If you have a small business and want to raise the bar on your digital marketing efforts, you’ve probably explored enhancing your website for search by hiring some SEO experts. If you have, you may have heard this before: content is king.
Content comes in many forms of course, from the copy on the homepage, the choice of CTAs, and even product page descriptions and meta data. The same is true for blogs. Having blogs on your site is very important. So how do you choose the topics? Let’s get into it!
Choosing Blog Topics: Tips and Tricks
Blog Topic Tip # 1: Know Your Audience
This tip is not just for SEO, it’s for all communications. By identifying your audience, you will be able to focus on the subject matter that means the most to them. You’ll also be able to tailor the language to connect with them on a level that will help you build trust.
For example, if you sell financial services or products, you’ll want to focus on answering the questions your potential clients will have related to that industry. By explaining complex subjects or otherwise providing value, you start complete strangers down a path that may lead them directly to your door.
Getting to know your audience also helps you build your business. Over time, you’ll better understand what your audience wants, and what they’re interested in. By gaining clarity on their challenges, you’ll be in a better position to offer solutions.
Blog Topic Tip # 2: Use Powerful Tools
When it comes to choosing topics, you can use your intuition, sure. But wouldn’t you also like to have some data to back that up? By using the right online tools, you can explore the amount of search volume there is for certain topics, which can help you zero-in on certain popular topics, or avoid others altogether.
Using tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner and plenty of others will strengthen your SEO game and help you choose topics that are not only interesting and relevant to your audience, but that are also highly popular too.
After all, if you had limited time or budget to get a blog written, would you rather choose a topic that had 10 searches per month, or 10,000?
Blog Topic Tip # 3: Topic Clusters Are Your Friend
Once you’ve written a few blogs, tailored the communication to your audience, and verified there is search volume for those terms, you can start to create what we call “topic clusters.”
The value of creating clusters is twofold. First, identifying specific niches helps build your website’s authority on a specific topic or set of topics. Over time, Google will notice that you have written ten blogs on a series of interrelated topics (as opposed to writing just one blog on a given subject). Google will eventually reward your site by classifying it as one that delivers more value to users than other sites in a given niche, and rank you higher in the SERPs.
For example, say you are a dentist, and you’ve decided that you can build your business by appealing to parents of young children. You can write about plaque and mouthwash all you want, but perhaps a better tactic would be to help those parents with their challenges with getting their kids to brush their teeth at night.
You could write about the best methods for creating good dental habits before bed. You could follow that up with a blog about the best toothbrushes for kids. Related to that might be an article about the most dangerous types of candy for young teeth, or a blog about the cost of filling cavities, or a blog about using the Tooth Fairy as a teaching tool.
The possibilities are endless, and the more clusters you identify and interlink, the greater the possibility of users finding your site, and becoming clients to your growing business.
Blog Topic Tip # 4: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Sometimes, people find it hard to write a blog on a given subject because they fear they don’t have anything original to say. They might think: “When I Google the topic, I can already see a bunch of articles answering the question!”
The truth is, you don’t need to worry about saying something completely new and original. You don’t need to cite your sources. You don’t need to worry about covering the same ground as others. This isn’t university, and all you need to worry about is plagiarism in the strictest sense.
This means you can’t copy-paste the ideas of others word-for-word directly to your website because Google will notice and punish you for that transgression. However, you can cover the same subjects.
Your focus should be on saying what other people said, but doing it better. This can mean adding more to a subject. It can mean paraphrasing the content so it makes more sense within the context of your business. It can mean simplifying a complex subject. It could mean creating unique graphics that get the same point across, but that makes it easier to understand for the average reader.
In the end, your main goal is to provide value. The way you go about it will be unique for every business.
Blog Topic Tip # 5: Revisit and Re-polish Existing Content
Once you’ve started producing quality content, you should make time to review how well it’s doing. By discovering what content on your site gets the most attention, you can help further narrow your focus on what your audience wants, and avoid topics that fall flat.
You can also review your old content with a view to modernizing it. Does your content need to be updated? Can you edit and update a blog and repackage old content in a new way?
To find out what’s doing well and what’s not so great, the metrics you might want to pay attention to (using Google Analytics) will be things like:
- Unique views
- Bounce rates
- Time spent on page
- Drop off rate
By taking a dive into your analytics – and this is especially true for companies that have a good deal of existing content on their websites already – you can gain additional insights and clarity about what direction you should be taking your content in the future.
Does This Sound a Little Too Complicated?
If this sounds good in theory, but difficult for you to pull off in practice, there is another option.
Instead of running the whole content strategy yourself, doing the keyword and competitive research, optimizing your metadata, and making sure that your content strategy aligns well with the rest of your site (avoiding cannibalization), you can always outsource that work to a team of SEO professionals. After all, that’s what SEO companies do for a living!
And the good news is that, for the most part, SEO companies will very often provide free consultations in order to better understand your needs, so you might be able to get some great advice during the process, whether you decide to sign an SEO contract or not!
Do you need advice for your content strategy?