Author note: This article was originally published on the CXL blog on 10th July 2019. It’s reproduced in part here. To read the full article, visit CXL.
Links to blog posts or long-form resources increase their search visibility and build awareness. They also help sites rank for bottom-of-funnel terms—a rising tide lifts all boats.
Given the potential benefits and challenges in SaaS, who’s doing it well? To find out, I ran a study to benchmark content marketing performance for 500 SaaS companies.
While my initial research covered many elements—and focused mostly on numbers—this article reveals the strategies that led to successful link building.
Data and methodology
My initial research found that, on average, the top-performing articles by major SaaS companies generated backlinks from just 9 referring domains.
In this post, I focus on a subset of that data—55 articles that significantly outperformed the rest of the field. These articles generated three times the average number of backlinks (at least 27 referring domains).
I also filtered posts to include only those that contributed at least 5% of the total links to the site for pages other than the homepage.
- This filtering helps control for site size—a post on NYTimes.com that earns 100 links isn’t noteworthy, whereas one on a personal blog that earns 20 may be exceptional.
- Excluding the homepage is a quick way to remove a major, non-content outlier that would otherwise skew the total link count.
By assessing the strategies behind those 55 articles, I’ve identified five shared features. If you’re creating content for your SaaS company, these are the themes and practical ideas to add to your content calendar.
5 ways that SaaS content earns links
- Become a point of reference.
- Share others’ research.
- Make the news—for better or worse.
- Go bigger or better.
- Choose high-volume topics—and be patient.
These are the five key strategies SaaS companies can use to earn links with their content. For in-depth explanation and analysis, plus real-life examples, check out the original version of this article.