📂 The hidden power of Zero Search Volume keywords for SaaS startups

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Today's newsletter is by my friend and SaaS content marketer AbdulGaniy Shehu.

AbdulGaniy Shehu is the Founder and Lead Content Strategist at Your Content Mart — a content marketing agency that helps B2B SaaS startups acquire more users and grow MRR using ROI-driven content marketing.

And for the Swipe Files audience only, he's sharing some behind the scenes content of real projects with clients.


Some months ago, Google tweeted this:

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Yet, most SaaS brands ignore keywords with zero or low search volume.

As a SaaS startup, you can leverage this undeserved opportunity to rank faster, dominate the SERPs in your niche, and grow your MRR profitably.

Here are some reasons to take Zero Search Volume (ZSV) keywords seriously and make them a core part of your startup’s SEO strategy.

#1: Leverage The First Mover Advantage

Think of any high-volume keyword today; they all started as a low or zero search volume keyword.

And guess what?

Brands that invest early in keywords like this dominate the SERPs and become unstoppable in their niches.

Here is an example…

When Drift launched its conversational marketing platform in 2017, the keyword “conversational marketing” probably had zero search volume and was relatively unknown by many.

Today, the keyword has a global search volume of 3,900, according to Ahrefs.

The same applies to most ZSV keywords out there. So, you can take advantage of the fact that it’s less competitive to become invincible to your competitors in the long run.

#2: SEO Tools Aren’t Perfect

The search volume from SEO tools is just an estimate and nothing more.

If you depend on them alone and don’t take things a step further, you’ll ignore high business value keywords and leave money on the table.

Take, for instance, the keyword below, which I’ve blurred because it’s one of our clients’ top keywords.

As you can see, Ahrefs estimates that this exact keyword has a global search volume of 150.

Even though our client is currently ranking number 2 on Google for this exact keyword, they got 461 impressions and 151 clicks from it in May alone.

With this recent study showing that the number 1 position on Google gets double the clicks of the second position, chances are that this keyword gets 500+ searches per month.

That’s not all…

Another reason you should take the search volume from SEO tools with a pinch of salt as a startup is that most pages on Google rank for more than one keyword.

For the client’s example above, we got over 22,000 impressions and 1000 clicks from the page we published on their website.

As you can see, even if SEO tools indicate that a keyword has zero search volume, you’ll most likely get more value from it for your business.

#3. All Keywords Are Not Created Equal

From our experience at my agency, most ZSV keywords have a high buying intent. Even if fewer people are searching for these keywords, it could be a gamechanger for you in driving user signups and growing MRR.

For example, this alternative keyword has a global search volume of 70, according to Ahrefs.

Less than three months after publishing on our client’s blog, it ranks number 2 on Google for the main term and drove over 200 organic traffic visitors.

And guess what?

Last month, we acquired 20+ user signups for our client from that article alone.

When compared to the number of visitors, this post has around an 11.44% conversion rate.

The point is…

All keywords are not created equal. So, be strategic with the keywords you target as a SaaS startup to drive the best results that move the needle business-wise.

To round things up…

If you’re a SaaS startup, don’t ignore Zero Volume keywords. While the top competitors pay less attention to it, leverage them as your underdog advantage.

—AbdulGaniy


Thanks again to AbdulGaniy for sharing the case study.

What did you think?

—Corey

p.s. do you want 2023 to be your best year of growth yet? Let's make that ARR chart go up and to the right. Check out the Swipe Files membership →

Thanks again to our featured sponsors:

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  2. Ahrefs: Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is a free SEO toolset to help you build backlinks, improve your site, and rank for keywords.
  3. The Juice: “Spotify for marketing & sales content” to discover blogs, podcasts, and videos to help you grow your business.
  4. 42/Agency: My #1 recommended demand generation agency for SaaS to help you drive demos and signups.
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