How to Choose Great Seed Keywords
All epic journeys start with a single step. In SEO, your first step is your seed keyword. Today, I’ll show you how to choose great seed keywords that generate plenty of keyword ideas.
Let’s dive in!
What Is a Seed Keyword?
Seed keywords are the baseline search terms that you want to target.
Starting from your seed keyword, you can generate other keyword suggestions with SEO tools like LowFruits:
LowFruits uses your seed keyword to extract long-tail keywords from Google autocomplete using 180 modifiers. Your simple search will generate over 54 pages of long-tail keyword ideas.
How to Get Great Seed Keywords
The best way to approach seed keywords is with keyword and topic clusters in mind. When doing your research, think about your main topics and their sub-topics. It’ll significantly increase your results from SEO, and it’s easier to organize.
Step 1: Start with a Wide Net
Start broad. What products do you offer? What problems does your business solve for your customers?
Make a list of broad keywords, and then…
Step 2: Niche Down
It’s time to expand.
After identifying your main seed keyword, analyze it with an SEO tool to get long-tail keyword ideas. Long-tail keywords aren’t as competitive so it’s easier for you to build Domain Authority. Still, they contain the seed keyword, so you’re building your presence for it, as well.
Use different methods to get more seed keyword ideas:
- Wildcard searches
Focus on the intent.
When preparing your keyword list, think about what the searchers want to achieve.
For example, putting the asterisk in a keyword like ‘best * sofa’ contains a strong purchase intent. You can target these keywords with your pages and other commercial content.
On the other hand, a keyword such as ‘how to * sofa’ will give you informational keywords you can use for your long-form content:
Warning: Detailed Seed Keywords
Don’t make your seed keyword so detailed that you can’t generate ideas.
For example, ‘mauve leather sofa for senior dogs’ can be a sub-topic. However, it’s much better to use a broader seed keyword like ‘leather sofa’ or ‘leather sofa for dogs’ as your main topic.
If your seed keyword generates very few additional results, it’s a sign that not many people are searching for it. Turn it into a part of your keyword cluster, but not the main topic.
Step 3: Create a List and Analyze It
When you’re ready, import your (exhaustive) keyword list and analyze it:
You’ll get questions, related searches, and more!
I recommend starting with keywords that are within your reach, i.e. keywords with weak spots or low-DA competitors.
What Are the Different Types of Seed Keywords?
Broad Seed Keywords
Broad seed keywords are a great starting point for keyword research. They cast a wide net and show you all the modified and detailed queries people are searching for.
A broad seed keyword search for ‘sofa’ generates plenty of results:
- 2 seater chesterfield sofa
- pet-friendly sofa
- outdoors sofa
You can easily zero in on more specific queries.
Broad seed keywords also help you explore topic clusters. Since Google uses the keywords and links on your website to understand your topical authority, you need to cover your target topic in depth.
Thankfully, broad seed keywords show you everything searchers are looking for.
Pros and Cons of Broad Seed Keywords
- Generate thousands of keyword ideas
- Many keywords with high search volume
- Get long-tail keywords with higher intent
- Find out what leads want to know about your target topic
- More competitive
Narrow Seed Keywords
Narrow seed keywords are more detailed and longer. Typically, they generate better traffic conversions because you can target searchers with specific needs who are ready to buy.
For example, I’ll transform my ‘sofa’ keyword into ‘leather sofa:’
The keyword ideas become more specific, targeting the ‘leather sofa’ query with different modifiers (e.g. ‘leather sofa for pets,’ ‘leather sofa with recliner’).
Can you spot the purchase intent? The more details there are in keywords, the more likely it is that people are searching because they’re ready to buy specific products.
Even when you analyze narrow seed keywords, you still get hundreds of keyword ideas.
So once you pick narrow seed keywords, analyze them in LowFruits to get CPC, search volume, intent, and more information.
Pros and Cons of Narrow Seed Keywords
- Targeted keywords
- Fewer competitors
- Higher intent
- Lower search volume
- Not as many keyword ideas as with broad seed keywords
Highly-Targeted Seed Keywords
Let’s say you want your seed keyword to be very specific, for example, ‘mauve leather sofas.’
After plugging the seed keyword into your keyword research tool, you’ll get 12 keyword ideas:
12 isn’t a lot of keyword ideas. You also won’t get a lot of suggestions for modifiers or questions because the ideas are limited.
However, highly-targeted seed keywords are very specific. As such, leads use them when looking for particular products, so they have a place in your SEO strategy.
Pros and Cons of Highly-Targeted Seed Keywords
- Target searchers with specific needs
- Highest purchasing intent
- Fewer competitors
- Low search volume
- Few additional keyword ideas
How Do You Find Seed Keyword Ideas?
People Also Ask and Related Searches
The People Also Ask section in the SERPs is a great place to discover what your audience wants to know – and which (key)words they use to find it.
However, don’t just copy/paste from People Also Ask. Sometimes you’ll get very narrow keywords that won’t generate additional ideas.
Similarly, the Related Searches section will show you other keywords your audience is looking for:
Find Great Seed Keywords with Google Autocomplete
Google autocomplete can give you plenty of seed keyword ideas, too! The keywords Google autocomplete generates depend on your cursor position, modifiers, and more, so you’ll get plenty of suggestions.
Google Search Console
If you’re getting traffic from Google, check your Google Search Console. You’ll see all the keywords your pages appear for under the Queries tab.
Unlike traditional keyword searches, a wildcard search replaces one item in your query with an asterisk.
Keep in mind: ‘how to * sofa’ won’t provide the same results as ‘how to sofa.’
For example, a typical search for ‘how to sofa’ generates thousands of nonsensical results:
But a wildcard search with the asterisk – ‘how to * sofa’ – delivers hundreds of high-intent keywords:
Get Seed Keyword Ideas From Your Competitors
Another method of finding great seed keyword ideas is to extract them from your competitors. That way, you know they already rank.
You can manually look at the keywords they’re targeting, or you can use a keyword extraction tool.
After entering your competitor’s domain, click ‘Import’ to select keywords you want to analyze:
If your Domain Authority is low, start by extracting keywords from competitors with the same or slightly higher Domain Authority. It’ll be much easier to see weak spots and outrank them.
Seed Keywords Are the Foundation of Your SEO
And there are plenty of ways to get them right! Start with a great seed keyword as your main topic, and expand to create a powerful strategy.
It’s time for your SEO to sprout!