Using website data to discover content ideas that work

One of the most satisfying aspects of working with marketing teams is helping people to discover untapped opportunities that lead to meaningful results.

In this article, I will show you how to increase your website traffic from data you already have access to, as well as highlighting additional benefits everyone can derive from having all of the data in one place.

While Google Webmaster Tools is this post’s main focus, there are many other tools that can be used to generate effective content ideas. Google Analytics, SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends are just a few examples.

Related article: How to use Google Trends

How relevant is your existing content?

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is a great place to start looking for content ideas as it focuses on what people are already searching for and is specific to content opportunities that are relevant to your business/website.

The removal of the majority of keywords data from Google Analytics (GA) has coincided with the provision of more great features and search query information in GWT.

To start with, Google’s ‘Content Keywords’ feature tells you what your content is relevant for.

From here you can:

  • See if there are gaps in your content strategy
  • Identify areas that require new content creation
  • Re-prioritise content-writing based on the current content keywords hierarchy
  • Download content keywords and use the data in external tools to identify high-impact content areas that work

Google Webmaster Tools Content Keywords

What impact is your content currently having?

In addition to knowing what Google sees your website as being authoritative on, we can also find out from Google Webmaster Tools how much of an impact your content is currently having.

We can see this by using the ‘Search Impact’ feature:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact

Using the GWT search impact functionality, you can answer questions like:

  • What are my total impressions?
  • How has visibility changed over the past three months?
  • How are search queries performing on different devices?
  • Are clicks increasing with impressions?
  • Are average positions increasing with clicks?

GWT search impact will help you to write content based on:

  • What people are currently looking for
  • Impression changes (eg. redressing recent impression drops)
  • Improving average ranks/positions
  • Dimension comparisons (eg. high impressions but no clicks)

Using Google Webmaster Tools to spot new content opportunities

Once you know what you are visible for, and how the picture has changed over time, you’ll need to understand where you can leverage more value from current visibility. Then you should look for opportunities to increase the site’s visibility even further.

GWT’s Search Queries data can help you do this.

It allows you to identify search terms and entire themes of terms where you have limited impressions and zero impact (clicks). Then, by combining this data with info from Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner and other third-party tools, you can create a picture of the opportunity before acting accordingly.

Using Apollo Insights to spot new content opportunities

Using Apollo Insights, we can spot new opportunities without having to spend hours on end collating the necessary data; the software does it all for us. With access to all of the relevant data in one place, you’re able to skip straight to finding content opportunities.

In this case, we can see terms that have more than 100 impressions but zero clicks. All of the supporting information is available to help us prioritise content focus too – including average positions and potential search volumes.

Apollo Insights for spotting new content opportunities


Detailed analysis can help you make more informed content decisions

Once you go deeper into the data and look at trends over longer timeframes (GWT is restricted to a rolling three months), you can make more informed content choices.

You can find out more about:

  • Which type of content is likely to have the greatest impact
  • Content that used to work but needs refreshing
  • Content that’s already working but could deliver more
  • Gaps in your content, prioritised by volumes
  • New competitor successes
  • New search trends
  • Seasonal content opportunities

Apollo Insights for detailed analysis content creation

Using tools like GWT and Apollo Insights, you can quickly identify great content opportunities. From getting more value from current visibility to expanding your reach by identifying and filling the gaps in your current content strategy, you can make quick choices that lead to real results.

Let us help you discover your own opportunities

Delving into data can often be a bit overwhelming! If you’d like us to help, simply call us on 023 9283 0281 or email [email protected]

Lee Wilson profile picture
Lee Wilson

Lee has been working in the online arena, leading digital departments since the early 2000s, and oversees all our delivery services at Vertical Leap, having joined back in 2010. Lee joined our company Operations Team in May 2019. Before working at Vertical Leap, Lee completed a degree in Business Management & Communications at Winchester University, headed up the online development and direct marketing department for an international financial services company for ~7 years, and set up/run a limited company providing website design, development and digital marketing solutions. Lee had his first solely authored industry book (Tactical SEO) published in 2016, with 2 further industry books being published in 2019, and can be seen regularly expert contributing to industry websites including State of Digital, Search Engine Journal, The Drum, plus many others. Lee has a passion for management in the digital industry and loves to see the progression of others through personal learning, training and development. Outside the office he looks to help others while challenging himself, having skydived, bungie jumped and abseiled (despite a fear of heights) with many more fundraising and voluntary events completed and on the horizon. As a husband and dad, Lee loves to spend time with his family and friends. His hobbies include exercising, trying new experiences, eating out, playing countless team sports, as well as watching films (Gangster movies in particular – “forget about it”).

More articles by Lee
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