Why a SaaS Technical SEO Audit is (Usually) a Waste of Money

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We receive SaaS technical SEO questions day and night. Let’s go over the most common mistake SaaS companies make when hiring an SEO agency. So take a look because it could save your company thousands of dollars.

One of the most frequent requests when someone comes to us, is that they want an audit of their website’s technical SEO.

Maybe they want us to review their site structure, title tags, schema, and more. 9 times out of 10, that would be a complete waste of time.

Because if you don’t have a solid keyword and content strategy in place, doing technical SEO for your SaaS website won’t do a dang thing for your rankings.

Here’s why:

The main elements of a winning SEO strategy are content, link building, and technical.

Quality content is by far the most important. Your rankings will soar once you have keyword-optimized content about topics people actually care about.

Then at some point, your ranking will get stuck. It depends on how competitive the keyword is, but for example, let’s say your page gets to the top of the 2nd page of Google.

That’s where link building comes in. Building links to that page will get it unstuck and over the hump in the search results, generating more juicy SaaS leads for ya. 

The role of technical SEO for SaaS websites is to ensure your site doesn’t have issues that are sabotaging your rankings. Slow websites and broken links are the most common offenders.

Your website can be a technical masterpiece, but if it doesn’t have strong content and backlinks, you’re not going to rank.

Agencies love doing a technical SEO audit because they’re easy! We can just run a tool.

But it’s probably not what you need.

If you’re looking to get an SEO campaign going for your SaaS company so you can get more inbound sales, start with the keyword research & content strategy, not a technical audit.

Technical SEO Audit

So you’re still looking for that technical audit, huh? Here are some items to consider when viewing your site through a technical lens. These items are listed in order of severity.

Noindex Tags and Canonical Tags

As a webmaster, you have the ability to tell search engines to not look at certain pages. This can be a great practice to help combat index bloat or to section off pages with little to no SEO value. We also use this to help guide search engines towards the best version of a particular page.

A great example is on e-commerce websites. Let’s say you sell an item in 15 sizes and each size has its own webpage. All of the pages have nearly identical content, which would typically be a bad thing. To combat the duplicate content problem, we would add a canonical tag to each page that would elect one version as the master copy and point all SEO equity there.

The problem is that, sometimes, webmasters will accidentally add a noindex tag or a canonical tag to a page without realizing it. This will make it impossible to rank that page in search engines, no matter how hard you try. By pasting the URL of pages from your website into the Inspect Toll within Google Search Console, you can ensure that your pages are positioned for success from the start. You do have Google Search Console set up, don’t you?

Search Console Inspection Tool

Use Google Search Console’s free URL Inspection Tool

404 Pages and Broken Internal Links

Nothing is more frustrating than landing on the page you’re looking for and realizing that it’s broken. 404’d pages not only provide a poor user experience, but Google despises them! To make things worse, a 404’d page also implies the existence of broken internal links on your site that point into this non-existent page, which makes the problem twice as bad. 

The good news is that if you can identify all of your broken internal links and correct them, you will have resolved your 404 page problem as well. This is arguably the highest priority item to tackle when beginning your technical audit. A site that flows through uninterrupted links provides an enjoyable experience and passes SEO equity properly throughout the domain.

404 page on laptop

You never want potential customers to see this!

Broken External Links

The same principle applies to links that flow from your site into the wider web. If you reference other articles, partnered businesses, charts, graphs, or socials on your site, and those links point to external 404 pages, you’ll want to get those fixed as well. Start by identifying every instance of a broken external link across your site with audit tools like Screaming Frog, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. Once you’ve done so, try to find an operational page that you can link to instead.

Broken external link error

Use a site auditor tool to locate broken links on your website.

Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Every page on the web is supposed to have a title tag and a meta description to help explain the overall topic to both search engines and the public at large. In SEO, these two inputs are golden opportunities to add your target keyword for maximum value.

Sometimes programmers will duplicate existing pages to save time during the design process. However, this practice can lead many webmasters to forget to input a new title tag and meta description on the duplicate page. This leaves multiple pages with the same title and description, which can be very confusing to a search engine or person. Five pages titled “Homepage” would confuse me too!

Each page on your site is an opportunity to rank for valuable keywords! Include them in the title tags and meta descriptions to get more of those juicy SEO rankings.

Duplicate title tags

Make sure that your title tags have unique verbiage to distinguish one page from another.

Duplicate Content

You know that movie Groundhog Day where every day is the same?  That’s how it feels to browse a site with tons of duplicate content.  Google’s not a fan either!  

Here’s an example: A painting company offers interior and exterior painting services. When designing the site they simply copied their interior painting page and replaced every instance of the word “interior” with “exterior.” These pages now share 95% of the exact same verbiage, which search engines like Google can read. 

Google loves unique content, and when pages are nearly identical, Google thinks of the website as lazy and uninteresting (which is definitely not a good thing). According to Zippia, there are about 6,000 content writers employed in the U.S.  With the increasing importance of quality content, we can expect this number of writers to increase.

   Be sure to make your pages stand out with their own verbiage, links, and images.

Duplicate content report

Free tools like Siteliner allow you to easily identify serious duplicate content offenders on your site.

Other Technical Aspects

  • Add alt tags on foreground images
  • Serve images in next-gen format
  • Avoid 301 redirect chains
  • Remove unused or outdated plugins
  • Set up your XML sitemap
  • Use only one H1 tag per page

Conclusion

By using resources like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, or another SEO tool, you can identify all of the problems listed above. An SEO expert will be able to prioritize these items to tackle the most important issues first and offer valuable insight into where you can improve. A complete SaaS SEO strategy does include an in-depth technical audit to accompany your keyword research, content creation, and link building.

The Amplifyed Approach

Amplifyed is the premiere SaaS SEO Agency that focuses specifically on B2B SEO. Our hyper-focused approach to search engine optimization allows us to maximize potential for your SaaS business. Our tried and true method revolves around the most impactful aspects of creating an SEO-friendly website; quality content with relevant keywords. During the content creation process we will also implement these above best practices related to SaaS technical SEO.