About six years ago, before starting a niche blog or website, the most important and the complicated task was to select a target keyword or a set of keywords. There were several factors to consider in the selection of keywords including niche, monthly search volume, cost per click, and competition. However, today we witness major changes in Google’s search algorithms, and now choosing a key topic is more significant than targeting specific keywords.
While we can say that the topic is important in SEO, keywords are still important. Although the use of high volume keywords in a smart way is recommended, these keywords really all revolve around the overarching key topic.
Why is it that the topic is more important than keywords in SEO? First, let’s differentiate between topics and keywords.
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A keyword may be a single word, a set of words, or a phrase. In SEO, targeting a specific keyword or a set of keywords refers to use of your target keywords in your content repetitively to cause search engines to rank your content higher. If there is a lack of quality in the keyword-based SEO strategy, then users may not find the content helpful, and search engines may penalize the website.
Topics group several relevant keywords to create rich and engaging content. The effective use of these keywords can get you better results and a better user experience. The search results are not based on the keywords that are used during Google search. Rather, Google finds the relevant results for you based on your search intention. For example, if you search for the term WordPress Maintenance, you may receive the results related to WordPress maintenance with some different keywords in title or content.
What made topics important than keywords?
Google has been working hard since years to provide its users with the best user experience. It gives values to its users and all the updates they release are based on the users’ experience. Following are some details about recent Google updates and policies
Penguin and Hummingbird
The search engine updates known as Penguin and Hummingbird were released by Google in 2012 and 2013, respectively. These updates changed the whole science of SEO. After these updates, Google prefers the websites with contextual meaning to drive traffic and improve user experience instead of hunting for specific keywords.
Users First, Not Search Engines
The bloggers and content creators used to stuff keywords in their articles and pages in an unnatural way just for the sake of higher rankings on search engines. Now, it is important to write for the sake of users, not the search engines. All the search engines prefer better user experience, and for that, you have to write content that benefits users.
What strategy should we follow?
In our opinion, you should go for an all-around strategy. While launching a niche blog or even a business website, design your strategy in the following way:
- In case of a blog, choose the best and highest paid topic with the lowest possible competition (If launching a business website, you already have your topic).
- Perform deep keyword research. Find all the related keywords. Several free and paid tools can be used to generate suggestions in this regards.
- Choose a catchy domain name.
- Instead of Exact Match Domain [EMD], go for a brand name that attracts Google and users.
- Develop the website using a reliable CMS. WordPress is preferred by many, as WordPress Maintenance is easy, and you have a plethora of tools to equip your site as per the latest standards.
- Write quality content based on your topic and don’t use keywords in an unnatural or stuffed way. Just write, as you would naturally.
- Advertise well and use social media consistently to obtain traffic. Google is now using social signals.
Do not try to dodge search engines, specifically Google, as the Internet giant Google is smarter than you might think. Secondly, create content for the sake of users, not for search engines.