Digital content marketing has been a staple for marketers looking to attract their niche audience. Quality content enables lead generation by creating increased website traffic. Engaging content also builds credibility and brand awareness by entertaining and informing users with free content. The goal of content is that it leads those users to become loyal and eventually convert into purchasing customers. Blog posts, specifically, are a great opportunity for a site to create engagement within its online community.

However, with the staggering number of blog posts published daily online, it can be hard to rise above the clutter. On top of that, consistently publishing content that is both relevant to your audience and also targeted around highly-converting keywords is also a challenge. In this article, I will show you how to boost your blog traffic by breaking down the steps you can take to gather both numerous blog post ideas and a list of page optimizations all at once!

1. Who Are Your Competitors?

It is important to start off by analyzing who your competitors are in order to properly reach your relevant target audience and determine blog post ideas. These are the competitors to make note of:

  • Direct Competitors:

Those within the same industry with the same or similar product/service

  • Indirect Competitors:

Those in a different industry, but that could fall under a similar category or be seen as a substitute for your product/service (i.e. Ice Cream vs. Gelato )

  • SERP Competitors:

Those competing within your keyword Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Your direct competitors are often the first group that comes to mind when identifying competitors; however, don’t undermine the advantages that can come from examining SERP and indirect competitors, as they can provide unknown potential and reveal additional competitors you may have missed. While there will be cases in which these competitors can overlap, identifying them will provide you with a larger opportunity for your blog post ideas. Don’t be afraid to go after unique blog post ideas that you haven’t explored on your site before. Uncovering these opportunities allows you to stand out from your direct competitors and reach new users that wouldn’t have stumbled across your site otherwise.

Once all your competitors have been identified, the next step is the best part!

2. Content Gap Analysis

In order to achieve this next step, we will have to utilize a tool within Ahrefs, known as content gap. What this tool essentially does is find keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but that you are not. This tool is great because it automates a complicated, time-consuming process and gives you the chance to outrank your competitors by going after their own ranking keywords.

What you first need to do is place your site into Ahrefs and click on ‘Content Gap’ (left-hand sidebar). Once done, all you have to do is add in as many competitors as you’ve identified from the previous step and click ‘Show Keywords.’ What this does is take all the organic keywords for which your competitors are ranking in the top 10 (if default checkbox is untouched) and subtracts from it the keywords your site is ranking for, leaving behind only the keywords that you should be targeting. The more competitors you analyze, the more opportunities there are to uncover high quality keywords that will work perfectly in helping you formulate your next blog post ideas.

Finally, export the data and just like that you’ve gathered a large amount of keywords in just a short few clicks.

3. Sift for Gold Nuggets

Before you are able to call it good, you’ll need to sift through your data and pull out any low-quality or irrelevant keywords. Once you’ve cleaned up the data, your finished product will be a golden list of top blog post ideas. There a 3 specific qualities to keep in mind when whittling down to your top-quality keywords. Each keyword must have:

  1. High Monthly Search Volume
  2. High Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
  3. Low Keyword Difficulty

The more the keyword fits these 3 qualities, the better chances you will have to rank for it, glean traffic, and outrank your competitors. Of course, there will be some instances where your best judgement will also come into play, as not all keywords will fit well with your brand. However, these 3 qualities are a good start during this sifting process.

Once you’ve completed the process, you’ll be left with what you believe to be the best target keywords for your site. This large variation of keywords will serve as a great launching point for blog post ideas that you can continue to reference for weeks to come. The process is simple, and it’s a great way to take advantage of competitor data to craft quality blog posts and see your site traffic skyrocket and your company thrive.

Try it out for yourself!