Your Complete Guide to Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

Complete Guide to Keyword Analysis

What is Keyword Research?

The Benefits of Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

The Steps to Take Before Beginning a Keyword Analysis

How to Conduct a Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

What Constitutes a Good Keyword?

How to Use Your Keyword Analysis for SaaS Marketing

Master Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

Keyword Analysis for SaaS: Expert Tips

Keyword analysis for SaaS brands can seem like a complicated process.

Unless you have experience in the Search Engine Optimization landscape, it’s not easy to define exactly which keywords are going to generate the best results for your campaigns. To run an effective promotional campaign, you first need to have the right keywords.

While there are many different factors involved in making a piece of content “search friendly”, keywords are the key to ensuring the right leads and prospects see your marketing messages. Remember, 68% of online experiences begin with someone entering a keyword into a search box.

In order to effectively reach, engage, and convert your target audience, you need to figure out which terms they’re searching for, and find ways to effectively embed those terms into the right pieces of content within the marketing funnel.
Here’s everything you need to know about keyword analysis for SaaS brands.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research, or “keyword analysis” is one of the first stages in any successful SEO campaign. The best SaaS websites in the world achieve their positions at the top of the search engine results pages, because they know which keywords to use to connect with customers.

To conduct keyword research, brands collect as much information as they can about their target audience, competitors, and marketplace, to determine what kinds of phrases their audience members might be searching for online. Using this data, companies can then use a keyword research tool which allows them to distinguish how “competitive” each keyword is.

Keyword research involves not only coming up with ideas for what kinds of terms and phrases should be included in a sales, marketing, and branding campaign, but also evaluating the potential of each term. Some keywords will be more valuable to your business than others.

The Benefits of Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

Ultimately, keyword analysis for SaaS is one of the most important ways of making sure you’re producing the right content for your website pages, blog posts, and content marketing strategies. With an effective analysis, you can define and implement the right strategy for connecting with your target audience at every stage in the purchasing cycle.

Effective SaaS keyword research ensures companies can:

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Leverage data to understand the needs and desires of their audience
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Ensure their on-page SEO strategy is driven by real insights
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Identify topics to write about for content marketing campaigns

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Boost visibility within the search engine results pages
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Connect with customers at different points within the buyer journey
Good keyword research also helps to ensure you can separate yourself from your competition, and ensure you’re collecting the right number of leads and prospects for your brand.

The Steps to Take Before Beginning a Keyword Analysis

Keyword analysis for SaaS companies, just like keyword analysis for any other brand, starts with careful preparation. Perhaps the most significant part of your keyword research involves simply collecting data which helps you to understand your customer’s journey, and how you should be positioning yourself to attract, retain, and convert leads.

There are several resources you can use to collect data for a keyword analysis, including:

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Competitor analysis: One of the easiest ways to determine what kind of keywords you should be targeting, is to look at your competitors. The chances are they’ll be targeting customers similar to you, so their keywords are likely to be relevant to your audience. You can also use your competitor analysis to spot “keyword gaps” for content your competitors might be missing. This can help you to reach specific, niche customers.

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Customer analysis: Every keyword research strategy should be inspired by your understanding of your target audience. If you don’t already have user personas and guidelines in place to assist with your lead generation strategy, now’s the time to make them. Learn as much as you can about your customer’s demographics, behaviors, and pain points.

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Reviews and testimonials: Reviews, testimonials, and other forms of feedback from your customers can be excellent for extracting keyword insights. You can read what your customers are saying about your brand to learn more about their top concerns, what they love most about your company, and any questions they might have.

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Market analysis: Market research can also be very useful if you’re starting an analysis for SaaS marketing. Insights and reports from market leaders can help you to learn more about the trends in your industry, and the topics your customers might be interested in.

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Top search pages: Researching specific keywords related to your brand, such as “SaaS” or “software” can help you to see what kinds of pages are getting the most attention. This could give you the inspiration you need to plan some great inbound marketing strategies.

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Biggest services/products: Knowing which of your products or services attract the most attention is also a good idea if you’re looking to boost your keyword research. You can use this information to determine what kind of solutions your customers are likely to be looking for when they’re researching your brand.

Remember to consider the importance of search intent when gathering your data too. The best B2B keywords in the SaaS industry are related to a specific requirement or need during the purchasing cycle. For instance, a simple term like “SaaS” might have more traffic than something like “account-based marketing software for sale”. However, the second long-tail keyword is more likely to target actively engaged buyers, looking to purchase something.

How to Conduct a Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

Once you’ve gathered as much data as possible for your SaaS SEO strategy, you can begin working on creating your list of keywords. Keep in mind, this can be quite a time consuming process, as it requires significant ongoing research and creativity. Here are some of the steps you’ll need to take.

Step 1: Begin Brainstorming

The brainstorming stage is the first step for any keyword analysis. During this stage, you don’t necessarily need to come up with refined, carefully-chosen key phrases. Instead, the focus should be getting as many relevant ideas down on paper as possible.

Begin with a “seed” list related to your niche. Seed keywords are broad terms related to your target audience, niche, or service. They’re broad, generalized terms which can inspire other long-form and specific phrases for your future campaign. For instance, some seed keyword ideas for a company offering accounting software might include the following:

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Finance
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Accounting
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Software
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Invoicing
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Bookkeeping
The best way to create a seed keyword list is to describe your SaaS brand, product, or solution in the simplest way possible. Try to get into the mind of your target audience, and think about how users will search for your items online. Your seed keywords can include the names of your products or services, or the specific products or services you offer. It may also include:
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Locations where you serve customers
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Industry or sector terms
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Integrations with leading tools (Specific to SaaS)
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Competitors

Keep in mind that when brainstorming, it’s important to cast your net as wide as possible. While there may be some keywords that you aren’t in love with, they can help you build a content queue down the road. When you are not as picky about your keywords, you increase the chances of ranking for something, even if it’s not your perfect keyword. As you pick up momentum and start ranking for terms related to your industry, Google will see you as an authority and increase your chances of ranking for the keywords you really want to rank for.

Step 2: Build on Your Seed Words with Relevant Keywords

Once you have a lengthy list of seed terms, you can begin to build on your keyword analysis for SaaS marketing by expanding them into more relevant terms. Here, you’ll be focusing on generating specific terms and phrases related to your seed terms.

To expand on your seed keyword list, start by focusing on search intent. For instance, in the case of the accounting SaaS company, here are some keywords you could build from the word “accounting”:

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What is accounting

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Accounting vs. bookkeeping

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Accounting software

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What is accounting software

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Top accounting tools

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Accounting software features

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The best accounting software

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Accounting software for [x]

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New York accounting software

Remember to focus on a combination of “general” keywords, which can appeal to all kinds of customers like “accounting software”, and long-tail keywords. With long-tail keywords, you can add niche components which help you to appeal to a specific audience. For instance, “accounting software” becomes “SMB accounting software” or “US accounting software”.

Step 3: Use Keyword Analysis Tools

Keyword analysis tools are one of the most valuable resources you’ll have for building your SEO campaign. They essentially allow you to examine how valuable each term on your keyword list is, and whether it’s a good idea for you to target it. Some keyword tools even help you to expand your keyword lists with relevant suggestions for other terms you can target.

Some great options include:

Google Search

Google search isn’t a keyword tool per-se, but it is a fantastic solution for the initial stages of your brainstorming strategy. You can type just about any word into Google, and get a list of top-ranking posts to inspire you. Don’t forget to take advantage of the “People Also Ask” and “Related” sections on Google for more guidance on what to write about.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the most popular tools for SaaS SEO keyword research and analysis. You can use the tool to see what your competitors are ranking for, so you’ll also know what kind of terms you should be adding to your content. Ahrefs gives you an insight into the estimated search traffic and difficulty ranking for each keyword you choose, using a private database, and Google API.

Moz

The Moz keyword explorer helps you to find a range of relevant terms connected to your seed word, and determine just how competitive those phrases are. You’ll be able to see traffic volumes, organic traffic options and difficulty in one place. Plus, you can see which companies are already ranking for your chosen phrase, which can help when you’re coming up with marketing strategies.

SEMRush

Another excellent pick for keyword analysis, SEMRush gives you a detailed list of all the terms and queries in its massive database, to help you find the right phrases to rank for. There are more than 40 million phrases included in the SEMRush database. Plus, you can use the technology to determine which pages are ranking for which terms, and how competitive each phrase might be.

KW Finder

KWFinder was designed to be the only search analysis tool business leaders will ever need. You can search for insights into keyword difficulty, as well as finding new keywords to add to your list. The system also makes it possible to narrow down your keyword options by focusing on a specific language or location. KWFinder can also show you which words your competitors rank for.

SEO PowerSuite

The SEO PowerSuite is an all-in-one search engine software, which offers insights into backlinks, on-page analysis, rankings, and more. You can track the rank of your optimized pages, and use strategies to build your presence online. There’s also a SEO spyglass for checking out what your competitors are ranking for with their content campaigns.

Google Keyword Planner

One of the simplest options available for finding keywords, the Google Keyword Planner helps companies to find out what customers are searching for. You can discover new words or phrases related to your services and products, and get an insight into how often each term is used in your industry. Plus, there’s an insight into the suggested bid you’ll need to rank for a term with PPC.

Google Search Console

Something every site owner should already have to track their organic performance and the health of their site, Google Search Console is the source of truth for everything organic. So, why wouldn’t you use it to better understand what keywords your pages should be optimized for?

On the performance report, select which page you want to optimize and then select the Queries tab. It’ll tell you exactly what keywords your page is already ranking for, plus how many impressions and clicks your page gets for that keyword.

Google Trends

Smart keyword planning is a mix of long-term keywords that will always be there, and trending topics that you can be one of the first to write content about, depending on your industry. You can use Google Trends to your advantage by getting on top of those rising topics before everyone else catches on.

As an added bonus, you get a more “realtime” look at what keyword volume is, since many keyword tools use an average over the last 12 months to determine search volume, while Google Trends will show you the seasonality of keywords along with rising topics. 

What Constitutes a Good Keyword?

Notably, simply finding a huge range of terms and phrases related to your SaaS business won’t be enough to help you stand out online. You’ll also need to learn how to separate “good” keywords from bad ones. The easiest way to do this is to look at a few factors when inputting phrases into your keyword research tool. Key points to look at include:
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Keyword difficulty: The difficulty of a keyword looks at how challenging it might be to rank for a keyword, based on the amount of content that’s already available online. If a word is particularly difficult to rank for, you may need to invest a lot more into promoting your content, and producing complementary content and backlinks.

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Search volume: Search volume refers to how often people actually look for the keyword or phrase you’re going to be using. If no one is looking for a keyword, it’s pointless to build an entire content strategy around it. The ideal keywords will have a high level of volume, and a low level of difficulty or competition.

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Current ranking: If you’ve already started producing content for your website, then your company may be ranking for specific terms already. Knowing your current ranking for a keyword will help you to determine whether you should invest in that term further. You can also check to see where competitors are ranking in the search results.

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Search Intent: You may think that a keyword makes sense for your business, but you also have to make sure Google agrees with you. Input a target keyword into Google search and see what comes up. Would it make sense for your page to rank in the top 10 based on what’s already there, or is there a better way to phrase it to bring up more relevant results?

How to Use Your Keyword Analysis for SaaS Marketing

Once you’ve collected and thoroughly analyzed your keywords, the next step is actually taking advantage of them. Organize your keywords into buckets to help you define blogs, pages, and posts you can write to boost your ranking. Make sure you have keywords which address all of the different stages of the purchasing cycle, and various intent levels.

Ask yourself which keywords you will be using at the top of the funnel, when customers are first searching for solutions to their problems, and which you’ll be using at the bottom of your funnel. The keywords at the top and middle of the purchasing funnel will usually inform your blog posts and content marketing strategy. Alternatively, terms related to a high level of buyer intent may appear on your products and service pages.

As you sort through your keywords, remove anything which isn’t going to deliver exceptional value to your customers or your business. Get rid of any words that are too competitive, or don’t have enough volume to be worthwhile.

There are four main categories of keywords that can help you bring some order to your list.

Higher Value

Informational Keywords: These are top of the funnel keywords that aren’t necessarily converting keywords indicative of an interested consumer. They are meant to provide answers to a general question about your industry and position you as the authority on a specific topic. An example might be “how does SEO work?”

Transactional keywords: These keywords are for consumers intent on making a purchase. They are usually the most competitive because they are high-converting. An example might be “SEO services for SaaS companies.”

Lower Value

Commercial Keywords: When a user is looking for more information on a certain brand or service, they’ll likely use a commercial keyword. While these are great because it means a user is aware of your brand, they aren’t highly valuable for SEO because you want to attract mainly users who aren’t already looking for you.

Navigational Keywords: If a user has visited your site before and knows their way around it, they might want to navigate to a specific page from Google. You already have their attention, and therefore don’t need to optimize your pages for these types of keywords.

You can even use your keyword strategy to plan a long-term content schedule. Having a plan for exactly what you’re going to produce throughout your inbound marketing journey can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. You can even determine what kind of content you’re going to create with your keywords. For instance, does a certain term seem more relevant for an eBook, a blog post, a landing page, a case study , or a whitepaper?

You can even use your keyword strategy to plan a long-term content schedule. Having a plan for exactly what you’re going to produce throughout your inbound marketing journey can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. You can even determine what kind of content you’re going to create with your keywords. For instance, does a certain term seem more relevant for an eBook, a blog post, a landing page, a case study, or a whitepaper?

Master Keyword Analysis for SaaS Brands

Effective keyword analysis for your SaaS brand is crucial to help your business stand out in today’s competitive landscape. With the right keyword research, you’ll ensure you’re connecting with the right customer, at the right time.

Keyword analysis can be challenging. Building a good SaaS SEO strategy takes significant time, effort, and research. If you don’t have a marketing team in-house to help with the process, you might find you struggle to find the time to invest in choosing the right keywords.
The best solution may be to seek out support from a SaaS SEO agency. SEO innovators like Amplifyed can help you to not only launch your keyword strategy, but scale it to suit your business too!

Our keyword analysis for SaaS can help your business grow. Contact Amplifyed today.

Scott Johnson

Founder

Hey! I live in San Diego and have been involved with SEO since 2010. Our amazing team at Amplifyed specializes in helping SaaS and tech companies dominate the search rankings. We serve as an extension of your team to make sure your content ranks and drives the right people to your website. Let’s connect on LinkedIn and schedule a chat.

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