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Tangential SEO: How to Discover Tangential Content Ideas

Tangential SEO is all about targeting related topics and creating content around them to expand your content library and drive more users towards your website. Here’s a deep dive into this tactic.

Home / Blogs / Tangential SEO: How to Discover Tangential Content Ideas
Raghav Tayal

Head Of Operations - Digital Web Solutions

July 5, 2024

Nobody likes cookie-cutter content (especially the audience). But with millions of existing blogs publishing billions of content pieces each day, standing out requires fresh strategies. Enter tangential SEO – your superpower for captivating a wider audience and establishing yourself as a true thought leader, not just another blog occupying Google’s server bandwidth.

Let’s see what tangential SEO is, how to brainstorm tangential content ideas, steps to craft compelling content, and more.

What is Tangential SEO?

Tangential SEO is the art of crafting content around topics and tangential keywords that are relevant but not directly related to your offerings. You focus on the main product or service in your niche while exploring ways to interest your audience with content. Simply put, it’s about creating narratives that connect to your core demographic but aren’t directly about what you’re selling.

Let’s say you sell fitness trackers (your niche). Traditionally, you’d focus on keywords like “heart rate monitor” or “calorie tracking.” But with tangential SEO, you might write about healthy meal plans or tips for a good night’s sleep (related topics). This approach widens your net, attracts new audiences interested in fitness, and establishes you as a well-rounded expert.

How Tangential SEO Differs from Traditional SEO Approaches

Traditional SEO is like following a well-worn path on a hike. You know exactly where you’re going, targeting those high-volume, super-specific keywords directly related to your product or service. It’s a reliable approach but can get crowded with competitors all vying for the same spot at the top of the search results.

Tangential SEO, on the other hand, is more like exploring hidden trails. You set off in a general direction (your target keywords), but keep your eyes peeled for interesting side paths (tangential keywords) that might lead to unexpected discoveries.

Here’s how they differ:

  • Keyword Focus: Traditional SEO is laser-focused on high-competition keywords that directly describe your offering. Think “best running shoes for marathons.” Tangential SEO broadens the scope, targeting less competitive terms that connect to your niche but aren’t the centerpiece. You might write about “training tips to improve your marathon time” or “common running injuries and how to prevent them.”
  • Content Strategy: Traditional SEO content is like a detailed brochure for your product. It highlights features and benefits in a straightforward way. Tangential SEO content is more like a captivating travelogue. You share stories, insights, and helpful advice related to your niche, subtly weaving in your expertise without being overly promotional.
  • Target Audience: Traditional SEO targets people actively searching for your specific product or service. With a tangential SEO strategy, you reach a broader audience who might not know they need your offering yet. They’re interested in the broader topic (your general area of expertise) and might stumble upon your content while looking for something else entirely.

Embracing both traditional and tangential SEO strategies results in a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Traditional SEO gets you noticed by those actively seeking your product, while tangential SEO builds brand awareness and attracts a broader audience who might become future customers. It’s like having two paths to the summit – a direct climb and a scenic detour, both leading to increased website traffic and brand recognition.

What are the benefits of Tangential SEO?

Tangential SEO can be your secret weapon for standing out in a crowded digital world. Here’s how it benefits you:

  • Fresh Content Ideas: Stuck in a content rut? Tangential SEO helps you brainstorm topics that connect to your niche but aren’t directly competing for eyeballs. This keeps your content calendar exciting and brings in organic traffic.
  • Become A Thought Leader: By tackling a wider range of topics, you establish yourself as an authority on a broader scale. People start seeing your web page as a knowledgeable source rather than just another page selling a product. This builds trust and positions you as a reliable contender in your industry.
  • Boost Your Traffic With Less Competition: Forget battling over the same keywords everyone else is chasing. Tangential SEO lets you incorporate less competitive tangential keywords that are still relevant to your audience and increases your chances of ranking higher in search results, driving more organic traffic to your website.

Why Create Tangential Content?

Tangential content steps in as a friendly guide that allows you to talk about related topics while keeping the main goal in sight. Here’s why using it’s a win:

  • Fresh Eyes On Your Expertise: Going beyond the core product lets you showcase your knowledge in a new light. You’re not just selling pieces of a puzzle (your niche); you’re a thought leader on how those pieces fit into a bigger picture (related topics). This builds trust and positions you as the go-to source for wholesome information in your domain.
  • Escape The Cutthroat SEO Battle: Creating tangential content lets you ditch the fight for the same keywords everyone else is chasing. You can target search terms that are still relevant to your audience but less competitive. This means a better shot at ranking higher in search results and attracting more organic traffic without the SEO competition.
  • Expand Your Audience: Tangential topics let you attract audiences that might not have been interested in just the niche (your core product). By talking about similar relevant and catchy topics, you broaden your appeal and keep the party exciting for everyone.

How To Generate Tangential Content Ideas?

Is it a case of the content blues? Traditional SEO keywords might be getting you nowhere fast. Here, tangential content can save the day. But how do you brainstorm these tangential gems? Here are some powerful techniques to get those creative juices flowing:

Analyzing Competitors for Unique Keyword Insights

  • Check out the competition: Start by going through your top competitors’ websites and social media. See what kind of content they’re creating, what topics they’re tackling, and even the keywords they’re ranking for. But don’t just copy them – use this as a springboard.
  • Identify Gaps And Opportunities: Look for areas where your competitors might miss the mark. Are there related topics they haven’t touched on? Can you offer a more insightful or unique perspective? Maybe your competitor selling camping gear focuses heavily on tents, but you could create content on “backpacking essentials” or “glamping for beginners” (tangentially related topics with high potential).
  • Keyword Magic With A Twist: Use free or paid SEO tools to perform keyword research for the terms your competitors are using. Don’t just focus on the high-volume topics they’re already battling over. Look for lower competition, tangential keywords that your content can target.

Thematic Brainstorming Techniques

  • Mind Mapping Magic: Grab a pen and paper (or a digital brainstorming tool) and write down your core niche in the center. Now, branch out with related themes and sub-themes. If your domain is gardening, sub-themes could be “vegetable gardening tips” and “indoor plant care.”
  • The “So What?” Method: Challenge yourself to go beyond the surface level of your core service. Ask yourself, “So what?” about your core topic. How does it connect to people’s lives, interests, or challenges? For instance, if your niche is financial planning, the “so what?” could be “how to advance financial security” or “how to manage debt.” These are broader themes that open doors for tangential content like “budgeting tips for millennials” or “simple ways to save for retirement.”
  • Think Like Your Audience: Step into your audience’s shoes. What questions might they have that are related to your niche but not directly about your product or service? What problems are they trying to solve? Brainstorm content that addresses these needs and pain points in a way that subtly connects back to your core offering.

Leveraging User-Generated Content Mining

  • Listen To The Chatter: Dive into online communities, forums, and social media groups related to your niche. What are people talking about? What questions are they asking? Look for common themes and pain points that can be addressed through tangential SEO content.
  • Turn Comments Into Content: Pay close attention to the comments people leave on your existing content. What topics generate the most interest or spark discussion? These comments are goldmines for tangential content ideas that resonate with your audience.
  • Embrace Reviews (Good and Bad): Reviews, even negative ones, can be a treasure trove of tangential content ideas. Look for recurring themes in reviews, both positive and critical. Can you address common concerns with informative content that showcases your expertise and builds trust?

Harnessing Social Media Listening

  • Follow The Right Hashtags: Identify relevant hashtags within your niche and beyond. Look for trends, emerging topics, and conversations happening around these hashtags. Maybe you’re in the fitness industry. Following hashtags like #healthylifefstyle or #mentalwellness can reveal topics like “combating stress through exercise” or “mindful eating for weight management.”
  • Join The Conversation: Don’t just lurk. Participate in relevant online communities and discussions. Respond to comments, answer questions, and engage with your audience. This active listening gives you invaluable insights into what people are really curious about. For example, if you’re a travel blogger engaging in Facebook groups focused on budget travel or solo travel (tangentially related themes), you might discover an interest in “backpacking on a tight budget” or “safety tips for women traveling alone.”
  • Track Brand Mentions And Reviews: Set up alerts for your brand name across social media platforms, which helps you understand how people perceive your niche and what questions they might have. Analyze both positive and negative reviews – are there recurring themes on pain points you can address through tangential content?

Semantic SEO Analysis

  • Uncover Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords: These are words or phrases that are semantically related to your main keywords but not necessarily synonyms. Tools like Google Search Console or Ahrefs can help you identify these tangential keywords. For example, if your niche is graphic design, LSI or tangential keywords might be “user interface design” or “branding basics” (tangentially related topics).
  • Analyze Search Queries: Look at the “People Also Ask” section and suggested searches that appear on Google when you search for your core topic. These are goldmines for tangential SEO content ideas that people are actively looking for. Let’s say you’re a pet care provider. Analyzing search queries might reveal an interest in “homemade dog treats” or “how to train your cat” (tangentially related topics with high search intent).
  • Content Gap Analysis: Use SEO tools to analyze your competitors’ content and identify gaps in their strategy. Are there related themes or sub-topics they haven’t touched on? This opens doors for you to create unique and informative tangential SEO content that positions you as an authority.

Use AI To Make The Questions Less “Chatty”

  • Topic Brainstorming Platforms: There are a number of AI-powered content ideation platforms available. These tools can help you generate a list of related topics based on your core theme. However, remember to filter the suggestions and choose topics with genuine value for your audience. For instance, an AI tool might suggest “best dog breeds for apartments” as a tangential topic for your pet care website.
  • AI-Powered Keyword Research Tools: AI-driven keyword research tools can help you delve deeper into tangential keywords and related search queries. However, don’t let the AI dictate your tangential SEO efforts entirely. Use the provided data as a starting point, then brainstorm compelling content ideas that truly resonate with your audience and brand message. For example, an AI tool might suggest “benefits of organic gardening” as a tangential topic for your gardening website.

The Tangential Content Creation Process

Tangential content isn’t just about throwing random ideas together. It’s a strategic move that keeps your audience engaged and expands your reach. Here’s a peek behind the curtain:

Step 1: Define Your Niche And Audience

Before getting in the driving seat for your tangential content adventure, you need a solid foundation. Clearly define your core niche – the central theme your content revolves around. Then, get to know your audience intimately. What are their interests, challenges, and pain points? This understanding will guide your exploration of tangential SEO territories.

Step 2: Brainstorm Tangential Connections

Now comes the fun part – igniting your creativity. Here are some ways to get the ball rolling on ideation:

  • Competitor Spy Games: Peek at what your competitors are up to, but as said above, don’t just copy them. Look for gaps in their strategy – untapped themes or subtopics within your broader niche.
  • Social Media Listening: Dive into online conversations. What are people buzzing about that’s related to your niche? Look for trending topics and unanswered questions that spark tangential SEO content ideas.
  • Thematic Brainstorming: Think beyond your core product or service. How does it connect to people’s lives? Explore broader themes and sub-themes to unearth hidden gems.

Step 3: Validate And Prioritize

Some ideas need to be sown to bloom later. Here’s where you refine your rough diamonds:

  • Relevance Check: Does the tangential topic truly connect back to your core niche? Ensure there’s a clear bridge between the two.
  • Audience Appeal: Would your target audience find the topic interesting and relevant? Prioritize ideas that resonate with their needs and interests.
  • SEO Savvy: While not the sole focus, consider the search potential of your tangential topic. Look for terms with decent search volume but lower competition.

Step 4: Create Compelling Content

Now that you have your chosen tangential theme, it’s time to bring it to life. Here are some tips:

  • Focus On Value: Don’t just push your product. Educate, inform, and entertain your audience with valuable content that subtly connects back to your niche.
  • Quality Counts: Prioritize high-quality writing, engaging visuals, and a clear, well-structured format to keep your audience hooked.
  • Embrace Different Formats: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Blog posts, infographics, videos, or even podcasts can all be great ways to present your tangential SEO content.

Want to witness the power of tangential content? Practice the above steps, and you’ll see how beneficial this indirect SEO route can be. It’s your key to unlock the door to more organic traffic, higher user interaction, and an increased number of site visitors. And the perks don’t end here. 

Crafting tangential content expands your content library. This ultimately results in you offering in-depth information to your visitors on any topic. And if they get most of the information on your site, why would they visit your competitor?

So, tangential content is a sure-shot way to establish yourself as a thought leader and a tactic for reducing visitor churn and bounce rate.

Conclusion

With time, both search engines and audiences have become smarter. They’ve understood the power of deep-diving content, and both of them prioritize the same. Tangential SEO is the best way to craft in-depth content by targeting related topics around your core niche. Employing this fruitful hack will expand your content library and transform you into a trustworthy source they can rely on. The results are worth it. More traffic, fewer bounce rates, better rankings, and lots more. Craving these benefits for your business? If yes, employ tangential SEO and start outranking your competitors on search engines.

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