You know content is important. You’ve read the blogs, you’ve downloaded the guides: you’re sold.
But where do you start?
Finding ideas for content is perhaps the trickiest part of all. You have thoughts about your industry, sure – who doesn’t? – but how do you turn these into pieces of content your readers will care about?
FINALLY have created content strategies for a range of businesses, both in B2C and B2B, and so know a thing or two about where to get ideas for content, irrespective of your industry. Coming up, we’ll share our favourite tips for finding content inspiration. If you need help with creating a content strategy for your business, get in touch with the FINALLY team.
Where to find content ideas?
Google’s Keyword Planner
Content can enrich your website visitors’ experience, informing their research and guiding them towards a product or service which is the best fit for them. But did you know that that content can help to find you an audience too?
Let us explain: content is the single most important ranking factor on Google, and other search engines. It’s what they turn to – ahead of anything else – to inform where your website will be ranked in search engine results pages (SERPs) for the words and phrases your audience is searching for.
It’s obvious then that you should turn to Google’s own tools to find out what people are searching for that’s to do with your industry. Google’s Keyword Planner within its Adwords platform is a great tool in that respect. Easily accessed, and freely available, this platform can tell you following:
- The exact words, phrases, sentences and questions – known as keywords – that people are typing into Google.
- How many times these exact searches are made a month (on average).
- How competitive these searches are – for example, are there a high, medium or low number of websites featured for this word, phrase or question?
Book in a chat and we'll into more detail about how to develop a content strategy using Google’s Keyword Planner – but for now, just create an account and explore what people are searching for to do with your business. You may be surprised...
Quick tip: Google your industry and on the results page, you’ll find three sections which could give you some ideas for what you look for in Adwords:
Google’s autocomplete search bar
What is this? Ever Googled something and wondered what the suggested searches popping up below are for? This autocomplete feature is Google’s ‘freshness layer’ – their name, not ours – and includes other popular terms, which include your keyword, that users are currently searching for.
Why should I care? Now, it’s important to note that these aren’t the most popular searches ever made for your keyword, just what’s currently experiencing a popularity spike. Sort of like social media’s trending feature, but for Google.
2. People also ask (PAA)
What is this? On your SERP, just beneath the featured snippets or first paid and organic search results, is an accordion-style block featuring some of the most popular questions searchers type into Google based on your keyword. Take note because this section is essential to any content strategy.
Why should I care? PAA usually (although not always) includes a featured snippet – that is, a direct answer to the question taken from the landing page it features. Now, featured snippets are a big deal on SERPs since they typically receive between 20-30% of the clicks which, depending on your keyword’s search volume, can lead to a nice boost in traffic to your website.
3. Searches related to
What is this? This very handy section is based on the most popular searches related to what you’ve just typed into Google, and something called “searcher's intent”.
Why should I care? Searchers intent is a pretty crucial part of any search engine optimisation strategy. It’s sort of a best guess as to what a searcher really wants to know when they’re googling something. Now, in the example above, the keyword engineering doesn’t give too much away about the searchers intent; they could be looking for jobs or further study opportunities, or simply a definition for engineering.
To get the most out of this feature, you should try to be more specific. Pretend you’re a prospective customer and Google something that they might, like here:
This offers a selection of potential content titles for you to use, based not only on popular searches, but your searcher’s intent too. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and you’ll encounter other searches made by them, offering some great additions to your content strategy.
Bit cheeky, we know, but your competitors’ websites and LinkedIn pages are a font of inspiration – after all, you’re competing for the same clients. Check out their website news page – better still, register for their newsletter and follow them on social media and make a note of any ideas you like.
Now, this suggestion comes with an important caveat: not every competitor will get content right. Hedge your bets and pick your largest competitors who will probably have content resources, whether that’s an agency retainer or in-house team. Even then, do your own research based on these titles by using Google’s Keyword Planner to find out if your audience is actually searching for content around this topic.
You work with a great bunch of people. In fact, we’d guess that the knowledge garnered from years of working in your industry is enough to fill a book – ten books, even. So, put your colleagues to good use and ask for their ideas.
Don’t put them on the spot. Instead, schedule a regular, informal brainstorming session for your team – from every department – to suggest some content ideas based around their line of work. Some of the best ideas can come from customer service agents. After all, they’re your customers first port-of-call and so troubleshoot their problems and pain points on a daily basis. Their opinion will be invaluable to your content strategy.
At a glance: where to find content ideas?
- Google’s Keyword Planner – free to use, this nifty tool offers real-time insights into the exact words and phrases your target audience is typing into Google.
- Google itself – whether it's the autocomplete function on the search bar, to People Also Ask and Searches Related to, with a bit of ingenuity you can use your searches to inform your content strategy.
- Your competitors – it’s not stealing; it’s magpieing, and everyone on the internet does it. Like a blog you’ve read? Create your own piece of content based around it. Call it an homage if you must.
- Your colleagues – who knows your business as well as you? Almost everyone else in your company! Ask your fellow cohorts for their input into your content strategy. Heck, maybe even encourage them to contribute.
For help with creating content for your business, get in touch with the FINALLY team.