I just showed you how to research the content of your competitors and find some golden nuggets that you can repeat on your others blog. But you can only do this one competitor at a time. How cool would it be to research the entire niche at once? I am showing you how you do that.
There is a cool tool called Content Explorer, which is basically a database of 846 million pieces of content that Ahrefs crawler has collected from all around the web. And I can enter any word into the search bar and find all content that I mention in their content or title.
Let’s continue with the word cats as our example.I want to find all pages from all around the web that have the word cats in their title. Which results in over a million pages. Now, let’s see how many of these pages get over a thousand visits per month from Google. We have a filter for that here. And now we’re down to slightly over 2,000 pages that generate over a thousand monthly visits from Google. That’s roughly 0.1% of all pages that mention the word cats in their title. Which says many about how most of the published content performs, right? But how many of these pages generate their search traffic with no backlinks pointing at them? We have a filter for that too. It’s called Referring domains. Let’s put 0 into it. And now I’m down to 63 pages only. Let’s sort them by the amount of search traffic to see the best ones on top. And if I scroll down a bit, I’ll see an awesome article:
The Best Flea Treatment for Cats for 2020. It gets almost 5,000 visits per month from Google while having 0 backlinks! What an amazing opportunity!
I can also click the Details button and see which keywords bring search traffic to this article. Looks like it ranks really high for things like best flea treatment for cats, best flea medicine for cats, flea treatment for cats and such. That’s an amazing content opportunity that took me less than a minute to discover.
Here are a few more great articles from that list:
How to Calm a Cat in Heat, Tips for Moving a Cat Long Distance, Safe Fruits For Your Cat. All of them get decent search traffic with 0 backlinks. And I only tried a single keyword – cats – and only focused on articles with 0 backlinks and over 1,000 visitors from search. I can also try some other relevant keywords like kittens and loosen my filters a bit, to get content ideas with a bit less traffic and a few more backlinks.
Which will give me vastly more results to explore. So how cool is that? As you can tell, Content Explorer tool is a unique and insanely valuable tool, because it allows you to filter through almost the entire Internet of content.
And find what brings the most search traffic with the least amount of backlinks. When I shared this trick in Facebook, people were totally blown away and immediately used it to find great content ideas for their sites. So hit pause and try this yourself. I’m sure you will find something cool for your own blog too.
And one last thing I have to mention is your website’s Domain Rating. Which represents the strength of the overall backlink profile of your website. As a general rule, it can be challenging to outrank websites that have high Domain Rating.
For example, here you can see an article from Huffington Post that is titled The Top 100 Most Adorable and Cute Cat Names It has 0 referring domains, but the Domain Rating of huffingtonpost.com is 80. Whis is very high. So if the Domain Rating of your own website is much smaller than that, like 60 or below, It is unlikely that your article will outrank huffingtonpost.com. I mean if both articles have 0 backlinks, it is obvious that Google will pick the one, that was published on a stronger website. But if you build a bunch of quality backlinks to your own article, you do have a chance to outrank even high-DR domains. Please also note that the numbers that you see in Content Explorer are cached. I mean there’s a small discrepancy in backlink and traffic numbers for the same article in Site Explorer and Content Explorer. But that discrepancy shouldn’t be too big, as we update all numbers quite regularly. And this wraps up the 4 strategies that will supply you with an almost never ending source of great content ideas.
Now this is most important How to prioritise your list of content ideas?
If you were taking action while reading this lesson, I’m sure your spreadsheet of content ideas is full of golden nuggets. Which should feel quite satisfying already. But how can you realize which one you should take first? What’s the intention of investing time and resources to bring people to your website, if these people won’t buy from you? So we need to add one more column to our spreadsheet and name it Business value. To fill a cell in this column you’ll need to ask yourself: What are the factors that a user, searching for the same in Google and reading my article.I usually give my content ideas a score from 0 to 3, where 3 means that my product or service is an absolutely irreplaceable solution for a target search query, which leads to an easy sell; 2 means that my business will help people with what they are searching for, but it’s not essential in solving their search query; 1 means that my business can only be mentioned in passing, because the search query is only slightly related to what I sell.And 0 means that there’s not even a chance to squeeze a single mention of my business into the article. Early in this blog I told you that with Ahrefs blog never had a goal to grow monthly amount of traffic. We wanted to make our blog a customer acquisition channel and grow the monthly number of leads that it generates.
That’s why Ahref often had to ignore topics with huge traffic potential in favour of topics with huge business potential. Let me explain that with a very vivid example. Most likely you’ve heard about HubSpot. They are one of the biggest brands in digital marketing software field. They have 1,800 employees and a huge content marketing team that runs their blog. According to Ahrefs, HubSpot blog gets almost 2M visits per month from Google.
Which is an absolutely staggering number. So let’s look at their best-perfoming articles using the Top pages report in Ahrefs. And here’s their best article, that brings them almost 80,000 visitors per month in the US alone and accounts for 8% of their entire blog traffic:
How to create an Animated GIF at photoshop software? Yeah, it’s not a mistake. Their best performing article is a tutorial on making a gif image. Does this article grow their business? Well, the product that HubSpot sells can be described as a marketing CRM. And if you ask me, the road of someone looking for tutorial on making a GIF image to becoming a paid user of a marketing CRM is kind of a maze. I mean, people who are searching Google for how to make a gif are clearly not their dream customers. So this content idea would get a business potential score of 0 from me.
Now, let’s examine our own blog and see if we practice what we preach. Here are the articles that bring the most search traffic to Ahrefs blog: Keyword research, Top google searches, Website traffic, SEO tips, SEO audit, etc. Obviously, these articles are nowhere near how to make a GIF guide in terms of traffic numbers. But they convert readers into customers of Ahrefs very well. Here’s a tweet from last week to prove it. This guy took Ahrefs free trial after reading our guide to long tail keywords. And a few weeks later he tweeted that he became our paid customer. This is exactly what we’re looking to achieve with almost every article that we publish on our blog.
And it is utterly important to keep this in mind at all times. Search volume doesn’t equal business opportunity. The searchers’ intent behind your search query does. That is why marketers are so obsessed with keywords that have the word buy (or it’s synonims) in them: best place to buy dslr camera, hire a business coach, rent an apartment in london. These searches clearly indicate that the person behind them is one step away from pulling money from their wallet. But in all honesty, you should not ignore their generic versions with much higher search volume just because the search traffic coming from them would be harder to convert into cusomers: Especially if you have some experience writing good sales copy and persuading peope to buy what you sell.
A person searching for business coach might not be ready to hire one right away, but it is your article that could persuade them to do so. So if the more specific search query with a clear buying intent gets a business value of 3, the generic one would still get 2 from me. All you need to do is just stay reasonable with your business value scores and don’t fall for writing guides on how to create a GIF image, unless of course you sell some kind of software for creating gifs.
Now, you should have a perfect understanding of where to get almost unlimited content ideas and how to vet them for search traffic potential, ranking difficulty, and business value. And in the next lesson I’ll show you how to make sure that your article is properly optimized for the search query that you’re targeting. Sounds good?