Organic Search Marketing
Organic search marketing for a SaaS means that people search the internet for a need they have and your solution is shown. This is one of the most valuable aspects of marketing for most SaaS businesses because you can rank at the top of the search engines for the need your target market has and you don’t have to pay advertising costs to be there.
Make no mistake, you will end up paying to rank due to the time it takes to get your content produced and distributed online. But if you pay the money to rank organically, very often the cost of maintaining a top ranked position is substantially less than paying for advertising. Additionally, when you rank at the top for one keyword, you are very often ranking at the top of search engines for multiple other keywords as well.
This section is placed at the top of the growth methods for two reasons. First, it is one of the most effective and second, it takes the longest, and so it needs to be started early. Even if you do all of your keyword research, planning, and writing up front and all your shiny new articles are live on day one, it will take several months to rank.
There is often the question “Why does it take so long to rank?” Ever heard of the Google Sandbox? Basically, when you launch a new website, Google and most of the other search engines don’t trust you. The search engine doesn’t know the difference between you and a scam or other predatory website. Just like any relationship, it takes time to build trust. In this case it takes somewhere between 3 and 6 months. But the easier you make it for search engines to search your site, the more likely they are to trust you sonner, so follow those technical SEO best practices and you’ll have a shorter wait.
Impatient? I get it, but I’m telling you it’s worth the wait.
My team had a big push for content on a brand new business at the beginning of this year. We did our research and planning and then we wrote about a dozen articles of around 1,000-1,200 words a piece and posted them onto our blog all at once. Then we waited; well, actually, we worked our butts off on all the other marketing tasks on the list, but as far as content was concerned, we just kind of let it marinate.
Six months later we started getting a ton of phone calls and we realized our contact form had been blowing up, in both a good and a bad way. A lot of people had been filling it out, but it wasn’t notifying us (that’s an unfortunate side story -- so test your contact form regularly because the last thing you want is to do all this work to get customers, and then ignore them).
Why was everyone suddenly reaching out to us in the middle of the summer? That’s when we ranked number one. Here’s one of our articles that ranks particularly well. We are now the top search result for at least five of the keywords we were targeting. Surprise, surprise -- people are finding us now! The real point of the story is that we put a bunch of energy into content marketing before we did any other marketing. Because of that, we went from zero to number one in a matter of six months and had a ton of people wanting to buy our thing. And we never spent a dime on ads.
Google’s magic mojo takes time, so don’t expect results right away. If you go through the steps in this chapter you will rank. But no matter how great your articles are, it won’t happen overnight.