How to Build SaaS Topical Authority To Match User Search Intent?

Written by: Elena Daskalova
Aug / 29 / 2023

For such a long time, an SEO strategy was a pretty straightforward task – you research keywords and try to use them within the website content without thinking much about the purpose and keyword intent. But, as time went by, Google and other search engines raised their criteria and improved the ranking guidelines, so things changed, too. Instead of targeting keywords with large search volume and traffic potential, we need to be focused on phrases searchers use to find our content. 

That way, we can better understand the concepts behind topical authority and keyword intent in B2B SaaS SEO strategies. Topical authority and keyword intent are connected because search engines like Google aim to provide users with the most relevant and authoritative content based on their search intent.

For effective SEO, content should not only target SaaS keywords but also satisfy the user’s intent. This means creating content that answers their questions, provides solutions, or meets their specific needs based on their search intent.

Still, to better understand these things, we’ll define the terms topical authority and keyword intent for you. 

Understanding Topical Authority for SaaS

Topical authority usually refers to a website or content expertise, credibility, and trustworthiness in a specific niche, topic, or subject. In that case, a website is considered an authoritative source for a particular topic. As a result, the same website is more likely to rank in search results for related topics. 

But you can’t build a topical authority just by clustering related topics in a content strategy. Surely, the on-page topical authority map is the essence, but the number of backlinks, user engagement, and social validation plays a huge role. For example, if you produce high-quality content for cloud-based healthtech management software and you earn backlinks from reputable industry websites, you are building topical authority in the cloud-based healthtech management field.

Keyword Intent and How To Match it With SaaS Topical Authority

In the SaaS realm, the raw ranks on search engines mean nothing if there aren’t conversions. According to basic SEO practices, the keyword intent can easily match your topical authority strategy as long as you understand the reason behind a search and the results searchers hope to find. 

In that context, we’ll remind you that there are four basic categories the search intent falls into:

  • Informational, or targeting keywords and queries while seeking information on a specific topic
  • Navigational, or looking for a specific website or page
  • Consideration/Commercial, to research with a purchase intent in mind
  • Transactional, or keywords that showcase intent to make a purchase or take an action on a page

The best thing is that when you find the relevant keywords, you can easily group them according to the search intent and use them while building a topical authority on a specific topic. For example, when a user searches for “best project management tool reviews,” their intent is informational. But if they’re looking for “project management tool 1 vs. project management tool 2,” they have a purchase intent in mind. On the other hand, the search “project management tool monthly price” has a transactional intent, while “features project management tool” has a navigational intent. 

In the world of SaaS, informational and transactional keywords are the most relevant, but it doesn’t mean you’ll ignore the other types. Make sure you match them with your topical content clusters perfectly to get the most out of your strategy.

So, topical authority and keyword intent are connected because search engines provide users with the most relevant and authoritative content based on their search intent. To easily rank for a specific query, the website must establish an authority in the topic area. And when search engines recognize the authority, they are more likely to push the website upper in the search results for a specific query. 

Expanding Your SaaS Content Strategy

Now that you understand what is topical authority in SaaS and how it’s related to keyword intent, it’s time to help you extend the content strategy, too. We all know a well-defined strategy helps you navigate the competitive market successfully.

But when we talk about creating content, we aren’t only focused on highly helpful blog posts. You need to diversify the strategy to establish topical authority, starting from page content to custom content formats for every potential customer in the funnel. 

Diversify SaaS Content Types

Engage your audience through videos that explain how to use your SaaS product and what benefits they’ll have once they purchase it. Additionally, provide real insights on successful stories from other clients or create infographics to simplify that data. Encourage them to read your ebooks or comprehensive guides to meet various learning styles and preferences.

Make sure you match these formats with the topic you build authority on. That way, you deliver your SaaS brand message to a broader but still strictly targeted audience. Not everyone is a fan of a blog post, but they’ll watch a video gladly – so make sure you diversify your SaaS content to meet different preferences. 

Create a Consistent Content Calendar

One way to stay ahead of the competition, especially in the SaaS industry, is to be consistent with all strategies. So, we suggest developing a content calendar to outline the topics, publication dates, and distribution strategies. That way, you keep the content team organized while ensuring a consistent online presence. 

User-Centric Content and Targeted Keyword Research 

Remember, you must keep your target audience at the forefront, even if you aim to rank higher on search engine result pages. As you spot the topics that resonate best with the target audience, you need to match the keyword research with it by identifying trending keywords, long-tail phrases, and industry-relevant terms. 

As a result, you easily align your content with the audience’s needs, establish authority, and turn the visitors into SaaS advocates – which is surely beneficial for the topical authority you aim to build.

Building Comprehensive SaaS Topic Clusters

The content you write and publish can be imagined as puzzle pieces. Each piece itself doesn’t give too much value, but when incorporated into the bigger picture, it becomes essential, and the true image is revealed. So, your blog post about “How to manage a large edtech team” may not receive enough traffic, but it’s an important piece for the “edtech team management” topic. 

By building comprehensive topic clusters, B2B SaaS companies can not only provide valuable information but also enhance their visibility in search engine results. 

We’ll use the puzzle analogy to explain the topic clusters better:

Core Pillar Content

Every puzzle has a central piece that connects the whole image. It’s the same about the topic clusters. At the heart of every cluster lies a pillar, which is a central informational hub on a key topic in your industry. It covers a lot of related questions and concerns, and you evolve the cluster starting from it. 

Cluster Content for B2B SaaS

Clusters are surrounding and supportive topics for the core pillar. These pieces provide in-depth coverage of the subtopics mentioned in the pillar, as well as practical tips and real-world examples. Usually, they’re linked to the pillar, so the users can have a seamless website journey and explore the topic deeper. 

Internal Linking

Internal links are the key to a successful topic cluster. By strategically incorporating anchor links between the cluster content, you create a valuable network of information and build authority for your content. 

Case Studies as Part of Cluster Topics

When you have a successful story to share, do that, but make it part of the cluster. Surely, case studies are often part of a separate website section, but with internal linking, you can easily make them part of the topical authority strategy, matching them with specific search intents to gain more organic traffic and conversions.

Quality and Depth: The Cornerstones of SaaS Topical Authority

If you’re in the SaaS, SEO, or content marketing industry, you know that quality and depth in content creation are the cornerstones of every strategy. As a B2B SaaS provider or someone who covers SEO and content creation services for the same industry, you must go beyond surface-level insights to showcase quality. 

That way, you help a SaaS company rise above the competition and become a trusted resource in the industry. But is there an easy way to build topical authority, produce various content, and stay true to quality and depth? 

Let’s see it better:

In-Depth Research and Data Representation

Skimming the surface for a generally known topic is not enough to build topical authority clusters, even if you match it with the search intent. You need to utilize more resources, conduct interviews, leverage user-generated content, and explore case studies for comprehensive coverage. Your content should provide answers to complex questions backed by data and expert insights.

Original Insights and Unique Perspectives

Sometimes, you’ll need to use common topics and ideas to establish authority, but in many cases, you need to offer unique perspectives and insights to strengthen the topic cluster. The goal is to become a thought leader, not a trend follower. That means you must focus on original content that captures attention primarily but also establishes you as an authority in the industry. 

Expert Contributions for More Credibility

If you have a chance, you can ask some experts to answer a few questions and cite them within the content. Also, consider guest posting as an option. As you receive endorsements, you increase the brand value to set you as a trusted source in your industry. 

Track the Engagement Metrics

To check on how the audience reacts to your content, you need to track the metrics and KPIs. Learn what those metrics represent, and use the data to improve your current strategy. As a result, you understand what quality the audience and industry expect from you, but also improve your rankings based on that.

Receiving Social Validation and Earning Backlinks

Backlinks are often controversial, especially when a person uses black-hat strategies to obtain one. But, with the topical authority concept, it’s all about earning them in an organic way through citations and social validation. Sometimes, you’ll need to work hard to earn a relevant backlink to your website or a specific content piece. But in some cases, you’ll naturally receive citations, endorsements, and even whole backlinks to your website. 

Create Easily Shareable Content

When creating content, the goal is to keep it helpful and useful but also highly shareable. Pay attention to the headlines, voice, visual elements, and actionable takeaways. Add social sharing buttons to your pages, and make sure your content resonates with the audience. 

Link Building Strategies for B2B SaaS

One of the most challenging tasks when it comes to both SEO and topical authority is to build high-quality links to boost your brand’s authority. Explore various link-building strategies, such as guest posting on authoritative industry websites, reaching out for partnerships and collaborations, and contributing valuable insights to forums and communities relevant to your niche. As you receive backlinks, you get more confident in your expertise or the service quality you provide. 

User Reviews and Testimonials

Very often, user reviews and testimonials enhance social validation. So, encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews and testimonials to boost your reputation and brand authority. Also, don’t be afraid to highlight the best testimonials on the homepage to make it even more appealing and relevant to the topic you cover. 

Monitor the Brand Mentions

Sometimes, other content creators may mention your brand across their channels without linking to your website. You need to acknowledge the mention, answer questions, appreciate the feedback, and foster a positive online reputation. Use the opportunity to receive citations and reinforce the brand authority.

Monitoring and Adapting Your Topical Authority Strategy

The initial strategy is not the final one. As time goes by, you’ll learn to track down the most important metrics and key performance indicators and adjust the topical authority approach accordingly. But never forget to monitor the effectiveness before making some significant changes. 

Set some important KPIs, use SEO and analytics tools, and run some competitor analysis. When possible, create an A/B test to see if small changes make significant differences. Keep up with the industry trends and incorporate niche-specific news in your content strategy. Regularly review the old content and update it, but don’t skip on creating new pieces, too. 

That’s the best way to raise your authoritative voice and maintain a consistent SaaS topical authority strategy. 

Final Thoughts on Topical Authority and Keyword Intent for B2B SaaS

As we proved, keyword intent and topical authority are tightly related, so you understand the importance of aligning them within your content strategy. All the tips and instructions in this article will help strengthen your current online position by making your brand even more reputable and recognizable. 

So, focus on niche-specific keyword research and align it with the proposed content clusters you want to focus on. That way, you target both users and search engines, becoming a reputable source of exact B2B SaaS-related information within the industry.

In general, topical authority and search intent optimization are your strategic allies in the pursuit of success in the B2B SaaS world. You only have to match them with the target audience and successfully navigate through the competitive SaaS industry, leaving a lasting impact.

About the Author

Picture of Elena Daskalova

Elena Daskalova

Experienced content writer with a focus on SaaS content marketing and copywriting. With a passion for crafting compelling stories, paired with expertise, delivers narratives that drive customer engagement and growth.