7 Proven Ways to Come Up with Content Ideas for Your SEO Program

SEO professional brainstorming content ideas for an SEO program.
Expert, shareable content is the backbone of your SEO program. But coming up with topics can be intimidating if you don’t have the proper guidance. Here, I’ll outline seven ways you can keep your SEO editorial calendar filled with useful content:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Personas
  3. Old content
  4. Company initiatives
  5. Industry news and updates
  6. Repurposed content
  7. Subject matter experts

1. Keyword Research

One of the most obvious places to start is your keyword research. Your keyword research should drive endless new webpages on your website.

Keyword research helps you identify the things that your target audience is looking for. It helps you understand your customer journey, so you can create content to support them at every step.

Not only that, but as you research keywords, you get a sense of the type of content that is ranking for those keywords. That tells you what search engines like Google believe is quality and what types of things other websites are saying about the topic.

To learn more, read: What Are Keywords?

2. Personas / Audience

Persona research and development can help you create content that is specific to the challenges that your various audience members face. Brainstorm a list of topics that each persona would be interested in, then optimize that content with any of your target keywords.

To learn more, read: 3 Steps to Define Your Target Audience for Your SEO Program

3. Old Content

At one point or another, you’ve probably heard someone say you need evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that can stand the test of time. For many topics, it is hard to trust content that is several years old, but that might be the content that is ranking for your site.

This is true for any content but especially important for what Google calls “your money or your life” topics. These are topics that can impact a person’s health, financial stability or some other important aspect of their life.

I’ve written in the past about how to do a content review, and that advice still stands:

  1. Start by reviewing the top-ranked pages. These are pages that rank in the very top results on Page 1 and drive the most traffic.
  2. Next, identify the rest of the pages ranking on the first page in Google’s search results, and driving good traffic.
  3. Identify the pages that are ranking on Page 2 and beyond that have the potential to rank better.
  4. Finally, find those pages that are not ranking well nor driving traffic, and are irrelevant or low quality.

For each of these categories, you’ll want to consider:

  • How to handle the content: Will it be a rewrite? How will you handle duplicate content? Will you combine like-topics into one in-depth article? Will you get rid of some content altogether?
  • How to optimize the content: For the pages that you want to give a boost, make sure they are optimized with the basics.

To learn more, read:

4. Company Initiatives

There will always be company news, a product or service announcement, or a new section of content that needs to be added to the site based on an initiative. Save space on your SEO editorial calendar for these types of announcements and webpages.

Target an 80/20 mix here, where 20% of the content you create is company focused and 80% is educational or useful in some other way. This helps ensure you are not inundating people with sales pitches.

5. Industry News and Updates

Your industry will likely have news, trends, reports or something else interesting to report on from time to time. Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your sector, and plan to write about attention-grabbing headlines.

6. Repurposed Content

There’s so much potential in a single piece of content. So make sure you are looking at the entire library of resources your company is creating, and think about how you can repurpose that for your SEO program. Videos, webinars, training materials, ebooks and much more can be repurposed into web content.

To learn how, read: What’s the Best Way to Revive Dead Content and Get New ROI?

7. Subject Matter Experts

There are a lot of people in your company who know a lot about what they do. Take the time to get to know the subject matter experts and what topics they might be able to come up with.
In particular, we always suggest talking with your customer support staff or reviewing support tickets to get ideas for content that will answer real questions. As a bonus, you can talk about common pain points and issues in your customers’ own words.

Among your in-house experts, some people like to be guest contributors on the company blog, while others can just give you really great ideas to write about.

More Tips

As you are creating content for your SEO program, here are some tips:

  • Always strive for quality. Google and your website visitors are scrutinizing the quality of your content. Make sure that every webpage is something to be proud of. Read: What Makes a Webpage Quality?
  • Always have a tech or editorial review. To further enhance the quality of a webpage, make sure you have a dedicated editor. In some cases (like technical topics or YMYL webpages), you’ll need a technical/expert review as well.
  • Always optimize your content. Having great content is the first step, and optimizing it comes next. Read: The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist
  • Use tools to track your SEO calendar. A simple shared spreadsheet works great to track the topics you want to write about, what’s in the queue, what’s published and more.

With a little creativity in how you go about it, it’s easy to find inspiration for content. Use the seven steps outlined in this article to get your SEO content plan going.

We develop content for many of our SEO clients. For information on our content services or help with your SEO projects, contact us today for a free quote.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the BruceClay.com website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (6)
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Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO Content posts is better than the last!

6 Replies to “7 Proven Ways to Come Up with Content Ideas for Your SEO Program”

Very useful tips for content ideas. Keep sharing

Testboymail

I really like this post…. Well done.

This is a fantastic article. Each year, I’ve always struggled to come up with new content ideas. I found the exact information that I was looking for. Thank you for providing this information.

These are the great ideas!!

Some great tips here Bruce another good one is forums and Q&A style sites often good topics there as well.

A great article, I’ve always struggled with coming up with ideas for new content each year. Recycling articles with the Evergreen method is logical option where you’re not starting from scratch each time. Industry news and updates is also a good one, you can keep it simple and get more posts out quicker. You don’t always need massive blog posts, a good mix of both sometimes works.

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