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How to Perform an SEO Audit for SaaS

Perry Steward
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June 28, 2023
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How to Perform an SEO Audit for SaaS

SEO is a complex topic made of data and caveats.

Just when you think you’ve cracked the code, the fundamentals shift entirely, leaving you back at square one. What worked in the past year can become redundant overnight, forcing you to tweak your website to implement the new best practices. 

Google’s algorithms and SEO practices are fluid and ever-changing. That’s why performing an SEO audit for your SaaS company is crucial. These audits can help highlight problematic SEO areas your team might have missed or ways to optimize your site to appear higher in search engine rankings. 

At MADX, our SaaS SEO Agency, we perform comprehensive audits once a quarter for our SaaS clients. This guide will dive deep into our process and how you can perform your own audit. Let’s get started by understanding what an SEO audit means for SaaS companies. 

What We'll Cover:

What is a SaaS SEO Audit? 

A SaaS SEO audit evaluates your website’s health and discovers errors and opportunities that will help your site rank higher in SERPs. 

This audit covers site architecture, indexing and crawlability, keyword research, on-page SEO, backlink profile, competitor benchmarking, and user experience. 

Its job is to unearth the issues that are holding your site back. For example, you might discover that while your content is high quality, you’re not ranking because there’s too much duplicate content on your website, and you’re not using any canonical tags to indicate to search engines which to prioritize. 

A project manager or an SEO specialist usually conducts these audits. If your team is new to this, you can consider hiring agencies who specialize in these audits or use tools that aid you in conducting an SEO audit. 

Why are SaaS SEO Audits Different from Standard SEO Audits? 

There are some key areas where SaaS SEO audits differ from standard SEO audits, most due to the specific requirements of a Saas business: 

Content Focus

Standard SEO often involves ensuring a website has rich, keyword-focused content that's useful to the site's visitors. But for SaaS companies, it's more about product education and showcasing the benefits and features of the software. The audit should thus pay attention to the quality of product pages, tutorial content, FAQs, and more.

Keyword Selection

While traditional businesses may focus on a wide range of keywords, SaaS companies often have a specific set of keywords related to their product offering and industry. This calls for a more specialized keyword strategy.

Sales Funnel

The sales process in SaaS is quite different from traditional industries. It often involves a free trial or freemium model, so SEO efforts must guide potential customers through that process. Auditing a SaaS website would ensure the SEO strategy aligns with this sales funnel.

Industry Trends

The tech industry moves quickly, and SaaS is no exception. SEO audits for SaaS need to consider the most recent trends, industry-specific keywords, and competitor actions more carefully.

User Experience

While UX is crucial for any website, SaaS companies have to pay special attention to it due to the nature of their product. If the website doesn't offer a smooth user experience, it may reflect poorly on the software product itself. Therefore, an SEO audit for a SaaS company would include a deep dive into user experience issues.

Why is SaaS SEO Audit Important? 

Performing a SaaS SEO audit is important for the following reasons: 

  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your website can help you strategize your SEO campaigns effectively.
  • You can find out the SEO activities that impact your rankings and traffic the most. Thus, you can effectively prioritize your team’s time, budget, and resources.
  • You can improve your site’s overall performance, which is vitally important according to Google’s algorithm.
  • You can find out any historic SEO activities you used that are penalized by search engines today. This helps keep your site relevant and credible.
  • An audit will show you the different keywords you’re ranking for. Based on these results, you can optimize your content strategy.
  • You can check your competitor’s SEO activities and find ways to outrank them.
  • Know your SEO performance timely and make proactive decisions to ward off any potential errors or disturbances.

If you want to see the significance of an audit in action, check out this case study. It details how MADX helped Postalytics increase its organic traffic by 28 times with SEO audits and improvement strategies.  

MADX organic traffic report

How to Perform an SEO Audit for SaaS

An SEO audit covers four important parts. Let’s understand each of them. 

Technical SEO Audit 

A technical SEO audit analyzes your website’s technical aspects related to SEO so that search engines like Google can crawl, index, and rank pages on your site. 

By fixing technical issues, your website’s performance can improve over time. 

Here’s how you can carry a technical SEO audit:

  • Check for crawlability and indexability issues: For your pages to rank, they must be properly crawled and indexed by search engines. You can use tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush to find these errors and resolve them.        
illustration of how search engines work
  • Audit site architecture: This refers to the hierarchy of pages on your site and how they are linked. A good site architecture helps users navigate properly and helps search engines understand the relationship between different pages.
simple site architecture diagram
  • Fix duplicate content issues: When there’s duplicated content on your site, Google may show the wrong version in the SERP, or all the pages with duplicate content may face indexing issues. To correct this, enforce sitewide 301 redirects or use canonical tags.
  • Check for mobile-friendliness: A lot of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. To ensure your website is responsive on these small screens, you can get a Mobile Usability Report from Google Search Console and fix issues, if any.
Error and valid issues report on GSC
  • Fix internal linking issues: Internal links help distribute link equity among your pages and provide a signal to search engines about the most important pages on your site. You can use tools to identify if there are any broken links or orphaned pages that you need to include in your internal linking strategies.

On-page SEO Audit 

An on-page SEO audit involves checking whether your pages are optimized to rank higher on SERPs and gain more traffic. 

Here are some important on-page SEO factors you should check: 

  • Optimize your titles and headings: Title tags are an important ranking factor and, thus, should have your target keyword in them. Avoid duplicate title tags and ensure your content is structured with headings and subheadings.
checklist of why should add tags
  • Check meta descriptions: A meta description describes your webpage’s content and can be a deciding factor in whether a user clicks on your link or not. Run an audit to see if you have any duplicate meta descriptions and modify them if needed.
Overview of how to write metadata
  • Optimize URLs: Instead of using random numbers, full sentences, or dates in your URLs, keep them simple and short. You can even place your target keyword to help Google understand your page better and rank it in relevant search queries.
  • Optimize images: You can increase traffic to your web pages by including relevant images that pop up when a user searches for a particular query. One way to optimize these images is by adding alt tags to them. These tags provide context to search engine crawlers and describe what your image is about.
  • Add schema markup: This allows search engines to understand your page better. It involves adding a code to your page that gives information about the topic. It can help you get your business’s name on a featured snippet and improve your page’s CTR.

Off-page SEO Audit 

Off-page SEO audit involves keeping track of all the activities that happen outside of your website to influence rankings and traffic. 

Here are three of the most important elements of an off-page SEO audit: 

  • Backlinks: The number and quality of backlinks are important factors that Google considers as indications of trust, quality content, and authority. You can use tools like Ahrefs to gain an overview of your and your competitor’s backlink profiles. If there are any broken links, you can contact those sites and pitch your content as an alternative.
ahrefs blog ahrefs search results

  • Social media engagement: While social media may not directly impact your rankings, it helps improve visibility and get more traffic to your website, which is an important ranking factor. You can get access to social media management tools to track your SEO activities and how you can increase engagement. 
  • Local search: You can target local communities through local SEO and search tactics. To do that, you need to register with Google My Business. This helps you get featured on Google Maps, add images, obtain reviews, etc. While this may not be crucial for SaaS businesses, it’s always better to have your business pop up when someone searches for a particular location business.

Search PPC Audit 

A search PPC audit analyzes your PPC account to find strengths and weaknesses to assess and improve performance.

Here are seven things you should check while conducting this audit: 

  • Track conversions: Watch conversions in your Google account and ensure there aren’t any red flags in your conversion tracking settings, like any inactive or unverified statuses.
  • Review search terms and keywords: Always aim for a keyword quality score of 6 or above. You can even use long-tail keywords, which are great at generating leads.
  • Review targeting settings: One small error in your targeting settings can derail your performance. Key things to check at this stage are mobile bid adjustments, target locations, and network settings.
  • Assess relevancy: The ads you ran six months ago may not be relevant today. Keep checking the relevancy every quarter so you don’t waste money on insignificant ads.
  • Optimize ad extensions: If you see any ads with decreasing visibility, you can optimize extensions that provide browsers with more info on your product. You can add any three or more extensions from snippets, lead forms, site links, callouts, locations, images, and phone call extensions.
  • Check for outdated scripts or rules: Accounts with old scripts or rules running can impact your current performance. You can check this in your Google account settings and re-work these rules.

Which Tool is Best for SaaS SEO Audit? 

You can easily waste time making sense of analytics and performance issues without a proper tool. Here are four tools that can streamline your SEO audit process. 

Ahrefs  

Ahrefs Site audit page

Ahrefs provides a site audit tool that helps you discover your website’s on-page and technical SEO issues. It crawls all the pages on your website and provides an overall SEO score, discovers potential SEO problems, visualizes key data in charts, and provides recommendations for resolving key problems. 

The tool checks performance across 140 different SEO parameters like social tags, content quality, localization, incoming links, outgoing links, etc.  

If you want to test a particular web page or omit certain sections from this analysis, you can set parameters to exclude them. You can even download these reports for easy sharing. 

SEMrush 

Semrush site audit web page

SEMrush provides a free SEO audit tool that can help discover potential issues within your website and improve search engine rankings.  

The tool prioritizes website issues into three groups: errors, warnings, and notices, based on their severity. This helps your team work on the problems that need immediate attention. You can even make your own prioritization rules based on your industry and other requirements. 

You even receive a weekly or daily email update with any major changes so that you can resolve them before it affects your positioning on search engines. 

SurferSEO

Surfer.io website home page

Surfer SEO provides an SEO audit add-on that helps you find SEO errors and get higher rankings. This tool works great if you want specific content audits like insights on content length, number of headings, keyword density, etc. You can even find out crucial keywords that your content might be lacking and ways to fix them. 

The tool also provides insights on other SEO elements like missing backlinks, meta tag structure, NLP sentiment, page speed, etc. 

You can even watch competitor pages that are doing better than you and find ways to outrank them. 

Google Keywords 

SEO audits with lighthouse icon on a blue box

Google Keywords offers an SEO audit tool that helps you improve the quality of your web pages and run audits for accessibility, performance, progressive web app compatibility, and other technical issues. It helps you identify potential areas of improvement so that you can douse fires before they grow large. 

While this tool allows you to do a basic health check, it isn’t as comprehensive as the rest on the list. Nevertheless, it’s a good place to start if you’re just beginning your SEO audit journey. 

Find an SEO Expert Agency Today!

Regularly running an SEO audit is crucial to maintaining your website's health and ranking in search engine rankings. An in-depth audit can highlight opportunities you’d have otherwise missed and reveal hidden problems holding your site back. 

For SaaS companies that haven’t conducted an SEO audit yet, a great way would be to find an expert agency specializing in SaaS SEO and lean on their expertise to maximize the benefit from the audit. 

Reach out to our team at MADX and schedule your SaaS SEO Audit today.

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