Complete guide to SEO Topical optimization

Do you know what topical optimization is and how it can help you?

With this post you will get to know all the benefits surrounding topical optimization and how it can help and propel your brand higher.


What does topical optimization mean?

Let’s say you start ranking some page on Google. When that happens, you will notice that if say keyword research is your target keyword you rank for a lot more terms than just keyword research.

That’s the beauty of topical optimization. Your page is deemed relevant for a lot of money anchors other than merely the target keyword you hoped to rank for.


It’s irrelevant if you don’t have all of these keywords in your content. 

This particular page that ranks is topically relevant for all the other keywords.. That’s what pushes the page higher in rankings.


By developing topical authority, a page or post buzzes past the one or two target keywords and starts ranking for a bunch of different keywords.


SInce you saw all the benefits associated with topical optimization, let’s see how to implement it.


Implementing topical optimization

Here are some strategies to make your blog’s content topically optimized.


Do research around topics and key sub topics

When you write a new blog post, it’s now more important than ever that you start with a fleshed out outline to begin.


With an outline, you have ample scope to add sub topics to consideration.

As you put the sub topic into keyword research tools you get plenty of relevant ideas you can start using.

For example you get topics branching out of the core topic and you can do keyword research on each of these topics.

That will give you more ideas. As you populate your keyword research file with all these keywords and proceed to write an article you will end up ranking for hundreds of thousands of keywords.


SEMrush’s topic research tool

Another tool to use is the topic research tool from SEMrush.

With this you will get related keyword ideas that you can plug in to your outline.

By now you will have a lot of keywords to use on subheadings of your article and optimize your topic for hundreds of keywords and start ranking for them.


The next thing in line is to think of questions you can use in your content research template. With smartphones and voice assistants people are turning to voice search now more than ever. That inspires a propensity to word their queries into questions they can ask.


As a blogger and writer and marketer it’s your call to answer all the possible questions that might arise in people’s minds


Answering questions

Finding questions is easy because we have a number of tools we can use.

To determine all the questions that you can answer, you need to start with finding out what people are typing into Google.


There’s a free way to do this

Enter your keyword and scroll down to the bottom of the google search page. You can do it for page 2, 3 and so on to find more and more people also ask sections. What these sections do is give you a full fledged idea regarding all the sub topics you might want to flesh out.


SEMrush is also another tool that has a questions feature. Enter a phrase into semrush and tick the questions filter to get a number of questions around the topic.


Do I need running shoes for jogging?

Can I wear running shoes for normal work?

How do running shoes work?

Which are the best running shoes?

ANd so on and so forth.

These are questions that may need to be updated on your article. By themselves the questions themselves don’t carry search volumes, but the phrases may and targeting each of these builds up cumulative traffic.


With this and answer thepublic you’re on your way to conducting better keyword research.

Blog post outlining guide


Creating in depth content

Creating in depth content is easier said than done.


But with the outlining guide I showed you before, you could very well do it. Just be careful that you don’t go way too outside your loop when it comes to planning and carefully expanding.

You should go deep in detail when it comes to covering a topic. You ought to think of and answer all possible questions that might come from someone who’s exploring the said topic in a given direction.


A truly quality content includes lots of case studies, research and statistics when it comes to the topic in mind. What the searcher is seeking should be remedied immediately.


Use SEMrush’s content template tool to get started with this.


What does the tool do? WIth the tool, you can easily analyze the top 10 pages around a topic and get suggestions on how your own content can be improved so that you stay ahead of the curve. SEMrush’s content template helps you audit your content, giving you a fighting chance for your content.


The LSI keywords module gives you suggestions on LSI keywords that need to be included expanding on how to improve content length and its performance.


Understand content gap and remedy it

When you’re optimizing your content for topical relevance, your best chances of ranking high are when you include content and cover topics that your competitor doesn’t cover.


Research competitors thoroughly to make this. To understand what’s lacking in your content strategy and what can be improved in your content strategy.


We call this a content gap analysis.


It’s available on SEMrush in a broader context, as in topics competitors covered but you didn’t content.

However to do this for improving your own content you have to study blog posts on a case-by-case basis.


Read the posts thoroughly on subjects and similar keywords and make a note of content they have on their sites but not something that’s widely touched upon. This will give you lots of ideas to expand on. Based on this research and analysis you can prepare a detailed outline that works.


Use LSI keywords

Latent semantic indexing is when you include similar sounding and similar meaning words in your content.


When you cover a topic in an in depth manner—using LSI keywords will help you strategically target certain keywords and place them throughout your copy. These keywords are semantically relevant to the main keyword that you’re targeting.

LSI keywords are keywords that you want to rank for along with the main keyword you’re targeting.

To find LSI keywords, your best bet is taking note of Google search suggestions.

When you start searching how to… there will be tens of suggestions from Google. Say how to take a photo, how to get pregnant, how to send a postcard and so on.


Google search suggestions offers you a lot of scope to understand what’s going on in the mind of the searcher.

So when you write content you can include all those search suggestions. Say your topic is how to take a photo. So suggestions might be how to take a photo in the wild, how to take a photo with camera, how to take a photo with a smartphone and so on.


In addition, your research isn’t complete until you use tools like SEMrush that help you find out keywords a certain page is already ranking for.


With the list of keywords a page is ranking for, you have at your behest a laundry list of ideas you can use to formulate your plan.

When you use all these keywords along with the main keyword, the odds of you ranking high go up.


Create satellite content

There could be posts on your blog that are already ranking well. These posts are generating lots and lots of engagement. There’s a way to get more out of this content.


By creating more number of articles around these core topics that are relevant to the main topic. Doing this you will be publishing tons of suitable content.


Since you have already ranked a core topic, ranking similar content branching out from the common topic is going to be child’s play for you. You won’t find any difficulty to rank the said articles.


When publishing new articles you need to have semantic relationships with each other and drive internal links between these topics. COmbined together these bunch of articles that semantically form a loop together are the hub and spoke of your content strategy.


Instead of covering all the sub topics in full depth on your blog’s one article write articles around those subtopics so that ultimately you get to cover a broad range of topics.


Next in line is creating pillar content


Pillar pages

Pillar pages are typically several thousand word long resource-style articles that differ in length and style. Pillar pages are sometimes also referred to as cornerstone content.


Typically cornerstone content or pillar pages are used to rank for terms that you would otherwise have difficulty at ranking for with a small 1000 word piece. By virtue of length and the backlinks the piece begins to acquire the page starts ranking for a broad set of terms. Pillar pages are generally created with the intent to drive hundreds of thousands of leads.


Pillar pages regularly talk about and finish to perfection several subtopics that belong to the umbrella set of keywords the content wishes to cover and rank for.

A good pillar article must be all-encompassing when it comes to ranking for the said topic. It should cover in detail all questions a reader may have around that particular topic. Should really be the best resource or the best of the best resource.

Being such an in depth piece of content pillar articles attract links. They rank and because they cover a core idea, they generate hundreds of thousands of leads for you. You start to rank higher.


To boost traffic and link power to and from pillar pages you should engage in internal linking.


You should run links from the said subtopics to the pillar page and the pillar page to the different cluster articles so they start ranking and combine to send tons of organic traffic over to you.


Find out all the relevant articles through analytics and boost with internal link juice so that crawlers have an easy time navigating and following each link.

Ultimately topical optimization should be a page level task where you identify pages you want to boost.

Identify how to optimize existing content

Find and close the content gap and reach a desired goal.

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