This guest post is by Neil Patel of Quick Sprout.
Anybody can be a content marketer … but not everyone can be a good or even great content marketer who creates articles that convert and rank high in the search engines on a consistent basis.
Over time experience will teach you how to do this, but you also need the right tools.
You need tools that will help you spot the hot topics at that very moment, generate list upon list of high-converting long-tail keywords, automate some of your processes, and even show you the best places to publish your content.
In the last several months four very cool tools have come onto the scene that will help you do just that. Eric showed us one of them—the Content Strategy Generator Tool—earlier today, but I wanted to show you three others that are definitely worth experimenting with.
IFTTT: Automate your content curation tasks
Your first experience of IFTTT may seem a bit like a head-scratcher. That’s why IFTTT has given you some very specific “recipes” to add.
What exactly is a “recipe”?
That’s just a set of commands to perform an action when certain conditions are met. That’s what the acronoym means: If This, Then That.
How can this tool help you create compelling, high-converting content? It will basically automate tasks that you normally do.
For example, Evernote is the ultimate tool bloggers use to save ideas we come across on the web. Even though the steps to save that content to Evernote are pretty simple, wouldn’t it be nice to accomplish two tasks in one—and even eliminate some steps in the process?
Standford Smith recently shared his favorite IFTTT recipes that make content curation painless:
- Save a starred item in Google Reader to Evernote.
- Save a specific keyword in an RSS to Evernote.
- When you favorite a tweet, save to Evernote.
- Save tweets by specific users to Evernote.
- Add specific keywords that appear in your Twitter stream to Evernote.
- Add “Watch Later” video to Evernote.
- Add posts in Google Reader to a specific Evernote notebook.
When curation tasks like these are automated for you, you can concentrate on creating better content that will convert more readers and rank higher.
Übersuggest: the keyword search tool on steroids
If you want a keyword search tool that will help you build a highly relevant and targeted list of long-tail keywords, then you need Übersuggest.
It combines Google Suggest with other services, and it’s simple to use. Just write a keyword in the box, choose a language, and get suggestions.
You can break these down into just normal web searches, or you can look for terms in verticals like video, shopping, and news. If you click on one of the keywords it then delivers even more suggestions:
There are literally thousands of content ideas you could get from these real user queries.
Click the plus sign and this will put the keywords in a bucket:
After you’ve selected a few more keywords, you can then click “Get” and then copy and paste these keywords:
If you want to take this idea a step further, throw out all those keywords that won’t work for you. Those remaining drop into Google’s keyword suggestion tool.
From that list you can grab the hottest trending keywords and create some high-converting content that also ranks well.
Google Insights: 4 ways to boost your content conversion rates
In its most basic use, Google Insights for Search is great for seeing what people are searching for using broad terms, or narrow ones.
But as a content marketer, you are looking to use Google Insights to help you create highly-targeted content that will boost your conversion rates.
Google Insights offers four ways to do that, using its filters. The first filter we’ll look at is the Web Search.
The Web Search filter
Let’s say you’re a real estate agent in Seattle. You are looking to create some articles for your blog, but you are tired of talking about home prices and want some fresh and relevant topics to discuss.
To keep the content tight and focused on your market, you can filter the content to your region and restrict results to those from the last three months. Then, choose “real estate” as the category.
Note: Leave the “Search terms” box blank if you want to see what’s trending.
This is what you could see:
What you care about here are the Rising Searches and the Breakout search terms.
As you can see, when I did this search, the “Trayvon Martin case” was a hugely popular term in the real estate category. Perhaps you could create some fresh content around issues like the pros and cons of living in a gated community, or a guide to creating a voluntary Neighborhood Watch program. Both are highly-qualified topics that could rank high.
The Image Search filter
The next filter you can use to generate some high-converting content ideas is Image Search. This time you will enter some search terms.
Let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you want to see what’s trending among images. You choose “book covers,” “email newsletters,” and “desktop.”
Your results will show you that the email newsletter topic is flat-lining, but the desktop topic is flying high!
That means you need to roll up your sleeves and focus your content on a topic like desktop design. If I were you, I’d use the CSGT or Übersuggest to generate some very refined keywords that will attract that right people and convert well for you.
The News Search filter
The third filter to try is the News Search. This is another one that works really well if you leave the search terms box blank.
Imagine you are a blogger who covers technology, so you enter a search in the News. You make it a worldwide search in the last 90 days, and select Computers & Electronics.
Your results will look something like this for that time range:
Notice how Apple dominates the top six spots, but doesn’t hold place two and four? Those offer some interesting possibilities for content creation.
For example, “anonymous” refers to the hacktivist group Anonymous—you may want to cover their latest efforts. And the “galaxy s3” refers to the latest rumors about this smartphone. Perhaps you can follow that as a possible story idea.
Either way, these will be hot, trending topics that could help you land some heavy traffic!
The Product Search filter
The last filter we’ll look at is the Product Search filter. Anyone who sells anything can use this—and it doesn’t have to be a physical product. It could be an information product or even a service.
Say you have a blog from which you sell stock buying information in the form of email alerts, and you want to relate something back to one of your products.
Search “worldwide” and “finance” without putting anything in the “search terms”.
Here’s what you will get:
Because it was tax season when I ran this search, most of the searches were around the topics of taxes. But what is sr22? And why is it breaking out? Click on it and you get this report:
This is important, because the “sr22″ search term can refer to a number of things, including insurance, pistol, or an airplane.
These particular searches, however, are focused on finance, which should give us a clue that this topics is probably about insurance. The subcategory tells us that it is most definitely about insurance.
Click on “Insurance” and you’ll see that sr22 is a specific kind of auto insurance. Now you can create content around sr22 auto insurance, and then tie it back into one of your products, capturing the attention of—and hopefully some conversions from—highly-relevant traffic.
The blogger’s favorite tool/s
In the end, if you want to succeed as a content marketer, then you need to know what type of content is working, what topics are trending well and which keywords are relevant to your context. The tools above will help you find that out.
These tools as they are your key to creating content that not only ranks well but converts readers into subscribers or customers.
Are there any other new tools that I missed that will help a content market create better content? Share them in the comments.