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The broad to narrow blog post strategy: use your stats for new post ideas

broad to narrow blog content strategy

Blogging is effective only if you know what kind of content exactly to publish. In order two get that data you need to either a) run research using third-party tools b) analyze your traffic and impressions The first part is clear – research yourself or buy a professionally researched content plan – and build your list of potentially good topics. The second part is more tricky – to analyze your stats you need to have them first. To get rich, useful statistics, we recommend starting to blog as soon as possible.

But to get even further ahead of your competition, start with at least 60% of broad articles.

The trick here is to start broad and narrow down based on data.

For that purpose, you need to fill at least half of your blog with broad, general posts in your niche. /The other half can be your specific conversion-oriented posts that address the pain points of your customers/

The main keywords for these posts will be high-volume and probably high-competition ones. The main benefit is not to rank for these keywords immediately (although that is always desired), but to probe your niche and find opportunities.

Make sure the posts are long and written by great writers – that way they’ll pick up the maximum amount of long-tail keywords on Google. /Make sure you have Google Search Console installed on your site!/

Let the posts get indexed and harvest impressions data for at least a couple of weeks.

After that evaluate your Google impression stats. Search queries that have 100+ impressions with positions higher than 30 or 40 are great candidates for separate, dedicated blog posts. See if they make sense for your customer persona, and if they do – add them to your content plan. Boom – you just found blog post ideas that are relatively easy to rank for and that are relevant to your customers’ interests.

Why good writers matter for this blog strategy

The better your writers are – the more search queries your post will pick up  on Google. Great writers research a lot, and their wording is rich. As a result, Google indexes more words and word combinations on your site. Ultimately, that gets you more longtail traffic. Natural, smart, and diverse writing always ranks better. Another bonus of using quality copywriters is that their content starts getting impressions for unexpected search phrases. This makes inspecting your stats extremely exciting – a lot of hidden gems come up.

A broad to narrow blog strategy in practice – a customer case

Here’s a case from our past work to illustrate this. The client reached out with a complaint – their content was underperforming. With over 300 indexed blog posts they were barely getting any traffic to their informational/affiliate website. One of their blog posts was named (name slightly altered) – “You don’t have to always use Photoshop – here’s 10 alternatives for quick logo design” The client’s website is a portal dedicated to all things Internet. There was no other content on Photoshop alternatives. Here’s the problem with this blog post title: it’s confusing Google as much as it is confusing the readers. You can not possibly cover all the topics declared in the title:

  • Photoshop alternatives
  • Photoshop alternatives for logo design
  • Logo design apps
  • Quick logo design

See how many potential separate large topics are crammed into this? There’s NO chance that the writer could’ve produced something factual, readable, and optimized within just one blog post. Also, there’s NO chance Google’s algo would rank the article for any of the queries above – simply because they are all too diluted with other topics. One article can not rank for “photoshop alternatives” and for “logo design apps” at the same time.

How we applied the “broad to narrow” blog strategy

In order to be consistent and to make it easier for Google to rank your site, you need to make up your mind on a topic and center the post around it. We advised the client to create a large, general post named “Photoshop alternatives”. The post was supposed to be a lengthy piece with a lot of subtopics, some of them were –

  • what is PS and why is it popular
  • pros and cons of PS
  • PS alternatives for Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • PS alternatives for drawing
  • PS alternatives for photo editing
  • PS alternatives for logo design etc. etc.

As you can see, the large post contains a lot of subtopics – but is not dedicated to them. The post is about Photoshop alternatives and that’s the main topic that unifies everything as a large umbrella. We’ve put together a writer’s brief and had the post written to be an about 3K-word guide.

The results of the broad to narrow blog strategy

The post was well-written and detailed, and soon got indexed by Google. Once in the index, the post started to get impressions for many search queries. Some of the queries were expected, like “photoshop alternatives for Mac”, but others were completely unexpected, like “make gimp look like photoshop” or “sketch alternative for windows”. That happened just because the post had mentions of Gimp, Sketch, and Windows, all in the software selection context.

[box] All these unexpected queries were found during Google Search Console audit. We’ve evaluated them and added some of the most appropriate to the content plan. These topics were not found during third-party tool keyword research![/box]

The client went on to produce blog posts about all the sub-topics with the most Google impressions one after the other, and the whole Photoshop-alternative-related content pool grew to a large section of the site’s traffic even before ranking for the main keywords.

Broad to narrow blog strategy recap

  1. Start out by covering the most of you niche with general, comprehensive, well-researched and professionally written posts.
  2. Track the performance of these posts on Google Search Console, see what additional search queries they pick up
  3. Evaluate these queries and use the most appropriate or original ones as your next future posts.

The beauty of this approach is that articles written well pick up search queries that are completely unexpected. Yet these search queries often make great further posts.

Does this work every time?

This blog strategy is not appropriate if you are have a 100% clear vision of what you need to publish on your blog, and the vision comes from the nature of your business or audience. If your blog is mostly used by the sales team as a knowledgebase or as a FAQ section for prospects – then you need to stick to that. Some businesses and blogs just need to focus on customer needs, and the broad to narrow strategy will likely be irrelevant there. If you are after traffic, however, – then the broad to narrow blog strategy will be perfect for you. If you’re unsure what your needs are – reach out for a consultation!

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