How to Research Topics for SEO Campaigns
An experienced SEO agency will start every campaign with thorough topic research. Selecting the best topic to rank for will improve your site authority and secure your reputation in your industry.
This guide will help you look for great topics to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) by focusing on:
- Using Google for general suggestions
- Checking people looking for your products or services
- Taking note of search intent
- Coming up with a topic cluster
Are you ready to find engaging topics to optimize your campaign?
Want to learn more about the Digital Authority Partners approach to SEO? Watch this video!
1. Use Google to Find General Topic Suggestions
Your site can only rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) if you create content that people actually look for. So, take a good look at the suggestions from Google first. Why Google? Because it is the most popular search engine, taking up over 80% of total desktop search traffic.
Say you want to create content about “cat food.” Type this keyword in Google’s search bar. You will notice that as you type, Google shows you a list of raw suggestions based on what users are actively searching for. In this case, you will get "cat food brands," "cat food for kittens," and "cat food dispenser," among many others.
Click on any of the suggested key phrases and examine the pages that the SERPs show you. If you selected "cat food brands," explore the contents of every page.
Then try looking at the SERPs for the other suggestions, for instance, "cat food for kittens." Look for overlaps or pages that appeared in the SERPs for the keywords you have thus far selected. You will notice that there is an overlap of results for "cat food brands" and "cat food for kittens." Meanwhile, "cat food dispenser" is a unique topic. This is the keyword you want.
As you explore the suggested key phrases:
- Gather five SERP results from the unique topic. List the headlines of these top results and rewrite them. Repeat this for other topics.
- Check People Also Ask (PAA). This is a rich snippet that you see below the first entry on the SERP. For "cat food," you will get "What food is best for cats?" and "What are the top 5 healthiest cat foods?" for instance. Run a search with these questions and again, gather the top five results.
- Get more suggestions from Related Searches. This is at the bottom part of the SERP. Click “see more” to get more topic ideas. Just as you did with the PAA, run a search with the key phrases you find and gather the top five.
2. Check for People Looking for Your Products or Services
Keep looking for interesting SEO blog topic ideas by focusing on people who are already interested in your product or service. Let us use “cat food” again as an example.
Assuming you have an e-commerce site that sells this product, use Google or a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest. Type your keyword and add "for" to tell you who uses your products or services.
For "cat food," you will get new topics like "cat food for pregnant cats" and "cat food for urinary health." Gather as many new keywords as you can, and:
- Check every keyword and find overlaps. Look for common URL results and locate unique results. Add these to your new topic list.
- Get deeper into who is interacting with your products or services. Consider who could be looking for your products or services. For example, cat food is a search topic for new cat owners, people looking for healthy cat food, or people with a senior cat. Run a search like “cat food for new cat owners” and again, gather at least five results.
- Discover the "whys" of your products or services. Expand your main topic to consider different angles, such as why people search for your keyword. From our example, two reasons might be related to weight ("using cat food to improve pet cat weight") or health ("using cat food to boost senior cat health.")
3. Focus on Search Intent
The search intent for a keyword could be informational, transactional, commercial, or navigational. Identify and understand the intent behind a keyword search to create relevant content. Let us apply this to our cat food example.
Informational search intent for cat food could mean the searcher wants to discover ingredients for how to make homemade cat food. Transactional search intent could be to find where to buy cat food or the different types of cat food in the market.
For commercial search intent, the searcher could be looking for brands and prices of cat food. Finally, for navigational purposes, users may want to check out a specific website related to the keyword, such as Whiskas® or Friskies® for cat food.
When you try to run a search with a keyword, what the SERP shows you tells you the intent, so
- Getting condensed information like knowledge grabs, related questions, and featured snippets indicates the results are for informational intent.
- Finding featured snippets with paid results above the SERP indicates commercial or preferential search intent.
- Having paid results and shopping results like shopping carousels, customer reviews, and paid results indicates the intent is transactional. When you check organic results, these are from physical stores, which may have maps to guide shoppers.
- Getting branded websites means users already know the website they want to visit; they just need to navigate to the right site, which is usually the topmost result on SERPs. Typically, the SERPs include the site's log-in page or homepage.
4. Create Your Topic Cluster
You should now have a long list of SEO campaign topics if you followed the previous steps. But even if you have one main keyword, topic-based SEO is about creating a complete picture of a subject. Making a topic cluster should be part of your research because dominating SERPs requires consistently optimizing content.
Start by distinguishing topic-based SEO from SEO marketing strategies. Topic-based SEO strategies include optimizing and grouping related and interlinked content to make good topics or better coverage that helps both users and search engines.
Meanwhile, SEO marketing strategies help websites rank higher in the SERPs. There are five crucial SEO strategies: keyword research, content marketing, on-page SEO, link building, and SEO outsourcing. Topic-based SEO prepares a website with optimized topics essential for keyword research and content marketing.
As part of your advanced SEO strategies, create topic clusters by
- Finding five user core problems. Conduct surveys, interviews, and research forums to gather relevant data. Group problems into broader topics.
- Creating subtopics from broad topics. Perform keyword research to find relevant subtopics. Map out ideas for creating content for every core topic.
- Validating your ideas. Use competition and industry research to understand concepts better.
Research topics to boost your SEO campaign by using Google, understanding people looking at your business, and focusing on search intent. With all these steps considered, you can finally create your topic cluster and improve your site architecture, which optimizes your website for search.
Find out more about topic research to improve your SEO campaign. Contact Digital Authority Partners today.
Want to meet with our team?
Book a meeting directly here