Google can be one of your biggest assets when creating data-driven, audience-focused content. Two amazing (and free!) tools you can start using today are Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
After you’ve chosen a general topic for your content, go to trends.google.com to further determine which areas within your subject are likely to be the most compelling for readers. Google Trends lists popular topics related to yours based on real-time searches that are happening worldwide. Taking note of which related queries get the most traction, will help inform which direction you should go with your content creation in order to have the largest impact online.
Google Keyword Planner
Once you’ve narrowed down a list of various trending topics within your overall theme, Google Keyword Planner can help sharpen your focus even further by showing which keywords have a high search volume in your industry and what the current competition is for each word. Focus on words with a high search volume and low competition because doing so will give you a better chance of organically ranking and coming up higher in search results.
It has a great Content Explorer which gives you a list of most relevant/best-performing URLs for the keywords you’ve searched.
What is also great about Ahrefs is that it shows you the keywords which your competitors are using and ranking for, and you’re not. The feature is called Content Gap.
Besides this, if applicable to the niche you’re in, there is another wholesome way to get some great content ideas and data. I find it extremely useful to visit online learning platforms such as Udemy or Coursera for content inspiration. When you type your keywords, there are numerous courses which sum up beautifully what people are willing to pay to learn more about.
You can browse the most popular courses and learn from their titles, as well as further analyze their content for additional keywords and content topics.
Harsha Reddy turned his passion for SEO into a career. Harsha knows a thing or two about succeeding in today’s digital-oriented market. He is the editor-in-chief at SmallBizGenius, where he leads a small but dedicated team of expert writers.
Steve Kurniawan is a content marketing strategist and SaaS marketing expert at Nine Peaks Media. As an Indonesian-born serial entrepreneur and marketer, he helped numerous tech and food and beverage companies to grow their traffic and sales online.
Analytics, content, and social media
Even the free—and “basic” — Google Analytics can be very useful in getting helpful data related to website traffic. For example, if you are going to publish technical digital marketing content, you can use various data from various analytics tools. Alternatively, you can use these tools to research for trending content according to your target keywords/niches. For example, you can analyze your competitors’ sites and look for their top performing content. Keyword research and backlinks analytics tools (i.e. Ahrefs or SEMRush) are also useful for checking for trending content.
Like it or not, no content is truly original—it is just an expansion of existing content. So, it’s ok to use other content, including and especially your competitors’. Be honest, however, when you are citing them as resources, and give them a backlink. It’s quite often that they end up returning the favor later on with their future content.
A lot of information is being shared in social media networks every single day, some of which might be useful for your content. It’s important, however, to validate the data and not blindly trust everything on social media. In most cases, if the data is valid, a simple Google search will provide another article or source about the data. If it’s valid, use it.
Influencers and surveys
Ask your marquee customers or advisory boards for their help in forecasting trends. Build surveys and ask your key customers to weigh in on industry patterns. By asking them what trends they see for the next year or their top concerns, you can easily create data points that are attractive to external audiences.
Gain unique data points by constructing customer surveys with Google. This market research platform is a cost-effective way to survey focus groups of people and gain insight for your content. These surveys provide unique data points to help differentiate your material for content and public relations initiatives.
Anne Fairfield-Sonn is the director of corporate communications at CiBO Technologies, a science-driven software startup. She brings over seven years of successful marketing in driving marketing communications, global media relations, and go-to-market strategies.
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