In all of my years working in SEO, there have been a lot of changes. From “Boston” to “Freshness” to “Panda” to “Penguin”, changes are always occurring, but one rule has always remained the same- Content is King. Search engines, especially Google, are beginning to favor strong brands, and they want your site to become one. The best way to become a strong brand online is to be the hub for all relevant information on your industry. To accomplish this, you need to be consistently creating strong/quality web content.
If Content is King, what makes quality content?
Quality content is any piece that answers a searchers question with something that is engaging, funny, controversial, interesting, etc. It can be a an article, a blog post, an infographic, a video, a meme, an image, anything that can be posted online.
A good metric to gauge web content’s quality is its share-ability. Is it being passed around online through other sites and social media networks?
To ensure this, ask yourself 2 questions:
Will this piece of content be of interest to my visitors?
And would a reader say “I NEED to share this with someone”?
Here are 6 easy ways to quality web content ideas:
1. Google Analytics
Always start with your own data. Find out how people are entering your site and what question people are using to find you. Take a look at your Google Analytics keyword data to look for long tail questions people are asking to come to your site. We work with a popular skin care brand, so I’ll use them as an example.
Login to Analytics and change your starting date range to at least one year back
Head over to Search – Organic
Do a search for “what” in the search bar to the right. “What” is the question that will probably be most valuable in finding topics for you web content.
Through doing this, we found some really good-simple content topics, like these:
These are great blog post topics and we already know that in the last year, 9 people have wanted to know the answer to these questions, and there are probably hundreds more who would read these posts from our client. To be sure, you can drop these queries into the Adwords Keyword Tool:
Furthermore, we can also see what other types of terms people are using to search and addthis to the web content topic list, or insert those keywords into the post title and body:
2. Yahoo Answers/Quora
Sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora are filled with questions and answers from people on the internet. These questions are blog post topics that are just waiting to be written. Just like with Google Analytics, you definitely know that people want answers to these questions, AND you also get the answer to the question so little additional research is needed when writing your post. Sticking with our skin care client example, we did a simple query in Yahoo Answers for “Skin Care” and found a lot of people asking questions about a skin care routine:
Yahoo Answers was riddled with this question so we definitely know that it is question being asked by a lot of our client’s potential customers.
Twitter is all about conversations and messaging in real time. Twitter users are constantly posting questions or tweeting the things that are on their mind. The site has recently upgraded their site search system, so now it is even more effective for finding web content ideas.
We entered the keyword “skin care” into Twitter’s search bar and found this result:
“Top 5 Celebrities with the Best Skin” would be a great blog post topic that is easy to write, and people online are always digesting things about celebrities, so you know there is definitely an audience. This would work great as an infographic, showing a pic of each celebrity face and breaking down the skin care product that they are known to use for each common problem area like forehead wrinkles, crows feet, blotchy skin, etc.
The trending feature on Twitter also helps you to know what people are talking about. For example, Finding Nemo 2 is a topic that is trending today. You could write a post with the title “Top Beauty Secrets of the Stars of Finding Nemo 2” to capitalize on the recent activity.
4. Google News/Yahoo News
Staying current and writing topical posts on your industry is always a good strategy. Using Google News will allow you to easily search the news in your industry without having to dig around every news site. Plus, you can set up a feed and alerts so all you have to do is login to your email to find topics you may want to cover.
We did a search for “skin treatment” in Google News and found this post:
Now that you know that Skin Needling is an emerging topic in the skin care world, you can create a post talking about the pros and cons of this procedure and maybe alternatives. You can also take a broader approach, like “10 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Skin”.
Yahoo News, like Twitter, has a trending feature. You can use it the same way – to find hot topic ideas and post titles. Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer and Mermaid Body that was recently found are both trending today on Yahoo News. So, you could write a post like “Marissa Mayer Skin Care Secrets” or a post like “Don’t End Up Looking Like This Mermaid Body, 5 Post-Beach Day Skin Care Tips”.
Reddit is an online community full of users sharing information, interacting, and looking for answers – which makes it a great place to find web content ideas.
We found this post on Reddit, which would make a great web content:
Posts like “Our Readers Confess Their Worst Beauty Mistakes” or “Top 5 Beauty Mistakes We’ve All Made” are fun and intriguing!
6. Your Competition
See what others in your space are writing and talking about. A lot of online marketing is not re-inventing the wheel, but taking what is out there and doing it better. Find out what your online competitors are writing about – maybe a post they made a long time ago and see if you can update it. Or, take a written post someone in your space has made and turn it into an infographic or a video.
Use the sources listed above, save Google Analytics, to see what others in your space are discussing online and create content around it. This will ensure that you are in the conversation and staying competitive. It happens all the time in media, at your local newsstand or checkout aisle, take a look at the tabloids – all of them are writing about the same things, but adding their own twist on it.
Creating strong content will help you to become a strong online brand – trusted, shared, ranked. It will help you to increase traffic, engagement, and credibility. The bottom line is that finding great web content ideas is easy! A simple search in Google Analytics, Quora or Yahoo Answers, Twitter, Google News, Yahoo News, Reddit, and in your favorite search engine will reveal hundreds of quality web content ideas. The goal is to find out what people are talking about, find out what questions are being asked, then be the one to answer them in the most creative and exciting way possible!