Struggling to find fresh content to add to your store to help boost SEO? Then it’s time to start blogging.
Blogs are a great way to target different keywords and topics that are relevant to your products and niche, without running the risk of keyword stuffing other pages of your store. You can showcase your knowledge, attract new customers, and improve your chances of discovery in SERPs. After all, businesses that publish regular blog content see as much as 55% more traffic than those that don’t.
However, that's easier said than done, right? It’s easy to say you’ll write more blogs, but finding topics week to week can be difficult. Let’s go through some of our top tips for how to find blog topics that will improve your SEO and engage your target audience.
#1 - Take your target keywords and product niche, and create topic clusters
The best place to start finding blog topics is with the keywords and knowledge you already have. You take those keywords along with your product niche, and essentially branch them out to create a “cluster” of related phrases and topics. You’ll focus then not just on the keyword, but on the topics related to them.
Let’s illustrate with an example. Say you sell coffee beans and equipment, so you’re targeting keywords like “home barista equipment”. What you’ll do is take that term, and think about the different topics related to it. It might be “Equipment needed to brew good coffee at home”, or “Brewing coffee using a cafetiere”, or “Caring for home barista equipment”.
By combining keywords with your product niche, you’ll find a lot more topics for your blog that really target the kind of articles search users may be interested in. Stick to around 10 or so that will act as your “pillar” topics, rather than writing articles around every single keyword or product related term you can think of. This will give your blog a clear focus, which will be better overall for its SEO performance as search engines will be able to understand what your expertise are.
#2 - Consider questions your customers may have about your product or niche
One of the easiest ways to identify blog topics is just to answer questions. You know your product and niche like the back of your hand, but search users and potential customers don’t. You can be there to act as an authoritative source of information, which also happens to be a great store to buy from.
First, consider your best-selling product - what kind of questions might a customer have about it? It may be around the materials or production method, or about how to use or care for the product, or it could even be ideas or recipes. For example if you sell pizza ovens, then it might be “How do I clean my home pizza oven?” or “What’s the best dough recipe for homemade pizza?”.
After you’ve got a list of questions about your best-selling product, look at the other products you sell and questions customers may have about these. Go through the same process for your product niche, and the industry your business operates in.
If you’re unsure of some of the questions search users may have, start by looking at the questions your team sees most frequently through customer support and social media. These can give you a good starting point with real questions you’ve already been asked. To use our previous example, that may lead you to articles covering the answers to questions like “How do I clean my pizza oven properly?”. You can also type different keywords and search terms into Google, and see what other users typically ask about those topics under “People Also Ask”.
#3 - Create content for different stages of the customer journey
Customer journey mapping is a great way to understand your customer experience and performance. It’s also a valuable tool for planning and creating content for your blog. By looking at what customers need at each stage of their journey, you can write blog articles that target them at those different stages.
At an early stage in the journey, the customer is likely looking for more information on your product niche, as they might have little existing knowledge. You may want to then create articles that focus on product basics and benefits. If for example you sell hand-poured candles, then you may look at articles that talk about different scents or why the material you use is better for the customer e.g. “What does lavender smell like?” or “Why soy wax is better than paraffin”. The kind of content someone later in the customer journey looks for will be slightly different, so consider the kind of topics they’re interested in or questions they’ll have. For example they may be looking for buying guides, e.g. “Best candles for someone who is sensitive to smells”.
You can even create content that targets the customer post-purchase. That may be care or use instructions, recipes, or how-to guides. They’ll add value for existing customers, and have the potential to come up in search results for users who maybe have a product similar to yours but need extra advice. They’ll then discover your brand, meaning they may be more likely to seek out your store for their next purchase.
You should also think of this as targeting different types of search intent. Whether it’s informational or commercial research, the intent will match up with whichever stage the search user is at in their journey as a potential customer. This can give you further focus for your article, making it more likely to rank.
#4 - Look at your competitors, and improve on their content
You analyze competitors for products and experience, so why not look to their blogs also for insight? Your competitors will be targeting similar audiences with comparable products and content, so by looking at what they’re publishing to their blog you can understand who they’re targeting, and the content they’re using to do so. You can then take analyze that content, and improve upon it.
To analyze your competitors’ blog content, you’re going to separate them into two categories. The first is your direct competitors for products/services. The second is SEO competitors, in other words those sites who appear in SERPs for terms you want to target.
Analyzing your direct competitors, you can glean from their content which keywords and audiences they’re targeting. You’ll also be able to see tags and categories, showing you their focus for blog content. This will give you a list of keywords and topics you could cover, and by adding more valuable content you can become the better resource. You’ll also be able to spot any potential content gaps you can capitalize on.
As for your SEO competitors, you start by inputting long tail keywords and terms you want to target, and look at which articles and sites are top ranking in results. This shows you the kind of content that users are looking for, and that which Google has determined to be the most relevant and useful. By then going through the content, you can determine what more you could do with these topics and keywords to improve upon the content and rank higher. Would it be more visual aids in the form of images or videos in a how-to blog? Or perhaps you would be able to expand upon a specific topic in greater depth?
#5 - Create gift guides year-round
The closer we get to the end-of-year holiday season, the more gift guides you start to see spring up online. Businesses want to attract those lucrative gift buying customers, so giving them that extra bit of advice and showcasing their products is a big opportunity. However, the opportunity extends well beyond Christmas. Gift guides are an easy and effective way to boost your blog and store’s SEO, by providing search users with useful content that targets intent. They need gift ideas, and you’re ready with the best no matter what time of year it is.
Here are some easy ways to get started with planning gift guides:
Plan around other gifting holidays
While December typically sees a lot of focussed gift buying, there are lots of other gifting holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so on. Consider the holidays for which your products are suitable, and create gift guides that target those. E.g. “Best coffee gifts for Father’s Day”.
Look at other gifting occasions
Birthdays, anniversaries, a new baby, a new job - there are so many reasons why someone might buy a gift throughout the year. This seriously expands the topics you can look at for gift guides, e.g. “10 gift ideas for mom’s birthday” or “Unique housewarming gift ideas”.
Write guides that target types of gift recipient
The customers who buy gifts are usually buying for someone who would be your target customer. Therefore, you should write guides for those customers buying for your audience. Let’s say you sell
Create guides that can be used year-round, even if they’re published around a holiday
By this we mean, if you’re writing guides for Valentine’s Day then consider having at least one article which doesn’t specifically mention Valentine’s Day but more the themes of it. For example, “Romantic gift ideas for husbands”. These guides will be relevant year round, meaning they’ll be more likely to rank even if you published them around a holiday.
Maintaining a blog packed with focussed, useful, and relevant content is a great way to improve your store’s SEO. Potential customers may discover your store through a how-to guide, or perhaps choose your products over a competitor’s after reading an insightful article answering questions they had about your niche. Keeping a consistent flow of content can be tricky, however in using some of the above tips you’ll be able to create a content calendar that boosts your search ranking and brings in customers.