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Using SEMrush to Find New Content Ideas

Blog Article

As you sit in front of your computer ready to write yet another blog post, do you ever find yourself struggling to think of fresh content ideas?

Well, you can wave goodbye to the times of thumb twiddling and pencil chewing whilst looking at a blank document!

Solving a Common Issue

Using SEMrush, one of the industry’s most popular and relied on tools, you will not only be able to find new content ideas but also rank highly in the SERPs.

 This (not so) secret weapon that they hold is easy to execute and requires only 15 minutes of your time along with an eager eye for long tail opportunities.

 Here’s how you do it…

Choosing Your Competitor

Choose a competitor who has a strong blog and enter their domain in the SEMrush search bar.

Once you have entered your chosen competitor, head over to the left hand navigation and choose Organic Research from the Domain Analytics dropdown.

Note: Ensure you have positions highlighted for optimum results.


Applying The Filters

You should now see all the ranking keywords of your competitor. In this instance we have chosen Lookers.


This is great as an overview but in order to really analyse your competitor’s data, you’ll need to apply some filters.

Each filter will further your understanding of each keyword phrase and how realistic your chances of ranking for it is:


  • Firstly we want to ensure we are going after long tail terms, so we are only looking for queries with 5 or more terms.
  • We then look at SEMrush’s Keyword Difficulty. This is set at <80 but if you aren’t seeing any results, increase to <90.
  • Naturally, SEMrush sort the results by traffic, which displays branded terms at the top. This isn’t a realistic target so exclude any phrases including your competitor’s name.
  • Don’t be put off by low keyword volume but do set a minimum depending on the size of your client.
  • Apply a filter that only shows you queries that your competitor is ranking on the first page for. This is our target!

Spotting an Opportunity

Originally, our filters weren’t showing any results, so we increased the keyword difficulty limit to <90.

From our fresh results we found what we were looking for – a long tail query, which is ranking on the first page and has 40 searches per month.


Get a Step Ahead of Your Competition

Now you have identified a query, you will want to know what your competitor is doing to justify its position.

Lookers are currently sitting in 2nd position in the SERPs, so you would expect their page to be somewhat optimised for that query, wouldn’t you?


Well think again:


While including smart imagery and ample links to internal pages, Looker’s Smart Car page fails to mention the price of the car, which immediately does the searcher an injustice.

As a small business in the automotive industry, this can only be described as an opportunity, a great opportunity.

What Do You Have To Do?

So, we have realised that Lookers aren’t doing all that much to justify their position, but what can be done to ensure this small automotive business leaps ahead of them?

  • Answer the query
  • Create comprehensive and relevant content
  • Ensure the meta data and page titles are relevant to the search query

Lookers aren’t the only culprits of this; no one on the first page is directly answering the query with their title tag.

Targeting Position Zero

In the SERPs, the Telegraph ranks 3rd organically, however are in the Featured Snippet aka “position zero”.


As Peter Meyers explains in his article on position zero back in July, getting in the Featured Snippet doesn’t require deep structural changes; you just need to answer the query in hand.

The Telegraph is a great example of this – by simply answering the question at hand they appear twice on the first page of Google.


That is essentially what this whole process boils down to. You can rehash content on the Internet and rank well or you can take an opportunity and create valuable content for the searcher, with great rewards.

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