Goodbye Keyword Optimization — Welcome To The Age of Topical Optimization
Columnist Stoney deGeyter believes we have moved beyond "traditional" keyword optimization and should now focus more on building topical authority. But just how do we do that?
Every business should have but one goal: to be an authority in its industry.
You might think the number one goal should be gaining new customers or making more sales. Obviously, that’s what any business wants. But businesses pursuing sales are often left in the dust by the businesses who are actively seeking to be industry authorities. That’s because sales and customers are like love — they are usually found when you’re not looking!
Many businesses succeed for a time by competing on price, but sooner or later, people realize they get what they pay for. Once that happens, they are gone, and the businesses pursues the next sucker.
The cost of keeping a customer is far, far, far (far, far) less than going out and getting a new one. That means getting people in with the lowest prices is going to kill your profits if you can’t keep them. And you’re only going to keep them by demonstrating, day in and day out, that you are the authority in what you do.
And all that starts with content.
When it comes to businesses, web searchers today are often looking primarily at two things: 1) customer reviews, and 2) authoritative content supplied by the business. The former is a reflection of the service you provide. The latter is a reflection of how well you “know your stuff.”
As we know, today’s search engine ranking algorithms have a heavy focus on content. We’ve always sought to optimize content with keywords, but now, keywords matter a whole lot less than actual topical authority.
But just how do you build that authority into your site?
If you said, “Content,” you’re half-right. Yes, content matters, but not just any content. Gone are the days of sites producing truckloads of “thin” content of little value. And gone are the days of optimizing any given page for keywords and hoping it will rank. Instead, search engines are looking for authoritative content that is more topically optimized than keyword-optimized.