Keyword Research

The Fundamentals of Keyword Research for SaaS SEO

Pushkar Sinha
Oct 18, 2023
14 mins read
The Fundamentals of Keyword Research for SaaS SEO

In the changing world of online business, one crucial factor determines success: keyword research. In the realm of SaaS, mastering this aspect of SEO is like having access to a treasure trove of opportunities. Picture a situation where your crafted SaaS product or service is a hidden gem amidst the vast digital landscape waiting to be discovered. This is where the art and science of keyword research play a role. By delving into users’ minds and understanding their search behaviors, you open the door to website traffic.

This blog post is your guide through the vital process of keyword targeting, revealing the significance of keyword research in SaaS SEO and providing actionable strategies to harness its power. The content in this blog will empower your SaaS company with the knowledge and tools needed to conduct adequate keyword research and outrank your competitors for high-intent keywords.

What is SaaS Keyword Research? And Why Does it Matter for SaaS SEO?

At its core, conducting keyword research for SaaS involves identifying and selecting specific words and phrases that potential customers commonly use when searching for software solutions on the internet. This practice goes beyond guesswork. Understand the analytics and trends that shape user behavior. This data and research will provide you valuable insights into the language and queries most relevant to your product marketing. SaaS companies can use tools and techniques to uncover a treasure trove of promising keywords that align perfectly with their offer.

In the world of SaaS, where innovation is ever-present, visibility is crucial. This is where the importance of keyword research in SaaS SEO becomes undeniably evident. When executed effectively, keyword research is a guiding compass that leads users directly to your solution amidst a sea of alternatives. It bridges the gap between your product’s capabilities and what users are actively searching for. A thought-out keyword strategy enhances your search engine rankings and establishes your SaaS offering as a relevant and trustworthy solution in the eyes of your target audience.

Targeted Keywords and Attracting the Right Audience:

The connection between keywords and attracting the audience is directly correlated. By focusing on keywords that precisely reflect the problems and aspirations of your users, you improve your chances of being discovered by individuals who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. 

It goes without saying that the keywords you target are highly dependent on the stage at which your prospect is in the sales funnel. For instance, to reach the top of the funnel, prospects who are unaware of your existence may want to start with more generic and informational keywords. But for prospects in the middle or bottom of the funnel, you might want to address keywords that are high on commercial intent.

This accuracy boosts the effectiveness of your lead-generation efforts. It lays a foundation for building a user base that is more likely to convert into paying customers.

Impact on Content Strategy and Conversion Rates:

Keyword research plays a role in creating a content strategy. It helps determine the topics and themes that should be covered in your content and guides the language and tone used to engage with your audience. When aligned with the keywords, your content resonates with users on a level, positioning your SaaS solution as the solution to their needs. This resonance directly impacts conversion rates. Providing content that directly addresses user intent increases the likelihood of guiding them through the conversion funnel, resulting in sign-ups, subscriptions, and sales. Therefore, keyword research serves as a link between visibility and conversion when it comes to SaaS SEO.

Identifying the Right Keywords for Your SaaS Product

Different types of keywords serve different purposes in searches. Informational keywords aim to educate or solve a problem. Navigational keywords are used to find websites or brands, and transactional keywords indicate an intent to make a purchase. Combining these categories allows you to create an approach that caters to users at every stage of their journey.

When identifying keywords, two critical factors come into play: search volume and keyword difficulty. Search volume measures how frequently a specific keyword is used in search queries, indicating its popularity. Keyword difficulty, on the other hand, assesses the level of competition for a keyword. It’s crucial to strike the balance between these metrics. While high search volume may suggest an audience, it often comes with increased competition. Finding the equilibrium ensures you target keywords that offer visibility and conversion opportunities.

To further refine your keyword selection for your SaaS product, consider the following tips: align your chosen keywords with your value proposition, focus on long tail keywords that address solutions, and include location-based keywords if relevant to your target audience. Additionally, keep an eye on industry trends. Adjust your keyword strategy accordingly.

Your work doesn’t end at identifying the right keywords. You need to create keyword clusters to include keywords more systematically. Keyword clusters are strategic groups of related keywords that enhance the context and relevance of the content. Begin by identifying parent clusters that encapsulate core offerings and refining them into specific child clusters targeting distinct sales funnel stages. This approach broadens reach and tailors content to meet specific customer needs, ultimately boosting visibility, engagement, and conversions. Embrace keyword clusters for a more precise and impactful SaaS SEO strategy

Regularly reviewing and improving your list of keywords ensures that it stays aligned with your intended audience’s changing needs and preferences. This thorough method of selecting keywords is crucial for a SaaS SEO strategy as it enables you to attract website traffic with accuracy and intent.

Tools Utilized for Conducting Keyword Research

When conducting keyword research for your SaaS product, having a range of tools and platforms can significantly assist you. And you need to use everything at your disposal. Let’s start with discussing some free and organic options. We will also discuss the paid tools available that you can use.

  1. Team Brainstorming: Start with brainstorming a general targeting strategy with the key stakeholders of your SaaS company. Discuss questions like, what are the seed keywords they think are most critical to the brand perception?
  2. Google Search: After that, you need to input those keywords in Google Search and check for the keywords Google suggests. You can also do the same thing on YouTube for a wider understanding of keyword targeting in your niche.
  1. AnswerThePublic: This free tool helps you discover the questions people in your niche ask. You can also switch between different platforms, from Google, Bing, and YouTube. It also shares other relevant data points, like search volume and CPC, that help you make more informed decisions for your keyword targeting strategy.
  1. Google Keyword Planner: This free-to-use tool provided by Google offers insights into keyword search volume, competition level and suggested bid estimates for Google Ads campaigns. It serves as a starting point to grasp keyword metrics.

Among the paid options, these are the three notable choices: Moz, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.

  1. SEMrush is an SEO toolkit with various features such as keyword research, competitor analysis, and website auditing. Its Keyword Magic Tool proves valuable in discovering keywords along with their metrics.
  2. Ahrefs is an SEO tool renowned for its backlink analysis capabilities but also excels in keyword research. Its Keyword Explorer tool gives users insights into search volume, keyword difficulty levels, and more.
  3. Moz Keyword Explorer furnishes fundamental keyword information alongside rank monitoring, site evaluations, and reports on-page optimization. The tool assigns a Priority Score to assist you in determining the suitability of a keyword for targeting. This score is derived from both the keyword’s data and your personalized “My Score,” which reflects the keyword’s relevance to your business. 

Step by Step Instructions:

Using Google Keyword Planner

  1. Access the Tool: Sign in to your Google Ads. Navigate to the Keyword Planner located under the ‘Tools & Settings menu.
  2. Begin a New Search: Click on the option ‘Discover New Keywords and input seed keywords or the URL of your website.
  3. Review Keyword Suggestions: The tool will generate a list of keyword suggestions and metrics, such as monthly searches and competition levels.

Using SEMrush

  1. Log in and access the Keyword Magic Tool: Once logged into SEMrush, navigate to the ‘Keyword Analytics section. Select the ‘Keyword Magic Tool’.
  2. Input Seed Keywords: Enter your seed keywords. SEMrush will then provide a list of keywords, including metrics such as search volume and keyword difficulty.
  3. Filter and Export Data: Utilize filters to refine your keyword list based on parameters like search volume, keyword difficulty, and more. Following this, you can export the list for analysis.

Using Ahrefs

  1. Access the Keyword Explorer: Within your Ahrefs dashboard, click ‘Keywords Explorer.’ Input your initial seed keywords.
  2. Explore Keyword Metrics: Ahrefs will furnish information regarding search volume keyword difficulty among relevant metrics. Additionally, you can also view metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and the parent topic.
  3. Start your keyword analysis: Carefully examine the list of keyword ideas. Apply filters to narrow down the relevant options for your SaaS product.

To understand each step involved in the process, please refer to the screenshots that illustrate how to use tools such as Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush.

By following these step-by-step instructions and utilizing the functionalities provided by tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, you will be well-prepared to conduct adequate keyword research for your SaaS product. This will set a foundation for implementing an SEO strategy that drives targeted organic traffic to your website.

Competitor Analysis and Keyword Gap

Competitor keyword analysis is a cornerstone of any effective keyword research strategy. It involves dissecting the keywords that competitors are successfully ranking for. Begin by identifying your primary competitors, those that vie for similar audience attention in the SaaS sphere. Utilize tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to generate a comprehensive list of their top-ranking keywords. Pay special attention to long-tail keywords and those with high search volumes, as these often signify valuable opportunities.

Understanding Keyword Gap Analysis:

Keyword gap analysis identifies the keywords your competitors are ranking for but aren’t. This technique highlights untapped opportunities in your niche. It involves comparing your keyword portfolio with that of your competitors, pinpointing the terms they’ve successfully targeted that you may have overlooked. By identifying this gap, you can tailor your strategy to fill these potential voids in your content, ensuring you’re not missing out on crucial organic traffic.

To leverage the keywords that competitors may have missed, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Competitor Keywords: Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to compile a list of keywords your competitors rank for.
  2. Analyze Search Intent: Understand the intent behind these keywords. Are they informational, navigational, or transactional? This helps you align them with your content marketing strategy.
  3. Filter High-Value Keywords: Focus on high-value keywords with a balance of search volume and competition. Look for long-tail keywords that demonstrate specific user intent.
  4. Create Tailored Content: Develop content around these identified keywords. Provide comprehensive, insightful information that addresses the user’s intent.
  5. Optimize On-Page Elements: Ensure your content is well-structured, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines. This includes meta tags, headers, and keyword placement.
  6. Monitor Performance: Track the performance of your created content for these newly targeted keywords. Adjust your strategy based on the results.

By incorporating competitor and keyword gap analysis into your keyword research strategy, you uncover valuable insights that can catapult your SaaS product or service into the limelight. These techniques refine your content strategy and position you to seize untapped opportunities in the digital landscape. As you delve into the world of competitor-driven keyword research, you equip yourself with the tools to keep pace and lead the pack in the dynamic realm of SaaS SEO.

Long-Tail Keywords and User Intent

Long-tail keywords are search queries that typically contain three or more words. Unlike general keywords, long tail keywords provide detailed information and often reveal a user’s intent or interest. In the realm of SaaS SEO, they play a role in targeting a niche audience. While each long-tail keyword may not generate search volumes, combining them can contribute significantly to your organic traffic. This makes long-tail keywords extremely valuable in attracting users seeking solutions or information your SaaS product offers.

Understanding user intent is essential in the field of SEO. Long tail keywords prove effective in aligning with user intents. For example, a user searching for “project management software for teams” clearly indicates their intention to find a type of SaaS solution. Incorporating long-tail keywords into your content increases the chances of attracting leads and providing precisely what the user wants. This not only enhances the user experience but also maximizes conversion potential.

Discovering and Incorporating Long-Tail Keywords:

  1. Take advantage of tools: Use search engines and tools, like Google Autocomplete or AnswerThePublic, to discover suggestions for specific keywords. These platforms provide insights into the phrases and questions that users commonly search for.
  2. Study competitors’ keyword choices: To analyze your competitors, identify the long tail keywords they rank for. These can serve as inspiration when creating your content.
  1. Embrace semantic search: Understand the terms and synonyms associated with your keywords. You can tap into long-tail opportunities by incorporating these variations into your content.
  2. Address user concerns: Consider the challenges or problems that your SaaS product solves—craft content around these pain points using targeted long-tail keywords that resonate with users seeking solutions.
  3. Develop guides and tutorials: Long tail keywords often align with users searching for information. Create guides, tutorials, and how-to content that seamlessly incorporate these phrases.
  4. Continuously monitor performance: Refine strategy; Regularly track the performance of your content optimized with long tail keywords. Analyze metrics such as traffic, user engagement, and conversions to gain insights and refine your keyword strategy.

By acknowledging the effectiveness of long-tail keywords and comprehending their alignment with users’ intentions, you position your SaaS product in a way that attracts a motivated audience. These specific keywords did not increase the visibility of your content. Also, enhance the chances of converting visitors into customers. Incorporating and consistently monitoring long-tail keywords becomes an element of your SaaS SEO strategy, driving focused organic traffic that produces tangible outcomes.

Understanding Keyword Mapping

Keyword mapping is an aspect of SEO where specific target keywords are assigned to pages on your website. This strategic practice ensures that each page is optimized for a set of keywords that are relevant to its content and purpose. By aligning keywords with pages, you create an organized roadmap for search engines to comprehend the content and intent of each page. This not only enhances the user experience. Also increases the likelihood of achieving higher rankings in search engine results for those targeted keywords.

Monitoring and Adapting Your Keyword Strategy

In the changing landscape of SEO, the effectiveness of your keyword strategy can vary over time. Search trends evolve, user behavior changes, and competitors adjust their approaches. That’s why it is crucial to engage in keyword tracking and monitoring. Regularly assessing the performance of your chosen keywords permits you to stay flexible and responsive to shifts in the environment. It provides insights into what strategies are effective, what needs adjustment, and where new opportunities may arise.

When it comes to adjusting your keyword targeting strategy, data serves as your guide.

To begin, analyze metrics like traffic click-through rates and conversion rates for each keyword. Take note of any keywords that are not performing well and consider replacing or optimizing them. Stay updated on emerging trends and new keyword opportunities that align with your SaaS product or service. Additionally, keep a watch on your competitors’ actions. Be ready to adapt based on their successes or failures. Maintaining an SEO presence in the evolving digital landscape is crucial by adopting a flexible and data-driven approach to keyword strategy.


Keyword research plays a role in achieving success in SaaS SEO. This guide has emphasized the importance of keyword research in generating traffic and enhancing visibility. It is worth noting that this process is continuous as it requires adapting to changing trends and user behavior to maintain its effectiveness. By refining your keyword strategy, your SaaS product will be positioned strongly for long-term success in the digital landscape.

About Pushkar Sinha

Pushkar Sinha SaaS SEO expert Pushkar Sinha

Pushkar Sinha is the Head of Digital Marketing at FirstPrinciples Growth Advisory. With 15+ years of expertise, he specializes in SEO for European, American, and Indian markets, both in agency and in-house roles. His holistic skill set encompasses Google Ads, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, E-Commerce, and Project Management. Pushkar...

About Pushkar Sinha

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