A blog is something that every site can benefit from. And, when done right, not only can it help to funnel in a tonne of prospective customers, but it can also work wonders when getting those customers to actually convert. You can craft blog content to answer frequently asked questions in more detail, tell your audience about your products or services and even breed inspiration on how your offering can change something in their life.
So, you may have started a blog recently (or even a while ago) and you’re not seeing any traction or are wondering what direction to go in next. Perhaps the posts you thought would do really well aren’t receiving that many visits, or you just don’t know how to get through to your audience to really write the sort of things they’re craving. This is why we’re here – to help you with some digital marketing knowhow. Creating great blog content takes a little more time and requires a bit of planning, and the last thing we want you to do is waste any time by writing something random for the sake of it. So, we’ve put together a few tips on how you can create content that’s actually of use to your visitors, helps you improve your organic rankings and it doesn’t require much effort in the grand scheme of things.
So, as a starting point, how do you know what your prospective customers are actually looking for?
You may already know this (and go you if so), but if you’re not using your blog to target keywords that people are searching for, you’re never going to show up in the search results pages and therefore won’t be able to shout about how your product or services are amazing and everyone should get involved.
The best place to start is by thinking about what you do or what you sell, and we recommend you do this in layman’s terms if it’s a little bit more niche or complicated. Come up with a bunch of words or key phrases you think are super relevant for your brand, and once you have these it’s time to pop them into a search volume tool and see what kind of interest there is around them. Google Keyword Planner is where we recommend getting started, as it will use your terms and also provide a selection of others which it deems are related. You can then look at the search volume and decide if any of these keywords would work well for a blog post.
We appreciate that keywords for blog content go way past just looking at what you sell or offer, so we also recommend that any ideas you’ve had from a brainstorm or ideation session are popped into Keyword Planner too in order to give you an idea on whether your customers are interested in exploring content about these topics.
If you have access to SEMrush, you can pop your topic into the keyword magic tool, navigate to questions and explore a whole host of terms – this is a fantastic place to get some ideas for your next blog posts. For example, we’ve taken an online florist who have an existing blog to see what topics and ideas we can find through SEMrush:
If you don’t have access to tools like SEMrush, you can explore free tools such as Google Keyword Planner (as previously mentioned), Bing Webmaster Tools, Keyword Hero and Keyword Explorer. You may need to add a little more in terms of your own ideas for content, but these tools will let you know the search volume so you can decide which ideas are worth pursuing.
Another way to find inspiration and create hard-hitting blog content is to see what your competitors are creating and how their content is performing. Essentially, they’ve done the trial and error for you, so it’s a case of recreating successful content (being careful not to plagiarise!), and you should have a chance to collect some of those customers who were finding your competitors over you. So how do you do this? Unfortunately, we’re yet to find a free tool where you can inspect specific competitor URLs such as specific blog posts, however, we haven’t hung a carrot in front of you – there are plenty of ways you can get the low-down on competitor content and look to compete more effectively…
Taking the same online florist as an example, you can use Ahrefs to easily identify what your organic competitors are ranking for when it comes to content. If you want to see what the tool deems your organic competitors to be then look at the ‘competing domains’ tab. If you already know who you want to compare against, go to ‘content gap’ and add these in. You can specifically look at blog content here or general site content, whichever you prefer. However, bear in mind that you’ll get far more results by exploring the entire domain, so we recommend going with this option. We’ve compared our online florist, InterFlora, to their top organic competitor, Serenata Flowers, and here’s a very small snapshot of what we’ve found:
Although there are some brand terms in here, there’s also a great selection of terms (over 800 potential opportunities in fact) that Interflora aren’t ranking for, but Serenata Flowers is. So, we can use this data to create content which will plug content gaps in the site. It’s likely that a great deal of the opportunities here would be best placed as a blog post too, so not only are you hitting new keywords, but you’re also competing more effectively with your organic competitors.
You can also use SEMrush to see where your content gaps are or explore how a competitor’s blog is performing overall. These insights will help you recreate good, high-quality content that you know works well for the audience. Add your own blog URL at the top and select subfolder in the dropdown. Then go to compare domains and add your competitor’s blog. SEMrush will provide a selection of top opportunities which are currently missing from your site compared to the competitor’s. Similar to Ahrefs, this will then provide lots of opportunities for new content which your audience will love – all you need to do is get stuck into the data!
If you just want to be a little bit nosey, you can always pop your competitor’s blog URL into the top bar and explore the top organic keywords that the blog is ranking for plus a whole host of other information.
By doing these research tasks and getting your ducks in a row, you can create some fantastic blog posts which not only are interesting to your potential customers but will help them to find you in the first place. It means when you sit down to create content you’ve got a clear purpose, keywords to target and a goal in mind of how that particular post could help improve your site’s organic visibility.
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