How Zero Search Volume Keywords Can Fiercely Upgrade Your SaaS Marketing
If you’re a content writer, SEO specialist, or part of a digital marketing team in general, you know the importance of keywords. It’s the bedrock of a successful marketing campaign.
However, most of them are also incredibly competitive, which is why long-tail keywords are preferred by most SEO marketers. But there is a particular group that has the potential to bring massive traffic to your site.
And that is zero search volume keywords.
As the name suggests, zero search volume keywords are keywords that, well, have zero search volumes.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
If it has a zero search volume, that means people aren’t searching for it, right? So how can it help your SaaS company to rank on the SERP?
Let’s explore those two questions below. And from there, we can expand on this concept and look at methods in how to find zero search volume keywords in SaaS.
What Makes Zero Search Volume Keywords Important?
We’ve all heard it by now. The SaaS industry is oversaturated. So much so that the amount of SaaS products out there are creating problems for companies, case-in-point the Shadow IT headache.
So with all these companies competing against each other, it’s becoming harder to rank on the SERP.
Competitive keywords are already taken by established players that have a comprehensive SEO strategy.
That’s where zero search volume keywords come into play.
The importance of zero search volume keywords in SaaS resides in the fact that marketers are ignoring them. They don’t have a lot of search volume and researchers assume they won’t bring traffic to their SaaS brand.
Are they right? Yes, and no.
Yes, because if a keyword has zero search volume, it means people aren’t entering them on the search bar. No, because Google and every keyword research tool aren’t perfect. They make mistakes.
Here’s an example that we experienced here at kenmoo.me.
How Zero Search Volume Keyword is Bringing Us Traffic
The keyword in question is “fractional content.” Below, you can see that the keyword is driving a nice traffic volume for us.
To be precise, “fractional content” is providing us with 304 clicks and 11,152 impressions as of this writing.
But when we first did our research on Ahrefs for this particular keyword, here’s what he got.
As you can see, the keyword isn’t all too promising. And that information is coming from Ahrefs, a proven keyword research tool used by thousands of websites to rank on the SERP.
So what’s going on here? Ahrefs is saying nobody is searching for that keyword. And yet it’s bringing us hundreds of clicks and thousands of impressions?
In fact, that particular article has hit page 1 of the SERP just weeks after it was published. It’s currently sitting on the number 2 spot.
While there are a lot of elements involved here, it appears that commercial intent plays an integral role.
Specifically, if a query with no ads is submitted by a user, that particular query is listed as having zero search volume by Google. Or at least, 0-10, as what we’ve seen in our image above.
And since every keyword research tool is taking its data from Google, their data is skewed too. So what does this mean for you?
Well, it means you have a massive opportunity to rank for these keywords. Especially if you’re writing informational content.
You see, a Penn State research study found that 80% of searches on the web are informational. Meanwhile, the remaining 20% are taken by navigational and transactional queries, taking 10% each.
We also know that informational content is one of the best ways of increasing your credibility on the web. When a potential customer is on the first stage of their buying journey, they’ll go on the web to find a solution for a particular pain point.
If you can provide a satisfactory answer to their query, you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your field. As a result, you’re increasing the awareness around your SaaS brand.
Information content includes:
- Lead magnets
- How-to articles
- Blog posts
Of course, you shouldn’t expect to convert them after they’ve consumed your content. The idea here is to put yourself forward as someone who can help them with a particular pain point.
In our previous example, maybe they’re wondering how fractional content can help with their fledgling SaaS company. From there, they could go down your sales funnel and enter the consideration stage, decision stage, and so on.
So where and how do you find these zero search volume keywords? Where do you even begin?
Well, as you’ll see below, most of it comes down to behavioral marketing. After all, our main goal is to look for keywords that have a strong search intent behind them.
Let’s dive right in.
Where to Find Zero Search Volume Keyword
Lauren Pope, content and SEO manager over at Oracle, wrote a short but interesting piece about this very topic here. She outlines three strategies you can take:
- Keyword stacking – you stack low-volume keywords together so they’ll give you a lot of traffic as a whole.
- Website analysis – evaluate several websites that are talking about the same topic. Try to determine what keywords these sites are using on their subheadings and add other elements to them like statistics and useful case studies.
- Social media questions – you compile questions that people are repeatedly asking on social media. In Lauren’s case, she pulled her information from the queries her TikTok followers were asking.
All of these are valuable avenues to explore. But we’ll focus on social media questions as our target is search intent.
Besides, once you compiled these questions you can then use them for keyword stacking and website analysis anyway.
So what sites are we targeting? Let’s start with Reddit.
You’ve probably heard of Reddit by now. If you haven’t, it’s basically a discussion website where people talk about hundreds – if not thousands – of different topics.
And the SaaS industry is one of those. Click here to explore /r/SaaS, a subreddit with 27k members.
The community is mostly composed of SaaS owners helping each other develop a unique product. As such, questions are submitted every day regarding UI, features, pricing, and more.
You should focus your attention on threads where a lot of people are participating. Find these threads by looking at the number of comments and skimming what the discussion is about.
Again, what you want is to find and compile questions that people are repeatedly asking. Obviously, this would take a lot of effort stretched over days, weeks, or even months.
But since using a keyword research tool isn’t as reliable for this particular SEO strategy, a manual search is the next best thing.
Quora is another discussion board where you can find long-tail keywords disguised as questions. Look at this list here.
- What are the key steps to building a SaaS product?
- How do I build a SaaS product from scratch?
What is the best pricing model for a SaaS product?
- What is the most effective way to generate social proof for SaaS products?
- What are the best practices for SaaS product development?
- These are just some of the questions asked in that thread. Each of those has the potential to bring in traffic provided people are engaging with it.
To evaluate this, just click on the question and see whether or not people are having valuable discussions inside. That’s when you know that there’s search intent behind that specific query.
And if it has, you can integrate them into your content marketing strategy to boost your organic traffic.
There are a lot of Facebook groups out there focusing on the SaaS industry. These groups are filled with entrepreneurs, business founders, and CEOs looking to get valuable feedback from users and potential clients.
Keep in mind, however, that even though these groups have thousands of members, it doesn’t mean there’s consistent quality discussion in them. You’ll often encounter spam and click baits. No surprise there.
But some threads offer valuable insights that can help with organic traffic and lead generation.
Let’s look at four of these SaaS Facebook groups.
- SaaS Growth Hacks – at the time of writing, this group has 27.6k members. Link-dumping is prohibited although there will be days where promotional campaigns are allowed.
- SaaS Products & Marketing – currently, this group has 18.1k members. It mostly focuses on tips and strategies to grow a SaaS company. It’s a great source of case studies as members and moderators often post this useful content in the group.
- Ken Moo’s SaaS Lifetime Deals (LTDs) Group – this one’s a little different than the previous two. It mostly involves SaaS lifetime deals, although there is healthy discussion in there as well. The admin also provides free lifetime deal promos for group members, which are incredibly beneficial for both users and founders.
- SaaSZilla – here’s another SaaS lifetime deal Facebook group. But the admins want to focus more on discussions regarding how people are using their SaaS solutions to grow their business. That way, everyone is providing and receiving valuable information with each other.
As mentioned earlier, all of these take time to compile. But once you have gathered them, what’s next?
Are you going to create content on each one?
Well, similar to most of your content marketing strategies, you’ll need to sift your collected ZSV keywords first.
Short-Listing Your Zero Search Volume Keywords
We’ve already talked about search intent. But are there any other metrics you can use to shortlist your zero search volume keywords?
Long-tail keywords that make sense
Low keyword difficulty is one thing, relevance is another. Yes, the keyword ideas you’ve collected could provide your lead generation campaign with a nice boost.
But it has to make sense in the first place before you decide to start writing an article about them. On top of that, once you transform them into long-tail keywords, they should laser-focus on the search intent of your target audience.
So let’s say your zero search volume keyword is “inbound marketing for SaaS.” That already has a low keyword difficulty written all over it.
However, we have to expand on it to match the search intent of our desired users. So your keyword now becomes “How to launch inbound marketing for SaaS.”
That’s just one long-tail keyword for the topic. You could also expand it to:
- What’s the importance of SaaS inbound marketing?
- [X] SaaS inbound marketing strategies to drive growth.
- [X] SaaS inbound marketing examples.
- Anatomy of inbound marketing.
These are just examples, of course. But you get the idea.
Your goal is to try and structure your main keyword into something that your audience will enter on the search bar. If you’re in their shoes, how are you going to phrase the keywords you’ve collected?
You’ll also need to evaluate whether or not people are talking about your keyword ideas but are phrasing them differently. Let’s stick with our earlier example, which is inbound marketing in SaaS.
While content marketers are aware of this topic’s exact definition, most aren’t. As such, regular Joes and Janes usually use inbound marketing and content marketing interchangeably.
It’s difficult to blame them considering both of these tactics heavily overlap. Knowing this, maybe you can create content that differentiates content marketing and inbound marketing in SaaS.
That’s already a promising start. But again, try to phrase those into long-tail keywords that people could type into the search bar.
This is just a simple example of how exploring semantics can help with your content ideas. So always keep that in mind to ensure you’re filtering your list so it includes high intent keywords that are low in competition.
How to Use Zero Search Volume Keywords for Lead Generation
Once you have refined your content ideas, you’ll need to plan how to use them. As we discussed earlier, your zero search volume keywords should mostly focus on creating awareness for your organic search.
That means writing informational content to satisfy the buyer persona you’re targeting. Sure, they might not convert now. But given enough time, you’ll eventually launch campaigns to convert these audiences from the awareness stage to the consideration stage.
One such strategy is using valuable gated content.
So let’s say your topic is influencer marketing. You create a unique case study on that concept then ask for people’s emails in exchange for that particular study.
From there, you can use email marketing campaigns to slowly educate your audience and move them down the sales pipeline. And as you slowly guide them through the buyer’s journey, you amplify the connection between your SaaS brand and buyer persona.
How to Find Zero Search Volume in SaaS: Use Every Edge
It’s important to note that this approach isn’t full-proof. That’s why you need to perform diligent research and a stringent filtering process to increase your chances of success.
And even though using a keyword tool isn’t a reliable instrument in this specific SEO strategy, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them.
Moz and Ahrefs are still incredibly important instruments, especially if you’re trying to determine if your keyword ideas truly have low keyword difficulty. On top of that, use free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to further hone your strategy.
Always remember that if you’re a SaaS startup, you want to get every edge you’ll need. The competition in this space can be quite vicious and most don’t survive a few years after launching.
Don’t be a part of that statistic.
For more tips and strategies for cultivating your SaaS company’s growth, visit the KenMoo blog here for more related reading.