We acquired the business back in June 2019 for under $45K.
The business included two websites. One was a website with organic search traffic and the other was a SaaS product that made money from subscriptions.
After working to improve the site, we were able to significantly boost revenue, with monthly revenue reaching up to $6K in recent months.
We have continued to manage and run this site and SaaS product since acquisition. And it now has a current value of $190K.
In this case study, we will take you through all the ways we grew the site to this level.
Growth Potential and Risks
A Young Business
The business was relatively new and therefore it did not have a solid history of numbers and it lacked authority in the industry.
Technical issues with the SaaS Product
The SaaS part was not programmed well which meant that there were many bugs and issues to resolve initially.
These issues meant the site had significant potential to grow traffic, subscribers and revenue. We were able to get a good deal by negotiating a low amount for the site, and then later have our team work on fixing the different issues and manage the support.
The business had quite poor SEO when we bought it, which is part of what made it such a good opportunity. Since the site automatically generates content based on code, there were many onsite SEO issues. Below are the ones that were the most important to fix.
- Lack of internal links
- Bad meta titles
- Bad heading structure
- Keyword cannibalism
What We Did to Grow the Site?
We initially wanted to fix issues with the actual product and with the site’s usability. We also focused on several other areas to improve and optimize the site.
Fix Errors and Restructure the Product
We also had to write most of the code base and fix multiple errors and technical issues.
Restructuring a Saas product involves a lot of technical skills.
Therefore, we chose to work with an agency to:
- Help rebuild the faulty software
- Restructure the SaaS product
- Fix the bugs
- Add more features
Links are still the most important SEO ranking factor. When we acquired the site it lacked backlinks from high authority sites. Most of the existing links were auto-generated, directory style sites that provided no SEO value. We started link building for the site right away and aimed to build around 5 high quality links per month.
Because the business targets “trending” keywords that tend to lose search volume over time, we had to be strategic about which pages we built links for. We used Google trends to determine which pages were trending upwards or downwards.
Improve on-page SEO
Improving many on-page factors on the website allowed us to grow the organic traffic. These included the following.
After crawling the site using Screaming Frog, we saw that most pages didn’t have any internal contextual links. Because the site is so big, there was no way we could manually add internal links. Luckily, the agency we hired was able to automate the internal linking with code.
We worked at improving meta titles which were poor. The meta title is arguably the most important onsite SEO spot to use target keywords. While the auto-generated titles did have the main keyword in them, they lacked a lot of the secondary long-tail keywords that contribute a significant amount of search volume.
With some basic keyword research, we were able to find some common words that were used along with the main keywords. We got these words added to the auto-generated titles which helped cast a much wider net and rank for more long-tail keywords.
Another onsite SEO issue was a poor heading structure. Headings should follow a clear hierarchy with the H1 being the first one and the H2s/H3s being used for subtopics. We got the agency to modify the code so that the heading structure was much clearer and SEO friendly.
Keyword cannibalism is essentially when there are multiple pages on a site that have similar content and Google can’t decide which one to rank for a certain keyword. The end result is usually that none of the pages rank. Because the site had so many pages with similar content, there was a lot of keyword cannibalism. We were able to fix it by strategically adding or removing certain words to make the page more or less relevant to a certain keyword.
Through improving the SaaS product, features, and enhancing user experience, the revenue, Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), the number of subscribers, conversions, and most other metrics increased consistently.
The business generated over $100K in revenue. In fact, most recent monthly profits have reached over $6K per month.
The website now has the value of $190K, offering a pretty solid ROI so far.
What we learned
We learned a lot of things during this case study. Here are some of the key takeaways from the project.
We have learned many lessons on managing, marketing and growing a SaaS business through operating this project.
It has also been a learning curve responding to the multiple challenges that came up during the less than two years we’ve been running it so far.
Most significantly we have greatly improved our tech team as well as our expertise. We are now looking forward to acquiring more SaaS businesses in future!