SEO Success story for B2B SaaS: How Deel achieved $300M ARR

Discover Deel’s key SEO strategies that drove their growth to $300M ARR in under three years, as revealed by Meltem Kuran Berkowitz on Lenny's Podcast. Learn how strategic keyword analysis, authentic content, and targeted community engagement can elevate your SaaS business to new heights.
Han Jang's avatar
Apr 25, 2024
SEO Success story for B2B SaaS: How Deel achieved $300M ARR

Unveiling the SEO Strategies Behind Deel's Rapid Rise to $300M ARR

In the competitive landscape of SaaS platforms, few stories are as compelling as that of Deel. Earning the title of "Fastest Growing SaaS Company" by Ramp, Deel achieved an impressive $300 million in ARR in less than three years. As a global HR SaaS platform from YC W19 batch, Deel unifies payroll, HR, performance, and compliance for diverse worker types across 150 countries.

This blog post explores the potent SEO strategies and practices that have significantly contributed to Deel’s rapid growth and market presence. Drawing from an enlightening interview with Meltem Kuran Berkowitz, Head of Growth at Deel, featured on Lenny's Podcast, we delve into the methods and insights that have shaped Deel's online success. Join us as we uncover the strategic maneuvers and SEO wisdom that have not only elevated Deel's digital footprint but also defined its journey to becoming a global HR powerhouse.

Add Value: Find out where your prospects are asking questions and help them

In the realm of B2B SaaS marketing, understanding where your potential customers are discussing their needs and challenges is crucial. Deel, a global HR SaaS platform, has mastered the art of pinpointing exactly where these conversations are happening—be it search engines, social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter, specialized forums like Quora, or other online communities relevant to HR professionals.

Engaging on the Right Platforms

For Deel, key platforms include not only global sites but also localized spaces where HR professionals might gather. In countries like South Korea, for instance, prospects might be active in specific search engines, open chat rooms on KakaoTalk, Discord servers, and niche online communities. Recognizing these platforms allows Deel to tailor its approach and engage directly with potential clients.

Providing Genuine Solutions

When engaging with these communities, Deel’s strategy focuses on providing real value rather than overt advertising. Instead of responding with a generic sales pitch ("Visit our website for more!"), Deel's representatives address specific questions with detailed, practical advice. For example, if a question about global HR compliance arises, a typical response might elaborate on the intricacies of legal requirements in different jurisdictions, offering actionable insights rather than a simple redirection to their services.

Correct vs. Incorrect Engagement

Incorrect Approach: "Hey, we've solved that problem, check out our website for how we can help you!"

Correct Approach: "Handling HR issues across borders can be complex, involving factors like local labor laws, cultural nuances, and logistical challenges. We've put together some guidelines that might help you navigate these waters. Let's connect if you need more detailed advice."

Leveraging Closed Communities and Building Partnerships

Breaking into closed communities, such as Slack channels or Discord servers frequented by HR professionals or startup founders, can be particularly valuable. However, it requires tact. Direct advertising is often frowned upon and can lead to exclusion from these groups. Instead, Deel focuses on becoming a trusted member of the community by consistently providing helpful, expert advice.

Strategic partnerships have also played a significant role in Deel's outreach strategy. By collaborating with venture capitalists and incubators like Y Combinator, Deel positions itself as a go-to resource for startups needing to scale globally. These partnerships often lead to early and effective engagement with startups at a critical point in their growth trajectory.


This organic, value-first approach has not only helped Deel establish credibility but also contributed significantly to its growth. Initially, 80-90% of Deel's growth stemmed from these non-paid channels, underscoring the effectiveness of their strategy.

By truly understanding where your prospects converse and what information they seek, and by engaging in a helpful, non-intrusive manner, you too can emulate Deel’s success in the competitive landscape of global HR solutions.

SEO is a Labor of Love

A common misconception in SEO is that success comes from simply repeating a keyword multiple times throughout your content. However, Deel's approach illustrates that effective SEO is much more nuanced and centered on genuinely understanding and answering the questions that potential customers are asking.

Strategic Keyword Analysis

Deel begins its SEO process by ranking approximately 700 search terms that potential customers might use, based on search volume. But more importantly, Deel analyzes the intent behind each search query. The intent of a college student looking for homework help differs vastly from a business leader exploring options for global expansion. Deel classifies these terms using a traffic light system—green for high purchase intent and high search volume, yellow for ambiguous intent, and red for low or no purchase intent.

Prioritizing Content Creation and Detailed Informative Content

With this classification, Deel prioritizes content creation for 'green' keywords first, ensuring that these high-value topics are thoroughly covered. This methodical approach ensures that when potential customers search for these terms, they find Deel’s content, which directly addresses their needs and questions. Only after covering the green keywords does Deel move on to the yellow keywords, thus efficiently allocating resources while maximizing impact.

The content Deel produces is detailed and tailored to answer specific questions, such as how HR policies or tax laws vary from country to country, or how companies might qualify for COVID-19 support programs. This level of detail not only aids in SEO but also positions Deel as a knowledgeable and reliable resource in the global HR field.

Focusing on Content Quality and Continuous Updates

Deel ensures that its content is not only comprehensive but also accessible. The goal is to write in a clear, understandable manner—aiming for the comprehension level of a fifth grader. This accessibility ensures that the content is helpful to a broad audience, thereby increasing the likelihood of engagement and reducing bounce rates.

SEO at Deel is seen as a continuous endeavor. Initially, Deel produced ten new pieces of content per week in multiple languages. As their content library grew, the focus shifted towards maintaining this valuable resource through updates and new content that reflects the latest changes, such as regulatory updates or new features. Currently, Deel balances its content strategy by producing five new pieces and updating five existing pieces each week.

A Commitment to Value and a Testament to Persistence

Deel's journey through the complex terrain of SEO is not just a story of strategic keywords and content updates—it's a narrative built on a profound commitment to adding real value. This ethos is reflected in every piece of content Deel produces, aimed not just at ranking well in search engines, but at genuinely helping, informing, and guiding users from all corners of the globe. By focusing on the actual needs and queries of their audience, Deel ensures that their solutions are not just seen but are also relevant and impactful.

Moreover, Deel’s approach to SEO as a "Labor of Love" reiterates that true success in digital marketing comes from understanding that there are no shortcuts to genuine engagement. It requires continuous effort, dedication, and a deep understanding of one’s audience. Deel’s methodical, detail-oriented, and patient approach to SEO mirrors their commitment to excellence across their services—from payroll to compliance.

As we have explored through the insights shared by Meltem Kuran Berkowitz, the path to achieving and maintaining a high level of SEO success is ongoing and evolving. For businesses looking to emulate Deel’s success, remember that the essence of your strategy should be about adding value in every interaction and nurturing these efforts with the dedication they deserve. It’s not just about reaching the top—it’s about deserving to stay there.

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