Generate content ideas for SEO

It’s not always the case that a client provides you with content ideas. Meaning, generating content ideas as a writer can sometimes be tough.

Competitor’s content ideas

In order to copy ideas, simply go to a competitor’s website, locate their blog and study their topic ideas — there’s nothing more to it (initially).

You could even Google “top {your-niche} blogs”, visit their websites and do the exact same there too.

For best SEO value

Firstly, never copy and paste content from websites. It’ll harm your website’s SEO value and possibly even get you into some legal issues — period.

Secondly, there’s little SEO value to come from copying your competitor’s topics. Either because you’re not adding any further value into Google (compared to the original competitor’s content) or perhaps nobody is searching for it altogether, which is an even bigger issue, in terms of SEO.

The best way to favour SEO for replicated competitor content is to check if people are searching for it first and only then, rewrite it better. Ultimately, you’re aiming to add more value to the reader and Google too.

Browse through blog comments

Whether it’s your own website or a competitor’s, simply go to an article, locate the comments and try to find questions.

If someone’s questioning something (i.e. “How do I {topic}?”, “Would I need to {topic}?”, etc.), there are people most likely searching for a similar question too.

Do your research; look at the search volume and page-1’s results too. If it’s a clear monopoly — write it! Heck, even reply to the comment with your newly written article too!

Tools to generate new content ideas

Depending on your skill level, there are numerous idea generation tools that you could use as a writer.

Ahrefs (advanced)

Source: ahrefs.com

Ahrefs’ Site Explorer allows you to literally type in your competitor’s URL to find their most popular content on Google.

These results can be filtered by ranking positions and keyword search volumes to help give you an idea on which content and what keywords you should use for rewriting a competitor’s content. Essentially, the aim would be to write a better article to outrank their result.

Another useful tool within Ahrefs is their Content Explorer. It allows you to search for phrases, providing you with estimates on Google search traffic and social media shares an article may have.

Buzzsumo (intermediate)

Source: buzzsumo.com

Buzzsumo is a similar tool to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer when it comes to researching social shares. It also includes a free (limited) search tool which is useful if you only want to search on an ad hoc basis.

Answer The Public (novice)

Source: answerthepublic.com

Answer The Public categorises your keywords into searchable terms which can help provide you with content titles.

For writers, useful categories would include; questions, prepositions, comparisons and related results. All of which can be used to generate different styles of content.

Planning new content ideas

Once you’ve got the processes to find new content ideas, you then need to plan when and how you’re going to write them.

When to write

We tend to write each article on an SEO priority basis. Meaning, if we think that a specific article will help bring lots of traffic from organic search results, we’ll prioritise it.

How to write

We always write with keywords in mind for SEO. We conduct our content generation research, we list our ideas and we also list our SEO keywords — we preach what we teach and vice versa!

Planning spreadsheet

Internally, we use a spreadsheet which both tracks and outlines our content planning schedule.

As a freebie, please email Rahul to get your free copy of our boilerplate planning schedule for your content generation process.