Elevating SaaS Growth: 86% Increase in Customers from Organic Search

In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, the right SEO strategy can be a game-changer, especially for SaaS companies looking to scale up. This case study delves into how our innovative AI-driven SEO approach revolutionized a SaaS company's online presence and significantly boosted its revenue from inbound marketing. Building upon an already successful long-term SEO strategy, as detailed in our 2022 case study, we achieved remarkable milestones within 12 months:

Here's a snapshot of the key milestones we reached within 12 months:

  • 63 new paying customers acquired from organic search, an 86% increase
  • Organic search is the top inbound traffic source of new Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
  • Robust MRR growth: Saw an average rise of 12% in month-on-month recurring revenue from organic search
  • 4,118 new page one rankings in organic search, a 2,288% increase
  • 883 clicks from organic search per day, a 1,126% increase 
  • 26,402 new organic search keywords indexed, a 1,450% increase
  • 55,599 organic search impressions per day, a 1,378% increase
  • Approx. 260 AI-content pages published at a frequency of 5 per week

In the upcoming sections, we'll delve into the specific strategies that drove these outstanding results, showcasing the effectiveness of Rankmax AI SEO in propelling substantial growth for SaaS businesses, even on top of an already successful SEO foundation.

Let's dive in and explore how we built upon the previous year's success.

SaaS monthly recurring revenue growth over 12 months. Source: WooCommerce Subscriptions Report.

Maximizing MRR Growth with Organic Search: Leveraging AI SEO for Rankings and Revenue Growth

In our recent work with this SaaS client, we've seen firsthand how crucial organic search is for driving MRR growth. It's about more than just getting more traffic. Organic search has proven to be the top source for new MRR and gaining new subscribers.

In the past year, we have been monitoring the impact of organic search on revenue. The client acquired 63 new business customers from organic search, representing an 86% increase. Additionally, month-on-month recurring revenue from organic search has increased by an average of 12%. These results demonstrate that a well-executed AI SEO strategy can do more than attract visitors to your website. It can also help you obtain the traffic that results in sustained MRR growth.

Another critical point is the churn rate of 2.34% over the same period. This low rate is significant because it means the users we're getting from organic search are sticking around. They're not just visiting but finding value in the product and staying subscribed.

Furthermore, for this specific client, the customers acquired through SEO completed their subscription purchases directly after discovering the brand via organic search with zero interaction with any team members. This distinct pattern, a notable departure from typically resource-intensive outbound sales processes, enhanced the profitability of acquiring customers from SEO.

The reduced need for staff involvement in the conversion process not only streamlined operations but also underscored the efficiency and effectiveness of our tailored AI SEO strategy in acquiring new customers.

Early versus mid versus late-conversion touchpoints. Source: Google Analytics 4.

In the past year, as we delved deeper into the data, we uncovered how organic search isn't just leading the charge in new MRR and subscriber gains; it's also the largest inbound source of conversions.

Let's break it down:

  • Early touchpoint conversions, those initial interactions where users are just getting to know us, account for a solid 40% of all conversions. That's huge. It means our informational content, i.e., blogging efforts, is hooking them right from the get-go.
  • Then we've got the mid-touchpoint conversions, making up 13%. These savvy users are doing their homework and navigating through the funnel.
  • Late touchpoint conversions, where the real magic happens, make up a whopping 47%. This is where users are pulling out their wallets and making purchasing decisions.

Don't get me wrong, channels like direct and email are also chipping in, but they're mostly showing up in the late game.

Conversion paths by traffic channel. Source: Google Analytics 4.

Over 12 months, we tracked 3,374 conversions in GA4.

And guess what?

On average, it takes about 2.7 touchpoints with our brand's website before someone converts. That's a quick tango with our content before they're ready to commit.

Speaking of quick, the time to conversion is lightning-fast—an average of just 0.93 days. But even with this rapid conversion timeline, it's crucial to engage users across the whole spectrum of the marketing funnel.

We're serving up a full-course meal here: informational content for the early birds, navigational content for the explorers in the middle, and transactional content for those ready to take action at the end.

In essence, if you want your SEO strategy to be a conversion machine and not just a traffic generator, you've got to cater to the entire journey. It's about understanding and tapping into the different stages of user intent, ensuring your content strategy is as dynamic and multifaceted as the users themselves.

Example of a Rankmax AI content schedule for a client in the liability insurance niche.

Achieving Full-Funnel Conversions with Organic Search: A Strategic Guide to Content Planning and Silo Building

Meticulous planning and research for SEO content are essential to achieving successful conversions throughout the entire funnel with organic search. Specifically, this involves creating a consistent content publishing schedule that will eventually establish you as a topical authority in your niche. 

An example is the content schedule I prepared for a client in the liability insurance industry. This schedule is underpinned by over 2,300 manually selected organic search keywords clustered into targeted groups to avoid keyword cannibalization – a real risk when using AI to mass-produce hundreds of new pages.

Example of clustered keywords for a Rankmax AI client in the liability insurance niche.

Keyword clustering is a crucial first step in content production to prevent accidentally undermining your organic search rankings by over-relying on AI.

The content schedule prioritizes two key objectives:

  1. Maximizing the increase in organic search traffic. 
  2. Maintaining a balanced mix of early, mid, and late touchpoint pages. 

This means publishing early touchpoint informational blog posts directly related to late touchpoint conversion-focused landing pages.

There are many advantages of this approach:

  • It enables rapid organic search traffic growth by prioritizing keywords with the highest search volume within each cluster.
  • It attracts traffic across a diverse range of intent-driven keyword searches, enhancing the likelihood of conversions across the entire marketing funnel.
  • It facilitates the natural construction of content silos in real time, as illustrated in the accompanying infographic.

This strategy is about more than just generating traffic; it's about creating a structured, intent-focused content ecosystem that drives conversions at every customer journey stage.

Example of an SEO content silo.

The rocket fuel to gaining considerable amounts of relevant organic search traffic that converts is to continually publish well-optimized content silos until you have achieved complete topical coverage for your niche.

Here's my method for building content silos:

  1. Identify the primary keywords with strong conversion intent.
  2. Understand the best page type to target. If you are unsure, Google the keyword and open all of the top 10 ranked pages in organic search. From there, you should be able to judge what page type to use by judging the average of what the page one competitors are doing.
  3. Next, create the content for that conversion intent page using natural language processing (NLP).
  4. Once the conversion intent page is published, identify three to five informational primary keywords that are directly related to it. For example, for a conversion intent landing page targeting 'personal liability insurance,' supporting informational keywords could be 'what is personal liability insurance,' 'how much personal liability insurance do I need,' or 'personal liability vs. business liability insurance.'
  5. Write and publish these informational blog posts. AI SEO content creations such as Rankmax do this on autopilot.
  6. Internally link all of these informational blog posts together where it makes sense. Then internally link the blog posts to the conversion intent landing page. I do not internally link the landing page back to the blog post as I don't want to take the user away from the point of conversion.
October 22 - October 23 organic page one keyword ranking growth. Source: Ahrefs Site Explorer Overview.

Achieving 4,118 New Page One Rankings and Outranking High Authority Sites Without Link Building

This past year, our focus on a content-driven SEO strategy has yielded significant results in organic search rankings. We achieved 4,118 new page-one rankings, marking a 2,288% increase from our starting point.

Of these new page-one rankings, 768 were in the top three positions. This is particularly noteworthy as these are the most visible spots in search results, often receiving the highest click-through rates.

Due to budgeting constraints, we did not engage in backlink-building activities in 2023. The success in achieving these rankings, especially without the support of backlinking, highlights the strength and relevance of our content. It's a testament to the fact that a well-planned topical authority content strategy can be incredibly effective in improving search rankings.

Additionally, we outrank highly authoritative sites, including official government websites like Fairwork Australia and the Australian Tax Office, in specific search results. Achieving higher rankings than these established domains, especially without backlinking, further emphasizes the power of our AI content-focused approach

July - December 2023 top 10 organic search ranking position history for the keyword search 'business document template'. Source: Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.

Let's zoom into one of the main keywords for which we've consistently held organic search position #1 over the last six months: 'business document templates'.

Take note of the mega-authoritative sites that we are outranking: 

  • HubSpot - Domain rating 92
  • Canva - Domain rating 92
  • PandaDoc - Domain rating 81
  • smallbusiness.wa.gov.au - Domain rating 73

So how does our little website with a domain rating of only 17 manage to outrank these juggernauts? 

'Business document templates' AU keyword overview. Source: Semrush.

First, our page authority score (Page AS) is within the ballpark of other top 10 organic search competitors. Keep in mind that we did zero link-building in 2023. However, we did some link-building in 2022, contributing primarily to the 41 referring domains for that page.

Note that the total number of referring domains is less than one-third of the web page ranking in the number 2 position.

And it's not because the site in organic search position 2 has worse links than us. If anything, they have a larger quantity of decent-quality links.

So why do we outrank them?

Links get us to the pitching field.

Content, structure, and on-page optimization allow us to hit the ball out of the stadium.

Here is how the page ranked in position number one is structured:

Product category page layout wireframe.

The layout of our product category page isn't groundbreaking. You've likely seen many similar pages.

But in the realm of SEO witchcraft and wizardry, the devil always lies in the detail.

Let's break down the page components:

  • Strategic placement of product descriptions: Positioned long-form product category descriptions above the product card feed for optimal visibility.
  • Addressing common oversights: Noted that most product category pages omit descriptions, leaving search engines like Google without context.
  • Importance of content clarity: Emphasized that while humans can understand a page like 'Men's Red Shoes' from images, Google requires more explicit content cues.
  • Enhancing user experience (UX): Acknowledged the user's preference for not navigating through dense text to reach product listings. The extended product description is hidden within an accordion on load. And no, Google doesn't care if you hide text in an accordion as long as you are not doing it for pure keyword-stuffing spam tactics.
  • Optimizing for Google's Crawlers: The category description is placed directly under the page's H1 to ensure Google's crawler reads it first, thereby enhancing the page's SEO context and clarity.
  • Balancing SEO and user accessibility: The above page layout decisions help to make the crawler's job easier without compromising the user experience, enhancing the potential for better search rankings.

While it's not a guaranteed win, this tactic is something we've done differently from our top 10 search-ranking competitors. In our case, it's been a key factor in not just reaching but maintaining the number one position in organic search for a highly competitive keyword.

Organic search clicks per day increase over 12 months from Oct 31 2022 to Oct 31 2023. Source: Google Search Console.

From 72 to 883 Daily Clicks: Mastering Organic Search with Strategic Content and Smart Keyword Targeting

The past year has been nothing short of a monumental leap forward for this client in terms of organic search clicks and impressions. We've managed to skyrocket our daily organic search clicks from 72 to 883 over 12 months.

But that's not all. Our organic search impressions per day have soared from 3,788 to 55,599.

The secret sauce?

Our commitment is to publish at least five new pages every week optimized to answer the questions our target audience is searching for in Google. This consistent effort has significantly broadened our website's topical coverage, making it a more authoritative source in our niche. 

But here's the kicker: our increased reliance on Ahref's Content Gap Analysis tool changed the game for us this year. This tool became our compass in the vast sea of keywords, helping us identify those golden keywords that our top search competitors were ranking for but we weren't.

After identifying this valuable collection of keywords, we carefully analyzed and filtered them, removing any that did not align with our business values and target audience's interests.

It's not about chasing every keyword; it's about chasing the right keywords.

After carefully selecting, we went full steam ahead, crafting and publishing new content targeting these chosen keywords.

This approach wasn't just about filling gaps; it was about strategically positioning our content to capture the attention of our audience and search engines alike. It's a blend of art and science, intuition and analysis.

And the results?

They speak for themselves. The surge in clicks and impressions shows that the sky's the limit when you align your content strategy with intelligent, data-driven insights.

Increase of Dofollow referring domains from October 2022 to October 2023. Source: Ahrefs Domain Explorer.

Doubling Dofollow Referring Domains in 12 Months: The Power of Organic Growth and Topical Authority

In the next phase of our SEO journey, we witnessed solid growth in dofollow referring domains, a key metric in the SEO landscape. Over 12 months, our dofollow referring domains climbed from 120 to 284.

This growth was achieved without any dedicated time or financial investment in link building, which is particularly noteworthy.

Here's the intriguing part: all of these new referring domains came about organically.

The primary driver?

Our topical authority content, which we've been consistently publishing since the start of 2022.

Our content resonated so well within our niche that other business blogs began referencing it. This natural accumulation of backlinks is a testament to the quality and relevance of the content we've been producing.

This brings me to a crucial point about our SEO strategy. Our organic search results improved primarily due to focusing on topical authority content for SEO rather than traditional link-building tactics. This underscores the power of a well-executed topical authority strategy.

Google Lighthouse Core Web Vitals report.

Optimizing for Success: Balancing Technical SEO and Core Web Vitals for a Content-Rich Website

In addition to our content strategy, we prioritized maintaining the website's technical health and performance, which is often overlooked in the rush to publish content. Regular technical audits became a staple of our strategy, especially given the high volume of content we were churning out.

It's a simple truth: the more content you publish, the more potential technical SEO errors you open the door to. Staying vigilant in this area ensured our site remained in top shape.

In addition to these technical audits, we leveraged Semrush's Backlink Audit tool to monitor our backlink profile.

In the world of SEO, not all backlinks are created equal. While Google often disregards links from toxic domains, maintaining good hygiene in our backlink profile was essential.

Our content publication pace resulted in increased visibility to web scrapers, which led to our content being referenced on low-quality, 'toxic' domains. However, this increased visibility also had its perks, attracting high-quality websites that legitimately cited and linked to our content.

A critical component of our UX focus was ensuring the site continued to meet Google's Core Web Vitals criteria. As we introduced more complex features in 2023, balancing site performance with these new functionalities became a challenging yet necessary endeavor.

It's about distinguishing between feature-rich experiences and optimal site performance. While perfect performance scores are ideal, they're only sometimes practical. We aimed to find the sweet spot that best served our audience's needs.

Despite these challenges, our performance scores consistently outpaced most organic search competitors. This edge in site performance undoubtedly contributed to our increased organic search traffic and improved rankings.

It's a clear reminder that in the digital world, user experience is not just a nice-to-have; it's a critical component of a successful SEO strategy.

Conclusion: Harnessing the Power of AI SEO for Unprecedented Growth

In wrapping up this case study, it's clear that our AI-driven SEO strategy has led to remarkable achievements for our SaaS client. Here's a quick recap of the key stats and milestones we hit between October 2022 and October 2023:

  • Top source of MRR: Organic search emerged as the primary driver of new Monthly Recurring Revenue.
  • Page one rankings: Achieved 4,118 new page one rankings in organic search, a staggering 2,288% increase.
  • Clicks per day: Skyrocketed daily organic search clicks from 72 to 883, marking a 1,126% increase.
  • Keyword indexing: Grew new organic search keywords indexed to 26,402, a 1,450% increase.
  • Daily impressions: Boosted organic search impressions per day to 55,599, a 1,378% increase.
  • Conversion touchpoints: Successfully engaged users across early, mid, and late stages of the marketing funnel.
  • Referring domains: Dofollow referring domains grew organically from 120 to 284 without dedicated backlink building.
  • Technical SEO and UX: Maintained strong technical SEO health and met Google's Core Web Vitals criteria despite increased site complexity.

These results highlight the effectiveness of our AI SEO strategy and underscore the importance of a comprehensive approach that encompasses content quality, user experience, and technical optimization. By focusing on these key areas, we've increased traffic and enhanced the website's overall performance and authority, leading to sustained growth in customers and revenue.

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