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How do I… come up with a good article idea?

Discussing search engine traffic with a client recently, we agreed that it should be a priority for them to write more content for their website. The next question I heard was: “But what should we write about?” It’s the fundamental question, of course. The obvious thing is to grab a list of the most important ‘keywords’ for their area of technology, and write about each. But ‘keywords’ is a misleading term, because it suggests individual words, such as ‘widgets’. The chances of dramatically barging your way to the top of the search results for a single word search are becoming vanishingly remote.

And is it even worth the substantial effort required? Most searches for generic product classes are not from buyers, as every search advertiser knows. Can we find searches which are easier wins, but which signify buying intent too? These would probably be several words long, which is why the term ‘keywords’ is a bit misleading.

Adding ‘suppliers UK’ or something like that on to the generic product class is a good start, as that’s a term which a buyer might use. But it’s not really a good title for a great background article, more of a good AdWords keyword.

My suggestion was to come up with a series of “How do I…?” questions which buyers might be asking. People do love asking Google questions. Once you sit down with product managers and brainstorm the issue, it’s surprising how many excellent potential article titles come out.

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