The internet is saturated with click-bait puff pieces, one-off guest posts, and small business blog entries about every topic under the sun.
While it’s amazing that we have so much information at our fingertips, it also seems impossible to have an original, unique idea when everything worth saying has already been written, re-written, and made into an infographic for good measure!
So, how do you stand out from the crowd as an industry thought leader? How do you portray your brand as an authority when it seems like it’s all been said and done?
To produce high-quality, relevant content that outperforms that of your competitors and converts at a higher rate, you’ll have to get creative, use new tools, and employ new tactics.
To start, try implementing these 6 SEO Tools and Tips into your content strategy.
Revamp Your Blog With These 6 SEO Tools And Tips
1. Find Your Competitors and Their Most Successful Content and Resources
To begin your research, try doing a simple, broad Google search for your industry. The top results will likely be large companies.
Take a look at their resources for ideas on staples that you may want to add to your site, and look to them for formatting inspiration if you’re having trouble figuring out how to present the information you know your customers want.
Next, get more specific and search for your industry in your region.
While you probably know who your direct competitors are, you might be surprised who is competing with you in Google Search.
Take a look at the blogs of these companies, if they have one, and note if they have a “most popular” section of posts. The posts that appear here might be topics that you‘ll want to elaborate on or find a new angle for on your own site, as they receive the most traffic.
Write a list of topics that your competitors are talking about, and then brainstorm how you can either write posts that expound on the topics and discuss certain aspects of it more deeply, or how you can do their post better.[bctt tweet=”Just because competitors have written about a topic doesn’t mean they’ve written about it well.”]
Also gather information about their content strategy – how often they post, what type of media coverage they are getting, what tools they are developing, and what studies they are participating in or writing about.
This serves as a blueprint for your site and allows you to recognize where the bar is set and how you can raise it.
2. Use SEO Tools to Find Successful Content and Trending Topics
There is only so much information you can gather without using site explorer, content, and social media data tools.
Many offer free versions that give limited results, but if you are really serious about overhauling your content strategy, I would suggest investing in at least one of these tools.
If I had to choose just one tool for finding the most relevant sites, content, and influencers in your industry, I would suggest BuzzSumo.
While it isn’t exactly cheap at $90 per month, the Pro Version allows you to search for the most successful content in your industry in the last week, month or year and tells you exactly how many social shares it got on which channels.
Marketing Grader, SEMRush and Google Trends are also great tools for getting a better idea of what content performs best for your niche of the market, who is publishing the best-received articles on each topic, who the influencers might be in your space, and what your typical customer might be searching for on Google.
3. Harness the Predictive Power of Forums
You can get some of your best content ideas by pinpointing what questions your customers are asking, and then offering content that best answers those questions.
Browse forums like Quora for popular questions.
Simply enter a topic of interest and Quora brings back bunches of relevant questions surrounding the topic, as well as corresponding answers offered up by industry experts.
This can be a great way to spark ideas for new posts and find out what your audience really needs to know.
You can also learn what your audience doesn’t need to know. If you enter a term and there are very few questions about it, then it’s probably not a great topic for a post.
4. Branch Out Into Earned media and Become an Industry Expert
Having amazing on-site content is key, but you also want to be earning a healthy amount of links from other industry sites and news sources.
These services deliver daily digests of press outlets that are writing articles and need commentary from industry experts.
All you have to do is answer their questions, and they will often include your name and a link to your business in their article.
These services are also an amazing resource for getting fresh content ideas and staying current on popular subjects trending in the media.
You can even register as a publisher and create your own queries for experts in your field to answer.
This is a great way to build relationships with influencers, and you can use their industry clout to lend credibility to your articles.
5. Don’t Forget About Social Media
While it can be easy to focus on on-site content and neglect social media, it is very important to not only track your competitors’ most successful content, but also their most successful Tweets and Facebook Status Updates.
Many businesses even publish articles and case studies about the strategies they use to achieve social media success on LinkedIn, so pay attention and learn from what they have already done.
If your immediate competitors aren’t publishing this type of content, look to national industry leaders for tips on what you might be missing in your social media strategy.
6. When All Else Fails, Make a Kick-Ass Image or Visual
For industry topics that have been discussed from here to infinity — but you still feel like you need to talk about it on your blog — go bold and bedazzle them.[bctt tweet=”A surefire way to breathe new life into a stale idea is to create an original graphic or visual.”]
Blog posts with interesting images have been proven to be shared more often than those without, and there are plenty of free services like Canva and Easel.ly that allow you to create designs in no time at all.
An image could be the content feature that sets your article apart from the competition, and they have the added benefit of being a great link-building opportunity.
Get Creative With Your Content
While it may seem like everything important to your customers has already been blogged to death, the key to awesome content doesn’t necessarily lie in originality, but in how much detail and innovative thought you put into your blog posts, website copy and social media updates.[bctt tweet=”Use these 6 tips and tools to find relevant topics for your blog.”]
And once you’ve done that, tap into your own creativity and determination to offer your audience the best blog post possible.
What super sneaky tricks have you used to re-vamp your blog? If you’re willing to share, show us some love in the comments section below!
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Clair Jones is a journalist, online marketer and small business specialist who loves to write about social media strategy and digital branding. Check out her work at BusinessBee.com and Next Avenue.
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