How to Use Keyword Tools to Brainstorm Blog Topics [Quick Tip]

by Lindsey Kirchoff

Date

April 27, 2013 at 9:00 AM

blog-topicsThere are a ton of ideas out there on how to come up with content inspiration when you're stuck. But my favorite content trick comes from customer Marcus Sheridan -- and it's so good, even the New York Times approves. 

All you have to do is answer the questions your audience is asking. And how can you do it? One way is through keyword research! You can do this with any keyword research tool -- we use HubSpot's Keyword Tool to do this, but if you're not a HubSpot customer, you can use your own tool. We'll show you how to do it in this post using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool, since everyone has access to it.

1) Go to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Start by going to this domain: https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool. Once you're inside the tool, you will see this screen:

Google-AdWords-Keyword-Tool

Enter your domain name, and fill out the captcha text to see which keywords you might want to target.

2) Identify Strategic Keywords

You'll now see a list of keywords. Your sweet spot will be keywords with some significant search volume -- not too high, not too low -- and Low or Medium competition. You'll be able to sort by these factors by clicking on the words, sorting the numbers by highest or lowest.

Once you've sorted the way you like, look for long-tail keywords -- keyword phrases that are typically three words or more -- off of which to generate topics. Long-tail keywords are excellent for blog content, because they're often problem-oriented phrases, or indicate problems that people need solving. This aligns with how-to content that typically performs very well on a blog.

Here's how we'd do that with the keywords recommended for blog.hubspot.com as an example:

keywords-1

This snapshot shows keyword phrases with great search volume, low competition, and that point to a problem people are looking for answers to. Here's five blog posts you could write just based off that first highlighted keyword phrase, "marketing your product":

  • 5 Expert Tips for Marketing Your Product
  • How to Market Your Product on Social Media
  • How to Subtly Market Your Product in Your Blog Content
  • 10 Epic Product Marketing Fails and What We Can Learn From Them
  • Why Marketing Your Product Starts With Excellent Customer Service

3) Vary Searches to Identify More Keywords

If you aren't feeling particularly inspired by the first batch of keyword phrases delivered, you can refine your search to get more suggestions around a keyword phrase. For instance, I wasn't really digging the phrase "how to use social media" because it's just so generic. If you find yourself in that boat, click on the phrase and this pop-up will appear:

suggestions

Select "Show more like this," and you'll be taken to a screen with keywords that are similar in nature, but not exact, to the original phrase.

keyword-suggestions

In this example, we could perhaps write a post like, "Lessons for Marketers From Obama's Use of Social Media." If you ever want to topic brainstorm around a more specific topic, you can always simply input that topic or keyword phrase in the "Word or phrase" box from the get-go, too.

Do you have any other quick tips for generating blog topics? Share your hacks in the comments!

Image credit: toolstop

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