Semantic SEO: Everything You Need To Know
With the ever-changing nature of internet search terms and knowledge, it can be difficult to determine what will and will not be important to building your website and blog. In 2023, you’re probably familiar with the term SEO, or search engine optimization, and its importance in helping you grow your brand. But if you need a refresher, check this out. Knowing SEO is vital to growing a successful and long-lasting brand, but it’s not the only thing you need to be aware of in the world of content creation.
One of the latest and most valuable marketing strategies for bloggers right now is semantic SEO. This might seem like a new piece of tech jargon, but semantic SEO can take your blog to places that plain old SEO won’t be able to.
Ready to make the jump to semantic SEO? Read on for exactly how to use semantic SEO and keep from pulling your hair out in the process.
What is semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is a strategy that helps create content that is geared toward a specific type of genre or topic, including as well as a set of keywords within that genre or topic.
How is this different from regular SEO?
If you were to write a blog post about sustainable fashion using traditional SEO, you might throw in a few keywords relating to the topic such as “fast fashion,” “climate change,” or “sustainable fashion brands.” Using this strategy would help your blog catch the eye of the internet user who is looking to find information about this topic.
But if you were to use semantic SEO strategies to create a blog centering around sustainable fashion, you would look to create content based on what the user would want to know about sustainable fashion, not just content with keywords about sustainable fashion.
So, what does this mean?
Using semantic SEO strategies means that you create content that seeks to answer any and all possible questions that the user would have about sustainable fashion. Instead of only using keywords to catch their attention, you would write a longer piece of content answering related questions that the user will have about sustainable fashion. This might look like:
- What is the importance of sustainable fashion?
- Where can I buy sustainable fashion?
- What are the best sustainable fashion brands?
- How do I know what is sustainable fashion?
If you seek to answer the other questions a user might have about a given topic within your content, you will be able to keep them on your website for longer periods of time, and hopefully, point them in the direction of more content that you’ve created.
Why is this better than regular SEO?
Instead of a user clicking away to find answers to related questions about sustainable fashion in a different but related article, the user will be able to stay on your content longer to find the answers to their related questions.
Having a user stay on your article for a longer period of time helps to improve the bounce rate of your content. The longer users stay on your website, the better the bounce rate will be, and the more people will ultimately be able to find your content from Google or other search engines.
Why should you be using semantic SEO?
By now you probably have a good idea about why you should be using semantic SEO for your content. But in case you’re still on the fence about putting in the extra work to create semantic SEO-friendly content, here are a few reasons that might make you reconsider.
1. Websites that use semantic SEO strategies have higher rankings on Google
Using semantic SEO strategies will help land your content appear on the first page of SERP (search engine results page) due to a little thing called topic modeling.
What is topic modeling?
Topic modeling is how Google works to rank your site by seeing how much relevant and important information is included on your web page (or, how much users can learn about a specific question from your piece of content). Topic modeling came about in a software update called Hummingbird that launched in 2013, and it’s been incredibly important ever since.
Still confused? If you’re into movies, The Agency Guide has a great and easy-to-understand example of how topic modeling works using old Hollywood star Shirley MacLaine.
Topic modeling might also be known in some circles as searcher task accomplishment, and it works to help shift your content away from using solely keyword rankings and instead to answering the user’s question. Think about what the user will actually get from your content, and how that will make them keep coming back for more.
2. Ranking for more keywords
Having more complex content automatically helps you to include a more diverse set of keywords because you will naturally be covering a wider range of information within your selected topic area. This will in turn help garner more eyes to your content.
3. Gives your website authority
When users come to your site and see multiple, long, and high-quality blogs within a certain topic, they are more likely to see your website as a place of authority on a certain subject, and so does Google. If the algorithm determines that your website is a credible source (usually through semantic SEO), then it has a higher chance of landing on the first page of the Google search webpage.
How do I implement semantic SEO into my blogs?
At this point, you’re probably wondering how you can also implement semantic SEO into your blogs. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to do. The other good news is, it will help your brand immensely!
1. Write long form articles that cover multiple different facets of a single topic
The single most important part of implementing semantic SEO into your content is to make the move from short form to long form blog content. This might look like taking a 500 word blog about kitchen essentials and transforming it into a 1500 word blog that will keep users engaged and interested.
An important element of semantic SEO is quality. You don’t just want to add filler words to reach a specific word count that will draw audiences. Users can see through disingenuous content and will likely not return to a site that wasted their time.
Instead, make sure you’re adding length to your content with quality information.
2. Make sure that you’re answering additional questions that users will be asking
When creating semantic SEO-friendly content, don’t just stick to the basics. Explore different questions outside of the topic idea itself and help your users find the answers they need all in one place.
This strategy is also known as topic clustering.
Think of topic clustering as going down the internet rabbit hole. But instead of going from one website to the next to find information on a certain subject, you want your users to stay exclusively on your site.
Writing content that focuses on SAT test prep strategy? Include information about where to find testing booklets, why it’s important to schedule practice test-taking sessions and so on and so forth. This way, users won’t have to go far when looking for additional information about their subject question.
Pro Tip: A great way to organize topic clusters in your content is to use headings like H2, H3, and H4 which you can find in Google Docs. It will help make your content look a little similar to this blog!
3. Use semantic keywords
Semantic keywords are helpful to use in semantic-SEO strategies because they help the algorithm know that your content is informational and tailored to the user experience. Weaving semantic keywords into your content will likely come naturally as you create semantic SEO-friendly writing because you will already be discussing a wide variety of material in one piece of content.
For example, if someone searches for the best restaurants in Pittsburgh, similar searches might be: where to get great meals best restaurants in Pittsburgh, where I can eat in Pittsburgh, etc.
If you’re struggling to find ways to include semantic SEO keywords into your article, take a look at the “People Always Ask Section” on Google. This is a fantastic way to see what people are asking about the subject at hand.
When searching what the best type of flowers for bees are, a quick look at the “People Always Ask” section can give you an idea of what might make good semantic keywords.
4. Write many related articles that are central to your core article and link internally.
Another fantastic way to implement semantic SEO practices into your content is to include internal linking in your article.
If you create an article about boosting Instagram traffic on a website that focuses on helping content creators expand their brand, write a few different articles about different social media strategies that can help someone become a successful content creator and include those on your site through internal linking from the original related article. This is part of topic clustering and helps keep users on your site for longer periods of time.
Semantic SEO is a tool you can and should use
Using semantic SEO to create content is one of the best ways to improve the user experience and drive traffic to your website. If you build your brand with these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to creating a brand that stands out from the rest.