The foundation of SEO (search engine optimization) consists of authority, relevance, and trust. Relevance is one of the most significant concepts of SEO since it helps to strengthen the other two pillars.
Having trust and authority will only get your so far without having relevancy in your content, backlinks and overall entire wesbite.
While working on the ranking of your site, search engine optimization professionals work to develop relevant and authoritative backlinks for your site from the most platforms that appear natural in the eyes of your users and Google themselves.
In fact, you can get punished in case backlinks coming from different websites have no relevance to your company. If you’ve ever heard of the term “manual action”, this is due to website owners trying to develop spammy backlinks – it’s not something you ever want for your website.
Why and how relevancy in SEO plays an essential role in your rankings, plus there’s tips on how to create relevant content for your website, no matter the niche.
As an added bonus, at the end of this post, I’ll show you just how powerful creating content that directly answers your reader’s questions can be.
So, let’s get straight into it.
How search engines determine relevancy when ranking a page
Obviously, the primary reason to enhance your website’s SEO will be to improve the rankings on search engines for your websites main keywords and hopefully a range of secondary related phrases.
Google gives a lot of importance to relevance since they are trying to provide the best user experience (UX) for the search query. By answering a common question well, search engines will see this as valuable to a searcher.
It is imperative to comprehend the concept of relevance when it comes to search intent, your content and backlinks pointing to a website.
For example, suppose you have a site selling couches and sofas of various types. Now, any backlink coming from a site that talks about home renovations, home improvements, and interior design is going to be considered relevant and it is easy to understand why.
On the other hand, if a link is coming from this site which talks about sports and fitness is too far off-topic to be considered relevant.
The same goes with content and the keywords you target. There are sure to be “unicorn keywords” (very low difficulty with high volume) in the niche of sports, but targeting that sport-related keyword from your furniture site is likely too far off-brand and may confuse Google as to what your site is all about.
So what are the benefits of keeping relevancy at the front of your mind when working on content or your website in general?
1. Users trust pages which are relevant to their search query
It is quite natural for a reader to remain on a page longer that is relevant to their search query. If you’re content answers their questions and provides a high level of value, they send positive signals that search engines pick up on.
Sure, there are ways to deceive the users into visiting pages that are not relevant to their initial search; however, this is never a good tactic.
After landing on the page that doesn’t answer their question, the user will leave dissatisfied. By hitting back on their browser to look at other search engine results – this action is known “pogo sticking”, and is a negative signal to Google your content is off-topic.
You’ll want to make sure the main keywords (and secondary keywords) you are targeting are well answered in your content. If your heading and meta description make the promise of ‘how to travel Thailand on a budget”, you want to provide the best possible answer to that question.
You can take it one step further. Once you’ve defined the primary keyword and answered to the best of your ability – ask yourself what are the next questions the user may have.
These are solid secondary keywords to target for your post. This level of relevance will keep users on page longer and by answering the questions before they know they had them, you’ll likely gain a regular reader for your site.
On top of that, Google and other engines will notice how valuable your content is and give it the ranking it deserves.
2. Relevance produces quality backlinks
When it comes to Google, the ranking of your site depends on quality backlinks. With the most recent algorithm updates, Google made it clear that low quality and low relevant backlinks will be ignored by the search engine giant.
Low quality links can come in many forms – low relevance links are common. Going back to the couch and sofa example, this is a form of an unrelated backlink that will likely be ignored by Google.
As search engines become smarter, you want to make sure sites that link to your website are relevant and hopefully authoritative.
That’s not to say you can’t outreach to sites outside your niche. For example, a travel website can get links from other travel sites, but a local restaurant in the area could be a relevant link.
Search engines, especially Google, are aware websites build up irrelevant links over time. It’s a natural part of the internet. You shouldn’t ever be penalized for these naturally occurring links, but they likely will be ignored by Google.
If you help a user with valuable information, you may gain natural backlinks over time. Great content that gets in front of the right reader can generate links passively.
Here’s a technique I personally developed and test to ensure you’re getting relevant backlinks to your site by using your affiliate partners.
Google provided a tool for getting rid of bad or toxic backlinks, you’ll find it in your Google Search Console.
For more information about disavowing links – here is an article on when Google recommends using this tool.
How exactly does search relevance work?
It is a fact that search engines, use analytical data to determine the search intent, and list relevant search results for each query.
- Identifying different variations of similar words or synonyms. For example, shopping, shopper, and shoppers are all going to highly relevant to ‘shop’.
- Semantic annotation uses context and various concepts of a search query to give additional information to the query.
- Concept tags comprehend the quality of specific concepts around a query (rather than simply matching terms).
- Query weights give significance to various fields depending on the search requirements.
- Natural language processing helps to comprehend the grammatical structure of the text in the search result and query.
- Statistical procedures: detecting the connection between various words that are related statistically.
Why should I create content around relevancy?
Whatever your niche is, you want your content to be relevant for a number of reasons. If someone is interested in a topic, having a closely linked website can entice that reader to stick around longer.
In a connected world where a significant portion of our lives is spent online, most purchases begin with an online search. People turn to the net to learn a variety of things – getting your content in front of the right person at the right time is the best way to increase conversions.
With such a considerable amount of time being spent after technology, it is vital to make sure that your business appeals to the right reader.
Your website should be accessible to visitors in the best possible way and this can be done by engaging through your site.
You’ll want to understand your reader – the language they use and what medium they like to absorb content. Speaking directly to your reader is vital to create an online following.
Here are a few more points why relevance in your content is crucial.
1. Relevant content has a better possibility of being read to the end
Once you click on the link from the search engine, it doesn’t take long to spot irrelevant content. If the reader doesn’t feel like this will help them, they won’t stick around for too long.
Visitors can often tell if the article is right for them or not by a few things. The language used, images, headings, content and even the website itself can be red flags for a reader.
The last thing we want is for someone to press the back button and choose another search result. This sends negative signals to Google.
2. Believable and authentic
If a visitor doesn’t find what they are looking for on the site, you will struggle to entice that user to visit again in the future.
It’s hard to believe a website and it’s authenticity if the content continually disappoints your audience.
3. Become the authority on a topic
By creating content that links well with each post you increase the authoritative stance of your site. Many niches will have a lot of potential articles to write, by creating and internally linking to other pages on your site, you’ll define yourself a knowledgeable in your topic.
Authoritative is a huge ranking factor of the search results. Google only wants to display the most knowledgeable people for each topic.
4. Show the importance of your topic
For readers interested in a topic, creating content that answers a question shows that what you’re saying (also the terms they are searching for) are important, or at least useful to know.
Understanding that your content’s aim is to help people with a problem or teach them something, you’re on the right track to creating a loyal follower.
How do I create relevant content for my website?
Before diving into creating content, you’ll want to understand the downsides of SEO. This will give you the right perspective to create content for your site.
From here, there’s a few things to consider when creating content aimed at readers to your site.
1. Format the content for your audience
In terms of web content, it is important to focus on what you are writing and also how you are presenting it.
Make use of the page elements and the website design to help readers have the best experience from your site.
Make the font easy to read and digest, along with relevant images that add value to the post.
2. Keep the content current
In this fast-paced world, it is important to keep up with the modifications in your niche. Your competition is likely to produce updated content all the time, so make sure your content has all the right information.
Always keep your content up to date with facts, figures and any updates throughout the industry your focus on. Outdated content is an easy way to lose a reader, likely forever.
3. Learn from your rivals
Competitor analysis can identify ways your competitors are staying current in your niche. What content and strategies are they implementing to connect better with their audience?
This will allow you to come up with innovative ideas about certain topics ideas as you plan your content calendar out.
4. Stick to your niche
Have you ever visited a website that was talking about something very far off-topic? Chances are you never went back to that website.
Creating content outside of your niche can work in some instances, but there has to be something connecting the article to the rest of your site.
For example, talking about motherhood when you run a sports related site is likely to confuse Google and your readers. Only branch outside of your niche is it makes sense.
How can relevance help my site outrank authoritative sites?
If you’re looking to outrank the leaders in your industry, your secret weapon has to be relevancy.
Look into the keywords you want to write about. What about the first page results don’t make sense and how can you create content that better answers the questions being asked?
Here are a few screenshots of how targeting specific keywords allow me to outrank some major websites from one of my first sites.
Here is the power of being relevant with content creation:
Final thoughts of relevance in SEO
Hopefully, you now understand “how to be relevant in SEO” and why it is crucial to running a successful website.
Following the above advice will not only help you create informative content your followers want to read but also increase your site’s authority as you gain relevant backlinks pointing to your site.
Do you have questions about SEO or this post specifically? Let me know in the comments below. If you’re looking for expert SEO help or consultation, contact Easy Mode Media and we will put together an action plan to improve your SEO today.