Every article and video we create at Ahrefs starts with an outline. We use the data from the keyword research process to come up with the main content we want to include.
From there, we add any important points we want to make, data we have, and additional insights or expertise that will be useful to readers.
You may want to read through some of the pages that already rank for additional ideas. Look at the kind of language and related topics that are mentioned. Many of these terms may not show up in traditional keyword research.
We also have a report in Keywords Explorer that can help you see the related topics and language. It’s called the Also talk about report and shows you the kind of language that’s used on these ranking pages.
Even for something that you may know absolutely nothing about, you can get an idea of the kind of language used in the industry. You may want to include this kind of terminology when writing about your topic.
"Also talk about" report showing related terms for "brain surgery"
Also talk about report for “brain surgery.”
That covers the basics of the outline, but there are a couple of additional items I like to add.
Writing for featured snippets
For informational content, I recommend that you do a little more research and include the featured snippets that are currently eligible or even write a featured snippet that you think has a chance of becoming the top snippet.
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This is arguably the most important section to rank for informational queries. You can see what is already eligible for a snippet and the kind of things that these snippets mention, along with why one may be better than another. Now you just have to make something that’s better.
Here’s an example: For “how to create content,” the main snippet is from inc.com.
Google search result for "how to create content" showing the first featured snippet
Google search result for “how to create content.”
If you append “-inc.com” to your search, you’re removing this site from the results and can see the second eligible featured snippet from hubspot.com.
Google search result for "how to create content" showing the second featured snippet
Google search result for “how to create content -inc.com.”
You can repeat this process, removing more sites from the results to see more eligible featured snippets; also, you can glean insights into what it takes to get featured snippets and figure out why one may be considered better than another.
For some head terms that are more informational in nature, you may have to refine the query as “what is head term” for this to work.