Christine Pietryla Wetzler

Owner, Pietryla PR & Marketing

PR Consultant

Fractional CMO

Featured Writer

Christine Pietryla Wetzler

Owner, Pietryla PR & Marketing

PR Consultant

Fractional CMO

Featured Writer

New Post

Understanding the Difference Between SEO Keywords and Relevant Search Topics

Understanding the Difference Between SEO Keywords and Relevant Search Topics

Understanding the Difference Between SEO Keywords and Relevant Search Topics and When You Should Use Them to Get Top Rankings in Search

 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of digital marketing that aims to optimize a website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Keywords and relevant search topics are vital in optimizing a website for search engines. Undoubtedly you’ve heard of both from other business owners or consultants working on your website, but the rest of this article will demystify the terms and give you some context around when and where you’d use each one.

SEO Keywords

SEO keywords refer to the specific words or phrases users type into a search engine when seeking information on a particular topic. These keywords are strategically placed in a website’s content, meta tags, and URL to help search engines understand the website’s content. They are often presented in long spreadsheet lists and evaluated based on relevance, authority, and popularity. 

Using relevant keywords on a website helps search engines understand the context of the content and its relevance to specific search queries. When a user types a keyword or phrase, the search engine will crawl through its database to find websites containing the relevant keywords. In essence, SEO keywords are specific words or phrases that help search engines determine the relevance of a website to a particular search query. 

Relevant Search Topics

Relevant search topics, on the other hand, are broader concepts that encompass a range of related keywords and phrases. These topics cover a more comprehensive range of information about a specific subject and are used to create high-quality content targeting a particular audience.

For example, if a website is focused on digital marketing, relevant search topics may include content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine marketing. These topics can be broken down into subtopics and individual keywords, which can be used to optimize specific pages and content on the website.

Choosing keyword topics is more about topic relevance, popularity, user intent, and content quality. Using relevant search topics helps create a comprehensive content strategy that covers all aspects of a specific topic. This approach helps improve a website’s visibility on search engines and provides users with valuable and informative content that answers their search queries.

The Difference Between SEO Keywords and Relevant Search Topics

You might already be getting the sense that while SEO keywords and relevant search topics are similar and both are crucial for SEO and driving traffic to a website, they are different.

One of the key differences between SEO keywords and relevant search topics is that keywords tend to focus on individual pages or pieces of content. In contrast, topics encompass broader themes that cover multiple pages or elements of content. For example, if a website is focused on digital marketing, the keyword “social media marketing” might be used to optimize a specific page, while the topic “digital marketing” might be used to create a comprehensive content strategy that covers multiple pages and subtopics.

Another important difference between SEO keywords and relevant search topics is that while keywords tend to focus on specific phrases that users are searching for, topics are focused on providing high-quality content that answers user questions and meets their needs. By creating high-quality, informative content that covers a range of related topics, businesses can attract more organic traffic to their website and establish themselves as a thought leader in their industry.

Ultimately, both SEO keywords and relevant search topics are important for optimizing a website for search engines and attracting more organic traffic. By incorporating both into a comprehensive SEO strategy, businesses can improve their visibility on SERPs and provide users with valuable and informative content that meets their needs and interests.

When You Should Use Each One

The best way to use SEO keywords is to incorporate them naturally and strategically into your website’s content. Using keywords strategically and naturally improves your website’s visibility and rankings on search engine results pages. Remember to prioritize user intent and create high-quality content that meets their needs and interests. 

Keyword topics, or topic clusters, are related keywords centered around a core topic. The use of keyword topics can help to create a more structured and organized approach to content creation, allowing businesses to cover a broader range of topics in a cohesive manner and effectively target specific keywords and topics that are relevant to their target audience, resulting in improved search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are some tips to help you use each strategy effectively:

Conduct keyword research

Before creating content, research to identify the most relevant and valuable keywords for your business. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find keywords with high search volume and low competition. Group related keywords into topic clusters based on their relevance to a specific topic or theme.

Use keywords in title tags and meta descriptions

Include your target keywords in the title tag and meta description of each page on your website. This helps search engines understand the page’s content and can improve click-through rates.

Create a pillar page for each topic

A pillar page is a comprehensive, in-depth piece of content that covers a broad topic and serves as the centerpiece of a topic cluster. The pillar page should cover the core topic and link to related subtopics.

For instance, a pillar page on digital marketing might cover the core topic of “What is Digital Marketing?” and link to subtopics like “SEO,” “Social Media Marketing,” “Content Marketing,” and “Email Marketing.” The pillar page could also include sections on best practices, tips, case studies, and examples to provide a comprehensive resource for users interested in digital marketing.

Here’s an example outline for a pillar page on “What is Digital Marketing?:”

I. Introduction

  • Define digital marketing
  • Explain the importance of digital marketing
  • Preview the subtopics covered in the guide

II. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Define SEO
  • Explain how search engines work
  • Outline best practices for optimizing a website for search engines
  • Provide examples of successful SEO strategies

III. Social Media Marketing

  • Define social media marketing
  • Explain how social media can be used for marketing
  • Outline best practices for creating and managing social media accounts
  • Provide examples of successful social media marketing campaigns

IV. Content Marketing

  • Define content marketing
  • Explain the importance of content marketing
  • Outline best practices for creating and distributing content
  • Provide examples of successful content marketing campaigns

V. Email Marketing

  • Define email marketing
  • Explain the benefits of email marketing
  • Outline best practices for creating and sending emails
  • Provide examples of successful email marketing campaigns

VI. Conclusion

  • Summarize the key points covered on the pillar page
  • Encourage readers to implement the strategies outlined on the page
  • Provide additional resources
  • Add a straightforward and easy-to-use call to action (CTA)

By creating a comprehensive resource (or many such resources) like this example pillar page, businesses can establish themselves online as a thought leader in their industry and provide valuable information to their target audience. 

Create subtopic content

Create additional content that covers related subtopics within the same topic cluster. This content should link back to the pillar page and each other.

Use keywords in headings and subheadings

Use your target keywords in headings and subheadings to signal to search engines what your content is about. This can also improve the readability and organization of your content for human readers.

Use keywords in image alt tags

Search engines can’t read images, so using descriptive alt tags that include your target keywords can improve your website’s visibility in image search results.

Use keywords in the body content

Use your target keywords naturally throughout the body of your content. However, don’t overuse keywords or engage in “keyword stuffing,” which can hurt your website’s rankings and readability.

Focus on user intent

Rather than incorporating keywords, create high-quality, informative content that satisfies user intent. Search engines are increasingly focused on providing users with the best possible results for their search queries. Creating content that answers their questions and provides value is vital to SEO success. It is crucial to increase the overall value of your website. 

A case study by Content Marketing Institute found that a B2B company saw a 434% increase in organic search traffic after implementing a content marketing strategy focused on creating high-quality, informative content. Another case study by HubSpot found that a B2B software company saw a 300% increase in website traffic and a 185% increase in lead generation after implementing a content marketing strategy that included blogging and social media marketing.

Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you create and measure the quality of the content you make, including:

Grammarly: Grammarly is an online writing assistant that checks for grammar and spelling errors, tone, and style. It can also suggest vocabulary and phrasing changes to improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

Hemingway Editor: The Hemingway Editor analyzes your writing and provides suggestions for simplifying and clarifying your sentences. It also highlights passive voice, adverbs, and complex phrases to help you write more concisely and effectively.

Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a plugin for WordPress that helps optimize content for search engines. It provides a checklist of optimization tasks, such as optimizing the meta description and title tag, adding internal links, and ensuring the content is readable and engaging.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics provides valuable insights into website traffic and engagement, allowing you to see which content resonates with your audience and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo helps you identify popular topics and trending content in your industry. This can help you create content that resonates with your audience and performs well on social media.

Canva: Canva is a graphic design tool that can help you create visually appealing content, such as social media graphics, infographics, and presentations. It provides templates and design elements to make it easy to create professional-looking content.

By using these tools, businesses can ensure they are creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with their audience and performs well on search engines and social media.

By strategically using keywords and keyword topics, businesses can create a more comprehensive digital marketing strategy that covers all aspects of their business or service offering. This approach helps improve a website’s visibility on search engines and provides users with valuable and informative content that answers their search queries.

SEO keywords and relevant search topics are essential to a successful SEO strategy. Using relevant keywords helps search engines understand the context and relevance of a website’s content. In contrast, using appropriate search topics helps create comprehensive content strategies that provide users valuable and informative content.


If you’re struggling to implement SEO keywords and relevant search topics on your own, or you’re not seeing the results you want from your SEO efforts, working with our agency can help. Our team of experts can create a custom SEO strategy tailored to your business’s needs, implement it on your website, and track and measure the results to ensure success. Don’t let your website get lost in the sea of search engine results; let us help you improve your visibility and drive more traffic to your business.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your digital marketing to the next level.