Finding topics for your posts
Sometimes it is hard to come up with topics to write in your blog. If you want to attract readers, these topics should interest them. How can you find these topics? Good old Google can help you.
In this post I will show you how I used Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Insights to find ideas for new posts and keywords. Furthermore, I will assume that one of your goals is to increase the number of visitors for your website.
Step 1. Google Analytics / Webmaster Tools: What is your blog known for?
Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools allow you to check how well does your website rank for certain search queries.
Ideally you would want to rank as high as possible in Google Search in those topics that you are covering with your blog.
Since my blog is small and I cover many topics, my results are not spectacular. But If you check carefully, you can see that I rank well for “motivation phd” and “phd motivation”.
This tells me that if I keep writing on phd motivation I have chances of appear on the top results of Google and establish a reputation as
expert douchebag in phd motivation.
Step 2. Google Keyword Tool: Are there enough searches?
Keyword Tool from Google Adwords gives you an estimate of the number of monthly searches keywords receive. Ideally, you would like to write about topics, i.e. keywords, that receive a lot of searches AND have low competition. Why low competition? Because it will be easier to rank higher in Google, which will bring more readers.
Here I see that in Keywords Ideas a word pops up, “graduate”. I realized that across my blog I was only use the word PhD to describe this research position. What about graduate? This word is the most used in USA for what in Europe we call PhD.
If I want to get more readers from USA I should also include “graduate” in my posts and my keywords.
You can also come up with new blog posts that use some of the suggested keywords. I did this with the Motivation Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs.
Step 3. Google Insights: What are people really searching for?
With Google Insights you can check in detail search data, breaking down the searches by territory, date, and trending related searches.
What I want to see is what volume of searches received in 2011 certain terms in different areas.
Worldwide searches show me that effectively there are lots of searches that target “graduate”, so I should also include this word in my posts. It also seems that “advice” is a hotter term than “motivation”, so I should also use the former.
When I query for the same 4 terms in USA, I see that the only relevant is “graduate advice”. Same conclusion like above, since I want to get readers from the States.
What about India? They have an army of millions and millions of young university students, that might consider a Phd or graduate degree in science as a viable career path.
Here Google Insights shows that people from India mainly search for Phd and not graduate, so if I want to attract some of them, I should keep writing about PhD motivation.
What other tricks or tools do you use to generate ideas for your blog posts?