Council Post: Seed Keywords: Sowing The Seeds For Your Website’s SEO Success

Whether your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy succeeds or fails is heavily dependent upon your choice of keywords. Optimizing your website for the wrong keywords will leave it struggling at the bottom of the organic search results. Regardless of how much content you publish or how many backlinks you build, your website won’t outrank its competitors. You can sow the seeds for your website’s SEO success, however, by targeting seed keywords.

What Are Seed Keywords?

A seed keyword is a short-tail keyword, usually with one or two words. Like other short-tail keywords, seed keywords tend to have high monthly search volumes and high competition. While short-tail keywords may or may not have modifiers, seed keywords never have modifiers.

Seed keywords are designed to sprout other keywords for which you can optimize your website. After identifying a few relevant seed keywords for your website, you can build them up with modifiers to generate long-tail keywords.

An example of a seed keyword is “website marketing.” A marketing company that specializes in promoting products or services on its website can add modifiers to this seed keyword to generate new long-tail keywords, such as “website marketing strategy,” or “best website marketing strategies.”

How Seed Keywords Can Benefit Your SEO Strategy

Although they are competitive, when used correctly, seed keywords can foster SEO success for your website and help it rank higher in the organic search results.

With seed keywords, you’ll have a baseline for generating relevant long-tail keywords. Most webmasters know that long-tail keywords are less competitive than short-tail keywords, so they optimize their websites to rank for them. If a long-tail keyword isn’t relevant to a webmaster’s website, though, it won’t benefit their SEO strategy.

Seed keywords will keep your SEO strategy on track by allowing you to easily generate relevant long-tail keywords, each of which contains the respective seed keyword. Therefore, all your long-tail keywords will be relevant to your website, which will boost your site’s organic ranking power.

When you optimize your website for long-tail keywords, you’ll also be optimizing it for the seed keywords from which they were generated. If you publish a new piece of content optimized around a long-tail keyword, search engines will view your site as being relevant to the long-tail keyword itself as well as the seed keyword from which it was generated.

How To Select The Right Seed Keywords

Because they affect your website’s long-tail keywords, you need to select the right seed keywords. Don’t worry too much about competition when selecting seed keywords — their short and generic format makes them more competitive than longer and more specific keywords. Instead, choose seed keywords that reflect your website’s content and that you can build upon with the use of modifiers.

Assuming your website is already developed, you may already know a few relevant seed keywords off the top of your head. Looking through your website’s content should give you a better idea of which seed keywords to target.

If your website is new and still in the early development stage, consider your long-term goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your website? If you’re hoping to develop an e-commerce website, you can choose seed keywords around the type of products that you intend to sell. If you’re hoping to develop a parenting blog, on the other hand, you can choose seed keywords around parenting information.

Where To Plant Seed Keywords

You should typically plant seed keywords on your website’s homepage. Subpages should be optimized to rank for long-tail keywords. 

Don’t make the mistake of targeting too many seed keywords. On-page SEO requires the use of keywords in metatags, such as title tags and meta descriptions. While the latter metatag supports up to 160 characters, the former has a shorter supported length of just 60 characters, so you won’t be able to include many keywords. For healthy on-page SEO, choose one to three seed keywords for your website’s homepage.

How To Generate Long-Tail Keywords From Seed Keywords

Using seed keywords will lead to a more successful SEO strategy by providing a baseline for relevant long-tail keywords.

Once you’ve selected seed keywords for your website, you can use a keyword research tool to generate long-tail keywords. If you have an advertiser account with Google Ads, try using the Keyword Planner tool. It’s available by clicking the “Tools and Settings” and choosing “Keyword Planner.” On the Keyword Planner’s home screen, click “Discover New Keywords,” and enter one of your seed keywords. Google’s internal search data will create a list of long-tail keywords containing your specified seed keyword. You can then develop and optimize subpages around those long-tail keywords.

Developing the right seed keywords could set your business up for success. 

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

Translate »