If a content marketer’s goal is to publish blog posts that rank well on Google, an unrelated pair of artificial-intelligence-powered tools could make the process relatively easier.
The aim of content marketing is to attract, engage, and retain customers. It takes many forms, including videos, podcasts, graphics, articles, and whitepapers. Each of those could have a sub-task.
This article focuses on attracting an audience — driving top-of-the-funnel prospects — with blog content.
The blog publishing process typically involves:
- Researching keywords,
- Identifying a topic,
- Developing an outline,
- Writing the post,
A blog post that ranks well on search engine results pages must include the words and phrases of searchers.
Tools to help find the best keywords for your content include Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs, Semrush, and WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.
But let’s look at RankIQ. To optimize rankings it combines a human-curated list of keywords and an AI engine.
Research keywords. The human side of this tool is a list of handpicked (and frequently updated) keywords aimed at popular blogging niches. The list is beneficial if your content fits one of these niches.
The tool’s keyword database is smaller than Semrush or Ahrefs, but it uses IBM Watson to provide actionable information for each phrase it does include. The upside is good data. The potential downside is no relevant keywords.
Each keyword suggestion comes with three stats: competition, visits per year, and time to rank. A higher competition score means you have to produce a superior blog post to rank on the first page of Google’s search results.
RankIQ aggregates its many calculations into three relatively easy-to-understand metrics: Competition, Visits/Yr, and Time to Rank.
The time-to-rank score is also helpful. If “average,” expect it to take 180 days for a post to rank on the first page. If “very fast,” it could happen in a month.
Finally, the visits-per-year metric provides a range of traffic the blog post would generate if it ranked on the first page of Google. This estimate is much higher than the keyword volume often reported in SEO tools, as RankIQ looks not at search frequency for a single phrase but considers others that are similar.
Identify a topic. Run a report once you have identified a keyword phrase in RankIQ. Type in the phrase if it was not in a RankIQ keyword library.
If you didn’t find a keyphrase idea in the Keyword Library, you could also type in your own keywords from RankIQ’s main page when logged in.
The main page of the report has three components.
The first is what’s required for your content to rank on page one of Google. An “A++” score means you’ll need to channel your inner Shakespeare and write a masterpiece. An “F” means you could seemingly publish in Pig Latin and still rank.
Next, RankIQ suggests a word count for your post. A general topic such as “classic science fiction movies” requires many words to cover everything Google seeks for a page one ranking.
Including more words than the suggested count is typically acceptable so long as they add value. The report also shows how many sources it checked to provide its estimates.
Further down in the report, RankIQ:
- Suggests about 40 topics to include in the post,
- Provides an analysis to help develop a compelling title and theme, and
- Shares competitive content for inspiration.
RankIQ lists the top 40 topics an article will need to cover for it to have a chance to rank on the first Google results page.
RankIQ encourages including all 40 topics, which it lists in order of importance. Organize these 40 topics into one comprehensive theme of primary and supporting ideas.
For example, an article about classic science fiction movies should mention “Star Wars” as a primary topic and “The Empire Strikes Back” and “George Lucas” as supporting.
RankIQ recommends keywords for a title and shows the top-ranking titles for comparison.
Finally, the blog post should embrace what SEO practitioners call “latent semantic indexing” keyphrases. These are subtopics related to the main theme. For a post about classic science fiction movies, “special effects” could be an LSI phrase.
Develop an outline. Once you have a theme and title, it is time to develop an outline of the post. Use the 40 or so topics RankIQ recommended.
For example, the outline for a classic science fiction post might include:
- Stars Wars
- George Lucas
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Blade Runner
- Star Trek
- Mad Max
You could fill this out with additional subtopics — the more, the better.
It is now time to meet Jasper, the second AI-powered tool.
Jasper is an automated writing assistant to generate sentences, paragraphs, and pretty-near whole articles on command. It uses artificial intelligence to develop content ideas, outlines, and even drafts optimized for search engines.
Don’t think of Jasper as a replacement for human writing, but rather a tool to rough out content. For example, the paragraph above (“Jasper is an automated …”) started with a Jasper command. Within the Jasper editor, I typed, “Write a paragraph about Jasper.ai explaining what it does.”
In Jasper, one can write a command in the context of a draft, and the AI will act on it.
Next, I highlighted that sentence and pressed the Command + Enter keys on my Apple MacBook. Jasper produced a paragraph quoted below.
Jasper is a content marketing platform that takes the guesswork out of content creation. It uses artificial intelligence to help content marketers develop content ideas, outlines and even drafts that are optimized for search engine optimization. This makes it fast and easy to create content that not only looks great, but also ranks high on Google SERPs.
Jasper generated this content in response to the command above.
I modified this copy and included most of it above.
Jasper read everything I had written (including a couple of other sections I asked Jasper to generate), so it knew my topic was SEO.
Writing the post. Now let’s turn to the outline created with RankIQ for a proposed blog post about classic science fiction moves. I’ll place that outline in Jasper.
In this case, the main sections of the outline are denoted with H1 tags in the Jasper editor, while subtopics are H2.
Jasper adds the outline built using RankIQ suggestions to its draft composition.
Click into any section, type a simple command, and Jasper will try to write a relevant sentence or two.
For example, given an H1 tag that read, “The Force and its religious implications in Star Wars,” Jasper wrote:
In the classic science fiction movie series Star Wars, the Force is an energy field that binds the galaxy together and gives Jedi knights their power. It’s also a metaphor for religious faith.
The original trilogy of films (Episodes IV-VI) was released between 1977 and 1983, during a time when traditional religion was in decline in the Western world. The films were hugely popular, and their success coincided with a resurgence of interest in spirituality and religion.
One of the things that made Star Wars so appealing was its positive portrayal of religion. In a time when many people were skeptical of organized religion, the film showed that faith could be a force for good in the universe.
This is the copy Jasper wrote on its first try.
Similarly, Jasper can fill in each section in the blog post’s outline.
A human should fact-check Jasper and refine its writing. Nonetheless, the tool makes composing a long article much easier.
Optimize the post. With Jasper’s help, a content marketer would quickly have a meaningful draft, ready for search optimization.
Return to RankIQ. In the same report that was generated for your keyphrase, there is a content optimizer tab. Paste your Jasper draft into this optimizer. It will review the draft, checking whether you included the suggested topics and hit the target word count. It also provides an overall quality score and compares it to the score RankIQ believes is necessary to rank on the first Google result page.
Note that at the time of writing, the content optimizer did not like external formatting. So use Option + Command + Shift + V on a Mac or a Windows device when you paste into RankIQ.
RankIQ will grade the draft based on covered topics, length, and quality. The 127 words in this example are nowhere near receiving a good grade.
Refine the draft until it satisfies RankIQ.
By using this combination of content marketing tools, you can easily write an SEO-friendly article. First, use RankIQ to develop a keyword target and content theme. Then use Jasper to produce a draft. Finally, use the RankIQ content optimizer to ensure your post hits all the right marks.