Why Topic Research is the New Keyword Research
March 18th 2019 | By Emma Grant
It is being widely touted that keyword research of the traditional kind is on its way out, with the importance of content being relevant topic-wise taking over as the search engines are becoming shrewder and more intent on delivering the results users want to see.
The new strategy is known as topic research, and it is said to be a great deal more effective than the traditional keyword research we’ve been used to for so many years, especially when attempting to establish whether it is worth using a particular topic for an article, blog, whitepaper or any other type of online content.
How does topic research work?
First you’ll need to ascertain all the keywords your website is currently ranking for. The best way to do this is to download them from the Google Search Console.
Next, sort this list of keywords in ranking order. This will highlight all the keywords that hold the top positions with either very few or no backlinks at all.
Now run those keywords through a tool designed to analyse competitor search traffic, such as Ahrefs, SEMrush or Moz Pro. This will give you an average ‘Keyword Difficulty’ for each of the keywords.
What is the Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword Difficulty is a very valuable SEO metric. It shows how difficult it would be to rank for any search query of organic nature. Once you are aware of the most challenging keywords, then you can avoid wasting time and resources trying to rank for the most difficult keywords.
The tools we’ve mentioned above will also provide you with a projected search volume range. When you combine this with your Keyword Difficulty score then you’ll be presented with the very best keyword opportunities.
What is the aim of topic research?
Your main aim through your topic research is to find keywords with similar Keyword Difficulty to those that are already ranking well. You can then craft your topics around those, fitting them in to your titles and subtitles.
You will find that you’ll rank highly and quickly because you have chosen the keywords – and therefore the topics – that take least effort to bring the most traffic.
Bear in mind that headlines based around questions will tend to have a better click through rate (CTR). Any content that answers a question, especially a how-to, is likely to be more engaging and will have a greater chance of making into Featured Snippets. So make part of your topic research looking into common questions that people are asking around your areas of expertise.
If you could use some help with any aspect of your SEO strategy, including topic research and content creation, talk to Figment!