Semantic SEO focuses on delivering a meaningful and relevant answer to users’ queries. This means optimizing for the true intent of your users.
Search engine optimization or SEO is one of the best practices applied in online marketing in order to raise rankings of websites in search results.
As the SEO was evolving, the methods of optimization were changing as well. Today, there are already plenty of techniques and tricks used by specialists, and every year it gets more complicated to get to the top of the search list.
How to make your website stand out? Although the basic rules of optimization are still important to follow, they are no longer as effective as they used to be. Today, to reach the best results, specialists recommend shifting your focus to semantic SEO.
Semantic SEO focuses on delivering a meaningful and relevant answer to users’ queries that don’t contain specific search keywords. In a nutshell, such practice requires you to put even more value and meaning into your content in order to tailor it to the true intent of your target audience. Unlike regular content, such pieces, as a rule, don’t focus on answering a single search question. Semantic content attempts to predict the users’ intent and deliver all the answers related to their queries.
Semantic SEO: How To Create Content That Brings Value?
The key idea behind this method is to understand the deeper meaning of why users are searching for particular content and then deliver what the audience craves within your piece. The easiest way to define the users’ true intents is to use the hints given by Google.
Your best bet for figuring out the deeper meaning of a particular query is by looking at Google’s sections “people also ask” and “related to search”.
Now, how to generate content based on these principles? Here is a step-by-step guide to help you in this endeavor:
Start With Traditional Keyword Research
Keywords are still important even though Google matches users’ queries to sources that contain the meaning they are searching for. Therefore, even if you are generating content with semantic SEO in mind, you will still have to do keyword research.
At this stage, you are free to use any traditional method of keyword research that works for you. The main difference is that you will want to focus on a broader topic, rather than on a specific keyphrase.
Think of a topic relevant to your website, link it to a broader term, and build your keyword research from there.
Target A Broader Topic
Next, instead of building your content around a specific keyphrase, you will have to target a broader topic. To do this right, answer the following questions:
- What issues are you addressing?
- How does your content help to solve those issues?
- What additional questions/problems may arise as you are addressing the main issue?
Having answers to all these questions, you can create content that covers semantically related subtopics.
Next, you have to find related phrases that are related to your main topic. Using such phrases in your piece will increase its visibility and ranking. Here are a few tips on how to research semantically related phrases:
- Start typing your primary keyword or phrase in Google’s search line. As you proceed, you will see many suggested queries – that’s how Google attempts to define the user’s intent, and that’s where you can find plenty of phrases that are semantically connected to your main topic.
- Type your target keyphrase and click search to see the results. When you are on the results page, scroll all the way down to the section named “related to the search.” In this section, you will find even more related requests.
- Use special analysis tools. Competitive keyword analyzing tools can also help you find related queries that you can use in your content.
Use one or several methods described above, find related phrases that can be used in your content and make a list of them.
Later, when you are writing your piece, simply incorporate them into the text. Make sure that all the phrases and ideas you use look natural and organic within the context of your piece.
Answer Other Related Concerns
Every piece of content has the main idea and answers a specific topic. However, when you keep semantic SEO in mind, you have to expand this idea to a broader term and answer a thread of additional questions that may arise as you reveal the answer to your main question.
Google’s “people also ask” section is a perfect source for finding questions that are connected to your topic semantically. Looking at this section is an easy and free way to determine what additional questions you need to answer in your content.
There are also a few other sources that may come in handy. For example, BuzzSumo features a convenient question analyzer that scans popular sources like Reddit, Quora, and others to generate a list of the most popular questions related to a specific topic. However, this feature is only available in the paid version.
Alternatively, you can use a tool called Answer the Public. This tool is available for free, and there is also a paid version with expanded functionality. The tool works very intuitively. Just enter your main keyword, and you will get a bunch of related questions in a few moments.
Semantic SEO principle: Natural Language
With the development of technology, people tend to use their devices’ keyboards less than they used a few years ago. Today, lots of searches in Google are done with the help of the voice search feature.
What does this mean for SEO? When a user is typing his request, he subconsciously makes it shorter and less natural. However, the situation is completely opposite to the voice-based queries. As a rule, they are much more natural and way longer.
Now, if you keep in mind that for every search request, Google tries to find the most accurate match. It makes sense to assume that only content that includes natural, complete phrases will rank high for such requests. Therefore, to make the most of your content, be sure to make it natural and use sentences that contain the full meaning.
This approach works excellent both for semantic and traditional SEO. Besides, including complete, straight to the point sentences in your content gives you more chances of winning a position in featured snippets.
Just in case you don’t know what that is, a featured snippet is a result that Google assumes to be the most comprehensive and relevant to the user’s query. These snippets appear in the results even before the source that holds the top position. As a rule, they give a clear answer to the particular request, making the following results irrelevant.
Use Proper Formatting
Finally, it is important to adhere to the basic formatting rules and essential SEO principles. Just to remind you of how to make your content flawless, here are some of the key things to keep in mind:
- Every piece should be easy to read and well-structured;
- Create unique and relevant content;
- Use attention-grabbing headlines;
- Add media to keep readers engaged.
How To Perform Semantic Optimization Of A Website?
Guidelines that are given above showcase how to create great content with semantic SEO. Now, how to apply semantic SEO solutions to your website? The ultimate goal is to make your site the most relevant source on your topic!
To perform semantic optimization of your website, you can use all the steps described above and apply them to your existing and future content.
Speaking of existing content, you can refresh and expand it. Look at your old pieces from a new perspective to see what additional sub topics they can cover.
Finally, don’t forget to create catchy headlines, use proper formatting, and add media that keeps readers engaged longer.
As long as you deliver compelling, relevant, and high-quality content that brings value to your audience, your site should rank high. After all, that’s exactly what Google and other search engines are looking for. Therefore, the best advice I can give you to future-proof your content is to make your website the best one for your topic! If each piece of your content will be authoritative, expert, relevant, and trustworthy, you will be ready for all future changes!
Semantic SEO Example
The semantic SEO guide given above should give you a strong sense of the basic concepts of semantic SEO. It should also give you an idea of what things to work on to improve your pages’ rankings in semantic search. Now, to have an even more precise image of how semantic SEO works, let’s look at its implementation in the website’s content.
MacRumors Semantic SEO Example
Every time one of the smartphone manufacturing giants Apple releases a new OS, the Web gets stuffed with hundreds of articles and blogs related to it. Since the topic is trending, making your content hit the top of the search results page becomes even harder. That’s when some decent SEO semantic can give you an advantage over your competitors.
Speaking of Apple’s new OS, let’s look at our first example of wise use of semantic SEO. If you type in the search box a request “what’s new in iOS 13”, you will see a single featured snippet right at the top of the results page. The snippet takes you to the page at MacRumors dedicated to the release of a new iOS. Now, let’s see what helped this page to get a winning position in the search results.
First of all, the whole post is well-structured and easy to read. It offers a quick overview of the iOS 13 main features at the beginning of the post for readers’ convenience. Additionally, the content is supported by many media files, including images and videos.
The language used in it is another significant benefit of this piece. It feels very natural throughout the whole article, which, as you already know, is vital for semantic SEO.
Finally, if we dig deeper into the content provided on this page, we can see that it covers the whole topic. It answers all possible questions that may arise as readers are getting through the article.
It also covers all the relevant subtopics. If you look at Google’s “people also ask” section using the same search query, you will see the following questions:
- What are the new features in iOS 13?
- What is new in ios13?
- Will iPhone 6 Get iOS 13?
- What time does the new iOS 13 come out?
Now, guess what? The article that made its way to the featured snippets answers all of those questions! It tells readers when the new iOS was released, what main productivity improvements it offers, what features have been updated and which ones were freshly added. In addition, it features a complete compatibility list and a wide range of related iOS 13 how-to’s that can come in handy to the audience.
As a bonus, the resource included an iOS 13 timeline that’s being regularly updated to notify users about any new updates, betas, and other news.
Result: In its recently-published article, MacRumors shows how all the key rules of semantic SEO that we’ve discussed earlier can be implemented in your content. The writer of the article managed to create an authoritative and relevant piece. It brings real value to readers and ranks well in search engines. This is because of the sophisticated approach and semantic SEO principles.
Without any doubt, the world of SEO is fast-paced and unpredictable. Every year it challenges specialists with more complex tasks, but, at the same time, it delivers even more opportunities with every update.
The benefits SEO can give businesses are almost unlimited. Therefore, incorporating some trending SEO techniques into your overall strategy makes lots of sense.
One of the most significant advantages of semantic SEO over other solutions available today is that it works great in a long-term perspective. Unlike some unethical techniques that might bring fast results, semantic SEO refers to White Hat SEO practices. These practices are perfect for creating a long-term strategy, as they cater to the actual audience and are not focused solely on search engines’ demands. Such techniques ensure longevity and stable, long-lasting results.
Based on everything said above, we can conclude that the main idea of semantic SEO is to bring the content that has higher relevance and value. Respectively, such content drives more traffic and stands out from the crowd. Thus, focusing on semantic SEO can put you on the right track to success!
Author’s Bio: This article was written by Sandra Larson, professional content and academic writer from Same Day Papers. Sandra has been engaged in delivering different types of compelling content for over ten years. She possesses vast experience in creating SEO optimized pieces. Sandra shares her experience in this ultimate guide to semantic SEO.