What’s More Important, Keywords or Topics?

We’ve answered the question “why do we blog” so many times. A blog serves a number of different functions. A well-written blog post can help improve your reputation as an expert in your field. Additionally, the steady stream of original, accurate, optimized, new content can provide a boost to your website’s SEO value. But, should your blog posts be keyword-based or topic-based? What’s more important? Which one is more valuable to your overall web presence?


Prior to Hummingbird, the keyword was typically a term (for dentists and dental SEO, something simple like “teeth whitening” or “dental bonding”). However, since the majority of searchers today search using mobile devices rather than desktop devices, and tend to phrase queries as questions, Google now focuses on long-tail keywords. Examples of longtail-keywords pertaining to dentistry include “Where can I whiten my teeth in Dallas,” or “Why do my teeth hurt?” For a keyword focus, whether old school or long-tail, the blogger would start with a list of keywords/questions/search queries, then craft topics pertaining to them when writing a blog post.


Before you panic that your dental blog might not be in line with Google’s latest search standards, keep two things in mind:

  1. Here at MDPM, we make it a point to stay up-to-date on Google’s algorithm updates and search criteria changes so that you don’t have to. We’ve been marrying blog topics with keyword research for years now, and we adjusted our techniques when Hummingbird was released to be sure our clients’ blog topics followed searcher intent and long-tail guidelines. We’ve got you covered!
  2. There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a blog topic, and there’s data to back it up. Instead of limiting your blog to a handful of keywords, why not choose a topic and work from there? If you want to own Google for “dental implants” in your area, why not use “dental implants” as your starting point and brainstorm other topics (examples: Am I a candidate for dental implants? How much do dental implants cost? What are the pre- and post-operative instructions for dental implants? Are dental implants better than dentures? Etc.)?

After all, if the blog post is well researched, original, accurate, optimized, and shared on social media, won’t the blog still reach the audience? Won’t you begin to build, or continue to cement, your authority on the topic? Yes.

The Best of Both Worlds

The reason long-tail keywords are so important is that search engines place importance on user experience. If users want to know where they can have their teeth whitened in Dallas, the search engine’s algorithm will use that query to filter the endless amount of content/results available and display the ones it deems the best/most relevant in search results. If you wrote a cosmetic blog that was well-researched and informative, but failed to include relevant keywords, the blog may be overlooked in search results. So, why not include the best of both worlds? Choose an interesting topic and think about what keyword phrases would draw someone to it and – ultimately – get a user to call your office and/or schedule an appointment online. Your topic-based blog is the treasure and your long-tail keyword is the map, so to speak.

The truth is this: there doesn’t have to be a battle between keywords and topics. Keyword research is all the rage, but as long as you’re using data and keeping your targets (demographic, geographic area, specific services/patient cases, etc.) in mind when marketing your dental practice online, your SEO strategy will be personalized.

Want to learn more about blogging or boosting your dental practice’s web presence with a custom website, SEO, and content marketing? Give us a call at (972) 781-8861 or send us an email at info@mdpmconsulting.com.