Which Should I Focus on More in SEO, Keyword or Topic Research?
By: Patrick P. | December 16, 2016
Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of every SEO. The process involves making a list of essential and related topics, writing down important keywords relevant to those topics, plugging the list into Google’s Keyword Planner for more data, and repeating the whole process. Not only that, this can also be used for Google Maps marketing as well.
Do keywords still matter?
But does the task of using keywords in an SEO campaign still matter today? Shouldn’t a campaign focus more on topics and not on keywords? The way we do SEO has been continuously changing, and now, keyword research does not carry much weight as it once did before.
There are also questions now about the use of backlinks and how, like keywords, they don’t matter as much as they used to. So in this new age of SEO, where does the value of keywords leave us? And how do we work on getting our websites the rank that we want? Or even have the effect we are looking for on our Google map marketing?
To answer these questions, let’s take a look at some data that an online marketing research group conducted. By cracking the Hummingbird algorithm, we get a look at how Google ranks websites based on content. Sites that belong to the same niche rank differently in select topics.
Take for example magnifymoney.com and getrichslowly.org. These are sites that are part of the same category. Using conventional SEO standards to compare the two, the latter has a really strong link profile, better DA, and more indexed pages than the former site.
It would appear like the latter will have a higher rank than the former. But checking each of their stats, MagnifyMoney has twenty-six more keyword rankings than GetRichSlowly.
SEO stats of high-ranking blogs
Higher ranked blogs do not necessarily saturate their use of keywords nor do they have a large number of high-DA backlinks. What they have instead is a strong coverage of their chosen topics and a comprehensive discussion of content that their niche audience finds relevant and interesting. This can also include their strong campaign when it comes to local maps marketing. Instead of just going for a really strong link profile, high ranking blogs also work on great content. Hence, the difference in ranking between sites also rely on depth and a sweeping coverage of content.
Despite conventional strategies that encourage an extensive use of keywords and backlinks, ranking and ultimately success in SEO pays an equal or even far greater value on topic research.
Using the right topic and keywords
But how do you take advantage of the power and importance of topic research for higher rank results? Generally, you will have to write on a topic instead of focusing on a keyword. And so, what topics should you write about for your content? You can use tools like Moz Keyword Explorer to come up with a subject for your content that can still be connected to your keyword. The Explorer will generate blog topics for you as long as you provide the topic and plausible title. These tools will do the keyword research and provide you their relevance with your topic research.
Using tools like that of Moz, try checking out lists of keyword suggestions with relevance score calculated based on which terms appear in most sources and are also similar to the original keyword on top. After that, you can also assess keyword suggestions based on topics related to your niche. And by grouping words with low lexical similarity, you’d get a list of blog topics and terms that will work with each of your articles.
Now for every blog article you post, which you will base on the keyword groups you formed earlier, take note of your list of grouped terms to use so you can achieve a high assessment for the comprehensiveness of your article.
Getting good ranks for your website does not necessitate high stats for conventional SEO strategies. What you have to make sure of instead is pairing a good keyword research with a great topic research for your content as well as clear and relevant information for your maps marketing. The topic can be a keyword, though, and you can also use it to generate other keywords relevant to your article’s subject matter.
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