How to Research Attention Grabbing Blog Topics and Get New Ideas
If you research blog topics on a regular basis then you will understand the importance of planning in order to produce content that stands a chance of being read and of ranking well in SEO. It’s a competitive world and an audience won’t waste time on blog posts that don’t directly and succinctly address their needs…nor does bad content win you any favours when it comes to Googe’s search algorithms.
In this feature, we give you some simple ways to research blog topics that can help you grab attention as well as improve your SEO.
Ask The Audience
It sounds like a simple enough suggestion but, believe it or not, asking your target audience the question ‘What do you want to hear about?’ is largely ignored by many online bloggers.
It’s a no-brainer and should form the very core of your content strategy by making your blog relevant and useful to the people you are targeting.
To research blog topics that will get the most mileage:
- Ask your customers what they want to know more about.
- Look back over your highest performing posts and ask readers why they found it relevant.
- Ask your sales staff what potential customers are asking them.
- Ask your customer service teams what issues are raised most frequently by existing customers.
- Follow the blogs of industry experts and market peers to see what they are talking about.
And, finally, listen to what your competition is being asked by following their social media accounts and their own blog pages. Which moves us quite nicely on to our next suggestion…
Research the Competition
Whilst, generally speaking, there is little benefit in reinventing the wheel, of course you cannot simply reproduce the most popular content of your competitors but you can harness the interest in it and improve it.
By applying the two principles or ‘What Worked Well (WWW)’ and ‘Even Better If…(EBI), you can improve the content of your competitors to capture some of the inbound traffic that has worked for them.
Implementing competitive blog post analysis you can identify those posts that are being shared the most, getting the most views and eliciting the most interaction from an audience.
Online tools like Ahrefs offer an easy way to identify those blog pages of your competitors websites that are performing well.
There are other SEO tools for competitive analysis which will also help you research blog topics including:
Analyse Past Performance
As well as looking outwardly, it pays to look inwardly when you research blog topics to write about.
The historical performance of your own content is a great indicator of what can work well and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.
Look at your existing blog posts and rank the performance of all of your content. See if you can find any clues as to why those posts that gained a number of views performed so well vs those that didn’t.
Look for any patterns or links between them and let this inform your research. Blog topics that performed really well should be the focus of your efforts and you can look for ways to expand these posts or rewrite them from a different perspective. Perhaps if you wrote a well performing post of ‘Top 10 Ideas…’, you could write up those ten items in more detail or apply a similar format to a new set of ideas?
Don’t forget to go back to your original post and add backlinks to your own site. Oh, and always include any comments made by your readers when you perform this kind of analysis as your audience should help guide your efforts.
Harness the Power of Google
Google is the undisputed search engine of choice still for many millions of internet users and the company has gone to extreme lengths to make its service a responsive and intelligent one.
As a result, Google itself offers some great free information to inform us about how to research blog topics.
For example, Autocomplete works by optimising long tail keywords along with current trends to predict a user’s search enquiry. We’re not suggesting you manually input keywords in to Google but rather let tools like the Answer The Public do it for you. A powerful and simple site to use, all you need to do is input a keyword (or phrase) that is relevant to your business and it will return the most popular ‘Questions’, ‘Prepositions’ and ‘Comparisons’. Presented as easy to read, visual charts or in a list format, these are all pulled from Google’s current trending search data.
Of course, Google itself is a good way to research blog topics and simply entering some keywords in their search engine will quickly show you what blog posts are ranking well.
Lastly, Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner is a great tool to mine for useful keywords from existing posts that have performed well.
Media monitoring is an essential tool for keeping on trend with the latest developments in your industry and should help you research blog topics that are on the pulse of what your customers want more information on.
There are some immensely powerful media monitoring tools available which can help you keep track of where and how your business, products and services are being mentioned online as well as keeping you informed about trending keywords.
Also known as ‘Social Listening’ tools, these are some of the more popular tools being used online:
The benefit of using Media Monitoring is that you can get fast notifications of current events which can be useful when it comes to ‘newsjacking’.
Get Some Help
It might seem like the lazy man’s option but blog post headline generators are actually quite useful to spark ideas.
If you broadly know the kind of blog posts you want to write about but are struggling to come up with a focus or a headline then these tools can help give you some new ideas which just might give you a prod in the right direction. The reason many people don’t use them is because they are usually pretty generic and are often based on well-used phrases; however, this is often the exact same criteria which can make a search term more popular, precisely because it is well-used.
Here are some of the most popular tools being used:
- Content Now Linkbait Title Generator
- Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
- SEO Presser
- Coschedule Headline Analyzer
- Title Generator
- Portent Content Idea Generator
- Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator
Opace and Content Curation
Opace is a digital design agency that specialises in optimised digital content creation including blog posts, social media management and inbound marketing. We know that to research blog topics that are impactful with the potential to ‘grow legs’ is about understanding your business, your customers and your competition. We offer an intelligent service that focuses our efforts, not just on your SEO success but, on the success of your business.
To find out more about our services, contact one of our team today.