Creating Product Demand with Solution Intent Keywords

May 13, 2024
Prospects searching for solution intent keywords are not as far down the funnel, but they’re open to purchasing a tool if it solves their problems.
Jessica Greene
Table of Contents

There are two main categories of keywords I look for when putting together a revenue-focused SEO strategy for my clients.

The first is purchase intent keywords, which are great for capturing existing demand.

The second is what I like to call solution intent keywords. These are keywords that suggest the searcher is looking for a solution to a problem they’re experiencing.

Prospects searching for solution intent keywords are usually not as far down the funnel as those who are searching for tools, but they’re usually open to purchasing a tool if it solves their problems. This makes targeting solution intent keywords a great way to create demand for your product.

How to find solution intent keywords for your brand

To find your solution intent keywords, you need to first compile a list of all of the problems your product solves.

After that, you can conduct keyword research to uncover the types of things people are searching for when looking for solutions to those problems.

Step 1: Compile a list of the problems your product solves

I’ve found that the best way to do this is to create a list of all of your personas, and then write down all of the problems those personas are facing that your product can help with.

Here’s an abbreviated example of what that looked like for TestBox:

Sales Leaders

  • Our sales cycles are taking too long.
  • I have to keep hiring more and more solutions engineers to create and manage our demo environments and POCs.
  • We can only offer POCs to enterprise prospects because of the overhead of creating them.
  • We don’t have a way for prospects to try our product before they buy it.

AEs

  • Other AEs get into our shared demo environment and make changes that leave the product looking bad when I go to demo it.
  • Our demo environment doesn’t have any data in it, so it’s hard to demo features like reporting and integrations.
  • I can’t see what leads are doing in their free trials, so it’s impossible to prioritize who to follow up with and what information to provide them with.

Solutions Engineers:

  • I can’t do any strategic work because I spend all of my time customizing demos and creating POCs.
  • It’s a constant battle to keep PII out of our demo environments.
  • Our demo environment isn’t functional enough to show off things enterprise buyers care about the most, like integrations.

Marketers:

  • Website visitors aren’t converting because we only offer demos — not free trials.
  • Our free trials don’t convert because our product onboarding leaves a lot to be desired.

This is an abbreviated example, and it’s for a product with a fairly small feature set. For brands that have lots of features, personas, and products, this list can end up being really long.

The good news: a long list of problems is exactly what you want.

The more granular you can get with the problems you solve, the more solution intent keywords you can find and optimize for.

Step 2: Find keywords that connect to the problems you solve

Once you have a list of all of the problems your product solves, you need to think about what you would search for if you were looking for a solution to that problem.

My go-to tool for this exercise is Keywords Everywhere.

Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that shows the search volume for any query you type into Google — which is really handy on its own — but my favorite feature for this specific use case is its “Related Keywords” and “People Also Search For” lists.

Let’s take the first problem listed above: “Our sales cycles are taking too long.”

First, I try to think of what I might search for if I was looking for a solution to that problem. What pops into mind for me is “shorten sales cycle.”

I can type that into Google and view Keywords Everywhere’s data to see if I’m on the right track:

In this scenario, I was right on. The keyword “shorten sales cycle” is searched for 140 times per month, so that’s a great solution intent keyword to target.

However, you won’t always guess right the first time, and that’s where Keywords Everywhere’s “Related Keywords” and “People Also Search For” lists come in handy.

For “Our free trials don’t convert because our product onboarding leaves a lot to be desired,” let's try searching for “free trial conversions”:

Unfortunately, that one doesn’t have any search volume. But Keywords Everywhere provides a good alternative in its list:

The recommended keyword “how to increase free trial conversion” gets 20 searches per month. We could go with that.

But we can also click that keyword in Keywords Everywhere’s list to run a new Google search for it and see if Keywords Everywhere provides some better options for that keyword in its recommendations:

This one has some super interesting options. The keyword “how to increase conversion rate” gets 1,900 searches per month. Ranking well for that one could get your product in front of a lot of people.

But I’m also interested in “benefits of free trials” and “do free trials increase sales.” These keywords suggest that the searcher is considering adding a free trial and trying to determine if it will be good for their business.

Content targeting those keywords could help you make a great case for why businesses need to offer free trials, and you can work in that your product helps businesses create free trials of their products with no engineering work required.

This can be a true “oh sh*t” moment for your readers. You’ve provided them with content that helps them solve two problems: they have the information they need to make the business case for why they need to offer a free trial, and they have a simple solution to creating that free trial — your product.

I go through this exercise for every problem a brand I’m working with solves: I take my best guess at what people might be searching for to solve that problem, then I refine my guess using Keywords Everywhere until I have a long list of solution intent keywords to create content for.

4 examples of different ways to create solution intent content

Below are four examples of my favorite ways that B2B software companies have worked their product into content targeting solution intent keywords.

Hopefully, these will provide you with more inspiration on which solution intent keywords to select during your research and how you might want to go about creating content for them.

1. Ahrefs’ how-to content

The problem: My site needs more links to rank.

Ahrefs, as far as I’m concerned, is the GOAT when it comes to creating truly helpful solution intent content that also promotes their product.

Check out their post on link-building strategies. None of the tips are Ahrefs-specific. They’re all general things you could do with or without Ahrefs, but where they can, they include specific instructions for ways to use their tool to help with the different tactics they recommend.

Almost every blog post on Ahrefs’ website offers a great example of how to talk about your product in informational, how-to content without making the content all about its product.

2. Zapier’s programmatic integration pages

The problem: I need to get data from Instantly into HubSpot.

A while back, I inherited an outbound team after a sales leader left our company. They were using Instantly to send emails. We needed a way to simultaneously create HubSpot contacts for the people they were reaching out to in Instantly.

Unfortunately, Instantly doesn’t have a HubSpot integration. So I turned to Google to search for “Instantly HubSpot integration” and found this Zapier page for Instantly integrations. I signed up immediately. It was exactly what I was looking for.

These pages are all programmatically created by Zapier. They have one for every integration they offer that lists the specific integrations available for every app that offers a Zapier integration.

3. Canva’s templates

The problem: I need to design something and I’m not a designer.

Canva’s template library is a classic solution intent SEO example for a good reason.

Sure, you could rank number one in the search results for the purchase intent keyword “design tools,” which gets 12k searches per month, but you’ll get a lot more visits and conversions ranking for all of the problems people can use Canva to solve:

  • “I need to create an infographic and I don’t know where to start.” Canva’s page ranks number one for “infographic template,” which gets 74k searches per month.
  • “I need to create images for my social media posts.” Canva’s page ranks number one for “social media template,” which gets 12k searches per month.
  • “I need to create swag for an event we’re sponsoring.” Canva’s page ranks number one for the keyword “t-shirt template,” which gets 74k searches per month.

With the right product, the search volume for solution intent keywords can dwarf the search volume for purchase intent keywords and be a significantly higher source of leads and customers.

4. Copy.ai’s free writing generators

The problem: I need to create a personalized outbound email quickly.

Copy.ai offers a variety of tools related to its product that are completely free to use with no signup required.

Take its cold email generator, which ranks in position two for the keyword of the same name. You just paste in a LinkedIn profile URL and provide a short description of what you’re selling, and it generates copy for the cold email in seconds.

It’s definitely not the worst cold email about backlinks I’ve ever received.

They also have the same types of tools targeting keywords like:

  • instagram caption generator (33k/month)
  • marketing email generator (3,600/month)
  • outline generator (2,400/month)

These free tools are a great way to rank for a problem their target users are experiencing while providing prospects with instant evidence of the capabilities of Copy.ai’s core, premium product.

The trick to creating solution intent content that ranks

The trick to getting any content to rank well in search is to make the content really valuable. That’s as true for solution intent keywords as it is for everything else.

Sure, you could probably write an entire blog post about how TestBox helps companies shorten their sales cycles, but that’s not what people are looking for when they search for “shorten sales cycle.” They’re looking for a list of ideas on how to shorten their sales cycles.

Your product can be one item in that list, but the rest of the items probably need to be high-quality suggestions that aren’t product-specific.

So my final tip for you as you begin your solution intent keyword targeting journey: Search for the keywords you’re considering before you begin planning any of the content.

Look at what’s already ranking — that’s the type of content people are looking for.

Finally, figure out what you can do to make what you create more valuable than what’s already ranking. That’s how you’ll rank for these keywords, and that’s how you’ll turn them into demand for your product.

Want to implement a revenue-focused SEO strategy at your company but don’t have the time, people, or expertise to do it? Let’s chat!

You might also like

No items found.

Subscribe to the Organic & Greene newsletter

Get my best SEO and growth tips delivered to your inbox.