S1E5 – How to leverage SEO as a B2B SaaS with Maeva Cifuentes

How to leverage SEO as a B2B SaaS

The most important and sustainable avenue for long-term growth is SEO. The big question is how to leverage SEO as a B2B SaaS? Long-term growth frequently depends on this investment. Maeva Cifuentes, CEO of Flying Cat Marketing, a startup that helps B2B SaaS companies with their SEO and content strategy, is our special guest today. Maeva has extensive knowledge to impart based on her three years of expertise and track record of working with over 40 B2B SaaS firms. Immediately, let’s begin! Thank you for coming, Maeva.

  • Defining SEO: Maeva defines SEO as transforming your website into a self-sustaining ecosystem that attracts users organically throughout their buyer’s journey, from awareness to becoming a customer. Without SEO, your website relies solely on brand searches or paid ads for traffic.
  • Preparation for SEO: Before diving into SEO, Maeva emphasizes the importance of having a solid product-market fit and ensuring that your website can convert visitors effectively. This way, your investment in SEO will yield better results.
  • Understanding the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): Maeva stresses the significance of having a well-defined ICP before creating SEO-focused content. Understanding your audience and addressing their specific needs is crucial for successful SEO.
  • Common Mistakes: One common mistake businesses make is focusing on the wrong metrics for SEO success. Maeva advises aligning SEO KPIs with business goals, such as demo requests, free trial sign-ups, or revenue, rather than just rankings and traffic.
  • SEO Strategy: Maeva introduces four website archetypes – Builder, Optimizer, Scalar, and Wild One – each with specific SEO objectives. For beginners (Builders), the focus is on ranking for easy keywords to build topical authority, while more established businesses (Scalers) create thought leadership content and attract external interest.
  • Content Optimization: Maeva recommends optimizing existing content to increase click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates, as it can yield quicker wins compared to focusing solely on new content creation.
  • Fresh Content and Rankings: Refreshing and updating content periodically, especially for pages on the second page of search results, helps maintain relevance and appeal to both readers and search engines.
  • Should You Include Last Updated Dates in Your Blog Posts? The podcast begins with a practical question on whether including the “last updated” date in a blog post is necessary. Maeva advises that having the date on the blog post is considered best practice. For industries where information changes rapidly, it benefits users to know when the content was last updated to assess its relevance and accuracy. Considering user experience is essential, and including the date ensures transparency and builds trust with your audience.

The Four SEO Archetypes: Builder, Optimizer, Wild One, and Scalar Next, the conversation moves on to the four SEO archetypes: Builder, Optimizer, Wild One, and Scalar. Each archetype has a unique approach to SEO and content creation:

  • Builder: If you’re starting your SaaS business and looking to create revenue-generating content, focus on bottom-of-the-funnel pages with high conversion intent.
  • Optimizer: If your company has gained some traction and you want to improve click-through rates, refresh and optimize existing content to enhance user experience.
  • Wild One: When facing technical SEO issues, utilize tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify and fix problems.
  • Scaler: For rapid growth, consider a programmatic SEO campaign. Utilize templates and databases to create numerous relevant pages, ultimately driving high conversion rates and boosting revenue.

Real-life Success: A Powerful Programmatic SEO Campaign:  Maeva shares an inspiring success story from a recent programmatic SEO campaign. The client’s middleware software required multiple pages to explain various integration combinations. Rather than writing each page manually, Maeva and her team used programmatic SEO to generate 1700 relevant pages in just four months. This led to a 35% increase in conversion rates and a significant rise in organic demo requests.

Overcoming Duplicate Content Concerns with Programmatic SEO:  Some might worry about duplicate content issues with programmatic SEO. However, Maeva clarifies that Google doesn’t penalize duplicate content as long as the intent of the pages is different. In this case, users searching for specific integration combinations had distinct intent, making the content relevant and valuable.

The Rise of AI and its Impact on SEO The discussion then shifts to the rise of AI and its impact on SEO. While AI can help generate content, Maeva warns against producing low-quality content that lacks value and uniqueness. Instead, she advocates for investing in subject matter expertise and thought leadership, as Google aims to reward high-quality content.

Final Advice for SaaS Founders For SaaS founders looking to invest in SEO: Maeva suggests making a conscious decision to treat SEO as a critical business strategy. If you’re starting, go all-in and commit to doing it excellently. For more established businesses, consider programmatic SEO as an efficient way to scale your efforts and achieve tremendous results.

Conclusion:  We leave you with valuable insights into the power of programmatic SEO, the importance of relevant and valuable content, and the potential impact of AI on the SEO landscape. Remember, SEO is a marathon, so choose your strategy wisely and invest in creating exceptional content that connects with your target audience. With these strategies in hand, your SaaS business is sure to dominate the market and achieve remarkable growth.

Key Timecodes

  • (1:25) Why you should listen to Maeva
  • (2:00) What is SEO
  • (2:55) What you need to have before starting SEO
  • (4:50) Mistakes companies make while implementing SEO
  • (7:29) What to do to get the most out of SEO
  • (10:34) The best SEO practices
  • (15:25) The bottom of the funnel example
  • (16:50) The importance of refreshing content
  • (19:17) Maeva’s success story
  • (23:45) Does duplicate content hurt your SEO?
  • (25:46) AI effect on SEO
  • (28:37) How to grow to 10K MRR
  • (30:01) How to grow to 10M ARR
  • (31:05) What does Maeva wish she knew 10yrs ago?

Transcription

[00:00:00.170] – Intro

Welcome to growing a B2B. SaaS? On this show, you’ll get actionable and usable advice. You’ll hear about all aspects of growing a business to a business software company. Customer success, sales, funding, bootstrapping, exits, scaling. Everything you need to know about growing a startup. And you’ll get it from someone who’s going through the same journey.  now your host. Joran Hofman

[00:00:29.370] – Joran

welcome back to another episode on the Grow Your B2B SaaS podcast, where we discuss all topics on how to grow your B2B SaaS. No matter in which stage you’re in, growing your SaaS in the long term means you will also have to invest in long term growth channels. The biggest one still is SEO. We will be talking with Maeva Cifuentes today. She is the CEO of Flying Cat Marketing, helping B2B SaaS companies with their SEO and content. In their three years, they helped over 40 B2B SaaS companies. So she has a lot of insights in what’s happening within those different companies. Next to this, she’s a part of Rev Genius and a mentor like myself on Growth Mentor. I know she has a lot to share, so let’s just dive in. Welcome to the show, Maeva.

[00:01:06.910] – Maeva

Hey, Joran, thanks for having me. Now I’m really excited to be here. And an interesting part in those 40 plus companies that we helped, we had like super early stage to later stage ones. So it’s quite a bit of a spectrum. So I’m really excited to talk about that today.

[00:01:22.190] – Joran

Nice. Before we going to open up the conversation, I always ask this question to my guests. Why should people listen to you if they’re not convinced after this intro, why.

[00:01:30.270] – Maeva

Should they listen to me? We’ve had some pretty good results. We first have some pretty good brands that we’ve been able to work with, ActiveCampaign, Hotjar, and then some earlier stage ones that we had some pretty impressive results. Some early stage companies that we worked with forex revenue in twelve months. With ActiveCampaign, we added almost 100,000 clicks in six months. So we’ve been experimenting, we’ve been learning, we’ve been developing frameworks.

[00:01:55.670] – Joran

Good, then let’s just dive right in. I like to start with the basics. So really basic question, what is SEO, in your words?

[00:02:03.210] – Maeva

Yeah, good question. So I see SEO as turning your website into a live organic. I guess you could call it like not a salesperson, but you’re turning it into an ecosystem that drives users in their buyer’s journey organically to your page. Without SEO, your website does not generate traffic on its own, ever. What it does is people will search for it because they’re looking for your brand name, or they’ll get driven to it by paid ads from some other software for some other platform, social media, for example. But with SEO, you make your website itself is self sustaining and drives users to it through their journey from awareness to purchase and even into being a customer. So it’s just activating your website in that way.

[00:02:49.400] – Joran

Yeah, nice. And you need to have a website before you even get started with SEO or a content strategy. Is there anything else I guess you need to have in place before you can really start with SEO?

[00:03:01.150] – Maeva

Something that’s really helpful to have in place before starting is pretty close product market fit. Especially if you’re going to be investing in like an agency or make a big investment in SEO, you do want to have product market fit and you want to be sure that your website itself can convert. If you, for example, are really unclear about who your audience is, how you want to position your product, those kind of things, and you invest a lot in SEO, and then you find out six months down the line, that there’s a different audience, different kind of messaging that you want to do, then that’s a lot of wasted work because it’s going to be sitting on your website, attracting the wrong kind of people. Also, if your website doesn’t convert and you keep investing, what you’re going to see is growth in traffic, and then it’s not turning into anything useful for your business. It’s not converting into any kind of dollar amounts. So you do want to run some tests before you jump into SEO. You could do that with paid ads or something else. Probably paid ads is best. Just some A B testing just to see that if you do drive traffic to the website that it can actually turn into business.

[00:04:03.940] – Joran

Yeah, and I think that’s really good. He didn’t mention the word. I always love ideal customer profile. Make sure you have that defined before you start writing anything, because as you mentioned, you have a certain audience you need to write to them. You need to fix their issues, basically, or at least help with your content to help them fix their issues, basically.

[00:04:21.970] – Maeva

Yeah, exactly. I feel like this is something that we’re a little tired of having to say it’s. We say it over and over. Your ICP. Your ICP. But it bears repeating because people are like, yeah, yeah, totally. ICP customer. Absolutely. Of course I understand how important that is. But then they actually don’t go and talk to any of them, and they literally don’t talk to them, even though we keep repeating how important it is. And even they are in agreement that it’s important. It’s a kind of weird phenomena.

[00:04:47.940] – Joran

Yeah, exactly. And this is, I guess, one of the common mistakes, right? Not talking to your ideal customer profile. Do you see any other common mistakes companies making while doing SEO?

[00:04:58.040] – Maeva

Yes, some mistakes that they make is setting the wrong metrics or holding the SEO team or agency or freelancer or person responsible for the wrong metrics. SEO should be responsible, should be aligned with the same business KPIs that every other department has. And a lot of companies will say SEO metrics are going to be rankings and traffic. When you optimize a website for just ranking and traffic, you are not thinking about how it’s driving business. And you will create a strategy that’s completely different than if you were to focus on SEO driving business. So you should actually set the main KPI to be something like demo requests, free trial sign ups, or even revenue if you have your Attribution set up properly and that’s not too complicated, and that’s really going to change the way that you do things. So traffic and rankings are a leading indicator. They’re still important to look out, but that’s not what you’re building the strategy on and that’s not what the wins are going to be. Another big mistake that people make with SEO is thinking that content is for SEO rather than SEO being a way for people to consume your content.

[00:06:08.010] – Maeva

So they create content for SEO. I’m doing the quotation mark hands for those who are just listening. And when they do that content is just for SEO. They think that SEO is the end goal when SEO is not the end goal. SEO is just a way to drive the traffic to your website and convert it. The content should be just as good as content that you’re creating for thought leadership for your newsletter. Something that you’d be proud of actually sitting down with a customer and being like, hey, read this thing that we created. Isn’t it helpful for you? Some people, I promise you, Joran, they would be embarrassed. I had somebody tell me, like, I’m glad that we’re ranking high, but I really hope none of our customers see. And I’m like, why are you investing in content that you hope your customers would never see? It because you’re embarrassed of how bad it is. It should be at the same level that you would be proud of them seeing it, because ideally that’s what you are doing it for is to attract people.

[00:07:02.440] – Joran

Yeah, and I think it comes back to the first thing you said, don’t write content for the search machines. Write content actually because you want to drive value and drive value to where your ITP. And then if you do that, it will go into the business KPIs you mentioned, like people will sign up, they will book a demo because you are the thought leader in whatever you’re writing about.

[00:07:21.420] – Maeva

Exactly.

[00:07:22.030] – Joran

You mentioned it a little bit already. Attribution are there any other I guess that’s one thing you definitely need to get in place. Any other strategies, processes, things you need to do to make sure you get the most out of SEO.

[00:07:34.850] – Maeva

You want to have a strategy. I also think some people way overthink it sometimes. You can keep it simple if you’re getting started. You do not have to wait to have a really complex Attribution set up down to the dollar amount and like multi touch attribution that’s just procrastination. You don’t have to set all of that up. Before you start doing SEO. You could have a simple like, you could start by just tracking demo requests, create a thank you page, have any free trial sign ups or demo requests forward to that page after they fill it out. Track that page as a destination goal. You can keep it simple like that. So you’re tracking results. You do need some kind of tracking in place, though. So set up your Ga four if you don’t have that already in your Google search console, because you get a lot of really interesting data from Google search console, and then get started. When you are thinking about SEO, think about it as a city that you’re trying to build. So you have an end goal, an end blueprint, and every little topic cluster. I guess you could call it a campaign.

[00:08:31.560] – Maeva

I don’t really like to call it a campaign because SEO is like a long term strategy choice. That’s a business strategy that you have, but everything that you’re trying to build is like a building, let’s say. So it has an end. You know exactly what’s going in it, and it’s not sitting around the table every month, which is what a lot of people are doing right now, and saying, all right, guys, what are we going to write about this month? That’s not strategic, and that’s not looking at all of the total opportunities, and it could really delay results or possibly never get you results. So think about it as in, okay? Because imagine if you were building a building. I’m building a hospital. I don’t have a blueprint. I don’t know how many rooms there’s going to be. I don’t know. So I come with the architects and construction people every month, and I’m like, all right, so what are we going to do this month? Do you guys want to lay some wall over there? Maybe we could order a bed. I don’t know. And it’s totally random. That’s how people are doing SEO right now.

[00:09:24.530] – Maeva

When would this hospital get finished? When would doctors start being able to work? Never. Or it would be unsafe. It would just be totally random. And that’s how people are doing SEO. You’re building assets. So like, the content clusters. You’re building their assets, they’re closed, they’re complete. You know exactly what goes in them, and then you do the next one. So that’s the way to look at it.

[00:09:44.600] – Joran

Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. The first thing you said, as in, I see a lot of SaaS companies, we sell to SaaS companies, having, for example, canonly as a book a demo call to action above default. But they actually guided traffic away from their own domain to canadly domain. So, like the thing you mentioned as having that thank you page after the book, a demo is not possible if you guide traffic away from your own site, you won’t be able to track it. So I would definitely recommend, as you mentioned, have it on your own site. Make sure you go to another page after you booked it so you can actually track the things in Google Ga four, I guess, as we call.

[00:10:19.110] – Maeva

Yeah, or have a pop. Like, I use calendar too, but I have a pop up or an embed on the website and then I can still forward it to thank you.

[00:10:27.820] – Joran

Yeah, keep it on your own domain because a lot of people use the link they have provided, they got it away. And the other thing you mentioned at the end, I think building the assets, like building the hospital, is then a best practice to start building, like, topic clusters from the beginning and start writing content around it or what would you recommend?

[00:10:45.020] – Maeva

Yeah, so there’s four different archetypes that we’ve identified with a website, and there are different goals, different kind of things that you want to do depending on what your archetype is. So we’ve identified the builder, the optimizer, the scalar, and the wild one. The builder means you don’t have any pages currently on your website, you haven’t invested in SEO yet, your website is like home about US services or products, features, whatever, these kind of main things. And you don’t really have anything else going on. Maybe some press releases, but that doesn’t count. So then your goal at this point is to rank for as many keywords as possible so you can start building topical authority. Ideally, you also want to build out your core revenue generating pages, but you need to accompany those with a little bit higher up the funnel to build topical authority. Topical authority is how Google recognizes. They say, oh, look, this website publishes a lot about this topic. Maybe they care about the topic. Whereas if I was writing one day about pizza and then one day about computers, or one day about AI, what am I actually about? Or if I’ve never written about anything, why would Google trust you and rank you higher?

[00:11:56.200] – Maeva

So it’s a trust factor. So you want to build that topical authority and rank as fast as possible. So you’re going for relevant but easy keywords. Doesn’t matter what the volume is, you’re just trying to get more clicks and show Google that you’re an authority in this space. So in that case, I would focus on one use case and build a full funnel and just as easy keywords as possible. So it’s just content. Content. And yes, you want to build the topic clusters would be ideal so that you could start interlinking as much as possible because the internal links are as important as the new content. The optimizer is you’ve already done some SEO, like you’re doing all right, you’ve got some stuff, a little bit on page one, a lot of stuff on page two or three. You have your core revenue generating pages already built, then the first thing that you want to start doing is working with what you already have. So a lot of people want to skip the foundation stage and go straight to growth and like more new content, which works for the builder. But for the optimizer, the faster result, the short term wins, are going to be with what exists already.

[00:12:55.980] – Maeva

So imagine if you could just increase CTR. If you have a CTR of half a percent, if you could double it and go to 1%, imagine how much more traffic you could get from that. Imagine if you could do the same with your conversion rate. If it’s half a percent and you get it to 1%, that’s double the amount of leads with what already exists. You don’t have to wait for Google to crawl index it. You don’t have to wait for any of that stuff, so it’s way faster wins. So with the optimizer, you just want to focus on those kind of things for the first couple months. Then you can start building, you go back and reoptimize, and you possibly can start adding some links or those kind of things. The wild one has technical issues, crawling issues, indexing issues. You are not in a good relationship with Google, you’re not communicating with it. So doesn’t matter what you reoptimize, doesn’t matter what content you build. You need to fix these issues. And then you may possibly be the optimizer. You probably have a lot of pages if you have technical issues like that.

[00:13:51.470] – Maeva

It’s very rare that new websites have a lot of technical SEO issues to fix. And then the scalar is generally you validated SEO as a channel. You get a lot of leads in SEO, you’re in a competitive space, you have a ton of content. And this is a mix of the optimizer. Like you want to keep reoptimizing stuff, and then you’re publishing top of the funnel content, thought leadership, stuff that brings, brand awareness, stuff that brings backlinks, and stuff that’s just driving more traffic. In that case, it starts to make more sense because you’ve probably already built a lot of the core revenue generating stuff. So in the analogy of the city, when you’re a builder, if you’re starting to build a city, you’re not going to start with nightclubs and museums and those kind of things when you don’t even have roads and houses and schools, right, because nobody’s going to be there. Nobody’s going to be able to get there. So as a builder, you want to start building houses, schools, hospitals, grocery shops, roads, so that an economy starts to form and you start generating life there. And then when you’re the scaler, that’s when you can start building entertainment, nightclubs, museums, like cool stuff.

[00:15:01.230] – Maeva

So you’re even attracting more people from the outside who aren’t maybe ready to live in your city, which is what’s generating the core economy, but they’ll still come and spend and generate more and more interest in that place as a potential place to live. So that’s the different archetypes and it really changes what you want to do depending on which one you are.

[00:15:21.240] – Joran

Yeah, really nice. And if people don’t know the funnel, then definitely check it out. I guess maybe to ask you one example. Could you give one example of a bottom of the funnel content for people are just like the builders who are starting to get their first content out. Can you give one example?

[00:15:36.000] – Maeva

Yeah. Generally, bottom of the funnel is somebody is really close to being a customer, so they’re shopping around. So in SEO, these are modifiers that you can see in the keyword, which is going to be like software solution providers platform. If you have influencer marketing as your seed keyword, then if you add these modifiers, so influencer marketing could be anything. If it’s top of the funnel, it could be like influencer marketing examples. That’s not bottom of the funnel. But if I add a modifier like influencer marketing software or influencer marketing platform influencer marketing platform reviews. This person is clearly buying like shopping around, looking for the thing that you offer. So it’s modifiers like that. Some other ones could also be case studies. Possibly what we also like are the verses like when they’re comparing two different software or alternatives to your competitors.

[00:16:30.750] – Joran

Yeah, really nice. And for example, we’re now actually in the optimizer phase where we did generate a lot of content. It wasn’t always as pretty, but we wanted to get as ranked for as many keywords as possible, as you mentioned. Now we’re actually doing the optimizer job where we’re going to go in and actually make it a lot better and then trying to increase our click through rate. Is it true then when you refresh content, it will also be good for Google where they see, okay, you updated content more than 30%, for example. Now we’re going to refresh it and we’re going to rank you higher than others.

[00:17:03.350] – Maeva

Yeah. Google likes fresh content. What it likes is up to date content. So content that the readers like as well. Generally, if you’re updating it, if you’re like on page two, I think even if you’re at the top of page one, it’s worth updating it from time to time. Probably not as much as pages that you’re trying to move to page one, but just to keep it fresh and to keep it up to date, I think it’s still worth it.

[00:17:26.910] – Joran

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[00:18:08.570] – Joran

Practical question, I guess, because I’m looking at it right now, we don’t have, for example, an updated date in the blog itself. Would you recommend, like, you see it often, right, where they say last updated and then they have a certain date. Is that best practice or does it really matter?

[00:18:23.620] – Maeva

I think it’s best practice. So best practice is always put yourself in the shoes of the user. So if you are in an industry where things change very rapidly, where data goes out of date really rapidly, it would probably be useful if you were doing research to know when this was published, right? Because you’re like, is this still a thing? So if you’re considering the user experience, which you always should, then I think it’s best practice to have the date in there.

[00:18:49.070] – Joran

I guess. To summarize then, when you’re the builder, you don’t have any pages. Create revenue generating content when you’re the optimizer, refresh content to get your click through rate up. When you’re the wild one, you have technical issues. Make sure you check Google search console tools like SEMrush Ahref to fix your technical issues. And then when you’re the scalar, make sure you actually start optimizing, but also start producing more top of funnel content. If I summarize this correctly, cool summary. Can you give an example of a successful SEO campaign you run for one of your clients and what are the key factors which really contributed to that success?

[00:19:26.250] – Maeva

There’s one we did recently that I’m super excited about, and now we’re really pushing this for new clients. And so we did a programmatic SEO campaign. One way to create content in SEO is to manually sit and write every single page. You need a lot of resources to do this. Sometimes you’ll notice that there’s keyword opportunities that have a lot of different potential variations, but they’re all very similar. So it could be, for example, HR software for churches, HR software for hospitals, HR software for law firms, et cetera. And it’s just like the same thing, but like, one slightly different variable is changing over and over. In this case, you do not have to write from scratch every single page. What you can do. And you don’t have to use AI either. You can still use senior level copywriting talent, you can still have a great user experience, but what you write is a template, and then you fill a database with the variables there, and then you can generate all of these pages at once in one click. So we did this recently with the client. They were a middleware kind of software, so they would connect a hardware to a software, basically, and all the software was the same.

[00:20:39.450] – Maeva

They were all property management software and all the hardware was all different kind of locks. It was all exactly the same. And we wanted to generate pages for each of the different kind of integration combinations possible. As we laid it all out, we saw that it was going to be 1700 pages that we needed to create. And on our contract, we were creating eight pages a month. So I calculated, this is, I don’t know, 17 years later, we’re done with this project. So I was like, maybe there’s got to be a different way to do this. So we did a programmatic, SEO campaign, which we ended up publishing the 1700. I think when I initially mapped it out, it was like 2600 combinations. But we ended up publishing 1700 pages on the website in four months. And then that increased conversion rates by 35% site wide across the whole website. The bounce rate was 25%, when normally it was like 60%. I think the pages per session was almost five pages per session for this. And about 40% of the organic demo requests came from these pages. And 20% of the demo requests sitewide came from these pages, from across all the channels.

[00:21:46.270] – Maeva

So it was a really powerful project. And the thing is, all the search volume that you would have seen for these keywords, because they’re so specific, it would have all been zero because they’re just way too specific for Google for Hrefs to have any data on this. But we generated all of them, and it was a really cool success. And generally when a client works with us, one page is going to cost them on average €1500. With this project that we did programmatically, the pages came out to each cost about €54, written by Senior Copywriting Talent, edited by Senior Editorial Team. So it was a really cool, efficient and high impact project that we did.

[00:22:26.670] – Joran

Yeah, really nice. And would you say then the results were due to more relevancy because you had a really specific content on every page?

[00:22:35.140] – Maeva

Yeah, it was super relevant and super high intent. So the reason I got this idea as well was I had a hot Jar heat session map on the page, and I saw that they were rage clicking the logos for the integrations. It was in the vacation rental space. And these property managers have really, let’s say, large tech stack. There’s just so much stuff in it, and it’s really hard for them to pick tech because it’s all the same. As much as they would like to say that they’re all different, it’s literally all the same thing. And all of them have different kind of integrations. So they’re like, I don’t know, does this connect with that? But then I have this thing, it needs to connect with it. It’s a problem. So one big buying intent was, does this integrate with that? How do I do this with that one? So it was like connecting all of this ecosystem. So it was super high intent. The only people who were looking for that were ready to make a purchase already.

[00:23:28.840] – Joran

Yeah, makes sense. And with these amount of pages, 1700, I think the biggest concern people probably have is duplicate content. Like you mentioned, you had content writers write it, edit it, but still you probably had same content on every page. So are you afraid of Google penalizing you for duplicate content? Is that something you’re worried about?

[00:23:50.200] – Maeva

No. Google themselves released on their developer page, they said that the duplicate content penalty is a myth. It’s not true. So you don’t get penalized for duplicate content. What they are trying to avoid by this kind of language is they don’t want people scraping content from other websites like me copying a bunch of pages from other websites and having a bunch of versions of exactly the same thing all on other websites, exactly the same thing. So this isn’t the same because the intent is different. If I’m asking how to connect a Salto key to Avantio property management software, it’s not the same intent as how do I connect, I don’t know, this other brand key to this other property management software? It’s a different intent. So the intent is different. So there’s not even cannibalization there’s not duplicate content issues. It could be a problem if that one had such specific intent, but you could use programmatic SEO in a different way for different scenarios and then it might hurt the user experience a little bit if they’re reading the same intro over and over again. For example, one way, depending on the context. I haven’t tried this, but I have talked to somebody else who has done it and she actually put all the content that was written, it’s all in a database, in a Google spreadsheet and then she got like a chat GPT plugin and just said, reword this intro.

[00:25:13.800] – Maeva

And then she dragged it across down all of the pages so they were all slightly reworded. So changed the experience a little bit for the user, but it really depends on the kind of the template, the patterns that there are. Because it might be that the way people are searching, like for the integrations, they’re never going to search for another property management software because they’re only using this one. They’re not shopping around for property management software. So you have to just put yourself in the minds of the users.

[00:25:39.970] – Joran

Yeah. And in the end it is relevant. So you’re probably not going to be indeed punished for it. I think the last thing you already mentioned, as in the use of AI, I think hot topic right now, how do you see the rise of AI impacting SEO?

[00:25:52.790] – Maeva

I think there’s going to be a lot of really shit content going out into the world and it’s going to be overloaded with really bad shit that’s repeated and generative AI. Chat GBT, even though right now chat GBT, I think it only has data from like 2021 or something. But as it starts to get updated, it’s. Just going to regurgitate what it finds, which was written by chat GBT, and it’s going to regurgitate that. Regurgitate that meaning, in fact, is going to get totally lost and everything is going to be meaningless and it’s going to be plagiarized and it’s going to be factually incorrect, et cetera, et cetera. And Google is working really hard to prevent this from happening because it wants it to be a good source of information. So SEO is going to get a lot more expensive because the way to compete and stand out is going to be subject matter expertise, thought leadership, really well written content. And that’s what you’re going to need to be able to actually ever stand out. If you’re trying to compete with writing chat GPT content, there’s going to be millions and billions of other people and other posts who are doing the same.

[00:26:53.490] – Maeva

So you’re not going to be able to compete there. You will be able to compete through subject matter expertise, thought leadership, like experience, eat, experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness. That’s where you’re going to be able to compete. But it’s going to up the prices a little bit, or maybe they’ll stay the same. I guess it’s just going to up compared to the price of chat GPT, because right now, it’s already pretty expensive to do SEO that way. So I think there’s going to be that. And then we’re yet to say what’s going to happen with generative search results. I think it seems to be up in the air. I’ve heard mixed rumors that they’re like, oh, we tried it. Oh shit, ad spend is not good, or the results for them financially is not good. It was really just a reaction to try to stay ahead of the market share. So I don’t really know what to say about that yet. We’re keeping an eye on it, so we’re experimenting to see if we can have any impact, if we can see if any of our users are coming from generative AI results, and to see how that might change the way we do anything strategically.

[00:27:51.630] – Maeva

But that’s still for us to observe a little bit longer.

[00:27:54.920] – Joran

Yeah, I think that’s going to be a really interesting one. Because if you’re going to spend more time, as you mentioned, like getting good content out, getting more expensive, but then you have paid ads on top of your organic traffic, and then you also start having those generative search results on top of that. Like, how many people are actually going to click organic?

[00:28:12.200] – Maeva

Yeah, but the generative search results, they have links to other pages. You can still make it onto the generative search results.

[00:28:20.530] – Joran

So in the end, like, writing good content and being that thought leader will help you to also start ranking on those as well. We are coming towards the end. Like, I always like to ask these two questions at the end. So when we talk about SEO, what kind of advice would you have for SaaS founders in these different stages? Starting with somebody just growing their company to ten k monthly recurring revenue.

[00:28:43.090] – Maeva

So if you’re growing your company to ten k monthly recurring revenue, that means you can’t invest in an agency and you can’t invest in anything external. So it’s on you. So I would say you need to decide if search is going to be a part of your business strategy. Because if you start now, that could be really great for you. You could also do it later, but it could be really powerful to start now because it’s compounding, but it’s not something where you say, let me just try it out for two months and see what ROI I get. Because that’s not the mindset to have around it. So you can say, I am deciding to choose this as a channel and it’s going to drive revenue for the company. And then you can go and do it and start building out your bottom of the funnel pages and start building out the builder archetype. I think it’s really just to just choose it or don’t choose it.

[00:29:29.190] – Joran

Yeah, do it good or don’t do it.

[00:29:30.950] – Maeva

Yeah, exactly. Because if you’re like, oh, we’re just going to do it as an afterthought, or we’ll do it on the side, or it’s not an actual business strategy, then whatever time and money you’re investing in that is taken away from what can actually drive results. So choose to do it excellently and choose to put really effort and time into it to do it right. Or if you prefer to half asset, I think you would be really better off just not choosing that as a strategy. Because it’s a business strategy if you really want it to drive results.

[00:30:00.040] – Joran

Yeah, definitely makes sense. When we get past that ten K MRR and we’re going to grow towards 10 million air hearts. It’s a big step. I know. What kind of advice would you give SAF founders here?

[00:30:10.690] – Maeva

Yeah, it’s tricky because at this point, have they already been doing SEO or have they not? That’s the question there. Because SEO is kind of like a marathon. So if you start late, it’s basically like everybody’s already been running for 2 hours and then you have to catch up to them. So again, the answer is kind of the same. A lot of people are tempted to start really small and be like, try a little bit and validate it. You probably should have validated it earlier. It can be validated. If you see your competitors are growing and driving revenue through it, then it’s validated as a channel. But remember that it’s a marathon, everybody’s ahead of you. So if you’re going to choose it, probably go hard on it and at that point you can invest a little bit more and try programmatic SEO because it’s a really efficient way to go hard on SEO.

[00:30:54.650] – Joran

Nice. And when you’re in this stage, you probably have people who can investigate and who can actually indeed do these kind of things. And of course, maybe look at an agency who can help you do it. My final question, and this could be really general, what is one thing you wish you knew? Ten years ago?

[00:31:08.980] – Maeva

Ten years ago. So ten years ago, I wish I knew that I was going to start an agency already back then, and I would have started it immediately. I was a bartender at 23. I wish that I would have gotten into business and coaching back then and already invested in myself.

[00:31:23.930] – Joran

Yeah, that’s good advice. I’ve been a bartender myself for a bit and it’s a good learning. Like, you definitely learn how to hard.

[00:31:30.320] – Maeva

Work and be nice to people as well.

[00:31:32.660] – Joran

Nice. Thank you very much for coming on, Joe Maiva. And how do people get in contact with you if they want to?

[00:31:38.930] – Maeva

Yeah. Best place is LinkedIn. I’m super active there. Always on just reach out. I accept most invites as long as there’s not a pitch in it. And yeah, LinkedIn is the best place. You could also see Flyingcatmarketing.com, where we have some content, some podcasts on there. We have an SEO ROI calculator free. Got some stuff on there that could be interesting.

[00:31:59.220] – Joran

Nice. I’m definitely going to ask for that link. So what we’ll do is we’ll add a link to your LinkedIn to Flying, cat marketing, and then the SEO calculator so people can get in touch with you. Cheers. Thanks again. My bon.

[00:32:10.500] – Maeva

Thanks for having me. Enjoyed it. Cheers.

[00:32:12.240] – Joran

Bye. Bye.

[00:32:13.930] – Joran

You’ve been listening to Growing a B2B. SaaS Joran has been ahead of customer success before founding his own startup. He’s experiencing the same journey you are. We hope you’ve gotten some actionable advice from the show and we hope you had fun along the way. We know we did. Make sure to, like, rate and review the podcast in the meantime. To find out more and to hook up with us on our social media sites, go to www.getreditus.com. See you next time on Growing a B2B sass.

Joran Hofman
Meet the author
Joran Hofman
Back in 2020 I was an affiliate for 80+ SaaS tools and I was generating an average of 30k in organic visits each month with my site. Due to the issues I experienced with the current affiliate management software tools, it never resulted in the passive income I was hoping for. Many clunky affiliate management tools lost me probably more than $20,000+ in affiliate revenue. So I decided to build my own software with a high focus on the affiliates, as in the end, they generate more money for SaaS companies.
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