SEO for SAAS Companies – More Sales and Signups on Autopilot

By | August 17, 2019

– [Brendan] Hey everybody,
welcome back to 100 days of SEO. This is our very
first Workshop Wednesday so I’m extremely,
extremely excited. If you are new here,
my name is Brendan Hufford. I’m the founder of
SEO for the Rest of Us and also 100 Days of SEO. I’m also the
SEO Director at Clique Studios, an amazing
agency here in Chicago. I’m also a former teacher,
I’m leveraging everything I know about
teaching to just bring you the best SEO content possible. Help you understand
and demystify SEO. Today, we are going to do a
Workshop Wednesday breakdown of I’m gonna leave it
kind of free flowing here. You’re gonna see me
jump back and forth between other tabs and the slide deck. The goal is not to be a
lecture or presentation. But I want you to see
how I think about all this and if I were to really
workshop MastermindJam. Which I love this logo as well. It’s like an elephant
but it’s also the MMJ, it’s cool, I don’t know. But if I were to
really workshop this. If MastermindJam
was a client of mine or if worked for
or with MastermindJam, what would I do,
where would I start? Obviously this is
brought to you by Ahrefs. They’re a sponsor
of 100 Days of SEO and they’re also
the tool that I use. So I’ll be using
Ahrefs throughout all of this. While I do think you
can do a lot of these things without Ahrefs, which I’ll
actually show you how to do. We will be using it
quite a bit so you’ll have those insights as well. I think if you are
a new SaaS company, so a little bit of background on MastermindJam
here in a second. But if you’re a SaaS
company like MastermindJam, I would highly
recommend checking out Ahrefs. Their trial is
$7 for seven days. You can get a lot out of
that and then I guarantee you’ll wanna sign up. And I don’t just say that
again because they’re a sponsor but simply because it’s
what I use in my client work and in my own work. So the first thing
I wanna do is take a look at MastermindJam They are an online
mastermind group platform. They have a really
incredibly backend. They have a really incredible
kind of, by when I say backend I mean ways
for mastermind groups to interact beyond just Skype
or whatever else or even in person, ways to take notes,
I don’t know it’s really cool. I won’t belabor it but what they’re doing
is really interesting. The founder Ken Wallace
is just fully transparent, a good friend of mine. So I’m excited to
really dive in on this. I’ll probably not tell
him anything he doesn’t know but I think
it’ll be pretty cool. So let’s take a
look at MastermindJam. So right now if I go to the
home page, I can see they have a blog, they have an about. I can kind of apply when it reopens
and things like that. I have some guides
here at the bottom. Great, scroll
back up, blog, about. Just kind of
looking at their about page. And obviously this is a site
that I’ve been on before. Does a lot of things
right which is fantastic. There’s Ken and just
kind of looking back through, a lot of things are
right with this website. But the first thing I wanna do
is kind of look at their SEO so I hop over here into Ahrefs. I’m looking at
all right cool they ranked for 75 key words,
referring domains. The first thing I like
to do is check out just where they’re at,
like what’s been going on? Kind of looking at
here some ups and downs but what I’m really concerned
about is the page one key word. So, really not
a lot of rankings. And they fluctuate quite a bit. So two years ago there was
15 total page one key words. And then it was
none in the top three and kind of back and forth. Really doesn’t seem
to be anything consistent, it’s up and down. This shows me that
there hasn’t been a really dedicated effort in terms of
SEO, which is totally fine. You can see competitors here. Mastermind Hunt,, eCountability, The Success Alliance, that’s
one that we’ll be looking at. Kickass Masterminds is another
one that we’ll be looking at. Cool, so this
kind of makes sense I also love the
Ahref’s top pages cause here’s what I can see. We focus a lot in SEO or
people like to focus a lot on keywords,
I think that’s a mistake. We wanna focus on topics. So I can see some
blog articles here. Really good blog articles
are gonna rank for thousands of keywords so I don’t just
wanna look at this top keyword. I also wanna look at all
of these keywords in here. And it looks like right
now Google thinks this is his question to screen
mastermind group members. Google thinks this is a
page about Facebook group screening
questions and examples. Which isn’t really
the focus of the article. And then questions when
joining the mastermind group. You can see we’re on
page 10 for these things so it’s pretty much irrelevant. The homepage though does rank
for some significant things. It looks like it kind
of dances on the first and second page
for mastermind group which is pretty significant. On the first page
for business mastermind. Then the first page for
mastermind groups near me which is weird because
it’s an online platform. But business mastermind group,
they do fairly well. And I think that that
does bring some organic traffic and does convert
into more applications and then people joining. Let’s take a look
at the competitors. So when I hop over here,
I look at Vistage in Ahrefs. Way more key words,
way bigger website. DR 75 out of 100. Way more significant, you
can see even here the sheer number of keywords
and volume for what they’re ranking for is significant. It’s going to be extremely
difficult to outrank Vistage if we were to
compete head to head. Looking at the top pages,
we can see a lot of this is about, you know,
CEO executive coaching, things like that.
So I’m not super concerned, I understand
how they’re related. Over here
Entrepreneurs Organization. Again, extremely authoritative
website, tons of keywords. You know almost
4,000 referring domains. Or three and a half
thousand referring domains. Continued success,
it looks like they got hurt a little bit by the update
on some secondary keywords but overall just
pretty steady success. Much bigger, much
more popular website in terms of search
than MastermindJam. Looking in here for a
little bit of overlap, I don’t see a
lot about mastermind. One of the things I love
about this, about Ahrefs is I can type in
keywords here and just kind of filter down by that and see. So it doesn’t look like
anything super significant. If I go to organic keywords,
I wanna look for all of them. I’ll type in mastermind
again and I just wanna see if there’s any overlap. So mastermind networking group,
things like that. But we’re in pages
eight through 10 and 11 here so not super, I don’t
feel like there’s a ton of overlap with the
core of MastermindJam. So next we’ll take a
look at Success Alliance. Alright, we’re kind of getting a little bit more in
the realm so DR of 38. A little bit more in the realm
of where MastermindJam is. Alright cool, ups
and downs telling me that they might not be
pursuing SEO really actively. Just ’cause things keep
falling off here and there. Again like the major
update in August, September probably hurt them,
they dropped off quite a bit, that happens. Taking a look at their keywords. I wanna take a look at what is gonna overlap
with MastermindJam? So just simply
putting Mastermind in there, we can see that
they’re on the first page, they’re number four. And this is not their
home page that’s ranking. This is a specific page,
“What is a mastermind group?” Ranks for all of these. And we’ll see when
we hop into top pages, this will be reflected
but they’re on the first page for mastermind, they’re on the
first page for mastermind group so this is a really
strong piece of content. And what I’m curious about here with this what is a mastermind? Looks like Ahrefs only has seven links to
that blog article. So what this
tells me is that if over here if MastermindJam were to have a similar DR,
similar authority. They’re at 20, this website,
Success Alliance, is a 38. And then only
seven referring domains. We would be playing
in this realm as well. Being really successful, really ranking
highly for mastermind. So it gives me a
lot of opportunity. And then finally looking over
here at Kickass Masterminds. Actually below
where MastermindJam is but you can see they
kind of have a steady rise of referring domains. When I hop over
here into organic search steady rise of
keywords and things. Let’s hop over here and just
take a look at their top pages really quick before we
jump back into the slides. So just looking here,
no referring domains on a lot of their pages,
not a lot of their content. Doesn’t look like they’re
really doing a lot with SEO if I were to just
judge by the URLs. It doesn’t look like
they’re really paying a lot of attention to it. So hopping back over here,
you know when we look at ranking factors,
if I were to advise MastermindJam
on some things. You know the
ranking factors if I were to break it down
into four quadrants. It’s really your website. Google wants a
website that is aged and super
popular and super fast. And then it’s your content
and then it’s your authority which is primarily links and
then there’s everything else that I’m sure I’ll get
some hate in the comments at some point for 100 Days of
SEO that I’ve said something that people disagree about because we as SEO’s and you
know this is in any industry, love to bicker with
each other on Twitter. This is a framework that
I kind of laid out in the SEO for the rest
of this course. But I wanted to kind
of share publicly too. This is the “I AM”
SEO framework. So when I’m thinking about SEO,
what am I doing? I’m looking at their intent. I’m looking at the
asset that I’m gonna create. I’m gonna look at the medium
of where I’m gonna create it. And then once I’ve done,
once I’ve got the “I AM” SEO framework, then
I’m gonna look at how to make it more relevant. Hint, that means links. So let’s talk about for
MastermindJam, how do they win? What do they need to do? The first thing
is they really need to start looking
at is search intent. When people are
Googling for these phrases, what do they really want? Right? Yes, mastermind
but what is mastermind? Mastermind here is nothing.
If I were to rank number one for mastermind, this is a game. This is a
Twitter account for it. Wikipedia says
it’s a board game. Ranking number one for
mastermind is not what I want. What I really want to
start ranking number one for is mastermind group
or business mastermind which they already
do really well for. But mastermind group,
all of a sudden I see the intent changes. Right? I can see Vistage is
able to run ads against this ’cause they’re really big
executive coaching network. Wikipedia and all of a
sudden I see people also ask, this gives me a good
idea to inform content. How do you
structure mastermind group? How much does a
mastermind group cost? I know this is something that
MastermindJam really pushes back against because
although they charge, you’re paying for the platform. A lot of people label group
coaching as mastermind groups, that’s false and that’s
something that just goes on. But that’s something,
you could rank for how much does a mastermind group cost? And then MastermindJam could
put that flag in the ground of simply the gathering of
people doesn’t cost anything and shouldn’t cost anything. What you’re paying for when
you pay for a ClickFunnels mastermind with
Russell Brunson, which I’m sure is extremely valuable,
I love Russell. But what you’re really paying
for there is group coaching, it’s not really
a mastermind group. Mastermind groups meet for the
mutual benefit of each other. But they could rank for
this and then turn it, right? I know my friend Matt Giovanisci
has a pool care website that does really,
really well in a search called Swim University
and he has articles about chemicals that
he doesn’t advise you use. But the articles are
the truth about that. Right? It’d be very easy for
MastermindJam to create a piece of content
around the truth about how much should a mastermind cost? And things like that, right? How often do
mastermind groups meet? What is mastermind training? All of these things
give us ideas and we can see kind of in here that
really people are just looking to meet with mastermind group. They wanna be educated,
they wanna how to create and run it, how
to start and run it. We can see this again. What is a mastermind
group definition tutorial, seven reasons to join,
things like that. They even see
some videos ranking. So Google really isn’t sure if
you want to watch something, do you wanna read something? They’re pretty
sure you want to read. And they’re pretty sure you
just wanna go to Wikipedia. Now here’s where we
start to get into a little bit of the secret sauce. Really what you need to
do for SEO is start looking at levels of awareness. So at the top level,
people are problem aware. And there’s a lot
of words on this slide so I’m not gonna
read them all to you. But being problem aware,
these are people they know their problems and
if you want to help them, you have to show
that you get their pain. So really MastermindJam and
Ken have to reverse engineer why do people
join mastermind groups? What is the issue there
they’re trying to deal with? And one of them I know
personally is that they want to overcome a
plateau in their business. They’ve gotten to
a level of success, they’ve heard
about mastermind groups. But maybe they haven’t heard
about mastermind groups yet. They just need to
grow their business, they don’t know what to do. So five ways you can overcome a plateau in
your business, great. Now let’s take
them a level deeper. Now they’re solution aware. They’re aware of solutions
like MastermindJam exist but I have to show them
how your solution works. So if I have an article
about mastermind groups help these five founders
10X their businesses and I feature five
founders from MastermindJam who have grown their business. Obviously these numbers
are arbitrary and made up but I start to feature
success stories of members. Then when they’re
product aware, great. Let’s write an article, case
study MastermindJam feedback results in 50% growth
year over year or something like that. You know now they’re
aware how MastermindJam is gonna solve their pain. Now MastermindJam has to prove
that they’re the best option. That they’re a better
option than Kickass Masterminds or Success Alliance
or Vistage or whatever. We have to prove that
we are the best option. And then finally once they
know that the solution’s best for them, you just
have to know the deal. Like that’s where we
get into the application. That’s a piece of content
that we push people to. So in a product aware article,
so in this case study article, the call
to action is we’ll apply now. In the solution aware article,
we wanna push them to a product aware article. Not necessarily to apply
now and certainly five ways you can overcome a
plateau in your business. I don’t want them to apply,
that’s not where they’re at. So these map to
different results in search but they also, you
need to think about it. You’re building a
content kind of business funnel. And this is something
you’re gonna hear me talk about again here in a second
is the business side of things. We have to map SEO
content to things that actually do stuff for your business. I wanna run really
quickly how would Ken do this. How would Ken
figure these things out? Obviously, Ken at
MastermindJam has a pretty intimate knowledge of
this but you know really, how could you
take it a step further? By doing topical research,
I love my palm tree, tropical. It’s topical, whatever, you
know Napoleon don’t be jealous I’ve been doing topical
research online all day, right? SEO jokes, they’re so bad. (laughs) So looking on Quora
obviously is gonna give you some really good copywriting. Some really good
things that you could use. This is something I just
pulled here a second ago. What is a mastermind? Are there online
mastermind groups? All of a sudden you get these
really good genuine pieces of phrasing and
copy from other people. You know I know that
AnswerThePublic gets a lot of hate and a
lot of weird feedback but it can be
helpful for generating ideas. You can see on here
things that are helpful. How mastermind groups work,
why mastermind groups work, what are mastermind groups? Here’s what I thinks
freaking fascinating is this joker’s almost empty. This is the main
result that they give you and it should be
chock full to the brim. And there’s just not a ton of search volume
around mastermind groups. But this is something
that MastermindJam should, if they wanna be successful
long-term really has to own. They have to,
they have to be the go to resource
for mastermind groups. It’ll give them the natural
links as people write about it, they’ll link back to them. It’ll also get Ken
more interviews on podcasts as people wanna learn
more about mastermind groups. They have to own
this stuff in search. It is not generic,
it is very specific. One thing that I thought was
cool that AnswerThePublic did bring up is
that people are looking for mastermind groups in
every city around the country. And although MastermindJam
is an online platform, I do think there could
be a play here for them to have some sort of
information on their website as far as mastermind
groups in these cities. Like, if they could rank number
one for mastermind groups in Atlanta and
befriend a few of them. It might be easy to
just say hey you guys have a mastermind group in Atlanta,
here’s a list of 10 of them that are meeting regularly. Hey do you all just
want to use the platform? It might make it easier for you. And things like that, and then
they naturally are starting to bring in that traffic well
people are oh I’m looking for mastermind
groups in Atlanta, none of these seem like a fit. Oh shoot, why don’t
I just use MastermindJam? So people who are
actively looking in their city, they want a
mastermind group that’s local, maybe they don’t know
that they can have something. Maybe they don’t
know a solution like MastermindJam exists. So this is more problem aware. I know that I want a
mastermind group, maybe I need, and I would even
argue solution aware. Maybe I don’t know that
I need to find one online. Other places to look
that are really cool. I’ve got a couple
cool items on here that are really helpful. I love the three stars,
the last one on here. The three star Amazon reviews. I was just looking
through Mastermind Journal, they have no reviews,
this is unhelpful. The Mastermind
Group Blueprint had one that was really helpful. Said this is just general
information, said just let members talk about the business. It says right here if
you’re completely clueless and never
touched a business book. Now you’re trying to
create a paid mastermind at which people pay you,
this might be okay to send you off
in the right direction, otherwise it is
a waste of time. I was looking
for how to structure a mastermind group, boom. This person was so pissed
that they bought this book and it did not tell them how
to structure a mastermind group that they left
a one star review. That really matters,
so it tells us structuring a mastermind group is something
people really want to learn. There may not be a
ton of volume around it but it is something
people are passionate about. And last is Mastermind Dinners. Clearly I own this
book so it’s pretty cool. It’s not a bad book
but I do agree with this. There was more talk
about what the author does than actually showing
how to do the dinners. Again, people
want to know how to do and this is not
necessarily mastermind is kind of used oddly here. But they wanna
know how to do it. They want to know how to do it. We’re looking for and then
when we’re checking things out, we’re kind of looking for
these painful emotions right? I’m not gonna read the
list to you but we want to try to pull these out because this
tells us really good content. This is something I learned
from Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman as a part of the, oh geez I
forget the name of the program. It’s part of the
30 by 500 program. But even more specifically
it’s apart of Sales Safari. So really looking for those,
doing that pain deep dive. Looking at these things, you
know I could click on these and see hey is this something, has Monica Morgan
left other reviews? Has Moritz let other reviews? Is this the only
time they were so pissed that they left a one
star review if they’ve never reviewed a book
on Amazon before? This can be extremely helpful. This is also really good,
the pain deep dive. Also pairs extremely
well with looking on Quora and looking at
responses in there. Now, here’s what I think will be extremely, extremely helpful. So when I look at MastermindJam
and I look at the blog, there’s good content.
There is, this is good content. Mastermind groups
are your secret weapon. What is a mastermind group? Great, peer driven
business mastermind groups. That really is like hey
here’s what MastermindJam is. It’s a little bit
different than a guru-led business mastermind group. Which format is right for me? Helping people and then look,
it’s gonna put. Brilliant job Ken, you’re
pushing them to the next level of awareness or at
least through this content. And then 11 proven
questions to ask before joining a mastermind group. So what is your definition? Just really making sure
people are getting in the mastermind groups for the right
reasons, things like that. There’s a kind of cheat sheet
here that they can unlock. Which is awesome,
next steps they’re gonna go into
part three, got it. Which I already have
open here in a new tab. But avoiding
the common mistakes. So now we’re talking
about screening new members. Or screening people
for a new mastermind group. Here’s some great
questions to ask them. I get to the bottom, another, you know,
I get the cheat sheet, join a mastermind group. I can’t even
click this link here. And I’m not trying to
criticize this actual blog post but here’s the thing. I just want you to ponder this. What if we did what Ahrefs did? Now this is a
SaaS company, right? MastermindJam is a SaaS company. Now if you’re
listening on the podcast, this is gonna be a
little bit arbitrary but do you see MastermindJam
anywhere in this article? Any of these three articles, do you see a single
screenshot of MastermindJam? No, I don’t see anything. Now, I was just talking to
literally a couple minutes ago. I was talking to Tim Soulo, who’s the Head of
Marketing at Ahrefs. And the analogy he and I
landed on was your content, if you’re a SaaS company, your content should
be your demo. And the reason Ahrefs
and this doesn’t necessarily work for everybody but Ahrefs
never interrupts their demo. They don’t
interrupt their content. You are here, I can open, here’s
let’s be totally arbitrary. Let’s open the
top three in new tabs. And let’s see how well
they demo their product. So this is a beginners
guide to small business SEO. So I already see the first image is literally of their product. I’m going through
before we get started, cool, it’s teaching you about search
console, things like that. Logical website
structures with some examples, that’s really helpful. Boom and as I keep going down,
now I get into their site audit tools, some
pro tips of using their tool. It’s really like
hey here’s how you do it and here’s how our
tool makes this super easy. I don’t see any of that
in the MastermindJam content. There’s no here’s
what to do, here’s how our tool makes it easy. Right, when I look at
the next article for Ahrefs. What do you
think I’m gonna find? As I scroll down I’m sure at
some point I’m gonna get into like hey here’s how
to do all this stuff. Here’s some really
interesting things. But this comes from Ahrefs. Those are screenshots of Ahrefs. Oh look, here we are again. Here’s how to do,
sure can I do this? Can I find super fans? Can I do broken pages? Can I do that without Ahrefs? Sure, there’s other ways to
do it but this is super easy because I can see it right here. I absolutely love it. And then the
last one here again, I just have to bring this home. That this is literally
a data driven guide and it’s really long
form but as I go through, they use their own
tool to look at anchor text and do this big study on all
this different anchor text. So again it’s
showing if you want to know about these things, Ahrefs is the tool to use. And I think this is the
slam dunk for MastermindJam. Is just start treating
your content like a demo. Look through the keywords and
do a little bit of keyword and topical research
like we talked about here. Use Ahrefs, not
pulling punches, use Ahrefs. Do some keyword research,
look at the keywords that Kickass Masterminds has
and online mastermind group cool, let’s look
at this content. Let’s maybe consider how
we can make better content, have a better take and more
voice and things like that. Awesome, DIY matching,
important matching factors, your homies, look at this,
they’re not showing you their thing either
like what even is this? No, no, do not ever show me
notifications, eww, stop it. Sorry, personal preference of
how the Internet should work. My point is here,
really MastermindJam would see a lot more benefit
out of their content. And let’s be honest,
we could definitely. (coughs) Let’s be honest,
we could definitely afford to build some links. Let’s get some
deep links in this piece and let’s get som links
pointing at this content and let’s get it
ranking for some stuff. And then when we’re in here,
let’s really convert by making sure that
these are mapped to a level of awareness and that
they then push people either into a deeper level of awareness
or are ready to convert because we’ve
shown them MastermindJam. I can not see MastermindJam
in any of these articles. And all of a sudden
I’m like I don’t know, I’m supposed to apply
for a thing I’ve never seen. These content,
I believe, would be a lot stronger if they were demos. So I hope this has
been extremely helpful. I hope that these
Workshop Wednesdays are great. I’m gonna continue doing
these every single Wednesday for the next five months. So I hope they’re helpful. Do me a favor,
leave a comment below. If you’re watchmaking YouTube,
leave a comment below. What type of business
do you want to see more of in Workshop Wednesday? Do you wanna see
more SaaS businesses? Do you wanna see
service businesses like copywriters
and photographers? You know,
affiliate websites, what type of website do you wanna
see me do more workshops on? Leave a comment below. And if you’re listening
on the podcast, love you. Just tweet me that,
@brendanhufford on Twitter or @thebrendanhufford on
Instagram, whichever you prefer. Let me know what
you do want to see more of on Workshop Wednesday? I’ve been Brendan Hufford. Don’t get forget to work hard,
be nice to people and don’t get too lost trying to
create something that matters.

10 thoughts on “SEO for SAAS Companies – More Sales and Signups on Autopilot

  1. Jason Resnick Post author

    Such a valuable piece of research tip! Amazon reviews – that's pretty slick/ninja/whatever term kids these days are using.

    Also 💯 with you on [24:13]

  2. Ken Wallace Post author

    This was 🔥

    So many great suggestions, Brendan!

    Thanks for going deep on MastermindJam to give me such actionable feedback.

    I wrote those blog posts literally ~years~ before I had built the platform, and in general, those posts could stand a re-write.

    So… Yes, you’re absolutely correct, now that I have a platform to show, I should be showing it in the content.

    Questions for you:

    1/ As I set about revising all this content, do I just update these posts, or, leave them alone and create new, updated versions?

    2/ Should I consolidate that three part series into one massive piece of pillar content (with one beefier lead magnet)?

    3/ In general, my homepage used to have WAY more information and sales copy on it, but I took it all down when I went to a closed cart model with periodic launches. Was this reduction of homepage content an SEO mistake? There used to be testimonials, features, quotes and a demo video and such, but now just a signup link. That may be the cause of one of the recent dips shown on the AHREFS charts.

    Thanks again!

  3. Brendan Cox Post author

    Great to just watch you work through your audit/process steps. So much value in just seeing how you do things.

  4. Brendan Hufford Post author

    Are you a SAAS founder? What topic do you want to see me cover in the #100daysofSEO project? Also, what SEO tactics have you tried that haven't worked? Reply to this comment and let me know.

  5. Hammal Albulushi Post author

    Workshops on e-commerce sites mainly how to handle there content creation and seo

  6. Mark Peters Post author

    Hi Brendan. Thanks for the breakdown. Very helpful. It would be nice to get a copy of the slides. If possible.

  7. Mark Peters Post author

    Also more on service based businesses, like plumbers, electricians, etc

  8. anusha k Post author

    Global Software As a Service market is valued at $116.39 billion in 2018 and estimated to reach a value of $170.36 billion in 2024 at CAGR of 27.90%.

    Request a sample report @

  9. tarun ramesh Post author

    Hey Brendan, just wanted to ask you, how do you build links to that type of blog post content that you said mastermindjam should be building links to. It just seems to random, why would anyone link to it?


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