The first rule of content planning says: there is no single right method of the content plan theme gathering. Some people compose their content plan from the list of questions sent to technical support team, others advertise specific posts (like “We’ll answer any questions”) and choose from the questions being put in the comments, and some directly ask subscribers of their email distribution. We propose to draw up a content plan through the analysis of successful competitors.
1. Finding Competitors
Suppose we have a new website and we don’t know yet who our competitors are. But they are probably blogging to increase the organic site traffic. How to find out who they are? Let’s type in the Serpstat search line the key phrase of our semantics, choose a search engine and switch to the “Competitors in the Organic Search” tab. You’ll see the list of the competitors’ domains. Let’s take a houseplants online shop as an example. Some of the chosen websites may not be direct competitors despite the fact that there is a specified key phrase in their semantic core. YouTube, eBay and the news sites shouldn't be taken into account. You are interested in more specific resources. On the current stage, the task is more routine. You have to manually choose 5 to 10 most relevant competitors and save them in a doc.
2. Collecting the Key Phrases of the Competitors
Pushing the competitor's’ domains from the report gets you to the list of the search requests, where the website is moving. You don’t need the whole list of keywords, just focus on those leading to a specific website page – blog or the news feed. To reach that, use filter and type in the field “Contains URL/Starting with” the URL you need, then press “Reset Filtering”. This gives you the list of key phrases. These keywords can enrich the blog texts that have already been published and be used as themes for the content plan.
3. Collecting the headlines from the key requests
Serpstat has a section that contains search prompts in the form of questions - the form users search for them. The are perfect for the creation of the new posts’ headlines. Then, we choose one of the key phrases that we received in the previous report, click on it and switch to the “Search Suggestions” section. Here, choose “Only Questions” filter. We received the finished headlines for the publications. Do the same thing with the other keywords you previously received in the report.
On this stage, you are already providing yourself with tens of ideas for the content plan.
4. Finding Competitors’ Best-Performing Posts
If you want to get even more visitors from organic search, analyse the competitors' pages that provide them with the heaviest traffic and adopt ideas for the posts. Let’s get back to the competitors of our houseplants website. Switch to category “Site Structure/URL”, tune up the filter “Starting with URL”, where we enter the address of the the required section from the competitor’s site and press the “Apply” button. At the bottom of the page limit the output to the five hundred lines. Wait for the results to upload and click on the “Potential Traffic” to sort out this index/indicator/parameter in the descending order. Do not forget that the “Potential Traffic” parameter is calculated based on the correlation of real and the heaviest possible traffic (the latter presupposes that the page takes the search results leading position in all phrases), and that is why the parameter is approximate. The best pages with heaviest potential traffic come up at the top of the list. Let’s copy the themes of these articles in our content plan and go back to the report. Then, press the page URL and go to the section with the search requests list in accordance with which the page is seen in the list. These key phrases can be used to optimize the future article after collecting the semantics from the unnecessary/surplus phrases. Do the same with another 5-10 publications of the competitor.
5. Choosing the Most Popular Themes in Social Networks
The following stage is similar to the previous one – we will work in the same “Site Structure/URL” insert. However, this time parameter “FB shares” is in focus. Let’s sort out our pages in accordance with it to find the competitor’s content that received the largest number of shares. Be sure to use this technique if you want to receive the heaviest traffic from Facebook. Then, click on link, adopt the topic theme, and go back to the search requests report to lower the semantics. Do the same with the other popular posts of the competitor.
6. Working with the Headlines
All received headlines put in the Excel and divide them into groups: “Theme”/“Topic”, “Key Phrases”. Delete/Remove the repetitions in the key phrases and make the headlines more attractive. If you doubt which headline to choose, you can use plugin KingSumo Headlines for WordPress.
7. Planning the Publications/ Posts
At the last stage create a document with the detailed yearly content plan. The average frequency of publications – no less than one post per week. The topics themselves can be divided by weeks, months and quarters – everything will depend on the marketing strategy that you choose for yourself. The main thing is to try to interchange different types of content (overview-management, cases, text + infographic, expert opinion), and also try to comply with uniform spacing between the posts publications. Do you have your own approaches to the content plan creation? Tell us about it in the comments! That’s all, Folks! Good Luck!