The trend in digital and search marketing has been towards creating content on the basis of topical research rather than keywords.
Until now, keyword research has been the go-to pre-content writing practice. Anyone writing content cannot pick a good topic and start writing. A great amount of research goes into the type of keywords most suitable for the topic. Then, writers are expected to add these keywords to the content at an apt frequency.
This is how things have worked in the SEO space. Keyword research has been the brains behind some of the best SEO campaigns in the past decade. A professional who knows keyword research is not hirable from an SEO standpoint, but also from an SEM perspective.
In many digital marketing institutes, one is likely to find trainers giving multiple classes on keyword research. For many, the first steps in SEO are made through keyword research and analysis.
Why is Keyword Research Fading?
To say keyword research is fading would be wrong as it is still relevant. However, it can safely be stated that keyword research is evolving.
The reason why keywords were important before was that search engines were not smart enough to gauge the context of a given piece of content simply by scanning it. They instead judged content by the kind of words and phrases which were repeating more often than others. The word or phrase that was repeated most often was generally considered to be the primary keyword.
Thus, writers writing content on a given topic had to repeat specific keywords in order to make the topic of the blog or article clear to the search engine. Furthermore, they also had to add related keywords in the content and optimize meta tags like title and description with keywords.
Now, search engines are smarter. They are able to gauge the context of a given piece of content even if the density of a keyword is low. After years of ranking websites and seeing the kind of content people like to read, Google is much smarter at judging the context of the content.
Thus, keywords are no longer the sole metric to judge the context of a given piece of content. The topics covered in content and their relevance also play a role in search rankings.
How to Shift Focus from Keywords to Topic Research?
So how can topic research be accomplished?
In truth, there is no ironclad method to conduct topic research.
The best thing a content writer can do is research the type of content already written on the main topic. The goal of this exercise is to understand the type of content that most other websites and publishers are missing. New and fresh content is only possible to create if writers take the time to find topics others are not covering.
In this article, we discuss how a shift to topical research from keywords can be managed and why it is more effective for a digital marketing campaign.
About the Author – Gaurav heera is a digital marketing executive and trainer with over a decade of experience in the industry. He currently works at Gaurav Heera Academy, an institute known for its digital marketing course in Delhi.