How To Come Up With SEO-Friendly Blog Topics
...and give your readers what they really, really want!
Marketing Morsels is a series of short and sweet blog posts for Marketing Managers looking for bite-sized knowledge hits that’ll help drive business. These blog posts have been shortened and adapted from their original home, InspireFirst.
We don’t need to tell you that a company blog is a great place to house engaging, relevant content for audiences at all stages of your sales funnel (but we did anyway). We probably also don’t need to tell you that it can increase your SEO ranking, drive traffic to your site, and give you a major leg up on your competitors.
That said (or not said), we thought it’d be helpful to break down the best way to come up with SEO-friendly blog topics that’ll make your readers wonder, “Can you read my mind?”.
First thing’s first: how do you come up with a steady stream of topics in the first place? Especially when juggling multiple (often competing) priorities and campaigns? Besides the obvious (identifying your ideal reader’s interests), we recommend that you:
- Develop a customer journey to guide readers through your sales funnel (including relevant topics for each stage)
- Study what your competitors and similar blogs are publishing; can you fill in missing gaps or dive deeper?
- Answer questions that your customers typically have (don’t know what they are? Answer the Public is a great resource)
- Get some fresh perspective by hosting a group brainstorming session (don’t be afraid to include some sales folks, either)
PRO TIP: Be where your customers are. Spend a few minutes every day checking out what’s trending on social media to really tap into what topics are most relevant to your audience.
The best blog topics connect with your audience’s interests. The goal is to come up with enough topics (three to six months’ worth) to keep you busy so that you can create a content schedule rather than live through a never-ending struggle of thinking up new topics. Also, don’t be afraid to update older content, especially if an article’s ranking is starting to slip.
Turning those topics into SEO-Friendly Blog Posts
Now that you have some exciting topics in the hamper, how do you turn them into high-converting, SEO-friendly content?
Write a list of head terms
Pull the major keywords (or head terms) from your blog post ideas and note them in a spreadsheet or document. Keep your list of head terms nearby because you’ll need them to do keyword research.
PRO TIP: If you have a new blog or website, you’ll want to turn your blog topics or headlines into long-tail keywords because they’re easier to rank for.
Do your [SEO keyword] research
Take your blog post ideas and use them to do keyword research. It’ll be tempting to just start writing without doing proper research, but that could lead to your content not being ranked and found! A bit rusty or don’t know how? We’ve got you covered!
For the purposes of this post, we’ll be using SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. If you don’t have SEMrush, we highly recommend it.
STEP ONE: Type one of the head terms from the previous step into the “Enter keyword” window.
STEP TWO: Use the “Include keywords” advanced filter to add buyer or conversion intent words like “best” or “cheap” to your preferences for the head term/keyword.
The following results appear after I add the words “best” and “gluten free” to the included keywords for the “cupcake recipe” head term keyword search:
STEP THREE: From there, collect your data and list any SEMrush-suggested topic clusters in a separate file for you to build off of. Pretty cool, right? You’re now armed with several long-tail keywords to build your blog article(s) around!
Remember: Good keywords lead people to the solution(s) to their problems.
Building a content calendar full of SEO-friendly blog topics is a tight process but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. That way, you won’t need to depend on a faulty blog topic generator or other (less reliable sources) to develop blog post/title ideas.