Keyword Research for SaaS: How to Get Tons of High-converting Ideas


Katarina Stamenković

Feb 21, 2023

Are you a SaaS company looking for relevant keywords to cover for your blog and get high-quality leads? Keyword research is essential to every successful content marketing strategy, and we have conducted it for dozens of our clients with different SaaS products.

In this article, we’ll show you the exact process of keyword research for SaaS that you can apply to your business. By the end, you’ll know which keywords to target to not only increase traffic but bring in more qualified leads that will turn into paying customers.

Keyword research for SaaS: Pre-game

First, let’s get the basics covered. Here is what you need to do before choosing keywords.

Identify your goals and buyer persona

Identifying your objectives and target audience may seem top of mind, but many SaaS companies miss it. Before starting your SaaS keyword research, you should identify your goals and clearly define your target audience or buying persona.

Think about what you wish to achieve with your blog. Do you want to:

  • Convert readers into customers?
  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Educate your audience?

Your SaaS keyword research process will vary depending on your goal – you will target different keywords if you want to increase sales than if your goal is to improve brand awareness.

These questions can help you identify your buyer persona:

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their goals?
  • What interests them?
  • What problems does your product solve for them?
  • Who are the decision-makers that will be buying your product? What is their job?

56% of companies report generating higher quality leads using buyer persona. Failure to identify your buyer persona can mean more traffic but no revenue. You’ll get a better ROI if you understand your customers and tailor your content to them.

Choose your SaaS keyword research tools

There are many keyword research tools on the market, but the best ones are Ahrefs and SemRush. We use Ahrefs for our clients because of its great interface that makes it easier to focus on key metrics.

Plus, both keyword research tools have an extensive index of backlinks that can help with your SaaS link-building strategy. The subscription plans start at $99, depending on your business goals.

Prepare a spreadsheet for documenting your keywords

Keyword research for SaaS spreadsheet

Make sure to be thorough with documenting your keywords. You can create a spreadsheet where you’ll put your keywords and their metrics, such as search volume, ranking difficulty and global volume if you’re targeting different countries, as well as any other comments and topic ideas you may have for SaaS content writing.

Cataloging your keywords and keeping them tidy will save you time and help you organize them into content clusters, which we’ll dig into later.

Know your KD, SV and search intent

Keyword research for SaaS - choosing the right keywords

Your ideal keyword should have the following:

  1. Low keyword difficulty
  2. Reasonable search volume
  3. High search intent

Let’s look at each of them and see what this means.

1. Keyword difficulty

Keyword difficulty (KD) is a metric that estimates how hard it would be to rank for a specific keyword. Ahrefs assigns values from 0 to 100.

Ahrefs keyword difficulty

You should look at the KD estimation as the one Ahrefs provides, but also check the SERP (search engine results page) and look at the backlinks and DR (domain rating). Useful pointer questions include:

  • How many backlinks do the sites ranking on the first page have?
  • How many backlinks would you need to rank?
  • What is the DR of the sites ranking on the first page?

Linkedin automation tools search results

Of course, if your website has a high DR, you can compete with other high DR sites. You can check the DR of your site by going to Site explorer and typing your site URL.

Ahrefs site explorer

2. Search volume

Search volume (SV) is the estimated number of searches per month. You can check the volume in your chosen country (the US in the example below) or the number of searches from all countries, known as global volume (GV).

Ahrefs search volume

I know it’s not an exciting answer, but what is considered reasonable will vary. Let me illustrate this with an example. Imagine you sell something at $5 and five people want to buy it – this means there is not a lot of profit potential there. However, it’s a different story if you take the same number of people wanting to buy a product for $1000.

The point is not to evaluate solely based on numbers but on whether it makes sense for your business. 30 searches wouldn’t be considered low if you have a fairly-priced product and a high-intent keyword that can convert.

3. Search intent

Search intent refers to what the person searching for a keyword wants to find when they type it. High intent means that the keyword indicates the person searching for it is at the bottom of the funnel, ready to buy or take action. We advise focusing on high search intent keywords because they allow you to get more quality leads.

Mistakes to avoid

One of the common content marketing mistakes is to target keywords only based on high search volume. Although it may seem tempting, you could be losing time and resources because focusing only on high search volume while disregarding other factors makes it harder to compete with other big sites already ranking for it. Instead, you should aim for more specific long-tail keywords.

Another mistake is disregarding search intent. Always make sure that the keyword aligns with Google’s understanding of its search intent by looking at the SERPs. It doesn’t matter if you have the best article in the world; if it doesn’t answer the search intent – it won’t rank. Search engines now have a refined understanding of what a specific keyword is about and provide searchers with the best results based on what they think.

Keyword research for SaaS: Methods to try for your business

Here is a SaaS keyword research process we use to find high-converting content ideas for our clients.

Get into your customers’ shoes & brainstorm potential keywords

Considering your business goal and buyer persona, brainstorm all the keywords that come to mind. Get into your customer’s shoes and think about what they’ll be looking for.

G2 is a fantastic place for finding content ideas and better understanding customers. Go to their website, enter the names of your competitors and analyze their reviews, paying attention to the last question, “What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?”.

All the different reasons people use your competitors’ products can be a great source of ideas. You can create articles teaching them how to solve the same problems with your product.

What problems is PandaDoc solving and how is that benefiting you

Image source: G2

You can also:

  • Invite your whole team for a brainstorming session to get ideas from multiple perspectives
  • Analyze sales calls to understand your customers better
  • Launch a customer survey and ask them directly

Target high-intent keywords

We always advise covering high-intent, transactional keywords for people at the bottom of the sales funnel. These keywords indicate the searcher intends to buy something or take action. Here are some examples to illustrate this:

1. Tool keywords

(best/top) X tool/software/platform/solution

Keyword examples:

  • LinkedIn automation tool
  • Usability testing tools
  • Loyalty platform providers
  • Time tracking software

Quoleady's client blog post - Top 22 LinkedIn automation tools for lead generation in 2023

Image source:

Tool keywords usually indicate the searcher is looking for a tool for a specific purpose, considering options.

We advise our clients to create listicles for such keywords. A software listicle is a blog post in the form of a list, reviewing a set of tools in a specific niche. You can position your product #1 on your listicle and explain its benefits.

Here are examples of high-intent content we created targeting the tool keywords:

2. Alternative/competitor keywords

X alternatives/competitors

Keyword examples:

  • Hotjar alternatives
  • Toggl alternatives
  • Contentsquare competitors

Quoleady's client blog post: We tried 5 hotjar alternatives - here's our feedback

Image source: FullSession

You probably already have a list of your competitors, an analysis of their features and what sets you apart. This can be useful for the SaaS keyword research process, especially if you have popular competitors.

Alternative or competitor keywords are high-intent because they tell us that the person searching for them is probably looking for alternatives to a specific product. They may be unhappy with it or wish to switch to another product for whatever reason.

This is your chance to present your product as an excellent alternative and emphasize its benefits.

Our example articles:

3. Comparison keywords

X vs Y

Keyword examples:

  • Hotjar vs Microsoft Clarity
  • UserZoom vs UserTesting
  • LogRocket vs FullStory

Quoleady's client Fullsession blog: We tried hotjar vs microsoft clarity here's our feedback

Image source: FullSession

Again, comparison keywords show the person searching for them is comparing two products ready to buy. You can compare the competitors while casually mentioning your product and highlighting what sets it apart from the other two.

Here are the example comparison articles we wrote for our client FullSession:

You can read our FullSession case study explaining the exact strategy we used to bring in 500 leads with 16 articles.

4. Review keywords

X review

Keyword examples:

  • GoToConnect review
  • Basic Talk review
  • Zadarma review

Quoleady's client blog: GoToConnect review: how does it perform in 2022

Image source: RingBlaze

People near the bottom of the funnel usually look for reviews to help them make a buying decision. Although there are a lot of reviews out there, they typically fail to talk about all the features comprehensively and potential buyers are looking for more detailed reviews.

That’s where you can shine – provide a genuine and detailed review of a product and casually mention yours, explaining what additional features or benefits it may have.

Here are the example articles our team wrote for our client RingBlaze:

Check out our RingBlaze case study, where we explain how we made use of competitor keywords, bringing in 650 leads and increasing blog traffic from 0 to 50K.

5. How-to keywords

how to X

Keyword examples:

  • How to write a proposal
  • How to go paperless
  • How to get more connections on LinkedIn

Quoleady's client blog How to write a business proposal

Image source: PandaDoc

These keywords fall into the category of product led-content. The searcher has a problem they’re looking to solve. You can provide value and offer advice with your article while presenting your tool as the best solution for the problem.

Our example articles:

6. Pricing keywords

X pricing

Keyword examples:

  • Intercom pricing
  • Trello pricing
  • Google keyword planner pricing

Intercom pricing, finally explained

Image source: HelpCrunch

Although the searchers may only be looking for the pricing of specific products which best answers their search query, you can present your product if you offer better value for money and change their mind. Make sure you are genuinely better than your competitor, stay professional and unbiased and hire a skilled B2B SaaS copywriter to write this article.

Saving search credits

Your keywords list will be huge as you search for all your competitors and related competitor keywords. To save yourself search credits, enter more keywords related to one competitor and separate them by commas or put them in a new line as we did here:

Slack keywords list

The topics you choose should be well-aligned with your strategy and what you want to achieve. Try the ideas listed above until you find what best suits your business. You can always consult a SaaS content strategist if you’re unsure whether specific keywords fit your business needs.

Check the matching terms

Matching terms is a helpful feature that allows you to find many keyword ideas that include your search queries. If you want to combine two terms, you can type x+y.

Keyword research for SaaS: Ahrefs matching terms

You might get a long list of keywords, but you can filter them based on ranking difficulty, volume etc. or choose to include or exclude specific keywords.

Type in minimum or maximum values, choose the keywords to include or exclude, click Apply and Show results.


Check your competitors’ keywords

You can check what your competitors are covering and whether you missed something. This is not to say to copy them, but rather check for ideas and see whether you can bring a unique angle.

To do this, go to Site explorer, type the URL of your competitor’s website and go to Organic keywords to see all the keywords your competitor ranks for in the top 100 organic search results.

Keyword research for SaaS: checking competitors

If you want to see which of your competitors’ pages get the most organic traffic, go to the Top pages below and see if you can target one of their keywords.

Content gap analysis is another fantastic feature that lets you enter one to three of your competitors and see what they’re covering that you are not. Paste your website URL into Site Explorer, click Content gap on the left, copy the site URLs of your competitors and click Show keywords. You can find great ideas and reiterate with another round of competitors.

Keyword research for SaaS: Ahrefs content gap

Take a look at Google’s predictions

You can also use Google autosuggest for more keyword ideas and then check them in one of the keyword research tools.

Keyword research for SaaS: Google predictions

Explore different options, adding words such as “for” to see from which industries people are searching for your product.

Keyword research for SaaS: Google autosuggest

Play with ChatGPT

ChatGPT is another excellent source of keyword ideas. All you need to do is go to and type a detailed prompt explaining what you do and need, and it will provide you with a list of keywords you can check with the keyword research tool. Here’s an example prompt and the result:

Using ChatGPT for keyword research for SaaS

Try different prompts based on your needs, such as creating long-tail keywords from the above list, making keyword clusters or creating titles for the keywords. Combine this method with other methods in this article, for example you can take a general keyword ChatGPT provides and check the Matching terms for it for all specific, long-tail keyword options.

Create content clusters

When conducting your SaaS keyword research, you should create content clusters out of your keywords. This way, more of your pages can rank on Google and the searchers will find the information they’re looking for more easily.

Let me first explain the topic cluster model. It consists of a pillar page and cluster content.

  • A pillar page is the main article and the basis of your topic cluster, covering a specific topic broadly and in-depth
  • Cluster content refers to supporting articles covering more specific keywords within the topic

For example, your pillar page can target a “marketing campaign” keyword as an ultimate guide on marketing campaigns. Your cluster content or supporting articles can be “Christmas marketing campaign”, “Easter marketing campaign”, “Valentine’s day campaign” and so on.

All your cluster content should link to the pillar page and you should link from the pillar page to the supporting articles and between supporting articles where possible, improving internal link-building that way.

Hubspot topic clusters

Image source: HubSpot


The methods outlined in this article helped us drive more customers for our clients. We hope this SaaS keyword research guide will help you find relevant keywords that will bring more customers for you, too. To summarize:

  1. Identify your goals and buyer persona
  2. Know your KD, SV and search intent
  3. Get into your customers’ shoes
  4. Target keywords with high intent
  5. Check your competitors and Google predictions
  6. Organize your keywords into content clusters

Don’t forget that although essential, keyword research is only the beginning. You should create content packed with value for your customers, optimize your SaaS blog for search engines, check the technical aspects of your website and build high-quality SaaS backlinks.

It can feel overwhelming – and that’s where we can help. Book a call today to see how our team can help your business get qualified leads with a content strategy tailored to your business goals.


Katarina Stamenković

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