Content Strategy Generator Tool – V2 Update


> 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.

Featured image credit:

Content Strategy Generator Tool - V2 Update, 4.3 out of 5 based on 29 ratings


  1. Travis Street

    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!

  2. Jake

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

  3. Giorgio

    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!!

  4. Dan Bochichio

    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.

  5. Richard

    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 :-)

  6. Karen Fovargue

    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

  7. danielbutler Post author

    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’ ;-)

  8. danielbutler Post author

    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 :)

  9. danielbutler Post author

    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…

  10. Jon Bennett

    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!

  11. Laura Jayne Lilley

    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!

  12. SFisher

    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.

  13. Simpson

    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!

  14. Chris

    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

  15. Amanda

    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?

  16. Robert Riggs

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

  17. TheSEOGirl

    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.

  18. DigitalMoz

    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 :)

  19. Philippines SEO

    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.

  20. Bombo

    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

  21. kenaudio stock music

    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!!

  22. Newbie11

    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?

  23. Alex

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

  24. Celie

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

  25. Kassia Gardner

    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.

  26. Karen

    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.

  27. Newbie11

    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

  28. Andre

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

  29. helen lagares

    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! :)

  30. Kiki Spiwak

    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!!!!

  31. Sparks Johnson

    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

  32. Jake

    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!

  33. Jason Youk

    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,

  34. Sol

    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!

  35. Brian

    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.


  36. Neo

    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 :)

  37. wade

    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.

  38. Roman

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

    Would be cool if this would be possible again.


  39. Rebecca

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

  40. rick

    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.

  41. danielbutler Post author

    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! :)

  42. danielbutler Post author

    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! :)

  43. Bob Schmidt

    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.

  44. Edvardas

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

  45. Kate

    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.

  46. fridatari

    i’m sorry..

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

    thank you.

  47. Christine

    Oops, here’s the message:

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

  48. danielbutler Post author

    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!

  49. danielbutler Post author

    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

  50. ff

    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….


  51. danielbutler Post author

    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.


  52. SV

    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.

  53. Lucy K

    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!

  54. James

    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!

  55. Kevin

    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

  56. Jan

    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!

  57. Chris

    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!

  58. Aleyx Perks

    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?

  59. danielbutler Post author

    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.

  60. Laurie L

    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”

  61. suzanne

    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,

  62. Daniel Butler Post author

    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 :)

  63. Lee Hill

    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.

  64. Winston

    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.

  65. Bibiano Wenceslao

    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!

  66. Ethan

    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.