If you have worked in digital marketing for some time and you are responsible for creating blog content, it can sometimes be tricky to keep coming up with new ideas. This is especially true if you work in a small niche.
It can often feel like you have covered every single topic within your niche, and no matter how much you brainstorm, coming up with new ideas finds you running up against a brick wall.
Whilst there are a number of tools available to help you with keyword research and content ideas, some of the most overlooked tools are often staring you right in the face.
Google is in the business of encouraging content writers to create better content. They want to provide the best possible results for people searching for specific queries on Google and so it is in their interest to provide you with the tools to help you mine ideas for your content.
Google Analytics (GA), Google Search Console (GSC), and Google Trends are all great sources of inspiration when it comes to populating your content calendar and the best news, especially for small business owners, is that all three tools are completely FREE.
Whilst Google Analytics and Google Search Console have more traditionally been used for analysing site traffic and site performance, there are some great features within both tools that can really help you to unearth some winning blog content ideas.
Supporting this is Google Trends. Take the data you have discovered from GA and GSC and plug it into Trends and see which topics are trending up and which are on the wane. This can really help you to prioritise the content ideas that are likely to drive you the most traffic in the short term.
So, let’s dig into the ways you can use Analytics, Search Console, and Trends to uncover traffic-driving blog ideas.
1. Google Search Console
Within Google Analytics, you can access the Google Search Console report, however, it is easier to go direct to GSC providing you have access. From here, head to the Search results report under “Performance” where you will be able to discover the keywords that have sent actual traffic to your website.
It also shows you which queries triggered impressions in Google search, and this can reveal which pages are driving views but not clicks.
Using a nifty API trick, you can also pull all this data into a Google Sheet and use this to analyse where your best opportunities sit. We use this all the time, both to analyse existing content but also to identify gaps in our content plan. You can learn how to use the Search Console API to mine and tune your content in this great blog from Kevin-Indig.com
Once you have an idea of the queries that are already driving traffic to your site, you can then search for these terms in Google and look at the types of results that are surfacing for these queries to see if a) you could update your existing content to better suit the needs of the audience or b) come up with a new related content piece that could potentially perform much better, adding depth to your topical relevance for a particular topic.
We will often go in and look at the “People Also Ask” section on the search results and see if we can add FAQs to an existing post that helps to answer those questions. Alternatively, those PAA questions can help you to come up with some great ideas for a new content piece.
Another hidden gem within GSC is the “Discover” report, also found in the Performance section. This will only show up in your GSC account if you have had content that has surfaced in Google Discover, however, this is another relatively untapped area where you can drive some serious organic traffic. You can read more about Google Discover in our recent post.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics itself is a great source of data when it comes to unearthing great blog ideas. Whilst we typically use GA to look at existing content, it is this content, and the way that people interact with it, that can lead us to understand the type of content we should be creating more of and the type of content that really resonates with our audience.
The easiest place to start with this is to head to the Site Content report in “Behaviour”. In this report, you will be able to filter the results to show pages from your blog section only (providing you have a good URL structure on your website) and then you can export this report and get to work.
Identify your top-performing posts and label all your posts with a topic tag to help you to group together similar content about the same topic.
This will help you to understand the type of content that performs well for a particular topic and those that have underperformed.
From here, you can review those underperforming posts and see if they could benefit from an update, or even potentially merge them with other posts to create a more detailed and comprehensive post about a particular topic.
Topical relevance is an extremely important ranking factor for Google. They want to understand your understanding and authority, not just on one or two keywords, but a range of keywords relating to a particular topic.
You can take your findings from your existing content and plug in the keywords from the top-performing posts into a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz and see what related queries come up.
If you have not already created content for those related keywords, you can assess each opportunity based on the difficulty score and the likelihood of you being able to rank, and then add the most relevant ideas to your content plan.
3. Google Trends
Drawing on the data you can pull out from GSC and GA, Google Trends is a great tool for assessing the current trend when it comes to the way that people search for the keywords you are targeting.
Using the GSC Queries report, you can identify queries that are currently driving traffic to your website and plug these into Google Trends.
This will then show you the keywords that are trending up, as well as those that might be trending down. This can really help you to prioritise the keywords that are likely to drive you traffic in the future, rather than targeting those keywords that are currently not driving as much interest.
Google Trends is also a great tool for uncovering and hooking into trending topics. Sometimes, these might not be directly related to your business, however, there might be a hook that you can tie a currently trending topic back to your products and services. Simply head to the “Trending Searches” section in Trends and you will find some of the top-performing searches in specific timeframes.
Whilst this might not help you to uncover new blog topics, Google Trends can also be used to inform you about the best times to publish content. Once you have identified a topic, you can choose to filter the results by time – past hour, past day, past 7 days, past 30 days etc. Using the “Past Day” filter, you can see the times of day where searches for your chosen keyword/topic were trending, and this might help to determine when you publish and when you share that content across your other platforms such as social media.
The next time you are drawing a blank when it comes to blog ideas, turn to the tools you already have at your disposal, and you will soon be populating your content calendar with some stellar new ideas.
Google has a wide range of tools available for performing a variety of tasks, however, people often only rely on Keyword Planner when it comes to content planning. Hopefully, this post has shown there is value in using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Trends as a way of mining new content ideas.
Often, it’s simply a case of building on what already works and tweaking the things that haven’t worked as well. Using data, you can find out what type of content resonates with your audience and make a plan to create more of that type of content and less of the content that has been less successful.
If you are struggling to generate new blog ideas, talk to the team at Digital Hothouse today and find out how we can take your content to the next level.