What are SEO Story Ideas, and how can I use them?

Modified on Wed, 01 Mar 2023 at 02:38 PM

What Are SEO Story Ideas, and How Can I Use Them?


SEO Story Ideas is a new addition to our suite of Ideation tools. This feature uses an algorithm to recommend story concepts for your publication in seconds, based on your content strategy.

Each story idea comes with critical search data, so you can determine which ones have the potential to drive the most organic search traffic to your site. Read below for some frequently asked questions about how to get the most out of the tool.

Understanding SEO Story Ideas

  • How can I start using this feature?

    • Start by clicking 'Ideation' on the top navigation bar. You'll see a button titled 'SEO Story Ideas' between Pitches and Content Requests—click on it to access the page. Once you're on the SEO Story Ideas page, simply hit the 'Request More' button at the bottom of the page to see a fresh set of ideas.

    • In order for the feature to work, you'll need one or more SEO keywords included in your content strategy. (Here's a quick tutorial on how to add keywords.) We recommend starting with at least 5 keywords. If you're unsure which keywords to add to this section, add general topics (like "cloud computing" or "mortgages"), or reach out to your Contently contact for help.

  • How does the idea generator algorithm work?

    • Our algorithm was custom-built to deliver high-quality ideas based on decades of research and content expertise. It analyzes the target keywords within your content strategy and provides related terms that contain contextual words or phrases. Traditional SEO Tools may recommend thousands of generic keyword phrases, but our tool was programmed to suggest the right phrases for you to pursue. that's why we call them "SEO Ideas."

  • Where does this data come from?

    • All data on this page is sourced from SEMrush, a leading international authority on search data. Contently has integrated with SEMrush since 2014. Currently, only search data from the U.S. is shown. All data points reflect values from the month in which they were requested (so any ideas requested in March 2021 are associated with search data from March 2021).

  • What does search volume, number of results, and CPC mean?

  • Search volume: The number of times users searched Google for this word or phrase in a four-week period.

  • Cost per click: The amount you would pay Google if someone clicked on your ad for this keyword or phrase.

  • Number of results: The number of pages that Google has indexed for a given keyword.

  • If you're interested in learning more about how these metrics can help you select the right idea, scroll down to the Understanding and Modifying Ideas section below.


Definitions of Keyword Metrics


Requesting Ideas

  • How can I request new ideas?

    • Before requesting new ideas, you must approve or decline at least one existing idea in your queue. To see your queue, make sure the 'Awaiting Review' status is selected on the dropdown near the top of the page. You can have a maximum of 10 ideas in your queue at all times.

    • Once you've accepted or declined an idea, you will be able to hit the "Request More" button at the bottom of the page. New ideas will populate on the page immediately.


How to request new SEO Story Ideas


  • How many ideas can I request?

    • You can continue to request ideas until you've seen 500 ideas within a seven-day period. Once you've hit this limit, you'll have to wait seven more days before you can request more ideas. If you're seeing this notification often, please reach out to your Contently contact for help.

  • Do SEO Story Ideas expire?

    • Unlike pitches, SEO Story Ideas never expire. Ideas will remain on your SEO Story Ideas homepage until you decline or accept them.

Understanding and Modifying Ideas

  • I don't like my ideas. How can I get different ones?

    • You have the power to change what ideas appear based on your content strategy inputs. Specifically, which keywords you have listed in the "SEO Keywords" section. If you'd like to receive ideas about different topics, add new keywords related to those topics. If you no longer want to receive ideas about a specific keyword or topic, simply delete those keywords from your strategy. Click here for a tutorial on how to add or delete keywords from your content strategy.

    • Additionally, keep in mind that our database refreshes each month, so there's always a chance you'll receive different ideas next month.

  • How can I determine which ideas are the best fit for my publication?

    • All SEO Story Ideas represent long-tail keyword opportunities. They typically have lower search volumes, but higher conversion rates than other keywords. Read more about long-tail keywords here.

    • If you're new to SEO, your contact can help create guidelines for you based on your goals and site health, and provide more specific guidance based on your strategy.

    • Generally, we consider keywords with CPCs of $3 or higher, or keywords with search volumes over 1,000, to be very competitive. They are worthwhile to pursue if your site already has a robust SEO presence. If you're just getting started with SEO Story Ideas and want to generate more organic search traffic, we recommend pursuing ideas with search volumes below 1,000 and CPCs below $3.

  • What happens when I accept an idea?

    • In order to accept an idea, click on the keyword phrase, which will take you to a separate page. Once there, you'll see "Accept" and "Decline" buttons on the top right of the page.

    • Upon accepting, you'll be taken to the "Create Story Brief" page. There, you can fill out the rest of the details related to your story, like publication date and other requirements. You can also add a workflow. You'll notice that the name of the idea you accepted will automatically appear as the title of the story and within the SEO keywords section of the brief. If you'd like to change these, you can at any time.


How to Accept SEO Story Ideas


  • Can I create a pitch request for this idea?

    • Yes, but not directly from the SEO Story Ideas page. Currently, this feature allows you to create story briefs from ideas. However, you can create a pitch request separately and paste information about the target keyword. If this is a feature you'd like to see added, please contact your customer success representative.

  • Why do my ideas show N/A in specific fields?

    • If the CPC (cost per click) field doesn't show a dollar amount, this means that either the value is less than than $0.01, or no one is currently running ads for this keyword.

    • If the search volume field for your idea shows N/A, this means that our partner database doesn't have adequate data around this keyword's search volume.

    • If the number of results field shows N/A, please reach out to support@contently.com, as this is likely an error.

  • This idea is inappropriate. How can I report it?

    • We're always trying to make our idea generator better. Rarely, the algorithm may provide results that are unhelpful or inappropriate. If this happens, please contact support@contently.com to report an idea. The more feedback we have from you, the better the algorithm will get over time.

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