If you have never heard of semantic SEO, there is still a better than even chance that you have heard of SEO. Let’s assume that you have and that you also know what keywords and key phrases are. Semantic SEO is all about using groups of keywords and phrases, instead of relying on just one particular set.
This expanded group of phrases should still be connected to the main topic of the page. Done correctly, this creates what is called a semantic field – a shared meaning. It is this on-page relationship that search engines get information about the page, things like:
The post/article is of a certain standard, because it focuses on one topic and goes into detail
Your content is not keyword stuffed (still a problem today, even with experienced writers) and is written for people, not machines
What’s the difference between regular keywords/phrases and Semantic Keywords and phrases? That’s a fair question, and the difference is slight but important. They work in a similar manner, but semantic keywords allow for more detail and opens up the writing to allow it to become more in depth without being repetitive.
If a customer gave me a keyword to work with, for instance, I would create different keyword phrases to help reinforce that original word throughout the copy. A lot of the time this happens naturally, fluidly, as I begin to write but it is also important to try and discover what it is that people are asking when they type in their search query.
IS IT REALLY THAT IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESSES TO USE SEMANTIC KEYWORDS?
Semantic content helps web copy to feature higher in search engine rankings, and there is more to the world of search than just Google so it’s important to keep that in mind too. Semantic writing helps Google, and others, understand what your article/post is about, and that it offers value.
When we write in this way, it also helps with the planning of the next article because we begin to see how one topic could be split into several different articles. Each of these articles become interconnected and you can start linking between them, further reinforcing their standing in the eyes of search engines and providing even more value to your readers.
FINDING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS FOR YOUR SEMANTIC SEO EFFORTS
All of the this sounds great, but it isn’t worth too much if you don’t know what keywords and phrases to use in the first place. If you use Google’s keyword planner (with an AdWords account) then things are simplified a little, but you don’t then there are two options open to you.
- Hire an SEO specialist who can research the keywords for you
- Use Google search to research them for yourself
The first option is the easiest, since you just wind up your specialist and watch him go. It is also the mostly costly; don’t expect a professional in this field to come cheap.
Looking at the second option, you could be thinking that maybe the first isn’t so bad at all but don’t be put off. Researching your own semantic keywords is a little easier than you probably realized.
HOW DO YOU RESEARCH YOUR OWN KEYWORDS?
The first step is to put a main ‘feature’ word or phrase from your content (if your article is about car racing, for example, you may choose ‘motorsport’) and type it into the Google search bar.
As you can see from the above image, Google is already offering up alternatives based on the things that other people have been searching for. You can use this data ‘as is’ and build new keyphrases around them. To go really in depth, and fine tune your results, try putting ‘a’ in front of the word motorsport. Immediately we begin to see even more possibilities. You can carry this on with other letters to get more options.
Going back to the first example, without the additional letter, if you look at the bottom of the screen you will see Google being even more helpful.
Hopefully you can now see just how simple keyword research can be. Of course, a dedicated professional can provide much more, but if you don’t have the budget then this is a very viable alternative.
While it is very true that you should always write for the reader, not the machine, you should also keep in mind that there are little tweaks that can help you in your SEO efforts. These little details help your reader and the search engines, so why wouldn’t you give it a go?
Much has been made of the semantic web in recent years, and rightly so, but your first steps into understanding this and the knowledge graph can be taken today – right on your own website.
Semantic writing opens up many doors, and if you need help or you have questions about anything then feel free to comment or get in touch.