Using Google Insights for Search to Fight Blogger's Block
If you write blog content with any consistency, you've stared at a blank page anxiously as time winds down on a deadline. But one of the great things about being a blogger is the wealth of keyword tools available online. Rather than being left to your own brainstorming devices, you can use any of a number of tools to come up with great blog ideas. One such tool with a lot of great features for blog ideation is Google Insights for Search.
Getting Started: Using Google Insights for Search Terms & Filters
We'll start at the beginning and look at some different ways to seed our search for great blog ideas. We have some great options at our disposal for filtering the types of insights we get from the tool right out of the gate.
If we're running a local blog we can use time range in the compare by column and a location filter to get the top things people in Massachusetts are searching for in the last seven days:
Obviously it would be inappropriate and unethical to try to drum up a blog post about the situation in Egypt to drive traffic at the expense of human suffering, but what about the other items on the list? Something about the SAG awards, Groundhog Day, or tax season might speak to our audience pretty well.
Alternatively, we can use specific search terms. In the case of WordStream we might want to drill down to find some more information worldwide about AdWords:
You can use multiple terms to start your search to get some ideas around keyword trends but often starting with your core concept can be the most valuable tactic. You also want to try to go as broad in your concept as possible -- we'll focus on AdWords here rather than AdWords tools or AdWords updates or any such topic because you often run into some data scarcity, and after all we're just looking for a good blog topic for our audience, so AdWords is plenty differentiated.
Using the Trending & Regional Data in Google's Insights for Search Tool
A few potential blog idea starters can be found with the next two sections offered by the tool:
The news stories are somewhat inexplicably significantly worse and consistently out of date when compared to Google News (they're probably trying to highlight search trending topics but fail pretty consistently -- if you've ever done a Google News search for AdWords you'll see that the "as good as a Google News search for AdWords" bar isn't an impossibly high one).
The really interesting opportunity here is to create content around regional and temporal trends for our topic. We could write a blog post about regional interest in the AdWords platform (I was surprised to see India at the top of this list, for instance, and call me ethnocentric but I expected to see the US higher up on the list). We could also write a blog post about the lexicon in our niche, talking about the relative search volume for AdWords over time, and possibly comparing it to other terms. (NOTE: Don't be surprised to see any of these ideas as blog posts from me in the next few weeks.)
Getting Some Actual Keyword Ideas: Using Rising Searches for Blog Ideas
If you're already at a point where you're looking for some new blog ideas, you're probably not going to find a lot of new-idea value in the top searches half of this next section. But if you look at the rising keywords and play around with the date range filter some (often seven days gets no data and the data from the last four years is somewhat predictable) you can unearth some interesting post ideas:
Here we're looking at the last 12 months, since some of the other date frames offered less interesting blog topics, but we have some potentially good ones in this rising searches data:
- Google Places - We could intersect Google Places and AdWords in a blog post
- Google AdWords Certification - We could offers some resources, tips and tricks for meeting qualifications surrounding the new AdWords certification.
- YouTube AdWords - We could create a quick post or a really comprehensive guide around AdWords ads on YouTube.
The things that are particularly interesting about these opportunities are that they're relevant, they don't have the same competition and redundancy of the top searches and the standard list of keyword suggestions might offer, and they're trending, meaning you can get a half step ahead of your competition and target a bit of a market inefficiency.