Pain point SEO: How to Build an SEO Strategy That Converts

Lauren Reilly

  | Published on  

May 22, 2024

Let's set the scene: you're in charge of content for your team writing dozens of blog posts each month, but none of them are converting.


It all comes down to your SEO strategy. For run-of-the-mill SEO strategies, companies often prioritize maximizing traffic to their website through high-volume traffic keywords.

But here’s the catch: high volumes of traffic don’t always lead to high volumes of conversions. Traffic is worthless without conversions. That’s why you need to shift your strategy: you need to prioritize keywords with high intent rather than high traffic. 

How do you find these keywords: through pain point SEO!

What is pain point SEO?

Pain point SEO is a strategy that prioritizes high-intent keywords over high-traffic keywords to help you drive up your conversions. 

Think of pain point SEO as a flip of the script of typical SEO strategies. Rather than identifying keywords first, pain point SEO prioritizes identifying and addressing the challenges (or pain points) your target audience is facing. 

These pain points are the intent of your target audience’s Google search: why are they on Google and what are they looking for? By knowing your target audience’s intent, you can provide insights and solutions to their problems to create content and keywords that are more relatable to your target audience. 

Why focus on pain points for SEO?

Now that you know what pain points actually are, let’s dive into why they matter to your SEO success. 

Knowing your audience’s pain points for SEO can help you reach your website’s goals, such as:

  • Increasing your content’s relevance 
  • Generating valuable engagement
  • Improving conversion rates 
  • Strengthening your SEO strategy

Prioritizing pain points can help you understand the intent of your audience’s searches during their buyer journey. By knowing the intent behind each keyword, you can better predict what content will generate more conversions rather than just traffic. 

How do pain points influence your keyword research

For many SEO strategies, keyword research is the first step. Keyword research is important, but let’s forget that for a second.

To grow and convert your traffic with pain point SEO, finding your keywords only comes after you 1) identify your audience's pain points and 2) create content ideas based on those pain points.

Pain points influence your keyword research because they are the stepping stones that will guide you to your target audience. By identifying pain points, you will get one stone closer to what keywords will attract your target audience.

How to identify the pain points for your target audience

To identify the pain points of your target audience, ask yourself this first: who is your buyer?

If you don’t know who your buyer is, how are you ever going to know their concerns? To narrow down your viewers to find your target audience, you have to create a buyer persona (or ICPs). Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does my buyer do for work, their job title?
  • What are my buyer’s interests?
  • What are my buyer’s goals and motivations to reach those goals?
  • What challenges is my buyer facing to reach those goals 
  • What does my buyer value or look for in products like yours?
  • If my buyer is not making the final decision, who is?

By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to build limb-by-limb your potential buyer until you have (drumroll, please) your buyer persona!

Unsure how to answer these questions: let’s gather some data. Some methods you can use to get data together to help you learn more about your buyers are:

  • Distributing surveys: Send surveys to your customer base and network to gather more data about their pain points and buying processes.
  • Listening to customer feedback: Analyze reviews from past customers to identify complaints.
  • Conducting competitor analysis: Observe competitors to learn where they are succeeding and where they are falling short.
  • Joining online communities: Join forums where your target audience discusses issues they are facing so that you can identify a common theme.

Once you know who your buyer is, you can now discover their pain points and align your content with them. 

How to align your content with pain points for your audience

Now that you know your buyer and their pain points, it’s time to align your content with them. This is where you need to start considering your keywords, so get your thinking cap on! 

Most SEO strategies fail because their keywords are 1) generic and 2) lack empathy for your buyer.  But with pain points, you can create keywords that are directly related to your target audience’s intent. 

For example, say your target audience is struggling with their study habits. You can create content that directly aligns with this issue with headlines such as “5 Tips to Improve Your Study Habits”, or “How to Improve Your Study Habits.”

For your content to be successful under pain point SEO, your content must:

  • Use keywords specific to your audience’s pain points 
  • Provide insights and solutions to your audience’s pain points
  • Empathetic with your audience’s struggles 

When you optimize your content with pain points, you can drive up lead generation to make your website a reliable lead-making machine!

3 Types of Pain Point SEO Keywords:

Pain point SEO keywords can be categorized into 3 types:

  • Category comparisons
  • Alternative comparisons
  • Jobs to be done

Category Comparison

These search terms relate directly with your product and/or service. Category comparisons are obvious to your brand, but there are different ways to phrase them. 

Take us, Centori, as an example. Keywords we target might be:

  • SEO coach
  • SEO advisor
  • Fractional SEO
  • Fractional content marketing

It’s up to you to show up for these search terms and convince viewers that your solution is worth a shot.  

For example, let’s look at the popular design software tool, Canva. Canva does an excellent job at dominating SEO through their feature and use case landing pages. They lay out their top features in their navigation menu like this:

And as we can see here, they consistently rank for many of these terms:

Comparison and Alternatives

These keywords pinpoint that the viewer is comparing you to your competitors. 

Comparison and alternative keywords indicate that your viewer is a hair away from becoming a buyer. If you can make sure to reel in these potential buyers, you will have higher conversion rates. For example, HubSpot has pages to compare:

  • HubSpot vs Salesforce
  • HubSpot vs MailChimp
  • HubSpot vs WordPress

Which draws in a lot of traffic at the bottom and middle of the funnel to their site. 

Jobs to Be Done 

Jobs to be done are a collection of all the keywords that alert you that your searcher has an issue with your service or product. But these viewers are not explicitly searching for a solution. For these terms, you should give helpful advice, but also present your service or product as a potential solution. 

This is where most “keyword research” is done. But as you can see, there are many other categories of keywords you should consider.

Need a Keyword Research Tool? Use Centori

If you are struggling to identify keywords that speak to your website, we’ve got you covered! 

At Centori, we have a database of 6 million keywords for you to choose from. Our keyword tool is easy to navigate, saving you both time and stress on your keyword journey.

With our keyword research tool, you can track:

  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Keyword intent 
  • And more!

And save as many keywords as you’d like to track your rank. 

Start building traffic that converts with our free organic growth guide

Converting your traffic into conversions does not happen overnight: it is a constant process. But with pain point SEO, you can narrow your search to find your target audience and in turn, generate leads!

Are you looking for more ways to turn your traffic into leads? Do you want to take your SEO strategy to the next level? Download our free organic growth guide here which can help you grow your SaaS business and generate growth. 

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