This interesting case study was contributed by Aleksey Chepalov from Chanty.
The Internet is flooded with success stories of SaaS startup founders. In fact, most of them tell us about how the entrepreneur has turned a small business into the multimillion-dollar SaaS company. These articles or interviews are very exciting to read and find inspiration, but they often lack actionable tricks you can use.
At Chanty, we know how difficult it is to start from scratch. Our team has done a great job to achieve tangible results without anyone to help us. However, we are ready to give away our easy-to-follow advice on how to attract customers. And I believe it is a surefire way to success.
Back to basics
At one of the rainy November mornings, we gathered around a table in the meeting room to discuss our marketing strategy.
“Website traffic is only half the battle. Customers are what we really need.”
Obviously, we had to test the waters before diving into one particular marketing channel, but we didn’t have much budget for that. Finally, after analyzing our competitors and trying out a few marketing channels, we’ve chosen to follow the latest trends and rely on SEO and content marketing. The only thing we kept in mind – everything should be done right.
We kept asking ourselves the following questions:
- “How do people find out about Chanty?”
- “Will they be looking for a business messenger or a collaboration tool?”
- “How to find the best keywords for our SaaS product?”
Seek and find
Google Top ranking is one of the key success factors for SaaS startup. Although its exact recipe is still a mystery, keywords matter, and we couldn’t ignore this fact.
Searching for low-competition keywords with a high search volume is quite a challenge. To simplify this process, we’ve used Google Keyword Planner to see the comprehensive list of related keyword suggestions. As it was very important to prioritize them correctly, we’ve rejected word combinations without clear user intent and filtered out those that had less than 100 average monthly searches. Among the obtained results there was one keyword that drew our attention – ‘Slack alternatives’.
Google Keyword Planner data on keywords’ search volume
Measure thrice and cut once
It was quite unexpected to see the name of our biggest competitor Slack on the list of popular queries. Needless to say, a user searching for a Slack alternative is our potential customer.
We didn’t know whether it was appropriate to use the keyword with the name of our rival. First off, it was necessary to check it out. We’ve checked a few SaaS websites and it turned out having ‘alternative pages’ for top competitors’ keywords is quite common. Could we miss a strategy that would funnel prospective clients directly to us? No way!
Other SaaS product implementing ‘alternatives’ strategy
However, if you want to get to the top of search results, having keywords with high intent and search volume isn’t enough. Another thing you have to check is keyword difficulty. It gives you an idea of how hard it is to hit Google first page for a particular keyword. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush can help you with this task.
We’ve jumped to SEMrush and the results we’ve found have met our expectations – ‘Slack alternatives’ keyword matched all of our requirements:
- The keyword difficulty was reasonable
- The search volume was attractive
- The user intent was more than promising
We were given the green light.
Once you are on track with the keywords, it’s time to speak about the landing page where you will bring your visitors to.
Produce, engage, convert
Our main goal was to create high-quality content.
It is always interesting to read a vivid story rather than a boring long piece of information. Personal experience articles interact directly with readers and therefore encourage them to read the text from beginning to end. Inspirational bloggers use storytelling, and so did we.
We’ve selected four top tools alternative to Slack. Then we’ve been using them for a month and compared each app with our biggest rival. Finally, we were ready to give a comprehensive feedback. We’ve added images, videos, and screenshots to our article in order to create a more friendly atmosphere.
It’s not a secret that Google prefers long-form content. We’ve chosen the optimal number of words for the text (about 1000-2000). Although the article is long, it’s easy to read at the same time, because we are using simple words along with short sentences. Catchy headings, small paragraphs, quotes, and voting graphs have also improved the article’s scannability and engagement.
Describing the work done by the team we didn’t neglect to follow the basic SEO tips. Site speed, meta description, title tags, image alt – all these attributes play their role in bringing your blog article to the top.
Not only we had to educate our customers, but also convert browsers into buyers. Here’s why we’ve put several signup forms within the article.
“Don’t miss an update” form encourages visitors to follow our blog while “Sign up and join Chanty beta” invites readers to give Chanty a try.
We’ve also opened comments at the bottom of the page in case somebody wants to share views or clarify something.
Additionally, our team focused on different link building strategies, including guest blogging, to rank the article higher in search engines. Several informative guest articles referring to our blog post helped us get to the first page of Google.
The final outcome
We’ve placed a bet on ‘alternative’ keyword strategy and we didn’t regret it. The effort we’ve spent writing an article turned out to be well worth it as our Slack alternative post has climbed to the top of Google search results. But the most important thing was that it started converting at almost 10%. Flawless victory!
Google analytics data
Let’s sum up what has been said
There are always prospective customers among people looking for product or service alternatives. If you want to promote your SaaS and attract clients, you can rely on SEO and content marketing for sure. Our results prove this statement.
Are you afraid to lose your time and make a bad shot? Want to get the most out of your rival’s popularity?
Follow the advice based on our team’s experience:
- Pay attention to top competitors’ keywords (‘alternatives’, ‘vs’).
- Check user intent, search volume and difficulty of chosen word combinations.
- Concentrate on delivering first-rate content related to these keywords.
- Share your personal experience.
- Avoid writing in lengthy, wordy and difficult to understand sentences or long paragraphs.
- Stick to the basic SEO principles.
- Put attractive images, videos, sketches, diagrams inside your article to engage with the readers.
- Don’t forget about signup forms.
- Attract backlinks to your article. You can find some actionable backlink strategies at Neil Patel’s blog.
Our team hopes you will try our tricks and achieve even better results. What are your tips and tricks in content marketing? Did we forget to mention a trick that worked well for you? Feel free to ask questions and share your thoughts below!
Aleksey is a part of the marketing team at Chanty — a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Aleksey is keen on such topics as marketing, SaaS challenges, and personal growth.