Topic Research

Lesson 2 of 12
5m read.

What is Topic Research?

Topic research is when we research a particular topic that we think we might write about. It is where you search for relevant content and gather the information you need for your subject topic.

This is the initial stage of creating content and perhaps one of the most challenging.

By the end of the lesson, you’ll have learned the following;

  • How to choose a topic for your article
  • How to do the proper research on your topic of interest
  • How to save your findings from research done.

Topic Research Guidelines

Here are some guidelines for selecting a topic for your blog post:

  • Pick a topic within the parameters of your niche and target audience: Your niche product or service and your target audience often time determine the topic to write about. You cannot, for example, write about how to make an omelette when you’re a car blogging site.
  • Select a topic that will be of interest to your audience: The research and writing process gets easier once you identify a topic suitable for your target audience. For example, an SEO agency would focus on a topic such as SEO audits since this is one of the services it provides to its clients.
  • Decide on a topic for which you can find a manageable number of resources: First, determine whether available sources will meet your needs for the subject matter. If you come up with too much information, you may need to narrow your topic. And if there is too little information, you may need to broaden your topic.
  • Try to be unique and original: As is the case oftentimes, your topic of choice is most likely already out there. However, you can still stand out from what already exists by ensuring your subject matter is unique and original.

Steps in Topic Research

In the topic research, we’ll look at :

  • Search Intent
  • Document your findings – Topic research

1. Search Intent

I. Identify the topic of interest

The very first thing to do in this lesson is to identify a topic to write about. For the sake of this course, we will create an article relevant to our audience at MRK WP.

One of the services we provide as a company is search engine optimisation. We, therefore, identified “SEO Audit” as our topic of interest.

II. Understand the Search Intent

Now that we have a topic of interest, let’s embark on the research, starting with the intent. Search intent is the purpose or reason why a person types a query or keyword in an online search. Understanding it enables you to create content that people are actually searching for, and as such effectively target potential customers.

The most common search intent is known as informational search. This is where people search to learn more about a specific thing. Users will often phrase search intent questions using the words; Who, What, Where, Why, and How.

Search intent with the Semrush Keyword Magic tool

  1. Go to the Semrush website. On the left-hand menu, click the “SEO” tab. Scroll down and click the “Keyword Magic Tool” tab.
  2. In the search field enter your topic keyword. Then click “Search.”
Search intent in Semrush
Search intent in Semrush
  1. On the results page, go to the “Intent” tab and check the relevant category. The keyword results generated, are all the search queries and keywords that you can target and use in your article.
Using the Intent filter
Using the Intent filter

After going through the steps above, you now know a little bit more about your targeted audience:

  • Who they are
  • What they want, seek, like
  • What and how to write for them

Take a look at these other links on search intent.

2. Documenting your findings and checking off completion

An essential part of the research process is to document your findings. This way, you can always refer back to your research documentation to analyse your findings further.

You also need to track your progress by checking off completed sections in the blog checklist template.

I. Create a Google Document for your research

Open your research folder in Google Drive. Create a Google doc within this folder, in which to save files to your search results and other relevant research. Remember to have your folders organised as we learned in this lesson.

Documenting Topic research findings in Google Folder
Documenting Topic research findings in Google Folder

II. Check off completion of Topic Research

In the checklist template, check the box relating to this topic as “Yes.” Add remarks or notes summarising what’s been covered.

Marking Topic Research complete
Marking Topic Research complete

Document any other relevant information helpful in creating your blog article.