Content Strategy Helper – v2 Updated

> Please give me the tool now!

Way back in September we released the first version of our content strategy tool, and due to popular demand and awesome feedback I’m excited to be releasing an even hotter version of the tool! This blog post takes a quick look at some of the cool new features in this latest update.

Since the launch of the first version of the tool, there have been numerous updates across a number of websites forcing the xpath to return a null value, or to change the value returned. The first part of this update restores values for any empty fields, and reformats a number of elements of the tool for a cleaner, more digestible appearance.

More Insight from Google Insights

We all know how useful and powerful Google Insights can be for identifying trends and finding out what is ‘hot’ right now to provide you with the ability to spot opportunities to create new content.

Both sets of data for ‘Top Searches’ and ‘Rising Searches’ can now be found within the content tool:

Find out what’s growing in popularity relating to your niche, pop the keyword/phrase into the content tool and be inspired for a unique angle on a hot topic!

Taking the next step…

“I’ve been playing with the tool, and came up with an awesome content idea but now what?”

In the previous version of the tool there was a sheet called ‘Source and Place’, which featured a breakdown from Topsy of experts relating to your specified keyword to help find potential content placement opportunities. With this in mind, the newest feature of the tool takes this process to another level with the help of followerwonk.

We want to track down bloggers and editors who we can potentially get in touch with, that may be interested in our awesome new content idea. The tool now automatically scans twitter bios for mentions of ‘blog’ (blogger) and ‘editor’ + your specified keyword(s), to return highly relevant outreach contacts for the idea you’ve just come up with!

The data returned for each user can be broken down as follows:

  • Twitter name
  • Real name
  • Location
  • Influence
  • Number of tweets
  • The number of people they are following
  • Number of followers
  • Age of account
  • Website URL

Find editorial and blogger contacts

Oh, I also forgot to mention that the tool pulls in 50 results for both editorial and blogger contacts, so that’s 100 potential new outreach contacts right there, on top of the outreach data found via Topsy!

Getting started

  1. Access the tool here
  2. Log in to your Google account
  3. File > Make a Copy
  4. Enter keyword into cell ‘B3’ and hit return (for multiple keywords please use the ‘+’ operator e.g. london+hotels)

I really hope you enjoy the new features of the tool. I look forward to hearing your feedback. PS. If you have any problems accessing the tool please drop me a comment below or hit me up at @dbseo.

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Tags: , , | Categories: Research, Technical

147 thoughts on “Content Strategy Helper – v2 Updated

  1. Ethan says:

    Hey Daniel,

    Great work with this.

    Have you had a chance to update the google doc to reflect the columns that don’t work anymore.

    Please let us know.

    Thank you.

  2. Bibiano Wenceslao says:

    Awesome tool, Daniel! As Winston above have pointed out, having additional columns for links to each post would be great too, perhaps beside the post titles.

    Thanks for this!

  3. Winston says:

    Thank you! This is an excellent tool. However, how can I access the links of the cell content?

    I try hovering around the cell and nothing shows.

  4. WebsiteMBA says:

    This tool is simply amazing, thanks for the great work! Hoping you will release the new version very soon…

  5. Magdalena says:

    This is a great tool, Thanks

  6. Yasmin says:

    Simply awesome…..Thanks for the great tool!!!!!!!Good work Daniel.

  7. Hey Lee, thanks for dropping by! Definitely, a new release is on the way very soon – keep an eye out :)

  8. Lee Hill says:

    Hi Daniel, great tool. there are a few cells that are not pulling in any info:

    Digg (most dugg)
    Digg (Most viewed)
    Bing News
    YouTube Top Rate
    Topsy Username
    Fark Description
    Google Insights

    Are you planning to fix these in the new update?

    Thanks Again.

  9. Max Bramwell says:

    Great post! Will def be mentioned this in a future blog post i’ve got planned

  10. Hey Suzanne, thanks for trying it out and leaving the feedback! Good spot too – it is pretty much that. As the tool is built using Xpath, its at the mercy of the websites HTML in which the information is pulled.

    I will hopefully be releasing another update very soon just to iron out these few bugs, so please keep an eye out :)

  11. suzanne says:

    Love it. Question: Google insights doesn’t seem to compile properly is it because it’s now called “Trends”, therefore the cell formula (=importXML(CONCATENATE(“”, B3, “&cmpt=q&content=1″),”//div[@id=’TOP_QUERIES_0_0′]”)) can’t pull the info, properly?

    Thank you,

  12. Gajendra says:

    thank you very much what an excellent

  13. Jon says:

    Excellent, about to have a play. But shouldn’t this be V3? I’ve got two V2s in my G Docs now

  14. Vince T says:

    @ Danielbutler

    Thank you, it worked after signing in to my Google account.

  15. danielbutler says:

    Please follow the guidelines closely here – there is no need to ‘download a copy’, just sign in to your Google account, and within the G doc go to ‘File > Make a copy’. You will then have access to cell B3 and the rest of the document.

  16. Laurie L says:

    Can’t get this tool to work! I downloaded a copy, but when I change cell B3, nothing happens. How in the heck does this think work? Any advice appreciated. You all seem to “get it”

  17. raquel says:

    How do I tweak the form to target different websites?

  18. Melissa says:

    I love this tool WOW save alot of time in researching fresh content ideas

  19. danielbutler says:

    Hey Aleyx, thanks for the great feedback! Unfortunately in this version of the tool this isn’t possible – you should be able to easily locate the source by just copying the title of the post and popping it into Google though.

  20. Aleyx Perks says:

    Hi I have just downloaded this toll and it is fantastic. I do have one question though, when the results are shown is there a way of getting to the source of that link for instance under articles this title appeared ‘What is productive about productivity software’ how do i find this article?

  21. Chris says:

    This is a great tool – I have just employed a creative writer and sourcing topics was driving me crazy. This will cut time down massively!

  22. Xenia says:

    It does not let me make a copy of the gdoc… :(
    Can you help ????

  23. Jan says:

    Looks great but it is not working for me. I tried opening in Chrome and IE. Maybe my antivirus is too active? I’ll get it working sooner or later. Anyway, a big THANKS!

  24. Julia says:

    Blimey, that’s a time saver!

    Thanks so much :-)

  25. Kevin says:

    This is an absolutely amazing tool – thanks!

    I’m not sure what this error means: This spreadsheet is about to reach the following limits: Number of ImportXml functions. Learn moreDismiss

  26. gary viray says:

    Another great tool that makes SEO life easier. =)

  27. Franco says:

    Nice Tool Daniel, congrats..
    bookmarked and already used once..

    Tks for sharing

  28. James says:

    This is fantastic guys thank you very much. Just wondering how I can convert the location into actual locations? what do the numbers relate to? Thanks!

  29. Lucy K says:

    AMAZING tool! But I’m having the same problem as ff, getting the error ” the xPath query did not return any data” for Google Insights.

    Nonetheless I love it, Thankyou!

  30. SV says:

    Hello there,

    I am not able to make a copy. In whichever format I save the file, nothing allows me to edit the file to my keywords.

    Let me know I should work on this. Thanks.

  31. Sandra says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing this tool, it provides excellent insights

  32. danielbutler says:

    Hi Dale – Google docs is universal, there should be no problems accessing the tool using a Mac. Please make sure you are first logged into your Google account and then head over to ‘File > Make a Copy’ – this will then grant you access to all cells and formulas. If you have any problems please refer to the end of the blog post for further guidance.


  33. DALE says:

    I guess this doesn’t work on a Mac, because I’ve tried everything to add a keyword to B3 and it won’t.

  34. danielbutler says:

    Hey ff, awesome to hear you love the tool! :) Don’t worry a fix is on the way! Please check back for updates.

  35. ff says:

    This is amazing! love it. BUT….i’m not getting any data for Google insights or rising trends..??!! am just getting the error warning ” the xPath query did not return any data”

    surely that cant be right, i’m using lifestyle terms like cooking, yoga, running….


  36. Caroline Key says:

    Awesome tool!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  37. JobFitter says:

    Great tool;) It will save me a lot of time;)

  38. danielbutler says:

    No not at all, there just isn’t any data relating to the keyword you have entered. Just double check for multiple keywords you are using the ‘+’ as a separator e.g. travel+blog

  39. danielbutler says:

    Hi Christine, thanks for dropping by. Google docs limits the number of importXML calls you can use to grab data – the limit is 50, we’re running about 48, so pretty close!

  40. danielbutler says:

    Just hit ‘enter’ on the keyboard and this will activiate the query.

  41. I am getting this message in many of the spreadsheet columns:

    error: The xPath query did not return any data.

    Am I doing something wrong, or missing a step?

  42. Christine says:

    Oops, here’s the message:

    “This spreadsheet is about to reach the following limits: Number of ImportXml functions. Learn moreDismiss”

  43. Christine says:

    I am getting this message and then it just says “working…” and nothing happens.

  44. Thank you very much for this tremendous tool!

  45. fridatari says:

    i’m sorry..

    i wonder what is “return” keyword means? where is that?
    is it on the keyboard or….???

    thank you.

  46. Kate says:

    I popped in my keyword and was like WOW. Thanks for this, great tool that I’m sure is going to make my life easier.

  47. Edvardas says:

    That’s amazing, thank you! Is it possible to add another sources such as rss feeds of foreign websites? Cheers!

  48. Tracy says:

    Wow. Amazing. Thank you again. I will run out of relevant content ever again!

  49. Bob Schmidt says:

    Nice use of Google docs ability to pull web content into a spreadsheet! Thanks for taking the time to put this together and making it available.

  50. Mel says:

    This holds promise – thanks for the opp to use t Daniel! (on old Safari 5.0.6)

  51. Kellie H says:

    Had the same file copy problem, but switched to Chrome and now it works.

  52. danielbutler says:

    Hi Beverly, once signed in please head over to ‘File > Make a Copy’ – the file is then yours and no longer public, so you can access all of the fields etc.

    Thanks for checking it out! :)

  53. danielbutler says:

    Hi Rick, sorry to hear you are having some trouble accessing the tool. Once you have logged in you need to head to ‘File > Make a Copy’ – you can then access all the fields.

    Thanks for checking out the tool! :)

  54. rick says:

    sounds like a great tool. however, all i get is the view only page. i’ve signed in and out numerous times, tried with chrome and firefox.

  55. Great tool! Will be really useful for generating guest post ideas, cheers Paul

  56. Beverley says:


    Doesn’t matter how many times I log into my Google account – when it loads it remains as view only. Any suggestions?

  57. Nida Sea says:

    Great tool! Thanks for sharing!

  58. Keith says:

    Is this magic? Where did you get the pixie dust?


  59. Rebecca says:

    Nevermind, it worked in Firefox – this rocks!

  60. Rebecca says:

    I was able to make a copy, but can’t select or highlight B3 to enter a keyword. Any suggestions?

  61. ced says:

    Simple and good, great content tool. Thanks guys!

  62. Guys, what the hell!? Why am i only hearing about this now… It’s crazy how useful this tool is, thanks a lot :)

  63. Andrea The-English-Webmistress says:

    Brilliant tool. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

  64. SantaCruz says:

    Thank you for sharing this tool! It has made my work easier and even higher quality.

  65. Roman says:

    Yes, it’s still greyed out and you cannot load the file.

    Would be cool if this would be possible again.


  66. wade says:

    Hi there,

    Just tried to make a copy, however, “Make a Copy” is greyed out. The only option seems to be “Download a copy”. I would love to give this fantastic looking tool a spin. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  67. Neo says:

    You need to log into your Google account. Then the copy feature won’t be faded anymore and you’ll be able to copy it :)

  68. Brian says:

    Hi Karen,

    You must make sure you do step 2. Log into your Google Account. Once you have done that then you should get the “Make a Copy” option.


  69. Simply Awesome! Thank you

  70. Cleverly done. Awesome Tool – Thanks for sharing

  71. Albert says:

    This is certainly an Amazing tool & i am going to include a link in my sites.
    Thank you for sharing:)

  72. Sol says:

    I followed a blog post by Neil Patel from Quick Sprout and mentioned your tool, indeed now I am here and just copied your tool. Man, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  73. I opened the file ..but the File > make a copy feature is not available.. Am I missing something?

  74. What a really useful tool! Many thanks!!

  75. Jason Youk says:

    Great, great, great tool! I can’t thank you enough.
    I seem to be having trouble grabbing google insights from within the spreadsheet. I get an “error: The xPath query did not return any data.” Please advise —

    thank you for your time,

  76. Amnah says:

    Wow…this is an amazing tool! Really appreciate it, thanks! :)

  77. Jake says:

    Great share, much appreciated! In regards to the Google sign-in issues, I’ve found that it works best to first login to Google service BEFORE opening the spreadsheet. Hope that helps!

  78. This is unbelievable good, Thank you for sharing. Lucio

  79. Went back into my Google Docs to see how I could change the status of my Docs. Not sure how but saw a chance to open a Doc Office beta, which I did then also got the ‘off line sync for chrome’ from Google.

    My Chrome Task Manager under the Window menu shows:
    App: Chrome Web Store – Google Docs.

    Then back to the tool page, reloaded the page and made a copy.

    Hope that helps. :)

    This is a fantastic tool!! Thanks

  80. Same issue her.
    Make a copy is greyed … no workie
    I am logged in and viewing other shared Goggle documents
    Not shared on free doc accounts?

  81. Kiki Spiwak says:

    I logged in, grabbed a very generic topic I’m always reading on that involves my business. I hit return and my reaction was “Holy Sh!t” and my jaw dropped. This is absolutely amazing. Thank you!!!!

  82. Hannah Crowder says:

    Great tool!!

  83. Drew Tubbs says:

    It just lets me see a view only copy.

  84. helen lagares says:

    Wow, it´s an amazing tool! Sometimes i cought myself thinking “What should I write, what should I look for” … It´s just brought a solution! :)

  85. Andre says:

    Same thing here. Not allowing “Make a Copy”. Logged in as normal. Maybe too many people accessing at once?

  86. Newbie11 says:

    Celie, I have it working now. Make sure you are logged in (top right corner of screen) with your Google login and password. Then Make a copy of it by going to File>Make a copy. You can only do this if you are logged in. I hope this helps!
    Newbie 11

  87. Karen says:

    It does not give me the option to make a copy – only to download. So I tried that, and it gave me a read only copy. I can’t figure out how to make it work.

  88. Absolutely amazing tool – congrats guys

  89. Thanks for sharing this, it’s a brilliant tool!

    P.S. Celie and Newbie11 rather than downloading it try selecting Make a copy on the file menu.

  90. Celie says:

    Hi and thanks for this great looking tool. Unfortunately having downloaded it, I can’t make it do anything. Please help.

  91. Alex says:

    Daniel, I just discovered this and am super impressed. What a great tool to have in the arsenal. Thanks for sharing :)

  92. Newbie11 says:

    Very new to SEo and rather confused. This looks great, but I have downloaded, and can’t seem to get it to work. It seems like I am missing something rather major. Is there anything I need to make this work?

  93. This is a marvellous research tool. I’m impressed

  94. Hi there,

    thanks for this fantastic application!

    I know this sounds a bit ridiculous for some of those experts here but is there a tutorial how to get the most out of this app?
    How can I use it efficiently?

    Thanks in advance!!

  95. Bombo says:

    It’s just amazing Oo
    Can we modify the tld of google ? I wish I could use this on, as i’m french.
    If there is a possibility, could you send me a tweet or an e-mail ? Thanks a lot, and, once again, great great job

  96. Katy says:

    That is amazing thank you!

  97. Content is really king and I think this is where most of SEOs should spend their time. Instead of subscribing with fancy link building spam tools, better spend your good dollars on SEOmoz and tools like this that can help you and your clients’ traffic increase in a clean way. Thanks for this creative tool! Looking forward to v3 and more stable updates.

  98. DigitalMoz says:

    The tool is really awesome for SEO post-panda, except that I cannot access it right now. I think I have to go back to Google trends and check this again on a different time when traffic is low so I would have much bandwith.

    I will come back and play with this :)

  99. I think I need a new pair of undies…AMAZING TOOL! Thanks team.

  100. ketan raval says:

    this brilliant… absolutely classic.. I cant wait to implement this :)

  101. Yo! says:

    It’s marked, “VIEW ONLY”.

    Can’t do anything with it :(

  102. Dennies John says:

    Thanks for this great tool :)
    looking forward for more tools in the future :)

  103. TheSEOGirl says:

    Okay, I feel pretty darn stupid right now…I can see the tool is great BUT, after I login it does not give me the opp to file – make a copy, and no matter how hard I try to use the tool ;-(((, I cannot. It is view only. Please someone, help the poor knob and tell me what I am doing wrong. Signed, Defeated in Denver.

  104. Jennifer says:

    I couldn’t get the spreadsheet to work. I will not let me copy.


  105. Seriously crazy helpful spreadsheet and great place for jumpstarting content creation.

  106. Wow, this is excellent! Thank you SO MUCH!

  107. Paolo says:

    Good Job Man!
    Is there any way to change the language or the search location?

  108. Robert Riggs says:

    I just used this for horseback riding. Returned awesome results including articles in small town newspapers here in Texas.
    Wow. this is good stuff.

  109. Andy says:

    I’m getting the xpath error :'(

  110. Great tool, thanks! This provides a good aggregation of content ideas in one place.

  111. moriah says:

    beautiful:) thank you so much!

  112. Amanda says:

    Daniel –

    Great tool! I’ve found, though, that Google Insights has not worked for any of the queries that I’ve thrown in there. Getting “the xpath query did not return any data.” Any assistance?

  113. Chris says:

    totally love this. especially the tool at the end. very useful. But the problem of “how to create interesting content when your product is 100% uninteresting” still remains : / no one is creating conversation on the internet about someone who supplies electrical resistors or ball bearings used in bicycle wheels, for example

  114. Sebastian says:

    Great tool !!! thank so much for sharing, I was wondering if there´s a way to change the results to Spanish and to a specific location like Colombia. I tried but i didn´t work I will really apreciate your help

  115. Simpson says:

    Thanks a lot for this handy tool. Well, now that’s truly inspirational work. Good job! Links only seem to work in 3rd row though. A localized version for Germany, UK and so on would totally rock!

  116. Brian Crouch says:

    Thank you again, SEOGadget. Works great. Unicorn House is the abode of genius.

  117. SFisher says:

    Hi. Im embarrassed to say that I can’t get the tool to function.
    I must be missing something very basic.
    It has saved to my Google docs but when I open it and try to place a search term in B3 I cannot select or replace dat in that cell, it stays the default term of Hotel. Can I ask for an assist?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

  118. Joe Wong says:

    wow, thanks a lot, this will save me a lot of time and will make things way easier…

  119. Wanda Hopkins McClure says:

    Thanks! This is amazing AND useful!

  120. Rekha says:

    Thanks Dan! Great and useful stuff…

  121. Jeff Walker says:

    Powerful collection of weapons nicely connected.

  122. SEPo says:

    Absolutely amazing tool – congrats guys

  123. Jason Rogers says:

    This is awesome thanks! How can we get links to work beyond row 3? Only links in 1st row of results (row 3) seem to be working?


  124. This is a great tool! Gives me a lot of ideas what to write. Thanks a lot!

  125. This tool is brilliant. Like Jon we are only just launching social media sites for our Website, so this is great at giving us some ideas and different angles about potential features for the blog site!

  126. Jon Bennett says:

    This is amazing stuff! We’ve just launched our blog and looking for ideas on what to write. I think we’re going to concentrate on CV tips and career advice mixed in with a few news related pieces. Thanks loads!

  127. Oodles and oodles of more data to explore! Thanks Dan!

  128. Hi Daniel,

    Great update – I really like the followerwonk stuff.

    For Google News, Bing News etc, we use something we built that’s quite similar, but produces a page rather than working as part of a Google Doc. It’s at – would love your thoughts on it.

  129. danielbutler says:

    Hey Giorgio, thanks for the feedback. That’s a great question, but one I’m unable to answer at this stage. G docs can pull in Chinese characters if data is uploaded from another document, but unless there are some settings for the spreadsheet that we can change, there seems to be little support for importxml functionality for Chinese.

    Digging around for some info as I type…

  130. danielbutler says:

    Haha, thanks Ralph!

  131. danielbutler says:

    Thanks Karen! Its totally achievable, may need a few different versions of the spreadsheet to maximise on sources available for the specific country, but its certainly possible :)

  132. danielbutler says:

    Hehe, sorry Dan!

    Thanks for the up-vote and feedback. Completely echo Richard’s reply too, if you would like to see anything in there please shout.

  133. Ned Poulter says:

    This is brilliant guys! Thank you very much for this, sure this is more than going to come in handy!

  134. danielbutler says:

    Hi Jake, the search ‘David Beckham’ seems to be working ok for me, please can you give ‘david+beckham’ a test – this should definitely work. As for the second example the spaces need to be removed i.e. ‘chef+knives’ ;-)

  135. Yair says:

    Thank you for this excellent tool.

  136. linkmonkey says:

    Outstanding, very useful tool will be using lots! Thank you very much! :D

  137. This tool is pretty excellent, nice job again Dan on the upgrade :-) what would make this super awsome is if it just looked at results for specific countries although that would be pretty difficult I would think although adding +uk on the end of keywords seems to work pretty well

  138. Richard says:

    Hey Dan – thanks! I’m sure our Dan will be chuffed when he sees your comments!

    If there’s anything this tool doesn’t do, give him a nudge :-)

  139. I can’t stress how awesome this tool is! You guys definitely beat me to the punch and then added a few extra fists! I was working on something just like this but with less information sources. Guess I can scrap mine now (but at least I learned a bit right in the process.) Gave you a little bump on Inbound too for the share.

  140. Giorgio says:

    Incredible, I like this tool!!

    One question:

    I add a news search option for, it’s a chinese search engine.

    The formula I fillout is: =importXML(D3,”//td[@class=’text’]”)

    But all the Chinese words turn out to be “??????” in the spreedsheet. The English words are OK.

    Dan, can you tell me why? Thanks a lot!!

  141. Jake says:

    I searched “David Beckham” and “chef + knives” and nothing populated for Google Insights…help?

  142. Give these men a knighthood! Well done Richard and team this is flipping great!

  143. Awesome, just awesome. I use a mixture of bloglovin, alltop, RSS feed bundles, and all sorts else… now I may just use this…

    Thanks for the hard work!

  144. Richard says:

    Awesome work Dan!!

    This is on inbound, you know what to do people!

Comments are closed.