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SaaS Keyword Research: 15 Ways to Find Better Keywords and Increase Traffic

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Key Insights

This article will show you exactly how you should be doing keyword research for your SaaS. It’s a completely different playing field compared to traditional SEO, so your keyword research will be more audience/journey focused.

So, you just found a new keyword that you think is relevant to your business and are now deciding how to rank for it.

Before you do, you might want to consider whether the investment is worth it for that keyword.

With most B2B SaaS niches being competitive and complex, you don’t want to create content just because you found a keyword with a high search volume.

Instead, you want to do keyword research to find topics/search terms that align with your audience’s buyers’ journey. Topics that will:

  • Influence their purchasing decision
  • Build consideration for your product
  • Build awareness for your brand
  • Retain existing product users
  • Build backlinks on autopilot

In most cases, these are your goals for each piece of content.

This guide on keyword research for B2B SaaS companies will show you how to find keywords that matter and how you can rank for them.

I also created this video below, which explains this entire article.

15 Effective Tactics for SaaS SEO Keyword Research

Task #1: Understand Your Commercial Intent Keywords and What They Mean

Bottom-of-the-funnel search terms for SaaS are great for hooking customers who are ready to buy and building up your initial sales funnel.

If someone lands on your page after searching “how does point of sale software work,” they probably aren’t going to make a purchase immediately, although it is a great way to position your SaaS as a potential solution.

But if they get there after searching “[competitor POS software] vs. [you],” there’s a good chance they’re ready to buy.

You might boost your sales and conversion rate if you find the right bottom-of-the-funnel and transactional intent keywords to build content around.

These three tend to be winners across multiple industries when it comes to bottom-of-the-funnel search terms:

  • Alternative keywords
  • Comparison keywords
  • Category keywords

People looking to adopt a particular SaaS solution

A customer searching for category keywords like “best [the type of software you sell]” is probably comparing different companies’ offerings in preparation for making a purchase, so this is a critical keyword to target.

You can incorporate “best [category]” keywords using list-style blog posts without being overly salesy.

You’ll want to position your offering at the top of the list for these category keywords and end with a CTA.

Here are a few examples of SaaS companies using this strategy:

People Making Their Final Purchasing Decision

Customers searching for comparison terms like “[competing SaaS company] vs. [you]” are even more likely to buy — they’ve narrowed their search down to two different brands. 

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Find out what competitors your target audience searches for most, then make a comparison post for each. 

Don’t put your competitor down in favor of your product; give an honest review while highlighting your SaaS as the better solution.

These comparison keywords will likely have the best conversion intent for your SaaS.

In Asana and Monday’s case, you can see that they’re getting around 1,500 monthly organic traffic just from these comparison keywords. 

If you want potential users to find you through Google Search, you must create organic content that meets them where they are in the buyers’ journey. 

Here are a few examples of SaaS companies using this strategy:

People Looking to Transition From Their Existing SaaS Solution

Alternative terms are another great search term to take advantage of.

It’s a good idea to make a list-style “[competitor] alternatives” post for each major competitor, positioning your company as the main alternative to that competitor.

When you use alternative terms, be sure to review each product honestly. Don’t just highlight your own product and trash the competition. 

These competitor keywords should be covered from every angle to influence a user close to making a decision.

Here are a few examples of SaaS companies using this strategy:

Task #2: Find Specific SaaS Product Keywords

While your product may be a project management tool at heart, break your pages into individual solution/feature pages so they can capture more searches from users.

These will typically involve “software keywords.” So even if you are project management SaaS, you can create specific pages on:

These are all examples from Asana, and each solution page receives hundreds in traffic.

Task #3: Conduct Customer Interviews to Learn More About Your Audience

Don’t underestimate your audience.

While tools like Google Search Console can help give you an idea of what they’re searching for, getting in touch with your audience through surveys and polls can give you a complete idea of the types of content they search for and want to see.

Task #4: Review Sales and Demo Calls

Your sales reps/product demo teams spend much more time working directly with customers than you do.

Talk to them or join sales calls to better understand what your audience is looking for and their pain points.

During their sales call, you can discover their pain points and if creating content around them is possible. 

You’ll want to be more hands-off during the sales call to prevent flustering the potential customer. 

Task #5: Use Reddit to Find Pain Points From Your Audience

You don’t have to interact directly with your customers (or talk to someone who does) to get a feel for your audience.

Reddit’s text-based format makes it easy for you to see what your target audience is looking for, the type of language they use, and what keywords they might use to find the answers to their questions.

If you’re a project management tool, you can go on subreddits like r/humanresources or r/projectmanagers to find what common pain points are for your audience. 

Take a deep dive into their pain points and answer them in your content to have it better resonate with your audience. 

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I recommend using site operators to find these questions. 

Task #6: Using Review Platforms to Find Common Pain Points

You can also use review platforms like G2 to discover common pain points about your or competitor’s solutions and create content around them. 

This works very well when it comes to alternative and comparison articles. You can use audience data and customer reviews to find pain points you can leverage and show why your software solution is the better option.

Considering those pain points, your SEO strategy will be better aligned to create content that matches your audience’s needs.

Create a list of topics based on customer segments you find. 

Not only this, but you can convert audiences away from their current SaaS solution to your product.

You can see Wise do this for their competitor Venmo since they don’t have recurring payments enabled. A page that’s currently getting 2.5K clicks per month.

Task #7: Using First-Party Data to Find Questions Your Audience is Asking (Branded and Non-Branded)

First-party data is collected from your own website.

In Google Search Console, you’ll have access to the search queries your site is directly ranking for. You can find what type of search queries they are, their organic traffic, their search volumes, and their search engine rankings. 

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You can even use this data to calculate the monthly search query volume. 

Google Search Console data can be a treasure trove of insights for anyone looking to optimize their SaaS SEO strategy.

Task #8: Using a Keyword Research Tool to Find Product-Related Keywords and Spy on Your Competitor’s Content Strategy

Keyword research tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush help you discover relevant keywords your audience uses to find you.

Using them is simple.

You can input a general keyword (like “email marketing software”) into Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and the tool will generate clusters of relevant keywords and keyword variations with their respective keyword difficulty and monthly searches.

As you can see, many options exist to build topical authority around email marketing software. 

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Add these topics to your SaaS SEO strategy and build clusters around these valuable keywords.  

I like SEMrush for keyword research, but I find Ahrefs Keyword Explorer much better. There’s also Moz Keyword Explorer, but I haven’t used that one as much. 

Just be careful to avoid keyword cannibalization. 

You can even run a keyword gap analysis to find competitor keywords you should also target. 

While these will be competitive keywords, they’re still important to target to steal away search traffic from your competition. 

After your keyword gap analysis, you’ll have dozens of keywords, so you’ll want to start your content creation process as quickly as possible to catch up to your competition. 

Task #9: Use Google Ads for Your Keyword Research

You want to draw customers to your site, but you also want those clicks to convert.

Google Ads helps you decide which topics to cover to maximize conversions.

Find the topics driving the most leads and create content around it. This way, you build high-converting content and reduce your dependency on paid advertising. 

This should be essential for any SaaS SEO campaign.

Check this article out to see ways a SaaS can use SEO and PPC together.

Task #10: Map Out Your Target Personas Buyers’ Journey

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to meet people where they are throughout their journey.

Content might be the only channel influencing their purchasing decision, but it’s likely more of an omnichannel approach.

You should map out each stage of your audience’s buyer journey.

This means when they’re:

  • Unaware
  • Problem Aware
  • Solution Aware
  • Product Aware
  • Most Aware

Find which keywords will help move your audience throughout this funnel and ultimately get them ready to the point of purchase or demo.

Task #11: Google AutoSuggest to Find Topics Your Audience is Searching For

Google’s AutoSuggest is a convenient feature for searchers, but it’s also a helpful keyword tool for you.

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See how it completes queries and look for valuable keywords to use in your content or create new articles.

Google Autosuggest is a great way to find keyword ideas without paying for a tool.

You can also use the Keyword Sheeter to sheet out autosuggest queries. 

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Task #12: Using Competitor’s PPC Keywords

While you can’t view your competitor’s PPC keywords directly, you can use Ahrefs to find keywords they deem valuable.

You can see how often they’re running ads on specific keywords, and the more they spend on that keyword, the more valuable it is.

Task #13: Consider Adding an Industry When Relevant

This will depend more on your product type, but if you’re a CRM, there’s almost zero chance you’ll rank for that search term on its own.

If your CRM software is specifically for real estate agents and other industries, you’ll want to create landing pages specific to those industries.

This is just a note that this isn’t always necessary and entirely depends on whether your product is meant for that industry. Don’t just create these pages for the sake of it.

Task #14: Reviewing the People Also Asked Section on Google or Using AlsoAsked

This feature gives you insight into what related topics or keywords your audience is searching for.

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If you’re working on a content cluster, these results can help you decide what follow-up pieces you want to include.

You can also use AlsoAsked to get a bird’s eye view of the People Also Asked section. 

Task #15: Understand Your Core Audience

Lastly, this isn’t possible if you don’t understand your core ICP and buyer personas. Always start with audience research before you start with actual keyword research. You should have personas set and know the following:

  • Who you’re targeting
  • Why you’re targeting them
  • Why they need your SaaS

Improve Your Keyword Research Process. Schedule a Free Discovery Call

Looking for help with your content strategy? Feel free to book a free SaaS SEO discovery call with me. I’m a B2B SaaS SEO consultant who can help take your solution to the next level. 

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