Perhaps one of the most challenging tasks that any modern marketer faces is creating compelling and effective content – and the best content isn’t written on the fly. They’re written with focus and purpose, but sometimes even the most inspired and competent content marketer comes up empty.
When the well runs dry, I turn to one of my favorite fonts of inspiration – Google Keyword Tool. I know what you’re thinking – how does a keyword tool help with generated content ideas? Well, that web page isn’t going to rank itself! There’s three ingredients behind every listing on every search results page:
- The keyword or keyphrase
- The content on the page (on-page SEO)
- The overall trustworthiness of the website
Your latest blog post is, in the eyes of Google, a webpage. For a page to rank, it has demonstrate its relevance to search engines. And that begins with a keyword.
And as a content marketer, your goal with keyword research is to help you create content that is simultaneously friendly to search engines and relevant to your audience. It’s a bit like reading the minds of millions of people. You’ll learn what people are really calling your product or service and how they’re searching for related products and services.
I’m a copywriter by trade, so my typical posts are targeted toward other business communicators who are trying to improve their writing skills and extend the reach of their content. Let’s take a walk through how I use the Google Keyword Tool to generate content ideas. For this example, I chose “copywriting” as an initial keyword.
Two things to take note of here: global is the total number of searches for “copywriting” per month around the world (368,000) and local is the number of searches per month happening in the US. For most businesses, local searches matter the most.
A word of caution: because the Google Keyword Tool was designed for AdWords advertisers, “competition” doesn’t mean organic search results. It refers to available AdWords inventory. That said, there’s no reason that marketers can’t use it to mine content ideas. I do, after all.
Copywriting is a pretty broad category to write about, but it’s a highly searched term. A post about general copywriting isn’t going to stand out, so it’s time to get a bit more granular. Here’s where related searches come in. Related searches are Google’s way of telling you where it thinks you should be indexed. Post ideas!
When I’m looking at the related searches, I look for two things: keywords or phrases that relate specifically to my topic and completely new phrases that have a similar meaning.
Now we’re getting somewhere! “Copywriting for the web” is a topic that’s being searched at a good volume monthly and could easily be turned into a post fleshing out tips, tricks and general best practices for writing web-optimized content. It could be serialized over three or four weeks or made into a larger piece of content like an eBook or white paper. With constant changes to Google’s search algorithms, reading habits, and an evolving industry, content built around “copywriting for the web” as a primary key phrase will be relevant for a very long time.
I certainly appreciate a tool that helps me develop targeted and relevant content ideas – and I’m sure you will, too.