Content Marketing

The easy peasy way to get content inspiration

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 by Dave Colgate

Straight to it, here it is:

  1. Log in to Google.
  2. Search something, anything. “Wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men” is a good one.
  3. In the top right click on the cog icon.
  4. Click “search settings”.
  5. Under “Google instant predictions” click “Never show instant results”.
  6. Scroll down and click “Save”.
  7. Go back to the Google search if it hasn’t already automatically redirected you.
  8. Start a new search with one of your keywords. Let’s try, “microlight flying”. Type it in, but don’t press enter and add a space at the end.
  9. You should see something like this in the drop down from the search box:

Search in Google for "microlight"

That’s 10 article titles …

… Just waiting to be written. That drop down contains 10 things people are looking for right now and want to know more about right now. So if you’re into the business of microlight flying (probably not) and you’re looking for content ideas, there you have them.

The reason we disable ‘instant search’ in Google is that the drop down only gives you 4 results if it’s turned on. Why? No idea, but you get far more (10) if you turn it off. No need to use the keyword research tool, Google kindly lists the above by most searched and you already know people are looking for the above terms.

Other search terms

So as well as the above you can also try the following searches:

“What microlight”:

Search for "what microlight flying"

“Best microlight”:

Search for "best microlight"

“Fly microlight”:

Search for "fly microlight"

Providing they fit with your objectives and the context in which your host website is befitting of the suggestions, all of the above (apart from perhaps some of the local based searches – still, that shows you where the local demand is) are relevant. With the amount of ideas and potential content you have above, it could keep you going for weeks or even months depending on the regularity of your blogging.

So moving away from microlights, there are loads of other potential search terms you can couple and mix up with your target phrases. Here are some more examples:

  • How to …
  • How do …
  • What …
  • When …
  • Why …
  • Find …
  • Buy …
  • Compare …
  • Choose …
  • Look at …

Try throwing these words and phrases into Google with your keyword following them. You might be surprised as to the variety and things people are looking for and what potential new doors could open up.

“But there’s tons of results for all of them …”

Of course there are; Google’s not going to return zero results is it? They’re a search engine. Unless of course you try searching for something like: “Googoogarggleblasterpoptummyoops”.

Ridiculous search phrase

Considering I just completely made that up, I’m not surprised some other genius hasn’t written something about it, somewhere on the web.

The point is there will always be hundreds of returns. The job you’ve now got with your wonderful list of potential blog subjects is …

… Making them better than everyone else’s blogs

Try asking yourself some of the following questions to achieve this:

  • What content are they implementing? Video, text and images?
  • What information can be found in the top ranking articles, but is missed and on other websites – or, what information can be accumulated into a single post?
  • How much detail do they go into?
  • Do they use external resources or professional opinion and feedback?
  • Do they discuss both sides of the story and provide a conclusion?

These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself to make your content better than all those other websites listed on that search engine results page. Couple this with some social media promotion and you’ll likely find yourself gaining links and visits. This is especially true if you already have an authoritative website.

To finish things off, let’s take a look at an example. From the list above, I’ve chosen to write something about “what microlight to buy”. Here’s the search:

Search for "what microlight to buy"

So the product section Google is displaying is arguably unrelated. We’re not interested in clothing, we’re interested in aircraft. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the actual organic results beneath the products and what we can take away from the existing content that’s getting returned for this query.

Literally a site for buying microlights, it’s like an e-commerce site for them, here are the relevant points:

  • Selling products – can you integrate that into the page?
  • No text content – good, so we can add some content and gain advantage.
  • Using images, but nothing else.

Just a complete mass of content here, lots and lots of content, here are the key points:

  • Tons of content. Read it; note what’s missing, what should be expanded on?
  • Presentation is poor. You need to make sure the page you’re planning on putting this new content on doesn’t look like you’re going to get a call from the 90’s asking for their page back.
  • Nothing but text. No images, no video. Two more things you can add to the page to add value.

Very sparse page with little content but good references, plus sub-titles are structured as questions. Here are the relevant points:

  • Use questions to answer related questions (I would do further research into “what microlight to buy”. Perhaps costs? Maintenance requirements, hangerage etc.
  • Some good references. Where are they linking out to? Can you organise those resources on your page better? What about getting feedback directly from those sources to add value to your content?
  • Strong content. Is it all relevant and up to date? What questions does it leave unanswered and what can be expanded on?

So there you have a set of ‘actions’ for the content creation on the page itself. A very quick and easy way of compiling what could effectively be a title and action points for the contents in about 10 minutes.

Do you have more ideas for the above? Let me know in the comments!

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About the author

Dave Colgate

Dave Colgate

Dave came on board with Vertical Leap in 2010 with a strong SEO and web development background, having worked on Content Management Systems and eCommerce websites. With a creative flare, Dave combines his knowledge of design, usability and SEO with advanced technical skills for a broader view of search that achieves great results. Follow me on Google+