Staring at the blinking cursor while you draw a blank on what to blog about? Use this free tool in an unexpected way for free, SEO friendly, blog ideas.
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner as not just a great gadget for estimating search traffic. It also can use a few keyword ideas from you to build suggestions based on similar searches for those terms or category. In using Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help generate your content ideas, we not only break our own writer’s block, but we ensure we’re starting with a search optimized direction that your audience is literally looking for.
If you don’t have one yet, you will need to sign up for an AdWords account. However, you needn’t ever run an ad from this account in order to access the planner. I use a personal login to keep my keyword research for blogging separate from the company (and client) advertising. Sign-up at https://adwords.google.com.
First, access the Keyword Planner at this link or by finding it in the AdWords ‘Tools’ menu.
Then, ‘Search for new Keyword’ and enter a few keywords from your SEO strategy or an area you’re interested in writing about. You could be as broad as your industry, but try putting in some keywords you solve.
For example: If you’re a lawyer, consider some words like ‘living will,’ instead of ‘lawyer.’
As a digital marketing agency that helps brands solve complex content problems, I’m going to use ‘blogging’ for our example.
You’ll see a lot on this screen.
The first is a graph of typical search volume for your search term(s) over time.
Below that charted data about your search term for advertisers. We’re concerned more with ‘Avg. Monthly Searches’ for our purposes.
Below charted data on your terms, are the recommendations. You can view these either as ‘Ad Group Ideas’ or ‘Keyword Ideas.’ I prefer keyword ideas, and so we’ll be working from that.
You’ll also notice some adjustable settings on the left. Optionally, you can use these to refine your suggestions and data further to writing for specific regions, or to specific languages. I tend to leave these broad, but they can be useful if you’re targeting or limited to a specific country or region.
In our example search on ‘blog,’ Google’s kindly provided us with 800 common search terms, which are kindly arranged by most frequently searched. (Click that column header to sort if yours is sorting by another method.)
Answer a Question
My favorite use for this data is to quickly scan it for questions people search for. No matter how bad your writer’s block, you can always answer a question from a client or prospect, right?
So, we’ll use one of the right column options, ‘Keywords to include,’ to ask Google to give us only questions.
Excellent! Now we have a list of 98 questions in our topic area, each with a count of how many people each month face a similar problem.
Scanning the list, you can hover your mouse over the ‘chart’ icon to see the last few months of search data. This can help uncover rising stars in search, or seasonal trends.
In this case, we see that there’s some rise in people looking for ‘What to Blog About.’ You may have noticed that this not only became a blog post for the 1,600 individuals searching for this answer monthly, but it also directed the title of the blog post! (Hello, SEO!)
To help round out the post for content, keywords, and key phrases, clear the ‘Keywords to include,’ filter we set in the previous steps and look for some common key phrases that might make sense to our topic. Set your ‘Show Rows:’ at the bottom to 100, and scroll along while copying any interesting finds to a separate document such as Excel or Evernote.
In my search, I found some search volume on phrases like ‘online marketing’ and ‘blog marketing.’ This informed some of the angles of this post for content and search, and so many of these terms made their way into this post.
How will you use Google as a blog idea generator?
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