As we all know, building a SaaS business is not just about building the actual software, it’s about how you market it and attract paying customers.
In fact - marketing arguably is even more important than building your product.
If you’re anything like me, you love tinkering and building things in Bubble.
It can be easy to get carried away and end up spending all your time building the next feature - without spending any time on marketing your app.
No users = no revenue = you getting bored and giving up on the project.
So - it’s essential to put a plan into place to market your app and acquire users.
Not only will getting more users help validate your idea, they’ll give you invaluable feedback and motivation to continue working on your project.
The good news is - building your app using no-code technologies actually gives you more time and resources to focus on winning marketing.
As your operating and development costs are so much lower than traditional coded software, you have an opportunity to spend a lot more time focussing on marketing and attracting customers to your app.
This week, I’m going to share a few things I’ve done with my app UserLoop to attract paying customers.
The topics we will cover fall into two categories.
SEO. How to optimize your Bubble app for SEO and get onto the front page of Google.
Content. How to plan out your content, which tools to use and how to put together a basic content schedule. I’ll share some really handy tools to help you get ideas.
Right - let’s get on to that first topic!
Let me preface this section by saying I am by no means an SEO expert. SEO is a wildly advanced topic and you could read a huge amount of content on that topic alone.
I’m going to share some of my experiences of building on Bubble and achieving a good SEO placement for key target search terms.
Where is your content hosted?
The first thing to consider is where are you going to host all your SEO friendly content. There’s a couple of options open to you. \
You could use a subdomain and install a blog engine like Ghost or WordPress. Or you could host all your content directly on your Bubble pages.
I’ve tried both of these options for my app UserLoop
When I launched the site I had all my blog content on a subdomain of Bubble on a Ghost blog. All the blog content was hosted at https://blog.userloop.io.
I pulled the most recent blog posts into the main website UI using the Ghost API so that there was some integration.
However - the SEO results from this were pretty horrible. Ghost is a fantastic blog engine which does a lot of the SEO leg work for you, however, the fact it’s hosted on a subdomain hits you so hard in the rankings it’s not really worth it.
In the end I decided to build a basic blogging platform into my main Bubble app and host all my content on the main domain.
The SEO uplift has been incredible and I’m now ranking much better for exactly the same content.
There is a small amount of work involved in setting up your Bubble app to be SEO friendly, but it’s not particularly hard and worth the effort in my opinion.
Note: When setting up your app for the first time, you might have decided to hose you actual Bubble app on a subdomain like app.yourbrand.com. This is also an equally valid approach and leaves you free to use whatever platform you like for your marketing site. I decided to host my entire app on the root domain due to the deep integrations between the marketing site, signup process and app that I wanted.
Bubble SEO Settings
If you do decide to host your content on Bubble, there a few basics you will want to put into place straight away.
In your app’s settings, you’ll find a section called ‘SEO/Metatags’
In here, you’ll want to make a few adjustments.
Turn on ‘Expose the type of tags for text elements’. This will ensure that any H1, H2’s etc you have applied are exposed to the search bot.
Turn on ‘Point URLs to primary domain for better SEO’ which makes sure your custom domain is used for any of your urls.
Turn on ‘Expose a sitemap file’ this is probably the most important one as it will automatically generate a valid sitemap for all your pages.
Note: If you have pages in your app which are attached to a kind of ‘thing’, Bubble will create a sitemap link to each ‘thing’ in your database for that page. For example if I have a page called ‘restaurant’ which is attached to the thing ‘restaurants’ in my database, Bubble will add a link to every restaurant to your sitemap file - great for SEO!
Bubble Page SEO Setup
When editing a page in Bubble, there’s also a ton of tools available to you to fine-tune the SEO.
Make sure you fill out each page’s SEO Title & Description. Ideally, you will inject dynamic content for each page, depending on that page’s content.
Add a social image. Add an image to the page (under the Image for FB) menu. This can also be a dynamic image so you can make it relevant to your page’s content. If you dont’ set an image the default one from your master Bubble settings is used.
Structured Data Snippets. There’s a great thread on the Bubble forum for adding rich data snippets to your Bubble pages. You don’t need a dedicated plugin and it’s pretty straightforward.
Set a slug. Recently, Bubble added support for setting your own ‘slugs’ in the url of a page. I highly recommend setting these manually, particularly if you are making blog content!
Google Search Console
Make sure you’ve signed up for Google Search Console and authenticated your ownership of your Bubble site. This is an invaluable tool which can alert you to any potential problems with your app.
This is also where you should submit your app’s Sitemap link, to allow Google to start indexing your pages.
Deciding what content to write for your app’s audience can be tricky.
Keeping a steady stream of high-quality content flowing on your site is essential to ranking well on Google. Here’s a few tools and tricks I use to come up with ideas for my SaaS content.
This is a fantastic tool for optimising your app’s SEO - and for doing research into ideas for which content to write.
There’s a fantastic free plan which lets you do pretty much everything you need. Definitely worth checking out!
This is a fantastic resource by Olly Meakings
which gives you tons of tips on content ideas and marketing to get your first 100 users.
There are tips on everything from content to paid search and sponsorships.