July 17, 2023

Topics are In, Keywords are Out

Robin Allenson

In 2023, with AI tools like ChatGPT gaining popularity in the marketing field, the speed of work is accelerating. Marketing experts are navigating these tools to optimize traditional SEO strategies.

As an SEO specialist, you might find yourself overwhelmed with tips and hacks. How can you wisely adopt new tools and strategies to capitalize on the AI trend?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s start with keyword research – the very beginning step of any SEO strategy. In our previous article, we discussed the traditional approach to conducting keyword research and how to optimize the process step by step. I would highly recommend you check it out to have a better overview before diving into today’s topic (pun intended!)

Why is it time to make the shift from keywords to topics?

Understanding the Differences Between Keywords and Topics in SEO

Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information on search engines like Google. In the traditional SEO approach, one page on your website is created for one keyword focus. For example, if I look up ‘green tea’, I would find myself going through millions of search terms like the picture below to identify the right keywords for my web pages.

Meanwhile, topics refer to a group of interrelated keywords that cover a specific subject or theme. Still taking ‘green tea’ as an example,

  • green tea benefits
  • types of green tea
  • nutritional facts
  • green tea drink recipes
  • weight loss

The key difference is that topics go beyond individual keywords and help organize information around broader subject areas. This approach requires a shift from keyword analysis to understanding how keywords overlap and contribute to a cohesive topic.

Then, how would this affect your SEO performance?

Why Google Favours Topics Over Keywords And Why You Should Too

John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google stated:

“search engines will get better over time to understand more than just the words on a page”

The importance of keywords in SEO has decreased, as search engines like Google now strive to understand more than just the words on a page. It means the quality and depth of your website should be the priority in long-term ranking races.

1, Higher quality & comprehensive web pages

In the past, marketers used to create different pages for each phrase they wanted to target, without considering whether those pages served the same intent. This led to:

(1) keyword cannibalization, where different pages competed against each other

(2) struggle to maintain an overwhelming number of pages

Grouping related keywords into topics then helps you eliminate these issues by focusing on creating fewer pages with more value.

As topics provide a centralized view of all relevant keywords, grouping ensures that each page serves a unique purpose and contributes to the overall content strategy. Instead of creating multiple pages and stuffing them with keywords, you can spend time producing in-depth content that answers users’ needs and intent around a topic.

This not only strengthens your website’s authority on the overarching topic but also increases the chance of better ranking across relevant keywords under the topic.

2, Elevate the user experience

When people search for something online, they want quick and easy answers. Compared to creating separate pages for individual keywords, topic-focused web pages help you to be more intentional with each page creation. This makes it less overwhelming for website visitors and increases the chances of a happy customer who will return to your website.

Increase the speed with Similar AI

What’s next after quality? Speed.

As we secure quality, speed needs to be counted in the equation for you to stay on top of the SEO game and gain traction for your business.

By condensing multiple keywords into topics, you already save significant time by going through less keywords, eliminating redundant web pages, and saving time on on keeping them updated.

You can further optimise this process by using the AI tools we provide with Similar AI. It automatically analyzes a large volume of similar keywords with similar search engine results pages (SERPs) and groups them into critical topics for you.

Key Takeaways

Let’s summarize a few plus points on the importance of topics in your next SEO keyword research strategy:

  • Save time and effort on keyword research
  • Optimize web page and content creation
  • Improve your website’s ranking
  • Enhance the user experience

Want to know more? Please get in contact or request a DEMO.