Among internet marketing strategies, impactful web content is one of the leading ways to connect with audiences. For years, the mantra of “content is king” in both search engine optimization (SEO) and in digital marketing has been repeated time after time. Great content is the key to building brands, to improve awareness of a company’s products or services, and to provide crucial purchasing information. How, then, should one go about deciding what content to produce? In other words, how can a business figure out what to write about for blogs and webpages? In this guide, we’ll explore the concept of topic research, a strategy that can spell the difference between engaged readers and those that simply click past your blogs on the way to your competitors.
Perception vs. Reality in Blog Topics
Before we dive into topic research, it can be valuable to understand the disconnect between what we think will be great content and what actually happens when that content is published to the web. For many businesses, industry knowledge and the ability to perceive what readers might like influence what blog topics are explored. Instead of using data to our advantage, we decide on blog topics based on our biased perceptions. This is sometimes referred to as the “overconfidence effect”.
The reality is that what companies think are great blog topics turn out to be less-than-enthusiastically received by readers. To combat this inherent flaw in content development processes, it is critical that insurance marketers and business owners take into account specific audience behaviors and preferences. Using data-driven practices is the solution to create content that resonates with readers.
Researching Blog Topics: The Fundamentals
To begin the process of identifying blog topics that will engage readers and build connections, the very best place to start is a free tool known to everyone as the Google search engine. Google offers a “suggest” feature on its main search page; try typing in keywords based on topic ideas and see what the search engine suggests for further reading. This simple method is surprisingly effective at identifying potential blog topics.
Now that we are armed with several suggestions, it is time to refine the research by using another Google-based tool called Trends. Google Trends allows a user to compare two or more potential titles to learn about search volume and user interest; choosing the title that gets more search volume helps narrow ideas down.
Analyzing the Competition: Insights into Blog Topics
As digital marketers perform online searches to reveal blog topic ideas, it can be a great practice to study the competition. For a given title or search term, Google will return a list of search results. Take a look at the top five of these results to gauge what your competition may be writing about. With this insight, creating content that is valuable, informative, and covers aspects missed by competitors is easier than ever before.
Online Tools for Topic Research
The world of digital marketing is filled with strategies and practices that produce results for clients. Marketers have an array of tools at their disposal, including those that facilitate topic research for web content like blog posts. One of the leading tools is SEMRush Topic Research, which offers incredible insights for content developers. With the tool, one is able to identify popular blog topics and subtopics, gauge impactful headline ideas, and view a listing of questions users may ask related to the topic. These questions may serve as springboards for blog posts. SEMRush Topic Research can even tailor results to a specific region, helping international marketers best identify topics that are suitable for readership in their locations.
Pitfall to Avoid: Keyword Research
For years, the core of internet marketing strategies has been the identification and inclusion of keywords in web content. Keywords remain incredibly important in SEO, but they are not as crucial in web content itself. The problem is that most keywords are too competitive; thousands of others have used these keywords in their own content, making it hard for your own content to stand out based solely on the inclusion of those keywords.
Many content developers attempt to use keyword research as a start to the topic identification process. Growing evidence suggests this is an ineffective way of getting started. Instead of falling into this trap, the key is to focus on searchers’ intent – what a reader is actually looking for in terms of product or service information and other factors that influence purchasing decisions. Searcher intent is revealed by applying the fundamental search tactics described above, including simple Google search suggestions and using the SEMRush Topic Research tool.
With these tips, you are able to take your internet marketing strategies to the next level. Creating engaging, informative topics for blog posts and webpage content is filled with many variables; now that you understand how to identify great topics, your readers will thank you for your efforts.
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