The idea of semantic SEO has been around for quite some time, but it is just now beginning to gain some speed and catch the attention of marketers. It is probably the biggest step Google has taken thus far to start looking at content as a whole and not just for keywords and links. In other words, understanding this idea is important for startups because it’s going to order a slight strategy change in order to be successful.
Semantic SEO is all about the words around your links and about similar terms that users might use to search for your products and services, so thinking out of the box is a necessity. Company owners have to start thinking more like the typical unpredictable web surfer and get creative with their content.
How Semantic SEO Works and How to Adapt
The idea behind semantic SEO is that Google will offer results based on words that are similar or in the same category as something a user typed into a search bar. Take the following example:
Let’s say someone typed the word “syrup” into the search bar. The idea of semantic search is that instead of Google only showing results with the term “syrup,” they will also show results about how to make pancakes, where you can buy molasses, or maybe even general information about maple trees.
These terms are all related and although that entry might not mention syrup, Google sees this as still valuable with the idea of using semantics. Because there is semantic search, you then have to have semantic SEO. This means optimizing your website with this idea in mind. You don’t need to forget about keyword optimization, but in the future this will likely become more important to the Google algorithm.
Below are a few tips to help create a new strategy with this idea in mind:
- Continue to do your keyword research, but go one step further. Take each keyword you plan to use and then create a list of modifiers and try to incorporate those modifies into your content.
- Try using similar words in your h1 and h2 tags, titles, and descriptions.
- Use a tool to help get creative and generate new ideas (see below).
- Talk to your writers. Your writers are going to be the ones who need to react to this new way of thinking, so arm them with this knowledge and give them training.
Once again, keyword research is not dead and can still be a great way to optimize your website and earn some higher rankings. Semantic SEO will likely become more important in the future, but for now it’s an idea to start familiarizing yourself with so you’re prepared.
A Few Semantic SEO Tools to Help
If it’s all a bit overwhelming at first, don’t sweat it. There are already some great free tools out there that can help you find related terms and terms that modify your keyword specifically in order to help you with semantic SEO. Below are three popular tools and a quick description:
- Ubersuggest: This tool is free and asks you to do nothing but type in your keyword term into a search bar and then the tool will generate hundreds of keyword ideas that are similar. They’re categorized alphabetically so it’s easy to read.
- CTRL Semantic Engine:While the tool above is more about synonyms and similar keywords, this tool offers you Meta Data, Meta Keywords, images, and other content all based on an excerpt from your content that you copy and paste into the tool. Because semantic SEO is about relations, it helps to have a place to find other related ideas and terms for you.
- LSI Keywords: This tool called “Latent Semantic Indexing” helps you find keywords as well as phrases that are semantically relevant. You can exclude some words that you’re not interested in (for example, you might be looking up “syrup” but want to exclude anything about “maple”), which helps keep your results focused and targeted.
Are you familiar with semantic SEO? What are you doing to help make sure your content is optimized with this idea in mind? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small businesses and entrepreneurs SEO advice raging from keyword research to local SEO strategy. She is the online content editor and lead writer for Higher Visibility, a nationally recognized SEO company that offers a wide range of SEO services to companies across the country.