Google wants to serve content that’s as relevant as possible to the user based on the keyword they put into the search field.
This means that each piece of content Google returns should include the keyword and other semantically related keywords, should be easily readable, and should have enough information on the page to help the searcher. Search engines also look for contextual information in the form of inbound links, but we won’t focus on backlinks in this module.
Keyword relevancy is what helps a search engine understand what the content on your page is all about. It helps the search engine make decisions about which term(s) your page should rank for and how high it should appear on the list of search results for a given term.
While optimizing on-page SEO is very important, it has become even more important to create “topical authority” on each page. Since search engines are trying to provide the best possible experience for the humans using them, the information they “know” about your domain helps them decide where to rank each new page you produce.
For example, if Google sees that you write a lot of valuable content around a specific phrase, it will rank a new page on your site about this specific phrase higher than it would on a brand new website.
This is why “keyword depth” and “topic clusters” are important concepts for gaining topical authority. If you are interested in our straightforward framework for building topical authority, check out our “Keyword Audits and Content Clusters” course module (coming soon).
While topic clusters are a great high-level strategy for ranking your site, you don’t have to understand them to get started with on-page SEO. The more you can prove to Google that you are very knowledgeable about a certain topic, the more “trust” you will gain from Google and the more likely you are to get highly-ranked pages.
But, how do you optimize a page for a specific keyword? We’ll dig deeper into this question in the next section.