If your company has a blog, you might be wondering how to research blog topics. Blog strategy is an essential element of the blogging process, and without this piece of the puzzle you may experience less than desirable results. Many business owners come to us asking how to research blog topics for lead generation, and the good news is that there are several hassle-free ways to work on your blog planning.
After brainstorming topic ideas for clients over the last 10 years, these are my go-to approaches on how to research blog topics for business.
But first, let’s define what a lead actually means when it comes to blogging.
What Does Lead Generation Mean for Blogging?
If you have a service-based business, you’re likely always on the lookout for leads. Leads are the lifeline of your business and you depend on them to survive.
However, blogging can produce different types of leads. Some examples include:
- A direct call or contact from the blog itself
- Filling out a form to subscribe to an email list
- Signing up for a free course or webinar
- Hosting giveaway signups
- Lead magnet download
- And much more
Defining what you qualify as a lead is important as you research blog topics. While blogging certainly helps with lead generation, what it really excels in doing is attracting potential leads to your website.
While the lead might not happen instantaneously to visiting the blog, the content brings awareness about your company and pulls them through to the next step of the lead generation process.
Keep in mind that subscribing to an email list or signing up for a lead magnet can help keep your pipeline full.
Pinpoint Your Audience First
Here’s the hard truth: you can’t research blog topics until you know your audience. If you don’t know your audience, then you’re going to end up guessing what they want to read, which is a major blogging no-no. You need to know your audience before you write a single blog post, let alone decide on a topic.
When you’re writing blog posts, you need to know the language and vocabulary that your target audience uses. This is the only way to make lead generation work when it comes to blog writing.
You need to know the questions they are asking and the answers you must provide. You also need to know what kind of images, videos, and links they find engaging.
You probably didn’t expect to put in audience research work before brainstorming blog topics. But it’s necessary to get your blog planning going in the right direction.
How to Research Blog Topics for Business: Audience Insight Tips
- Envision your ideal customer. This can be a customer that you know in real life, or it can be someone you don’t personally know. Giving them a name can also bring clarity to the planning process.
- Create a list of pain points. What problems keep your customers awake at night? Understanding these pain points is critical to getting your blog topics on target.
- If you aren’t sure of the pain points, the most accurate way to source this information is to ask existing customers.
- Brainstorm a list of questions that your customer ask on a regular basis, which can also serve as blog topics.
Creating customer personas can be a long and in-depth process. However, this will give you a starting point when it comes to how to research blog topics, especially for lead generation.
Dig into Your Own Data
If you want to get real about writing blog posts for leads, you can uncover ideas within your own data. This means insights in terms of your Google Analytics as well as engagement on social media posts.
These are two examples of how to approach blog topics from your own data:
Do you track your website analytics on Google? If so, this may serve as a goldmine on the content you can create for your audience. Google gives you access to information including:
- The most popular pages on your website visited within a specified timeframe, such as 30 days.
- Time spent on your website and specific pages.
- Behavior flow and how your audience interacts with your content.
This data provides clues into what interests your customers the most. If you find that your customers are primarily interested in a specific service, you can determine how to make a spin-off blog topic related to that service.
You can also take a look at the data from existing blog topics. Do you see a post that stands out in terms of traffic flow and popularity? If so, you have a couple of choices:
- Create a subtopic or another spin-off topic that relates to this blog post.
- Enhance the existing blog post, ensuring that it has proper CTAs in place.
The above information can help you learn how to research blog topics with your own Google Analytics data. The next step is to use social media analytics for additional research information.
Social Media Analytics
If you have social media profiles, the data can also provide insight on potential blog topics. Take a look at the content you’ve shared over the last 30 days. It can be your own content or it can be curated from another source.
You’ll want to look for the following information to determine if a potential blog topic is possible:
- Engagement: How did the post perform with your audience? Were there likes, comments and shares? If so, this is the first clue that you may be able to create a blog topic stemming from the post.
- Customer comments/questions: If customers are asking questions and making comments, look to this to create blog topics. Since this data is coming straight from potential customers or real customers, there is no question that this topic is already on their minds.
Brainstorm Topics with Google Trends
Yet another free tool at your disposal is Google Trends. This is an excellent way to overview search trend data that’s going on now as well as in the past. Viewing past data can be especially helpful if your company offers seasonal services. You can also make comparisons in terms of how much a particular service or product over the last year.
When using Google Trends, you also have the ability to pinpoint a geographic area. This can help provide extra insight in terms of what is trending locally. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, this can be especially useful.
Keep in mind that trending terms on Google will ideally resonate with customer pain points. Don’t forget to make the connection of your service with the trend and how you can help solve a problem.
Harness SEO Data
We mentioned earlier that blogging helps attract potential processes that can turn into a lead, either today or later down the line.
When it comes to how to research blog topics for lead generation, SEO is an important element to keep in mind. You need to consider the keywords you’re using, ensuring that you’re using the correct intent. Keyword intent can help determine if your prospect is ready to become a qualified lead today or if they are just browsing for general information.
The good news is that you can unveil this data by using SEMRush, one of the top keyword research tools. I’m not affiliated with SEMRush, other than being a paying customer for many years.
SEMRush allows you to filter search results by keyword intent, so you can see when the customer is searching with the intention of buying a product or service. In this example, we’ll use running shoes.
From here, we will select “transactional” since we are actively looking for people who want to buy running shoes.
This is part of the list of transactional phrases for running shoes. In reality, these keywords are much too competitive to try ranking for—but that’s another topic for a different day. However, if we were to pursue these blog topics for lead generation/buyers, you can use topics such as:
- 5 Ways Nike Running Shoes Can Improve Speed and Agility
- The Guide to Adidas Running Shoes: What Stride is Right for You?
- Why New Balance Running Shoes are a Must-Have for Your Marathon Training
You can see that these topics also hit pain points of runners, including:
- Becoming faster and more agile
- Finding the right fit of running shoe (prevents blisters and injury)
- Making marathon training as efficient and injury/pain-free as possible
How to Improve or Increase Lead Generation with Your Blog Posts
You have all the tools at your disposal to research blog topics for lead generation. Aside from strong SEO blog writing skills, there are additional considerations to implement to your blog and website for lead generation.
Some useful lead gen tools and approaches include:
- A hello bar or a sticky bar at the top of your website
- A compelling lead magnet offer
- Write insightful blog topics
- Leaning on a consistent blogging schedule and keyword strategy to increase SEO rankings
- A pop up offer while customers are reading your blog
- Sharing your blog to social media
- Remember to re-share your old blog posts over time. Sharing your blog only once or twice isn’t enough
How to Research Blog Topics: Get Blog Planning & Blog Writing for Lead Generation
Are you struggling to get your blog to perform? We craft blogs that are great for branding and attracting potential customers to your website. By blogging consistently with a strategic approach, your blog can serve as a lead generation source for many years to come.
Contact us now to learn more about our blog planning and blog writing services to assist with branding and lead generation.