How To Use 11+ Free Tools To Find Content Ideas for SEO

Creating content for your web site requires a ton of time, money & assets to do properly. However when it doesn’t generate visitors or sales – it’s an enormous waste.

There are lots of explanation why a bit of content won’t perform nicely, but you possibly can dramatically improve your odds of success by prequalifying your content material concept.

Within the offline world, corporations use focus teams or sampling to prequalify the market. They use resumes and cover letters to prequalify candidates before committing to an interview (or much much less a hire). And the unimaginable great thing about the Internet is which you can prequalify your content ideas as nicely with the appropriate tools and a bit of analysis.

Here’s how one can use a variety of techniques from keyword analysis to mining platforms to exploring past successes to seek out, inform & information your content advertising ideas.

*Observe – in case you are curious about discovering trending subjects for social-optimized posts, additionally take a look at my Trending Subjects information right here.

Keyword Research With A Twist

Keyword research is a foundation of SEO. You align your pages to focus on the key phrases that individuals are looking for to offer probably the most relevant info & get visitors from those searches. Many websites use keywords to map their present pages, however by no means really use it to create further or ongoing content ideas.

The key, although, is to look beyond simply the precise key phrase and take into consideration the question & intent behind the key phrase. That method you possibly can construct content that solutions the question in a singular however relevant means. Content that is built round keywords you realize individuals are looking for prequalifies the thought. You understand the demand is there – you simply have to offer the content. Listed here are the instruments I exploit to mine for content material ideas.

Apart – you’ll word that I intentionally unnoticed Google’s Key phrase Planner. It’s a software that’s essential for traditional key phrase research however might be misleading when used for the researching content material concepts. Deliver it in upon getting recognized strong concepts and need to prioritize based mostly on volume.

Google Recommend

This device is in any other case referred to as “go to Google, type – and don’t hit enter.” As you start typing totally different target keywords, Google will provide you with an inventory of the most typical stems/variations.

Content Ideas from Google Suggest

It may be tedious to manually type by way of all of the stems, so I’ll cover one other software that may pull all of the stems routinely. One of the simplest ways to make use of Google Recommend immediately in Google is so as to add question phrases & wildcards after which look instantly at the search outcomes for opportunities.

Question Terms: Take your key phrase and add totally different inquiries to it, akin to forms of who, what, when, where, why & how. Then see what exhibits up.

Questions in Google-Suggest

Wildcards: To discover out generally searched words in the midst of a keyword phrase, use * or _ inside the phrase you’re typing in. Google will once more return probably the most commonly searched phrases for you.

Wildcard content ideas from Google Suggest

Judging search outcomes: Whenever you discover a promising phrase, go ahead and hit enter to run the search. Shortly glance at the outcomes. Are they helpful & quality outcomes? Put yourself within the footwear of someone looking for that key phrase phrase – would you need to see a greater end result? In that case, there’s your profitable content material concept. Right here’s a number of other ideas on judging keyword problem. (or their competitor Ubersuggest) are packages that pull all the varied Google Recommend queries directly. It’s an important device for key phrase research, nevertheless it can be an incredible software for finding content material ideas for SEO.

*Word – these tools might or might not need to shut down any day now following Google’s closing of the Autocomplete API. They’re still working as of December 2015 and have claimed to have found a workaround.

Begin by typing in not only your broad topical key phrase but in addition numerous key phrase phrases and questions. It pulls the same knowledge that you would get from Google Recommend – simply much quicker because you don’t should manually sort A then B then C, and so on to see all of the totally different stems.

Content Ideas Keyword Tool

The important thing here though is to take a look at the keywords much less as specific phrases to target and extra at patterns for questions and angles behind the key phrase. For example, “plumbing job description”, “plumbing hourly rate” and “plumbing qualifications” could possibly be addressed individually with brief, FAQ sort pages. Nevertheless, in planning content concepts, I might see those as a theme of keywords indicating individuals wanting for an authoritative guide to plumbing as a profession.

You may also take your phrase ideas and search them on Google to see the sort and high quality of results to see in case you can improve on what’s already doing properly.

Notice 1 – also works with YouTube Search and App Store search.

Notice 2 – Soovle is one other comparable software that doesn’t scrape as deep, however it does tap into multiple serps on the similar time. It seems at Yahoo!, Bing, Google, Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia & by default with the power to add more by clicking on Engines.

Notice 3 – Tools like Ahrefs has probably the perfect & most revolutionary paid device to seek out key phrases based mostly on Google Recommend. Take a look at my guide to Ahrefs here.

Answer The Public

Reply The Public is a device that is very similar to – it’s based mostly on Google Autocomplete. Nevertheless, it takes queries and converts them to questions and presents them in a visible format.

Answer The Public

Make sure you select your right location on the search web page – the default is the United Kingdom. The outcomes show on a visualization based mostly on the kind of query.

As an alternative of treating the questions like an FAQ opportunity, manage the questions by matter and create posts around that matter.

Google Tendencies

I’ve written about Google Developments earlier than right here. It’s a tremendous key phrase research software to gauge volume & tendencies of different phrases over time. It also has a bonus function that’s extremely helpful for arising with content ideas – the Rising section.

If you search for a excessive volume keyword in Google Tendencies, look within the backside field at each Prime and Rising. The Rising tab will inform you related key phrases that have quickly rising search volume. Though they’re from a low base, they will signal a special approach of curiosity into your keyword/matter.

Take a look at the key phrases in the Rising part not a lot to target that particular key phrase but for the question or angle behind the keyword. Use that query or angle to provide you with a content concept.

Content Ideas Google Trends

In case you are particularly targeted on Trending Subjects, I wrote a full guide to Discovering Trending Subjects right here.

Google Correlate

Google Correlate is a device that’s part of Google Tendencies. It permits you to see what key phrases share the same search quantity patterns. It works notably nicely with seasonal merchandise, but in addition with services with an extended sales cycle.

I wrote an in-depth information to utilizing Google Correlate right here, but listed here are a few my favourite methods to make use of it for content research.

The primary means is to seek out associated key phrases from the same audience. Merely plug in your keywords into Google Correlate and see what keywords share the identical patterns. There shall be plenty of unrelated phrases and there might be loads of obvious terms. Nevertheless, there may even be keywords which might be not directly related or complementary to your keyword strategy. Those are the phrases you wish to uncover and create content material around.

For example, if somebody is looking for “Christmas decorations” – they’re also looking for “eggnog recipes.” It’s the same audience and you are trying to get in entrance of them throughout their natural searches.

Content Ideas from Google Correlate

The second means is to seek out related keywords earlier in your clients’ shopping for process – “higher in the funnel” in advertising jargon. Sort in your keyword but set the Examine Weekly Time Collection window a number of weeks again. The thought is that you simply’ll discover out what your viewers is looking for X weeks before they begin looking for your product.

Content Ideas using Google Correlate and time series

For example, four weeks earlier than anybody is looking for “Christmas decorations” in North America they is perhaps wanting for recommendations on raking up leaves in early November.

Either means, you’ll have the ability to find content concepts that may get your brand in front of your viewers when they’re or will probably be involved in your products/providers.

Google Search Console

Earlier than Google stopped providing keyword knowledge, your personal Analytics offered mountains of actual content concepts from your audience. You would see what keywords they have been typing in that led them to your website.

In the event you saw a sample or a particularly useful keyword, then you might build content round it that spoke to that question/search. Those days are gone. Nevertheless, Google still offers aggregated key phrase knowledge in Google Search Console.

Many SEOs dismiss Search Console key phrase knowledge out of hand as a result of the press knowledge was notoriously inaccurate for a really very long time. However what many overlook is the gold mine of knowledge that is still in the event you ignore the press volume and just take a look at the keywords as subjects to optimize for & inquiries to reply.

In Google Search Console, go to Search Visitors then Search Analytics. By default, you’ll be taking a look at Prime Queries. You’ll be able to browse these for concepts, but these are queries already driving visitors to your website.

You’re looking for key phrases which are driving visitors however are usually not notably related to the web page they are landing on. This knowledge indicates that Google can’t find a extra related web page and that there is a hole in content on the Internet. You have got the opportunity to create new content material that’s more relevant than the page where the visitors is presently landing.

Search Performance Opportunities

I wrote an in-depth information to Google Search Console right here and an in-depth information to Search Console’s Search Analytics software here.

Google Pictures

Google Image’s auto-suggest could be narrowed by way of class. And the classes are very fascinating in terms of content material subjects.

Google Images

Type by way of the categories – and then take a look at the top performing pictures and what pages they seem on.

Google Individuals Also Ask (PAAs)

Google Search additionally has a new sub-search functionality that permits customers to clarify their search question. The fact that these exist is proof that there is curiosity for that content material.

People Also Ask

PAAs are so unimaginable as a result of they supply the type of lateral considering that you simply’d often have to think about on your own. Don’t just create content material across the PAAs – also use them to start out utterly new analysis threads.

Construct On What’s Working

Typically keyword analysis may give a slender vision of content. Suppose you need to branch out but still prequalify your content material. Go and look to see what kinds of content material have already accomplished nicely or poorly. You’ll have a benchmark to gauge potential results in addition to having a starting point to create a special approach or recent perspective. Listed here are my favorite instruments to dig into what’s working and/or has labored.

Big Web site & Publisher Successes

Publishers – whether or not they’re common, area of interest, or business – can present an enormous shortcut to finding content ideas for SEO that will probably be profitable. Publishers reside and die with their potential to create fascinating content material that drives visitors. Additionally they have a dedicated employees to producing numerous content material.

You possibly can see what content material has completed properly for them and use that knowledge to generate, pre-qualify, and reverse-engineer your personal content concepts. Whole websites have been constructed on this model, and there’s no purpose your website can’t no less than study from the successes.

All you need to do is make an inventory of publishers in your niche or business. Take these websites and plug them into a backlink checker device like Ahrefs. It’s a software that may present essential knowledge for free and the remaining on paid plans. I wrote a whole information to Ahrefs right here. Open Website Explorer, SEM Rush and Buzzsumo (which will get its own part subsequent) are additionally good options.

Content Ideas from Open Site Explorer

You’re wanting for content material that really acquired hyperlinks, shares & mentions. Take a look at the topic, headline, and precise content. Typically the power of non-publishers is taking a less-news oriented line. I love to see if there are subjects given news or brief remedy that may be expanded into reference items with a bit more research and investment.

Content Explorers

BuzzSumo and Ahrefs are tools that can help you see not only what content has succeeded for specific domains but in addition for totally different subjects. For BuzzSumo (which presents free features and paid upgrades) and Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, you possibly can see and type exactly what content has carried out properly on totally different social networks for totally different subjects, key phrases, or websites. It even breaks down the content material by sort (giveaway, infographic, and so forth).

Content Ideas from Buzzsumo

Notice – you can even use each tools to seek out individuals to do guide outreach in addition to pre-qualifying the content concept. Study more in my guide to Ahrefs here.

Outdated Content Finder

Over time even one of the best content material turns into stale & obsolete. And likelihood is that if something did nicely a pair years ago and the topic continues to be relevant, then you possibly can create an updated version and anticipate it to do quite properly. In truth, you not only have pre-qualified content material but in addition pre-qualified locations to put it on the market to as nicely.

The trouble is finding the outdated content. That’s the place the Outdated Content Finder is available in.

Observe – even when you already have a content material concept that you simply’re executing on, it nonetheless pays to examine on any outdated content material to seek out pre-qualified locations to market it to.

Mine Platforms for Ideas

Google isn’t the only place individuals ask questions. Actually, typically they flip to other platforms as a result of they will’t find what they need on Google. There’s lots of giant platforms to mine for ideas. What’s great about this strategy is that you simply not only get ideas & questions but you additionally get context. And as a bonus, you recognize a platform and a selected persona to focus on and converse to together with your content. Listed here are a number of of my favorites to mine.


FAQ Fox is a device that may shortly scrape any platform for questions based mostly in your goal keyword. You simply sort in a key phrase, and enter your selection of platforms corresponding to Reddit, Quora, Yahoo! Solutions, and so on and hit enter. In case you are not sure of what platform to choose, then you’ll be able to simply click on a category.


You then’ll simply click by means of the threads to seek out questions individuals are asking. Not solely does this device “scale” research, but mining all the platforms additionally allows you to discover widespread topical threads. The widespread threads indicate not solely interest but in addition level to a scarcity of clear, constant solutions elsewhere on the internet.

Query Analyzer

Question Analyzer is a software built by the staff at BuzzSumo. It’s similar to FAQ Fox, nevertheless it combines BuzzSumo’s semantic and social datasets to tug cleaner, extra correct knowledge. It’s in beta as of 2019, but value a glance.

Question Analyzer

You simply enter in a subject and it’ll mine numerous platforms to tug discussion threads which might be rich in questions.

Wikipedia Subjects

I’ve written a whole publish on using Wikipedia for content material advertising & SEO as a result of it really is that massive of a gold mine (notably for boring industries).

Along with mining Wikipedia for damaged & wanted citations, I like to recommend utilizing it to seek out associated & complementary subjects. And on each matter, you possibly can take a look at visitors numbers by way of Wikipedia article visitors statistics for the article to see if that content concept can be value your while.

For instance, suppose you’re creating content for a plumbing firm but you don’t have any alternatives for grabbing citations or broken links (which might be found by way of WikiGrabber). Here’s what I’d verify:

1. Begin with the primary plumbing article on Wikipedia and look for terms and subjects which may have questions round them – I’ll attempt water softening.

Wikipedia Content Ideas

2. Verify the Water Softening web page – it seems very primary with some citations needed and incomplete info. Seems fascinating. However does it generate visitors?

3. Put the article title into Wikipedia Visitors Statistics – 15,000 visits in November 2014. Yes – 15,000 visits to a rough draft Wikipedia web page about water softening.

Wikipedia Content Ideas and StatisticsIt’s undoubtedly something to analysis further relying on objectives and strategy. You gained’t get the visitors that Wikipedia does, however it’s a approach to no less than benchmark and prequalify subjects.

Reddit Search

Reddit is a goldmine for content material advertising & SEO ideas. In reality, I wrote a whole publish about content material advertising & SEO on Reddit right here.

It’s (with no hyperbole) the Front Web page of the Web. It additionally has hundreds upon hundreds of small area of interest communities referred to as subreddits discussing all the things conceivable and asking all types of questions.

My two favourite techniques are using Reddit search for questions & conversations and taking a look at prime content on a distinct segment subreddit.

The primary one is simple. Go to and search for a keyword. Then click on on Superior Search and add in question-type words (ie, how or why) or totally different sort of keyword phrases to see what comes up.

You may also use Reddit lingo to type outcomes. For instance, LPT stands for “Life Pro Tip” so in case you are wanting for fast ideas around your product/service then search for “lpt “. Others, reminiscent of AMA stands for Ask Me Something to seek out related interviews or ELI5 is Explain Like I’m 5 to seek out primary breakdowns of complicated subjects.

Content Ideas from Reddit

The second is to dig on Reddit to discover a specific area of interest subreddit. You’ll often discover it while looking – something like /r/plumbing. Now, within the prime menu, click on Prime after which type the date range.

Content Ideas from subreddits

You’ll see the preferred content for that audience in that date range. You gained’t essentially need to copy it, however you’ll be able to definitely use the knowledge to get informed of a pre-qualified content material concept.

Yahoo! Solutions

Yahoo! Answers will get made fun of – quite a bit in tech & advertising circles. And yes, it is extremely bizarre at occasions – but individuals use it. And most significantly, they use it to ask questions. They usually often ask questions that they can’t find the reply to with Google.

Content Ideas from Yahoo! Answers

So I see it as an unimaginable useful resource to seek out content concepts – particularly for SEO. I don’t have a extra refined course of than finding your category and sifting it by dates. You can even search by key phrase. Observe the questions & comments.

Quora Search

Quora is principally an upgraded and less bizarre Yahoo! Solutions. In case you are in software program or know-how, then this is where you must be wanting for content concepts.

Similar course of – search by key phrase or matter and see what’s being requested.

Content Ideas from Quora

The great thing about Quora is that, once more, it permits you to see subjects which have curiosity and are often broader and more nuanced than what you possibly can decipher taking a look at keywords. I wrote an entire guide to utilizing Quora here.

Amazon is e-commerce on-line. It sells extra stuff than all the top 12 combined. That’s insane – nevertheless it’s also an enormous opportunity as a result of meaning lots of people are hanging out on one web site and asking questions and talking.

You’ll be able to mine Amazon buyer critiques with Google Search by looking for inurl:product-reviews or by sorting prime products manually within categories in Amazon.

You possibly can sift via Amazon Questions & Solutions with Google Search by looking for intitle:”questions and solutions” inurl:forum or again by identifying prime product and sifting manually via Q&As.

And if your store or website is in a selected category, you need to be clicking via and studying the critiques and questions. It’s content concept gold – especially as a result of it is immediately related to the sale.

Example – I used to be out there for a lapel mic and headphones a pair weeks ago. My lapel mic didn’t decide up from my telephone or Macbook. I ended up discovering out concerning the TRSS specification via a random Amazon evaluate after a number of irritating Google searches as a result of nobody had actually coated the subject nicely.

Also, don’t overlook which you could mine Amazon Search as mentioned above in “Keyword Research with a Twist”.

Twitter Superior Search

Twitter may appear to be a deluge of quick info. Monitoring it for trending subjects could be helpful.

But do you know that Twitter archives all of its tweets and, like Google, you need to use advanced searches to dig up content material ideas?

Buffer has a full guide to Twitter superior search here – however the core idea is to use a number of of Twitter’s advanced search operators together to dig up content ideas that you understand will work.

Twitter Search

iTunes / Podcasts

I really like mining podcasts as a result of the content is often totally different and not correlated to present on-line content. It’s a format that lends itself to lengthy, nuanced conversational subjects.

Meaning that there’s plenty of alternative to seek out out what subjects listeners like on fashionable podcasts – and then drill right down to the preferred episodes. You realize for positive that your potential audience is interested. Your problem might be to turn the podcast matter into one thing fascinating in your website.

iTunes Ideas

Take a look at every fashionable episode. Take a look at its description, title and even take heed to it. What are the core elements? What are you able to do for the identical matter within your web site content material?


There are tons of the way to make use of YouTube for your web site’s content & advertising, however there are a couple areas to look for (& mine).

YouTube Search

Use the identical “suggest” methods as talked about above. You can even use or Ahrefs to automate a number of the course of.

YouTube Video Descriptions

Take a couple of excessive visibility videos. Yow will discover them by way of search or by sorting fashionable channels by “Most Popular” videos.

YouTube Most Popular

Scroll down and take a look at the video description.

YouTube Description

YouTube Comments

Ahh – notorious YouTube comments. They could have a nasty fame – however in case you find a high-quality video channel in your business, the feedback could be a gold mine.

Take a well-liked video from a well-liked (but top quality) channel and look by means of the comments for unanswered questions & keywords.

YouTube Comments

Word – CoreDNA additionally has an excellent define of these methods.

Facebook Groups & Boards

Like Reddit & Quora – these are notably fascinating because the questions requested are often questions that Google isn’t answering for them.

The trick is to seek out related & lively teams/boards. When you be a part of, type by questions.


Pinterest is unimaginable for market analysis. In reality, I wrote a whole publish on using Pinterest for Content & SEO.

There’s an excessive amount of to put in writing here – aside from you could (and will) use it. Read my submit here.

Next Steps

Earlier than you create your subsequent editorial calendar or brainstorm content material ideas, use 1 or a couple of these techniques to information & pre-qualify content ideas for what could have one of the best shot at generating guests.

In case you are into researching content technique, you will also like my in-depth guide to Ahrefs and my guide to finding trending subjects.