March 31, 2024

6 No-Nonsense SEO Tips To Help SaaS Teams Exceed Their Acquisition Goals

Derek Flint

Search the internet for tips on growing a SaaS company by leveraging SEO, and you’ll find a sea of advice written by people selling you a tool. It’s tough to discern who’s trustworthy, what works, and how to get started. 

We empathize. Even we experience the same frustration when we continue our education on the latest evolutions of the subject. It can be...exhausting.

That’s why we created this guide - so you have advice from people who do this specialized work for a living.

Everything we explain below, we have executed first-hand and seen work time and time again. 

These are the evergreen practices we’ve used with companies such as Gorgias, Nutrisense, (see case study), Bitly, Visible (see case study), and Accrue Savings.

They were also crucial when building the inbound acquisition engines in-house at Sprout Social, Bamboo, and ReviewTrackers.

SEO performance for programs we’ve built and/or are currently building...


We don’t claim to have “invented” these tips. We do, however, claim to know how to execute them really, really well.

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Why should you trust us?

That’s a reasonable question to ask. We would give you a full rundown of our past credentials and examples of proven success, but we don’t need to use up anymore real estate here. 

So, if you’d like, you can learn more about us and Ten Speed's services on our site. Or you can jump straight to our case studies and results pages if numbers are your love language.

Additionally, everything we put into practice checks all 3 boxes below. 

  • It’s data-driven Relies heavily on quantitative and qualitative research to drive decision making.
  • It’s focused on user experience → Heavy on improving the overall experience for the user.
  • It’s an SEO best practice → In line with guidelines promoted by Google and industry experts.

We’ve done our due diligence and only recommend what we believe will be effective in the long run.

How Can We Be Confident This Stuff Will Work for You?

Typically, the strategies and tactics we use can be applied to almost any type of business at varying stages. But we do see great success if you fall into one of the following 3 categories:

  • Strong Content Foundation - You have A LOT of existing content created over many years
  • Flat or Decaying Organic Traffic - Your organic traffic hasn’t grown, or you’re losing traffic each month 
  • Limited Marketing Resources - You have a lot of marketing to do, but not enough people to execute it all

If any of those sound like you, then please keep reading :) 

Refreshing content is the process of updating existing content (mainly blog posts and ungated long-form content) to map more accurately to specific user search intent.

If you’re experiencing content decay, a refresh is typically the quickest way to win back your traffic and rankings as that URL has already been indexed by Google.

We recommend that teams integrate this into their current content roadmap as an ongoing initiative to ensure content is never going stale. You should never put your content in the “rearview mirror” and always consider them assets that will improve over time. 

Why You Need to Do It

As much as it can be easy to “set it and forget it” with your content marketing, some aspects of a piece of content will become irrelevant at various points in its lifecycle. It requires some data-driven TLC to bring it back to life and make it relevant again.

Here are a few specific reasons you to need to update content:

  • Stale content is inevitable → Regardless of whether your content talks about something literal or conceptual, some aspects will likely become dated over time. It’s the nature of how things evolve, and content is not immune to this.
  • Competition becomes stronger → Competition can be fierce in any niche/category. Over time, competitors do their homework to understand how to win and create highly competitive content that differentiates from your content.
  • Search intent changes → Google’s algorithm is getting smarter every day, literally. It is updated thousands of times a year. As Google learns how users interact with specific queries and search results, it will improve those results to suit the user's needs better. 

Why it works

  • It’s data-driven → This process relies heavily on quantitative research to inform when and if a piece of content should be updated, removing any uncertainty around if the work should be a priority or not.
  • It’s focused on user experience → Google’s algorithm looks at how “fresh” a piece of content is, the history of updates made to it, and the “magnitude” of updates made. These signal that you are focused on improving the content’s resourcefulness, which helps influence rankings and indexation priority in search engines. And most importantly, improves the experience for your customers and potential prospects.

How to get started…

  1. Look for “Content Decay” - The quickest way to find opportunities to refresh content is to dive into Google Analytics or Google Search Console and look for a significant loss in traffic to specific URLs. Try comparing two periods of time to see where you’ve lost clicks, impressions, click-through rates, and average position. 
  2. Prioritize Content by Click Volume and Conversion Loss - Usually, the content that has the highest volume of click loss has the greatest opportunity to grow. Put together a roadmap of all the URLs that require updating in descending order starting with the most “decayed.” Then, if available, layer conversion data over each URL.
  3. Re-Publish with a Consistent Cadence - It can be hard to prioritize updating old content when you have so much new stuff to build. Find someone on your team to dedicate to this effort, or find a good freelancer to work on this content exclusively. Then, establish a re-publish schedule based on the volume of content.

Additional Resources

What Is Content Decay? How To Identify & Fix To Unlock Organic Growth

How to update existing content to win back rankings and conversions [step-by-step instructions]

25 Tips for Updating Old Blog Posts for SEO & Boosting Organic Traffic

How to Refresh Old Blog Posts for SEO [Guide + Checklist]

Content consolidation is when you combine multiple pieces of content (mainly blog posts) into one larger, long-form evergreen piece of content with the goal of increasing organic traffic.

This process is an easy way to get the most out of the content you’ve already created while reducing the footprint of your website.

Why You Need to Do It

It will always be important that your website is as clean as possible. Every page on your website should serve a purpose; otherwise, you’re confusing users or potentially driving new business away.

Here are a few more specific reasons we commonly encounter:

  • Content targets the same topic repeatedly → Over time, you may create new content similar to the content you’ve created in the past. This creates internal competition between content. It’s natural, but prevents content from performing as best as it should be in organic search. 
  • Content is no longer necessary → As your business evolves, so do the important topics to your customers and prospects. Because of that, you’ll need to get rid of pieces that aren’t relevant or merge them with existing pieces to create a more valuable resource.

Why it works

  • It’s data-driven → Similar to refreshing content, this tactic is driven by your own data and research. After careful analysis, you’ll be able to discern if content should stand on its own or be merged into an existing or new piece of content.
  • It’s an SEO best practice → When search engines crawl your website, they want to see a clear and logical path to content without encountering similar or duplicate content. This process keeps your site as clean as possible while addressing each unique topic at the page level.

How to get started…

  1. Look for “query cannibalization” - It’s easy to identify where there’s overlap in query targeting. Dive into the queries that you’re experiencing a decline in performance and see if there are multiple URLs with similar (or close to) impression or click share.
  2. Analyze content for opportunity - Compare competing content and see where the opportunity exists to combine content. It may even be as simple as removing a post from your site completely.
  3. Outline the steps to take action - There’s nuance to each path you can take with content consolidation. Create a document that outlines all of the necessary steps to ensure that your new piece of content is as successful as possible.

Additional Resources

Content Consolidation: How to Reduce The Number of Articles on Site To Grow Organic Traffic

What is keyword cannibalization? • Yoast

Duplicate Content [SEO 2021]

Long-form content is when you create a lengthy piece of content that covers one topic relevant to your business extensively (we typically consider anything >3,000 words “long-form content”).

This is one of the more controversial tips to recommend, and rightfully so. You should always be creating content for humans, not robots, and the topic you’ve chosen should dictate how extensively it should be covered. Too long and the piece may overwhelm users, but too short and it may not provide the answer they’re looking for. Make sure your research and subject-matter-expertise inform the length of your content and nothing else.

Why You Need to Do It

Being a subject matter expert within your industry will always be critical in driving new business growth and retaining customers. Long-form content is a great way to provide comprehensive resources that benefit the user while building that desired authority & trust.

Here are a few more specific reasons we commonly encounter:

  • Expertise & resourcefulness never gets old → Being able to speak to the topics important to your business and, ultimately, your customers will never go out of style. That level of knowledge builds trust and provides real value, something that Google and its users are looking for.
  • Topic & query reach → Lengthy content naturally has the ability to capture search impressions and clicks for a variety of search queries. This allows you to analyze and optimize content to improve performance over time.

Why it works

  • It’s data-driven → Your long-form content should be born out of research that surfaces an average word length that’s contributing to the success of your search competitors. 
  • It’s focused on user experience - Long-form content typically comes with thoughtful formatting and quick navigation (i.e. table of contents) to help the user skim and find the information they’re looking for. These elements help drive more search queries while providing dynamic search results like featured snippets and sitelinks.  

How to get started…

  1. Identify broad topics closely tied to your business → Every business falls into a category and industry regardless of how new or disruptive the business may be to both. Identify a set of 3-5 topics you want to be known as a subject-matter expert on within both those buckets. 
  2. Analyze competitors and SERPs → When researching a topic, scan page 1 and 2 of Google to see who’s winning. Isolate any of those that have longer word counts and use those as inspiration.
  3. Scan competitive content structure → Take a look at the header structure from some of the best competitors and throw those into a Google doc or spreadsheet. Start building an in-depth outline from there and see how long the content needs to be.

Additional Resources

The Non-Writer's Guide To Creating "BIG" Blog Content 

Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content: Which Do I Use?

How Long Blog Posts Should Be & Why It Matters

What Are Sitelinks? How to Influence Them

Topic clusters are a grouping of very targeted blog posts built around and linked to a long-form piece of content (aka “Pillar”) focused on a broader topic relevant to your business. 

This is a common approach popularized by HubSpot, and it works. This should be a strategic endeavor that maps your business’ themes to specific content types throughout your buyer’s journey. 

Why You Need to Do It

The relationship between content is important not only to search engines, but the user browsing your site as well. When you create hyper-targeted content and effectively link them together, you create a structured “hub” or “silo” of content that provides more context for your content.

Here’s a few more specific reasons we commonly encounter:

  • Keeps users browsing your site - Internal links always help users navigate deeper into your website. When you link together related content, users will naturally continue browsing if you're covering the topic extensively across multiple blog posts. 
  • Helps search engines understand content - Much like users, search engine robots navigate your internal links as well. When they do, they gain a better understanding of the themes related to your website and ultimately contribute to your rankings for related topics.
  • Lifts your long-form content - The long-form content you create typically targets big broad topics that can be more competitive to rank for. A well-structured content cluster increases rankings for your lengthier resources. 

Why it works

  • It’s focused on user experience → When implemented thoughtfully, this will have a major impact on how users perceive your content, website and ultimately brand.
  • It’s a SEO best practice → At its core, this is an internal linking strategy, which is an essential component of a strong SEO foundation for your website.

How to get started…

  1. Do keyword research to confirm content direction - Once you’ve generated those titles, start confirming their search volume in tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.
  2. Build content outlines and go - Once you’ve confirmed that there’s strong search opportunity, start building detailed content outlines for writers with directions for how each post should be linked together. 

Additional Resources

Building Content Pillars That Reward Your Readers and Showcase Your Authority

How to Create SEO-Friendly Content

BruceClay - SEO Silos - how to build a website silo architecture

Content structure has only gotten more important as user engagement with content has evolved over time and started to influence search engine rankings. 

Readers' attention spans have gotten shorter through consumption of content on mobile devices, so the more dynamic (or skimmable) your content structure is, the more opportunities you have to capture a user's attention and drive organic click-throughs. 

Why You Need to Do It

As much as your readers' engagement with your content evolves over time, so do effective content types and styles. It’s important to continue to fine tune your content and improve it with compelling structure, interesting embeds, images and more.

Here’s a few more specific reasons we commonly encounter:

  • Helps your content stand out → A wall of text isn’t the most compelling way to communicate on the internet. More complex content structures have been proven to increase traffic and engagement.
  • Enhanced search results → Thoughtful formatting can have a big impact on what your search results actually look like. Things like Schema markup, properly optimized images, and more can end enhancing your search results and influence clicks and engagement. 

Why it works

  • It’s focused on user experience → When you focus on creating highly engaging content, it results in users staying on your website longer. This engagement time (or “long click”) tends to be correlated to higher rankings. 
  • It’s an SEO best practice → According to SEMrush, “36% of articles with H2+H3 tags have higher performance in terms of traffic, shares, and backlinks.” Bottom line: the better the structure, the better the performance. 

How to get started…

  1. Research the competition - When researching a specific topic, review the structure of the content that’s winning and note specific things that stand out (i.e. where are bulleted lists used, what visuals communicate specific concepts, etc.). Use that as inspiration for how to structure your content.
  2. Use an AI content tool - There are alot of tools out there that can help give you a grade on how your content is optimized and give guidance on header structure and more. Tools like Clearscope, MarketMuse and Content Harmony are really great for this. 

Additional Resources

The Anatomy of Top Performing Articles: Successful vs. Invisible Content

How to Create SEO-Friendly Content

Detailed Guide to Schema: Structured Data Usage for SEO

3 Vital Click-Based Signals for SEO: First, Long, & Last

Product-led content in the context of SEO is any type of optimizable content in which you can display the value of your product within the content.

This involves aligning education opportunities between your ICP’s JTBD and your product features that directly help prospects achieve their goals or overcome hurdles. This mix of education and product marketing drives a higher percentage of activations from content.

Why You Need to Do It

The other 5 tips are essential to SEO. They’re what is going to efficiently drive the most traffic and highest rankings to your content. Creating product-led content is about making use of SEO as your largest driver of inbound leads and activations.

  • Increases acquisition of leads, activations, and revenue → Content needs to find a way to drive more than traffic. Product-led content drives more of the metrics that matter.
  • Budget expansions and individual promotions → Internal buy-in, budget expansions, and team member promotions often result when content teams can show their impact on the bottom line
  • Aligns content marketing, product marketing, and sales teams → Creates increased communication and sharing of cross-functional subject matter expertise that has a ripple effect on future content and cross-team sentiments

Why it works

  • Content attracts searchers who are problem-aware → The keywords you target with product-led content ensure you’re targeting a relevant audience between the middle and bottom of the funnel that includes your subject matter expertise to offer a solution.
  • Visually demonstrates your product’s value → By including assets such as video tutorials, demos, UI screenshots, and testimonials, you’re making it easier for users to say yes to your product instead of relying on your word.

How to get started…

  1. Create a list of solutions for each product feature – Each feature likely has 3-5 things it does that your customers find valuable. Listing these out will show you how many opportunities you have to create more impactful content.
  2. Find keywords that match the intent of these solutions – From there, you can explore the questions customers and users are asking themselves when they need this feature.
  3. Gather your product marketing assets – Work with your product and sales teams to generate an asset folder for videos and images needed to showcase the product in your content.
  4. Map that content back to the feature pages – You can map all of these content topics back to your feature pages so you have a clear idea of how you expect people to explore your highest-value pages.

Additional Resources

Product-led content: What it is, why you need it, & examples to show you how to build it

Keyword research for content that celebrates your SaaS product

8 Must-Have Content Types for PLG Companies Investing in SEO [+184 SaaS Marketers Told Us Which They’d Build First]

Every business has a specific set of goals and outcomes that they’re trying to achieve. So tracking results and ROI will be different for each. Some businesses prefer to keep an eye on 

Sessions vs. Pageviews or New Users for traffic.

Ultimately you should be keeping an eye on high-level organic metrics such as:

  • Traffic
  • Conversions 
  • Conversion rate
  • Engagement / Time on Page
  • Revenue

Map these to your specific business goals, and you’ll be able to tell when you’re “pushing the needle” effectively.

We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’re always finding new ways to track and measure.

If it seems too overwhelming or hard to execute, check out our content marketing services and we’ll work with you to get it done.

We’re excited for future you to watch your traffic grow :)

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