Whenever there is any discussion about SEO, keywords would inevitably be spoken about. It seems quite natural as keywords are one of the pillars of SEO and contribute immensely to SEO success. Keywords are indeed crucial to enjoy SEO success, but for better results, it would be more sensible for any local SEO company to change the mindset and set their eyes on topics.
How topics differ from keywords
To avoid confusion, it is important to understand the difference between keywords and topics. The confusion seems quite logical, mainly because of the prevailing importance of keywords for SEO. A more holistic approach to keyword research is the more appropriate way of describing a topic that helps to understand its difference from keyword. A topic contains several relevant queries and terms that belong to different areas of the buyer’s journey.
The type of content you can create depends on the kind of website or, more precisely, the vertical it belongs to. The site might require content that covers topics related to the learning at the early stages of buying, or it could capture the viewpoint of the business on the subject or possibly some product offering that solves the problem. Local businesses that have smaller websites would perhaps need content that is more educational and relates to the early stages of the purchasing funnel. The content must also touch upon products or services that can help to solve the problem that the audience or users are facing.
Have a strategy in place
From the time of building your website or thinking about it, start rethinking its structure and have a strategy in place to focus on the topics. You will have a better understanding of your needs by looking at the broader aspects of what you have to offer and thinking about a top-level topic related to it. Once you have the idea about what focal point of the topic, you can then get into the standard process of keyword research. The goal is to expand the keyword research to capture many more semantically related terms that align with the topic, besides focusing on the main keyword. If needed, you can ask people around you about the terms or queries they would use for searching.
Competitor research is a must
Having got the idea about the content you need; you must figure out how to perform well for a topic. Start looking within the spaces to identify those who are performing well, as this would give you the confidence to do the right things from the start. Instead of taking things for granted, keep monitoring the competition in your area so that you are also aware of the exceptions.
Next, you must look closer to the competitor website with the help of a tool to fathom their performance over an extended period for relevant terms. After understanding what your competitors are doing, observe how they structure the content. Look at the site structure around the topic and understand how they are delivering the content. The information will give you a starting point or baseline on which you can develop your blueprint.
Be careful not to copy the content or indulge in any kind of plagiarism as it will hurt you and instead use it as inspiration or guide. Emulate what your competitors are doing but in your way. It is like knowing the recipe for success but finding your way ahead.
Pay attention to intent
It is not just enough to figure out the keyword terms and queries around which you would be creating content, but you must go deeper and understand the intent behind search queries. It has become even more critical after the rollout of BERT by Google. Using some tools for identifying keywords and topics is an established practice in the SEO domain. A better way to discover the intent behind searches is to search for it within an incognito window.
The finding may surprise you because while searching for a one-word query, you might notice that the results are showing more educational items around the term. It will help to determine what kind of content to create that matches with the intent behind the search term.
Site structure is important
You must create content around the search term by understanding the intent, but it is not the only thing to do well in SEO. It is equally important to organize the content so that it is easy for search bots to crawl and uphold your authority on the subject. When search engines see you creating more valuable content around a topic or search term, the results related to the terms will improve significantly.
Using breadcrumbs to show the flow of your website is one of the best ways to demonstrate site authority. Breadcrumbs help in intuitive crawling by search bots that can move around the website most logically, and it even acts as a second layer of navigation that delight users. It also helps in structural shifts of the site without having to make changes to URLs.
At this stage, too, you must look at your competitors who are doing well to gather more insights. It will save time and effort in reinventing the wheel.
Get ready to dominate
You are now ready to get off the blocks as you have identified topics, and the roadmap is ready for implementation. It is the time when you must sit down with the team responsible for developing content and review the strategy of content development. This step will help content writers to align their writing with the end goal and help them write high-impacting content that meets their needs. Instead of aiming for word count, the focus should be on delivering value to users so that they find the content useful. The quality of content is most important, and you must deliver value to users. All the while, keep comparing your performance with that of your competitors. Thus, you can make ongoing changes for improvement.
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