rankings
Google is following one goal – to show the most relevant results first. Your task is to become as relevant as possible by writing in-depth content that people actually read. But before people visit your page, they’ll have a choice to make between ten other search results they see on the first page of Google. With the strategy I’m revealing, it’s easy to stand out with an appealing title.
Other websites competing for the “Product X alternatives” keyword are mainly websites like alternativeto.net and getapp.com with no human approach to an issue. Humanize the title by adding ‘our team feedback’, ‘our experience’, ‘we’ve tried’ and you’ll see the click-through-rate (CTR) boost and a serious improvement in rankings. Don’t believe me? Take a look at our CTR – positions correlation for one of our top performing articles: Flock vs Slack:
Our CTR was incredibly high for position #8. Without additional backlinks it led us directly to Google #1.
You need high-quality experience-based articles
Not only a human-friendly title is likely to result in higher CTR. We’ve also noticed people spend more time reading articles based on our own experience. Moreover, they convert better. Therefore, spend time with your team trying out your SaaS rivals before writing an article. It’ll pay back well.
Ready to work on an experience-based article?
You might want to consider some of the proven ideas we’ve tried:
- Write the pros and cons of your rival’s product alternatives.
- Get your team to vote for the alternative they like most.
- Share your team members’ feedback.
- Make screenshots of the things you like and don’t like while using software and use them in the article.
- Have a battle with scores when writing a “Product X vs Product Y” post and see who wins.
- Sort things out – explain which of the products could be considered real competitors and which belong to a different niche.
- Last, but most important – don’t forget to mention your own product.
The rest goes without saying – the article should be grammatically correct and easy to scan, and written in simple words with no lengthy sentences. Every sentence should deliver value. It’d great if it’s also fun to read.
Hungry for some real examples? You can check our Slack alternatives blog post we’ve written for our very high intent keyword.
But wait, what about conversions?
You’ve detected people looking for your rival’s alternatives. You’ve brought as many of them as possible to visit your insightful article.
Is it time to reap the fruits now?
It’s time for conversion rate optimization. After you’ve done an amazing job at getting people to visit your page, you have no right to miss a single email. Here are a few things to consider:
- Put your product #1 in your list of alternatives if you haven’t already. You’ll find that very few visitors scroll to the end of the post.
- Have a call-to-action (CTA) and signup form immediately after a paragraph about your product.
- Consider a static header popup with a Sign-Up button.
- Explain that the product trial is free with your Sign Up button (use “Start a free trial”, “Try X for free” etc instead of Sign Up).
- Check if the exit popup works for your customers. According to one study, you can add 35% of conversions by applying this tactic.
In the end…
According to the stages of inbound marketing, you have to attract, convert and then close. You move your prospects through a funnel where they become visitors, leads and then customers. The great thing about this strategy is you can skip the lead stage. There is no need to spend time creating ebooks, guides, and other lead magnets. People who sign up are actually those ready to give your product a try.
Our Google analytics data for the last week
The strategy I’ve shared is based on the high intent keywords bringing people who are not satisfied with your rivals directly to your website. It works well for Chanty and we hope it’s going to be just as useful for you.
We are looking forward to hearing how it works. Don’t hesitate to share your feedback or ask any questions you have in the comments below.
Guest author: Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty – a simple AI-powered team chat and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.