Susan Gilbert
September 16, 2014

Focus on Topics, not Keywords

Topics, not Keywords Equals Success for Your Website

If you are still using 2010 tactics that include heavy usage of keywords in your content, my guess is that your website doesn’t rank like it used to.

In order for your business to rank these days you can’t use the  old SEO model for your content. In 2012 Google made a significant change in its algorithm, which they called the Penguin update. This was due largely in part to the influence of conversations on social media.  While most of us online are aware of Penguin and subsequent Panda, the keyword mentality is still in use.

Today websites that want to be found on Google are successfully using topics rather than focusing on keyword stuffing into their articles. While keywords, especially long tail keyword phrases, are still important – the way we use them has changed. Want some good news?  Focusing on topics allows for a broader approach to your content writing, and businesses are no longer limited to a list of keywords to use repetitively.

Creating Meaningful Search

Organic search is the new method that Google rewards in its search engine rankings, and in order to be visible your business must now research and create a theme of topics for your articles. This will affect your website visibility online, and involves the use of words that are informative, educational, and relevant to the article and enticing to the reader.

The elimination of keyword stuffing and introduction of theme-based SEO demands quality content for an audience, otherwise a business website may become quickly abandoned and also will not appear in the higher search rankings on Google.

Take for example a mechanic using a few focused keywords on their website such as ‘auto,’ ‘auto repair,’ and ‘car repair.’ The new approach would be to use a search tool like the Google Keyword Planner, to come up with a list of topics surrounding those keywords, then naturally placing different terms throughout your content.

It is well worth the time to research anywhere from 30 to 50 keywords for your business niche in order to create the organic results that Google is looking for. Here’s what I came up with for the keyword ‘car repair’:


This is just a short list, but as you can see there are a number of different possible themes to choose for the content on your website. Google even provides the number of searches and competition level to help narrow down and focus your terms.

There are a few other points to consider when creating theme-based SEO for your business website. The goal is to build a trusted brand online that is seen as a credible source to turn to, and know how to meet the needs of your target market.

1. Optimize for your SEO theme – In the body of your content your business should be spreading out your researched keywords without looking too mechanical. Try mixing these up throughout, as Google will penalize websites for keyword stuffing. After the first draft it is a good idea to go through an editing process to eliminate any duplicate words.

2. Create keywords tags – In terms of SEO the use of tags on websites is still an important component. WordPress allows for plugins and themes that will enable you to create these for the Meta description, which appears in Google’s search results, and the headline. Again you don’t want your content to appear like spam, and so keep the keywords natural and to a minimum with a maximum word count of 160 for the description.

3. Include useful links – This is known as link building, which is still a thumbs up for Google when used properly in your content. For instance, you can include the name of something or someone that pertains to what you are writing about, with a link to the outside source.

The Future of SEO will continue to be shaped by new forms of online communication that are mainly driven by social conversations and searches, especially as networks like Facebook and Twitter continue to tweak their own algorithms. Your business benefits from these changes in that you are no longer bound to just using a few key terms, but rather a variety based on your topic that can be used to create more visibility for your website.  Above all, keep it conversational.

The following two tabs change content below.
Online Marketing with Focus - Let Susan Guide you to Online Success. Especially loves to help Authors, Speakers, Coaches & Entrepreneurs. Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs. Author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: