Posted by Wellsyu1
The goal of this post is to provide you with actionable research tips for finding content ideas. While my agency provides SEO services for the professional services industry, I think brands in any industry can benefit from this information.
The small businesses I work with are mainly local plumbers, electricians, doctors, and HVAC technicians. The goal of any agency is to make our clients happy, which often entails getting high keyword rankings for service-related keywords like these:
- Plumber [insert City Name Here]
- Bathroom Plumbing [insert City Name Here]
- Electrical Service [insert City Name Here]
- Air Conditioning Repair [insert City Name Here]
But, as an SEO, I have learned it is not all about keyword rankings; it is about the traffic generated from keyword targeting and the resulting high rankings in the SERPs.
If you find yourself in need of a way to generate content ideas, it’s likely that one of two scenarios has come to fruition:
- You are not ranking for your client’s desired keywords, and need traffic now so you can report some good news.
- You have achieved your client’s keyword ranking goals, but your traffic has started to stagnate, and you need to increase it.
Regardless of which scenario applies to you, following this four-step process should help:
Step #1: Carefully examine your industry for relevant broad terms
Take a broad view of your industry.
Keywordtool.io gives you a list of related and suggested searches for terms. This will give you a very long and thorough list of very broad “unfinished” topics you can pick and choose to consider writing about.
Step #2: Put each work in Keywordtool.io
I like this technique because it’s the first step of creating objective content, meaning these are topics you can be assured real people have searched for. So, whatever content you choose to create, you understand the purpose is to create something that is going to help your customers.
In my example, I pull a broad term from my table under electricians. The term I use is “light switch.”
Naturally, because this is a broad term, you are going to get a huge list of suggested searches. Go through this list and pick out the terms you think will get searches or that seem like a FAQ type of query.
Near the middle, I pull the suggested search term by focusing on “light switch feels warm” or “light switch feels hot.” This one looks like a winner, and I believe it is something everyday people search for if they suspect a problem with their electrical wiring.
You can take this a step further by taking the longer suggested term you just discovered and putting it into Keywordtool.io.
The second group of results gives me more detailed suggestions.
So, if I create a blog post that focuses on the topic “light switch feels warm,” I will want to include these longer keyword terms in my post:
- Light switch feels hot
- My light switch feels warm to touch
- Light switch plates feels warm
Step #3: Examine the competition
At this point, you have an interesting idea to write about, or multiple ideas if you enjoy thinking ahead. Now we are going to run our searches through Google to examine the competition of the long-tail keyword content idea we are considering.
When you are read these articles returned by the search, here are some considerations you should pay attention to:
- Similar word phrases being used
- Length of all articles
- Elements mentioned in one article, but not in another (combine them)
- Date articles were published
Step #4: Solve the problem people have with a better blog
Call on your content person (or team) to write an even better article composed of all the elements you think make the other post(s) successful.
I have found instant success using this method to rewrite service pages as well. Every successful, high-ranking post has something other articles fail to mention. Make this the starting point for your new post.
Attempt to best the competition’s posts in every way, paying special attention to include these elements in your content:
- Better copy
- More informative graphics
- Data that supports main points
As a result of following the four-step process described in this post, I have experienced a good amount of success, and my site’s organic traffic shows it.
The traffic shown here was for a blog post that I created using the same process.
Warning: Don’t neglect on-page optimization
As many of you know, Google’s search results don’t always display your page titles like you have written them. Sometimes, if your long-tail keyword phrase is mentioned in the content piece, Google will show that phrase instead of the designated page title. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you optimize the following on-page elements:
- URL structure
- Page titles
- H1s and H2s
The two images below are from the same content piece, but show up differently in two separate queries.
This search result displays the page title I designated
This one shows the the H2 I designated for the piece
I’ve walked you through the rough outline of the process I use to create content. I hope this strategy will be of great help to you, too, especially if your goal is to regularly create content on a limited budget.
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