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Keyword Relevance: The SEO Secret to Ranking Higher Today

keyword relevance
Updated: | Content Creation vincent d'eletto wordagents ceo Vincent D'Eletto

How do you develop organic visibility for your business?

If you want to market your business effectively, you need to get inside the minds of your target audience. Luckily, the exact words that people search for can provide you some insights. Specifically, the right words give you an idea about the type of content that your audience is looking for.

The keywords you use must relate to the product or service you offer. For example, if you have a floor waxing business, you probably don't want to attract users searching for the best hair waxing salons.

This is where keyword relevance comes into play.

Today, we will discuss the importance of keyword relevance and provide some helpful tips for choosing the right keywords.

What is Keyword Relevance?

Back in the day, marketers could easily game Google's system by excessively filling web pages with keywords.

Today, not so much.

One of the primary ranking factors for Google is relevance. The term "keyword relevance" refers to the importance of a certain keyword, phrase, or search term to a web page.

Relevancy is how Google and other search engines determine what your content is all about. It’s how the search engine giants decide which terms your page will rank for when there's a user query.

In 2021, just randomly integrating keywords into your page won't cut it; you must offer valuable information that matches and expands on a user’s search terms.

Why is Keyword Relevancy Important?

Google's search algorithm now looks past keyword usage and actually evaluates the semantic meaning behind a search. If you want to improve your organic rankings, you need to optimize your blog with topically relevant content.

Relevancy also has to do with user behavior.

Search engines collect data to analyze a user's journey - from asking questions to landing on a relevant web page. 

When users engage in a search query and find what they're looking for on your website, they're less likely to return to Google and try a different result. Google recognizes when you provide value and a better user experience, and it will reward you with better positioning for the page(s) in question.

In most cases, publishing relevant pieces will also boost key performance indicators such as click-through rates and bounce rates.

How Do Search Engines Measure Keyword Relevancy?

For the longest time now, we have been urged by digital marketing experts (and Google itself), to put out high-quality and value-driven blog posts. And while the exact formula that Google uses to measure keyword relevancy remains a mystery, we do know that depth of expertise plays an important role. 

Focus on Topical Authority

A crucial benchmark that Google uses to rank websites is Topical Authority.

When Google crawls your site, its algorithms analyze the topics covered on your blog and other pages. The more comprehensive your coverage of a particular topic is, the higher your Topical Authority score, and the better your organic visibility. Keyword relevancy is a key pillar in developing Topical Authority.

And again, while the exact standards Google implements to measure keyword relevancy are not known, there are a number of general best practices that marketers can implement to improve their topical authority (and in turn, keyword relevancy). One such best practice is the creation of topical hubs.

A topical hub - or “topic cluster” - is a composition of contextually connected posts/pages on your website. Benefits of building topical hubs include:

  • Improved brand authority
  • Increased organic visibility
  • More accurate keyword research

This last benefit is the most important with respect to keyword relevancy. I.e., topical hubs inform your research by allowing you to identify all of the words, phrases and search terms relevant to a specific topic.

While we won’t take a deep dive on topical hubs in this post, you can check out our recently published guide on the topic. 

How Do You Choose the Right Keywords?

Keywords can make or break your SEO efforts. This is why keyword research is a crucial step in your quest to develop organic visibility. Below are some quick tips to help you choose the correct terms to optimize in your content efforts.

Get to Know Your Customers

When researching for key terms, you should never start by randomly brainstorming for words and phrases. Instead, be human and think like a customer - think critically about what people are searching for and why. Remember, satisfying search intent is the primary goal of Google.

When you match your content and pages with search intent, you will easily position your organization as a thought leader on a given topic.

One way to optimize for search intent is to extract data from SERPs by analyzing which terms are ranking well. This will help you understand why some pages rank better than others and how best to provide your audience with the knowledge they are looking for.

Use a Keyword Tool to Help Develop Relevant Keywords and Topics

Although there's no shortage of SEO and content planning tools available, not all are created equal. While popular tools and services like Google Keyword Planner can certainly help you research keywords, most of these tools don't offer relevance-based metrics.

We suggest MarketMuse as a keyword relevancy tool. In fact, we use it when developing our SEO-optimized content.

Not only can it provide you with a list of semantically related topics, but it quantifies the degree of relevance via its very own statistician-developed scoring system. MarketMuse generates relevant key phrases that don't necessarily include the seed term but are still semantically related. You can learn more about this feature here.

Map Keywords to Your Content

Another crucial step in finding the right keywords is keyword mapping. Keyword mapping is the process of associating a page from your site to a term on your keyword list.

This strategy requires you to begin with identifying keywords and then proceed with content creation. After writing the content that targets your desired words and phrases, you simply create a spreadsheet and manually match your web pages to your keywords.

Mapping positions you to effectively organize your content while avoiding duplicate content. Additionally, a content map gives you a birds-eye view of your content marketing campaigns, helping you to identify content gaps and opportunities for new keywords.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Keyword density is no longer a viable tactic. In fact, it’s a surefire way to kill your SEO.

As mentioned before, optimizing for search intent should be your top priority. Google's Natural Language Processing (NLP) uses machine learning to understand the structure and meaning of your content. As a result, you don't have to include dozens of keywords in your content to achieve a high ranking. Focus on quality - not quantity - and avoid fluff at all costs.

Rank Higher With Keyword Relevancy

Relevant content is driven by keyword relevancy. By putting relevancy front and center, you'll not only improve your organic visibility, but you will attract an audience that is more likely to buy your products and services. Remember to focus on topical hubs, and be sure to target those keywords that matter most to your audience.

Do you prioritize keyword relevancy in your content efforts? We'd love to hear more about your success stories in the comments below.

vincent d'eletto wordagents ceo Vincent D'Eletto

Hey, I'm Vin. Founder and CEO of WordAgents.com. I create content that ranks really well on search engines for our clients. I'm also deeply involved with the SEO community; maintaining a portfolio of successful, profitable affiliate websites. You can find me playing guitar, drinking scotch, and hanging out with my German Shorthaired Pointer when I'm not working!


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