Keyword Research for SaaS

So you've built your product, deployed it, pointed your domain name to it (admit it, you bought the domain first 😉) and now put your marketing hat on, trying to figure out how to get users to your product.

You've probably heard about SEO and have decided to invest time into learning all there is to know.

If so, welcome!

Learning everything you need to know is definitely overwhelming, so what I've done is put together a guide to help you get started with keyword research for your SaaS product.

It should be enough to help you get started and to position your website well for getting organic traffic.

Here's a table of contents of what we'll cover:

  • Keyword Types
  • Search Intent
  • Topic clusters
  • Free Tools for Keywords Analysis (coming soon)
  • You have keywords. Now what?!

Quick Side Note

When optimizing for SEO for your SaaS product, what's the ultimate goal?

I'd argue that it's not traffic. That's only the first part of it all.

Your ultimate goal should be to get conversions.

Whether that's user sign ups or even sales right off the bat, what you should be focussing your attention and time on are conversions.

Just something to keep in mind as you read along.

Okay, now with that out of the way, let's dive in!

Keyword Types

First off, you should know that not all keywords are the same.

For SaaS products, here are the kinds of keywords you should be aware of.

Product Defining Keywords

Product Defining Keywords are the keywords that your users have in their mind that map to your product. They are very specific and are exactly what your searcher is looking for.

For example, product defining keywords for Shopify can be:

  • "ecommerce website"
  • "online web store"

For Vocalmatic (my web app!):

  • "automatic transcription software"
  • "convert audio to text"

Simple enough? Cool.

But I want to point your attention to that second keyword:

"convert audio to text"

These are what I like to call "implied" product defining keywords.

These are keywords that describe what the product is supposed to do and implied in that is what the product is.

Again, take for example Vocalmatic, instead of "automatic transcription software", a keyword that users type in is "convert video to text" or "video to text converter". And just like that, in the mind of the user, that's what your product is defined as:

"something (most likely software) that will convert video to text"

Loaded in that keyword is what the product is supposed to do!

Now, depending on your product, there could be a handful of these types of keywords to describe it. Take some time to figure out what these Product and Implied Product Defining keywords are, as building content for these keywords brings your users that much closer to your product.

Question-Based Keywords

Next up, we have question-based keywords.

Yes, these are exactly what you think they are: Questions!

Remember the last time you typed a question into Google? Those are the types of keywords you want to create content for.

Why?

  • You can build multiple media to answer a specific question (blog post, video, podcast) which in turn have other positive effects for SEO
  • They are naturally long-tail because of their specificity & their length
  • Most importantly, there is high intent for a user to click through if your headline captures their question and the description actually gives the answer they are looking for!

Finding Question Based Keywords

  • Work backwords from your product! What is the "How do I..." type of question that your product solves?
  • Use a a product like AnswerThePublic.com (free) to help you find ideas
  • Use Google itself to find more question based keywords, building off other keywords you already have. What I'm talking about here is using those People also ask and suggestions that Google search results pages give.
Ever see these? They are a treasure trove of ideas that I think you should get inspiration from!

Where can I use Question-Based Keywords?

Here are examples of where you can use these types of keywords:

  • Blog posts
  • SEO Landing Pages
  • Pages on your main marketing website

For blog posts, what I recommned is creating a blog post with the question as the title. Then, go into depth answering the question.

If there's an opportunity to plug your product, go for it! Try not to be spammy about it though - your product should be answering the question and solving the problem that the user has.

Search Intent

When people go to Google to search for things, they have something in mind they want to accomplish.

It could be to learn more about a topic or to learn how to do something.

The searcher's intent are important to consider, as they will dictate what results to show show in the search results.

How can you use this to your advantage?

You can use the search intent to narrow your focus on what types of content to build out.

If I were starting out, I would build content that answers "how to X" type of keywords, to map to a user's search intent of solving a problem they have.

Topic clusters

Some SEO practitioners would argue that instead of focussing only on keywords, websites that want to rank should actually be focussing on building topic clusters.

I would agree. A topic cluster is nothing more than a collection or articles, pages, and blogposts that fall under a general category.

By building out those pieces of content, you will have a collection of them living under your domain, which means you're telling Google:

"Hey Google, this domain is about <topic X>. Consider ranking them for other keywords within this topic as well"

(side note: these are called LSI keywords, but I left them out of the article. I'll probably write up on them in a later post)

You have keywords. Now what?!

Great, now that you have keywords you want to target, it's time to get writing!

Here's what you can do depending on the keywords you've found

For the Product Defining Keywords

What you should do is create landing pages with the product defining keywords in your slug and your title.

For the body and content of the page, I'd focus on further answering the question of "is this product for me" for when the user lands on the page.

Remember, the goal is conversions. Do what you can to sell that your product is the solution to the user's problems!

For the Question-Based Keywords

What you should do is create blog posts with the questions as the titles and again sell the solution to the reader.

That's it for now! I hope you found this piece helpful in your keyword research journey.

👋🏽 Hi, I'm Tom!

I'm the founder of Vocalmatic, an automatic transcription platform for converting audio and video to text. I write about online business and growth.