Pain-Point SEO: An update on my "micro-SaaS" SEO experiment

November 8, 2020

On the weekend of October 4th, I wrote a blog post talking about the importance of evergreen traffic that comes from SEO vs ephemeral boosts that come from Social Media Marketing. I had also promised to report results of the experiment after a month. So here we are.

What is Pain-Point SEO?

When I first started paying attention to SEO with the serious intent to learn how it works, I was initially overwhelmed.

Here is an industry that's nearly 20 years old and has experts who have been working in that industry for nearly that time. How could I possibly know or defeat them at their game?

But I knew there must be a way forward, because others are doing it too. Others like me who started out as an SEO noob and eventually became good enough to be dangerous.

I started making serious progress when I discovered the Grow & Convert blog, run by Devesh Khanal and Benji Hyam. I started reading their blog obsessively, trying to gather all that juicy information and dump it into my brain for processing and understanding.

The best post that I've found myself referencing and sharing with others since I first came across it in 2019.

Pain-Point SEO: How to Produce SEO Content That Drives Conversions

Treat Content like a Product

My understanding of content evolved when I was able to tie it to my thought process about product.

What is the purpose of content?

To serve a reader's intent and immediate requirement.

What makes great content?

One that answers the reader's questions thoroughly and gives them a path forward.

How does Google know what's great content?

Simple, readers spend more time reading great content, and bounce less often.

How does content drive your company goals?

By measuring the outcome you seek, say sign-ups, coming from or via that piece of content.

That's exactly how a product or app is built!

How I wrote Pain-Point Content on my blog

In the previous blog post, I had shared my intention to rank for the "micro saas" keyword. Well, I can't just rank for it.

Let's apply all the learnings:

  • Find out what people mean when they search for "micro saas" - This includes people who are trying to learn the meaning of the term, as well as come up with ideas to build an app.
  • Write content that answers people's questions - This part involves writing detailed guides to answer the question directly, or bringing information from many places under one roof. Both solve the user's problem.
  • Measure results - Monitor Google Search Console for impressions and CTR on "micro saas" and related keywords. Also look at Google Analytics to understand how traffic distribution amongst pages is changing.

Presenting my 1 month update

Last 3 months data
Last 30 days data

I plan to post updates at a regular cadence, maybe not every month but whenever there is significant progress.

The easiest way to gauge progress is to compare daily averages and their corresponding lifts.

Clicks

October 4: 30

November 8: 55

Lift: 83.33%

Impressions

October 4: 700

November 8: 850

Lift: 21.4%

What do these metrics mean?

My inference - I was ranking for relevant content before, but because my content wasn't tailored to answering the user's needs, I wasn't capturing as many clicks as I had the potential to capture. This is reflected by supporting metrics average CTR, average position, both of which have improved.

Impressions didn't grow as much, and I think it's because I have not expanded the set of keywords I was targeting. Therefore, impressions expansion would happen if I were to start writing a guide on separate parent keyword.

The most promising candidate "habit tracker" where the parent keyword has 60,500 searches/mo. Another experiment, for another time.

But for now, I'm just celebrating that I show up #2 on Google when anyone searches for the term micro SaaS. Check it out and tell me if you see the same results!

The path forward: Continue delivering value to the world

I have to admit, I did not give my micro-SaaS project as much time or attention that it deserves, especially considering how quickly it has been growing.

Every weekend, I was trying to write an original blog post AND contribute to the project. Which means one thing always got sacrificed, almost always the project.

Starting this weekend and for the next 1 month, I will be publishing new chapters in the Micro SaaS Ebook every weekend.

The purpose of the guide is to help someone

  • who is new to building a lifestyle SaaS business, or
  • who already knows enough and is trying to find and gauge ideas, or
  • who already has an app and now needs to figure out how to grow it into a profitable business

To that extend, I need your help.

Tell me which sections of the guide need to be written first (see under "Chapters that I plan to write in the future"). Or suggest chapters that I haven't yet mapped out, but are crucial to making my guide a one-stop destination for all things micro-SaaS.

You know where to find me.

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