Everyone gets writer’s block now and then, whether you’re an experienced blogger or just trying to write your first post. In terms of SEO, you also want to ensure that any content you write will actually be found and read by the right audience. After all, it’s no use writing good content if the context is all wrong.
In this post, I’ll outline how you can generate optimised blog topic ideas in two simple steps, using a couple of great tools- perfect for quickly getting ideas or planning your content for the future.
If you’re wondering what the heck the image above is showing, then let me enlighten you: a wonderful tool called Answer the Public. Answer the Public is a free online tool that provides you with a vast range of search terms relating to a particular keyword.
Above, you can see a cool visualisation for the keyword “blogging” (imaginative, right?). However, if you want something a bit easier to read, then you can also view the data in list format. The results are also helpfully organised into both questions and prepositions (or statements, if you prefer), e.g. “where to learn blogging” and “blogging to promote your business”, as well as key phrases such as what, where, why etc.
Oh, and this image? Here you can see that this very post was inspired by a suggestion from Answer the Public. If you’re completely stuck for blogging ideas, then I can’t recommend this tool enough. Once you’ve decided on your topic, you can go on to optimise your post and title for the specific phrases that people are searching for…
This leads us to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, sometimes called the AdWords Keyword Tool. If you’re familiar with AdWords, then you’ve probably already heard of the Keyword Tool… and contrary to what you might expect, it isn’t only useful for writing your paid ads.
I’ve already posted about the importance of analytics, and why your personal choices might be wrong… and the same applies to choosing focus keywords for your post and title. Choosing a random title that you like the sound of isn’t going to cut it. If you want your content to be seen by your target audience, then you need to do some research!
The AdWords Keyword Tool both allows you to find new keywords (suggestions relating to any phrase you choose) and also shows you monthly search volume data for these keywords. In many cases, the relevant keyword with the highest average monthly search volume will be pretty much what you’d expect, but sometimes you’ll find that there’s a certain term or phrasing that you hadn’t thought of. This keyword research can also help you to refine your blog post idea, or even come up with something completely new, based on what people are actively searching for.
However, it isn’t always necessary to pick a keyword with hundreds or thousands of monthly searches, and it’s worth remembering that many more search term variations have the potential to bring up your content in the results. Often, the exact title that you choose may not feature particularly high-volume keywords, but there’s nothing wrong with addressing a more niche topic. For long-tail (longer, more specific, and less common) keywords, you have an even better chance of reaching your target audience, as there will usually be fewer relevant results to compete with. If there’s limited content already out there on a particular long-tail topic, then writing a new post about it is also great news for your audience.
Hopefully this will help you to decide what to write about in future, or at least act as a good first step when you’re planning content. If you’ve got your own methods of generating content ideas, then please let me know!