- Getting ideas for writing content can be tough and many people struggle at this stage of the game. While only you can figure out what content will accomplish your search engine optimization goals, there are a few things you can do to get the creative juices flowing. First, think of your website in terms of some very broad themes, and then think of the different ways that you might be able to present those themes as content. Content can be classified in many ways, and thinking about the style you can write in may shake some ideas loose and start you down a path.
Here are a few broad types that you can refer back to when you need that spark. Educational pieces can be used to show your users how to do something or teach them something they didn't know before. You can take a statistic, a fact, or a figure from your industry and expand upon it, offering value from the perspective of an expert opinion. You can get technical and focus on details or advanced topics that appeal to savvy users or other industry experts. Procedural content can be a step by step how to type of article that walks a visitor through a certain process.
Informational content doesn't have to be groundbreaking or Pulitzer prize winning. Just putting up a page of driving directions to your store, or biographies of your key executive team, are both content opportunities that may be missing from your pages. News is simply an informational page that references something that happened in a moment in time. This could be industry news that you're reporting on, or commenting on, or it could be company news about who you've hired, or a recap of the conference that you've just hosted or attended.
All of these can be applied to a broad array of themes, and there are certainly many more not included in this list. It might help to have your target keyword list in front of you as you run through these ideas. The combination of specific phrases and types of content can often be the source of a great idea. The second thing you can do as a source of inspiration is scan your competitors to see if you're missing something or if there's a hole out there that you can fill. Do a quick search on some of your keywords and click on some of your competitors.
You can spend time on their sites and take a look at their blogs or the FAQ sections. What kinds of things are they writing about? Are there categories that you can offer a new unique insight into? Are there hot topics that you can expand on, or burning questions that you can answer? Or look to a tool like Answer the Public, or the plug in tool Keywords Everywhere to get additional insights into what people want to know about a given topic or query. You can also take a look at your competition in social media. What are they tweeting and posting about? Maybe they got the industry scoop that you missed and that might be something right for a commentary piece.
Third, the people you work with each and every day can be a hidden sources of fantastic content. Customers are often happy to leave reviews or provide feedback if you ask them to, and there are lots of ways that you can ask. Calling up or having a face to face conversation with your best customers can lead to a case study or a testimonial that you can put up on your site that shows real customers having good experiences. For a search engine, that can represent both good content and authority. You might ask a customer to do a thorough review of one of your products or services for posting on your website, or run a contest where customers write about their experiences for a chance to win a sweepstakes, or a prize of some kind.
And don't stop with your customers. As an organization you have a network of people that you work with that could all provide some kind of content for you. Call up your vendors and ask them to write a joint case study that you can publish on your website. If your peers give you an award or an industry partner gives you a certification, you can be creating content around it. And don't be afraid to reach out to your professional networks. Your industry contacts might just be willing to author a guest blog post if you ask them. Coming up with content ideas can be hard, but remember that means it's hard for your competitors too.
Looking at the kinds of content pieces that you can write, taking stock of your competitors and your industry, and leveraging the people you touch day to day can help you come up with content that just might attract your next customer.
- Define search engine optimization.
- Explore the fundamentals of reading search engine results pages.
- Examine the essentials of understanding keyword attributes.
- Break down the steps for optimizing the non-text components of a webpage.
- Recognize how search engines index context.
- Explore an overview of long-term content planning strategies and how they can help keep content on your site fresh.
- Define your website’s audience, topics, angle, and style when mapping out your long-term content.
- Identify the steps to take when building internal links within your website.
- Recognize how to analyze links in order to measure SEO effectiveness.
- Break down the necessary components for understanding local SEO.