How to Create a Seed List of Keywords

Posted on Jul 29, 2013

How to Create a Seed List of Keywords

KeywordsA few weeks ago I wrote about the important role keywords play in your overall online marketing efforts and that by spending time researching your keywords carefully, and optimizing your content accordingly, could literally jump ahead of your competition in page ranking.

Today I thought I’d take a deeper dive into creating an initial seed list of keywords since most people get stuck at this point, right out the gate. It’s not as easy as you’d think. Most of us tend to think of keywords from our own perspective as business owners, not from that of potential customer(s) searching for our products and services; and the two can be quite different. Particularly if you haven’t researched your target audience well enough.
So where to start?  Understand how your target audience thinks.

First you need to get into a searchers “state of mind” by putting yourself into your client’s shoes. Who are they, Where are they, What do they want, and Why do they want it?  This is how they will search for you. Think about a time when you went searching for an important service or product online. What were your considerations when you typed in your search terms? How would you search for your own product?

Let’s say you are a local architect who wants to increase your page ranking on Google. My guess is you have some competition so optimizing for the search term “local architect” is not going help you rise above the din.  But you just happen to be a female architect in the San Francisco Bay Area who works with green builders. And someone may be searching for that exact combination. Don’t be afraid to be specific.

Below are a few factors you should consider when creating and researching your seed list of keywords:

Gender specific: i.e.: women-owned architectural firm
Location: i.e.: women owned architectural firm in San Jose
Use Synonyms: i.e.: female, green, architects
Use “Long Tail” phrases with descriptive words: environmentally friendly, women-owned, architectural firm, San Jose
Mix Up the Word Order: architectural firm, environmentally friendly

The above considerations are for any industry or profession and simply require some imagination – try “walking” in your customer’s shoes for a day and be creative!

And remember the Golden Formula for Keyword Research once you have your seed list. You are looking are looking for keyword phrases with:

Relevance – the keywords must be relevant to your product or service

Maximum search volume – number of people whow are using this term to search for your products

Minimal Competition – the fewer people indexing for the same keyword the better

Do you have any questions or tips for creating a seed list?  I’d love to hear from you so be sure to leave a comment – Maureen

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