Keywords vs Topics: Optimizing Your Pages for Search

By Ryan Shelley

SEO has evolved tremendously over the past few years. Much of what used to be considered “best practices” are now either obsolete or could negatively impact your search visibility. As Google continues to optimize their algorithm to deliver the most accurate results for searchers, we need to adjust our strategy to ensure we are getting the most return on investment.

When it comes to optimizing a page for search, the traditional rule was; one page, one keyword focus. But does this rule still apply? Should we still be optimizing our pages around a specific and defined keyword?

According to a study by Ahrefs, the average #1 ranking page will also rank in the top10 for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords. So if your page is ranking in the top position for a given term, it’s also ranking for about a 1,000 other related terms. So how does this work? Let’s get into the power of topic-based search vs. keyword obsessed search.

Video Transcript

Traditional SEO says one page, one specific term. We’re going to optimize that page around one term from top to bottom. Now, I’m not telling you that keyword research or on page optimization around a specific term is wrong because it’s not. You absolutely should have a tank rule discipline to do SEO the right way. But we need to start thinking outside of just specific keywords. If you look at the research in the link above, we show the study by graphs which talks about the power of ranking in number one position versus specific term. You actually need a ranking for about a thousand other terms in the top ten as well that are very related and are going to drive over the traffic.

This is showing the shift away from keyword-specific ranking and now more toward topical ranking. In google as they begin to understand and continue to really drive innovation toward understanding users and their behavior, they’re pushing more topic based ranking, where a site that is known for a specific topic is going to rank for a broader set of terms in that topic, rather than just focusing on a specific keyword match.

So how do we start to shift our mindset, and how do we start to shift our strategy to understand how we can become topical authorities when it comes to our brands online?

Your users are really going to start to drive interaction more than ever before. If you’re not really understanding users, doing the correct persona research, you’re going be way behind in this area. Instead of just obsessing over rank tracking, obsessing over keywords, you need to start obsessing over your users and the problems that they have and then developing content that will solve their problems.

One of the great things about topic authority is you don’t have to focus so much over one specific keyword when you’re writing. I know a lot of time this is where SEOs or content marketers hit a wall trying to develop Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community

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