Avatar photo Michael Cooney
Aug 31, 2020

Content marketing is a powerful form of lead generation, if done right! You can do ti right by using one of the content planners mentioned below.

SEO takes great content marketing to the next level. That’s why we’re taking this time to tell you about two tools that combine content with SEO to produce leads.

SEO doesn’t have to be the confusing space people think it is. Search engine optimization can be crystal clear— it just takes the right tools and the right strategies.

Today, we’re examining two of the most popular SEO tools on the market; Ahrefs and SEMrush. Specifically, we’re examining these tools through the lens of content planning. These two content planners help marketers use content marketing as both an SEO tool and as part of a lead generation strategy.

In SEO terms, content marketing helps you do two big things:

  • Create posts that rank high on the search engine results page for certain keywords
  • Attract referral domains and backlinks from other sites

You should also think of content marketing as another form of lead generation, and remember that content marketing is only worthwhile if you can capture organic search leads.

If you’re thinking about investing in your content planners, there are three things to consider:

Audience & Content

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    Understand what your audience is looking for, see what other web pages are supplying that content, and identify opportunities to squeeze ahead of these web pages on the search results page.


    According to eMarketer, 60% of marketers create new content every day. You need new topic ideas every day, and ideas have ot be a combination of what people want to read and what search engines want to crawl.

    The key is to find out where you can compete effectively for search terms. A great article is only great if it gets on page 1, of the search engine results page.


    Content marketing takes time and requires check-ins and measurements. A good content marketing system will keep you organized, focused and on track to hit revenue goals. Believe it or not, it is possible to track how much revenue you’re driving with your content marketing, whether through higher search ranking or capturing leads by landing page.

    Using SEMrush, Ahrefs and lead tracking tools, you can deal with these three big issues. Read on to learn how!

    Ahrefs Content Explorer

    Pick a topic, any topic, and type it into the Ahrefs content explorer. Ahrefs will pull up a list of the web pages that get the most traffic related to that topic. Within this list, you can see a number of data points:

    • Which sites rank highest in search results
    • Each site’s domain ranking
    • How much organic traffic the site gets
    • How much $$$ that organic traffic is worth

    Analyzing domain rankings in your content planners

    Let’s use this blog right here as an example. Here at WhatConverts, we’re hoping to boost organic traffic by creating some content about content marketing. First, we have to decide what to write about. We’ll start by typing “content marketing” into the content explorer. Ahrefs shows which pages get the most organic traffic for this topic, the value of that organic traffic, and the domain ranking.

    I know WhatConverts.com has a domain ranking above 40, so I’ll try to find a page with a domain ranking between 20-40 that’s also receiving a lot of organic traffic. That way, when I create my content, I can supplant the page with the lower domain ranking.

    I can create a filter to search for this type of page.

    content planners


    Ahrefs is designed to find content ideas based on keywords. You might find keywords that get a lot of traffic, but if domain rankings are too high it's going to be hard to rank high enough to get much traffic. If you find a keyword with low competition, but also low search volume, you’re not going to get enough traffic.

    Creating a filter allows me to find the right pages; low domain ranking and high traffic value. Here is one:

    content planners SEO


    I now know that the keyphrase “content planners” can get a lot of valuable traffic. Since this page's domain ranking is lower, than the WhatConverts.com domain ranking. I have a better chance at supplanting their content with my own. Ahrefs helped me find that page, identify the keywords they’re using and see how much it might be worth to me in organic traffic.

    See the actual ROI of your organic traffic

    One of the biggest differentiators for Ahrefs is that it tells you how much each page’s organic traffic is worth in PPC terms.

    If people are paying $5 per-click on certain keywords, and you're attracting 100 people to your site using this keyword, that traffic is worth $500.

    How to prove the value of your SEO efforts

    Pairing this type of organic traffic valuation with a lead tracking tool can really turn your content marketing into a well-oiled lead generation machine. Let’s say Ahrefs has helped you identify a topic and keywords for a blog that can generate $1,000 worth of organic traffic over the next month. You spend the time writing the blog.

    Once you post the blog, your lead tracking tool can track any leads that come in using that blog as a landing page. Whether they call, fill out a form, start a chat or end up completing an eCommerce transaction, you know that blog was the landing page they used to find your site.

    Capturing the value of that lead allows you to capture the value of that piece of content. Instead of just estimating that you can get $1,000 worth of organic traffic by writing the blog, you can actually track the revenue you receive from the post.

    By analyzing how much organic traffic competitors are getting from certain topics, you can estimate the potential traffic you could get if you started targeting these keywords.

    The bottom line on Ahrefs content marketing:

    Ahrefs has a strong content tool, but you have to spend some time with it in order to get the most out of it. It’s best used as a content discovery tool that can help you identify keyword competition gaps and the traffic opportunities associated with those keywords. Your best bet for generating organic leads through content marketing is by breaking through on page one of the search results page. Ahrefs will tell you which keywords to target so you can get there.

    SEMrush Content Explorer

    For SEO content purposes, SEMrush is a very different tool than Ahrefs. Ahrefs gets you started on a topic or keyword, but you have to do the rest of the work yourself. SEMrush doesn’t do as well with the initial content idea portion, but it can help you manage your busy content calendar and analyze the success of various content pieces.

    content planners seo tools


    To start using SEMrush, simply search for your general topic. SEMrush will show articles about similar topics and you can save ideas to a list. If you don’t have a content writer on your team, you can even order a piece of content that SEMrush’s team will write for you.

    As with all marketing campaigns, it’s you must measure the ROI of an investment in content marketing. This is especially true if you’re paying a company like SEMrush to write the content for you. Capturing every lead that finds your site because of your content will help you calculate the ROI.

    There is a downside though; you’ll notice right away that SEMrush doesn’t load as quickly as Ahrefs.

    Crafting your content with SEMrush

    SEMrush tells you how to frame topics by providing a list of potential headlines and a list of the questions that people actually search for. Your article can then provide the answers.

    seo content planners


    While SEMrush makes it easy to build a list of topics that you’re interested in, it’s hard to tell what kind of traffic volume you can get from each topic. That said, SEMrush is one of the best content planners out there as far as content content management and analytics.

    The SEMrush Content Analyzer tool tracks any guest posts you may have on other sites so you can see how much traffic you’re getting from those referrals.

    SEMrush helps you frame content ideas and analyze existing content. However, if you really want to find the most valuable traffic and the competition, Ahrefs is a better choice.

    The final decision on content planners:

    Ahrefs can help you find content ideas that are going to deliver valuable organic traffic. SEMrush will help you create fresh content and keep track of your content efforts, but doesn’t offer as much competitive information.

    If you have an established SEO strategy that you want to grow and manage, SEMrush can help you with that. If you’re looking for lead generation opportunities that will be powered by content marketing, Ahrefs is a better choice.

    Ahrefs is about discovering the best opportunities by finding holes in the keyword landscape where your content can shine through. Ahrefs falls short, however, when it comes to managing your content after it’s created. SEMrush is designed to  help you manage the content — measuring traffic, making sure the content is readable, analyzing the successes of certain posts.

    The two tools serve very different purposes, and you'll have to decide which stage of the content process you need help with.

    Ready to capture the leads you’re getting from your SEO efforts? WhatConverts is here to help.

    Read WhatConverts reviews on G2

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    Michael Cooney

    Michael Cooney is a co-founder of WhatConverts. Connect with him on Twitter or via email at michael.cooney@whatconverts.com.

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