S5E21 Top 15 SEO Tactics for SaaS Businesses: Insights from SEO Specialist Sam Dunning

S5E21 – Top 15 SEO Tactics for SaaS Businesses: Insights from SEO Specialist Sam Dunning

What are the top 15 SEO tactics for SaaS businesses?

In today’s competitive SaaS (Software as a Service) landscape, mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a game-changer for attracting new customers and fueling business growth. In this episode of the Payback Time Podcast, host Sean Tepper sits down with Sam Dunning, Founder at Breaking B2B and a seasoned SEO expert, who shares valuable strategies on how SaaS businesses can harness the potential of SEO to optimize their online presence and effectively generate leads.

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Identifying Crucial Business Elements

To kick-start your SEO journey, Sam stresses the importance of laying a solid foundation by identifying crucial business elements. This involves creating detailed profiles of your offerings, target demographics, relevant industries, and key competitors. Utilizing tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs aids in uncovering long-tail keywords that precisely match what potential customers are searching for, forming the cornerstone of your SEO strategy.

Creating Targeted Pages

Sam also underscores the strategic creation of dedicated pages focused on competitors. For example, crafting a page titled “Mailchimp Alternatives” can attract users actively seeking alternatives, positioning your SaaS solution as a compelling choice within the market.

Optimizing Content for Maximum Impact

When crafting content, Sam recommends optimizing every detail for SEO impact. Integrating your target keyword into the URL, title tag, and H1 header is crucial for search engine visibility. Additionally, incorporating multimedia elements like relevant videos not only enhances user engagement but also boosts your content’s ranking potential on search engines.

Balancing AI and Human Touch

In discussing content creation tools, Sam advises a balanced approach with AI tools like ChatGPT. While AI can streamline content production, ensuring content maintains a human touch is critical to maintaining audience engagement and trust, factors that AI-generated content can sometimes lack.

Enhancing User Experience and Conversion

Sam’s insights extend to practical strategies such as including an FAQ section in articles to address common queries and utilizing comparison tables to highlight unique selling points effectively. These tactics not only improve user experience but also increase conversion rates by guiding potential customers towards informed decisions.

Building Authority Through Backlinks

Lastly, Sam emphasizes the importance of building authoritative backlinks through strategic partnerships. Collaborating with businesses that share your target audience but aren’t direct competitors can lead to valuable content opportunities and backlinks, boosting your site’s credibility and search engine rankings over time.

Conclusion: Driving Growth Through Strategic SEO

In conclusion, by implementing these SEO strategies curated by Sam Dunning, SaaS businesses can elevate their online visibility, attract qualified leads, and drive sustainable growth in today’s competitive digital landscape.

Key Timecodes

  • (00:35) – Show intro and background history
  • (07:12) – Deeper into his pricing journey background
  • (10:04) – Understanding his SEO business strategies
  • (14:01) – Commercial break (TYKR)
  • (22:53) – Deeper into his technical strategies for entrepreneurs
  • (29:34) – How many words he recommend as a tactical approach for SEO
  • (31:24) – Understanding his video strategy
  • (32:53) – A bit about AI in search engines
  • (36:03) – How to deal with competition
  • (37:47) – Guest hot tips
  • (41:28) – A key takeaway from the guest
  • (47:17) – Guest contacts


[00:00:00.000] – Show Intro

Introducing Payback Time, the podcast for entrepreneurs looking to build and scale their startups, gain access to actionable tips, proven strategies, and valuable data that can help you avoid mistakes, skyrocket sales, and optimize profits. Your business breakthrough may just be an episode away.


[00:00:17.340] – Guest Intro

Are you looking to increase leads on autopilot for your SaaS or tech business? Well, my next guest is a search engine expert, and in this episode, he breaks down 15 tips to help you generate more leads through search engines. Please welcome Sam Dunning.


[00:00:35.490] – Sean

Sam, welcome to the show.


[00:00:37.070] – Sam

Hey, Sean. Thanks for having me on, man. Looking forward to it.


[00:00:39.450] – Sean

All right, so before we dive into the episode, could you tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know? I guess.


[00:00:46.970] – Sam

Trying to think of something that’s a bit funny, a bit relevant. I suppose anyone that doesn’t follow me on LinkedIn, I do these what are fairly comical Man on the Street videos. So basically go to different towns, different cities, and ask just the public walking the street, various questions on B2B marketing. Things like, what is SEO? What’s the best marketing channel? What do you think about AI? Just to gage their reactions and get some funny answers. Some people quite sensible, some quite funny. Find out some entrepreneurs. And that’s just something that a lot of folks don’t know I’m doing, but something that we’re doing.


[00:01:20.850] – Sean

That’s fun. I do like watching those videos because I know exactly the format you’re talking about. I’ll go to YouTube and see people on the street talking. And it could be about things outside of business. But I find myself stop scrolling at that moment. I’m like, I got to hear what these people say. So nice. All right. If you could take a few minutes here and tell us about your career background.


[00:01:42.070] – Sam

Yeah, sure. So I fell into what I’m doing now. So B2B SEO and websites. If we cast our minds back, I’ll give you the shorter version. So we cast my back probably to… Well, I’m 33 now, probably when I was about 19 years years old, one of my first, or maybe 18, one of my first jobs was in a camera store we’ve got, or a chain we’ve got in the retail stores in the UK called Jessup’s. They basically sell camera equipment, video cameras, SLRs, you name it. And I’ve always been into media. I did it at college, so I naturally thought, I’ll get a job in this shop. After probably doing that for about a year or so, Sean, I realized I absolutely hated the general public. They were super rude. The funny thing is that my wife actually works as a manager in retail, so we’re literally the polar opposites. But I’d go up to folks that were looking in the shop window or looking at cameras, and I’d be like, Can I help you, ma’am? Can I help you, sir? And they’d basically just like, Get lost, or I’m trying to do this myself, or the classic British response.


[00:02:45.150] – Sam

And after a year, I thought, I absolutely hate this. I need to get out. And fortunately for me, my cousin said there was a job going at a web design company that he was working at on sales, and took an interview the next day and immediately got hired, immediately left the camera store. Never looked back. So I came on to this web design agency, not the one I’m running now, but working as almost a Jack of all trades, where I literally got thrown in at the deep end. So I was doing anything from sales to wireframes for websites, to learning SEO, to project management, to dealing with the offshore web team, literally almost everything of the operations of this small web design business. If you ask me, it’s one of the best ways that you can learn being thrown at the deep end at a startup because you’re forced to work out for yourself, ask questions, interact with different team members, struggle a bit, Google a bit, find out what’s going on, and really causes you to put that saying, necessity is the mother of invention. So that was a really good learning curve. Did that for a while.


[00:03:48.670] – Sam

A quick story, I’ve shared this on a few podcasts, but one of the funniest things that happened, I made a lot of mistakes over the years, but on one of my first days, I was running a sales call. We had a lead come in for a guy that wanted a very simple website that was to be similar to LinkedIn. So a nice small- Oh, a simple website.


[00:04:08.240] – Sean

Yeah. Okay.


[00:04:09.090] – Sam

Super simple, yeah. And I had no clue how to sell. I was about 18, 19 years old. Had no clue what I was doing. Knew nothing back then about websites or SEO or digital marketing. And every question he asked, I said, yes. So it was like, Can I have a platform like LinkedIn? I was like, sure. Can I have all these features? Yeah, sure. Can it do this? Sure. Can it be built in a month? Yeah, sure. Can I get it for 500 bucks? Yeah, why not? And did had no clue. Ended up selling what was the equivalent of LinkedIn, which should be a multi-million pound, if not more, project for 500 pounds or 700 bucks. And thankfully, we started getting into it. After a few weeks, he forgot about it and we could palm him off with a couple of smaller sites. So my neck was off the line. And that’s probably one of the biggest mistakes I made about a few days into the role. And then since then, I’ve had a few roles at different marketing companies, done various sales and marketing roles and operations roles, and just learnt the ins and outs in probably about five years, well, three or four years ago, let’s say, I became a director at another web agency Agency, which I exited, that was when I really learned the value of SEO because this Web Agency was getting a lot of their leads through organic search and really started to understand that organic search SEO could be a great way to drive qualified inbound leads 24/7 on autopilot.


[00:05:31.380] – Sam

And as I was running a lot of the sales as well, that was something that I really thought, well, this is a great way to bump up our own monthly recurring revenue. Why don’t we start offering this as a channel to our clients and our existing clients, reaching out to new customers and offering this as a smart way to bump up monthly recurring revenue? And that’s where I got a real big interest in it, probably five or six years ago. And then fast forward to now, I started my own agency, breaking B2B back in the start of this year, 2024. Now Now we specialize in B2B and SaaS, organic search, and we do a bit of web design and dev as well. And also run the podcast, Breaking B2B, a bit like yourself, where we interview marketing leaders. And I also share solo episodes on a website and SEO tips and what’s working, what’s not, our own experiments and more, really.


[00:06:19.820] – Sean

And you no longer sell enterprise platforms for $500.


[00:06:23.440] – Sam

Try to steer away from those headaches if I can, but you never know.


[00:06:27.630] – Sean

I remember In my earlier days, I had an agency as well. And yeah, I misquoted some projects in my younger mid-20s. And regret of that. Learn the hard way, right?


[00:06:44.810] – Sam

Yeah. Sometimes those mistakes are the best way to learn. I’ve done lots more. None as bad as that, but made a few more over the years as well. Sure.


[00:06:53.310] – Sean

All right. So you went full-time as of this year? Sounds like January.


[00:06:57.870] – Sam

Yeah. So I was co-owner at another agency I see which I exited out of vendor last year and then started this own thing as I wanted to run fully my own operation. So started breaking B2B, yeah, pretty much February of 2024. And I’ve been all in on that since, really. Got it.


[00:07:13.300] – Sean

Well, I want to really focus on SEO. We’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs in our audience or aspiring entrepreneurs that are trying to launch a SaaS or some tech product. There are, of course, agency owners like yourself, and that’s a fine place to be, but people want to move to, okay, how do I switch from a service business to a product business and really create something that’s highly scalable? So talking about B2B SaaS, let’s dive in. Let’s talk about some of the things you do for your customers on the SEO side.


[00:07:44.920] – Sam

In terms of the offers, so it varies depending on where the company is at, who their IDLE client profile is, and what resource usually they have internally, whether it’s, like you say, perhaps a small business or a bootstrap company that has limited resource, and they want us to take on the full suite of services, or they might be a larger company or a funded company, and they might have a marketing team, and we do more of the strategy and oversight piece. So our levels of engagement, I suppose, vary depending on the setup. But it’ll be anything from initial strategy to identifying what is the goal of SEO, because there’s so many mistakes that not just SaaS, but these be companies in general made with SEO. So many Companies leave SEO. Seo is left to scrape the budget barrel. So they’ll spend their cash on ads, outbound sales team, events, trade shows, partner marketing, sponsorships, influence in marketing. Finally, get around to SEO. It’s got no budget left, if any. So it’s rare that we get the budget I like to think that we deserve. But yeah, usually companies bring us on board because they’ve realized that competitors are constantly head of them in organic search.


[00:08:58.960] – Sam

So every time at a target client is searching for their offer directly, comparing them to alternatives, maybe searching for the job that they help get done, they’re constantly seeing competitors above them in organic search results, stealing that traffic and stealing those inbound demo requests or inbound leads or inbound sales calls. We tend to fix that with our unusual approach to SEO. And that involves anything from initial strategy and research to planning out what are the money keywords that we can get into in a sec, looking at The website quick wins. So issues we see with SaaS websites is they’re often super thin on content. Maybe they start with four or five pages, like home, about pricing, book a demo, or perhaps even less. That’s something we need to address. And then identifying what are high intent prospects that are ready for a sales conversation. What are they actually searching for? Because that’s something that’s often missed. Saas companies often look to drive traffic to blogs and articles instead of going for the money keywords. So we do the full strategy and including content link building.


[00:10:04.880] – Sean

Our audience is really tactical. So I want to dive into some tactical strategies people can take away and use today. You don’t have to give them the whole recipe because we want them to go to the menu. But Before we dive into that, can you give the why? Why should B2B SaaS businesses really focus on SEO?


[00:10:23.140] – Sam

Yeah. The truth is that probably not everyone wants to hear is not every SaaS company should because there’s often a lot of quick wins. Now, the reason I say that is because SEO is great in many cases, but it’s also not a fit in many cases, too. So if you’re like a solo operator or a very small business, there’s often quicker ways to acquire clients in my experience, ie, leveraging existing network, leveraging referrals, leveraging partnerships, sometimes even running ads, sometimes running sponsored ads on paid review sites, G2, Capterra, you know the usuals. Often those are quicker wins. But if you understand the value of SEO and you’re in a market that has actual demand. So for example, the one time you should steer clear The other SEO is if you’re in a new market, ie, folks do not know your offering, your service exists because people just won’t be searching for it on Google. But the chances of that are probably quite rare. You’re probably in a category that’s known and people know it exists. So SEO works best as a demand capture It’s a channel. And the beauty of it is that obviously you’re not paying for every click, just like Google Ads or sponsored ads.


[00:11:37.900] – Sam

The beauty of it is often people, folks place more trust in organic search. So there’s many more educated folks who skip the ads and go straight to organic listings. And the content that you create with SEO is evergreen. So just like when you search for a video on YouTube, how to do something, best ways to do something, you compare things, whatever, you can see videos a few months old or even a few years old. Well, SEO content is just the same. It can give you that bang for buck, not just now, but for months and years to come, driving a sustainable flow of organic traffic, inbound leads, and demos. That’s just a few of the benefits. I mean, that’s the initial one.


[00:12:15.420] – Sean

And to set expectations with the audience, listeners. I know some people, you probably run into those, like the gentleman that came to you and said, I want LinkedIn for 500, in your case, euros, not dollars. Sorry, I mentioned dollars. But anyway, They’ll say, Hey, I want SEO, and I want to be found in search engines tomorrow. So I tell people, if you’re local, it’s a certain duration, and if you’re international, it’s another duration. For example, with Tykr, we get about 17 % of our leads from SEO, but it took about two years to get there. It wasn’t tomorrow, right? You got to put it in place now, and then it goes to work over years. So, yeah, give us some expectations of what people can aim for.


[00:12:56.970] – Sam

Yeah, you’re exactly right. With SEO, the riches are the niches. So there’s more specific a niche to your exact client and profile that they’re searching for, and the more crisp and clear your offer is, and what we can get into in a second, more longer tell keywords, ie, when there’s more words in the keyword that you’re searching for, usually you can rank faster. But yeah, I mean, in the SaaS world, a lot of businesses are national or at least cover a few countries. So that’s often where it’s more competitive. But like you say, local SEO, which is usually for more localized service businesses, you can rank pretty fast. You can rank in days, weeks or months. But yeah, to set expectations in SaaS SEO, I mean, you want to give it a minimum of 90 days to start ranking the long tail keywords, the more detailed descriptive searches, and then more competitive searches. But let’s say you’re in the CRM industry and maybe you’re targeting a certain segment, i. E. Crm for sales teams. I mean, that stuff could take six months or longer. You’re going to need a solid content strategy, a solid link building strategy, and more to actually bring it to fruition.


[00:14:01.260] – Sean

Okay, let’s take a quick commercial break. If someone tells you to buy a stock, the last thing you should do is buy that stock. The first thing you should do is ask why. Unfortunately, a lot of influencers on YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, or some other social media app are giving really bad stock recommendations and investment advice. The question is, how do you determine if what these people say is good advice or bad advice? That’s where Tykr can help. Tykr quickly cuts through the clutter to determine if a stock is good or bad investment. But don’t take my word for it. Check out our Trustpilot to see what our customers have to say. As of today, we have a Trustpilot score of 4.9 out of 5. Get started today with a free trial. Visit Tykr. Com. That’s T-Y-K-R. Com. Again, Tykr. Com. All right, back to the show. Let’s dive into some tactical strategies that tech entrepreneurs or SaaS entrepreneurs can apply to their own business.


[00:14:57.570] – Sam

Yeah, so let’s start from the very top. The first thing that I recommend you do as a SaaS organization is probably fire up a Google Sheet or an Excel Sheet, whichever one you prefer, and make a clear list a summary or breakdown of what are the main offers that you want to sell? So it might be that, I don’t know, your proposal building solution or your calendar scheduling solution, whatever. That’s the main offer. Then make a of the money niches within that. So who are the main segments, the main sectors, the main markets that you want to serve? Are they finance, are they sales, are they HR, are they construction, whatever. Now, these need to be industries that are tried and tested, ideally. So you’ve sold to them already, maybe within your existing network or within your outbound sales, whatever your go to market has been up to now. So they are folks that have the problem you fix, understand the impact of not fixing it, and actually are willing to invest in the offer. So you don’t want to go after niches or offers or offerings that can’t afford your offer. You need to go after one that can easily afford it.


[00:16:08.400] – Sam

So make a list of all the main offers, all the main industries you serve, first and foremost. And then you want to do, if you’re in SaaS, you probably also want to make a list of your alternatives. So what are all your competitors? And there’s a quick way to do that. You could go… It depends on your niche, of course, but there’s sites like G2, which is Common One, Capterra, I forget the names, but there’s so many. You’ll probably know the one that’s relevant to your offering. And then search for your own offer or search for some competitors, and you’re going to get listicles of all your main competitors. Make a note of those, fire that in your Excel sheet so you know all your main competitors. And then probably the last one I’d say to do at this stage is hopefully, if you’re a solo founder or if you’ve got a marketing team, you know what your prospects jobs to be done are. And what that means is what do they struggle with up to the tipping point where they realize that they’ve got a problem you fix that usually means they need to invest or discover an offer like yours.


[00:17:08.500] – Sam

So to give you an example of what a jobs to be done might be. And usually in SEO, these come in the format of how to do XYZ, that search. But they’re quite niche-specific. They’re not content AI can replace easily. They’re quite very crisp and specific. For example, let’s pretend that you provided a power dialer solution. So if you had an outbound your sales team, you need a power dialer to ring multiple numbers at once to easily make sales calls. And your customer’s job to be done might be how to make dials faster with a cell phone, because they’re struggling. We’re trying to do all these manual dials with a cell phone. They come across your article and it says, well, you could do this, or instead, rather than taking hours just to make 20 dials, you could plug in a power dialer and make 100 dials within an hour. Save your sales team time, reduce costs, 10X your connection rate, and Here’s a call to action to book a free trial. Those jobs to be done, base articles when you know your prospects, pains and frustrations can be super powerful to get signups as well on SaaS.


[00:18:10.110] – Sam

So that’s the starting point. Make that list of main offers, main industries that you want to serve, money niches, alternatives to you, and if you can, jobs to be done to prospects. And from there, that is where you want to hit the ground running as fast as you can. And if you’re a small business, this is where you can really look to surpass the giants in your industry. So to set some context, this is quite literally, because my own business, breakingb2b. Com, we launched, like I said, in February this year, this is how we’ve got B2B SEO Agency organic position one in the UK and US within 90 days. And that keyword alone, if you did Google Ads, is worth 20 bucks per click. And we did it just by this. What we did is we defined those money keywords. Then we went to publish content, but at scale. So what you want to do Once you’ve defined those main offers, you want to run them through a tool like Hrefs or Semrush or similar and find out what keywords are relevant. So let’s go, if I give you an actual example in SaaS, let’s say one of your niches was construction, and let’s pretend you provide calendar scheduling tools.


[00:19:16.190] – Sam

So the best way that you can win in SEO fast is to go for long tail keywords like calendar scheduling for construction or best calendar scheduling tool for construction companies or similar for finance companies, whatever niches you serve. Same for a proposal your software, whatever your software is. That’s one way of doing it, niche specific. And then you would look to build out landing pages for all those offers, which we can talk about how to construct a landing page and the URL and the structure of that if you’d like. And then the same for another popular one in SaaS is like best offer software or best offer software or best offer tool. I in this, go back to our Canada scheduling, best Canada scheduling tool or best proposal software tool. Those are super competitive, usually. So that will take a little bit longer to rank for. And we can talk about the content that usually ranks for those. And then alternative searches. This is quite a quick win for SaaS. So basically, you build out a page for each alternative. So again, if we take calendar scheduling, just because that’s top of my mind, you might look to build a page for Calendly alternatives or Chilly Piper alternatives, or Revenue Hero alternatives, or HubSpot booking calendar alternatives.


[00:20:27.690] – Sam

All the main competitors you build out a page for. We We can talk about the type of content that ranks for those. And then lastly, the jobs to be done. I gave you the PowerDial example. You might have something that’s relevant to your niche. So that’s the type of keywords that you’re going after. You run them through a tool like Href so you can check the difficulty and perhaps go with some of the lower difficulty ones first to have a little bit of traffic to them. Don’t always be put off by stuff of low traffic, though, because if the intent’s there and if it’s super crisp and relevant to your offer, which a lot of those ones I suggested will be, they can drive leads. So don’t be distracted by super high volume traffic keywords like simple how to do stuff or best way to do stuff, because that’s more vanity traffic and stuff that’s going to actually fuel your sales team of leads. So once you’ve done that, which is the next step is to look at each keyword. So for example, if I flip back to my business, when I went, one of the main keywords I wanted to go after was B2B SEO Agency.


[00:21:21.480] – Sam

You need to assess the intent. So you Google the keyword you’re going after and you look for the type of content that’s ranking organically. Is it a solution page? Is it an article page? Is it like a listicle, like a top 10 page? Is it a comparison page? Is it something a bit different? Understand what’s ranking in the top three organic spots. And then you know what’s probably most likely to rank if you’re going to build a page like that. So when I did that for B2B SEO Agency, I looked at the top pages, could see there was some listicles, most of them were solution pages. So I assessed the solution page. And when it comes to actually building that page, a few basic technical practices. So when you’re doing your URL, you want to make sure the main keywords in that URL. So in my example, it’s breakingb2b. Com/b2b-seo-agency. So you’d probably look to put your main keyword in there. Likewise, put your main keyword in your meta title, which is the result in the search engine. And likewise for the meta description, it’s the summary in the search engine results page. And then you want your main keyword in what’s called a h1 header tag.


[00:22:21.030] – Sam

And then you only want one h1 header tag. And then for your h2 and h3s, weave it in if you can nicely. And likewise in your body text, the site, weave it in nicely, but don’t force it. That’s just some basic best practices. For technical SEO, pretty much all we do. A lot of SEO spend months, weeks on technical audits. You don’t need it. You don’t need it if you’re building SaaS sites. Unless you get to thousands and thousands of pages, technical SEO is often spent too much time on. I’d much more encourage you to look at content and velocity and publishing good stuff at scale and doing all the stuff that we’re talking about now. So for my example, when I was looking at ranking B2B SEO agency, I basically just looked at the top three organic pages, took notes on how they’re built out and looked for angles and gaps on how I could completely blow their page out of the water. So was there an intro to the problem they fixed? Yes. Can I go more depth on that? Cool. Can I weave in a YouTube video that’s specifically on the topic?


[00:23:15.450] – Sam

Great. So if you can weave in a YouTube video, the advantage with that is Google tends to prefer those pages. And also in the search engine results page, sometimes you get a little thumbnail. So you can improve your click-through rates. Plus, Google often has a dedicated video results section. So for some keywords, you can actually have your site ranking in the video results, which is pulled from YouTube, and the actual just normal organic results. It’s like a double hit. So that’s one tip. And then as you’re building out your page, basically, you want to look for gaps in those top three organic competitor pages that are already ranking and look for any angles that you can add more detail, more depth, more helpful content. Google ranks sites. One of their ranking factors is called EEAT, Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust. So basically looking for whoever’s putting together your copy on your page has hands-on experience in the field or the sector that they’re talking about. And there’s a reason for that, especially with the rise of AI. If someone lands on your page, they can instantly tell if it’s written by ChatGPT because it’ll have words like supercharge your revenues, 20X your productivity.


[00:24:20.080] – Sam

And all these cutting edge, unusual buzzwords that a real human would probably never say. So one side of the coin on SEO is building content that ranks, hitting user intent with the right type of page. And the other side of it is leveraging customer research. So when you’re actually building out this page, you’re talking about the problems your prospects are facing. If it was a solution page, you’re talking about the impact of not fixing it. You’re sharing the new, better way, which is probably your offer, your solution or your SaaS. You’re showing some social proof, examples, client review videos, testimonials, breakdowns, summaries. Maybe you’re sharing a process. And another nice tip, if you’re building a solution page is to have an FAQ section at the bottom where you address all common questions on the offer head on. For example, on our page, on the B2B SEO agency, we put stuff like, why are you guys so expensive? Shouldn’t I just invest in ads? Isn’t that quicker than SEO? What’s the onboarding like? Do I get a dedicated account manager? All the questions that you get on a sales call that your competitors are likely to scared to bring up, address them all head on on your page.


[00:25:26.360] – Sam

Not only will that help you rank better because you’re actually answering your questions, but it will help you convert more skeptical prospects because you’re addressing all this stuff head on. Plus your sales team can leverage the page instead of sending PDFs. They can just direct people to the page itself. Yeah, so that’s a run through. But then on the flip side, If there was… Let’s flip it back to SAS. If we were doing an alternative page, which you can rank quite often quite quick. If we take it back to the calendar schedule example, let’s go ahead.


[00:25:57.000] – Sean

Yeah, I was just going to go there. And to the audience here, I break the fourth wall in the show and usually talk to my audience. I’m going to do a rollup of all the hot takeaway. So don’t worry if you were taking notes or maybe missed notes, don’t worry about it. I’m going to do rollup here in a little bit. But let’s drill into that example. You use the Calendly example. Other examples that came to mind that most people would probably recognize would be email marketing alternatives like the big players are, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign. We use Loops. So in that example, would you say, let’s say I’m at Loops, which we’re biased, and we create pages on our site that are like, Mailchimp alternative. Is that how you tactically approach it? And that would be It would be loops. So as the URL, /mailchimpalternative. Would that be the actual URL you would use?


[00:26:55.560] – Sam

Probably something like that. Yeah, probably something like best-mailchimp- hyphen, alternative, something like that. Got it. Okay. You don’t want to include numbers in there because you might have top 10, but then you might improve your article over time. So if you’ve locked a number into the URL, it impacts the SEO and means it’s really tricky to edit and it messes everything up. So don’t put numbers in your URL if you can avoid it. But yeah, usually what you find, Sean, is alternative pages tend to be in listical format. And those might be quite tricky to outrank, outmelching for alternatives, because I imagine there’s quite a few competitors in that space.


[00:27:29.020] – Sean

Oh, there might be one or two out there.


[00:27:31.600] – Sam

But we move. Like I say, publish at scale. And over time, as you build the authority of your site, as you ramp up links and ramp up that site authority, there’s no reason you can’t get up there for those terms. But let’s use that as an example. Why not? What you’ll usually find in the search results for those terms is listicles. So it might be like top 10 Mailchimp alternatives or top 15 Mailchimp alternatives. And you’ll open the article. Usually it’ll have a bit of a spiel at the start, like a paragraph like, this is what you should consider when you’re looking at an alternative to MailChimp. And then normally they’ll position their own offer at position one, whatever that software of choice might be. They’ll put position one. But where you get… The best way to do this is rather than just talking about how great you are, this is where customer research is useful because you want to leverage the problems you fix, impact of not fixing them, and the new, better way of using your tool. But also, try and leverage your points of differentation. Why it is people choose you and what you offer that the others don’t.


[00:28:29.940] – Sam

That actually stands out and your customers actually care about. And you could do that with some nice comparison table. We do this and our competitors don’t. And it’s got to be factually correct. Do not slate your competitors because you have a legal place on your hands. Keep it fair, but keep it to the point and make sure you’ve got a way of standing out. And then after you’ve got that bit, you might have a bit of social proof. This is a nice video testimonial that backs up our statements here. And here’s a call to action, like grab a free trial or book a sales call, whatever that CTA is that you run with. And then underneath you’ll have your competitors listed with their fair comparisons of all of those. Usually to outrank, you need to make quite a detailed page. So let’s say, for example, organic position one was top 10 alternatives. I’d look to blow it out of the water. If I could, I’d do top 20. I’d absolutely double it or even do more. And that way no one’s going to be bothered to outrank it for a long time. And you can have some sustainability in your article.


[00:29:23.780] – Sam

So you’re going to show Google that it’s a super helpful page that you’ve gone to a lot more detail. That’s great. And you’ve just blown it out of the So that’s what I’d recommend. And that’s how we’ve got some of our clients ranking fast.


[00:29:35.040] – Sean

How many words would… Let’s see, you had a top 10. We’ll use that as a benchmark because I’ve done a lot of homework in this. We’re talking like 2,000 words, 2,500?


[00:29:44.850] – Sam

Let’s have a look. Let’s Google Melchimp alternatives. What we got here? Zapia ranking top. I’m trying to see if that’s a page. So right now, it looks like in the UK anyway, Zapia are top with nine best Melchimp alternatives. They’ve actually got how many words? 3.8k words. So not tons, but it is Zapia. They’ve got a ton of authority. They’ve got thousands of pages. If you know anything If you’re thinking about Zapia, they’ll have a page for every single integration they run, and they’re pretty well established. So it would be quite difficult to knock them off the top spot. But not to say it’s not possible if you build up your cloud.


[00:30:27.020] – Sean

I’m going to use a nice round benchmark for the audience. Let’s say you go for a top 10 article, aim for somewhere between, what do you think, Sam? Between 3,000 and 4,000 words somewhere in there should be fine?


[00:30:39.730] – Sam

Yeah, I wouldn’t use that as a benchmark. I’d be more focused on the depth. So if someone’s done top nine or top 10, I’d be more focused on, let’s do top 15. And let’s do what they’re not doing. Let’s add this comparison table to show our differentiators. Let’s do these unique points of view, because it’s all good getting a page ranking, which you could do. But then when someone lands on it, you’ve got to build enough trust and show your differentiation to actually get a sign up, whatever your call to action is, because that’s where a lot of folks go wrong with SaaS SEO. They’ll build a page that ranks, but it’s like a wall of text. It looks terrible. It’s not designed well. And they’ll go on it, land on it for a few secs and think, this looks like a potato. I’m going to bounce off and go to the next result.


[00:31:24.660] – Sean

There’s two other points here, and then I’m going to do a roll up. This is really gold. So thank you. You mentioned the video strategy. So would you create your article, title it, let’s say, Mailchimp Alternatives, and then go create a video that has the exact same title as the an article and then Google is going to pull it? How does that work?


[00:31:49.050] – Sam

If you can, yeah, that would be decent. I appreciate that’s a lot of time. That’s what I’ve done for some of my main pages. Or I’ve pulled out… I mean, you and I are, I guess, a bit fortunate Sean, because we run our own shows. We’ve got our own YouTube channels. We’ve got almost a library of content we can plug into. So I was fortunate for my B2B SEO Agency Service page and all the other SAS SEO and all this subsector SEO service pages. I had videos already that I could pull in, but a lot of folks won’t have that. So, yeah, if you’ve got resource to be able to do a dedicated video that’s specific to that topic, that covers the same topic as your article, great. If you’ve got one that exists that’s fairly similar. Excellent. Let’s weave that in, perhaps in the a top here area or wherever fits nicely. But yeah, maybe it’s one of those things that it would be easier to publish the page initially. And then when you’ve got resource, then I look to add a video. Add a video. Later along the line.


[00:32:42.270] – Sean

Would you just leave it on YouTube or would you also embed it? Take the embed link and put it embedded on that article.


[00:32:49.670] – Sam

Embed it in the page.


[00:32:50.900] – Sean

Okay, that’s great. And then I have to bring up this is the hot one, AI. So there are people that want to write articles completely lately using ChatGPT. Shout out to Ghan or team Jibril. He mentioned, yeah, he did homework preemptively and said, no, you cannot do that. You will be demoted in search engine. So can you still use it to write maybe little bits and pieces, but then it has to be primarily written by a human? What is your feedback there?


[00:33:21.920] – Sam

Yeah, I don’t know. There’s a guy, I can’t remember his name, but I think it was last year where I was running something on LinkedIn called the Great AI Heist, where he was showing that he was stealing traffic from all these really well-ranked sites, and just producing these articles that scale the AI and just getting tons and tons of traffic. But then a few months ago, he just went quiet because all his sites took a massive hit. And I think Google basically discovered that a lot of it was just AI-generated content. Now, it’s not always going to be the way. Some sites will get through it and might not get spotted. And it is, let’s not lie, it’s an easy way to produce content at scale. But the issue I have is that you might be able to rank a page with it, be it a blog article, a solution page, an alternatives page, a jobs to be done page, a comparison page, whatever is relevant for your SaaS. But if someone lands on that page and starts seeing, like I was talking about earlier, if they start seeing copy that is clearly written by a robot that just starts using all these massive buzzwords, it’s like, it’s time to dive into our cutting edge 20X software of wizardry to supercharge.


[00:34:25.350] – Sam

Oh, yeah. And it’s like, I’m reading that stuff and I’m thinking, this wasn’t written by a human. And if your customers are doing the same, they’re just going to bounce off. And I think there’s nothing wrong with using AI to speed up workflows. So maybe doing the foundation of a page, there’s plenty of AI tools now where you can help it generate Meta titles and descriptions and foundations of page, I use your H1 here, H2, and this should be the rough format of the page. And there’s even tools that can identify the intent, I should you be building a landing page or article page or service page for this type of keyword. So there’s a lot of stuff that can speed up your workflow, which I think is fine for setting the foundation. But then I would encourage folks to keep the manual stuff, like review the current pages that are ranking well, get someone ideally with hands on expertise that can write on the topic because that way it can rank and it can resonate. And when you resonate, you’re more likely to convert your IDLE clients.


[00:35:23.280] – Sean

So it sounds like definitely keep a focus on written by human, but you can use ChatGPT to maybe speed up your workflow, save some time. If you want little maybe segments you can use from OpenAI, copy paste, put it in, but then you have to humanize it, if you will. Give it the human touch.


[00:35:44.410] – Sam

Yeah, that’s it. And there’s plenty of AI tools as well. Even the common SEO tools at Hrefs and Semrush are weaving in AI to elements in the workflow. But yeah, don’t just use it all in one. That’s when you will not necessarily get penalized, but I just don’t think the content is going to convert even if it ranks.


[00:36:01.780] – Sean

Yeah. Got you. And then I wanted to hammer on something you made a really good point. And I knew this before, so I didn’t have to learn the hard way, but I find it actually a very good sales strategy to talk good about your competitors. There are people out there I would consider the naive entrepreneur who it’s us versus the world mentality. It’s us versus the competitor. No, you got to play ball with them. In many cases, they can become a partner, and you didn’t realize it. But we, for example, with Tykr, we always try to pump up our competitors because they’re helping more people become introduced to the stock market. They’re essentially increasing confidence. So I’ll just call them out right now. Seeking Alpha and Simply Wall Street are great platforms. We tell our customers, if you’re not interested in Tykr, don’t go blind out there and just join Robin hood and buy Gamestop or whatever stocks are out there. Go to Seeking Alpha or Simply Wall Street. They’re a great alternative And people are like, oh, okay. They don’t always take action on. But I always say that if you put together this page, the comparison chart I love, by the way, try to pump them up.


[00:37:11.910] – Sean

Give them credit because They’re helping you up because they’re introducing more people to that market.


[00:37:20.390] – Sam

Yeah, I agree. And like you said, if you’re in business, hopefully you’re in it for the long term, and some of these folks could become potential referral partners. If you don’t have clients that are a good fit, you can send them their way. There might be some reciprocal business to be done. We didn’t even touch on backlinks. Perhaps we could do that another day. There’s a big partner play on that. So like you say, if you’re in business for the long term, it’s just going to be in I advise you if you start down talking your competitors.


[00:37:47.260] – Sean

Right. All right. I’m going to do the roll up here, and then we’re going to dive into the rapid fire round. We could talk SEO all day because it sounds like you got a lot of other good tips here. But let’s get into it. I’ve got actually 15 hot tips here. 15, this is crazy. And there may be more, but I just want to make it easier for the audience. So number one would be SAS results, set expectations. It can take about 90 days, not longer. It’s not going to be two days, so it’s about 90 days. Make a list of the main offers. Get out your Excel sheet, get out your Google sheet like you said. Okay, you’re going to make a list of the main offers. That’s number two. Number three, make a list of the target customers and industries in that sheet. I I usually go tab by tab. Number four, make a list of the competitors. Number five, use platforms like SEM, Roche, and AHrefs. You could Google both. Sem, Roche, and AHrefs are both great. I use them both. Number six, create long tail keyword phrases based on what you did in steps 2, 3, 4, and 5.


[00:38:53.940] – Sean

Number 7, create unique pages about your competitors. We gave the example there. You said Calendly, I said Mailchimp, Mailchimp alternatives. Number 8, the structure here was brilliant. That keyword phrase you used should be the URL, title tag and H1. I learned this the hard way, is you should have only one H1 on a page, and you get multiple H2s and Threes. And like you said, you can weave in that keyword within. So again, whatever that hot keyword is, like Mailchimp alternative, or here’s an example, Tykr alternatives. That should be your URL, your title tag, and your H1. All right, number nine, create a video with the same title, and I would probably use the same keywords, hashtags. Number 10, avoid pages that are 100 % written by ChatGPT. Number 11, You should, at the top of the article, this was really good, Sam, at the top of the article, put something that, Here’s what you should consider text. When looking at these top 10 or top 20, here is what you should consider. I thought that was a great introductory. And then number 12, at the bottom, put an FAQ. Number 13, this is big as I nailed down before, which is be factual, be fair, and don’t put down your competitors.


[00:40:12.050] – Sean

Try to lift them up. Number 14, use a comparison table. I’ve used WordPress and other platforms like it since the 2000s. I’m curious, what do you use, Sam? What’s your main website platform? Websites?


[00:40:25.440] – Sam

You don’t want to know what my own website is on. My website is on one of the most basic classic do it yourself builders called Dooda. In fact, I was so surprised that we could get that site ranking as well as we did in 90 days. It was amazing. But typically, when we’re doing buildouts, we normally use WordPress. A lot of SaaS folks are moving to Webflow as well. We found And then the odd one on HubSpot.


[00:40:47.630] – Sean

Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. So comparison table. With WordPress, I brought up that example because there’s dozens of plugins. And then 15 is think about your… And you alluded The reason for this is don’t split hairs on the number of words. Like a top 10, I mentioned, could be between 3,000 and 4,000. You were more about depth. So instead of top 10, try to think about what if you could go top 20? So I love that strategy. So in Anyway, that was a long winded answer there, but I like to do a roll up for our audience, but 15 hot tips to improve SEO. I thought that you just packed this episode full of value. So nice work. All right. Before we eat, I have to ask this question before we dive into the rapid fire round, is there one more key takeaway you can give our audience?


[00:41:35.140] – Sam

One extra? Yeah. So let’s do what we touched on at the end. So we didn’t really talk about building links. So what you’ll find is some of those long tail keywords are more specific around your offer or perhaps don’t have much competition. You could rank just by producing content alone. And there’s one thing I didn’t mention on that side is also consider internal links. So if you’re building articles or solution pages or that stuff, just look for within where it makes sense, contextually within the content. If you can link to another page, if you talk about a guide that you’ve written, do an internal link back to that page. And likewise, if within that guide, you’re talking about a certain solution or service or integration, link back to that page. Just helps Google call the sites a bit quicker and sometimes can build up what’s called topical authority. But I won’t get into that too much because that’s another subject. But backlinks. So some competitive In terms of terms, you simply won’t be able to rank without links because they basically send trust signals to Google, ramp up the authority, and as much as Google say they don’t matter, they do.


[00:42:38.320] – Sam

So with that in mind, one of the best and most simple and quickest and free ways to build links is through what we touched on at the end, partnerships. So I recommend finding folks that are not direct competitors, but they might be existing clients, partners, customers, or in your network or in contacts that serve the the same IDLE client profile, the same ICP as you, but not a direct competition. And start with your closest network, reach out to them. I’m a big fan of sending painfully short messages. So I’ll say something like, Sean, have a bit of an unusual idea we can create content together and drive inbound leads. Are you against a conversation that just opens up the curiosity gap? And you’ll be like, what the hell is Sam on about? But I’m going to reply anyway. And then I’ll set up a call or send them a Loom or a short video message or an audio message if it’s on LinkedIn and just say, look, I’ve got an idea where we can ramp up our SEO together and maybe do a podcast episode or something like that. And what we’ll do is usually I’ll do a low lift ask for them initially.


[00:43:41.580] – Sam

I might offer to create a guest article on their website that’s going to be a value to their audience. It’s a topic their audience could benefit from or something like that. So for example, in my case, my friend Justin Row, who owns a LinkedIn Ads Agency called Impactable. I offered to do him an article on how to improve your website’s bounce rate or how to reduce your website’s bounce rate. And then gave him a super long tail article where he could plug his own stuff and his own tools and his own software as well. And then I just asked for a backlink to that B2B SEO Agency page. So that was one low lift, one low lift way that you can get links to some of those pages you want to boost up I love it.


[00:44:16.070] – Sean

Low lift. What is the least amount of effort on your partner with the biggest bang for both of you? So I love it. Even the bonus tip here is packed full of value. So great stuff. It’s tough. Thank you, Sam. All right, let’s transition to the rapid fire round. This is the part of the episode where we get to find out who Sam really is. If you can, try to answer each question in about 15 seconds or less. You ready?


[00:44:42.540] – Sam

Let’s go.


[00:44:43.360] – Sean

All right. What is your favorite podcast?


[00:44:45.810] – Sam

It’s tough. I like Everybody Hates Marketers, but there’s probably two or three others I like as well.


[00:44:52.940] – Sean

Okay, nice. All right. What is a recent book you read and would recommend?


[00:44:57.270] – Sam

The last book that I read was $100 Million Offers. I think it’s called by Alex Hormozy. I just listened to audiobooks in the car. That’s the last one I read.


[00:45:05.050] – Sean

Nice. All right. What is your favorite movie?


[00:45:08.010] – Sam

Shorshank Redemption.


[00:45:09.390] – Sean

Nice. Good choice.


[00:45:11.500] – Sam

All right. Classic.


[00:45:12.860] – Sean

What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?


[00:45:16.730] – Sam

There’s so many. I want to think of one that’s good. Talk to your customers because it’s too fluffy. Everyone says it on LinkedIn. There’s not an up-depth to it.


[00:45:27.350] – Sean

Yeah, right. Can you explain?


[00:45:29.610] – Sam

Yeah. So everyone says, talk to your customers, but no one puts any context around it. You should be talking to recently-won customers to understand why they bought, problems they faced, why they chose you over competitors, not talking to customers that have been with you for 10 years because they’re biased and they love you and all that stuff. You need to gain real insights.


[00:45:48.800] – Sean

I can agree with that. Now, flip that equation. What’s the best advice you ever received?


[00:45:54.540] – Sam

It’s niche-specific. So a couple money niches. So a lot of times I talk about money keywords, But pick a niche. So that’s why in my agency, we tend to focus on B2B SaaS, because I used to try and sell that SEO to anyone and everyone. And I soon realized that a lot of businesses just didn’t see the value in SEO, or even if they did, they couldn’t afford to invest in what we were selling at, basically, for our resource and our team and the way our infrastructure was built out. So understand who has the problem you fix, who appreciates the impact of not fixing that problem, who’s generally motivated to fix it, but most importantly, who can afford without an issue. And once you found that money niche, that’s who you want to sell to. I learned that the hard way.


[00:46:34.890] – Sean

Take a few years. B2b SaaS, good call. All right, last question here. Time machine question. If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?


[00:46:47.340] – Sam

I better keep it PG.


[00:46:50.180] – Sean

I think, what should I say?


[00:46:52.780] – Sam

Maybe self-educate earlier, if we keep it on a sensible business mindset. So I didn’t really get into reading entrepreneurship marketing, business books, and audio podcasts, and stuff like that. Whereas now I play them all the time. If I took an interest in that, say 10 years ago rather than five years ago, I’ve already been two or three steps ahead. But that’s hindsight.


[00:47:14.150] – Sean

Right. Exactly. No, good tip. I love it. All right. And where can the audience reach you?


[00:47:20.580] – Sam

Three ways. So LinkedIn, Sam Dunning. I share daily tips, ideas, stories around B2B SEO and websites. The podcast, Breaking B2B. So I interview marketing leaders to share their stories, what’s working for them, and solo episodes on SEO and my own experiments. Or if you’re perhaps feeling frustrated that competitors are constantly ahead of you on organic search, stealing those juicy signups or leads, then head over to breakingb2b. Com and we might be able to help you.


[00:47:45.940] – Sean

Love it. Well, thank you so much for your time, Sam. This is awesome.


[00:47:49.580] – Sam

Appreciate you having me on.


[00:47:50.760] – Sean

All right. We’ll see you. Hey, I’d like to say thanks for checking out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. And if you have a moment, could you please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a five-star review? The more reviews we get, the higher this podcast will rank. All right. Stay tuned for the next episode. We’ll see you.