Taking the time to think about your content, I mean really think, may seem like a luxury. But if you want content that resonates with your target audience and rises to the top of search engine results, you must carefully plan and research each topic.
But, this doesn’t mean you’re doomed to spend hours searching and bookmarking. There are a ton of content research tools that help make the job easier and I have captured a few of my favorites below to help get you started.
Content Research Tools
These tools are organized into the research tasks they support, but many of them are useful for other types of projects as well. For instance, SEO experts use some of the keyword research tools to monitor their websites and spy on the competition. If you’re curious, take a few extra minutes to explore each tool’s extended capabilities.
Every piece of content should target a unique keyword, but before you get too far it helps to know what you’re up against. When researching keywords, pay attention to the volume of searches, who is ranking for each term and any related keywords these tools suggest. If a keyword is highly competitive and your website is brand new, it might be more sensible to go after less competitive terms until you are more established.
Each of these tools works differently and some require a subscription. While a subscription may eventually make sense, you can typically run at least a few searches for free and sometimes that’s all you need.
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Tool
- Answer The Public
Topic Research, Inspiration & Curation:
When researching a new piece of content, I typically explore what already exists so I can decide on an approach that will add something unique to the conversation. The tools in this section all help with this task. Check them out to see if one (or all of them) is right for you.
- BuzzSumo – This is an amazing tool that allows you to see which articles have performed the best for a specific topic (based on social shares).
- Google Autofill – This is more of a trick than a tool. Simply start typing your topic into Google and pay attention to the autofill terms provided in the search box and the related searches listed at the bottom of the results page. This is a great way to see how people phrase their searches and can help you fine tune your approach to your topic.
- Google Trends – Submit your topic to this tool to see how it has performed over time and to make the most of seasonal trends.
- Feedly – Do you learn from your peers? I sure do. This tool lets you capture articles from your favorite blogs in one place for daily inspiration.
- Pocket – Once you find articles or other types of content that you like, save and categorize them in Pocket. This is super useful when you’re looking for a statistic or quote to use.
Topic Idea Generators:
These tools are great when you know what you need to write about, but are struggling to find an approach. If you submit your topic(s) to one of these idea generators they will provide you with a list of possible titles. Sometimes this is exactly what you need to get your creative energy flowing again.
Have you ever heard the phrase “insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over-again, but expecting different results?” Don’t do that with your content. Work to improve it by digging in and doing your research.
There is an amazing world of content marketing tools that can help you with all types of content marketing tasks. Check them all out so you can refine your craft and improve your performance.