Some of the small businesses we work with are mainly local plumbers, electricians, doctors, and HVAC technicians. The goal of any agency is to make our clients happy, which often entails getting high keyword rankings for service-related keywords like these:

  • Plumber [insert City Name Here]
  • Bathroom Plumbing [insert City Name Here]
  • Electrical Service [insert City Name Here]
  • Air Conditioning Repair [insert City Name Here]

When organizing SEO, we have learned it is not all about keyword rankings; it is about the traffic generated from keyword targeting and the resulting high rankings in the SERPs.

If you find yourself in need of a way to generate content ideas, it’s likely that one of two scenarios has come to fruition:

  • You are not ranking for your client’s desired keywords, and need traffic now so you can report some good news.
  • You have achieved your client’s keyword ranking goals, but your traffic has started to stagnate, and you need to increase it.

Regardless of which scenario applies to you, following this four-step process should help:

Step #1: Carefully examine your industry for relevant broad terms

Take a broad view of your industry.

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Keywordtool.io gives you a list of related and suggested searches for terms. This will give you a very long and thorough list of very broad “unfinished” topics you can pick and choose to consider writing about.

Step #2: Put each word in Keywordtool.io

We like this technique because it’s the first step of creating objective content, meaning these are topics you can be assured real people have searched for. So, whatever content you choose to create, you understand the purpose is to create something that is going to help your customers.

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In this example, we pull a broad term from my table under electricians. The term we use is “light switch.”

Naturally, because this is a broad term, you are going to get a huge list of suggested searches. Go through this list and pick out the terms you think will get searches or that seem like a FAQ type of query.

Near the middle, we pull the suggested search term by focusing on “light switch feels warm” or “light switch feels hot.” This one looks like a winner, and we are confident that it is something everyday people search for if they suspect a problem with their electrical wiring.

You can take this a step further by taking the longer suggested term you just discovered and putting it into Keywordtool.io.

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The second group of results gives me more detailed suggestions.

So, if we were to create a blog post that focuses on the topic “light switch feels warm,” we would want to include these longer keyword terms in our post:

  • Light switch feels hot
  • My light switch feels warm to touch
  • Light switch plates feels warm

Step #3: Examine the competition

At this point, you have an interesting idea to write about, or multiple ideas if you enjoy thinking ahead. Now we are going to run our searches through Google to examine the competition of the long-tail keyword content idea we are considering.

When you are read these articles returned by the search, here are some considerations you should pay attention to:

Step #4: Solve the problem people have with a better blog

Call on your content person (or team) to write an even better article composed of all the elements you think make the other post(s) successful.

We have found instant success using this method to rewrite service pages as well. Every successful, high-ranking post has something other articles fail to mention. Make this the starting point for your new post.

Attempt to best the competition’s posts in every way, paying special attention to include these elements in your content:

  • Better copy
  • More informative graphics
  • Data that supports main points

Results

As a result of following the four-step process described in this post, I have experienced a good amount of success, and my site’s organic traffic shows it.

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The traffic shown here was for a blog post that I created using the same process.

Warning: Don’t neglect on-page optimization

As many of you know, Google’s search results don’t always display your page titles like you have written them. Sometimes, if your long-tail keyword phrase is mentioned in the content piece, Google will show that phrase instead of the designated page title. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you optimize the following on-page elements:

  • URL structure
  • Page titles
  • Content
  • H1s and H2s

The two images below are from the same content piece, but show up differently in two separate queries.

vsAvoDQ.png?1This search result displays the page title designated

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This one shows the the H2 designated for the piece

Conclusion

We’ve walked you through the rough outline of the process used to create content. We hope this strategy will be of great help to you, too, especially if your goal is to regularly create content on a limited budget.

Credit: Wells Yu