If you want to draw visitors to your website, you need to keep providing them with new and engaging content – there is no business success today without a carefully planned content marketing strategy.
However, equipping your website with a constant stream of fresh content can be a tricky thing, and sometimes even the most creative individuals run out of ideas. No matter how good you are, there will be times when you ask yourself, “What should I write about? What would my visitors like to read?”
Yes, you know all that and you’ve already been there. In fact, every businessperson with an internet connection has probably been there. But what some of you don´t know is that there are ways to find out what kind of content is the most popular.
It would be great to write about what people actually want to read, wouldn’t it? One of the online toolsets that give you such insight is AHREFS.com. Read on and see how you can utilize this great website to your advantage.
What Is AHREFS?
Before we show you how to use AHREFS to arm yourself with content marketing ideas, let us first give you a few words about its main features.
Basically, AHREFS is an online toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis. With its constant algorithm updates, this popular “backlink checker” will give you the most recent backlinks data for any website.
AHREFS contains many tools that serve different purposes. For example, the tool Site Explorer will provide you with the mentioned backlink analysis, so you can analyze your own website as well as the websites of your competitors.
If you want to explore the most profitable keywords for organic searches, you can utilize the tool Position Explorer. Moreover, if you are interested in getting relevant keyword ideas and traffic estimates, you will certainly make use of the tool Keyword Explorer. While there are many options that AHREFS offers, these are the features it is most known for.
However, what we are here interested in is AHREF’s newest tool called Content Explorer. The purpose of this latest innovation is to find great content all around the web and identify the most popular pieces on social media.
Let´s get to know this helpful tool in more detail and show you how to use it to get fresh and usable content ideas.
Meet Content Explorer
Imagine that you want to write an article related to social media strategy. You have a vague idea about the concept, but you are not quite sure which aspect to explore. Even if you do know which specific title to pursue, there are always questions like: “Will this attract readers? Will it encourage social media shares?”
More often than not, a piece of content is doomed to fail. It might be excellent, but it simply isn´t what people are interested in.
AHREFS’ Content Explorer is here to help you with that problem. To put it most simply, Content Explorer helps you find the most popular content for any topic, which is measured by the number of social media shares.
By entering keywords related to your topic of interest, you get to see what type of content has worked best for your competition. Once you have that knowledge, you can get inspired to create something similar yourself.
Now, let’s get back to your imaginary article and see how Content Explorer works. So, if you want to write a piece about social media strategy, the first thing you need to do is make a search query with those keywords. Take a look at the image below:
As the highlighted parts of the image show, Content Explorer allows you to filter results by several parameters. Firstly, you can find pieces of content that contain the desired keywords either in the title, in the content itself, or everywhere.
Furthermore, you can choose the period in which the content you are looking for is published – you can set it to past few hours, past week, past month, past year, all time, or you can determine the time interval yourself. Finally, Content Explorer supports more than 50 languages, so you can find usable content even if you are not searching for pieces in English.
The above image shows the most popular content related to social media strategy in April and May 2016. Now, what to make of the results? Well, Content Explorer is pretty straightforward and easy to use. Observe the highlighted parts in the following image:
On the left-hand side, you can see the list of the most popular titles that were published online for the given period. On the right-hand side, there are options to sort the results by the following categories:
- Domain rating
- Referring domains
- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest – the number of shares on each of those popular networks
- Total – the sum of all social media shares
Depending on the parameter that interests you most, you can now gain insight into what types of content people prefer. Of course, as much as you are interested in finding out which articles generate the highest number of social media shares, you probably don’t need to know about all platforms.
Suppose that your company has a strong LinkedIn presence. In that case, you will be eager to find out which articles about social media strategy are favored on that very platform. So, your next step is to sort the results by the number of shares on LinkedIn. Here is what you get:
The image shows the most popular articles in terms of LinkedIn shares. The title that achieved the biggest success by being shared approximately 2,000 times is called Meet 4 Influential Women in Marketing and Media Who are Creating a Culture of Change. “That’s great”, you are probably thinking while also wondering what you should with this list of titles.
Well, here’s your chance to get inspired. Now that you know what kind of articles LinkedIn users prefer, you can use that knowledge to write something equally engaging. For example, you can read the chosen article and create your own piece about influential women in marketing and media. The titles could be:
- Woman in Power: 5 Ladies that are Influencing the Culture of Marketing and Media
- How Women Can be the Change We Want to See in Marketing and Media
- Marketing and Media of the Future: Women in Charge
Of course, if you don’t like this particular topic, there is the whole list of other articles you can explore until you find the one that suits you best.
Find Popular Content and Get Inspired
In this article, we have covered the basics of what Content Explorer has to offer. Needless to say, there are many other options that can provide you with a more detailed analysis of a certain piece of content.
For example, you can discover the number of referring domains that contain backlinks to the content you are interested in, and thus find out about the SEO potential of a topic. If you want to follow a certain topic more closely, you can create alerts for specific keywords and get notified about new online content via e-mail.
Content Explorer really offers many options for you to choose from, and if you use them right, you can both find and analyze the hottest content in your niche. Most importantly, this tool gives you a chance to gain valuable knowledge about the type of content that gets relentlessly shared on social media.
While there are many articles that cover the issue of virality, AHREFS goes beyond mere theory and gives you concrete numbers that represent social media popularity.
Therefore, you can always find out what type of content has made the most impact on which platform. With the help of this online toolset and your own imagination, you can really get inspired and arm yourself with fresh, shareworthy ideas.