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How to Find Your Reader’s Questions and Improve Your Blog

103 bees has added a very useful tool to their search terms analysis system.

Previously they enabled users to track what keywords people were using to arrive at your blog but now they’ve added questions analysis.

They’ve worked out a way to tell if a search term is a question or not. As they write on their blog ‘questions carry a lot more valuable information on what the target audience is looking for than just a few keywords do.’

So at ProBlogger when I check to see what the latest questions are I get this:

Questions-1

How useful is that? In effect just by analyzing these 11 questions that brought people to ProBlogger in the last 2 hours I could quite easily have found 11 new topics to write about in upcoming posts.

You’ll notice the ‘page’ link next to each result. This is a link to the page that the question led the reader to on your blog. This is useful to know as it will help you to analyze what you did well on that page in terms of SEO and might even give you some hints of how you might want to optimize that page to increase your SE ranking for such a question.

The ‘ToDo!’ link allows you to make a note of this question in a to do list so that you can follow up on it later.

The only thing I’d love to see added to this feature is some sort of a compilation of the list to see what questions are asked more than other questions. As you can see by the times on the above list – here at ProBlogger there are ALOT of questions that readers seem to be asking to find the blog – too many in fact to fully digest. To see a list of the top questions would be extremely helpful.

I guess until then I’ll need to put some time aside each week to scan through the latest ones and hope that they are representative.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Jon Symons says:

    That is a very cool idea. It will work very well for a site like yours that is getting lots of traffic.
    I use a keyword research tool to find questions that people are asking about my topic, then write posts to match the questions, just as you suggest. You can search for “generate article ideas” on my site [didn't want to spam Darren's site with a link] to see a screencast video.
    For the bloggers on my network I send them all a list of the questions being asked for their city, it really is great look into the minds of your audience.

  2. this is usefull, sometimes I’m at a loss to write something and wish that someone would ask a question. This seems to take care of that.

  3. ShoeMoney says:

    Very neat Darren. I have been trying to work in a Q&A from my blog. Thanks!

  4. Chris says:

    Darren, the compilation you’re missing is actually in the pipeline. A tool will be added that will let you identify the most popular question topics!

  5. Adnan says:

    That is very cool actually. I havn’t got round to checking out 103bees.com but maybe its time to give them a go.

  6. Alex Becker says:

    yea this is a good source of content.

  7. Andy Beard says:

    If they have found you with those questions in the SERPs, it is most likely you have already answered that question to some extent. Good to know, but maybe what you really need is a special contact form that people can send you questions through, with no specific requirement to an email response.

    This would be like the AskDatabase, and many marketers use this process to gather material for ebooks.

    It is one thing I do intend to add to my own blog

  8. David Krug says:

    Darren,
    This is something similar to what I”m doing over at 901am, with our Ask 901am section. It’s all data I’m mining from search results on a couple of blog related sites.

    :)

  9. Very cool to see. I like to see what keywords bring people to my site and am always surprised by a few. I love the question idea….

  10. Good Find! Although, I don’t think I’ll get as many results in 2 days as you did in 2 hours .. I’ve installed it on my 3 highest traffic blogs, to check it out. Could be interesting!

  11. MM says:

    What is “googe” adsense?

  12. That does look pretty sweet. Making search referral log trawling easier.

    I think with a bit of tinkering you could get a similar system out of Awstats? Would need a few additions to the core scripts though, so probably easier to use something like 103bees

    Matt

  13. twins15 says:

    Thanks for the link… definitely a nice resource!

  14. Hi Darren,

    That’s a very useful application for sites like yours where ppl want to know things. But if you have stuff online that people still look for but don’t exactly search using questions… say review of a new album.. or college admissions.. which other analytics do you think is useful ? Google analytics or Feedburner analytics or 103bees ?????

    Thank you….

  15. Markus Merz says:

    @Dude: Check out all he other 103bees features. There are loads of deeper SE traffic analysis possibilities around the main areas top landing pages, phrases, keywords, and questions. It would be hard to start describing all possibilities here.

  16. Rob Lewis says:

    Another similar tactic that you can use is to track what searches are being made on your own site – I use the search meter plugin: http://www.thunderguy.com/semicolon/wordpress/search-meter-wordpress-plugin/ which shows what people are searching for on my site, and how many pages they found using their term.

    If the same term comes up regularly but there are no results on my site, then I can fill that gap.

    Rob.

  17. Kate says:

    Hi! I’m the one who searched for “blog ads how much” (just so you know, I had quotes around the “how much” which pushed your site up toward the top of google’s results).

    I spent hours reading your site that day, and now (several days later) I’m back. I hope to start my own blog someday, and although my primary motivation is the love of writing and sharing ideas, it wouldn’t hurt to make a few bucks either. Thanks for all the helpful tips!

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Brief says:

    [...] ProBlogger explains how to find questions your visitors have with 103 Bees. It will really work when you have a considerable amount of organic search traffic. [...]

  2. [...] Op zich is dit geen wereldschokkend inzicht. Toch verbaast het me telkens weer hoe dikwijls in websitestatistieken zoektermen opduiken die als vraag geformuleerd zijn. Zozeer zelfs dat er al tools opduiken die je vertellen met welke vragen je bezoekers zitten. Maar de vraag waar het bij zoekmachines toch vooral om draait is: welke woorden zullen er voorkomen in een tekst die de gezochte informatie bevat? Met dat in het achterhoofd vind je waarschijnlijk sneller en meer dan door een vraag letterlijk te formuleren. [...]

  3. [...] Several weeks ago, Darren Rowse posted about 103bees which is an interesting service that logs the questions people ask the Googles and Yahoos of the world that result in visitors to your site. Intrigued, I installed the tiny bit of javascript on my blog and have occasionally checked in on it. It’s interesting, though. I could write whole posts providing answers to the questions that land people right here on Technosailor. [...]

  4. [...] update – thanks to Brody for reminding me of a technique to help you find questions to answer – check your blog’s search engine referral statistics to see what keywords people are using to find your blog. You’ll find that many times it is questions that bring them in – and that they’re questions that are ready made topics to write about. I’ve written about how I do this using the 103bees metrics tool previously. [...]