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How to Discover Valuable Blog Ideas from Google Analytics Site Search Data

Looking for new blog ideas? Find helpful & empathetic ideas through your website's search data. Learn how in just 3 steps.

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by Eric Sharp

I recently listened to an Unbounce podcast that discussed how to use data from Google Analytics to become a better blogger.

As a data junkie and content marketer, this topic is hyper-relevant for both ProtoFuse and my clients — we're all looking for unique ways to keep that ol' blogging engine going.

ow to Discover Valuable Blog Ideas from Google Analytics Site Search Data

The episode as a whole discussed broad data topics and analysis, but there was one specific segment that caught my attention: Using Google Analytics site search data to come up with incredibly helpful blogs.

Now that is nerdy and practical!

For those who haven't set up Site Search in Google Analytics or not running Google's Custom Search Engine (CSE), you’ll want to keep reading.

Though I'll focus on Google Analytics from a data collection perspective, the real value of this blog is how to use your website's search data to get valuable content ideas.

If you have a search feature, and can see what people are searching for, I promise you'll get some tips here.

There's just 3 Steps to this Process:

  1. Get access to the site search data
  2. Filter and analyze what phrases people are searching for
  3. Come up with Blog ideas

If you're short on time, this quick video will summarize the rest of this blog:

Step 1: Get Access to Google Analytics Site Search Data

Within Google Analytics, go to:

Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms

Once viewing the data, I’d recommend a wide date range to get as many terms as possible. 30 days is good, a few months is great, a full year is best. The more data the better when it comes to finding valuable blog ideas.

To see this data within Google Analytics, you must be running Google’s Custom Search (free up to 100 queries per day)

Step 2: Look at the Search Queries, Get in the Head of your Readers

There will always be generic searches around your products/services (e.g. product numbers). You probably won’t extract many blog ideas from these unless you don’t already have information around these terms (which you’ll want to remedy outside of your blog).

An example "Search Terms" report from Google Analytics

The more powerful search terms — that will generate empathetic blogs and be immediately helpful to your readers — include words such as:

  • how
  • why
  • what
  • when
  • who
  • where

By focusing on these trigger words, you’ll get in the head of your blog readers by understanding what type of content they’re most interested in (which is every content marketer’s dream!)

If you’re currently brainstorming new blogs, why not put that on pause and address questions you already know your visitors are asking? Seems like a no brainer to me.

Tip: Export out the site search data to excel to filter & organize your search terms faster

Step 3: Brainstorm Blogs that'll Address Most Popular Search Queries

Now that you have a short-list of some powerful search terms, it’s time to start the process of generating blog ideas. Here are 3 examples from my clients’ websites that are using Google Custom Search.

Example 1

If you see the search term "what to bring"...

Create a Blog titled:

  • “What to Bring, and NOT Bring to our Park”

  • “Top 10 Things You’ll Want to Bring Before Your Stay”

  • “The Perfect Travel Checklist: What to Bring!”

Example 2

If you see the search term "how to purchase a premium package"...

Create a Blog titled:

  • “How to Purchase a Premium Package” (Yes, sometimes the title can be identical to the search term!)

  • “Looking for our Premium Package? Learn How in this 30 Second Video”

  • “Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Purchase a Premium Package”

Example 3

If you see the search term “203”...

Create a Blog titled:

  • “The Top 5 Features of the 203 Product Line”

  • “All You Need to Know: 203 Series”

  • “Why our 203 Will Blow Your Freakin’ Mind” (that’d be a fun one)

You may also like:

Data-Driven Empathy Content isn't Sexy, but it Works...

Empathy and marketing go hand-in-hand.

There’s even a case that empathy is your best marketing strategy. I would certainly agree with that statement, especially within Content Marketing where the mantra should always be HELP — not HYPE.

Using your website’s search data to generate empathetic blogs is an excellent way to help your readers. It also takes the pressure off writing that next brilliant blog that’ll drive a ton of traffic, shares and conversions.

Pull the Google Analytics site search data, look for those trigger words, and start writing incredibly helpful blogs!

We believe a conversion-focused website — paired with the proper traffic, content, automation, and end-to-end ROI measurement — equips B2B technology companies with a real asset to scale their business.

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