Tips for Balancing Paid and Organic SEO Strategies for SaaS

It is crucial to stand out from the competition in software-as-a-service (SaaS) or any other type of business, either online or offline. To get noticed, companies need an effective search strategy to drive qualified leads and boost brand visibility since most consumer searches start online, whether the consumer ultimately buys the product in a physical store. That means you need SEO (search engine optimization), which consists of both paid and organic strategies, including SEO and PPC (pay-per-click advertising such as Google Ads). Balancing both paid and organic SEO strategies delivers a higher return for your investment than using either strategy alone.

SEO
What is SEO, and how does it impact your business performance?

Effective SEO for SaaS should involve both paid and organic strategies. Striking a balance means budgeting the “right” amount for paid advertising, while investing the time and energy needed to boost SEO with the right strategies, but it is the key to achieving long-term success for your SaaS businesses. In this post, we’ll explore tips for balancing paid and organic efforts, ensuring maximum ROI and sustainable growth.

Understanding how to use paid and organic SEO

Before balancing these two approaches, it’s essential to understand what they entail.

Paid search

Paid search refers to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising models like Google Ads. With paid advertising, businesses place text ads on search engine results pages (SERPs). Using a platform like Google Ads helps you reach users who search for the solutions you offer by bidding on keywords they use in their query. Because consumers conducting online searches are more often in search of a product that solves their problem, conversion rates (average of 4.40%) for these types of ads outperform other paid online advertising at an average cost per conversion of $56, according to the same source.

Setting up Google Ads is easy, and Google even offers a solution that takes basic information and creates text-based ads based on that information. The smart mode allows you more control by crafting headings, descriptions, and a call to action. Google uses AI to recombine these elements to deliver the optimal results, then serves that high performer in after experimenting with these combinations.

Below, you can see a typical search ad, as well as one containing extensions that optimize the customer journey for users interested in this type of product. Note the creative used given the limited space allowed for Google Ads, which can significantly increase clicks.

google ads
Image courtesy of Wordstream

You only pay for ads when someone clicks on them, resulting in much lower costs than traditional advertising. Plus, even when a user doesn’t click on your ad, you gain a certain amount of awareness that benefits your brand in the long run.

Charges for Google Ads vary depending on the keywords you choose, how much you bid on a keyword (I commonly use automated bidding to optimize my results), and a quality score based on your SEO, among other factors. This means your search ads and SEO are intimately related.

Organic search

Organic search, on the other hand, focuses on optimizing a website’s content and structure so that it ranks higher in search results naturally, improving visibility without paying for ads. The Google algorithm that determines rank consists of a number of factors that are weighted so that some have more impact on your results than others. Also, some factors apply to a link or page on your website, while some are calculated based on the website as a whole. Below are the most influential factors used in calculating a link’s rank (note that Google constantly updates this algorithm, so you must keep up with the current factors):

  • Creating valuable content on a consistent basis and length of content (2000+ words outperforms content with fewer words), although this standard continues to expand optimal word count.
  • Generating engagement on social media
  • Number and significance of backlinks
  • Age of the website
  • Time on site and lower bounce rate
  • Page speed
  • Security
  • Internal links
  • Domain authority

We presented the factors impacting rank on the Google search engine because 90+% of all search activity occurs on this platform. Also, consider that organic search drives more traffic to your website than any other online marketing tool, as you can see below.

traffic sources

I invite you to learn more about SEO or Google Ads by reading other content on this website.

The benefits of a balanced approach using paid and organic SEO

Implementing both paid and organic SEO strategies brings unique benefits to SaaS businesses. Paid campaigns enable instant visibility for targeted keywords, driving traffic to your website or physical store to learn more about your offerings. Meanwhile, organic tactics create a lasting impact by boosting your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines, leading to sustained traffic. Organic SEO takes time before you can see significant results, while paid search can deliver results immediately. Combining both paid and organic SEO maximizes your reach and relevance while ensuring a consistent flow of high-quality leads.

Finding your balance

Set specific goals

Start by defining clear objectives for your search strategy that align with your business goals. Is your aim to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, or improve conversion rates? Determining these goals will help shape your approach accordingly. For instance, organic SEO helps most with brand awareness, while an ad campaign might generate immediate improvement in conversion rate.

Understand user intent

To effectively balance paid and organic SEO strategies, you need a deep understanding of your target audience’s intent at different customer journey stages. Use keyword research tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to uncover valuable insights about user behavior, desires, and pain points. This will guide your content creation efforts and improve keyword targeting for paid and organic campaigns.

Optimize your website

A well-optimized website forms the foundation of a successful organic search strategy as well as lowering your cost for Google Ads by improving your quality score.

  • Choose keywords that fit your offerings and match the way your target market might construct a query. As consumers use more voice-enabled devices like Alexa, the length of their queries increases, and the number of words used in each keyword is growing. Only use each keyword once to avoid competing with yourself and using long-tailed keywords to provide variations.long-tail keywords
  • Use Google Trends and other tools to discover new keywords.
  • Monitor your site for the SEO factors mentioned above and use tools like Moz to monitor improvements in your rank position.
  • Provide informative content that addresses user needs while incorporating relevant keywords naturally, improving your chances of ranking organically. Aim for content that exceeds 2000 words, contains a couple of relevant images, incorporates backlinks to high-authority websites, and includes an internal link to another page of your website.
  • Create a content calendar to ease the burden of creating consistent content. Ensure you have content that matches each stage of the customer journey, and mix up your keywords for variety.

Invest equally in both channels

While allocating most of your budget to paid or organic strategies in SaaS SEO may be tempting, balance is critical here. Investing too heavily in paid ads can drain resources without providing sustainable growth, while neglecting paid channels may lead to missed opportunities for immediate visibility. Strive for an equal investment to ensure you’re tapping into the benefits of both approaches.

While the cost of paid advertising is often more visible as you pay Google invoices, organic SEO involves cost as you spend time (or pay others) to create content, do keyword research, and create images.

Align messaging and keywords

Consistency is crucial when balancing paid and organic SEO strategies. Ensure your ad copy reflects the messaging on your landing pages (another factor in calculating a quality score for your ads) and vice versa – providing a seamless user experience across both channels while consistently optimizing for relevant keywords.

Use paid insights for organic optimization

Paid search campaigns provide valuable data about which keywords drive conversions and resonate with your target market. Leverage these insights to refine your organic strategy by optimizing key landing pages, updating title tags and meta descriptions, and creating compelling content that aligns with top-performing keywords.

paid and organic seo conversion rates

Seize remarketing opportunities

Remarketing allows you to target users who previously engaged with your website across different platforms or networks with personalized ads. You can utilize these remarketing techniques in paid advertising and organic channels, such as email marketing or content promotion. In doing so, you can reach out to potential customers who have already shown interest in your offerings multiple times – boosting brand recall and driving conversions.

In fact, remarketing offers a conversion rate that’s 2X higher.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect balance between paid and organic SEO strategies requires careful consideration of your business objectives, target audience’s intent, and consistent optimization efforts. It involves investing equally in both channels, aligning messaging and keywords, and utilizing insights gained from paid campaigns. With these, SaaS businesses can drive qualified traffic, increase brand visibility, and achieve sustainable growth. So, craft a winning strategy combining the power of paid and organic search to propel your SaaS business to new heights.

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