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When is it the right time “to pivot” the SaaS service?


#1

Hi! I would like to hear a piece of advice from people who understand internet and software marketing better that I do.

Several months ago I have launched a SaaS service – in simple words, a website http://www.rank2traffic.com/

The site gives traffic history for millions of the websites for 7 years.
Sorry to admit, but it does not seem that a lot of people got interested.

However, in the process of development I have collected a database of organic keywords for millions of websites. One may open the competitor website (for example, ‘Joel on software’) and see how people find this site in the search engines: http://www.rank2traffic.com/joelonsoftware.com

So, the question is: should I shut it down and create another website, which would concentrate on the organic keywords exclusively?
Or should I stay persistent, and promote the existing product?


#2

There was a service run by someone here that provided intelligence on your competitors. Like what keywords they were ranking for, what organic search terms they were top in etc.

Maybe you can try something like that.

If the existing product isn’t working, my advice is to ditch it. See the sunk cost fallacy.


#3

Do you know the reason why people were not interested in this? That is critical information, and without it you should not move forward in any direction.

I would hazard a guess that its because the alexa rank and traffic stats are not very good. As far as I know, most people in this space are using Semrush or SimilarWeb for this.

Before you pivot based on the data you have collected, you should speak to your prospective customers and see if you can provide any value with that data. Post your tool to a forum specifically catering to your target audience - (e.g. inbound.org) and try and speak to specific individuals from that forum.

As developers we hate seeing our products fail and our efforts go to waste and that makes us want to salvage our efforts by pivoting into a new direction. But if the core value is not there, we are better off learning from the failure and moving on.


#4

Definitely talk to people and ask what problem they had which they thought your service would solve. Early on I think it’s common to find what you built isn’t what you needed to build, but if you are getting any level of interest at all talk to those people and ask them what problem they have which they had hoped you were going to solve for them. If you get any level of consistency in responses (and an interest in paying for a solution) you can pivot in whatever direction that leads you in.

By all means ditch what you’ve got and go after something focusing on organic keywords exclusively, but without feedback from or knowledge of a customer group who will buy that you will likely be in a similar position. Ie, needing to talk to people expressing an interest in your service to understand their problems. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, at least you’re moving and by doing so you make it more likely you’ll hit on something valuable to people.