Keyword Research Process to Improve Your SEO

If you’re building an SEO strategy for your company, keyword research is the first crucial step.

Why? Because if you target the wrong keywords, your content will attract irrelevant search traffic or no visitors at all.

So, it’s very important that you get this step right.

In this SaaS keyword research guide, we’ll share the step-by-step process you can use to find the most relevant and profitable keywords for your SEO strategy.

Let’s get started

What Is SEO Content Keyword Research?

B2B SaaS keyword research is the process of finding the keywords your target audience is using on different search engines (mainly Google) to find your product, the solutions it offers, and the problems it solves.

This process is the backbone of your SaaS SEO strategy because you will use the keywords identified in this stage throughout your on-page and off-page SEO campaigns.

The main considerations when evaluating different search queries in the keyword research process are:


Is the keyword related to your brand, product, solutions, or the interests of your audience in any way?

Search Intent

What is a user’s purpose for using a keyword, and does it match your goals?

Search Volume

How many people search for this keyword every month?

Search CTR

Do people searching for this keyword click on the results or only look for quick answers in Google’s featured answer box?

Ranking Difficulty

What other brands or websites are competing for this keyword? How many backlinks would you need to rank? Do you have the search authority to rank for this keyword?

Each of those factors plays a part in determining whether a keyword is right for your brand or not. You can learn more about them in one of our previous articles on keyword research.

How to Do B2B SaaS Keyword Research | Step by Step

B2B SaaS keyword research is quite different from regular blogs, informational sites, and even B2C companies.

For example, some SaaS keyword categories are dominated by very high-authority review sites that would be difficult to outrank.

So, you’ll need to be careful during keyword research to ensure that you only shortlist the achievable, relevant, and profitable keywords for your brand.

Let’s explain how.

Step 1: Claim Your Brand Keywords

The first step in your keyword research process is to find the most commonly searched keywords that include your brand name.

Why is this important? If someone searches for your brand and the results don’t show your website in the top three or four results, you’re losing traffic and raising question marks on your brand’s reputation.

Thankfully, you shouldn’t have many problems ranking for your brand name and its associated keywords if you have a unique brand name.

However, things can get tricky if other established brands have similar names and already dominate search results.

For example, Homebase is a leading employee scheduling tool. But there’s another Homebase, a leading home supplies company.

What happens when you search Homebase?

Both companies show up in the first two results.

This isn’t by accident.

Homebase, the employee scheduling tool, has built dozens of links to its homepage and has a solid SEO strategy that allows it to dominate this keyword.

So, start by searching for your brand name, its variations, and the different words people associate with it, and see where you’re ranking.

Shortlist those keywords, optimize your homepage and other key website pages for them, and use them in your content strategy.

Step 2: Find Keyword Ideas With Competitor Analysis

What’s the fastest way to find profitable keywords for your SEO strategy? Analyze the keywords your competitors are ranking for because they’re proven search terms that are already driving traffic to their sites.

Here’s how to do it.

Search for your competitor’s website in SEMRush and go to the Organic Research report.

Source: SEMrush

I searched for GetResponse.com, and its Organic Research report shows that it ranks for more than 46K keywords.

However, not all of them will be relevant to your brand.

But studying this report will help you uncover numerous unique keywords that you can target in your content strategy.

For example, look at the highlighted keywords like “website builder”, “how to send a video in email”, etc. These are relevant keywords for any GetResponse competitor. If you keep searching, you’ll find hundreds of such terms.

But to shortlist a keyword, you also need to see its search volume and keyword difficulty (KD). A keyword with a low search volume or 70+ KD score is not worth targeting early in your SEO strategy.

Any keywords with a lower KD score and a mid to high search volume (a few hundred to several thousand) should make it to your list.

Step 3: Search for Long-Tail Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are top of the funnel (TOFU) keywords that drive the bulk of your website’s traffic.

These are usually low-mid traffic long-tail keywords related to the various questions of your audience about the fundamentals of your industry or the problems your product solves.

Why target low-mid range long-tail keywords? Because long-tail keywords have low competition and targeting them helps you rank for several other related keywords automatically.

Source: Mangools

To find them, search your main topic/niche on Google and go to the People Also Ask section.

For example, if you have a customer service SaaS, the People Also Ask section has several relevant questions you can target in your content strategy.

But don’t stop there.

Type your keyword in Google Search to get further suggestions.

Let’s choose “customer service skills” from this list for more specific suggestions.

Interesting, isn’t it? Let’s move the pointer to the start of the keyword to get more unique angles.

“Good customer service skills”, “how to improve customer service skills”, “soft customer service skills”, etc., are all valuable keywords that represent the common questions about customer service.

Now start adding question words before your base term to find more ideas.

Try more words.

A customer service startup can use these keywords as starting points for their research, plug them into an SEO tool for further evaluation, and use them in their content strategy.

Step 4: Find High-Intent BOFU Keywords

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) keywords represent the search queries by users with high search intent. They’re advanced users familiar with your product and looking for specific solutions and use cases.

Most SaaS companies don’t prioritize BoFu keywords because of their low search volume.

Big mistake.

These keywords won’t drive much traffic, but the users they attract are ready to buy.

Here’s an example of a BOFU article by Hotjar, a website tracking tool.

Source: Hotjar

“How to track user activity on website” might seem like an informational keyword from the top of the funnel (TOFU) stage.

However, a little research on its search intent shows that the users are looking for specific tools and solutions to track user activity. This makes it a BOFU keyword.

So you’ll have two different types of BOFU keywords.

  • pricing, free trial, coupons, and other sales intent keywords
  • use cases and feature-specific keywords

Let me explain the second type in more detail.

The feature pages of a SaaS website play a critical role in attracting users with high search intent. This is why optimizing them individually for relevant BOFU keywords is crucial.

Shopify’s SEO strategy is an excellent example.

Source: Shopify

It has created multiple pages for its online store product and optimized them for different BOFU keywords to attract as many relevant visitors as possible.

For example, its Online Store page is optimized around high-intent keywords like “start an online store”, “sell online”, “build an online store”, etc.

The content of the page includes related keywords such as “website builder”, “inventory management”, “payment processing”, etc., as subheadings.

Then, under the Online Store category, additional pages include Features and Examples.

Both pages are optimized for more BOFU keywords like “eCommerce templates”, “online store templates”, “online store examples”.

These keywords represent high purchase intent and are perfect for optimizing your features pages to give them exposure in search results.

In short, when finding BOFU keywords, use your product’s use cases for blog post ideas, and optimize feature pages for high-purchase intent keywords.

Step 5: Use SaaS Review Sites to Find Keywords

SaaS review sites are keyword research goldmines because they rank for thousands of keywords in different software categories, including highly competitive terms.

You don’t want to compete with these sites because their search authority is too high, and they’ll always beat you.

However, you can learn from their on-page SEO strategy to find keywords for your SaaS website.

This is how.

Go to Capterra.com and search for one of your top competitors. In this example, we’ll analyze Help Desk, a customer support tool.

In Help Desk’s profile, look for the keywords Capterra has used to describe the tool and categories assigned to it.

Source: Capterra

As you can see, Help Desk has been categorized under HelpDesk Software, Customer Service Software, and Issue Tracking Software. This third category is an uncommon keyword that you don’t immediately think of. However, Capterra’s research indicates that users also refer to this tool as issue tracking software.

Now, scroll down to the features section to find dozens of new keywords you can use to optimize your feature pages.

Source: Capterra

You can use these keywords for further research to come up with dozens of different content ideas for all content marketing funnel stages.

Also, note that this section has listed additional categories for this tool, such as complaint management software, customer satisfaction software, etc.

All of these terms can be excellent resources for additional keyword research.

If you scroll further, Capterra shows you the tools most commonly compared with this product.

Source: Capterra

These are excellent keywords to create dedicated comparison pages around on your website. Most SaaS customers search different comparison keywords while evaluating a product.

You can create dedicated pages optimized for comparison keywords for 4 or 5 of your top competitors. This would allow you to tap into the traffic for this term and present a favorable comparison for your product.

That is precisely what Jira has done on its site.

Source: Jira

It has created multiple comparison pages that position Jira as the superior product against its top competitors.

Many other SaaS companies like Kajabi, GetResponse, Aweber, etc., use this strategy to drive thousands of visitors to their sites every month.

Step 6: Find Software Integration Keywords

One of the critical factors in a SaaS customer’s buying decision is whether a product integrates with other mainstream applications.

For example, if a landing page tool doesn’t integrate with a customer’s email software or payments service, they’re unlikely to use it.

This is why software integration keywords should be a critical part of your keyword research strategy.

What are software integration keywords? They’re search queries about specific tools and applications that can integrate with your product.

Here’s how you can use them in your SEO strategy.

Identify the critical integrations that your customers would need to use your product to its full potential.

For example, an eLearning platform should easily integrate with all the leading email services, content platforms, payment processors, document management tools, instant messaging and chat applications, etc.

Study the integrations your competitors offer.

For example, if you’re in the email marketing niche, you can study Mailchimp offers.

Search the keyword “Mailchimp integration” in SEMRush to find the different integration keywords Mailchimp ranks for.

Source: SEMrush

Use Google’s search suggestions to get more ideas on Mailchimp integrations.

Now that you know the integration keywords of your competitor, create an integrations section on your site which contains dedicated pages optimized for all of your core integration keywords.

Campaign Monitor’s approach is a good example.

Each integration page is optimized for a different keyword.

So, if your product integrates with other tools, use it as an opportunity to drive traffic to your site with integration keywords.

Step 7: Find Software Alternative Keywords

SaaS users frequently use software alternative keywords to look for new and better products that can solve their problems more effectively.

These keywords are your chance to use the popularity of other established brands to your advantage.

For example, if you’re promoting a new website builder for WordPress, “Elementor alternative” is an excellent keyword to target.

You can use two different approaches to take advantage of these keywords.

For one, you can publish high-quality articles using the keyword “[Competitor] alternatives” and position your product as the best choice. Visme’s approach is a good example.

Source: Visme

You can also create dedicated pages for every one of your top competitors and optimize them for “[competitor] alternative” keywords.

Podia, a leading online course selling platform, has used this approach for its competitors.

Source: Podia

Finding alternative keywords is pretty straightforward.

Just list down your top five or ten competitors, and use SEMRush or Ahrefs to check the search demand for their “[Product] alternatives” keywords.

If an alternative keyword has even a few hundred searches, it’s worth targeting because of the searchers’ high-purchase intent.

Are You Ready to Kick off Your B2B SaaS Keyword Research?

We’ve shared seven different ways you can find B2B SaaS keywords to power your content marketing strategy.

Once you compile a list of keywords, the next step is to organize them into topic clusters, find content ideas, and kick off your content creation process.

As your content starts ranking in a few months, you’ll get more insights into the search queries your audience is using to find you.

This would allow you to re-optimize your content or create more articles around new keywords.

If you want to discuss your B2B SaaS keyword research strategy with an expert, schedule a free consultation call today.

Davor Bomeštar

Hey you, I’m Davor - the founder & CEO of Fortis Agency - an SEO & content marketing agency for B2B SaaS. I am a SaaS marketer with 16 years of experience in SEO. I am also a 3 times agency owner, and I’ve helped 50+ companies with their SEO & content strategies. So, if you're a B2B SaaS business struggling with an underperforming blog and you want to turn it into a top revenue channel, don't hesitate to reach out!

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