Small Business CEOs tell me that they struggle with how to increase traffic to their website. There are many companies that want them to spend money on SEO and ads to increase their traffic. But what can be economically done?

Neil Patel, one of SCORE’s content partners, is an expert in all things digital marketing. He is the CMO and co-founder of NP Digital, a digital marketing agency serving publicly traded companies, as well as small businesses and start-ups.

“There’s a saying in the marketing world -- content is king," Patel said. "This is true, just look at Netflix or Disney Plus. It really is a content game. The beautiful part about creating content online is that people crave it, and because they crave it, they will share it on the social web, link to it from their own sites and blogs, and search for it on Google. All of this drives traffic, which in turn drives revenue.”

So how do you write content that gets viewed and shared? The tough part for small business CEOs is that they not only need to find time to write content, but they also need to come up with the content topics. This can become a real grind and so the task gets pushed to the side.

It’s a grind that can be exhausting, especially if you’re simply coming up with ideas off the top of your head. Research from The Content Marketing Institute found that “57% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is their biggest struggle.”

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There is help for idea generation. Some of the more helpful tools include:

  • HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
  • BuzzSumo
  • Alltop
  • UberSuggest
  • Google Trends
  • Portent’s Content Idea Generator

Using one or more of these tools will allow you to generate content ideas for your blog — without having to do any heavy lifting.

Look at the data. The best part about the web is there is so much data. This data tells you what you should be doing. Think of it this way, there are currently more than 1 billion blogs on the web. That’s roughly one blog for every seven people in this world. There is so much content out on the web that already exists, and you can use that data to determine what types of content you should create. But how?

There are a lot of tools that can help you do this, some paid and some free, that will give you a better understanding of how to do keyword research and use the data available.

For example, let’s start with the free tool that helps you generate content ideas. Once you head over there type in a keyword related to your space and hit “search.” Let’s say you have a website related to the finance industry so you might type in a keyword like “credit cards” into the search bar.

You’ll then see a list of articles from around the web that are related to that topic. This report will break down how many visitors that article gets from Google as well as how many social shares it has on Facebook and Pinterest.

By going through the list of recommended topics that the tool provides, you will then have ideas about what you can create that people want to read.

This way you are only creating content around topics that are interesting and relevant to people most likely to read your articles, share them on the social web, and even link to them, which will help you generate more traffic and sales.

Dean Swanson is a volunteer Certified SCORE Mentor and former SCORE chapter chairman, district director and regional vice president for the North West Region.