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How to Find Seed Keywords in 7 Ways

Julia McCoy
Thursday, 13th Jun 2024
How to Find Seed Keywords

Climbing Google’s search results and drawing more visitors to your website starts with finding the right seed keywords.

These seeds are crucial because they form the core of your topic clusters which lay the foundation for your entire SEO framework.

In this post, I’ll walk you through some easy methods on how to find seed keywords so you can create content that gets noticed by the right audience.

Let’s dive in.

Table Of Contents:

What Are Seed Keywords?

Seed keywords are broad terms that serve as the starting point for keyword research in search engine optimization (SEO). They are general phrases that represent the main topic or theme of a website.

Here are some key characteristics of seed keywords:

  1. Broad and General: Seed keywords are usually simple terms that broadly define the main topic or industry relevant to your website or business. For example: “running shoes”, “content marketing”, and “gaming laptops” are considered seed keywords because they are broad and general.
  2. Foundation for Expansion: Seed keywords are the foundation for more specific and targeted keywords known as long-tail keywords. These variations or extensions of seed keywords are more specific and have lower search volumes but often higher conversion rates. For example: “running shoes for flat feet”, “B2B content marketing for SaaS companies”, and “best gaming laptops under $1500” are long-tail variations of our earlier seed keyword examples.
  3. Building Topic Clusters: Seed keywords are also essential for creating topic clusters, which involve grouping related content around a central pillar page (focused on a seed keyword) and supporting it with subtopics (related long-tail keywords). This strategy helps in establishing authority on a particular topic and improves your website’s overall SEO performance.

Seed Keyword Examples

To further illustrate, let me show you some examples of seed keywords for different industries:

  1. Travel Destinations
    • Europe travel
    • Asia travel
    • Caribbean vacations
    • South America backpacking
    • Africa safari
  2. Healthy Recipes
    • Healthy smoothies
    • Low-carb dinner recipes
    • Vegan desserts
    • Gluten-free breakfast ideas
    • Mediterranean diet recipes
  3. Personal Finance
    • Investing strategies
    • Retirement planning
    • Saving money tips
    • Credit card rewards
    • Financial independence
  4. Home Improvement
    • Kitchen remodeling
    • Bathroom renovation
    • DIY home decor
    • Outdoor landscaping
    • Basement finishing
  5. Fitness
    • Strength training
    • Yoga for beginners
    • Cardio workouts
    • HIIT exercises
    • Flexibility training
  6. Technology
    • Smart home devices
    • Best student laptops
    • Mobile app development
    • Cybersecurity tips
    • Virtual reality headsets
  7. Fashion
    • Summer dresses
    • Men’s formal wear
    • Sustainable fashion
    • Street style trends
    • Luxury handbags
  8. Gardening
    • Organic gardening
    • Container gardening
    • Urban gardening
    • Vertical gardening
    • Permaculture techniques
  9. Parenting
    • Toddler activities
    • Newborn sleep tips
    • Positive parenting techniques
    • Homeschooling resources
    • Teenager parenting challenges
  10. Photography
    • Portrait photography
    • Landscape photography
    • Wildlife photography
    • Street photography
    • Product photography

When it comes to finding keyword opportunities, it’s crucial to start with a strong set of seed keywords.

In my experience, the best seed keywords:

  1. Are relevant to your business
  2. Have a high search volume
  3. Are not overly competitive

It’s a balancing act. You want keywords that people are actually searching for, but that aren’t so competitive that you’ll never rank for them.

Focus on finding that sweet spot to develop a solid seed keyword list.

How to Find Seed Keywords in 7 Ways

Discovering effective seed keywords is the first step to optimizing your content for search engines. Let me show you seven proven methods to uncover the perfect seed keywords that will enhance your SEO efforts and attract the right audience to your website.

1. Brainstorm Variations of Your Target Keyword

Sometimes the best ideas come from good old-fashioned brainstorming.

Grab a pen and paper (or open up a blank document) and jot down any words or phrases related to your main topic.

Let’s say you’re targeting the search term “content marketing”. Broad phrases that easily come to mind might include:

  • Blogging
  • SEO copywriting
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing

Don’t try to look for specifics. Just brain-dump a long list of subjects to expand on later.

2. Reverse Engineer Competitors

Intrigued by what’s driving your competitors’ success? Look into the keywords that they’re optimizing for to unlock the secrets of their achievements.

Tools like Ahrefs and Semrush let you plug in a competitor’s URL and see which keywords they’re ranking for. Pay attention to the broad, high-level terms — those are potential seed keywords you can add to your list.

3. Analyze SERPs for Keyword Ideas

The special features of search engines can reveal additional ideas about what people are searching for.

Let’s explore these four SERP features using the seed keyword “landscape photography”.

Autocomplete Suggestions: Start typing your seed keyword into the search bar and note down autocomplete suggestions for related keywords.

how to find seed keywords on google

Featured Snippets: Look at featured snippets to identify common topics and queries that could become seed keywords.

how to find seed keywords on featured snippets

People Also Ask: Expand the “People also ask” section on the SERP to uncover commonly asked questions related to your seed keyword.

how to find seed keywords on people also ask

Related Searches: Scroll to the bottom of the SERP to find “Related searches” or “People also search for” to see additional keyword to find seed keywords on related searches

Landing on Google’s first page often holds the key to identifying insightful keyword phrases for your niche topic. Dive into the search engine results pages to find inspiring seed keywords to fuel your content creation.

4. Join Communities and Forums

Online communities Reddit and Quora are treasure troves of keyword insight.

Start by diving into subreddits or topics that pique your interest.

Take a glance at the questions being asked and see how people frame their concerns.

Recurring themes and topics can often be turned into seed keywords.

For example, in the r/SkincareAddiction subreddit, I see a lot of posts about:

  • Acne
  • Anti-aging
  • Dry skin
  • Product recommendations

how to find seed keywords on reddit

In the skincare niche, fascinating topics emerge from lurking within relevant online communities. These often-overlooked platforms hold a vast array of keyword ideas just waiting to be explored.

5. List Out Products/Services/Brands

You can also find seed keywords from your products, services, or brand names.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • List Core Products or Services: Start by listing the primary products or services your business provides. Each product or service can be a seed keyword.
  • Analyze Product Descriptions: Look at the detailed descriptions and features of your products or services. Key phrases and terms in these descriptions can often be used as seed keywords.
  • Review Customer Feedback: Customer reviews and feedback may highlight specific aspects or benefits of your products/services. Recurring terms and phrases can be starting points for your next content piece.
  • Explore Competitor Offerings: Examine your competitors’ products or services. The keywords they use to describe their offerings can provide insights into potential seed keywords.
  • Use Brand Names: Incorporate your brand name with relevant terms. For example, if your brand is known for eco-friendly products, “Eco-friendly [Brand Name] products” can be a seed keyword.
  • Consider Use Cases and Applications: Think about how your products or services are used. Keywords related to specific applications or use cases can serve as seed keywords.

By listing out your main product categories, brands, and any other high-level descriptors, you can find seed keywords that are directly tied to what your business offers, ensuring your content is closely aligned with your products, services, or brand.

6. Examine Website Navigation Menus

Still stuck? Take a look at your own website’s navigation menu (or a competitor’s).

The main categories and subcategories are often great seed keyword ideas since they represent the broad topics your site covers.

Let’s look at Apple’s website below:

how to find seed keywords on your navigation menu

From the navigation menu, we can easily pick out seed keywords like Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods.

If you’re in the food niche, your main categories would probably be breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and vegetarian — excellent seed keywords to feed into your keyword research tool for further exploration.

7. Use Google Search Console

If you have an existing website, Google Search Console can show you the queries you’re already ranking for. To find seed keyword ideas, sort the queries by impressions and look for broad, high-level terms.

For example, if you have a blog about personal finance, you might see terms like:

  • Budgeting
  • Saving money
  • Investing
  • Paying off debt

Analyzing and Selecting the Best Seed Keywords

To find the best keywords, you need to understand what makes them important.

Start by deciding what matters most to you in a keyword, then use those standards to filter your list.

You’ll be amazed at how much better your results become once you’ve laid a solid foundation.

Assess Keyword Difficulty

Not all seed keywords are viable targets. Some are simply too competitive. That’s where keyword difficulty comes in.

Tools like Content at Scale give you a keyword difficult score so you can assess how hard it would be to rank for that particular term.

how to find seed keywords content at scale

In general, you want to aim for keywords with a difficulty score of 40 or below (on a scale of 0-100). Those will be the easiest to rank for, especially if you’re just starting out.

Consider Search Volume

Search volume is another important factor to consider when choosing seed keywords. You want to target terms that people are actually searching for — otherwise, what’s the point?

But you also don’t want to go too broad and generic.

For example, “solar lights” has a massive search volume. But it’s also incredibly competitive and not very targeted.

On the flip side, “solar-powered landscape lights” is too specific. It might be easier to rank for, but the search volume is likely very low.

Aim for that sweet spot in the middle — keywords with a decent search volume (at least a few hundred searches per month) but not too much competition.

how to find seed keywords content at scale

Align with Your SEO Strategy

When it comes to selecting seed keywords, it’s essential to align them with the core themes and topics your website aims to be recognized for.

Let’s say you have a website that’s focused on baking. Relevant seed keywords would be the phrases individuals enter into a search engine to discover the content they’re looking for.

Some of the types of search terms people might use are:

  • Bread recipes
  • Cake decorating
  • Gluten-free desserts
  • Baking tips

But if you suddenly start targeting seeds like “grilling” or “slow cooker meals”, that doesn’t really fit.

It might be tempting to go after high-volume terms, but if they’re not relevant to your site, it won’t do you much good in the long run.

Stick to keywords that support your overall content strategy and topical authority.

Creating a Comprehensive Seed Keyword List

With your research on seed keywords wrapped up, the next step is to collectively categorize and compile them into a unified, top-down blueprint for content creation and search engine optimization.

Combine Keyword Ideas from Multiple Sources

First things first, take all those seed keyword ideas you harvested from various sources and consolidate them into one master list.

I like to use a simple spreadsheet for this. Dump in keywords from your brainstorming sessions, competitor research, website navigation, Google Search Console — all of it.

As you combine your seed keywords, keep an eye out for duplicates and variations.

For example, “mountain biking” and “mountain biking trails” could be grouped under the same seed keyword. The goal is to create a clean, organized seed list to work from.

Organize Keywords into Topic Clusters

With your master list in hand, start organizing your seed keywords into relevant topic clusters. This is where you group related keywords based on a common theme or subject matter.

So keywords like “mountain biking”, “mountain biking gear”, and “mountain biking trails” would all fall under the same topic cluster.

Let’s say you run an e-commerce site selling outdoor gear. You could create topic clusters around main product categories like camping, hiking, and cycling. Then within each cluster, you’d have seed keywords related to specific products, brands, and customer pain points.

This topical structure helps you create focused, authoritative content that meets user needs and boosts your organic traffic.

how to find seed keywords and create content hubs

Prioritize High-Potential Ranking Keywords

Not all seed keywords are created equal. Once you’ve organized your keywords into topic clusters, it’s time to prioritize the ones with the most potential. I’m talking about keywords that have a good balance of search volume, relevance, and keyword difficulty.

Keyword research tools give you all sorts of juicy data like monthly search volume, organic click-through rate, difficulty score, cost per click, and trends. You can also use Answer the Public for uncovering question-based queries.

As you evaluate your initial seed keywords, think about which ones align best with your content goals and audience needs. Prioritize keywords that have at least over 100 monthly searches, high relevance to your business, and a difficulty score that’s below 40.

Remember, the goal isn’t to go after the most competitive keywords right out of the gate. It’s to find opportunities where you can realistically rank and drive meaningful search traffic.

FAQs: How to Find Seed Keywords

How to get seed keywords?

To get seed keywords, start by identifying your target audience’s pain points and desires. Then, brainstorm a list of relevant keywords using tools like Google Search Console, keyword planners, and Chrome extensions. Filter out irrelevant keywords and prioritize the ones with high search volume and low difficulty scores.

How to brainstorm seed keywords?

Brainstorming seed keywords is like discovering hidden gems in your niche. Start by listing out products, services, and brands related to your business. Then, analyze your competitors’ keywords, examine your website’s navigation menus, and review online communities and forums to generate more ideas.

How many seed keywords should I have?

Aim for 5-10 seed keywords that are relevant to your business, and then build upon them to create a robust keyword list.

What is a seed list in SEO?

A seed list in SEO is a collection of core terms that serve as the foundation for your keyword strategy. This list helps you identify opportunities, prioritize efforts, and optimize your content for maximum visibility and relevance.


Finding seed keywords is the cornerstone of a successful SEO strategy. By digging into SERP features, product descriptions, competitor keywords, and customer feedback, you can uncover keywords that resonate with your audience and boost your search engine rankings.

Ready to streamline your keyword research and content creation? Sign up for Content at Scale today and discover how our all-in-one solution can simplify your SEO strategy


Written by Julia McCoy

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