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Topics Not Keywords = The Future of SEO

Over the last three years we have seen a shift in search engine optimization, especially with the release of Google Penguin in early 2012. Now and moving forward into the future of SEO, topics are the focus rather than keywords.

In essence this means that keywords are still here to stay, but as the future of SEO comes into clearer focus we can see that topics instead of keywords is the answer to Google’s push for more content. The new approach is no longer an emphasis on specific keywords, but the broader view that topics will provide. Keywords are limiting and topics provide a wealth of information!

Here’s why.

What Topics Mean For Search

The new Google algorithm is based upon the needs of users and what they are finding to be the most useful to them according to Search Engine Watch. The focus is to create the best possible experience online in the most efficient way possible.

Today’s content marketer must build credibility and establish themselves as an authority as a result of these changes. The best approach is to know what your target audience is seeking then delivering quality content to them as an expert resource. The is where topic become king over keywords.

What is “Theme-Based SEO?”

Theme-based SEO is about delivering topics for users instead of stuffing keywords into content. This strategy creates a “theme,” and optimization means using this approach rather than the old method of only focusing on the keywords.

Organic search is more important than ever, and Google has taken a firm stance against keyword stuffing and the over-use of optimization. This directly affects a website’s ranking, and could result in being removed from search results.

Instead of using too many keywords in your content, focus more on themes through keywords topics in order to create more natural results. This will be more favorable to Google as well.

Know Your Target Audience

Content marketing is all about knowing who your audience is which includes their needs, demographics, the latest trends, ect. This information will show what topics they are interested in, which makes your strategy much more effective than keyword-based SEO.

When the focus is just on keywords your strategy is restricted and will leave out what your audience wants the most. It’s vital to know what is relevant to them in a way that is informative, educational, and inviting. People no longer want a sales pitch, and a landing page can be quickly abandoned as a result leaving a very low ranking.

Topic-Based Content Is Key

Quality content begins with a natural approach that is desirable to your target audience and search engines. Think about this – stuffing a lot of keywords into your blog post is not only a turn-off for readers, but has a very low ROI. Your response is much greater when creating content based on a topic or theme instead.

How to Get Started

There are several strategies to use when creating memorable, organic content that your audience and search engines will love.

1. Research your niche

This might sound simple, and it can be when conducted the right way. When tapping into tools like Google Keyword Planner you will discover the main keywords that identify with a theme. This can include anywhere from 30 – 50 keywords, which can be spread out throughout your theme to create a more natural approach.

2. Create an optimization

The next important step is to focus on your core keywords, which includes long-tail keywords, and use several variations in your content. Don’t worry about being exact, just match these as closely as possible in order to appear less mechanical in your writing.

3. Go through an editing process

After writing your blog post it is a good idea to edit your work to make sure too many of the same keywords are not being used. Sometimes this process can be made easier by reading your article out loud. You will be surprised at how this can help refine and eliminate unnecessary keywords.

4. Focus on your tags

The meta description, H tags, description, and title are still important to SEO. The heading especially should begin in a natural flow without a sales pitch, and it is a good idea to keep your description to a maximum of 160 characters for Google search display.

5. Link building is still okay

Choose references that are relevant to your topic as well as credible. Google prefers anchor text of certain words and need to flow or make sense for your article.

Topics and themes are the next generation for content curation and SEO. This is an exciting time for blogs as we are no longer hindered by focusing on just keywords, but rather create new possibilities in audience reach through this new approach. Variety is the spice of the life, and allows for more creativity and an opportunity to build your brand or business as a leading authority in your niche.

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