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how to identify keywordsSometimes, one of the hardest things about blogging is coming up with new topics. Maybe you feel like you’ve covered every topic under the sun, or you’re just having writers block. Well, if you’re wondering how to identify keywords for new article ideas, one excellent method you can use is to thoroughly analyze your best performing existing titles.

If you’ve written five hundred articles and the only three articles you wrote on “mobile gaming” are all receiving the most traffic at your blog, then you know it’s a topic your visitors are hungry for.

One way that you can easily identify these sort of trends, especially when you have hundreds and hundreds of articles on your site, is to go through your top performing 50 to 200 article titles and identify certain patterns.


These patterns will be groups of two to five words that repeat with a certain frequency. In this article, I’m going to do an analysis of the keywords on one of my private blogs to show how you can come up with cool article topic ideas that you know your visitors will be interested in.

How to Identify Keywords From Top Performing Articles

The first step in doing this analysis is to extract your articles that are attracting the most organic traffic. Organic traffic is the incoming traffic that you’re collecting from search engine queries.

First, log into your Google Analytics account and under “Content” click on “Content by Title.”

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how to identify keywords for searching

This sorts all of your pages with the most traffic from the most visited page down to the least.  Now, this information itself is valuable, because often just by glancing down through titles you may recognize an obvious trend and see a topic that your readers seem particularly interested in.

The genre of this particular website, a conspiracy theory site about top secret projects and spying, is such a fringe topic that article titles run the gamut. With such a site, I really need a good way to dig more deeply and identify word trends that indicate a common topic that my readers like. First, scroll to the bottom of the list and change the display from 10 to 50 titles.

how to identify keywords for searching

Once this page lists all of your top 50 titles, all you have to do is export the list to Excel so that you can easily pluck out the titles for analysis. You can do this export by scrolling back up to the top of the screen and clicking on “Export” and “CSV for Excel.

how to identify keywords for searching

This exports all 50 titles, as well as their statistics, directly into an Excel spreadsheet. Once the sheet is open, you can scroll down to the titles, highlight all 50 and copy the entire list to your clipboard (either right-click and copy or use the Excel copy function).

how to identify keywords

Paste this list into your favorite text editor. For me, it’s Notepad – but make sure to choose one that has a good “search/replace” feature so that you can clean up the titles for better analysis.

Clean Up The Titles

Once you’ve got the list of titles in text format in your text editor, it’s in the perfect format for identifying word frequencies. However, before you can do a good analysis, you need to clean up the titles. Google Analytics usually appends the name of the website to each title, so you’re going to have to clean this up. You can do this in any standard text editor using the Search and Replace feature.

identify keywords

In this case, I’ve copied the bit of text at the end of one of my titles that contains the unique text “| Top Secret Writers” and using the Replace feature in Notepad, I’m replacing that text with nothing. When you click “Replace All” it’ll clean up your entire list. Since the text includes the symbol “|” at the beginning, your titles that simply feature your website name won’t be modified.

Now that you have a nice, clean list of your top 50 titles. By the way, if you have hundreds or thousands of articles on your site, you may actually want to select 100 to 200 of the top titles, rather than just the top 50. In my case, my site is so small and new that the top 50 should provide a good enough snapshot.

Conduct The Word Frequency Analysis

Highlight your list of cleaned-up titles, and then head on over to the free online text analysis tool at Online-Utility. I’ve found that while there are a lot of “text analysis” tools available online, this one is one of the best because it breaks down keyword patterns into phrases that are one to five words in length. Just paste your list of titles into the large text field in the tool.

Click on “Process text” and within less than thirty seconds, you’ll receive a full report of word and phrase patterns recognized throughout your list of titles.

identify keywords

Unless you have a lot of titles on your site, the longer phrases don’t always identify clear standout leaders in terms of occurrences, but often even on smaller sites the single word analysis section will reveal some hidden gems.

how to identify keywords

As you can see, the list above tells me that aside from the common words “and”, “of” and “the” – the titles where I use the words “ufo”, “secret”, “alien” and “cia” are by far the most popular of all of my titles. Focusing on those particular topics, I will be catering to what my readers clearly enjoy reading about on my blog.

Did you try this analysis on your own blog, and if so, what did you learn? Do you know any other cool keyword analysis tools? Share your insight in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Text by LittleMan

  1. yuregininsesi
    August 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading

  2. Birkenstock
    July 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Thanks, most of time, I choose the default.

  3. Ryan Dube
    July 15, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Thanks Joella!

    I really appreciate that. Glad you found the article useful.

  4. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella
    July 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Wow, what an awesome tutorial article. I have to add this to my weekly article roundup on Friday. My readers have to check this out. And i've saved the page so I can take my time and work my way through with my own site.

    Thanks for all the time and work you put into this post. Appreciate it!

  5. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella
    July 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Wow, what an awesome tutorial article. I have to add this to my weekly article roundup on Friday. My readers have to check this out. And i've saved the page so I can take my time and work my way through with my own site.

    Thanks for all the time and work you put into this post. Appreciate it!

    • Ryan Dube
      July 15, 2010 at 12:03 am

      Thanks Joella!

      I really appreciate that. Glad you found the article useful.

  6. soundtrackgeek
    July 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Quite interesting analysis, but the text analysis tool creates its own keywords based on what you have. For example on my site, which is a soundtrack review site I have a lot of titles like: "Soundtrack Review: The Dark Knight (2008)"

    Out of this, the text analysis tool jumbles them around and tells me that "top phrases containing 3 words" is: "2008 soundtrack review" with 75 occurences.

    This is quite interesting because I have no titles containing that in that order. What does it mean? Does it mean that I should use that term or...?

  7. soundtrackgeek
    July 14, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Quite interesting analysis, but the text analysis tool creates its own keywords based on what you have. For example on my site, which is a soundtrack review site I have a lot of titles like: "Soundtrack Review: The Dark Knight (2008)"

    Out of this, the text analysis tool jumbles them around and tells me that "top phrases containing 3 words" is: "2008 soundtrack review" with 75 occurences.

    This is quite interesting because I have no titles containing that in that order. What does it mean? Does it mean that I should use that term or...?

    • Ryan Dube
      July 15, 2010 at 12:03 am

      Hey Jorn - yes, it doesn't always keep the keywords in the order they're used. If those three words are used in some combination on many titles, it'll suggest it in some format. If you want to see what you get without that common phrase, you could always filter out those titles in Analytics?

  8. soundtrackgeek
    July 14, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Never mind :) You just have to scroll waaaay down to find the real data. Carry on!

  9. soundtrackgeek
    July 14, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the article. Looks like a great idea. I have some problems with exporting however. When I export as CSV For Excel, it only exports 2 columns: Day and Pageviews and not the actual data. I am currently in the Content by Title section and have the top 50 results showing. Is it something I am missing?

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