One of the hardest things I’ve found with my business is coming up with fresh content ideas for our blog each week. Our customers are our number one priority and often the blog comes off second best (as it should in those circumstances). Not to mention the ever changing scene of the industry and tools we work with, sometimes before I’ve had a chance to hit publish there’s been a new update on the tool/topic!
To help you save time coming up with fresh ideas and topics to write about, I’m going to share with you one of my favourite ways to find out exactly what your blog readers want to your next post to be about.
Google Analytics: Your New Ideas Machine
Ok so the title already gave it away…yes Google Analytics is the secret. For most people, Google Analytics is just a way of measuring your website traffic. This really breaks my heart, not just because I’m a huge data geek and want everyone to love it as much as I do, but also because it’s one of the most powerful growth tools you have. I’m hugely passionate about growth and really getting to grips with Google Analytics will give you so many different opportunities to help both you and your business grow. So let’s take a look at some of the awesome ideas it can send your way.
Let Google Analytics Show You What People Want
In Google Analytics from the left hand menu, you want to go to the Acquisition section, click on Search Console and then choose Queries. This will list all the search queries that people have typed into Google where you’ve come up in the search results. Pretty interesting hey!
Not seeing any data? Looks like you may not have linked Google Analytics to Google Search Console.
To get the most value, in the top right corner of the page change the date range to include the last three months. You won’t be able to see the past two days of data or anything older than three months – that’s the limit of what Google shows you.
The next thing to do to make sure you’re seeing as much data as possible is to head to the bottom of the page and change the show rows option to the max (or at least as much as you can handle 😛). It’s automatically sorted by impressions (the number of times you appeared for that search term) but you can sort it by name (aka alphabetically) or by any of the other columns. For the purpose of finding new content ideas, I find alphabetically works best for me.
Using Search Queries To Your Advantage
So you’ve now got a huge list of search terms and you’ve either caught on straight away and are already writing down loads of new content ideas or you’re wondering why you bothered reading this post! If it isn’t super clear, this list of search terms is what your audience is looking for, what they want answers to. Basically, you’ve just stumbled upon some free market research for your business! Go down the list and find what people are searching for that are areas of opportunity for you, either gaps in your content or ways you can make your existing posts more useful. I love looking at the queries that start with the words why, what, how and does. These queries often make great titles themselves or can be used on social media when promoting your content.
These Queries Don’t Just Stop With Great Content Ideas Though…
Think about it, these search queries are what people are looking for. Is your product or service meeting the needs of these queries or is it falling short? For example:
- If you’re a blogger, are your posts answering what your audience is searching for?
- If you’re a florist, are there any types of flowers people are searching for that you don’t stock?
- If you’re a tour guide, are there any sites/landmarks that you aren’t covering?
- If you’re an app developer, are there any features listed that could be in your next update?
- If you’re a retailer, do you offer the colours and styles people are looking for?
You get the picture. No matter what your product or service is, your next business idea could be somewhere in this list.
But My Website Is New And Doesn’t Have Any Traffic Yet
If you’re just starting out or you don’t get a lot of traffic to your website you might be questioning how realistic or helpful these results are. Sure people may be searching for them but you’re only seeing the queries that have triggered an impression of your page in the search results. You’re 100% right, SEO take time but never fear, Adwords is here! Whilst Google Adwords is all about advertising your business, it also has some free tools within it that can really help you with keyword research and finding out search volumes of particular keywords. If you’ve not set up an account with Google Adwords, go ahead, don’t be frightened you’ll get charged – you only get billed once you create and promote an ad, which you can’t do by accident!
Let’s take a look at the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool that can show you how many times a month a particular keyword or phrase is searched for. Once you’re logged in, from the top menu choose Tools and go to the Keyword Planner.
Choosing the second option ‘Get search volume data and trends’, type your content ideas into the first box labelled ‘Option 1: Enter keywords’. Type in different search terms you think people might use to find your business. Enter one query per line and try not to make it too specific. For example, if you’re a recruitment agency in Manchester you might type in:
- attracting top talent
- how to find great employees
- interview tips
You can change the targeting options if you target a particular country or area or you can simply hit Get search volume at the bottom of the box without typing anything else in. This will show you the average monthly searches for your queries.
If you’re going to blog about this query keep in mind it may be difficult to rank well for a keyword that has a really high search volume. Be strategic and pick something with both a good search volume and that you can rank well for too.
Go start finding some awesome content ideas! Just remember to stick to your business plan and marketing strategy, this should fit in with what you already have planned and not take you off on a completely random tangent. It can be a huge help when planning your content calendar for the quarter or year.
I’d love to hear how you use this gem of info so please let me know how it’s worked out for you! 😀