There Are No Stupid Questions …

January 20, 2017

In a post called "What's Up, Internet," writer Amelia Gray answers some of the questions that Googlers have found her blog by asking:

how long does it take to get a warrant

I think you can get one in an afternoon, if you are a police officer and you can find a judge to give you one. (It will take more time if you’re just some guy.)

what sort of rocks are there?

All kinds. Some rocks are very hard and others are so soft you can scratch them with your fingernail. Sometimes rocks float. Once I had a dream I was explaining a quartz rock to my child.

Amelia may be doing this for laughs, but she still got a good post out of it, right? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Your keywords are content idea generators.

If you're already ranking for questions like "What's the worst high five ever," think how much better you'll rank better for those same questions if you a) include the question in the text, or better yet the title, and b) actually answer it.

Here's how to use those search queries to generate content ideas:

  1. Find the keyword referrers in your Web analytics application. In Google Analytics, go to Traffic Sources → Keywords.
  2. You can search specifically for questions by filtering for question words like "what," "why," "how" and so on.
  3. Make a list of any queries that you don't already cover extensively and might make interesting content, ranked in order of popularity.
  4. Group related queries together (for example, in Amelia's case, questions about Rob Lowe).

Now you can consult your list of search query questions whenever you need ideas for Web or blog content.

Filtering for "how to" and "what is" questions alone, our own analytics contain thousands of question keywords representing well over 10,000 visits, such as:

  • how to create meta tags
  • how to do keyword research
  • how to create a landing page
  • what is outbound marketing
  • what is phrase match

Amazingly, even the queries that only drove one visit are generally relevant to our site and the search marketing space.

On my own blog, the questions in my keyword reports tend to be a little more random:

  • how to ask for a happy ending
  • is facebook a cult?
  • how do you say i had a good weekend in French [surprisingly popular]
  • how much does erin from americas next top model weigh
  • how much does heather kuzmich weigh
  • who got kicked off project runway
  • who hates who on project runway
  • "how to read" "tips" [love this one]
  • what can you do with an mfa
  • did i pick the wrong mfa program?
  • are private schools unethical
  • can amber tamblyn really sing?
  • did you bring the money? in french
  • how do u write anything in french
  • how to insult a pseudo intellectual
  • is it difficult to publish poems?
  • what body suits a shaved head
  • what kind of poetry white people like

Who said there are no stupid questions? Not Google.

Have a good weekend!

Photo credit: jaygooby

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.

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