This week I wanted to showcase a really simple and free content marketing tool, FaqFox. Essentially this tool crawls a website and scrapes it’s content, then displays content that matches the keyword you enter. This is probably a good time to note that FaqFox only gives you 50 results per website your crawl. There only way around this is to specify a directory to crawl. For example you can crawl Moz.com/blog separately to examine just the content on the main blog and then Moz.com/ugc to crawl just the YouMoz content. It’s also not the most accurate tool in the world and it appears to truncate the title of the content at around 52 characters (cuts off next whole word) leaving a trailing ellipsis to deal with.
FaqFox is a good starting point for content marketing while you’re still in the ideation and creative concept phase. I like to run a crawl on Q and A site, a web forum, or even a competitors website / blog, download the corresponding data in an excel spreadsheet, randomize the order and read the titles to get ideas. As I alluded to in the video you can also manipulate the data in Excel to see how frequently certain types of content are created and see how frequently certain topics come up like “how to”, “guide”, etc… As an example I used FaqFox to crawl BruceClay.com and see what topics they write about most often related to SEO. To get the count of a keyword in the titles you’ll want to use the COUNTIF Excel function it should look something like this:
Repeat the code for every keyword you’re interested in to examine the frequency that the keyword appears on the website your examining.
I do this as part of my ideation methodology, Thought Farming, at the beginning of this method you are to immerse yourself in the target subject and I find simply understanding what content has already been created is incredibly helpful. Of course I also use it to guide my own content marketing efforts highlighting areas my competitors are focused on and doing well in very quickly. If the data in my BruceClay.com example is any indicator they appear to focus on “How To” content above all else.
You can use ScreamingFrog or another tool that scrapes more than 50 pages if you have access to them to build a better picture. However, if you’re marketing on a budget FaqFox is a great free tool to use to gain some insight into what content people are looking for. As for my BruceClay.com example I used FaqFox to give me a starting point and have since gathered more data and repeated the above process with another tool to reveal more about their content strategy.