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What to Blog About: This is What Google Tells You
Coming up with ideas for your blog is hard. Coming up with ideas for your blog, working out whether the post will get read, and then discovering how best to structure the article is even more difficult.
Fortunately, one of the best tools to help you research, qualify, and structure your blog posts is a simple Google search.
By typing your topic or potential blog title into Google, the search engine gives you a goldmine of information about search interest, keyword competition, and precisely what is needed in a high-quality article on the topic.
All you need to know is how to find this information. Here is how to do precisely that.
How to use Google to gauge interest in your topic
The foundation of a successful blog writing lies in writing about something that your audience is genuinely interested in.
While promoting your post to your email list and on social media can get some fresh eyes on it, having it show up for a popular search term is the best way to get long term traffic to your posts.
While keyword tools do give you estimated volume, these should be taken with a pinch of salt at best.
Experience has told us that the best way to gauge the interest in a topic is to begin to type your proposed topic or title into the Google search bar and see if the Google autocomplete suggests it.
Google autocomplete is based on historical data of actual searches, rather than estimations.
Therefore if Google autosuggest anticipates your proposed topic, it is likely that there is enough interest in that topic to merit.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this:
- Go to Google.com
- Slowly type in your proposed topic or title (ideally this should be between 3-6 words)
- Check if the Google Autocomplete function suggests the rest of your topic.
Here is a screenshot showing the autosuggest for the term “how to change.”
All the suggested searches would make excellent blog topics:
You can modify this to search terms in your industry to uncover new topics to blog about.
Google tells you the “searcher intent” of your topic
Given that we ideally want to be ranking our blog posts on the first page of Google, it is well worth identifying whether Google is likely to rank your article before you spend several hours writing it.
Your chances of ranking a blog post depend in part on whether the post gives the best answer to whatever a searcher is looking for.
By searching your proposed blog topic in Google, you can get an exact idea of what Google thinks a user will want when searching for that given term.
For a search like “where to buy Nike running shoes,” Google will display sales pages, not blog posts. Therefore writing a blog post about this will not get you very far.
However, for a topic along the lines of “what are the benefits of fitted running shoes,” you will likely get blog posts, rather than sales pages or homepages:
Given that Google wants to show blog posts for this term, you are far better off writing a blog post for this topic than for a more commercial topic like “where to buy Nike running shoes.”
Searching your proposed blog title and seeing whether Google gives you blog posts on its first page (as opposed to sales pages) should, therefore, help you qualify whether the post is worth writing.
Google tells you the competition around your target keywords
As well as satisfying user intent, your chances of having a blog post rank well in Google depends on the competition around that topic and industry.
Competition in this context means the authority of sites that are ranking for your proposed blog topic.
Again, the best way to assess this is by doing a Google search for your proposed blog title.
If the websites ranking on the first page of Google are huge authority websites such as the BBC, Forbes, and Huffington Post, then your chances of ranking your blog post are small.
In instances like this, it is worth niching down your blog topic and writing about something narrower or more specialized.
If the ranking pages for your blog topic are other small to medium-sized businesses, personal blogs, or pages that do not exactly answer the question that you are searching for, then this is a positive sign. You stand a very good chance of ranking your post.
Super-pro tip: If you search your topic and you find that there are forums like Quora and Reddit ranking on page 1 of Google, then you have an excellent topic to write about. People ask questions on forums when they search for a topic but do not find the answer they need. This indicates that there is both an interest in the topic and a lack of competition from other websites—time for you to step in and fill that need.
Google tells you how to structure your blog post
As well as giving you an overview of the interest and competition of any given topic, a Google search of any potential blog title can give you a good idea of how to structure your blog post.
The clues that Google gives you in how to structure your post lies in the “people also asked,” box near the top of the page and the “suggested keywords” at the bottom of the page.
Here are the people also asked box for the term “how to write a blog post”:
And here are the suggested keywords for the same term:
This information tells us that a good quality post on this topic will include some beginner tips, some advice on how to write a post quickly, and exploring how to best structure your post.
The fact that one of the suggested keywords “blog post template” also hints that a comprehensive post on the topic should contain a downloadable template.
In short, a Google search of a topic can tell you all the information you need to pick a topic to write about and plan your blog post.
It provides better information than almost all of the paid keyword tools and should be your first port of call before writing.