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Keywords vs Topics in SEO

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When it comes to SEO, there are two terms that are often used interchangeably: keywords and topics.

While they may seem similar, there is actually a big difference between the two, and understanding that difference can be crucial for your SEO strategy.

🟢 Keywords

Let's start with keywords. Keywords are the specific words and phrases that people use when they search for something online.

For example, if you want to know more about getting traffic to your new website, you might type "how to get traffic to my website" into Google. In this case, the full sentence "how to get traffic to my website" is one specific keyword.

But there is also topic (although not directly present in the search action). The broad topic would be "website traffic" in this instance.

🟢 Topics

All keywords belong to a certain topic.

At the same time, a keyword can be a smaller topic within a bigger one.

For example, if you want to know more about website traffic from social media, you might type "website traffic from social media" into Google.

In this case, "website traffic from social media" is a keyword that belongs to the larger topic of "website traffic" but at the same time, it is a smaller sub-topic within that larger one.

The organization of topics and subtopics looks like this:

image
  • Every subtopic here including Level 1 and Level 2 subtopics can be individual keywords.
  • Also, there can be infinite number of subtopics depending on how big is the main topic.

🟢 Difference Between Topics and Keywords

So, while the difference between topics and keywords can sound simple at first glance, it can be quite confusing when you start thinking about all the possible combinations.

But don't worry, there are ways to make things easier.

In general, here are the practical differences between two you should be looking at to make SEO decisions:

  • Topics are broad umbrella terms under which multiple keywords can fall.
  • Keywords are the specific phrases people use to search for something.
  • Topics can be potential SEO content strategy pieces while keywords are what you use to optimize your individual pages for ranking in search engines.
  • You can target multiple keywords with the same content, but usualy you won't be able to do this with multiple topics.

To sum it up, if you want to create an SEO content strategy, start with topics. Once you have a list of potential topics, you can then research which keywords would be the best to target for each individual page.