The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Keyword Research


If you’re looking to implement best SEO practices on your SaaS website to achieve a higher ranking in search engines like Google, Bing, etc., you have to focus a lot of your time and effort on extensive research. 

The first step in this process is defining your target customer base, pinpointing the keywords they use in search engines, and the intention of their searches—i.e., do keyword research.

If done correctly, SaaS keyword research can help you set a good foundation for your website and establish yourself as an authority in the field. This is because when you turn to the results of your keyword research, you will know more about your target audience, and thus you can create content that caters to their specific needs—this, in turn, will bring more organic traffic to your SaaS website.

How To Do SaaS Keyword Research

A SaaS keyword research process entails the following:

  • Brainstorming a seed list of topics
  • Using your seed term to find your competitors and new keywords
  • Placing the seed into a keyword tool
  • Determining the target audience
  • Using keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to identify relevant keywords
  • Analyzing the results for each keyword to understand the searcher’s intent
  • Building a list of target keywords based on volume, difficulty, and relevance to your product
  • Using the target keywords when creating content
  • Continuously monitoring and refining your keyword research

Every good project starts with a brainstorming session. For SaaS keyword research, begin by brainstorming a seed list of keywords and phrases prevalent in your business field. Try to have a thorough list of keywords to cover all your bases. Your seed list can help you find out who your competitors are and what keywords they are using so you can draw a comparison. 

Next, it is time to use a keyword tool to determine your target audience and identify relevant keywords. Analyze the results for every keyword to understand the searcher’s intent, as this will help you pinpoint the keywords you need to use for the product or service you are providing. Lastly, you can use the relevant keywords when creating content for your SaaS website. 

It is important to keep monitoring and revising your keyword research to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry so that you can provide your customers with precisely what they need.

Research Search Intent of Keywords

One of the crucial parts of keyword research is determining the searcher’s intent in order to offer your target audience what they are looking for. 

To discover the search intent for specific keywords, search for it on Google and go through the first 2-3 results to find out what Google “thinks” searchers are looking for. You can even use this search to add more keywords to your list or add a column for each keyword noting the type of content that ranks for them (e.g., blog posts, product detail pages, etc.).

Keywords usually fall into these categories of searcher intent:

  • Awareness: These are the keywords that searchers use when they seek education or are looking to form an opinion regarding a topic.
  • Research: These keywords are usually more specific than awareness keywords as they are used by those who have some knowledge of the topic and want to learn more about it.
  • Transactional: These keywords are used by searchers looking to purchase a product or service.

Pinpointing the search intent of some keywords can be difficult, so it is a good idea to target longer-tail keywords for transactional search intent and more generic terms for awareness search intent. However, blog articles, typically used for awareness or research purposes, can work very well for the transactional phase as you can show users how the product you sell works.

Types of Keywords and Where To Focus

As we have mentioned before, there are two types of keywords:

  • General keywords: As their name suggests, these are broader phrases in terms of what they could be used for, even though they typically contain only a few words.
  • Long-tail keywords: are the opposite of general keywords as they contain more terms and are targeted to the user’s search.

An excellent strategy to implement on your website is to focus on long-tail keywords and try to rank higher for these keywords. This is especially important if you are just starting, as long-tail keywords drive conversions. Focusing on long-tail keywords will enable you to create a library of content under a more generic term.

In the long term, moving from long-tail keywords to general keywords works like this: Long-tail keywords will help you write more specific or detailed articles that will help “put you on the map” and get users to check out your other articles. Eventually, Google will notice the volume of content on your website and how it pertains to a more general topic and then, ultimately, its relevance to the main topic.

For example, suppose you want to create content about “Invoicing Software,” i.e., a highly competitive topic. In that case, it’s better to start with something more specific, like “invoicing software for stripe” or “contractor invoicing software,” and work your way up to the main topic.

Organize Your Keywords Data

At this point, you will have a list of keywords with an understanding of their search intent and how they relate to your company or product. Now it’s time to start analyzing your keyword data to determine future decisions. Below are some data points to consider and the tools you can use to collect this data.

  1. Search Volume: This is the most basic data point to consider when trying to find the value of a keyword. This metric determines the approximate number of people searching for a specific keyword within a particular time frame.
  2. Difficulty: This data point is used to understand how hard it would be to rank for a particular keyword. 
  3. Ranking: Checking how you are currently ranking for a specific keyword can show you how relevant Google thinks your site is for a particular topic. If you rank well for a keyword with a high difficulty rating, it means your site is on the right track. Ranking well for such keywords makes your site very competitive.
  4. Rich Snippet Results: Rich snippets are the data that Google extracts from a search result and displays directly within Google for users to check without clicking on results. If your site ranks for a rich snippet, you are an authority for your domain because Google has decided to get this data from your site. However, rich snippets sometimes mean less traffic on your site as users get the information they need without clicking on it. 

What Tool Is Best for Keyword Research?

There are a few good options online regarding your SaaS SEO keyword research tools, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most popular:

  • SEMrush: This is an SEO tool that can help you improve your ranking. The Keyword Overview Tool allows you to check detailed data for search volume, trends, your competitors’ rankings, etc. Because of its many SEO-related features, SEMrush is often rated as one of the best tools for keyword research.
  • Ahrefs: Coming up with new keyword ideas is as simple as typing a keyword into the search box with Ahrefs. This tool also allows you to check the keywords you are missing out on, but your competitors are ranking for. The only disadvantage is that sometimes Ahrefs can be less accurate than Google Keyword Planner. 
  • Google Keyword Planner: This tool allows you to type in any particular keyword and check data for approximately how many searches it has monthly. It also provides a long list of related keyword ideas, available to you by scrolling or downloading. A disadvantage of this tool is that it doesn’t have as many data points as SEMrush.


SaaS Keyword Research is essential to your SaaS SEO strategy to improve search engine rankings. 

To run a SaaS Keyword Research, you need to:

  1. Identify relevant keywords that your target audience is using to search for SaaS products or solutions.
  2. Analyze the search results to understand the searcher’s intent.
  3. Build a list of target keywords based on their search volume, difficulty, and relevance.

It is critical to continuously monitor and revise your keyword research to stay up-to-date on industry trends and the needs of your target audience. Various tools are available for conducting keyword research, each with its specific features. Check out what each of these tools offers and decide which is the best fit for your needs.

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