The following is a guest post by Anna Rud. Anna is a Content Marketer at Serpstat. Establishing an active presence on external resources, developing rich and quality content, implementing of brand strategy and many other are her key responsibilities.
Ran out of the ideas for blog posts? Can’t find any new topics for your blog? It’s true, we all are suffering from a creative crisis from time to time.
When you’ve described tons of ways to do mass keyword research and check the backlinks, you can find yourself thinking that you no longer have useful tips for your audience. You should prevent yourself from such thoughts.
In this article, I’ll share 5 ways on how to find topics your readers definitely want to see on your blog.
Analysis of users’ questions
Of course, there are a lot of ways to pick up the new ideas: from creating the content plan to taking your notebook to the shower, where genius ideas always come.
But good topics always should:
- focus on the targeted audience;
- be relevant to the niche;
- answer valuable questions;
- be up-to-date;
- not be overused.
The most common ways to come up with article topics are to analyze competitors’ articles, interact with readers, read some useful lists and digests.
All of them are quite efficient so you can choose any way you want. But there is another way which helps to find out what exactly people want to read.
This approach is related to the questions people ask on the Internet. We’ll use:
- Google operators
- “Search questions” module at Serpstat
- Niche laboratory
- Answer the public
Let’s pass to the detailed analysis of these resources.
There are a lot of things we can learn from simply using Google search, without any other tools. For this purpose “Google operators” will be of great assistance.
Google search operators are commands that can extend the functions of regular text searches to use its full potential. Search operators are handy for content marketers, not only for SEO experts.
You can find the exact keyword (same words, same order, without variations) if you put your phrase in quotes.
You can find the keyword right in the URL of the site or page using inurl:yourkeyword.
Or you can drop underscore between two keywords, and you’ll get a few suggested filler keywords that are important for users.
Just find the full list of search operators to make sure that there is a bunch of opportunities. And now let’s try one of them.
So, where can we find users’ questions? I suggest checking topical forums. This approach probably won’t fit every issue because forums aren’t as popular as it used to. But SEO forums are definitely still alive.
We can use the operator inurl:forum. It shows all websites which include the word “forum” right in the URL of the page. Type your keyword and then add the operator.
We have now got the list of forums with topics and discussions which are related to meta tags.
You can explore all results to find more ideas and get inspiration or choose only “last month” period to be up-to-date and write the most relevant articles.
In fact, if the user asks something at the forum, it means that he didn’t find a clear and comprehensive article on this issue on the Internet. Thus, after analyzing this discussion, you can create the article structure based on problems users describe and write an ultimate post about it.
An alternative for this method: find the list of the best SEO forums and check it for questions you’re interested in.
See, not every question will be suitable for the article. For example, query “how many words in the title tag” or “meta tag example’, means that user wants to get an accurate answer — only one number or screenshot of code.
Sometimes it’s quite annoying, when you want to find an exact answer but see only long-reads. So, always think if the query needs a full article, or if a short answer will be enough.
Serpstat search questions
Serpstat is a multifunctional SEO tool for keyword research, rank tracking, competitive analysis, backlink analysis and site audit.
Now we’re interested in using its unique feature “search questions.” It shows users’ queries exactly in the form they type it in the Google search. Thus, you can see what people usually ask on Google within your niche. These questions are taken from Google, Amazon, and YouTube. Serpstat arranges them in groups by question words.
Pass to the “Content Marketing” module and click on “Search Question” feature.
Here you’ll see most the popular words related to the query and a diagram with a number of different questions. Then you’ll see such a list:
There you can find the most pressing users’ questions. Analyzing it you can get a few topics for the articles right away. Export the data to Exel, remove all useless questions and start creating the post structure.
Cluster Research returns a list of all keywords semantically related to the researched query. (LSI)
Search Suggestions are popular search queries that pop up under the search bar as you start typing your query.
Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. They can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users’ answers.
As for me, it’s an inexhaustible source of ideas because Quora has 190 million monthly users, including 40 million U.S. people. It also has 400, 000 different topics.
Type your keyword into a search line and choose “questions”:
There you can also sort questions by time.
People constantly ask each other a lot of questions so you can just find the ones which fit your blog there. At the same time, pay attention to the number and quality of answers.
Choose questions which haven’t been answered fully and clearly yet. Thus, you can create an ultimate post on this issue and be sure that people will read it.
Of course, it’s not the only question-and-answer platform. If you haven’t found any useful questions on Quora, you can use Reddit or Boardest as well.
Niche laboratory is a useful free website for finding LSI keywords and phrases in any niche. It will provide you with a bunch of information like keywords, related phrases, topical forums:
Somehow it has only about 7K estimated visits. It probably won’t work as a comprehensive keyword research tool because of its database size, but since we’re looking for the new ideas, it can be useful for us.
In “phrases” section we also can find some users’ questions:
Some of them can be senseless, but some still can work for you. It all depends on your imagination.
Answer the public
Answer the public — another one alternative way to collect users’ questions. It returns most common queries sorted by prepositions, questions, and alphabet.
We’re interested in questions, so let’s enter our topic and choose an appropriate section. We’ll see such a visual report:
It has not that big bases, but it presents the data in a specific way. It gives a bunch of ideas and inspiration.
There are a lot of tools like Answer the public or Niche Laboratory. It’s just an examples for you to try and choose the most convenient tool.
Some other ways to find ideas:
- If you work for some company, just ask your coworkers. They definitely have a lot of things to tell. For example, they can tell you about their hobbies. Customers prefer to work with the real people, not with “soulless companies” so the article about your team members will help to create an appropriate image.
- You can take small interviews with your colleagues or with experts in your niche. Ask them about useful tips and specific tricks from their work.
- Create investigation within your niche. People like statistics and infographics on interesting topics.
- No matter how many tools for picking ideas exist, brainstorms with the real people are still effective.
- Lists and digests always well-received. Create a list of tools you need for the perfect article or top of educational SEO platforms or best books relevant to your niche.
- Interact with the audience. People love quizzes and games. It will take you more time to create an interesting quiz, but such posts usually bring a lot of traffic. I find qzzr useful for this purpose.
- Check competitors’ most popular articles. Even if you’re trying to rise above it and not to steal their ideas, check them to make sure that they don’t steal yours.
- You can write few articles on the same topic just changing the direction. For example, “How to collect keywords for the online store / blog / small business and so on”. Some steps could be the same, but there is always something specific in any thread.
- Take a look at the calendar. Maybe there are some events or occasions you can write about.
Running an SEO blog and advising on such topics, you should always keep track of all SEO factors on your site. You wouldn’t trust a bald hairdresser or a tattooist without tattoos, would you?
There are a lot of ways to come up with the new ideas for SEO blog post. I’m convinced that the most efficient one is to pay attention to the questions people ask on Google.
I’ve suggested 5 ways to collect topic ideas: Google operators, Serpstat, Quora, Niche Laboratory, Answer the public. Of course, it’s not an ultimate list, but now you have few alternatives and can choose the most convenient way for you.
Finding the exact questions people ask on the Internet, you can constantly create relevant content for your blog.
Choosing the topic, we’re trying to come up with the ideas on what people would like to read. And here is an answer. They’ve already asked all questions they interested in, and you just need to pick it up.
Thus, if you gather the topics using this way, and then write the high-quality article on it, you’ll be able to get the noticeable traffic growth.
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