B2B SaaS SEO Case Study: 2300% growth in 12 months

Samuel Renotte
Last updated:
December 14, 2022

If you want to learn how a small B2B SaaS company in New Zealand were able to grow their traffic from 1,000 to 24,000 monthly visitors in 12 months - read on.

First some quick background. 

The company we’re talking about today is Runn.io

Runn.io, is a software startup based in New Zealand that helps project managers to plan, track and forecast staffing capability and capacity.

They raised a modest $1.4m seed round in 2021 to build out their product and ramp up growth. 

The company isn’t huge (yet).

According to LinkedIn, as of October 2022 Runn has 27 employees. Runn is fully remote with employees in Australia, Europe and North America. 

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Although it’s New Zealand based, 40% of its customers are in the US, including Fortune 1000 and 500 customers. Runn managed to grow revenue by 600% in 2021.

In this growth study, we’ll dig into how Runn were able to grow their traffic and generate new leads.

We’ll look at:

  • Their content strategy
  • How they are able to outrank bigger, more established competitors
  • How they convert traffic into revenue

Runn’s Content Strategy

We can breakdown Runn’s content strategy into three key themes:

  1. Ways customers use the product
  2. Comparing the product to alternatives 
  3. Questions or problems customers would have at each step of completing the “job to be done”

Ways customers use the product

Runn’s highest value and highest traffic pages are in-depth guides on each of the use cases for their product. 

If you don’t know why your customers use your product and the problem it's helping them solve, don't bother writing any blog content (yet).

Speak to your sales team to learn more. Ask to listen in on sales calls. Join some user interviews.

Or better yet speak to your best customers yourself.

Ask questions like:

  • What was the problem you were looking to solve before stumbling across our product or service?
  • If our product/service were no longer to exist, what product/service would you use as an alternative?
  • How would you describe our product/service to a friend who knew nothing about us?
  • If you were to research our product or service, what would you search for?

The insights you’ll get from this are worth their weight in gold.

This might seem obvious but I still see SaaS companies writing generic blog posts targeting keywords because they have high search volume.  

Comparing the product to alternatives

There’s a good chance someone searching for an alternative to your competitor could be converted into a new customer.

Runn has a series of blog posts targeting keywords that focus on “(competitor) alternatives”.

For example - https://www.runn.io/blog/ms-project-alternatives 

“Alternative microsoft project” gets 600 searches per month.

That’s roughly 600 potential leads for Runn.

The average lifetime value of their customers is $8,000 to $12,000 (approx.).

If they convert just 1% of these searches that’s an extra $48,000 to $72,000 per month from just one keyword. 

This isn’t including search volume for other variations of the original keyword e.g. “microsoft project alternative”, “ms project alternatives”.

This tactic is replicated for other competitors like Resource Guru, Wrike and Mavenlink. 

There’s even more competitors Runn could be targeting (reach out to me if you work for Runn and you’re reading this 🙂).

Not all of these “alternative” keywords get a ton of search volume.

But if your customer LTV is high, a blog post generating one sale per month can make tens or hundreds of thousands in revenue. 

Anticipating questions from customers 

SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush aren’t going to tell you the keywords your customers are searching for.

Again, this tactic relies on a deep understanding of your product and how it helps your customers.

Runn does this really well.

They are targeting over 300 “how to” keywords.

These are highly specific “how to” keywords.

As you can see below:

You can find these types of keywords for your product or service by breaking down the “job to be done” your customer is trying to solve.

In Runn’s case, the job customers are “hiring” them to solve is tracking complex projects without relying on spreadsheets.

How they are able to outrank bigger competitors

After analyzing Runn’s site I identified three areas they were exceptional in:

  1. Content velocity
  2. Backlinks from guest posts
  3. Meeting user intent better than other search results

This approach has allowed Runn to outrank sites with 90+ DR for competitive keywords like “capacity planning tool”.

Let’s dig into each.

Content velocity

Simply put, content velocity is the amount of content your site is publishing over a specific time period.

Yes, high quality content is key. 

But, if your competitors are producing 5x more high quality content than you each week/month you’re going to lose.

We can see in the “Overview 2.0” report from Ahrefs below that Runn has ramped up their content velocity over the past 12 months.

Publishing around 10-20 articles per month between October 2021 and October 2022.

We can see their average organic traffic (dark orange line) increased in proportion to the amount of organic pages they have (yellow line).

Let's look at what happens when you don’t aggressively scale the amount of content you publish.

Teamdeck (one of Runn’s competitors) monthly traffic has been mostly flat over the same time period.

Even despite having more than DOUBLE the amount of backlinks than Runn.

We can see that between October 2021 to October 2022 they only published 12 pages.

Runn on the other hand published 206 pages over the same time period.

Backlinks are crucial but if you aren’t publishing a steady volume of quality content you aren’t going to increase organic traffic.

Takeaway: Content velocity matters. The more high quality content you publish the more traffic you generate and the harder it becomes for competitors to keep up.

If you’d like to learn how we could help increase your content velocity fill out this form to get started.

Backlinks from “best” articles

So we know content velocity is important, but we still need quality backlinks to rank.

Unfortunately there’s no way around this.

There are 150+ ways to generate backlinks.

Each comes with their own pros and cons.

Runn has gone with a common but effective approach - getting included on “best” articles.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a list of “best” keywords related to your product or service. In Runn’s case these are keywords like “best resource management tools”, “best resource booking tools”, “best tools for project managers”.

  2. Make a list of all the pages ranking for these keywords.

  3. Send an email to the author. Explain what your product or service does and why it should be included on their page. Make sure to mention it will make their page more comprehensive and likely to rank higher in Google. You could also offer them an affiliate link as an incentive for including your product or service. Remember to keep your email short and concise (don’t forget to follow up too).

  4. Rinse and repeat.

Runn has managed to build 110 backlinks from 45 referring domains using this strategy.

These links are highly relevant and would also send warm referral traffic to Runn.

They even have links from their competitors (although the smart ones used “nofollow” links to avoid passing on authority to Runn). 

Meeting user intent better than other search results

Analyzing the SERPs for your focus keyword before writing your article is CRUCIAL.

This is where you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the top results Google is showing.

Let’s look at how Runn is putting this into action to outrank sites 80-90 DR.

In this example the keyword is “workback schedules”.

Runn currently is ranking in position one for this term and is showing in the Featured Snippet.

They’re beating ProjectManager.com (DR 76), Indeed (DR 92) and Wrike (DR 83).

If we look at Runn’s page compared to the other search results here’s what we can see:

  1. It answers the reader’s question as quickly as possible
  2. It includes relevant examples of workback schedules in action
  3. It includes links to other related guides that would help the reader
  4. It covers more subtopics than other search results

Just by doing these four things better than the other search results Google views Runn’s page as the best result to satisfy the user’s intent. 

In saying, following these steps doesn’t guarantee you’ll rank.

The more competitive the keyword the more ways you’ll need to make your article exceptional.

I recommend reading Kevin Indig’s article on building a content moat to make it harder for your competitors to replicate your pages.

How they convert traffic into revenue

This is where I think Runn has room for improvement.

Currently Runn has two ways to turn traffic into customers.

#1: An exit intent pop up with a CTA to start a free trial

#2: An email sign up form at the end of each article

Here’s how I think they could be improved:

  • Provide a clear incentive for someone to enter their email or start a free trial.

  • Explain what Runn is and how it could help the reader before asking them to enter their email or start a free trial.

  • Include CTAs in areas of the page where it makes the most sense to mention the product. These feel more relevant and natural to the reader who will be more likely to take action.

  • Incorporate the product (where relevant) within the article via screenshots, GIFs and mini product/feature demo videos.

  • Make CTAs unique to the page instead of using generic copy. This takes more work and isn’t scalable but will have a huge impact on conversion rate.

Takeaway: Each blog post is a “mini salesperson”. Don’t forget to spend time thinking about how they “sell” your product or service. Are they doing the best job to capture and convert sales?


Runn hasn’t reinvented the wheel.

They’ve followed SEO first principles.

Runn has created content that solves the readers problem.

Runn publishes a steady stream of quality content each month.

Runn has built relevant backlinks from authoritative sites.

This has allowed them to grow organic traffic by 2300% in 12 months.

Runn has grown a lot over the past year, and they aren’t showing signs of slowing down.

Want results like this? You can book a call with our team here.

Further reading: The Ultimate SaaS SEO guide to take your blog from zero to revenue.

DISCLAIMER: I have no association with Runn or their founders. This review has been completed using publicly available information on the Internet.  

Samuel Renotte