10 SaaS Keyword Research Tactics that boost Traffic and Sales (Insider Tips)
- Published On:October 3, 2023
When it comes to ranking on Google, Keyword Research is the first and foremost thing that comes to your mind. Keyword Research is the main part of any SEO campaign and is even more important for SaaS brands.
Now, we’re not pulling this out of thin air. We’ve got a treasure trove of insights, having worked closely with over 50 SaaS brands, helping them navigate the intricate world of keywords. In this article, we’re not just going to spill the beans; we’re going to provide you with actionable keyword research tactics and strategies that will give your SaaS brand a competitive edge. So, whether you’re a SaaS startup looking to make a splash or an established player aiming to stay at the forefront, fasten your seatbelt because we’re about to dive headfirst into the fascinating realm of SaaS Keyword Research. Let’s get started! 🚀
SaaS Keyword Research is a bit different from other B2B or B2C keyword research, as SaaS brands need to maintain a balance between targeting keywords with commercial intent and informational intent.
That’s why it’s important to have a good Keyword research strategy ready to use. This blog won’t give you the same Keyword Research Tips that you’d find anywhere on the Internet.
We’ve curated a very extensive, and to-the-point list of all the 15 SaaS keyword research Strategies that you need to implement to increase traffic and rankings.
Ready? Let’s go!
You should go through all of these 15 steps in the same order as it’s written to get the best keyword list at the end.
Are you running a SaaS startup and struggling to get signups despite investing time and effort in SEO? You’re not alone. Many early and mid-stage startups make a common mistake: chasing after high-volume keywords that are incredibly hard to rank for. In this guide, we’ll reveal the key to keyword success that can truly boost your business.
The Mistake: Chasing High-Volume, Competitive Keywords
Picture this: Your SaaS company specializes in marketing tools with a focus on SEO. Naturally, you might think targeting keywords like “seo” or “what is seo” is the way to go. These keywords boast high search volumes, but they also come with sky-high competition. Companies like Moz, Ahrefs, and Hubspot dominate these niches, making it nearly impossible to outrank them.
Take “what is seo” as an example. It has a daunting keyword difficulty score of 95 out of 100, and to even have a shot at ranking on the first page of Google, you’d need a whopping 1391 websites linking to your content. That’s a Herculean task!
Now, consider the user’s perspective. Someone searching for “what is seo” is likely looking for information, not shopping for your SaaS product. College grads and interns won’t be pulling out their wallets based on this search.
What the Top Articles for These Keywords Are About
A quick look at the top-ranking articles for such keywords reveals that they’re primarily informational. So, why are big companies still going after them? Well, mature companies can afford to chase competitive keywords, even if it doesn’t yield immediate revenue. They invest millions in branding through sponsorships and conferences, which is often cheaper in the long run.
The Winning Keyword Strategy for SaaS Startups
Early-stage SaaS startups should adopt a keyword strategy tailored to acquiring users and boosting revenue. Instead of aiming for the SEO Mount Everest, focus on keywords with low difficulty and high purchase intent.
Target Keywords Like These for Your SEO Tool Company:
These keywords may not have the search volume of giants like “seo” but they come with intent. When someone searches for them, they’re likely considering your type of product. A well-crafted blog post can easily convert 3% or more of its readers into signups.
So, Should You Ever Target High-Volume Keywords?
Absolutely, but only after you’ve exhausted the potential of bottom-of-the-funnel keywords. Start small, build your user base, and as your SaaS startup matures, you’ll have the resources to tackle those competitive giants. It’s all about strategic growth.
Remember, in the world of keyword strategy for SaaS startups, it’s not about chasing the biggest fish; it’s about reeling in the right ones.
BOFU keywords are the ones that matter most when potential customers are on the cusp of making a decision. They’re in the final stages of their buyer’s journey, actively seeking solutions and weighing options. For SaaS brands, this is where the rubber meets the road – it’s the moment of conversion.
90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases. And here’s the kicker – they conduct an average of 12 searches before engaging on a specific brand’s site. In this digital age, your visibility in these crucial moments is paramount.
Five Pillars of BOFU Keyword Research:
Big companies often have a wide range of features, and many online searches revolve around these features. Typically, these companies might not create in-depth articles about each feature; at most, they’ll have a separate landing page dedicated to it. This situation presents a significant opportunity for smaller players in the market.
For instance, if you offer a project management SaaS tool, you can potentially siphon traffic from more prominent brands like ClickUp, Asana , Trello, and Monday.com by creating content that focuses on specific features. These keywords tend to be less competitive, making it easier for your content to rank in search results.
Let me provide an example to illustrate this strategy,
If you have a project management SaaS tool, you can use this approach to steal traffic from more established competitors.
For instance, consider the keyword “ClickUp dark mode,” which has a low keyword difficulty (KD) score of 0 and a global search volume of 100.
If you create a well-optimized article or landing page about ClickUp’s dark mode, you’re likely to rank highly in search results quite quickly. When users search for “ClickUp dark mode” and come across your blog post, which discusses ClickUp’s dark mode in detail, you can gradually introduce them to your own product’s dark mode.
If they find your blog informative and valuable, they may be more inclined to explore your product. At the very least, your brand becomes more familiar to these users. If they encounter your brand across various channels or blogs multiple times, they may eventually convert into customers.
Here’s another example: “Asana client portal,” which also has a low keyword difficulty (KD) of 0 and a global search volume of 150.
In this case, your project management SaaS tool is on the second search result for this keyword, and your page can have an impressive 8-11% conversion rate (compared to the industry average of 0.5%).
These gems are your opportunity to present your SaaS solution as the superior alternative. Craft content that showcases why your product shines compared to competitors.
How to find such keywords? (Let’s assume you have CRM tool)
Just visit software directories like g2.com, softwareadvice.com or capterra.com and search the software category. In our case, it’s Social Media Management tools. Sort the tools based on the reviews and you will have a nice list of dominating brands in your category.
There are 2700 searches happening every month related to hootsuite alternatives.
Can you guess the traffic value for the page which is ranking 1st for these keywords? Crazy 8.9k$.
In the age-old “A vs. B” showdowns, provide detailed comparisons of any two competitors while promoting your SaaS offering. Transparency can win trust.
How to find such keywords? (Let’s assume you have CRM tool)
As SaaS users seek tools that seamlessly integrate into their existing tech stack, targeting integration keywords can highlight your product’s compatibility.
How to target such keywords? (Let’s assume you have build time tracking software)
In our case, it will be Asana Time Tracking.
Let’s now talk about another important way of stealing your competitor’s traffic – Competitor Pricing Keywords.
Traditionally, SaaS SEO teams write a big article about competitors, make a landing page, and group everything in it. So, an extensive article on Trello covers what Trello is, use cases, features, pricing, reviews, and alternatives & then pushes their own product.
Guess what, if a user is looking for Trello pricing, he/she is not interested in other things like reviews & alternatives. So the intent in these articles is not satisfied. An article with just Trello pricing (and if google search is – Trello pricing) would outrank everything.
If you check the top 10 results, there is only one article about Trello Review(On 9th position) ranking for Trello Pricing keyword.
Now you may wonder why marketing teams club everything together?
The teams don’t see enough standalone articles to know its effectiveness. Secondly, clubbing everything together saves a lot of time and costs & there are still good chances you will be on page 1 of google.
You can find out a lot of keyword ideas from your competitor’s content. Analyzing their content will give you a bird’s-eye view of how they’re using their keyword strategy, and help you outrank them.
There are multiple ways of doing this,
Tools like Ahrefs allow you to spy on your competitor’s strategy. To use Ahrefs to find competitor data, you need to go to the Site Explorer tool and then type in your competitor’s domain URL.
Now if you click on keywords, you will find all the keywords from traffic coming.
There are many options for filtering based on keyword difficulty, volume, CPC, position and traffic. It’s recommended to start with a lower KD keyword if you just launched your SaaS brand.
You can also check top traffic generating pages by clicking on Top Pages in the left side menu.
After clicking on top pages, you will find the pages which are generating the highest traffic and conversation(higher the traffic value = higher conversions) for the competitor brand.
Tip: When you are entering Sitemap URL in the sitemap extractor do not forget to add Https:// ahead in the URL.
Before you start digging into Keywords Software and begin your official research. It’s wise to sit and brainstorm a few ideas of the potential keywords you want to rank for.
Once you’ve got a list of all the keyword ideas you can start researching more about them, and removing them as you go. You need to brainstorm all the ideas that fall under the above Search Intent.
For example, say you’re a SaaS Email Marketing software, your keyword list can look something like this-
Email Marketing for SaaS Brands
Best Email Marketing Tools
Discount offers on
email marketing software uk
Email Marketing Practices
Free Email Marketing Softwares
Black friday deals on email marketing tools
Email Marketing for eCommerce
MailChimp vs Mailerlite
Start creating tables or buckets like these and then cross off the ones that don’t match with your brand or metrics. The best way to brainstorm ideas is to think like your customer. Understand their pain points, and their struggles, and then create your buckets.
Ranking on Google amidst all the content that’s been published on the internet is tough. As a SaaS brand, your first motive with SEO should be to bring conversions aka sales. To bring in conversions with SEO, there are certain metrics you need to keep in account while choosing keywords. These metrics should be CPC, PPC, and CTR.
Create a list of keywords that fall under these metrics, and are less competitive, and you’ll have conversions faster.
There are many keyword research tools in the market, but the one, we at Team SaaSlinko, use is Ahrefs. Ahrefs offer many features that you can use to improve your website and ranking opportunities. Ahrefs has a free keyword research tool that you can use to get a certain amount of data.
If you go to the Keyword Generator Tool, and type in your main keyword, as used here Keto Diet. You’ll find a drop-down of all the potential keywords and their data that you can select and target.
Choosing a good keyword research tool is essential for the success of SaaS SEO. You can also measure the keywords metrics on the basis of-
Going to online forums, and review sites can give you an idea of the keywords or phrases your customers are using to describe your SaaS. Forums like Reddit, Quora, Slack groups, etc can give you a lot of insight into your customer’s pain points. G2, and Capterra, are also some great review sites where you can check customers’ reviews.
Once you start going through all these platforms, you’ll notice a pattern, the same keyword repeated by a lot of customers. Store that keyword, and go on to Ahrefs to do your research. If the keyword fits into your SEO strategy then you can add it to your list.
If your SaaS does multiple things all at once then it’s better to use the Jobs-to-be-done method. Take Hotjar for example. Hotjar has designed various features into specific groups. You can see the drop-down under Why Hotjar option, where there are specific options, like For Product Managers, For Product Designers, etc.
All of these features have different functions and roles, but by simply categorizing things, they’ve made it easier for their customers to go to the feature they want. Plus, create different pages for the different features, and rank for those keywords.
It’s time you inform your Sales Team to start recording the sales calls they probably conduct every single day. It’s a goldmine of keyword ideas.
Sales Calls are used to analyze your customer’s pain points. Once you’ve their specific pain points ready, you can start creating content around them. Most of the time your customer’s pain points are long-tail keywords with zero traffic. It’s your chase to direct the traffic to your page.
If the long-tail keywords show zero searches, then you can create content around that specific problem, and attract visitors. It’s a time-consuming possession, but one that can give you a huge edge over your competitors.
Google Ads run by your competitors is also a great way to find more keyword ideas. If your competitors are paying to target some keywords, then those keywords might be worth addressing as well. You can use Ahrefs to find the keywords you’re competitor’s Ads are targeting, and see if you can target them as well.
You can also use the Paid Ad keywords in your organic traffic generating strategy. You can also refer to Google Ads to find this data.
These 15 insider tips and tricks to find the best keywords for your SaaS brand will give you an edge over your competitors. But SEO is not just about Keywords.
If you want to increase your chances of ranking on Google, then make sure you sign up for the SaaSlinko blog, so that you always get notified when we next release our insider secrets and tips!
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