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SEO Basics Series: How to Find Trending Topics for Blog Posts

In the second installment of Avenue’s Search Engine Optimization Basics series, Avenue provides a list of our favorite tools and strategies to find trending topics and keywords for blog post writing. Blog post writing is an excellent tactic to rank for keywords that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to mention organically on your site. Say, for example, you run a small business selling pet accessories: leashes, collars, treats, etc. You might consider writing a blog post titled “How to Potty Train a New Puppy.” If the blog post is based on keyword research and follows best practices for SEO, you might be able to rank organically for new search terms. Below we’ve outlined our top tips and tools to test out as you kick off your blog post writing for SEO.

Tools for finding trending topics

In blog post writing for SEO, it’s important to determine what topics are trending so that your content is highly relevant. Below are some Avenue’s recommendations to uncover trending topics in your industry.

  • Google Trends allows you to find topics of interest in real-time. Try searching for your business’ brand name, industry, or product types. Narrow your search to uncover trends based on geographic location. Cross reference several search terms to compare popularity.

  • Employ a social listening tool. Social listening is a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s trending in your industry, especially in regards to your own branded terms. For free social listening options, check out Social Mention and Tweet Deck for real-time social media insights on what’s currently trending. For a paid social listening tool with more robust capabilities, check out Awario or Sprout Social.

  • Sign up for Google Alerts. Google Alerts will notify you every time new content goes live that mentions a keyword of your choosing. Employ Google Alerts for your branded terms, so you are aware of any time your brand is mentioned and under what context: you may notice trending topics popping up that would be perfect for your blog writing for SEO strategy.

  • Stay active on Twitter. Even if you find your business doesn’t need a presence on this platform, continue to monitor trending topics both at a local and national level. Monitoring trending topics, hashtags, and terms may give key insights on what topics your customers, or potential customers, are talking about to fold into your blog content.

  • Follow the top publication in your industry. Top content distributors or publications in your industry can do the heavy lifting, and uncover the trending topics in your industry for you. Follow them on social and keep note of their content trends. It may spark an idea on how those topics relate to your business.

Tools for selecting your primary keyword

Once you’ve determined the topic you’d like to cover, it's time to choose a primary keyword. Selecting your primary keyword is a key factor in blog post writing for SEO. The better optimized your blog post is for your primary keyword, the better ability you will have to rank in the search results. Consider these tools in your search for blog post topics and primary keywords. When selecting keywords using the following tools, we’re looking for high relevance, high search volume, and low competitiveness.

  • Google is a great starting point. Start searching terms on Google to see what’s out there, and what content you might be competing with. What are people searching for? What kinds of queries should preface your keywords (“what is…”, “where is…”, “how do I…”, etc.)? How many search results appeared for the keyword you typed in? Assess your competitors' blogs and the content they’re writing about. You’ll begin to get a good feel of the type of content you should produce based on an audit of content that already exists.

  • Google Ads Keyword Planner is free to access; all you need is a Google Ads account. Keyword planner allows you to search for search volume and keyword competitiveness for specific keywords, as well as other variants of that keyword.

  • The free version of Moz Keyword Explorer can perform basic keyword research. Similar to Google Ads keyword planner, Moz provides average monthly search volume and keyword competitiveness. Start by searching for basic terms you think you might show up for. Narrow your search to find lower hanging fruit keywords.

  • SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool operates similarly to Google Ads Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer.

Once you have done the research, you’re ready to write your blog post! Keep an eye out for our next installment of Avenue’s Search Engine Optimization Basics blog for a step by step guide on blog post writing for SEO.

Please note that Avenue has no affiliation with any products, services, or websites referenced in this blog post. Avenue is a digital marketing agency in Portland using business as a force for good. Our proprietary suite of paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media services help brands and businesses of all sizes grow sustainably and successfully. For more information, we invite you to visit our services page.

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