Outstanding content ideas bring people to your website and help move them through the sales funnel. Search engines reward websites with a steady stream of high-quality, original content. It all sounds simple.
But how do you come up with good content ideas? It isn’t always easy. Fortunately, tools and techniques exist to help you. Here are 9 practical ways to generate content ideas for your blog or website. Click on one to go to that section.
- Look at What Your Competition Is Doing
- Use Google Autocomplete
- Use Google’s People Also Ask Feature
- Discover What People Are Talking About
- Subscribe to newsletters in your niche
- Look for Relevant Reddit Discussions
- Make a List of Pain Points that Your Business Fixes
- Ask Your Sales and Customer Support People
- Carry a Notebook and Pen (or a Comparable App)
1. Look at What Your Competition Is Doing
If you know who your competitors are, tools like Semrush allow you to analyze their web domain and discover what they do best. You can find out what keywords they rank for and what content is most successful for them.
Don’t just write your version of their page or blog post. Research their primary keywords and look for variations you can use. Try to determine how you can write similar content but from a different angle.
Also, look at the type of content your competitors excel at. Are their top-performing blog posts “roundup” posts, local content, or what? You may be able to adapt some of your existing content into a format that will be more successful.
2. Use Google Autocomplete
Playing around with a blank search box can be remarkably productive. Suppose you run a carpet cleaning business. Start with something simple.
You could, for example, type “how to remove stains from carpet” and see what Google adds to that query automatically. You’ll see things people commonly search for, like how to remove stains from carpet
- In your car
- With baking soda
- With hydrogen peroxide
- That keep coming back
You may or may not want to use one of those topics, but they can prompt you to think of other ideas. For example, you could write a blog post about protecting your carpet to prevent stains from coming back. Or one about which carpet materials should never come into contact with hydrogen peroxide. Google search boxes can be great for sparking ideas.
3. Use Google’s People Also Ask Feature
Sometimes when you do a Google search, you’ll see a section titled “People Also Ask.” It delivers exactly what it says.
Not every search has a People Also Ask section, so you can’t count on it every time. But these sections appear often enough to be usable for idea generation.
You’ll see actual questions that people want answers to. Suppose you have an insurance agency. You could type something like, “how do I insure my home” into Google search.
If the People Also Ask feature appears, it may offer questions like, “how do I insure the rental property I own?” or “how do I save money on my homeowners’ insurance premiums?”
You’ll discover that more questions are generated automatically when you click on one of the questions. Often, these questions make good content topics for blog posts or even ebooks.
4. Discover What People Are Talking About
Wouldn’t it be great to listen in on a roomful of potential customers talking about what your business does? The site answerthepublic.com is a tool by Neil Patel that lets you do a virtual version of that.
Simply type one or two words into the box and click the search button. Say you’re a chiropractor and several of your patients complain of back pain.
Using answerthepublic.com, you can type in the words “chiropractor” and “back” and receive dozens of questions related to those words. Moreover, the questions are color-coded to indicate which ones are most popular. You could pick a popular question to answer in a blog post or on an FAQ page.
5. Subscribe to newsletters in your niche
This is one of the easiest ways to get a steady stream of potential content topics delivered to your email inbox, often every day! By subscribing to a handful of newsletters, you can keep a finger on the pulse of your industry or niche without going to a lot of effort.
Open the newsletters daily and look for articles and links that could make good topics for your content. Since you can’t use them all at once, bookmark interesting links in a folder for potential content ideas.
When you use an idea, delete the link from your bookmark folder to keep it orderly. Then, whenever you need to think of a content topic, just look through your bookmarks, and you will likely find one.
6. Look for Relevant Reddit Discussions
Subreddits exist for just about any topic you can imagine. There is probably one related to what your business does.
Maybe you operate a dog training business. In Google, type “dog training trends site:reddit.com” and you will get a list of reddit discussions on the topic. You will probably also notice subreddits that are relevant to your business. You can bookmark these for inspiration as well.
Furthermore, suppose you visit these subreddits quite often. In that case, you will find a list on the subreddit’s main page of other relevant subreddits, potentially helping you find even more popular topics for discussion.
7. Make a List of Pain Points that Your Business Fixes
Let’s say your bakery recently began creating gluten-free cupcakes, and the people who tried them like them. You’d like to promote them in your blog.
Articulating the “pain point” that your gluten-free cupcakes solve is a great way to create one or more topics for blog posts. For example, those pain points might be
- “My daughter wants birthday cupcakes like her friends, but she has gluten intolerance”
- “I tried to make a gluten-free cake, and it tasted terrible”
- “I want to make a gluten-free cake for my friend with gluten intolerance, but I don’t know how”
With these pain points in mind, you can position your products as the solutions to these pain points through your content.
8. Ask Sales and Customer Support
The people who deal directly with customers and potential customers know a thing or two about what they want. And if you can catch them for a 10-minute conversation, you can find out what customers ask about most.
One of your sales professionals can tell you what objections they encounter in potential customers, like price or inertia in the face of new technology. One of your customer service professionals can tell you what people ask most when they call in about a product or service.
This information can be invaluable when you are creating content in the form of web pages, blog posts, or FAQ pages. After all, it positions you to provide answers that people genuinely need.
9. Carry a Notebook and Pen (or a Comparable App)
Content ideas can strike at any time, not just when you’re trying to come up with them. You may think you’ll remember them, but you won’t, even if they’re outstanding ideas.
Phone apps like Color Note are great for jotting things down to review later. And if your phone typing skills aren’t great, there’s always the classic memo book and pen. Don’t let great content ideas evaporate just because you think you have a great memory. Write them down!
Great Content Ideas Make a Difference
Search engine optimization (SEO) rests on a foundation of excellence in content. And you can’t have great content without great content ideas.
If you are interested in SEO for your website or if you need a website or website upgrade, set up a call with our team.
We’re in the business of designing and building websites that start out enriched with SEO and grow with the help of high-quality, original content. Let us help you with the content your website needs to stand out from the competition.