10 Common SaaS SEO Mistakes and How to Fix Them in 2023

Pankil Shah
by Pankil Shah
Updated On: October 8, 2023
10 Common SaaS SEO Mistakes and How to Fix Them in 2023

By 2025, it’s estimated that 85% of business apps will operate on a Software-as-a-Service SaaS model. With a growing number of SaaS startups emerging every day, it’s crucial for them to adopt a powerful SEO strategy and follow best practices in order to achieve success and attract organic traffic. Understand more about what is direct website traffic, how to increase it, and the difference between organic search, direct referral, and social.

However, many startups fail to grasp the significance of SEO and overlook common SEO mistakes that hinder their progress. In this article, we’ll explore the most prominent SEO mistakes made by SaaS websites and discuss what you can do about them.

Understanding SEO for SaaS

Before we take a deep dive into our main topic, let’s discuss the basics of SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your website for search engines to improve its visibility and ranking on search engines. In simple terms, this involves making adjustments to your website’s codes, content, and links to align with search engine guidelines, to increase the likelihood of your website appearing in search engine result pages (SERPs).

SEO for SaaS simply refers to the process of optimizing your SaaS company website specifically for search engines. SaaS SEO utilizes online marketing techniques to attract an audience and drive users to your website, with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers.

Similar to traditional SEO, SaaS SEO can be understood through three fundamental pillars:

1. Technical SEO

Technical SEO, an integral part of your SaaS SEO strategy, focuses on your website’s infrastructure. Its purpose? To make your website more accessible for search engines like Google to crawl and index it to improve its chances of ranking. Implementing technical SEO is crucial for your SaaS company as it can significantly boost your search engine rankings and increase organic traffic.

Here are seven key steps to implement technical SEO on your SaaS website:

  1. Improve your website’s loading speed
  2. Ensure your website is crawlable and indexable
  3. Optimize for mobile browsing
  4. Implement HTTPS for secure data transfer
  5. Use canonical tags appropriately
  6. Pay attention to International SEO considerations
  7. Populate meta titles and descriptions correctly

Items beyond these core elements generally have low impact, so focus your energy here to have the most impact. Remember, Technical SEO enhances your product’s visibility, complementing your vigorous marketing strategy. ☝️

2. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is instrumental in boosting search engine rankings for your SaaS company. It consists of crucial factors like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and keyword density

To effectively employ on-page SEO strategies, follow these seven steps:

  1. Craft keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions
  2. Create high-quality content that provides value to users
  3. Structure your content using header tags
  4. Enhance images with alt text
  5. Utilize internal links
  6. Frequently publish fresh content
  7. Focus on creating unique and compelling content on important pages of your website, including service pages, the homepage, the contact us page, etc.

SEO is an ongoing process, and consistently creating great content using these strategies will yield optimal results. Neglecting these steps could mean lost traffic and leads.

3. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to activities outside of your website, such as link building, guest posting, public relations (PR), and social media engagement. One key component of off-page SEO is link building, which involves acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites to demonstrate your site’s trustworthiness to search engines.

Additionally, guest posting and PR activities boost brand awareness and establish authority in your industry. Active social media engagement generates brand buzz, attracts followers, improves signups, and signals relevancy to search engines. By investing in off-page SEO, you can enhance your SaaS company’s online presence, attract targeted traffic, and drive business growth.

Infographic showcasing the 3 pillars of SaaS SEO: Technical, on-page, and off-page.
Does your SaaS company employ these SEO pillars?

Top 10 Common SaaS SEO Mistakes Companies Overlook

1. Improper Content Formatting

Imagine trying to read a blog article with a font so tiny that you decide it’s not worth the headache. This negatively impacts user experience, increases bounce rate, and ultimately hampers your SEO efforts.

Proper content formatting plays a crucial role in SaaS SEO, yet it often gets overlooked due to a lack of attention or understanding. Improper content formatting can take different forms, from long blocks of text to poorly sized or scarce images. One common mistake is neglecting font size and type which makes your content difficult to read.

What Can You Do?

Rectifying these issues is paramount for improving your SEO and, consequently, your site’s performance. 

  • Break up content into easily digestible paragraphs: Instead of presenting information in long blocks of text, break it down into shorter paragraphs. This makes it easier for users to skim through the content. 
  • Use headings and subheadings: Organizing your content using headings and subheadings to create a clear hierarchy not only enhances the visual appeal but also helps search engines understand the structure of your content.
  • Pay attention to font size and type: Avoid extremely small fonts that strain the eyes or fancy fonts that are difficult to decipher.
Graphic comparing formatted content (on the left) and unformatted content (on the right).
Headings and smaller blocks of text make the text on the left so much easier to read!

2. Not Optimizing Images and Videos on Your Website

Optimizing images and videos on your SaaS website is indispensable for improved load time and SEO rankings. Unfortunately, this key aspect is overlooked as a trivial factor.

Many companies fail to realize the adverse impact of heavy, unoptimized media on the overall user experience and website load speed. Slow-loading websites tend to rank lower in search engine results. Furthermore, neglecting alt-text for images can impede accessibility for users with screen readers, and in turn, lower search engine understanding of your content.

What Can You Do?

You can avoid these pitfalls by optimizing the media on your website.

  • Compress and resize images: Compress image file sizes before uploading images to avoid significantly impacting their quality and to reduce their loading time. 
  • Add descriptive alt text: Incorporate detailed descriptions for images for visually impaired users and assist search engines in understanding the content of the image.
  • Host videos on third-party platforms: Instead of directly uploading videos to your website, consider embedding videos from third-party platforms that have been optimized to handle streaming like YouTube or Vimeo. This reduces the impact on your website’s loading speed.

3. Not Performing Regular Website Audits

Website audits are crucial for effective SaaS SEO strategies, making use of the right SEO content audit tool is paramount. Neglecting them can result in various issues, including poor website performance and unnoticed SEO mistakes. Skipping audits puts you at risk of poor loading speed, compromised data security, and ineffective content strategies. 

Consequently, your SEO rankings may suffer, affecting your brand’s online visibility. Experts recommend using web audit tools for regular monitoring and maintenance, promptly addressing identified problems.

Screenshot of website audit results.
Stay informed about your SaaS website’s health.

What Can You Do?

To ensure an effective SaaS SEO strategy, prioritize regular website audits. 

  • Use audit tools: Identify various aspects of your website that need improvement, including loading speed, security vulnerabilities, broken links, and SEO performance.
  • Clear cache files: Regularly clear cache files to optimize your website’s speed and ensure your users are accessing the most updated version of your site.
  • Optimize image size: Compressed and properly sized images contribute to faster loading times.
  • Update security patches: Stay up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates for your website’s content management system or any plugins you use.
  • Evaluate content strategies: Assess your content’s performance by analyzing user engagement metrics like time on page, bounce rate, and conversions.

4. Focusing On Quantity over Quality

One common mistake in SaaS SEO is prioritizing quantity over quality. While this may seem like a productive strategy at first glance, it often leads to negative consequences in the long run.

SaaS startups often fall into the trap of flooding their sites with excessive content in hopes of rapid awareness creation. If you’re a startup, this approach should be reconsidered! Some may believe that producing a large amount of content will result in wider keyword coverage and increased social media activity, subsequently driving more website visitors. However, this approach only works if the content is valuable and engaging. 

Instead, overemphasizing traffic numbers while ignoring pivotal metrics like traffic value, SEO revenue, and SEO profit can be damaging. While a high number of page visits might sound promising, what truly matters is the business value and conversions these visits generate. If your profound traffic count isn’t translating into paying customers or revenue, what’s the point?

Finally, let’s not forget the ultimate goal – profit. Fixating solely on traffic numbers can cause you to overlook the larger picture and the impact SEO can have on boosting your profit.

What Can You Do?

While it’s tempting to prioritize quantity in your SEO strategy, it’s critical to remember that quality takes precedence. To avoid falling into this trap, concentrate on the value and insight your service provides. 

  • Audience-centric approach: Consider your target audience before generating content. What does the reader want to know? How can the information you share serve them? Strive to provide valuable information that strengthens your brand. 
  • Create comprehensive content: Focus on delivering relevant, high-quality information that creates a positive impact. Your resources are limited – invest wisely ineffective strategies that lead to a substantial increase in conversions.
  • Be consistent: Develop a clear content creation process that includes editing, proofreading, and peer review to maintain a high level of quality. It’s not about the volume of your outputs, but the value they add to your readers and to your business.
Drawing of a scale tipping in the direction of quality over quantity.
Publishing a litany of poor-quality content serves no purpose and can leave a sour aftertaste.

5. Lacking Proper Keyword Research and SEO Strategy

One of the most critical and common mistakes made by SaaS companies is neglecting proper keyword research and failing to implement an effective SEO strategy. This misstep often stems from a lack of understanding or an underestimation of the importance of these elements in digital marketing.

Many SaaS companies either skip keyword research altogether or perform it hastily, without realizing the direct impact it has on their visibility in search results. They often target keywords that are either too broad, too niche, or neglect the audiences’ search intent. Such haphazard approaches can lead to their well-crafted content buried deep in the vast world of the internet, unseen and unappreciated.

What Can You Do?

Conducting proper keyword research and implementing an effective SEO strategy into your SaaS content marketing plan can increase brand visibility, better quality leads, and long-term organic traffic. 

  • Understand search intent: Pay attention to the search intent behind your keywords. Consider whether users are looking for information, products/services, or seeking specific actions, and tailor your content to provide valuable solutions to their queries.
  • Optimize on-page elements: Incorporate target keywords strategically in your page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and throughout the content.
  • Monitor and analyze performance: regularly monitor the performance of your keywords and content using analytics tools to assess metrics like organic traffic, rankings, and conversions to continue refining your SEO strategy.

6. Not Focusing on Backlinks

Backlinks are intrinsic to establishing SEO success, yet many SaaS businesses often overlook this critical factor. These links, originating from trusted websites, serve as a promising signal to search engines, vouching for your site’s value and relevance. Neglecting to build a diverse, high-quality backlink profile can seriously jeopardize your SEO ratings, hindering your visibility online.

Additionally, detrimental mistakes like using duplicate or misleading content, selecting poor third-party sites for backlinks, and tolerating broken links may be flagged by crawling search engines and detract from your credibility as you work to build authority in your niche.

What Can You Do?

Sufficient attention to backlinks in your SEO strategy can significantly boost your online authority and traffic.

  • Create link-worthy content: Focus on developing high-quality, informative, and unique content that naturally attracts backlinks. 
  • Outreach and guest blogging: Proactively reach out to relevant websites, industry influencers, and bloggers to build relationships and secure blogging opportunities.
  • Monitor and disavow toxic backlinks: Regularly audit your backlink profile to identify and remove any low-quality or spammy backlinks that could harm your SEO. 

7. Creating Unoriginal Content

In the realm of SaaS SEO, a prevalent mistake is publishing replicated or shallow content across multiple web pages. This practice can hamper your website’s visibility on search engines and provides minimal value to users. Most websites also rephrase the same top-ranking pages and publish the article with their own name. However, when your content lacks originality, it negatively impacts SEO by deterring search engines from ranking your pages highly.

Outranking is an excellent tool that identifies the content uniqueness required for higher search engine rankings. This is because the tool recognizes that content uniqueness is necessary for ranking on SERPs. Without it, all the articles on a specific page would be too closely related in information and value.

Screenshot of the content uniqueness grader from Outranking.
Outranking can help your content stand out in a sea of information.

What Can You Do?

To avoid this, it’s imperative to optimize every piece of content for uniqueness on your website — everything that the visitor consumes provides value.

  • Focus on originality: Invest in creating unique and original content that provides value to your audience. Conduct in-depth research, gather insights, and offer fresh perspectives that differentiate your content from your competitors.
  • Avoid duplicate content: Ensure that each page on your website offers unique content. Steer clear of mimicking content from other sources or even within your own site.
  • Use content uniqueness tools: Leverage tools like Outranking to assess the uniqueness of your content and identify areas of improvement to ensure you’re delivering high-quality information to your audience.

8. Creating Heavy Websites

Creating heavy websites is a common error made by SaaS companies, which negatively impacts their SEO efforts and overall performance. This stems from redundant pages, slow load times, reliance on third-party hosting, and the use of outdated technologies like Flash. This mistake typically harms a website’s visibility on search engines as Google favors comprehensive content and fast-loading websites.

What Can You Do?

Focus on easing the burden on your website, making it light and welcoming.

  • Consolidate redundant pages: Identify similar or overlapping pages on your website and consolidate them into comprehensive, high-quality content.
  • Optimize loading times: Choose a reliable hosting server that offers faster loading times for your website.
  • Minimize reliance on third-party hosting: Aim to host your valuable and unique content on your own domain. Though convenient, relying too heavily on third-party platforms can dilute your website’s authority and impact SEO.
  • Avoid outdated technologies: Stay updated with modern web technologies, ensure your website is mobile-friendly, and embrace responsive design.

9. Selling Products Instead of Solutions

SaaS companies often focus too much on promoting their product’s features rather than providing solutions to customer problems. This approach undervalues SEO efforts as it fails to address the customers’ primary intent of finding a solution. Instead of solely pushing features, your SEO strategy should identify and respond to key customer pain points.

Table comparing the differences between solutions selling and product selling.
Remember, customers don’t buy products – they buy solutions.

What Can You Do?

Focus on prioritizing solutions over features.

  • Identify customer pain points: Conduct thorough market research to understand your audience’s challenges and needs so you can directly address their problems and offer solutions.
  • Create solution-oriented content: Focus on creating content like guides, blog posts, case studies, and tutorials that showcase how your service fulfills your customers’ needs.
  • Utilize customer success stories: Highlight customer testimonials that demonstrate how your solution has positively impacted their business. This social proof helps you build trust and credibility with your target audience.

10. Not Focusing on Google’s E-E-A-T Guidelines

Understanding Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines — Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness — is crucial in SaaS SEO. Many SaaS businesses become fixated on keyword targeting, neglecting the ultimate goal of providing valuable, unique, and high-quality content. Companies that excessively pack content with keywords with the aim of higher ranking may be penalized as Google has improved its algorithms to favor quality over keyword quantity and density.

What Can You Do?

Google simply wants to know that your website’s content is written by experts with first-hand experience about the specific topic, demonstrates authority, and is trustworthy. If these conditions meet, your website will rank higher in SERPs.

  • Establish your expertise and authority: Prove your experience in your industry by creating high-quality, informative content. Illustrate your team’s qualifications, certifications, and mastery to establish credibility.
  • Showcase trustworthiness: Display trust signals like customer testimonials, industry affiliations, security certifications, and transparent business practices.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing: Rather than cramming as many keywords as possible, focus on creating natural, well-written content that aligns with E-E-A-T guidelines and provides a great user experience.

5 Solutions for Your SaaS SEO Strategy

Many SaaS companies undervalue the strategic planning needed, focusing solely on producing content due to the common notion “content is king.” Instead, developing a flexible, scalable SEO Content Strategy from the outset, even if simple, can aid in making content fruitful for SEO.

1. Optimize Your Media

Optimization extends beyond mere keywords. Don’t underestimate the importance of media optimization — doing so can reduce your ROI. Instead, implement this best practice to optimize content, improve Google rankings, and boost engagement.

  1. Initiate audience and keyword research to align user search intent with your content.
  2. Dive deeper into user behavior to develop tailored engagement strategies.
  3. Optimize images by providing alt text, avoiding keyword stuffing, and using web-optimized sizes.
  4. Ensure your language resonates with your audience.
  5. Perform competitor analysis to identify avenues for improvement in your content.
  6. Don’t overlook mobile optimization—your content should be device-responsive to cater to the increasing mobile-user base.

Remember, successful media optimization requires a long-term, committed effort for substantive growth. 💫

2. Invest in Tools like Outranking

For small businesses a well, selecting the right tool to rectify and identify the SEO for small business website shortcomings related to content is crucial. Outranking is a comprehensive software solution designed for content creation, editing, and optimization, acting as an SEO content checker. Here are some key features and benefits that make Outranking the right choice:

  • Comprehensive content analysis: Outranking analyzes the top-ranking pages of your competitors for specific keywords, gaining valuable insights on how to outperform other websites.
  • Real-Time On-Page Scoring: Receive instant feedback and scoring on your on-page SEO efforts.
  • Keyword clustering: Identify and cluster related keywords to develop a more comprehensive and targeted content strategy.
  • Flawless SEO content strategy: Create a solid SEO content strategy that aligns with your SaaS website’s goals and objectives.
  • User-Friendly Onboarding: Discover the wealth of resources and guidance provided by Outranking through a simple onboarding process, allowing you to make the most of the software’s capabilities. 
Screenshot of Outranking's SEO score for the article titled "SaaS SEO Mistakes"
Outranking makes implementing your SaaS SEO strategy effortless.

Learn more about Outranking’s features from the following video:

3. Create Unique Content

Cultivating unique content is pivotal for SaaS companies striving to boost their SEO marketing efforts. Conquer your market challenges head-on with exceptional SEO-friendly content.

  1. Identify your audience’s needs and tailor your content accordingly.
  2. Focus on quality over quantity — each piece should offer real value.
  3. Use diverse content formats like blog posts, videos, and infographics to peak interest..
  4. Maintain originality and avoid copying other sources.

Tools like Outranking are especially important during content creation as:

The mantra is simple: unique, high-quality content inspires engagement, leads to better rankings, and fosters trust with your consumers. 💯

4. Slowly Build Your Topical Authority

Topical authority is paramount in overcoming SEO hurdles in SaaS companies. It’s the practice of becoming an expert in a particular subject, producing high-grade, comprehensive content on it, and gaining recognition from search engines. 

Here’s how you can cultivate topical authority:

  1. Identify a specific topic and dive deep into research.
  2. Collaborate with SaaS SEO copywriters for developing high-quality, SEO-optimized content.
  3. Continually produce in-depth content to cover the topic extensively.
  4. Use target keywords to optimize your site.
  5. Cultivate a robust backlink profile by creating authoritative, relevant content.
Infographic representing how building topical authority can impact reputation, trustworthiness, and credibility.
The topical authority serves as a pivotal pillar in any comprehensive SEO strategy.

Building your topical authority takes time and effort. Gradually establish yourself as an expert in your chosen topic, and you’ll see the impact on your search rankings and overall SEO performance.

5. Focus on the Technical SEO

Understanding and implementing Technical SEO is crucial in enhancing your SaaS company’s digital marketing strategies. It’s not just about offering an exceptional product or content; you also need to ensure that your target audience can find you. 

So, how can you make the most of Technical SEO?

  1. Ensure your website loads swiftly and is easy to navigate.
  2. Verify search engines can easily crawl and index your website’s content.
  3. With mobile traffic on the rise, make sure your website is optimized for mobile use.
  4. Use HTTPS for secure data transfer.
  5. Implement canonical tags to prevent content duplication issues.
  6. Create compelling and relevant meta titles and descriptions for each page to improve click-through rates.

Technical SEO Problems and Solutions

Technical SEO ProblemsHow to Solve Them
Poor URL StructureA URL is often the first thing that search engines and users see. An optimal URL structure should be logical, clean, and readable. Avoid lengthy URLs and be sure to include keywords relevant to the page’s content.
Absence of XML SitemapsXML sitemaps help search engines understand the structure of your website and locate pages that they might otherwise miss. You can generate a sitemap using various online tools or plugins, then submit it to Google through Google Search Console.
Missing Schema MarkupSchema markup helps search engines understand your content better, increasing the chances of a richer search result. Use schemas relevant to your content following the guidelines on schema.org or use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
Slow Page SpeedPage speed is a crucial factor in user experience and search rankings. Compress images, minimize HTTP requests, reduce server response time, and leverage browser caching to improve your page speed.
Complex Site NavigationA well-structured, simple-to-navigate website helps both users and search engines. Keep your navigation bar lean, include a search function, use breadcrumbs, and ensure that important pages are no more than three clicks away from the homepage.
Inadequate Mobile CompatibilityWith mobile web browsing on the rise, it’s crucial your website is mobile-friendly. Implement responsive design principles, avoid using Flash, and opt for a vertical design with large, easy-to-click elements.
Failure to Implement HTTPSHTTPS ensures your users’ data is encrypted and secure. Considering its significance to user safety and SEO, move your website to HTTPS by acquiring an SSL certificate, updating your site’s URL, and setting up 301 redirects.
Neglecting Core Web VitalsCore Web Vitals is a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. Regularly monitor these metrics using Google’s Search Console and address any issues identified.

In essence, focusing only on minor opportunities won’t yield substantial results. It’s the core aspects of Technical SEO that can truly propel your business forward.

SEO Practice Makes SaaS Perfect

As with anything, making mistakes is a part of learning. But it’s important to acknowledge and rectify these SaaS SEO mistakes swiftly. While the digital sphere welcomes disruption and innovation, some traditions like originality and ethics should never be compromised. 

A well-structured and formatted content means the difference between instant abandonment or a pleased reader who may potentially convert to a client. Your content’s success depends on aiding the reader to digest information rapidly while simultaneously imparting value and leaving lasting impressions.

As you continue to refine your SaaS SEO strategies and implement these solutions, Outranking can guide you on the path to optimizing your content, increasing organic traffic, and achieving your business goals. Discover how Outranking can enhance your SEO efforts and drive better results for your SaaS content here.