Are Topics More Important than Keywords in Content Marketing?

When it comes to content marketing, there is one question which continues to plague many marketers: whether keywords or topics are more important. Today’s content marketing demands quality, but it also demands search engine relevance.

Rankings and the Role of Topics

Successful content marketing sees the creation of quality topical pages. Once published, these pages will result in high rankings for multiple keywords in search results. Not only does this benefit the website owner, but it also benefits the searcher in terms of high-value content.

Topics provide Focus

Content needs to have direction in order to have value to searchers. For example, a website or blog with several miscellaneous and unrelated posts will not provide the desired high rankings. However, when those topics are combined in a list with a single topic and are actually relevant to one another, this allows content to achieve relevance on an entirely different level, albeit over a period of time.

Defining Topics

If blog content has yet to be written, it will be necessary to define a topic for the entire website. Then, looking at the site’s pages, a determination about whether or not these pages contain detailed explanations of sub-topics will be required. Only then should relevant lists of keywords be built.

Rankings and the Role of Keywords

The job of search engines is to decide which of the millions of web pages are most relevant to what a user is searching for. Carefully chosen keywords are critical in order to do this successfully. But ranking on the first page for relevant keywords is not enough; a web page must also reach top position on the first page so that the searcher clicks on it before any of the other pages. For the web page owner, having a page which ranks highly both for relevant keywords and top position on the first page of search engine results will result in more traffic.

Keywords describe Content

Keywords communicate the description of content to a user. They summarise page and site content so that the search engines can obtain a better understanding of the topic of a site. The better understanding a search engine has of a site’s topic, the better able it is to match that topic with what users are searching for.

Researching Keywords

In order to come up with the best keywords, it’s important to think about what an audience might be searching for. This can be done by creating buyer personas and then thinking about what information they would be seeking. A list of as many relevant keywords and terms as possible is then created, which can be narrowed and shortened at a later date.

At the end of the day, it could be said that topics and keywords are equally important. Without a topic, there is not enough focus for search engines to rank a website. And without relevant keywords, a site will miss out on critical user clicks.