Don’t Know What to Blog About? Google Does!

Don’t Know What to Blog About? Google Does!

Inspiration for blog posts can be a funny thing, and you want to create posts that really resonate with your potential customers too … That’s a lot of pressure on inspiration!

One source of inspiration for me has been the SEO work I do on my own blog.

Over the last year I have been working fairly consistently on SEO-ing my blog. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with the amount of web traffic I get through social media – far from it! But I have always recommended using social media marketing – or in fact any other kind of marketing, as part of your marketing mix; you should never put all your eggs in one basket!

I took a course run by the lovely people over at Flosee, they’re specialists in getting people to the number 1 spot on Google and also able to communicate their knowledge, something not all SEO companies are able to do!

That course set my head spinning, thankfully they included a ‘how-to’ manual with it or I’d never have remembered what terms like ‘latent semantic indexing’ meant when I got back to my desk!

For those of you not fully submerged in geekdom ‘latent semantic indexing’ basically means that Google & Co look through the words of your website to decide if it is relevant to various searches. So if you are a florist in Essex and you want Google to present your website when someone types ‘florist essex’ into the search bar, you need to use those words in the text of your website.

Of course you also need to use those words in a way that makes sense to the person reading your website!

Keywords in blog posts

Thinking about the things people may type into Google when they need to find your business helps you to think from their point of view.

This isn’t always easy, and there is nothing wrong with asking people what they would type into google to find you … You may be surprised with what they come up with!

I did a quick survey of my audience through LinkedIn and Facebook and found out that almost no-one would type in ‘Social Media Advice Suffolk’ but they were likely to type in ‘Facebook Marketing Tips’ or ‘Promoting my business on Twitter’.

Not only did it change my focus on which keywords I need to get found for, but it also showed me that people want blog posts that give out marketing tips for Facebook and help them promote their business through twitter!

Therefore since then I have written quite a lot of posts on those very subjects!

But as my site has grown and more people have started landing on my page from searches on Google (other search engines are available!), I have found these searches to also be a source of inspiration for blog posts.

The things people type into their search engine are of course the things they really want to know about…
So writing about these things will serve your potential customers well and give them a reason to visit your site! Hopefully, once there, they will spend more time reading and maybe take the first couple of steps towards becoming your customer.

how to think of blog topics

There are a number of great website analytic sites that will show you what people are searching for, I mainly use Get Clicky but you might also want to check out Google Analytics or Stat Counter.

Recently Get Clicky has shown me that there have been a number of searches for the phrase ‘Companies that use Social Media Well’. The reason these have linked back to my site is not because I had done a post on this specific subject, but because I had used that phrase in a recent post called What Are Your Competition Doing On Social Media

But knowing that people are searching for information based around this topic got me thinking, and it occurred to me that most of the stories I have seen on this topic in the past have focused on just a few companies. Mainly either larger companies that have the budget to do well or those that jumped onto social platforms right at the beginning. Most of these are American.

So I decided to write a post on businesses local to me in the UK that use social media well, however pretty much as soon as I started down this track I realised that there was going to be too much information and inspiration in each story to fit it all into one post so it has already become a series!

On top of that I thought you’d like a post that surmises the common traits these successfully social businesses have, so keep your eyes peeled for that too in the future!

What is also really useful when deciding what to write based on a search that has wound up on your site is to view the search itself.

Get Clicky has a little arrow next to the search that takes me through to the page of search results that the searcher saw before deciding to click on my site.

As I say, a few searchers have wound up on my site from that term but my site wasn’t the number 1 result on any of these searchers, in fact I was usually ranked between 6th and 10th for this phrase and on one occasion I was on page 2 … Yet they still clicked my post.

So what was it that drew these particular searchers to my post rather than the others? And did they find what they were looking for?

Well first off they may well have read the posts above mine before clicking to see what I had to say! And most of the searchers didn’t stay on site for long so that indicates they didn’t really find what they wanted. Hopefully my series of posts on that topic will help.

But the fact that they clicked on mine at all with such stiff competition (there was a post from social media behemoth social media examiner above mine) shows I was doing something right.

Was it that they were really looking for information of the kind the search has inspired me to write? Let’s hope so!

Was it the a difference in the snippet of text about the blog? I can never be 100% sure but it was a good snippet!

I may never be 100% sure what people are looking for that I can provide, but I am sure that keeping an eye on these searches will increase my chances of doing so … And inspire me to write more blogs that may help you in the future!

Over to you – what inspires you to write blog posts? Have you ever asked your customers what they typed into Google to find you?


  1. Tony Blacker

    Great article (as always) and thanks for the name drop :) Its really good to see that you are doing your research for SEO on an incremental basis. All too often, people have their chosen keywords, work on them then think the job is done. Once you have started the ball rolling, you can then go back to your analytics tools, see what people are searching for when they arrive at your site and then use this as a launchpad to tackle new search phrases that in turn lead to more visits, which in turn lead to new search phrases you can target (I could keep going, but I think you get the idea…). As a blogger, having a good title to write about is sometimes half the battle, and this method you are using solves that issue as well very neatly. You have written much more eloquently and clearly than my mumble above though, so thank you!

    1. Jason Anthony

      Defintely like the idea of seeing what is bringing people to your site, then playing off of those words and phrases, Tony!

      Great way to start your own upward spiral of results, and cover all bases. Even if they are the most popular or searched, the WILL be the most relevant to your voice, service, and company. Great stuff, Gemma!

      1. Gemma Thompson

        Thanks Jason,

        I recently heard someone say that you should never assume you know what your customer wants more than they do … although Steve Jobs did a great job of making a mockery of that I do think it’s important to have a balance and the search terms give a great idea of what they really want!

  2. Dawn Barclay

    Hey Gemma,
    Yes and no. I do use Google KW — but these days I answer (post) via what people reply to the ‘what are you struggling with’ question, that keeps me straight. I do fret every now and then on SEO, a quick trip to Google analytics and over 80% of traffic from search. *Giggling* I sound like I know what I’m talking about it! Ha ha! Thanks for the post. Dawn

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Sounds like you are doing just fine on your SEO then :)
      It’s definitely a good idea to be answering the questions that get put to you by writing a whole blog post on it and what great value for your readers! Keep writing … And keep giggling too! You do know what you are doing ;)

  3. Jackie

    Hi Gemma

    Makes a lot of sense to utilize something that is already bringing you the traffic. Why work harder when you can work smarter…or maybe I’m lazy ;)

    Another thing I do is look at what are the most popular posts that are bringing in good organic traffic and write more like those, to capitalize on what you have going on.

  4. Jeanne

    Most of my blog posts are inspired by other blog posts that I come across. I really should have a blog posting strategy, but I often get sidetracked by the great stuff I find online. My latest post, for example, was inspired by a blogger who wanted some questions answered. I sought out the answers and put together an infographic. I then contacted some journalists who might be interested in the answers I found. The next thing I know, it got picked up by a few major sites and my traffic exploded overnight. What I realized is that I tend to let my meanderings dictate my content. It may or may not cater to my target audience, but at the very least, I enjoy creating it. And if by happenstance it connects with a huge audience, it just makes it that much sweeter.

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Jeanne,
      A posting strategy is a great thing to have but going with the flow is important too! Most of my posts come from the same inspiration as yours but when the inspiration is running dry search terms is another great well to drink from :)
      I saw your infographic and thought it was great by the way – really got me thinking and may well lead to a blog post from me in the not too distant future!

  5. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca

    Gemma! What a cool look at SEO.

    I love your fresh “follow-the-inspiration-trail” take on things, and I love how you capitalized on what was being given to you.

    I use Google Analytics, but I’ve tried Get Clicky too. They’re very different and clicky felt way simpler and easier lol :)

    One side note: people might not currently be searching google for Essex or Suffolk, but for me, mentioning Toronto is very important and impactful, whether it’s being “google searched” or not :D

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Jason, it’s all about knowing where your coming from to know where you’re going ;) Toronto seems to be a really buzzy place when it comes to all things web, I’m meeting a lot of Canadians online! Thanks for commenting :)

  6. Peter Sandeen

    Hi Gemma,

    That’s a great way to find out what you should write more about (checking what search phrases get people to your site). I’ve been checking it and also written some posts with the ideas the searches have given.

    And thanks for mentioning Get Clicky, I’ll try it out :)

  7. Mike Garner

    All good, healthy stuff.

    I would say though that you should write for readers first and Google second. There’s no point in being number one on Google if your bounce rate is 90%!

    I will follow the examples though!

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks so much for commenting, and yes you are right you should always write for your readers first, sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough! In fact most of the reason for using search terms as 1 well of inspiration is to find out what readers are searching for and see how you can provide those answers for them, for me being number 1 on Google comes a very definite second place to providing the info my readers want!

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