Look, we get it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an uphill task if you don’t know where to start.
A few wrong moves, and it can be a slippery slide down search engine rankings.
Thankfully, you can follow the success of other SaaS companies who’ve beaten the algorithm.
Their tried and tested approaches can serve as the blueprints that help perfect your SaaS SEO strategy.
This blog post will review 10 inspirational SaaS SEO case studies — covering the challenges, strategies, and key learnings of top-performing companies.
The 10 SaaS SEO Case Studies We’ll Cover Are:
- Zapier: Programmatic SEO Strategy to Reach 2.1M Visits
- Slack: Generating Over 100M Website Visitors Per Month
- Ahrefs: Strategic Post That Won 36 Backlinks
- Canva: Over 440 Million Organic Traffic via Subfolders
- Adobe: Using Featured Snippets to Gain 84% Share of Voice
- Grammarly: Attracting 50 Million Monthly Search Visits
- Intercom: Using Strategic Content Marketing to Reach $50 Million ARR
- HubSpot: How to Gain 40 Million Monthly Visits
- Groove: Strategy That Improved Conversions by 20%
- Veed: From 0 to 11 Million Monthly Visitors
Let’s get started!
1. Zapier: Programmatic SEO Strategy to Reach 2.1M Visits
Zapier is a SaaS tool that helps over 2 million businesses build custom workflows with its 5,000+ app integrations.
In 2021, the tool raked in an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of over $140 million due to its massive user base and traffic. Today, the tool’s website currently gets nearly 2.1M organic visits!
How did they do it?
Let’s find out.
Zapier is a middleware tool (software that apps use to connect with another third-party app).
For example, Zapier can integrate Dropbox (file storage app) with Evernote (note-taking app).
It doesn’t perform any direct customer-facing operations.
So, how do users who don’t interact much with a tool land on its website?
Users of popular tools were searching for specific integrations with those tools. So, Zapier focused their marketing campaigns on their app partners and piggybacked off their success.
They created three tiers of landing pages:
1. A landing page for each app
2. A separate page for every app-to-app integration
3. A separate landing page for every app-to-app triggered workflow (called Zap)
In doing so, they created search engine optimized (SEO) pages for any keyword that targets:
- the apps
- their integrations
- their app-to-app use case
Though the pages follow a templated structure and layout, each page has unique content and internal links — making it beneficial for readers and SaaS SEO.
This technique, known as programmatic SEO, allows you to scale up content in no time!
But we’re not done!
Zapier’s onboarding process for new app partners ensured they (the partners) wrote the content for these landing pages. The content is then edited per Zapier’s content guidelines.
In addition to getting SEO content, the company also secured backlinks (links from third-party pages) through integrations and announcement pages on their app partners’ sites.
Just look at the domains linking to Zapier!
The best part?
As these are very authoritative sites, one backlink can go a looong way!
- Programmatic landing pages with minimal content can rank well with the right backlink strategy.
- The backlinks give Zapier an edge over competitor companies, helping them rank higher.
- The company’s SEO campaign helped it rank for other businesses’ keywords — piggybacking off their reputation.
- Their keyword and content strategy targets bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) visitors, helping drive traffic and business growth with high-intent visitors.
2. Slack: Generating Over 100 Million Website Visitors Per Month
Slack is an instant messaging application that’s designed for business use, though professionals also use it as a community platform.
This SaaS application has over 42 million daily users, with over 3 million paid users in 2023. 🥵
Slack’s website attracts over 100 million visitors each month, per Similarweb.
Let’s see how they made this happen.
Slack has a growing user base that’s happy with the product, which is pretty straightforward to use.
But why would users visit their website once they’ve downloaded the app?
Now, Slack is pretty famous!
That’s probably why 94.86% of its traffic comes from direct search (via a bookmark, link, or typing in the URL), and just 3.02% comes from organic search.
One easy explanation for this is that Slack is a very easy name to remember!
Couple this with its popularity and word-of-mouth marketing, and you have tons of people just typing in their URL directly instead of doing it via Google.
But here’s the thing:
Although Slack has a blog (called: Several people are typing), it garnered most of its SEO success from its App Directory landing pages.
Just like Zapier, Slack draws traffic to its site by attracting searchers looking for apps or products that it integrates with.
To do this, Slack has an individual webpage for each integration in its App Directory — that’s over 2,000 pages!
For reference, their app directory pages rank for over 176K different keywords!
What else contributes to its SEO success?
Well, thanks to its happy user base and their smashing reviews, Slack comes up for searches like collaborative or productivity software.
Secondly, its blog covers five main topics, which target different audiences:
- News – The latest product and company updates for current users
- Transformation – A source for the latest happenings and their impacts on workplaces for potential customers
- Productivity – Learnings about driving efficiency and getting the most out of Slack for business owners
- Collaboration – Tips for managers to improve teamwork
- Developers – Insights and tips about building Slack apps for developers
Lastly, Slack has an extensive resources section with e-books, reports, and guides for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve.
- If you have integrations with other tools, create SEO content around that.
- A simple, easy-to-remember URL can do wonders for your direct traffic.
- A great product will turn your customers into promoters. It’ll garner good reviews and high ratings, leading to search engines recommending it as a product.
- You can also utilize review websites to power your short-tail keyword SEO strategy.
- Divide your blog into categories catered to different personas.
3. Ahrefs: Strategic Planning that Won a Page 36 Backlinks
It’s many marketers’ go-to source for reliable SEO data.
Here’s an SEO case study on one of its strategies that earned one of its posts quite a few backlinks — 36, to be specific.
Getting backlinks can be tough, and relying on paid services for link building can lead to page rank penalties if they’re low-quality sources.
Then, what’s the best way to get backlinks?
Well, the answer can be a good outreach campaign and blog post!
Ahrefs created an SEO page to make use of the Skyscraper Technique, a content strategy to get backlinks.
In this strategy, you create a better version of popular content and publish it on your site. Then you reach out to the people who linked to the first piece and pitch them your updated and improved content piece.
But here’s what’s brilliant about Ahrefs’ strategy:
Ahrefs created a statistics page, the kind of page that typically has a lot of links and gets outdated often. Additionally, other websites will be more likely to link to a reputed blog with updated and reliable stats (from 2023).
After publishing their article, Ahrefs sent 515 emails to companies. It got them 36 backlinks from 32 websites and the coveted 1st rank position for the keyword “SEO stats”.
As of July 2023, the article has over 5.52K backlinks and is still number one for their target keyword.
Quite the victory! 🏆
- Discover a winning topic and content type to rank on search engines. Content that’s easily citable and involves hard data is usually an easy-to-link-to option.
- Use the most updated content with reliable sources to create authoritative posts.
- Do your research, and then select high-quality websites and write personalized outreach emails to pitch your article.
- If your content is truly better than your competitors, getting those backlinks should be easy!
4. Canva: Over 440 Million Organic Traffic via Subfolders
Canva is a free-to-use graphics and web design software. Users can access the software via a desktop, web, or mobile app.
This SaaS website attracts over 400 million monthly visitors, with 18.09% (about 72 million) of it being organic traffic.
Below is an SEO case study of what Canva does to gain traffic.
Being a design app, Canva’s website had to overcome the technical issues that are common to its niche, like:
- Slow site loading speed
- Poor responsiveness to different devices
- Making the design process accessible
To circumvent the problems above, Canva created sub-folders that serve as landing pages.
These, and other similar sub-folders, pull in a significant amount of traffic, helping boost the website’s SEO and rank for design keywords.
They also cover different pages that rank well and contribute to a streamlined user experience.
But most importantly, these sub-folders serve a valuable purpose — addressing users’ search intent.
For example, the “create” sub-folder encompasses different types of design pages, such as infographics, resumes, logos, banners, invitation cards, and more.
If someone needs to use Canva to make a very specific type of design, this is the place to be!
And they’re quite popular too!
For example, the resumes page generates about 1.6 million monthly organic traffic (per Ahrefs).
Similarly, the “template” sub-folder includes pages like docs, birthday cards, videos, and more.
These pages are great for people in a rush who just need something almost ready-to-go.
Canva ranks for seasonal-specific keywords through their pages on Holiday, Birthday, Hanukkah, etc.
Plus, the internal links to these pages help pass page authority from the homepage and subfolder pages. This helps them achieve top spots on search engines and gain more traffic.
For example, the birthday card template page gets 131K monthly organic traffic per Ahrefs.
- Recognize that search intent can vary. Your digital marketing strategy should incorporate different content for different searchers.
- Maintain a streamlined flow of pages (with internal links) to make it easy for users to navigate your SaaS website and search engines to index it.
- Templated pages with relevant keywords can work great if you want to scale your website.
5. Adobe: Using Featured Snippets to Gain 84% Share of Voice
Adobe is a computer software company that develops applications for editing, analytics, and more to enhance digital experiences.
Per Similarweb, its site gets over 200 million monthly visitors, but this wasn’t always the case.
Here’s what Adobe did to boost its traffic:
Most of Adobe’s traffic comes from direct search.
And those that do come from organic search typically land on its website through branded keywords (terms that already include Adobe in them).
However, Adobe’s traffic from non-branded keywords was low. The company needed to increase its rankings.
Adobe’s Senior Global SEO Manager, Kirill Kronrod, chose featured snippets as the key to increasing organic traffic from non-branded keywords.
But what are featured snippets?
Google’s featured snippets are the answers that often appear at the top of the search results, offering a detailed, fast response to topics with high query volume.
Here’s an example:
To do this, Kronrod researched in-demand topics and phrases and prioritized creating content for the high-volume queries that were related to Adobe’s offerings.
Examples of such pages include:
Adobe also had single product pages, which included all the features of each software. Kronrod switched this up by creating detailed feature pages, where each page would target a specific feature and a non-branded keyword.
This Logo design software feature page ranks for non-branded keywords like “ai logos” and “illustration design logo”.
It gets 2.7k monthly organic traffic per Ahrefs.
Overall, Kronrod’s strategy secured over 5900 featured snippets and an 8% increase in organic traffic (within the first year) from non-branded keywords.
This contributed to its 84% share of voice — an estimation of brand visibility in terms of search engine rankings compared to competitor websites in the same market.
Per brightedge.com, 63% of the non-branded organic traffic was attributed to these detailed feature pages.
Currently, the products subfolder currently generates over 71 million monthly organic traffic (per Ahrefs).
- Understanding what your target audience values can help boost your digital marketing strategy and search rankings. Google prioritizes content that improves the user experience — in this case, easy answers to popular queries.
- Detailed feature pages are essential for SaaS products that want to cash in on valuable SEO real estate.
6. Grammarly: Attracting 50 Million Monthly Search Visits
Grammarly is a cloud-based typing assistant that helps you catch errors before your content goes public.
It works on 500,000+ websites and applications on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. This, in turn, helps it gain a user base of over 30 million daily users and a website traffic volume of over 50 million visits per month, per Similarweb.
Let’s see how it does it.
Although Grammarly does have an editor webpage, its convenience lies in its ability to identify errors and suggest corrections while you write on other apps or websites.
That means you can use Grammarly while you write an email, a caption for Facebook, or even send Whatsapp messages.
But if users don’t need to visit the website to use its function, how does this SaaS company gain organic traffic?
1. 90.07% of Grammarly’s organic search traffic comes from 11.2% of its pages, including the homepage, a few tool pages, and some blog pages.
The main stars are its tool pages, which include:
Why do these pages perform so well?
It’s simple. They help resolve popular pain points that everyone’s far too familiar with. A quick Google search for a solution will bring up Grammarly.
But this only works well since the company has optimized these tool pages to address user search intent and provide the resources needed to solve their problems.
2. 38.6% of its organic search traffic comes from branded keywords, i.e., the search includes the term “grammarly”.
3. Although the brand is well-known to its audience, users do make typos while searching for it on Google. An estimated 590K searches contain misspelled versions of “Grammarly”. So, Grammarly capitalizes on Google Ads for misspelled versions of its name.
4. Just 15.1% of Grammarly’s blog posts (about 256 posts) attract 83.6% of the blog traffic.
75.8% of its top blogs were published a while back. However, a core part of their SEO strategy is updating existing content regularly.
Moreover, these posts are core subjects or interesting topics that are relevant to readers, like:
For reference, the third URL (about adjectives) generates 196k monthly organic traffic!
With a traffic driver like that, no wonder they don’t have to continuously create new content!
- Free tools can be an SEO magnet with the right strategy (think: using appropriate keywords and addressing search intent).
- Branding is important for SEO, both for direct and organic traffic.
- A sound SaaS SEO strategy incorporates a healthy mix of organic and paid tactics.
- Content optimization and updates are essential to rank.
7. Intercom: Using Strategic Content Marketing to Reach $50 Million ARR
Intercom is a SaaS solution that helps businesses provide better customer support.
This SaaS company has grown from $0 to $50 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) within 4 years.
Let’s explore how their content marketing and SEO strategy helped them boost their ARR.
Intercom has a great product, and while that has been key to its growth, it also had to take on competitors that were vying to dominate the same market and attract users.
Intercom outperformed its competitors through a masterful combination of content marketing and SEO efforts (plus some Google Ads) to grow a successful funnel for potential customers.
Here’s what they did:
A. Creating Evergreen Content
Intercom focused on targeted, evergreen content to create a first touchpoint with prospective buyers in their target audience.
This included conducting keyword research to identify and create content for medium to high-volume keywords that could help build an inbound traffic stream.
Some of the keywords tackled include:
These keywords were mostly covered in blogs, which included informational content with visual media. As this is evergreen content (not time-bound when it comes to its relevance), it’s a great source of leads.
Intercom then used content upgrade offers, newsletters, and other prompts to help users get closer to the brand once they landed on this evergreen content. These offers also helped keep readers engaged and even helped capture their email addresses.
Notice the newsletter and chatbot sign-up options in the image below.
Once a first touchpoint was established, Intercom used granular retargeting via Facebook Ads to target specific audience segments based on the content they read. This helped push visitors further into their sales funnel.
C. Link Building
Intercom used thought leadership to earn inbound links to their evergreen content.
To do this, they capitalized on emerging topics in customer support and put a spin on them to provide insights for others in the industry.
Did that work out well?
Take its post on customer service chatbots.
It has 610 backlinks and 128 referring domains (links from unique domains).
Moreover, Intercom has over 2 million pages linking to its website and blog!
D. Distributing Their Content
One of Intercom’s previous content marketing strategies was distributing its content on Medium. The company republished existing content from its blog (without any changes) on its branded Medium channel to reach a wider audience.
Since they spaced out the time between publishing on their blog and Medium, they avoided penalties for duplicate content and used the content to redirect traffic to their website.
All of these strategies helped Intercom drive traffic, grow its sales pipeline, and convert customers, helping this SaaS business achieve its $50 million ARR.
- Focus on both the short (generate traffic, boost conversions) and long-term impact (grow your audience, rank higher, improve domain authority) of your content marketing.
- Amplify the success of your content by republishing it on different platforms with different audiences. Content distribution can help accelerate growth and reach.
- Use evergreen content to build brand awareness and target the top-of-funnel (ToFu) audience — which comprises customers at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.
- Newsletters, chatbots, and even pop-ups can help you capture valuable leads for your sales funnel or even email marketing.
8. HubSpot: How to Gain 40 Million Monthly Visits
HubSpot develops a range of SaaS solutions for inbound marketing, sales, e-commerce, and customer service. Its software services provide everything you need to scale up companies and deliver top-class customer experiences.
Being marketing leaders, it’s not surprising the company nails its SEO strategy.
Let’s review why and how they did it:
HubSpot has created several online tools for sales, marketing, and customer service.
However, this company is younger than many of the giants predominant in those fields, like Salesforce, Adobe, Zoho, and more.
How did it outdo these companies?
Growing their organic search presence through content creation.
Hubspot’s website currently has over 40 million monthly visits and ranks in the top 10 for around 89k keywords (per Ahrefs).
And that doesn’t include their blog, which ranks in the top 10 for another 1.3 million keywords per our analysis on Ahrefs. 🤯
They focused on topical authority — which is a measure of your website’s credibility for a certain subject. It’s built by consistently publishing high-quality content pertaining to that subject.
And websites with topical authority about a subject are more likely to rank for any related keyword.
Google’s algorithm uses E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) guidelines to determine whether your content is valuable.
So, creating content spread across several topics too quickly could hinder your SEO campaign.
On the other hand, providing valuable information around several keywords related to one specific topic at a time can help you build credibility with search engines.
Let’s say your website regularly publishes high-quality content around search engine optimization. Eventually, Google will treat it like an expert in that field, making it easier for you to rank for topics like “keyword research” or “link building”.
HubSpot’s strategy included:
1. Creating main pages that served as content hubs and connected them to related topics. It works similarly to a cluster strategy, where you choose a parent topic that branches into subtopics or subpages. The screenshot below shows you HubSpot’s blog content hubs, including Marketing, Sales, and Service.
2. The subpages they created targeted long-tail keywords with good search volume and low keyword difficulty. For example, HubSpot’s marketing page has subpages that cover artificial intelligence, Instagram marketing, email marketing, technical SEO, and more.
Here’s a look at one of their Instagram marketing blog posts, which reels in 331K of monthly organic traffic!
3. Finally, they added internal links from the main pages to the subpages to help readers navigate from page to page, and search engines discover all the related pages.
- It’s easier to rank for content when you have high topical authority. That means your content marketing approach should focus on topics, not just keywords.
- You need to create high-quality content while following a clustered approach.
- Ensure your content is authoritative and comprehensive to maximize your chances of ranking.
9. Groove: Strategy That Improved Conversions by 20%
Groove is a helpdesk SaaS solution that lets businesses provide quick support to customers.
Although Groove isn’t as big as some of the companies above, it’s self-funded and profitable — with over 2,000 customers and 10 million in ARR.
That’s why the company’s SEO case study is a good reference for startups and businesses looking to start from scratch.
Here’s what Groove did to boost its conversions by 20%:
Groove’s product has winning potential.
However, its marketing wasn’t on par.
Based on their case study, search traffic was getting them a conversion rate of 9.4% without any strategy. So their answer was clear, they needed to invest more in search engine optimization (SEO).
Groove’s strategy was simple and sweet:
1. They identified their problem — their single-page marketing website. It wasn’t doing them any favors in terms of search engine rank.
2. They narrowed down relevant keywords (small to medium volume) through tools like Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool. They did this by identifying what their prospects were searching for through customer conversations and good ol’ keyword research.
Here’s what they found with Keyword Planner when searching for terms related to “saas helpdesk”:
3. They then used these keywords to plan their sitemap — the website pages and blogs they would create. This helped prevent overlaps and content duplication. Each page had one or two primary keywords along with long-tail keywords.
4. They created a wireframe for each page to understand what copies and content they needed. The content was primarily about fulfilling customer intent. But they still worked the keywords into headers, subheads, and copies and made sure to add internal links to all the pages.
This strategy also helped them steadily grow their organic traffic through the years, helping it reach its current organic monthly traffic of over 22K (per Ahrefs).
- Use tools like Google Analytics to identify any potential for content optimization. You can also use it to measure the performance of your SEO-optimized pages.
- Customer queries and conversations are a good source of information and direction for keyword research.
- Conversion-centric content is vital for your SEO efforts. You need that traffic to lead to $$$!
- Creating wireframes or templates helps you scale your content creation process quickly.
10. Veed: From 0 to 11 Million Monthly Visitors
VEED.IO is a video editing SaaS tool.
It currently rakes in over 11 million monthly website visits and ranked in the top 10 for at least 320K keywords.
Its growth is astonishing!
And that’s exactly why we’ll review their efforts as a SaaS SEO case study.
Video editing is a thriving industry. Apps must compete with each other, both in terms of product development and marketing, to stay ahead of the curve.
However, not all companies choose to focus on the same marketing channels. Some choose to build their brand on social media, while others (like Veed) choose to work on organic search.
These content creation and distribution strategies help Veed rank high on a search engine like Google and drive traffic:
1. It has individual landing pages for different tools, features, social media use cases, etc. In fact, its comprehensive tools section drives most of its organic traffic — roughly 3 million of it through an amazing 572 pages.
The pages in this section include video compressor, video editor, AI image generator, and more — which are extremely useful for people that need video editing software.
2. Another top generator of organic traffic is its SEO-friendly blog, which contains 117 pages that drive 133K worth of traffic. Pretty good for a SaaS business founded just around 5 years ago in 2018!
Its top-performing articles cover keywords like YouTube banner size, record a TikTok, and how to compress a video, making its blog a video editing gold mine!
3. Veed’s free tools work impressively for its link building strategy, earning about 4.76K referring domains.
Veed’s co-founders would also guest post and do podcasts and interviews for other websites, where they linked back to the product in their content or bio.
Veed launches products and adds them to directories like Product Hunt and Crunchbase to earn awareness and backlinks.
4. The company also posts product news and updates on social media like Reddit and Youtube to build awareness and drive additional traffic.
- Creating landing pages for products, features, and use cases can help with content creation and search engine optimization. This is indispensable for products that have tons of uses.
- Landing pages that are optimized to meet user search intent can perform as well as blogs (if not better).
- You can use online forums and social media to build awareness, drive traffic, and receive product feedback.
- Guest post content for high-quality websites can help you earn valuable inbound links.
Build the Perfect SEO Strategy for Your SaaS Product
SaaS SEO case studies are a great way to discover new strategies to boost your organic search strategy.
You get the opportunity to learn from tried and tested strategies that have garnered SEO success.
But remember, their strategies aren’t guaranteed to work for you since SEO success depends on a lot of factors, like site age, domain authority, publishing consistency, and more.
So, what should you do?
Consult the experts at Startup Voyager, an SEO agency, to discover the best ways to rank higher on search engines and drive massive traffic to your website. 🏁
Wanna hear something better?
Our expertise doesn’t begin and end with SaaS SEO.
We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve when it comes to the SEO for automotive, hospitality, or healthcare websites as well.