With search engines, topical relevance is mainly used in conjunction with backlinks (incoming links). Websites that carry similar content are said to have topical relevance. Backlinks from websites that are topically relevant have more impact on a website’s position in search results than backlinks from sites that are not related. Search engines assume that topically relevant links are used to offer users additional information that could be helpful. With unrelated links there is a high probability that they have been paid for or included for the purpose of improving a site’s position in search results.

Google and other major search engines are largely focused on providing the best user experience by returning the best possible results for a user’s search term.

They serve their results based upon a combination of content that is relevant to a searcher’s query and its perceived usefulness. Google will always favour websites that offer the most relevant information and are the most authoritative.

If content is used correctly on the page, relevance can be a major factor for getting good organic rankings. That’s why creating unique content and structuring it effectively across your website is a vital component to achieving optimum organic performance.

So, what is the first thing you should be considering when laying out a strategy for your website’s relevance? I’m going to talk you through each step.

Keyword research

Conducting comprehensive keyword research is the most important element in making your website relevant. When conducting keyword research, you need to get into the mind-set of the person who might be interested in your products or services, so that you’re using their language.

In most cases, when people search on Google, they are looking to buy something or they want to get some information. So, when you examine the products or services you’re promoting, think about who would be interested in buying your product and what would they type in to the search engines to find it.

There are several tools available that can help you conduct your keyword research. The most commonly used one is the ‘Google Keyword Planner Tool’. Here, you can upload groups of keywords to check search volume in different countries as well as explore different keyword options.

The art of conducting good keyword research is to look for keywords that are most relevant to your business, have high search volumes and are less competitive.

Did you know that you get better results when you target long tail keywords because they show more of a user’s intent? Too often, people focus on head terms (shorter terms) which are too general and often difficult to rank for. Targeting the long tail variations of the terms you want to rank for will bring you more qualified traffic and potentially more ROI in the long-term.

What to do with your keyword research

After you’ve done your research and have a bunch of useful keywords with a decent search volume, you can then create your webpages’ copy, or improve upon your existing content.

By using these keywords within your webpages, you’re telling Google what your site is about. This will help Google to bring up your webpages for related queries. But there are some other tricks you can do to make Google more aware of what your website is about and the products and services you offer. I’ll talk you through these next.

Page Text Copy

Over the past couple of years search engines have become more sophisticated, they can now (mostly) figure out what your page is about. However, placing keywords strategically in your text copy is still crucial and must not be ignored.

Let’s say you want your website to rank for the keywords “gifts for men”. You have to place that phrase throughout your copy naturally to communicate to search engines that this page is about “gifts for men”.

It is imperative that you get the balance right and make sure you are not under or over using the keyword. If you are under using the phrase, your chances of ranking well for that keyword will decrease. If you over using it, not only will you not rank for the phrase, but also Google will see this as spam activity and penalise you, pushing you down the search results.

Try to write naturally and let the placing of your targeted keywords be secondary to writing great content. Exceptional content will improve your authority and increase shares.

With great content on your site you can connect with your visitors more effectively and as a result build your trust and credibility with them.

Top tip: Since Google is also putting a lot of emphasis on the user experience and customer satisfaction with a website, it’s important that you create content that’s interesting and of value to your audience fist and then Google. Crafting compelling copy that benefits the user as opposed to Google is what will get your site to rank and be shared.

Tell search engines about the text (keywords) that reflect the topic of your webpage by awarding them a higher status than other text. For example, you can embolden words, or mark up your key phrases headers. Also, by including targeted keywords as hyperlinks to further information, search engines do allocate slightly extra weight compared to the rest of the text on site.

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