SaaS Keyword Research: The Ultimate Strategy to Drive Traffic and Conversions

Written by: Elena Daskalova
Jul / 31 / 2023

When talking about SaaS keyword research, we must highlight the fact it’s a little different compared to traditional SEO strategies. Even though you use the same tools to help you in the process, the approach is different, knowing that SaaS products offer unique values and target various audience groups. 

So, if you are struggling to rank further, even though your website is technically right and you pay attention to EEAT signals for SaaS, maybe it’s time to reinvent the current SaaS SEO strategy and conduct new in-depth keyword research. 

No matter what tool you use, if you nail the thinking process and understand the audience, you’ll extract the most useful SaaS keywords and map them accordingly. 

So, here are some steps you can take to enhance the keyword research for your SaaS product:

1. The Power Of Keyword Brainstorming

In the beginning, you can start with questions and queries completely unaware searchers may have. Remember, the goal is to help these people understand what they need. So, imagine there is someone, like a team leader or manager, and they’re looking for some solution for effective team management. Now, put yourself in their role. What would you search for on Google? 

Would it be something like “how to manage a team” or “tips for team management?” Or maybe “team management software” or even “big team management solution.” What about “team performance management?” Write down all these ideas in a document or Google sheet. Think about all the questions they may have related to the solution. For a minute, be a customer, not a SaaS service provider. Try to come up with the best and most accurate search query you want your website to appear on Google’s first page results. 

Think about the pain points, not the “patches” you use to heal them. Identify specific needs without offering a solution. That’s how you understand your target audience and establish a strong base for your further SaaS keyword research.

2. Find a Seed Keyword and Start Your Research 

Brainstorming can help you detect one or a few highly relevant keywords for your SaaS business. Now, you need to choose your favorite tools, like Ahrefs or SemRush, or even use Google Keyword Planner or WordStream to find the top SaaS keywords for your company. Carefully monitor the data like keyword difficulty, search volume, traffic potential, etc. 

Ideally, you’ll need to spot the ones with lower competition but large traffic potential. Start with a seed keyword, i.e., the one you would use to start a search journey to lead you to your website. Also, check if you’re already ranking for some relevant search query that you don’t use already in your content. 

As you create the list, you’ll get even more creative, coming up with more ideas about how you want searchers to find you on the internet. And everything starts with a seed keyword, leading to a larger strategy to implement. 

Tip: If you don’t have access to paid keyword research tools, you can leverage the free ones, like Ahrefs Keyword Generator.

3. Understand the Difference Between SaaS SEO and Traditional SEO

When we say “traditional SEO,” we refer to every well-known on-page, off-page, technical, and local optimization for a broad audience. But B2B SaaS SEO is a little different because the goal is to attract customers, not just traffic to engage. That means you need to consider creating a buyer journey, defining the stages, and finding keywords that would fit the content for every stage. 

For example, for those who are only aware of some problems or pain points, you need to create informative and educational content. That’s why you need to use informative keywords for that content type. But for those who are considering signing up for a demo or trial, you need different keywords with consideration and transactional intent. 

Compared to any other strategy, SEO for SaaS targets many transactional keywords like “team management software price” or “team management tool demo,” so obviously, you have to include these keywords in your sales content. 

4. Understand the Unique Values of Your SaaS Product

SaaS is a pretty competitive industry, and many competitors already target a lot of niche-specific keywords. But before delving deeper into keyword research, think about what’s unique about your product. What’s different? Is there any feature you want your customers to be aware of? Research deeply, even if the specific keyword has a lower search volume. Sometimes, that means it’s relevant to your target audience, increasing the ranking and traffic potential. 

Use the previously mentioned keyword tools (or the ones you prefer) to find even more variations of your seed keyword, adding the unique values of your product. For example, if your product offers real-time reporting to the team leader or detailed reports to be exported in a preferred format, make sure you check on the potential of a keyword like “real-time reporting management tool” or something like that. That’s how you build a comprehensive list of relevant keywords while highlighting the unique value of your SaaS product. 

5. Analyze the Competition and Their Search Engine Ranking Performance

SaaS keyword research doesn’t stop with the seed-word list. You still need to refine it by analyzing and monitoring your competitors. Check on their high-ranking results, but also for opportunities they miss from their strategy. 

Identify keywords they are targeting and whether there are any gaps in their approach. Their gaps offer a completely new opportunity for you. 

6. Consider Using SaaS-Specific Keywords

You probably know the rule not to stuff your content with niche-specific jargon, but SEO for SaaS allows you to do that. Remember, you’re not only raising awareness around your brand and educating the website visitors. There will be many who already know they need a solution and consider you as one of the best options. 

So, when you incorporate these specific keywords in the right places, like sales pages, contact pages, or within direct communication with the prospects, you boost your credibility as a SaaS service provider. Not only do potential customers find you more relevant, but you also build your image within the SaaS community.

7. Use Reviews and Customer Questions to Identify Even More Keywords

Review the current clients and all the communication you have with them. Pay attention to their feedback and reviews, so you can get a fantastic insight into your Voice of Customers (VoC). Additionally, explore the target audience and their behavior online. Find them on threads like Reddit or Quora, or niche-specific forums. 

Keep in mind that this step is not a direct keyword research, but a method to refine your keyword list and find a connection between all those results you found. Don’t forget to check on social media too, as well as competition reviews and comments. Now, it’s time to analyze what’s happening. 

You can open a new document or spreadsheet and paste the reviews and sentences you find most appealing and appropriate for your keyword research flow. Now, check if there is any pattern you can spot. Look for specific words customers use when reviewing a SaaS product. Spot some powerful queries, and even more important, check on what customers find missing from the product they review. For example, check if they say something like “An intuitive interface, but lacks structure and reporting options,” or “Great tool, but I think it will be better if they include time tracking option.” 

At this point you’re already deep into research, and this approach will help you easily spot some weak points in your strategy and turn them into advantages and opportunities.

8. Refine Your SaaS Keyword Research

As you follow the previously described tips and steps, you will get a messy document with so many entries on it. So, it’s time to refine it, keep what’s relevant, and keep a reserve for additional keywords. 

How to do that?

Get ready because this part will be the longest:

Organize and Categorize SaaS-Related Keywords

The first thing to do is to remove the duplicates and irrelevant keywords, but also those that don’t align with your content strategies and/or target audience. Then group similar keywords to create clusters for specific intents. 

Analyze the Search Intent

Create a table to systemize the keywords according to the intent. This is crucial to match the content with user expectations. 

Informational Intent: Keywords for those seeking information or answers, like “what is team management” or “how to manage my team effectively.”

Navigational Intent: Keywords targeting specific web pages or brands, like “SmartClick SaaS SEO” or “StatusCast login.”

Consideration (or Commercial) Intent: Users are seeking more information before making a purchase decision, like “best team management tools” or “management tool 1 vs. management tool 2” comparisons. 

Transactional Intent: Users are ready to buy or sign up, like “team management free trial” or “buy team management software.”

Check on the Google Search Results

As you analyze the top-ranking results for each keyword, you can better understand the dominant intent for it. Sometimes a keyword can be in the middle between two intents, so search results will help you understand which one is more appropriate. 

For example, if you find a lot of blogs, guides, and tutorials, the intent for that keyword will be informational. If results are more like reviews, comparisons, or pricing pages, the keyword has a consideration/commercial intent. And for transactional ones, if the top results include product pages, sign-up forms, or free trials, then the intent is clear. 

Look For Modifiers in the Keywords

You can refine the keyword intent even better when looking at certain words and phrases. Again, these modifiers signal specific intent, but the rest of the query gives more context. 

Commercial and consideration intent: “Best,” “Top,” “Ultimate,” etc. 

Informational intent: “How to,” “Tutorial,” “Tips to,” or “Guide.”

Transactional intent: “Buy,” “Sign Up,” “Purchase,” “Deal”

Consider User Experience

Once again, put yourself in the user role and think about what you expect to find when using a particular keyword. That way, you can place the keyword appropriately in your content, providing an exceptional and seamless user experience. 

Monitor the Performance

Set key performance indicators, i.e., important metrics, and check how it goes in the period after implementation. Once you optimize for the relevant keywords, it may take some time until the results show up. Analyze metrics such as organic traffic, time on page, bounce rate, and conversions to assess how well your content satisfies user intent.

Our Thoughts on Keyword Research for SaaS

Finding the best SaaS Keywords for your SaaS SEO strategy is an ongoing process that requires a lot of dedication, analyzing, and optimizing. While the ultimate goal is to find the top SaaS keywords relevant to your business, you shouldn’t forget about the elements like buyer journey and search intent. That way, you won’t overwhelm your content with duplicate and irrelevant keywords. 

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.