SaaS keyword research is the building block of any good SaaS content marketing strategy.
Get that right, and you will get a ton of traction and conversion, but if you get it wrong, it will adversely affect your time and budget.
In this article, I will tell you the top 10 SaaS SEO keyword research methods and tips that helped me hyper-grow several SaaS businesses.
So let’s get started!
When we talk about the use of Google Ads in SEO, most people think we're referring to Google Keyword Planner. Yes, the tool can be of help! But if you want to get actual keywords that your company can leverage, ask your PPC team.
Ask your PPC team what keywords are working for them as they could be your potential keywords. You should also ask them about the keywords that give them the highest conversion rates.
Then based on the inputs you get, note these keywords down and use them as the starting point of your keyword research process.
We're doing that because if we know that certain keywords are converting well for a company, then there's no better place to search for those keywords than to ask your PPC team about them.
If you're a B2B SaaS, G2 is a great place to get keyword ideas. The site has millions of people writing their opinion about the products they are using.
If you already have a customer base search for your product on G2 and see what your customers say about it.
You can use this technique to also check on what people are saying about your competitor's product. Take their pain points and find a way to resolve them by introducing your product to your competitor's customers and making them your customers.
👀 Note: The problem customers talk about when using your competitors’ product is key because they're basically mentioning their problem and jobs to be done. You must write about those topics no matter what their search volume or keyword difficulty is.
Note down all of such responses, and then try to get keyword ideas from those responses and use them in your keyword research process.
I am customer-centric, so my keyword research always starts with customer research. For me search intent is more important than how many searches per month a keyword gets.
One of the best ways to leverage your existing customers to do a high search intent keyword research is by asking them what triggered them to look for a solution for the problem they are facing.
And how did they find a product like yours?
You can also ask them about their previous solutions and what made them look for an alternative.
All these questions will help you to understand the buyer journey. So when you have the complete buyers’ journey in your hands, you know how people are searching for the problems they’re facing and know about each and every step they take.
You can then do your keyword research accordingly and be with your potential customer on every step of their journey, which will remind them of your brand constantly.
My Pro Tip: One thing that I usually do is - I conduct 10 to 12 customer interviews. I ask my customer to describe to me their journey from start to end for a specific pain point they have and request them to share their screen. I'll then see their journey. I'll see what keywords they're using, and that's going to be the primary driver for my keyword research.
This is one of the best ways to leverage competitor keywords and get an edge over them.
There are various ways of using your competitor's domain to find relevant search queries you can leverage. But for the sake of this example, I'm going to give you the one that will help you to find high-intent keywords.
Follow these steps:
👉 Put the domain of your competitor into Ahrefs
👉 Go to their organic keywords section
👉 Filter the keywords by software, apps, or tools and then see what keywords they’re ranking for
We're applying this filter because anything that includes terms like software, app, tool, etc., will be keywords with high intent for any SaaS company.
Take your money keywords (transactional intent keywords) and Google them. For example, let's say you own a project management SaaS, so project management software is going to be a high-intent transactional keyword.
Type that on Google (or any other search engine you use), look at the top three results and then put those URLs one by one in Ahrefs.
Next, look at the internal links these pages have. That will tell you how your competitors are building their mini clusters around money pages.
If you rinse and repeat the process for all three, you’d have a bunch of keyword ideas that you can create clusters from.
If you have a sales team, I recommend at least joining one or two sales calls every week to understand the questions that are being asked to your sales team by your customers or leads.
Take note of all these things you think might be a good seed keyword or high-intent search term you could write about. Carefully listen to how customers phrase their problem and how they phrase their desired outcome, and take notes and use those for your keyword research later on.
Not running PPC campaigns yourself but still want to look at the keywords that have the potential to rank in your industry? Here’s how you can do it with a keyword tool like Ahrefs:
Put your competitor's domain in Ahrefs and look at their PPC keywords. This will give you an idea of the PPC keywords they are targeting and note the ones you think are good for your business.
If you want to go a step forward and make sure that you only target the keywords that are working well for your competitors. Compare their current keyword set with their previous one (preferably six months earlier) and look at the keywords that they’re still running PPC campaigns on.
This procedure can be done for your competitors or yourself. Many well-known competitors will have product use case-based pages. For example, if you visit ClickUp's website, you will see that they have pages based on use cases like:
And many more…
So if you’re in the project management space, these page titles could be your target keywords as they're highly relevant to your SaaS. They will have a high monthly search volume and will be surely tough to rank for immediately but with time you might rank for them.
So look at your company website's product pages and see what the relevant topics are. Do it for yourself first and if you don't have the best website, visit your competitors' websites, look at their Nav bar, and find product keywords.
Did you know that you can use the ‘People Also Ask’ section in Google to find highly relevant long-tail keyword ideas, and you don't need to do this manually?
There are tools that you can leverage to analyze PAA. The most recent one that I'm using is Also Asked.
So if your main keyword is project management, you can just type it in and Also Asked will map out every question related to project management that could be a potential question in the ‘People Also Ask section of Google.’
This could be a good way of finding relevant keywords for your business, and it's also relatively easier to rank.I suggest either using Also Asked or SEO Minion to carry out the process.
I like to use the Answer the Public tool to get an idea of what people are asking about my niche or what questions I should answer through my content. Let's say you've identified your seed keyword that is relevant to your business.
You should pick that seed keyword, go to Answer the Public, put it in there, and then see every question that is being asked by people on Google. Note down everything that you can produce around these questions. The piece of content you produce could be anything - a blog, landing page, lead magnet, etc.
So that's going to give you an idea of what your coverage should be and what are the questions and other types of content that you should be creating around the keywords that are relevant to your business.
Doing keyword research is the first step of your SaaS SEO strategy, and people often don’t give it enough attention. All they do is leverage some SEO tool to get a list of keywords with high volume and low difficulty.
Book a free consultation call with me, and I will tell you how you can do the right keyword research. Or if you’re short on time, hire me to do it for you!
What to expect from the call?
👉 Discover how much organic traffic and leads you can expect in a specific time
👉 Know about all the quick wins we can get initially with my content marketing efforts
👉 Get my 3 blog post templates that helped me generate 800 sign-ups in under 6 months