I love lazy people and frankly, I consider myself to be a little on the lazy side.
Why? Because lazy people find the easiest way to get something done.[bctt tweet=”…lazy people find the easy way to get things done.” username=”rbmanley”]
When Tom Sawyer hooked people into painting that fence for him, he may have become the first recorded example of a solopreneur in classic American literature. But I digress…
I think I should add one element to my admiration for lazy people: I like smart, lazy people. Working with people who are dumb and lazy is, well, as bad as you would imagine it to be.
Being somewhat lazy, I’m always looking for shortcuts or ways to get others (ala Tom Sawyer) to do my work for me…for free, of course. This is why I love Google’s autofill feature for discovering blog topics.
Let Google suggest blog topics
For example, if I landed a job creating content for a used car dealer, I’d head over to Google and type in “used car” to see what searches were suggested for me. I would capture all of those suggestions. Then I would add the letter “a” to the query and capture all of those suggestions. I would continue down the alphabet adding letters “b” through “z” (“used car zero down” would be a good blog keyword phrase) and make note of all the half-way decent keywords on which I could create content.
(By the way, this technique usually works best in an incognito window. If there is crossover between the topics you have searched for in the past and the keywords you’re trying to find, you could get suggestions that are essentially skewed to one person’s search habits: you.)
At this point, some of you may be saying that you already know this technique. If that’s you, thanks for sticking with me this far. Hang around for another sentence or two and even you guys may have an “ah-ha” moment.
Life beyond Google
Do you know that Google isn’t the only search engine? I suppose you’re fairly well familiar with Bing, but let’s go even further. How about Duckduckgo and Yippy?
You can mine these search engines for keyword suggestions as well, and you’ll be happy or surprised to know that you won’t always get the same suggestions as you get from Google.
Duckduckgo will give you autofill answers in the same format that Google does, but I’ve found that their autofills differ quite a bit from those that Google delivers. I put all of these in a spreadsheet that I use for two purposes:
- I keep track of the ones I have used in articles, and
- I note the most popular keywords after plugging them into Google Trends four at a time to see their relative rankings. (I’ll explain this process in a future article.) I highlight the most popular in bold for my future reference.
The story is a little different over on Yippy. That search site doesn’t have the autofill feature, but down the left-hand side of the webpage it gives you “Concept Clusters.” Further, sometimes those clusters have “sub-clusters. You can get keyword ideas just from looking at the cluster topics.
When you use Yippy in this way, you may find that going through the alphabet with your main keyword isn’t very useful. You’ll probably get better results by studying the Concept Clusters associated with your main keyword – in my example, “used car.”
The beauty of these keyword development or discovery techniques is that you end up with a list of long-tail keywords. Going back to the example I’ve used throughout this article, it would be very difficult to rank for “used car.” However, it would be easier to rank for “used car apr rates.”
Hint: Run all the long-tail keywords your discover through Google and see which do not yet have “featured snippet.” Ask yourself, is this topic snippet-worthy and could I create an in-depth article that delivers that snippet?
These featured snippets are being called “Position Zero” in Google search results and they can deliver a tremendous amount of traffic to your website. Elisa Gabbert delivers a great overview as well as some good tips to follow when you’re ready to compete for Position Zero.
If you take all the main keywords and run through this “alphabet” system with them, you’ll discover dozens and maybe even hundreds of long-tail keyword you can build content around.
It’s a lazy person’s dream.