How to Create a Keyword Seed List

Michael Bergbauer - September 30, 2016

At MoreVisibility, a keyword research report is usually one of the first things we deliver in a client’s SEO program. Before we begin working on this type of project, we customarily ask the client to provide us with a keyword seed list – a set of keyword ideas to use a baseline for research. Using these “seeds” as the starting guide, we “grow” a report packed with optimal keyword recommendations customized to your website.

A client-provided seed list is not required for us to make the most optimal recommendations, or to start working on a keyword research project. But, it’s still a useful reference tool for our SEO team. In this blog post, I’ll provide some brainstorming tips for you to easily and quickly create effective keyword seed lists.

How do you talk about your products and services?

For one of the best ways to think of keyword seeds, just think about how you would describe your company in an elevator pitch for a networking event:

“Our company is in the [ABC] industry and we provide [X, Y, and Z] products and services to customers who are trying to solve problems such as [. . .]”

All the variables in that sentence have the potential to be great keyword seeds. You want to be thorough in terms of capturing all the things your business does and the customer-problems it solves, but you don’t need to be exhaustive in coming up with synonyms, word order variations, etc. You can leave that to our researchers. Additionally, if your company is running paid search campaigns, the data from those can be a source of seed list ideas.

What keywords does your competition use?

Skim through the copy on the websites you want to outrank. You may not want to talk about your business using the terminology you find there, but you can still use those insights to build up your seed list.

How does your audience describe your products or services?

The industry jargon you use every day may not match up with the way your customers talk about or search for you. If you don’t interact with your company’s customers on a regular basis, you can look at blogs geared toward users (as opposed to trade publications), forum posts, LinkedIn groups, or even customer service tickets for seed list ideas.

You may not need to use all of the above tips to create a solid seed list. Remember: the seed list is meant to be a starting point, so there is no need to worry about being perfectly descriptive or missing some terms. Leave the heavy research to us.

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