SEO Best Practices for Product Demos
Most people think of interactive demos as a way to give your prospects a hands-on product experience.
But that’s not the only benefit of adding an interactive demo to your site. Like videos, interactive demos can be used to level up your SEO.
And they’re even easier to insert. Interactive demo software like Navattic allows you to embed demos via an iframe rather than a JS snippet, giving you the flexibility to customize it to your existing design scheme.
Adding this element not only drives traffic to your website, it also increases engagement, thereby accelerating SEO results.
Read on to learn how interactive demos boost SEO performance, how you can optimize demos for SEO, and how other B2B SaaS companies have leveraged interactive demos to their SEO advantage.
How interactive demos can improve SEO performance
There are two main ways interactive demos drive SEO: (1) they increase dwell time, and (2) they give visitors a satisfying experience.
Improve dwell time
Dwell time refers to how long someone looks at your webpage before going back to search results.
Dwell time matters greatly to SEO — if users aren’t finding the information they were looking for, they are likely to go back and try clicking on a different result. The more that happens, the worse your SEO performance.
SEO professionals amp up dwell time by creating interesting, informative, and engaging content.
At Navattic, we recently ran an experiment to extend our dwell time.
One example is our recent website interview series. We added interactive demos of the guest's favorite tools and websites in each blog post.
And it worked. These blog posts have an average time-on-page of over four minutes — that’s double what we normally get on our typical blog posts. Four minutes is also 25% higher than our other blog posts that contain videos
The interactive nature of demos catches peoples’ eyes and keeps them lingering on our pages for longer.
Helpful content update
In August 2022, Google launched the “helpful content update,” as part of a “broader effort to ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.” In other words, Google wants to show the most relevant, useful content in search results.
To create helpful content, you need to put yourself in the visitor’s position. People who come to your website want to come away with more knowledge than they had before.
But different users learn differently. Some are more visual learners, so a walkthrough is a more effective sales tool in those cases.
Showing users how to do something through text and a walk-through demo demonstrates your expertise while increasing the probability that users will have a positive experience.
They may have such a good experience that they continue reading other blog posts, peruse case studies, or download a whitepaper — all activities that expand your SEO presence.
How to optimize demos for SEO
There are a few ways to maximize the SEO effectiveness of adding a demo to your site. Below, we outline three ways — from easiest to hardest.
Although interactive demo platforms like Navattic make embedding seamless, you can simply link to a demo from a blog post or landing page. Since this route isn’t as immediate or interactive, it has the least effect on your SEO performance.
Loading an interactive demo as soon as someone hits your webpage can slow your site speed. But interactive demos may not need to be the first thing users see.
Instead, you can use lazy loading to increase load speeds and show the interactive demo a little lower down the page. We use lazy loading to optimize our website.
This demo shows up below the fold and and we have a CTA that jumps users down to it. Until then, it doesn’t fully load. To achieve similar page performance, simply add “loading=”lazy” to the embed code.
For more details on how to lazy load check out this article.
After saving these changes, your iframe will not load until a user approaches it.
The best, but also most advanced, way to optimize demos for SEO is to use a combination of static images and lazy loading.
Static images act as facades, making it look like an interactive demo is embedded on the page and is fully loaded — without adding extra stress to the system.
Building a custom click-to-load facade delays the load until someone clicks on your interactive demo. Implementing this requires custom code and/or a lazy iframe loader like vb/lazyframe.
For more details on how to add a facade, check out this article.
A fantastic example of this option in action is on Alyce’s Demandbase integration page.
Rather than immediately loading the full product tour, Alyce uses a static image to show the user a tour exists.
When a visitor clicks on the button, the tour loads, and they can explore how to set up the Demandbase integration and learn about the benefits of doing so.
SEO blog examples
As we’ve discussed, there are two ways to add interactive demos to blog posts for SEO — embedding them or linking out. Let’s explore each option in detail.
Interactive demos are excellent product-led content, and embedding them within a blog post is proven to promote engagement.
- Users see and interact with your product from the very beginning of their buyer experience — they don’t have to wait days to set up a sales call.
- Embedding demos makes your blog posts stand out from traditional, text-only blog posts.
- Users spend time clicking through your demo, which increases dwell time while decreasing bounce rate
- Although there are ways to mitigate this issue, embedding interactive demos will impact load time.
- It’s tough for users to navigate an embedded demo if your application doesn’t scale down or isn’t mobile-optimized.
Let’s examine a few examples to give you a sense of what embedded demos look like in a blog post.
TravelPerk, a travel and expense management platform, uses embedded demos to reinforce points in their blog posts.
For instance, in their 6 of the best business travel management companies article, they use a product tour to help their own product stand out from the crowd.
The words on the page explain why TravelPerk is the best travel spend solution. But the tour walks readers through how the platform optimizes spend with real-time reporting, giving them a crystal clear picture of how TravelPerk will impact their budget.
If the reader wants to learn more about TravelPerk, they can request a demo right then and there by submitting their email address.
GrowthMentor, an invite-only startup and marketing mentoring community, also adds embedded demos in its content.
In this blog post about finding marketing advisors that enjoy helping startups grow, GrowthMentor explains how its platform matches up founders, CEOs, and CMOs with marketing experts.
To show the full scope of what GrowthMentor can do for its community members, the team has embedded an image of the interactive demo in this section that links out to the full experience. Using the lazy load technique helps them leverage the demo while ensuring fast site speed.
OnPlan is FP&A software that adds visualizations, integrations, and collaboration to the financial modeling process.
Embedding demos into their blog posts helps simplify what can be complex topics.
For instance, in their blog post about top-down versus bottom-up forecasting, OnPlan embeds a full-screen interactive demo that shows how users can find out why they’re behind their booking forecast by investigating their pipeline and conducting variance analysis.
A common way of using interactive demos is as a call to action.
- Demo CTAs in blog posts can increase conversion rates.
- These CTAs are more top of funnel than a free trial or booking a demo. The user doesn’t have to set anything up or schedule a call to see your product.
- You can link out to an entire screen embed so the user can fully experience your platform.
- Linking out isn’t as engaging or interactive as embedding a demo.
- Users may gloss over the demo if they think it’s just another link.
Linked out examples
Several B2B SaaS companies link out to their demos from keystone blog posts.
Top producer, a CRM for real estate agents, links out to a demo in the middle of a step-by-step guide to sending a group email.
Outlining how a group email works in text form, picture form, and interactive demo form gives users options for how they learn.
Nectar, an employee recognition software, links to an interactive demo in the conclusion of a blog post on organizational silos.
Users wanting to learn more and experience how Nectar is breaking down silos can do so then and there. Plus, they have the option of requesting a free demo.
Time doctor, an employee time tracking tool, does something similar to Nectar, bolding a link to their demo at the bottom of their article on employee wellness programs.
Rather than directing users to a request demo page, Time Doctor opted to plug their product walkthrough that helps employees better manage their work-life balance.
Dashbird, a cloud infrastructure monitoring service, takes a slightly different approach.
Rather than embedding a product tour in the blog post, they’ve put an invitation to “Take a product Tour” on it — there’s a sticky CTA at the bottom that follows the prospect as they read the post.
Having a perpetual CTA at the bottom gives readers a chance to convert no matter where they are in the blog.
Want more inspiration for interactive demos? Find out how customers like Ramp, Accord, and Dooly use Navattic to boost their traffic and conversions.
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