Short on Blogging Ideas? Look at Your Analytics

Filed in Blogging, Featured by Matt McGee on April 27, 2011 5 Comments

analytics-targetOver the past few weeks, I’ve written about using Delicious.com and/or question-based keyword research tools for blog content ideas.

There’s a more obvious source of content inspiration right underneath your nose: Your web analytics program. And it might be the best source of ideas. Know why?

Because analytics gives you the clearest picture of what visitors are looking for when they come to your site.

There’s no other way, short of personally asking every visitor you get, to find out what people want from you. (And I sure as heck hope you have more than enough visitors to make asking them personally an impossible task.)

Example: Small Business Search Marketing Analytics

Here’s a screenshot showing some of the top keywords sending traffic to this blog over some period of time in the past.

analytics

When I look at that list, I see opportunities:

1.) I almost never write about “youtube marketing,” yet two of those queries are about that topic. More than four years ago, I wrote a short blog post — YouTube Marketing Tips — that was mostly just a recap of Stephan Spencer’s much better article on the subject.

Imagine what I might be able to do if I wrote a current and more complete article about that!

2.) Even further in the past, I wrote a blog post called The Best “About Us” Page I’ve Ever Seen. I don’t think I’ve written on the topic since then. But two of the queries on that list relate to that topic and blog post.

Again, imagine the possibilities if I spent time writing something new and more substantial on that topic.

But Wait, There’s More!

I hear some of you thinking to yourself, If you’re getting traffic for these terms already, why bother writing more about them?

My answer: You can always do better and attempt to get more traffic from terms that are already bringing visitors. In the two examples above, I wasn’t even trying to get traffic for those terms. My blog is now much older, has more authority, and I’m more active in social media — all of that means more opportunity to promote new content that attracts even more visitors.

Yes, you can and should be blogging with an eye toward going after new terms/queries that aren’t bringing you traffic. But you should also be looking at your analytics to find opportunities where you can improve on what you’ve done before and increase readership that way.

Analytics is a great way to learn about topics that readers are interested in … but that you maybe haven’t pursued strongly enough. (Like my YouTube and About Us examples above.)

There’ll be a couple more posts in this occasional series about blog content ideas, so please stay tuned for them.

(stock image courtesy of Shutterstock.com, used with permission)

Comments (5)

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  1. Jason says:

    Both delicious and your own analytics are great tools for inspiration. While I’ve used them before, I often find myself doing it the hard way and just coming up with ideas from my noggin’. It’s something I just need to move on from if I want to make my life easier.

  2. Thanks for the insight into your business Matt.

    I stumbled onto your blog through Google, and I look forward to learning more from you. :)

  3. Great idea! I just checked through my analytic and found some great search phrases to blog about. I also found a lot of strange search terms, some of them are a bit freaky… it’s weird what some people search. Thanks for the post.

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