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How To Identify the Best Focus Topic

With MarketMuse, you can produce an article on one focus topic that can rank for many different keywords. Think critically about the subject (focus topic) of your article and be specific.

For example, if you’re writing an article about how to change a tire, consider the different audiences and their needs.

  • how to change a tire on a bike
  • how to change a tire on a riding lawn mower
  • how to change a tire on a travel trailer
  • how to change a tire on a dolly
  • how to change a tire on a lifted truck

Each one of the focus topics above will return a different set of related topics specific to that subject. Expertise is reflected in the specificity of your writing, so avoid using generic focus topics where possible – they tend to be ambiguous.

Take for example the topic “Chicago,” which could refer to:

  • The city proper
  • Tourism
  • The band
  • The film
  • The University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois Chicago

One “keyword phrase” yet 6 distinctly unique topics affects the quality of the topic model (which tries to address 6 different subjects instead of one). In the search results, Google tries to satisfy all of these possibilities. So targeting a phrase like this may not be worthwhile since there’s an 83% chance you’ll have the wrong content.

A focus topic can be a search phrase but it doesn’t have to be. Search is a messy business because there are many different phrases searchers can use to describe the same subject.

Enter your focus topic in Compete and take a look at the top titles. See whether they align with your intention for the content.

When it comes time to publishing, you don’t need to keep the focus topic as the title of your article. The focus topic “how to change a tire on a bike” could be turned into one of these titles:

  • How to Change a Bike Tire Like a Pro
  • How to Change a Bike Tire in Under 60 Seconds
  • The Professional Racer’s Guide to Bike Tire Changes
Updated on October 17, 2022

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