Thought Bubble

Let’s be real: coming up with frequent blog post or content ideas can be tough for any agency. The pressure to consistently find relevant topic ideas each week that haven’t already saturated the Google market can be overwhelming to say the least. This feeling only gets exponentially worse with the more clients you have to juggle each week. When faced against established competition, getting your client to show up in the organic results can seem like a near impossible task.

However, I’m here to tell you that there is hope if you’re willing to invest a little more time & possibly expand your keyword research tool-set. And the best part? You can do this for free.

I’ve been a content manager & writer for almost all of our clients. This means I have been in charge of finding content ideas for all of their blogs week after week, month after month. The vast majority of these clients fall into what people would consider “boring” industries. This has forced me to come up with a refined process for keyword research that I would like to share with you today.

1. Scrape Google’s Autocomplete With Ubersuggest

For me, Ubersuggest has to be one of my favorite keyword research tools out there right now. Why?

  1. It’s free
  2. It gives you results quickly
  3. If gives you insight as to what questions real people are asking

That last one cannot be overstated enough. The ability to simply take a keyword that you have little information about to being able to explore the most common questions associated with that keyword is invaluable.

For example, one of our clients works in the IT space and wants to create content that’s useful for software developers and engineers. Now, I know absolutely nothing about coding aside from implementing the occasional header tag every now and then. However, with Ubersuggest I don’t have to.

Should Developers

Without knowing a single thing about developers, I have instant access into the minds of questions many searchers have regarding the profession. I can now formulate a blog post around any one of these keywords or start to group them together to form bigger pieces of content.

To further refine my search, I like to use keywords that signify questions. Some I commonly use are:

  • Should
  • Why
  • What
  • Can
  • Do
  • How
  • Where

However you may still be asking, “How do I know if Ubersuggest keywords get any search volume?

Well you could add all of them to the Ubersuggest bank and copy and paste them manually into the Keyword Planner. However, I like to see right away if my keywords have search volume. Thankfully, the Ubersuggest CPC & Search Volume Estimator extension for Chrome shows you this data right in the Ubersuggest results.

Best Developer Keyword Estimates
This allows me to see right away if some of these Ubersuggest keywords are likely to get traction in the search engines. The only thing better would be if I could somehow integrate Ubersuggest with Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool (hint hint).

2. Filter Your Keywords Heavily Using The Google Keyword Planner

While I’m sure that most of you have used Google’s Keyword Planner in order to search for blog content ideas before, I’m going to show you my method that allows me to drill a little further into the tool.

First, I like to start off looking for suggestions from my initial keyword. However, the results I get are typically highly competitive keywords that wouldn’t fit your average blog post.

Software Develper Initial Keyword Tool Results

To get more targeted keywords for my clients’ blogs, I typically use filters to force the Keyword Planner to show me more relevant results. First, I usually like to limit the “Competition” of each keyword to either “Medium” or “Low”.

Keyword Filters Boxes

Keep in mind that the competition in the Keyword Planner is only related to the competition in Google AdWords and NOT the organic competition. However, I find that this normally does a good job of eliminating a lot of keywords with high organic competition that wouldn’t be suited for a blog post.

After adding any relevant keywords I find into the Planner, I then drill down further by utilizing the “Include/Exclude” feature. Here, I copy the question words from above and paste them into the “Include Box”.

Include Keywords

Similar to Ubersuggest, this will force the Keyword Planner to show me actual questions that people are asking around this keyword. These keywords are normally much more targeted and show you questions that searchers actually have around this topic. Using this strategy, you will be driven further into the long-tail where the competition is not as steep.

3. Dig Into Deeper Concepts With Wikistalker

Sometimes, just having a keyword in mind isn’t enough to create a blog post. Often times the topic is too general and most variations of the keyword have already been covered by highly authoritative sites no matter how many different modifiers you try to throw on your keyword. If you need to dig into deeper concepts, I highly recommend Wikistalker. This is a great free tool that allows you to discover new concepts entirely instead of keywords.

For instance, recently I wanted to write a blog about “Motorcycle Safety” for a client but wanted to write about a specific aspect of safety. If I used the Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest, I would have gotten a lot of suggestions using both the terms “motorcycle” and “safety”. Instead, I started my search using Wikistalker to find more niche concepts related towards the topic.

Motorcycle Safety Wikistalker

Boom. Instant access to more specific topics related to motorcycle safety. I was then able to explore each topic further until I found a more specific keyword phrase. I then used Ubersuggest & the Keyword Planner to figure out what questions people were asking around that particular topic.

4. Dive Into The Depths Of Online Forums: Quora & LinkedIn

If you want to dig even deeper into the minds of your potential readers, there’s no better method than perusing around online forums. People in these forums are asking direct questions to the answers they seek. This will provide you with the type of hyper-targeted ideas that can make for the most useful blog posts.

My two favorites are LinkedIn Groups and Quora. To start, I usually perform a simple Site: search operator using my keyword to try to hunt for active conversations.

Software Testing Search
After a little exploring in the SERPs, I was able to find a quite active group that has a lot of conversations regarding “Software Testing”. Browsing this group allows me to have a glimpse into what’s sparking the hot-topic discussions around this profession.

Software Testing Group Discusson
By exploring these groups, we can figure out what topics are driving any given community and begin to formulate our blog content around answering questions or weighing in on common disputes.

5. Don’t Use The “Boring” Industry Excuse

Through persistent and in-depth research, there’s no reason to not be able to find something for a blog to talk about week in and week out. If you’re really struggling to find a place to start, this article by Copyblogger is probably one of the best resources out there when it comes to figuring out content ideas for industries that don’t interest you.

Remember, what generating great blog ideas traditionally boils down to getting inside your consumers’ minds and figuring out what questions they’re asking online. If you can be the one to provide the answers you’ll not only get your brand in front of your desired audience, but you’ll position yourself as an authority on the issue as well.

Happy keyword hunting!


While doing the research for this post, I had to put the word “Ubersuggest” into Ubersuggest and kept thinking this would happen:

Googling Google from Dan Cronin on Vimeo.

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